Do I need fertilizer - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-22-2009, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Do I need fertilizer

I'm setting up a low tech tank using excel and 2 wpg. Should I use Flourish or would this be overkill (the tank will be stocked with fish)?

Thanks
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-22-2009, 12:46 PM
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Hi veryzer,
Sorry to answer your question with more questions. What plants do you plan on having? What is your substrate? Flourish will add micronutrients and a little potassium and should not harm your fish.


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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-22-2009, 02:03 PM
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Ferts never hurt a tank no matter what type of light, C02, or plants you have. I'd start with root tabs planted next to all of your rooted plants (Seachem's is easy to find and cheap) and Seachem Excel for C02. If you start getting yellow leaves or they wilt then pick up a decent NPK+Micro commercial fert system (I like pfertz.com better than Seachem's Flourish line but ether would do) plus Excel.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-22-2009, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions.

Here are the vitals:
54 gallon corner tank
40lbs. eco complete + 25 lbs. regular gravel.
I'm planning on having some typical low lights though the particular ones haven't been decided. These may include:
Vals
Anubias
Crypts
Apongetons
Sag Subulata
Moss

Are there any other must haves that any of you recommend for this setup?

Also is there a particular "break in" plant should have to avoid algae outbreaks at first?

Thanks
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-22-2009, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
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Also is there a particular "break in" plant should have to avoid algae outbreaks at first?

Thanks
hornwort is good for that
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-22-2009, 03:28 PM
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For a new tank my favorite plant to avoid algae is Najas sp 'Roraima'. You can find it in the swapNshop. It grows fast, eats up the ammonia, won't shade the other plants and is easy to remove. What more can you ask of a "break in" plant?!

Just keeping on keeping on....


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-22-2009, 03:32 PM
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I was thinking more about the use of Excel when I requested a plant list. In my experience Excel will melt Vals. The others should be alright. Anubias will appreciate the addition of macros (NPK) as would the other plants if carbon is a non-limiting factor. With eco complete substrate, fish and fish food you should be ok for the time being. I don't use Excel (Glutaraldehyde) so maybe bradac56 can tell you how much excel you would need for a 54 gallon tank. Think twice the recommended dose and lots of cash. You could add a yeast reactor and dose excel, flourish, macros as needed.


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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-22-2009, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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You could add a yeast reactor and dose excel, flourish, macros as needed.

So I would conceivably need excel even if I had a yeast reactor?
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-22-2009, 09:44 PM
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For a tank that big I wouldn't recommend a commercial NPK line it's just to expensive I'd personally go with dry ferts from ether { http://www.greenleafaquariums.com/aq...ertilizer.html } or { http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com/in...ditU=1&Regit=2 } and get the basics:

KN03
KH2P04
Trace (CSM+B)

Optional but good stuff:
GH booster (only used after a large WC)
Iron Chelate 10% (if you need extra iron for finicky plants)

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EDIT: Left_C did a great spreadsheet for dosing Seachem products I just have to find the thread ... here we go it's over at APC
{ http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...tor-chart.html }

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 12:07 AM
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Yep, depending on your plant mass. At some point maintaining nonlimiting carbon will require less light and pruning, IME.


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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the feedback folks. I do appreciate it.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2009, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradac56 View Post
For a tank that big I wouldn't recommend a commercial NPK line it's just to expensive I'd personally go with dry ferts from ether { http://www.greenleafaquariums.com/aq...ertilizer.html } or { http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com/in...ditU=1&Regit=2 } and get the basics:

KN03
KH2P04
Trace (CSM+B)

Optional but good stuff:
GH booster (only used after a large WC)
Iron Chelate 10% (if you need extra iron for finicky plants)

~

EDIT: Left_C did a great spreadsheet for dosing Seachem products I just have to find the thread ... here we go it's over at APC
{ http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...tor-chart.html }

- Bra
On a low light tank. How do we find out what the correct dose of the dry ferts that you recommended would be?

Thanks,
Pat
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2009, 07:43 PM
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Trial and error unfortunately, it all depends on the size of the tank, how much fish poop is made, how many plants, what type of plants (fast growers vs slow growers), etc so it's a bit different in each tank. For someone completely new to live plants I recommend starting with just the GH Booster + Excel after every water change. If the plants start to turn yellow and/or get holes in them then start adding KN03, KH2P04, and Trace once a week (not on the same day) and see if that does the trick.

If it doesn't then start doing more but at that point your looking at algae problems. Most of my low light tanks are heavily planted so I don't do more than add Excel and my own mix of GH Booster after water changes but in those tanks I'm only going for mass not aquascaping as they are species tanks setup for spawning not necessarily to look pretty.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2009, 11:59 PM
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Plant a bunch of root tabs, they have caused my plants to grow like crazy. I dose 7ml of Excel daly with no problem
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 06:19 AM
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Ok, so NPK are the macros. In a low light tank. N comes from fish waste, P comes mostly from uneaten fish food I think? and K... where does K come from?

Thanks,
Pat
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