Result of 6 months of patience = maintenance questions - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-18-2018, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Result of 6 months of patience = maintenance questions

Hey folks,

After 6 months of patience, I've finally gotten my tank to something that I envisioned when I started my first tank (20 G long). Stocked with approximately 20 freshwater fish, pressurized CO2, heater, 24/7 Finnex Fully Automated Aquarium LED. It is probably about 90% planted, and now that I've completed scaping it with the plants and wood and rocks, I'd like to really focus on making my plants grow better and be greener. I currently have the following plants:

Baby Dwarf tears (all over left side)
Large Amazon Sword (left back)
Ambullia (left back mid behind wood)
Hygophila Corymbosa (behind wood)
Dwarf Sagitarria (Right back)
Dward Hairgrass (Right front side)
Random assortment of moss balls
Christmas moss clump (in front of sagittaria)

During the past 6 months, I've only used a couple of dosing bottles, Flourish and Flourish Excel. Unfortunately, I must say I got a little lazy with the dosing regimen, and now just do Flourish every other day or so. I am looking for advice on what else to dose my plants, when, and how much to make them a bit healthier, given the types of plants I have. Thank you!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-18-2018, 07:39 PM
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Looks like you are doing pretty well so I wouldn't change too much.

Dosing Flourish is only dosing micros.

Given you have decent light and CO2, you plants need macros (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium).

You could use Seachem products, but in the long run cheaper to buy dry ferts. Several sponsors here are good sources.

You probably don't need or want EI levels, but some percentage would probably make plants happier.

And like I said, all in all nice layout and good looking plants. Some fine tuning will make them even better.


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-18-2018, 08:11 PM
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I just want to say that the fish under the swordtail looks like a fox going through tall weeds and that's kind of awesome :/
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-18-2018, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
Looks like you are doing pretty well so I wouldn't change too much.

Dosing Flourish is only dosing micros.

Given you have decent light and CO2, you plants need macros (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium).

You could use Seachem products, but in the long run cheaper to buy dry ferts. Several sponsors here are good sources.

You probably don't need or want EI levels, but some percentage would probably make plants happier.

And like I said, all in all nice layout and good looking plants. Some fine tuning will make them even better.
Thanks for your reply and appreciate the compliments! I have never dosed with dry ferts before - as this is my only tank, is it significantly cheaper? Pros and cons of dry ferts versus seachem products?

I've read about EI dosing, but never really got into it~

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I just want to say that the fish under the swordtail looks like a fox going through tall weeds and that's kind of awesome :/
Lol it totally does. That would be one of the four panda cory's I've spent hours watching as they fiddle through the carpet
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-18-2018, 09:57 PM
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Man I wish my water was soft enough for a Ram. How many do you have?
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-21-2018, 03:19 PM
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Looks great but I feel you should trim them more often for even better growth.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-21-2018, 03:25 PM
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Beautiful tank.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Man I wish my water was soft enough for a Ram. How many do you have?
Just the one~ He was the first fish I got for the tank so he's established himself as king of the tank and is afraid of absolutely nothing. Not my hands, the water siphon, my snipping tools, my dog pawing at the tank, towels, my phone, other fish never chase him around, etc. On more than one occasion I had to really watch where I'm using my scissors as he just doesn't scare at all and I almost snipped his fins. Here's some more glamour shots from the side of the tank :P

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Looks great but I feel you should trim them more often for even better growth.
Yeah, I do agree I should probably trim more, it just makes such a mess especially with baby dwarf tears and hairgrass lol

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Beautiful tank.
Thank you!
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 03:03 PM
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Nice setup. Using Aquasoil?
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Nice setup. Using Aquasoil?
Thanks! Yeah, used about a bag and a half of normal sized Aquasoil. Looking back, Aquasoil powder may have been easier for the tears to root as it took more than a month for them to finally stay put.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 04:44 PM
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Thanks! Yeah, used about a bag and a half of normal sized Aquasoil. Looking back, Aquasoil powder may have been easier for the tears to root as it took more than a month for them to finally stay put.
Thought so, yeah with the AS you can get buy with just dosing mostly micros and K, The Flourish is mostly micros, but there is some K in it as well.

Your right to start thinking about add'l dosing. Dry ferts will simply save you money over Seachem since with Seachem your paying for chemicals and water and they won't last as long. I actually still use Seachem Flourish for my micros alot since it's very complete. For macros (NPK) I use dry.

Also looks like your HC on the left is preparing for lift off. That will happen when it gets very thick.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thought so, yeah with the AS you can get buy with just dosing mostly micros and K, The Flourish is mostly micros, but there is some K in it as well.

Your right to start thinking about add'l dosing. Dry ferts will simply save you money over Seachem since with Seachem your paying for chemicals and water and they won't last as long. I actually still use Seachem Flourish for my micros alot since it's very complete. For macros (NPK) I use dry.

Also looks like your HC on the left is preparing for lift off. That will happen when it gets very thick.
I have never tried dry ferts before, but would like to start using them for macros, as I've heard much about them. Where is a good place to start? Or may you point me in the direction of a guide from beginning to end of where and how much to purchase, measure, mix, pour, etc. based on the size of my tank and the amount of foliage I have? Thank you!

Yeah, the HC has gotten quite thick, haven't really cut it back as much as it should be, but I'd like to fully understand dry ferts before majorly cutting it back so that it can grow back better, as some parts of it are starting to show decay.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 06:36 PM
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Houseofcards made a good point about the HC carpet that I was thinking about earlier when I saw this - I've had HC carpets lift off because they weren't properly trimmed. It's awful, especially when that carpet covers 75% of the bottom of your 29 gallon tank. Big mess, real big mess, loads of work replanting....
Like he said, yours is at or very near that critical point. It wants to float, it's buoyant, and the roots are lil bitty guys. Also, that decay you mention can and will occur at the bottom of the plant, allowing it to float away. Your carpet will look ugly for a couple weeks, but this allows you a chance to clean up some of the trapped organic matter that's down below that mass, and it will look even better when it comes back!
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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Houseofcards made a good point about the HC carpet that I was thinking about earlier when I saw this - I've had HC carpets lift off because they weren't properly trimmed. It's awful, especially when that carpet covers 75% of the bottom of your 29 gallon tank. Big mess, real big mess, loads of work replanting....
Like he said, yours is at or very near that critical point. It wants to float, it's buoyant, and the roots are lil bitty guys. Also, that decay you mention can and will occur at the bottom of the plant, allowing it to float away. Your carpet will look ugly for a couple weeks, but this allows you a chance to clean up some of the trapped organic matter that's down below that mass, and it will look even better when it comes back!
I've been siphoning organic matter/detritus during my 50% weekly water changes by just shoving the siphon straight onto the HC and moving it around. The HC pictured has been growing for about 5 months now from about 3 or 4 pots I bought back in Feb, and the roots are actually pretty dug in, but I do see some buoyancy under the plants. It seems like there are roots which are dug deep into the soil, but then there's also a secondary network of roots which are above the soil. My panda corys dig through it all constantly without so much as the occasional leaf breaking off, though. But yeah, I do plan on doing a large cutback in the near future.

But as I've most recently added additional plants as well as the wood decor, some areas of the HC are getting less light. My DHG is also starting to show some browning, so I would like to establish a better dosing/dry ferts schedule before I do any more major trimming, hence my inquiry as to where best to start researching/purchasing dry ferts.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Auralux View Post
I've been siphoning organic matter/detritus during my 50% weekly water changes by just shoving the siphon straight onto the HC and moving it around. The HC pictured has been growing for about 5 months now from about 3 or 4 pots I bought back in Feb, and the roots are actually pretty dug in, but I do see some buoyancy under the plants. It seems like there are roots which are dug deep into the soil, but then there's also a secondary network of roots which are above the soil. My panda corys dig through it all constantly without so much as the occasional leaf breaking off, though. But yeah, I do plan on doing a large cutback in the near future.

But as I've most recently added additional plants as well as the wood decor, some areas of the HC are getting less light. My DHG is also starting to show some browning, so I would like to establish a better dosing/dry ferts schedule before I do any more major trimming, hence my inquiry as to where best to start researching/purchasing dry ferts.
I'd heed Greggz advice and pickup an EI pack and start working with that. You can purchase from Nilocg.com. By far the most cost effective route is going to be to work with dry ferts. I like using a milligram scale as well to be a bit more precise with my dosing, they're pretty cheap on amazon.
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