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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thoughts on liquid ferts and other...

Hi All,


I have been running my 50 gallon planted tank for about 18 months or so. I am not new to keeping fish or even plants but I am not getting the results I want. Since I have been running the tank I have upgraded to and AquaticLife T5HO fixture running a 6700K and 10,000K bulb. I started doing DIY CO2 about 8 weeks ago. Though I have a lot of understanding I am still learning. I have been using FlorinMulti (fertilizer) and FlorinAxis (bioavailable carbon source) though I have to admit that I am not consistent with it. The directions say 5ml/week (6 drops daily) and I usually get it in the tank every 7-10 days. I was doing the daily dosing but was not sure how to dose after WCs. Should I dose the 5ml and then daily?...just daily?...5ml, wait a few days and start daily? All very confusing. I do use Flourish Tabs and have 6 spread throughout the the substrate. I have scaled light back from 12 to 8 hours. I have noticed a substantial improvement since starting CO2 but I still have more algae than desired. This is not really my biggest concern. Well, actually it is. I have what I believe is green beard algae, green dust algae and a little stag horn/hair algae.

Are there any suggestions I can try for dialing this down? I got 3 flag fish yesterday and am hoping that they will munch on it. I noticed that they were munching on the stuff on the back glass, which I decided I am not going to continue to scrape as it seems to be a losing battle. I am hoping that by continuing weekly (7-10 days) WCs and this will eventually run its course.

Also, suggestions how to get more out of CO2? Currently I am mixing 2cups sugar and 1tsp yeast and this lasts about week. I read a very informative article that said that 2cups sugar and 1/4tsp yeast should yield CO2 for about 2 weeks. I am going today to a hobby shop in the hopes I can find the bulkhead fittings that are part of the outlined build to help eliminate any leaks.

I guess that's enough for now. I'll try to post pictures later.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 04:00 PM
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I think the first thing you could do to help your situation is to switch to dry ferts go to an EI dosing regime or a modified EI dosing regime. Your all-inclusive fertilizers are great up to a point, but they have been dumbed down to a level for the average consumer. As a consequence, you're probably underfertilizing your tank.

The good news is there are a number of guys on the forum who will provide you with the dry fertilizers that you need. The easiest way for me to deal with dosing dry fertilizer is to scoop it into the weekly pill containers that you can pick up in any pharmacy. A single daily dose of macros (NPK) go in one compartment, micros and iron in the next, and so forth. This gives you a week and change for fertilizer dosing with each planner and filling the little containers takes about 15 minutes for three weeks' worth (three weekly planners). At that point, the only thing you have to do is open the lid and dump the fert.

Fertilize as normal after water changes.

Next, consistent water changes are the key to healthy aquariums. For all practical purposes, it's like hitting the reset button. If you're scraping algae, scrubbing walls, and manually removing algae from plants, don't be afraid to change 75% of the water. At that point, you're manually removing the stuff that you want gone.

Finally, consistent CO2 will help you a lot. You may find that adding more DIY containers and setting up a rotation where one container is petering out, one container is running wide-open, and a third container is ramping up will give you the most consistent results. From what I have read and what I've seen on the forums, DIY CO2 is pretty difficult for tanks over 30 gallons or so, but not impossible. In the end, you may find that pressurized C02 is the way to go. One last note on CO2- once you're committed, you're committed. If the gas runs out, get ready for a world of hassle.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. I was thinking of going the dry fert route.

I am committed to the CO2 but I am not at the point where I can afford or even justify pressurized. I know that this will work better. My husband will KILL me if I spend that much money. I am very happy with the progress I have seen with the DIY. I have a melon sword that I couldn't get to grow more than 2 leaves at time. It has quadrupled in size.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 09:00 PM
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Whoa, first I've heard of the sugar yeast mix...Sounds oldschool
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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Kinda is old school. Still works though. In fact, it's pretty much the standard on DIY.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 09:37 PM
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Yeah, the biology of it is very simple and efficient. No reason to discard techniques that work appropriately and are cheap.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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Some pictures. Don't mind the algae. I didn't scrape it. I am going to try to let it run its course.

Full tank
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I forget what this one is but it one of my favorites. Really took off after CO2 addition. If you look close you can see an angel photo-bombing the picture.
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I believe this one is moneywort. This has started to do better with the addition of CO2 as well.
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Neither of them faired well while I was dosing Excel ONLY according to directions. In fact, I lost all of my anacharis too.

Crypts. Have gotten way taller with CO2.
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Swords. Stronger and greener with CO2.
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If I wanted to start dosing with Seachem Iron would I do this every day or every other day or once a week?
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 10:31 PM
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I think you have a nice, started, planted aquarium. Dial in your DIY CO2 and slowly ramp up your ferts and see what happens. This is purely anecdotal, but I have yet to experience an algae explosion that I can trace back to overfertilizing. YMMV
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you.

I totally want the plants to be ALL OVER the tank. I am sure that I would need pressurized CO2 for that. I am going to eventually go to dry ferts. I know that I will not have to continue to buy these liquids. I don't exactly hate the algae but I am not a fan.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 11:20 PM
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Hey SprMan. Your tank doesn't look too bad at all. I do think you've got a minor deficiency though. Most likely iron deficiency (new pale growth).

You'll need to start dosing all nutrients in large enough amounts which means you'll probably need to order dry fertilizers from an online store. It is the cheapest option and a pound of each fertilizer will last you years or a lifetime depending on which fertilizer. You'll need KNO3, KH2PO4, CSM+B and K2SO4 at minimum to dose all the essential nutrients your plants will need (having the 10% DTPA iron is nice too). You can order them from this site: http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com/in...ditU=1&Regit=2 or another site of your choosing.

As for the algae issue you have, you'll want to read through the conclusion and have a look at the picture in the first post of this thread:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=679601

It explains how nutrient deficiencies, algae and plant growth are all inter related and how to give your chance the best chance of being algae free.

If you choose to dose the water column with the fertilizers mentioned above you can follow the instructions here: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=21944

And use this calculator to help you dose: http://calc.petalphile.com/

If you want to use soil and set up a high tech soil tank (Higher lights/CO2) then you need to add an inch or two of dark soil that is not purely made of organic material (so miracle grow is not the best choice), then cover it with 2 inches of an inert substrate like fluorite, pool filter sand, blasting sand, eco-complete, etc.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-31-2014, 02:07 AM Thread Starter
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WOW!

Thanks for all the info, Zapins. I have a lot to go through before I start the dry fertilizers. Plus I want to finish off the liquid that I have. I am thinking I need to add iron. I have Seachem Iron.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-31-2014, 04:29 AM
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No problem. If you have questions don't hesitate to ask.

As for the iron, try add 0.1 ppm three times a week. Use the link above to calc.petalphile.Com to help you figure out how much that is.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-31-2014, 04:35 AM
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After you do the DIY ferts a week or two, it's becomes almost boring.
It's one of the easiest things to do in the planted hobby.

Water changes, cleaning filters, changing the Brew mix in the DIY yeast(I used 2 sets of bottles, and changed one one week, then the other the following week).

A simple DIY reactor is also ideal for DIY CO2:

http://www.barrreport.com/showthread...east-CO2-users!

Cost about 3$ less the small rio 180 Powerhead or similar.

My old 90 Gallon used 4 liters worth of DIY chugging all the time.

Still, a cheap regulator and valve and gas tank, maybe 100$. It's soooo much nicer, it's like sliced bread. And if you can sell some plants, then the tank pays for itself. Dry ferts are cheap.

You can see that CO2 gas really improved growth of everything, many just do not see that unless they try it themselves.




Regards,
Tom Barr
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