Fertilizer/Dosing - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 07:32 AM Thread Starter
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Fertilizer/Dosing

Hello everyone, I have had a planted aquarium for over 5 months now, and have started to notice some issues with my plants. They have become very yellow in color, and have lost their resistance to algea collecting on the surface of the leaves (I can pull it off in sheets during water changes...) So I have been researching additional ways to bring life back to these plants while I still can.

I have been researching C02 (and have a thread already helping me troubleshoot my issues with that) but have been getting some advice from my local aquarium shop about looking into fertilizer/nutrient dosing. I have researched into KNO3, and KH2PO4 dosing (along with trace mix of other nutrients) but unfortunately I couldn't locate those fertilizers locally, instead I was recommended Fourish Potassium to help revive my plants (along with c02). I am curious as to what issues I might face when using this Flourish Potassium suppliment, and where might its place be for someone who would be dosing KNO3 + KH2PO4?

I appreciate whatever feedback and advice received in understanding the overall impact of adding these nutrients to the water to improve my aquarium's plant health

Thanks,

John
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 12:56 PM
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I started out using Flourish but the more I read the better dry fertilizers looked. So after about a month I switched to the EI method and never looked back. I immediately noticed a difference in the growth rate and the overall health of the plants. I'm sure that someone on the forums uses Flourish and has had great results with it, but for me the dry fertilizers work so much better.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 04:01 PM
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Hello everyone, I have had a planted aquarium for over 5 months now, and have started to notice some issues with my plants. They have become very yellow in color, and have lost their resistance to algea collecting on the surface of the leaves (I can pull it off in sheets during water changes...) So I have been researching additional ways to bring life back to these plants while I still can.

Are these "sheets" blue-green in color, and have a strong smell if you squish them between your fingers?

If so, you are dealing with cyanobacteria ("blue-green alga"), which is a sign of no nitrates. The yellow or pale plant growth indicates that too.

I have been researching C02 (and have a thread already helping me troubleshoot my issues with that) but have been getting some advice from my local aquarium shop about looking into fertilizer/nutrient dosing. I have researched into KNO3, and KH2PO4 dosing (along with trace mix of other nutrients) but unfortunately I couldn't locate those fertilizers locally, instead I was recommended Fourish Potassium to help revive my plants (along with c02). I am curious as to what issues I might face when using this Flourish Potassium suppliment, and where might its place be for someone who would be dosing KNO3 + KH2PO4?

If lack of Nitrates is your issue (depends on the light levels mostly), adding just Flourish Potassium will not help. Potassium is part of the three macros Nitrates/Potassium/Phosphates (NPK). When you dose KNO3 it supplies a bit of Potassium already.

Depending on the size of your tank you might be better off ordering the dry fertilizers. Flourish Potassium is not very concentrated, so it ends up being rather costly for decent sized tanks.


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick feedback

The tank is 10gallons and contains 6 cardinal tetras 2 ghost shrimp and 1 otocinclus. From the instructions it seems im using fractions of a teaspoon with each dosing for an aquarium this size, so I figured it might be good to start, until I can find a place that actually sells dry fertilizers locally.

Do you know if the main commercial pet stores sell dry fertilizers (petco, petsmart, etc.)? I've been searching the local aquarium enthusiast shops cause I assumed that would be my best place to look other than online...

I haven't noticed any blue color in the algae I have been dealing with, its mainly a dark green algae. When covering the plants it tends to look brown too... Its been growing very thick over the leaves and surface of the substrate and has a spongy/fluffy appearance

My light level is fairly low, 1.5wpg, which I have been researching growth methods with lower light situations such as this:http://www.barrreport.com/articles/433-non-co2-methods.html

I was lead to believe that the fish waste would be an efficient amount of nitrates, is this true?


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 07:46 PM
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you can buy Spectracide stump remover from lowes. its pure kno3. some other brands use different chemicals so be carefull. if you have 0 nitrates in your tank right now than obviously its not enough for your tank. every tank, and every plant is different so fish waste might be enough for your friend but not for you. KNO3 + KH2PO4 both contain potassium and will be better than using seachem. you might be able to find it at a local hydroponics store. why dont you want to order online?
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-16-2009, 08:01 AM Thread Starter
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Actually I have nothing against ordering online, its just I haven't got a clue as to what places I should get fertilizers from online, and buying from a local store tends to be easier for me. What are some popular websites that I might be able to buy from? I know people use a trace mix of other nutrients along-side KNO3 and KH2PO4, what might you recommend to supple the other trace amounts of nutrients I should be dosing?
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-16-2009, 08:28 AM
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http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com/index.asp is where I got mine from. Good place.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-16-2009, 02:14 PM
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i like greenleafaquariums.com
heres a link to everything you need http://www.greenleafaquariums.com/aq...rtilizers.html
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-16-2009, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, so it I will order all the dry ferts I need next week and in the mean time use what I have in small amounts and see what kind of results I get. What kind of dosing amounts should I be using for a 10g tank 1/8th teaspoon?
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-16-2009, 05:54 PM
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Taken from Tom Barr's website:

10- 20 Gallon Aquariums
+/- 1/8 tsp KNO3 (N) 3x a week
+/- 1/32 tsp KH2PO4 (P) 3x a week
+/- 1/4 tsp GH booster once a week(water change only)
+/- 1/32 tsp (2ml) Trace Elements 3x a week
50% weekly water change

This is the EI dosing regimen. Do note that it is for high light and well planted tanks. Since you have a low(er) light tank, you may want to try a different method of dosing (i.e. PPS-Pro). Also, don't forget that the WPG guideline does not really apply for small tanks (about 10g or less).

Anthony


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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-17-2009, 05:44 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks darkblade This actually brings up another thing I've been researching. I've been greatly interested in Tom Barr's non c02 dosing method, that seems to be strictly for promoting growth in tanks with low light situations. I know this is strictly for non c02 (no c02 gas or organic carbon of any kind) and I've wondering if it would be better for me to pursue results using his method than trying to use c02 in the low light conditions that I have.
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