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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How does one know of they over fertilize? I have a good amount of fish in my 75gal... How do I know how much to fertilize? My nitrates stay around 10-20....

10 ember tetra, 8 cardinal tetras, 3 glow tetra, 3 diamond tetras, 4 German blue rams, 1 bristle nose pleco, 1 rubber lip pleco, 10-15 amano shrimp.

Mildly planted (I think)




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I would read up on Estimative Index dosing. To be honest, a reasonable person, with a basic understanding of EI would be hard pressed to overdose the tank. The most important thing is to have "enough" nutrients in the tank to ensure you never reach 0ppm of any one thing. Balanced with proper CO2 and light, it's pretty fool proof.
If your fish load produces consistent NO3ppm, then you would just forgo dosing NO3 and just dose PO4, K and Micro's. This is easily done by using dry fertilizers. Many of the larger sellers, GLA, NilocG and others also list EI dosing recommendations. As you become more familiar, you will see that reducing the recommended amounts is possible, and you will be able to tailor to your own tank's needs.
 

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In a high-tech tank, especially one that is "mildly planted" you shouldn't be relying on fish waste to feed your plants. Doing so means your tank is "dirty" in terms of organic waste decomposing. Too much organic waste, especially with good lighting and not enough plants will almost always lead to algae issues. Consistent water changes, good maintenance habits and dosing inorganic salts to get your levels up is where you want to be.

Now if your talking about a Walstad type tank it would be the opposite. There you rely on the tanks inhabitants along with the soil to feed the plants. The drawback is these tanks need heavy planting with lower light levels, thus limiting what you can grow, since higher light will cause massive algae issues with the high organic load these tanks carry.
 

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In a high-tech tank, especially one that is "mildly planted" you shouldn't be relying on fish waste to feed your plants. Doing so means your tank is "dirty" in terms of organic waste decomposing. Too much organic waste, especially with good lighting and not enough plants will almost always lead to algae issues. Consistent water changes, good maintenance habits and dosing inorganic salts to get your levels up is where you want to be.
Agree with above.

I haven't seen a high tech tank yet that can keep plants at peak health with nutrients generated from fish waste. Like @Asteroid said, you want low tank generated organics and then dose to your desired levels.

How much depends on the individual tank and the mix of plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Agree with above.

I haven't seen a high tech tank yet that can keep plants at peak health with nutrients generated from fish waste. Like @Asteroid said, you want low tank generated organics and then dose to your desired levels.

How much depends on the individual tank and the mix of plants.
I agree also. I've been dosing with Thrive 2/week. I've also been using flourish advance. But how do I know how much is too much?
 

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I agree also. I've been dosing with Thrive 2/week. I've also been using flourish advance. But how do I know how much is too much?
@Greggs might add to this, but if your dosing the recommended amout and are religious about water changes you should be OK. It's not a perfect science. Large water changes reset the ferts and remove organics. Net best thing to a tank full of fast growing plants. If plants look good you could fine tune the ferts a bit depending on plant mass and growth.
 

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I agree also. I've been dosing with Thrive 2/week. I've also been using flourish advance. But how do I know how much is too much?
Saying you dose Thrive twice a week doesn't mean much. What matters is how much. And from there you can calculate how much ppm of each nutrient you are dosing weekly. It's the universal language of the planted tank and will help others help you.

Like @Asteroid said if you are following the Thrive directions you are likely fine.

A planted tank is a combination of light, CO2, fertilization, and maintenance. If you get the others right you have quite a bit of leeway in fert dosing. I would not be worrying about your dosing being too high. You are likely very far from that. In general high dosing of nutrients dose not cause problems it's usually everything else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Saying you dose Thrive twice a week doesn't mean much. What matters is how much. And from there you can calculate how much ppm of each nutrient you are dosing weekly. It's the universal language of the planted tank and will help others help you.

Like @Asteroid said if you are following the Thrive directions you are likely fine.

A planted tank is a combination of light, CO2, fertilization, and maintenance. If you get the others right you have quite a bit of leeway in fert dosing. I would not be worrying about your dosing being too high. You are likely very far from that. In general high dosing of nutrients dose not cause problems it's usually everything else.
That makes sense. I'm dosing her the instructions which is 15 mL for the 75 gallon tank, pretty sure I have my CO2 dialed into 30 PPM as I'm seeing a one-point drop from a degassed bace point. I've been doing weekly water changes. So far it's been when I see ammonia go up. But it's been once a week. I guess the only other thing in question is the light.

I'm trying to get some floating plants so hopefully that will help with the ammonia issue. But I'd like to try and figure out why my plants aren't really doing too great.
 

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That makes sense. I'm dosing her the instructions which is 15 mL for the 75 gallon tank, pretty sure I have my CO2 dialed into 30 PPM as I'm seeing a one-point drop from a degassed bace point. I've been doing weekly water changes. So far it's been when I see ammonia go up. But it's been once a week. I guess the only other thing in question is the light.

I'm trying to get some floating plants so hopefully that will help with the ammonia issue. But I'd like to try and figure out why my plants aren't really doing too great.
If you have any ammonia detectable then something is wrong. In a mature well cycled tank the reading should always be zero.

Some plants actually like a little ammonia, but many will melt. Ammonia is also one of the easiest ways to bring on algae.

Each 15 ml dose of Thrive supplies your tank with the following:

Product Rectangle Font Screenshot Computer


I would call two doses a week about medium dosing, probably appropriate for your tank. With a tank that size you should really consider buying dry salts. It's much, much cheaper in the long run. With a liquid fert you are mostly paying for water, a bottle, and labeling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If you have any ammonia detectable then something is wrong. In a mature well cycled tank the reading should always be zero.

Some plants actually like a little ammonia, but many will melt. Ammonia is also one of the easiest ways to bring on algae.

Each 15 ml dose of Thrive supplies your tank with the following:

View attachment 1035622

I would call two doses a week about medium dosing, probably appropriate for your tank. With a tank that size you should really consider buying dry salts. It's much, much cheaper in the long run. With a liquid fert you are mostly paying for water, a bottle, and labeling.
I will switch to salts when thrive is gone I suppose. Thank you for the info there. I just have to learn how to analyze it now. I'm a total newb lol. I think the ammonia is because of over feeding. I'm still trying to dial that in. It's perfect 99% of the time.
 

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If you have any ammonia detectable then something is wrong. In a mature well cycled tank the reading should always be zero.
I was about to say the same thing. If your detecting ammonia with a test kit, then definitely something isn't right. Even undetectable ammonia can bring on problems IMO depending on the setup.

BTW What's wrong with the plants that you don't think they're growing well?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I was about to say the same thing. If your detecting ammonia with a test kit, then definitely something isn't right. Even undetectable ammonia can bring on problems IMO depending on the setup.

BTW What's wrong with the plants that you don't think they're growing well?

Overfeeding will affect the ammonia, correct? What else could cause it to rise up?

Don't feel the plants are doing well because I have minimal new growth after a month and a lot of melt back. I will say though, I did not trim them back as the leaves were dying because I was not aware that I was supposed to. I just trimmed them a couple days ago so I'm hoping they start to show better results. I do have some Ludwigia mini red ( I believe ) that is doing pretty awesome though
 

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Overfeeding will affect the ammonia, correct? What else could cause it to rise up?
Yes, anything that decomposes if left in the tank, like food, fish waste, even the plants. That's why good maintenance and water changes are so important. The more fish you have the more maintenance you'll need. Nothing replaces elbow grease, the idea of a clean-up crew is a myth of sorts as they contribute to the bio-load just the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes, anything that decomposes if left in the tank, like food, fish waste, even the plants. That's why good maintenance and water changes are so important. The more fish you have the more maintenance you'll need. Nothing replaces elbow grease, the idea of a clean-up crew is a myth of sorts as they contribute to the bio-load just the same.
Decomposing plants,,, even if they are still attached? My ammonia is probably plant related then. I dont see to much waste on the substrate, and im afraid to vacuum it because i dont feel the plants are too well established.
 

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Decomposing plants,,, even if they are still attached? My ammonia is probably plant related then. I dont see to much waste on the substrate, and im afraid to vacuum it because i dont feel the plants are too well established.
How long has this tank been up? You sure you are fully cycled?? It should take quite a bit in a cycled tank to spark ammonia. Usually has to do with an undetected dead fish or very poor maintenance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
How long has this tank been up? You sure you are fully cycled?? It should take quite a bit in a cycled tank to spark ammonia. Usually has to do with an undetected dead fish or very poor maintenance.
Tank has been set up for 5 weeks as of yesterday. I'm absolutely sure it is cycled. The ammonia doesn't spike really high. I've just noticed doing a test on two separate occasions that it was at .25 or .5. Honestly, I'm a little concerned that It might be my rubber lip pleco because he wasn't doing so well from what it looked like. But after reading I figured he may have just been hungry or taking a nap. Either way he is very good at hiding and I rarely see him. He very well could be dead somewhere. If my ammonia is high today then I'm going to assume so because I did a 50% water change yesterday. Speaking of maintenance, do you know of any proper maintenance charts or logs?
 

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Speaking of maintenance, do you know of any proper maintenance charts or logs?
I keep logs of everything. And I mean everything.

Good maintenance means large regular water changes, regular gravel vacs, removal of any dead/decaying plant matter, control of plant mass, good pruning techniques, regular filter cleanings, not overfeeding, not overstocking, etc.

If you get to know some of the best plant growers in the world this is the thing they all have in common.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I keep logs of everything. And I mean everything.

Good maintenance means large regular water changes, regular gravel vacs, removal of any dead/decaying plant matter, control of plant mass, good pruning techniques, regular filter cleanings, not overfeeding, not overstocking, etc.

If you get to know some of the best plant growers in the world this is the thing they all have in common.
To relate to something more common for the sake of conversation.... Car maintenance has interval charts. I'm looking for something like that. You say regular filter cleaning... 1/month??? Know what I mean? Being a newb, I'm trying to find something to follow to keep my maintenance on par.
 

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Tank has been set up for 5 weeks as of yesterday. I'm absolutely sure it is cycled. The ammonia doesn't spike really high. I've just noticed doing a test on two separate occasions that it was at .25 or .5. Honestly, I'm a little concerned that It might be my rubber lip pleco because he wasn't doing so well from what it looked like. But after reading I figured he may have just been hungry or taking a nap. Either way he is very good at hiding and I rarely see him. He very well could be dead somewhere. If my ammonia is high today then I'm going to assume so because I did a 50% water change yesterday. Speaking of maintenance, do you know of any proper maintenance charts or logs?
My guess would be fish-related. It's a good size tank, but it's only 5 weeks old. Some of those fish like the plecos are literally poop machines. So the fish load, plus the feeding is probably doing it. Keep up with water changes, more growing plant mass the better. Other than the pleco are all the other fish good? I know Blue Rams could be very sensitive to water quality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
My guess would be fish-related. It's a good size tank, but it's only 5 weeks old. Some of those fish like the plecos are literally poop machines. So the fish load, plus the feeding is probably doing it. Keep up with water changes, more growing plant mass the better. Other than the pleco are all the other fish good? I know Blue Rams could be very sensitive to water quality.
I was a bit worried about the Rams but they are doing well. Just laid eggs actually. I want to plant more. I'm going to get some floaters but can you make any suggestions for an easy/Hardy plant?
 
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