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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-17-2002, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
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For Jobes plant spikes, which kind do I get, is it the Fern and Palms one? The only one my hardware store had was for evergreens and trees, does it have to be the fern one??

-Tim
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-17-2002, 03:48 PM
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What are the N-P-K values for the trees spikes? The Fern and Palm spikes are 13-4-5, the most critical being the Phosphate values. If that middle number is higher than 4 or 5, you'll overdose PO4 and probably get a BBH algae outbreak.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-17-2002, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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The N-P-K values for the tree spikes were 13-8-8, but the N-P-K values for the evergreens were 13-4-4. I was alarmed when it said "Cl (Chlorine)...........no more than 8%. Is the chlorine OK, would it get into the water collumn and kill the fish?

Also, I think the tree ones might be specifically formulated for trees. Not just the N-P-K values, but also the structure of the spike, so I am going to go to home depot or something and get the fern ones if they have them. Thanks for the reply!!

P.S. I got my filter thing hooked up last night, and to fix the bubbles, I just attached some foam, and now there aren't any bubbles. Also, it was wierd, I was checking the pH of my tap water, and it is al the way down to 7.5!!! I have NEVER seen my tap water read that, and I test pretty often. Hopefully it will stay at 7.5!!!

-Tim
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-17-2002, 08:46 PM
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13-4-4 is a good spike, but the tree spikes are huge. You'd have to break it way down before putting it in your substrate. Chlorine is actually part of a plant's micronutrient requirements, but I doubt it is 8% in volume. Maybe 0.8%?

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-17-2002, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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That is sorda what I thought. The problem was that the nutrients were listed like below.

Nitrate......................13%
Phosphorus................4%
Potash........................4%
Chlorine......................8%

Since there are so many dots, it would be hard to tell if they meant to put .8% instead of 8%, but I am going to get the fern ones any way. Thanks for all the help!

-Tim
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-17-2002, 09:37 PM
 
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I' ve been using Jobes spikes for large indoor plants. The N-P-K is 14-3-7. They only have 0.2% chlorine. The last number is pottasium. Since most planted tanks lack pottasium, I felt that it couldn't hurt. I've been using them for about 3 months now.

I reccomend you test for nitates, not nitrites, before you insert spikes. If your nitrates are below 5ppm you should probably supplement with spikes. I shoot for 10 ppm. The way I do that is by inserting a couple of spikes near the root feeders, wait 1 day or 2, and then test for nitrates again. If I'm around 10ppm I'll leave it alone. If they're still low I'll put another stick or 2 in wait 1 day or 2 and test again. You don't want to add an excessive amount at once because you'll shock the fish. You definitely want to keep them under 20 ppm, which is really easy to do if you have a lot of plants, adequte lighting, and CO2. Good Luck
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-18-2002, 03:34 AM
 
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Actually the Jobe's Plant Food Spikes
for Lush Ferns and Palms, has a 16-2-6 ratio. The one's that have the ratio of 13-4-5 if Jobe's Plant Food Spikes for Beautiful House Plants.

The Lush Ferns and Palms are excellent with their low phosphate ratio being 8 to 1. The others are really close to being troublesome algae factories. Since their ratio is only 3.25 to 1, if you disturb the substrate in any way for a couple of months after using them you are almost assured of algae problems. My advice has always been to only use these high powered spikes if you have high lighting, and pressurized gas CO2 system. Unless you stay on top of things you can easily end up with a nutrient soup. IME and in IMO water column fertilizer is a far better and more controlable approach to feeding aquatic plants.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-18-2002, 05:10 AM
 
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Based on Steve's last post, I should not be using spikes. I have a 10 gal and so far only one live plant. I'm as novice as they come!

I have about 5 plastic plants and I'd like to change them to live plants maybe one a month -- if I can keep them (and the fish!) alive as I go.

Right now I have some Hagen Plant Gro Iron Enriched Aquatic Plant Fertilizer 0.15-0-0. It says to use one capful (5 mL) for a 10 gal, but doesn't say anything about adding more with water changes or as time goes by. I actually came here today to search for info on Iron test kits so I could monitor how much to use. So far I've used almost none as I have only one plant. BTW my Nitrates are maybe 5.

I'd love any thoughts on the above. Plus can you point to some info on "water column fertilizer"? Know idea what that is.

Please feel free to point me anywhere! I'm good at reading stuff.

Thanks so much, Peter
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-18-2002, 01:46 PM
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Steve's definitely right. One Jobe's stick of any NPK value can overload a system with nutrients if you are not supplying intense light and CO2.

Fertilizing the water column is definitely ideal for stem plants and easier to control, but for plants that are primarily root feeders, such as Amazons, Anubias, Crypts, and so on, they will fare a lot better if the nutrients are buried in the substrate. As long as you aren't a "digger" who constantly uproots and rearranges plants and disturbs the substrate, the nutrients should remain in the gravel.

When I can't seem to keep my water column nutrients up, I just disturb one of those plants and NO3 levels jump to 10 in no time.

- Sam P -
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-18-2002, 04:34 PM
 
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1. My first plant is a Narrow Leaf Chain Sword (Echinodorus tennellus) which I believe would be a root feeder. So I shouldn't be using my Hagen Plant Gro to fertilize the water column. Is this correct?

2. But I don't have bright light yet or CO2 so I can't use spikes. So what do I do?

3. If one is using Hagen Plant Gro (see my earlier post for details) should they be testing Iron to monitor how much to use?

4. Could someone please describe what a "stem plant" is? Not just give species examples.

Thanks, I'm learning... Peter
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-18-2002, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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OK, hope these answers help (here it goes)!

Echinodorus tennellus needs high light, CO2, and a rich substrate to grow. Adding fertalizer spikes would not help. I would reccomend you get some higher lighting first. For a 10 gallon, it shouldn't be too expensive. Right now, since you only have 1 plant and low light, you shouldn't be adding any fertalizer of any type. You really didn't say what your lighting was, but it should be around 30 watts, and not much less, if you want your chain sword to grow. The liquid fertalizer would help any plant grow in given conditions. You shouldn't be using hagen plant grow, so don't monitor for iron. A stem plant is a plant with stems (??). It mainly takes in nutrients from the water collumn instead of the substrate.

All this is regarding you want to grow the one plant you have now. It is (very) possible to do a planted tank without Co2, or highlighting, but the plants will grow slower. The main thing one has to worry about in a planted tank is balance. If something is out of balance the plants won't grow, or algae will take over.

Hope this helps!!

-Tim
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-18-2002, 05:51 PM
 
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Duh. I get it. The Chain Sword leaves are more like grass vs. a stem with leaves coming off it.

Right now my only tank is a little old 10 gal. I plan to get a bigger tank and just use this for quarantine so I don't want to spend the money to convert it to florescent.

It has two 15 watt incandescent bulbs which is 30 watts... but I understand that is LESS that the 30 watts you refer to because it is incandescent.

Today I am calling local light bulb companies to find compact florescent bulbs. If I don't succeed I'll get some over the internet.

Since I only have one plant I'll start with a small one, maybe 7 to 10 watts. When I have more plants I can replace it with a 15, then later use both. Does that sound good?

It's easy to find them, even screw-ins, but it's hard to find them with a higher Kelvin rating than 3700. I'm going to get 5000k minimum; 6400k if I can.

You say liquid fertilizer would help any plant grow, but not to use Hagen Plant Gro. I'm confused by this. ???

Thanks for your help, Peter
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-18-2002, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Under the right circumstances (high light, Co2, etc...) liquid fertalizer will help any plant grow. But you don't have that, so I would refrain from adding any more.

-Tim
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-18-2002, 06:24 PM
 
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Thanks, I get it. It would be like putting gas in a car that didn't have any wheels!

About my lighting, I'm going to post under the topic Compact Florescent Lighting.
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