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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-16-2016, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
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Location: Calgary, AB
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When you want to minimize water changes without killing plants or fish...

Hi folks,

In my continuing quest to breed loricariids, I would like to set up a tank that can simulate a transition into the dry season without killing either my plants or fish.

The long term goal is to feed the fish heavily until they're fat and sassy, allowing the dissolved materials in the water to accumulate at the same time. When the time is then right, I'd do a series of large water changes with low TDS cool water, and hopefully trigger spawning. Pretty standard stuff.

The problem comes along in terms of wanting to keep a respectable plant mass growing at the same time WITHOUT using a nutrient rich soil.

I can't find a nutrient rich soil here that doesn't send my KH through the roof, and I also want a VERY low KH environment (<1). Peat has worked great for that, but the plant would like something to grow with.

Can't do EI because the large water change requirement would send my TDS cyclically all over the map, and would largely negate the bioaccumulation concept by design. I don't mind doing small water changes to keep nitrates in check, but the emmersed plants are doing a respectable job there too.

Any suggestions on how to proceed?

I've been thus far using PPS-Pro solutions, and throttling demand based off nitrate and phosphate level testing to come up with some middle ground dosing macros. Not sure how to "throttle" micros, though just recently noticed something about FE testing to represent that. Using the 1 ml/10 gallon dosing guides on the solutions sent my nitrates through the roof in test tanks, so not a fan of blindly following that guideline.

Tank is blackwater, with heavy immersed and emmersed growth. Somehow I have a magical tank that has a cubic foot of peat in 100 gallons of RO water, KH<1, and yet pH over 7. No CO2.
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