how to fert with low light - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-19-2004, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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how to fert with low light

At the moment i'm getting on top of bba out break (learning the hard way).
Taking my attention away from my 145 gallon tank, which would be lucky to run 1 watt per gallon.
The plants a vals/ couple crypts(becetti?) java fern java moss and swords which are suffering, everthing else growing extremely well( vals at least 3 foot long) and no algae at all.
Of what i've been reading low lights, ferts you dont need and by following that i have not had any problems until now.
The vals a starting to look a little pale a touch brown on some leaves but not all.
My thoughts are just a couple of root tabs every week or two and below the recomended dose or no ferts at all?
Please coment as i am a little concerned about creating an algae jungle.
can't remmeber when i last fed the plants.
Thanks
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-19-2004, 02:18 PM
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It is untrue that low light tanks do not need fertilization. The only difference is that things happen a lot slower, so you don't need to fertilize nearly as often, but you still do.
If, for example, your nitrates were in the proper range (5ppm-10ppm) but your phosphates were either very low (0-0.25ppm) or very high (>1ppm), algae would flourish. Algae does not need as much light as higher plants do, so when there is a nutrient imbalance, algae will grow nearly as quickly as a high light tank.
You should test your water, primarily for nitrates and phosphates, and make sure they are in the recommended range. The good news is that, with low light, you won't need to test your water every week and re-add fertlizers and supplements. Most low-light tanks can go several weeks or even more than a month and not deplete nutrients in the tank.
It seems you've mostly got root feeders (swords, crypts, vals) so the root tabs you're adding will keep them going, but algae will mostly feed on nutrients in the water column so be careful not to neglect those. If your nitrates are above 10ppm or your phosphates above 1ppm, bring them down with water changes. If they are low, then add Stumper Remover (KNO3) for nitrates and Fleet Enema for phosphates (PO4).

Again, this is no different than high light tank, you'll just need to do it less often.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-19-2004, 04:42 PM
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Actually since the root tabs contain little or no MACRO nutrients you still need to add those to the water column. Seachem root tabs for instance are mainly calcium and sulfur.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-20-2004, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks
I tested the water these are results
Nitrate 20ppm
phos .25ppm
kh 3
hardn 100 pm
Thats after a week no water change and i do 50% change every week on all 4 tanks.
THanks
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-20-2004, 12:35 PM
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I'm wondering why your nitrates are so high? Test your tap water and see if it contains nitrates. Also test some RO/DI water and see if your test kit is working. If the test kit is working you need to find some way to lower the nitrates.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-20-2004, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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I have tested the tap water it has no nitrates.
I did a test on bottled water which it says it contains 8ppm nitrates and it show about that much,also i tested my other tank which i changed the water yesterday it showed under 5ppm.
I have 4 discus 30 cardinals 12 to 15 cherry barbs 5 cory's 4 bristle nose all nearly matured.
Correct me if i'm wrong but does over feeding increase nitrates i think thats maybe why?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-20-2004, 02:42 PM
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yes over feeding means more waste that gets converted to nitrates.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-20-2004, 03:11 PM
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You might need to increase your water changes to 1/3 twice a week to keep the nitrates down until the plants are consuming them more rapidly. The Discus will appreciate it, as well.
In the meantime, I would increase PO4 to help the plants start taking in those nitrates more rapidly. Go to the pharmacy and pick up a bottle of Fleet Enema (or have a really, really good friend buy it for you if you're the shy type). For $2, it will last you for a very long time. Four drops straight from the dispenser in a 55g tank increase PO4 levels by approx ~0.1ppm. The dropper is fairly accurate, but if you want to measure, 1ml of Fleet will raise PO4 in a 55g tank by around ~0.6-0.7ppm.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-20-2004, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all for the information.
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