Do dirted tanks run out of nutrients? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 08:10 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 306
Do dirted tanks run out of nutrients?

I'm pretty sure that my question has been asked in this group before; however, I am a noob to platned tanks. Do dirted tanks run out of nutrients? I want to dirt my tank with MGOCPM. I did some research on Google and I keep getting mixed information. Some people say that dirt runs out of nutrients, and others say it wont run out because the fish poop and other waste mater will keep it mineralized. I was wondering, what are other alternatives to MGOCPM?
kidgrave is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 09:37 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Raymond S.'s Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Hot Springs Ar. 71901
Posts: 5,934
If fish waste will re-mineralize it then it will mineralize plain gravel also.
The reality of that one is that it will...in limited quantities.
For anything like a full house of plants you will eventuially need to add ferts as the
soil will run out of it's own nutrients much the same as a potted plant though not as fast.
Go to any on-line pet supply and use any substrate listed(except Laterite) or use
Pool Filter Sand or blasting sand but don't get a substrate that is for salt water tanks.
That can be confusing but anything that has the word coral in it is salt water and
just ask here about any other you are not sure about.
You can also get this same info by reading some in the section where you put this question. Just look down the list for ones which name a specific type. This is especially true if any say "List your favorite substrate."
I have plain gravel with Flourie on top of it in one of my tanks and Eco-Complete in the other one.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
Raymond S. is offline  
post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 10:38 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (12/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: White Plains, MD
Posts: 1,001
Fish waste provides nutrients for plants but it does not have everything the plants need or people with heavily stocked tanks wouldn't need to dose their tanks with ferts. Any nutrient rich substrate, like MTS maybe, will eventually not have the same level it started with. When it reaches the point that it runs out could be somewhat subjective but it will reach a point when the richness of the soil has less of an impact.

Eheim Pimp #448
jrman83 is offline  
 
post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 11:59 AM
Mxx
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: London
Posts: 667
Depends...

There are relationships between speed and intensity of plant growth, how much food you put in, your lighting intensity, whether you are using CO2 or not, your fish stocking density, whether you are cleaning your tank or not, what amount of plant matter you might be removing through pruning, and how much food you are putting in for your fish.

Basically, that may or may not be a balanced relationship as to whether nutrient input via fishfood is more or less than what your plants require. If it's less, than an enriched substrate such as MTS will get depleted over time.

According to Ecology of the Planted Tank, the proportions of nutrients in fishfood are pretty much in the proportions which your plants happen to require as well.
Mxx is offline  
post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 04:33 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Monster Fish's Avatar
 
PTrader: (44/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Queens, NY
Posts: 3,325
It will eventually run out but it should last you longer than a year depending on how fast you drive the plants to grow and how weedy they are. If the MGOCPM you use was unsifted and retained the bark and other larger pieces, they will break down, mineralize, and become plant food. Fish waste and decaying food and plant matter will eventually break down into mulm which will help enrich your dirt layer but this might take a while. Check out wkndracer's dirted tank journals. He has a few MGOCPM tanks that have pushed past the 18 month mark without any additional dosing or ferts.

The Fraternity of Dirt #112

Cryptocoryne farmer
Monster Fish is offline  
post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 01:15 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
Fish food tends to be lowest in K, Ca, and Fe.
Some soils have a good supply of fertilizers, or you can add ferts, so they last a long time. If you put some slow release fertilizers deep in the soil it will take a long time for them to be depleted.

Water can supply the Ca, as long as the GH is over about 3 degrees.

As noted above, the faster you want the plants to grow (high light, added CO2) the more fertilizers the plants will demand.
Even in a low tech set up with high fish loads (slow growing plants with lots of fish food) my plants were showing potassium deficiencies. So I started by adding a combined product with K and Fe.
As I improved other conditions (more light, Excel and yeast/sugar CO2) I had to add more ferts.

Think of soil as if it is your dinner plate, and you can easily see that you have to keep buying more food to put on the plate.
Diana is offline  
post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-05-2014, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Fish food tends to be lowest in K, Ca, and Fe.
Some soils have a good supply of fertilizers, or you can add ferts, so they last a long time. If you put some slow release fertilizers deep in the soil it will take a long time for them to be depleted.

Water can supply the Ca, as long as the GH is over about 3 degrees.

As noted above, the faster you want the plants to grow (high light, added CO2) the more fertilizers the plants will demand.
Even in a low tech set up with high fish loads (slow growing plants with lots of fish food) my plants were showing potassium deficiencies. So I started by adding a combined product with K and Fe.
As I improved other conditions (more light, Excel and yeast/sugar CO2) I had to add more ferts.

Think of soil as if it is your dinner plate, and you can easily see that you have to keep buying more food to put on the plate.
Are you Diana Walstad? Thanks for your reply. What type of ferts do you use for K and Fe? I bought some dry ferts so I think I'm going to use those in case I see potassium and Fe lacking. Do you ever use clay for iron?
kidgrave is offline  
post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-05-2014, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monster Fish View Post
It will eventually run out but it should last you longer than a year depending on how fast you drive the plants to grow and how weedy they are. If the MGOCPM you use was unsifted and retained the bark and other larger pieces, they will break down, mineralize, and become plant food. Fish waste and decaying food and plant matter will eventually break down into mulm which will help enrich your dirt layer but this might take a while. Check out wkndracer's dirted tank journals. He has a few MGOCPM tanks that have pushed past the 18 month mark without any additional dosing or ferts.
I have a low-tech tank. I have a 10 gallon with 2x13 watt CFLs. I have a question. With dirted tanks, is it ever necessary to do a gravel vac?
kidgrave is offline  
post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-05-2014, 10:38 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Monster Fish's Avatar
 
PTrader: (44/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Queens, NY
Posts: 3,325
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidgrave View Post
I have a low-tech tank. I have a 10 gallon with 2x13 watt CFLs. I have a question. With dirted tanks, is it ever necessary to do a gravel vac?
Never do a deep gravel vac. Just a surface vacuum every once in a while to remove any excessive mulm if it bothers you or any escaped dirt after a rescape.

The Fraternity of Dirt #112

Cryptocoryne farmer
Monster Fish is offline  
post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-06-2014, 01:43 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
I am not Diana Walstad.

I started using Leaf Zone for K and Fe.
As conditions in the tanks improved I moved to the EI method, including dry ferts.
Diana is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome