Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Central New York, USA
You might think 'dirt' gives you an edge, but in time, with rooted plants it will become depleted and you will still need root tabs of some sort for rooted plants. (A couple of inches of washed out soil just can not sustain plants for long.)
I am using a silica (pool filter) sand substrate. For root tabs I'm using Seachem Flourish Tabs. For the water column I'm lightly dosing with Flourish Comprehensive and alternating between Flourish Trace and Fresh Trace.
Some report success using Osmocote or other terrestrial ferts in a gelcaps for root tabs to save money. Although these are slow release in soil, I worry that they may be slightly unstable in water and less appropriate for aquatic plants.
Different stokes for different folks but my objective with plants is to better naturalize the aquarium and [better] purify the water for the fish...so for me, the fish come first. With this in mind, my tank will be low tech with just the light and ferts to keep plants healthy without going to extremes.
(I have the Finnex Planted+ 24/7 running in 24/7 mode....again for the low tech surreal naturalism it provides [sunrise to sunset/moonlight lighting]).
All in all, I've learned that the key is balance and PATIENCE. If you have high light, you'll need more ferts and perhaps CO2. For low tech, you can have lower light, less ferts and no CO2. It's a matter of choice.
Tank On, Mike-
60g Marineland Community, Finnex Planted+ 24/7, Silica (pool filter) sand.
10g, 29g, & 37g fry grow out tanks, 110g stock tank.
What came first, the chicken or the egg. It was the egg, but not the egg from a chicken.
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