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One of the issues with blanket dosing regimens is that each tank is different. I think a library/compendium of people's stocking levels, lighting levels, substrate/substrate fertilization, CO2 additions (Y/N), and regimen would really help us to understand what to do about fertilizing.

Information should be like this:

Tank Volume:
Substrate Type:
Sub. Fertilization:
# of Small Fish :
# of Large fish (above 4"):
Lighting type & wattage:
Distance from top of tank & photoperiod:
Co2 Addition:
Fertilization regimen:
Filtration:
Known Algal problems:
Known Deficiencies:
Plants (Optional):

I know it's a lot to ask for but I believe it'd be very helpful for the hobby and for people looking to set up new tanks. Being able to just skim through a thread for settings similar to their own would make life wonderfully easier.



Tank Volume: 17.6 gallons
Substrate Type: Fluval stratum
Sub. Fertilization: Osmocote +
# of Small Fish :10
# of Large fish (above 4"): 0
Lighting type & wattage: ~36watt T5HO
Distance from top of tank & photoperiod: 5 inches above tank, split 2 on 2 off 4 on
Co2 Addition: Yes
Fertilization regimen: EI as per tom barr, no N added, Daily dosed via liquid
Filtration: Fluval 305
Known Algal problems: Green dust, bba, green spot
Known Deficiencies: None.
Plants (Optional): L. arcuata, L. brevipes, B. japonica, E. Acicularis, S. 'porto velho', R. mexicanas goias, H. verticillata., purple bamboo.

As for why I have no N? It's because my fish/osmocote are making up for it. I'm hovering a constant 50ppm Nitrates without adding N. I believe strongly that bioload has a lot to do with what's happening in addition to the osmocote. So just in case there's some wild card I'm forgetting it may be important to know what fish are around.
 

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I'll say that the entire point of EI dosing is that it eliminates this variable. I don't dose EI, I use RootMedic, but it still doses in surplus... and that is the point. The "stocking" levels are unimportant because we KNOW we are dosing beyond what need.

Not that I think this is a bad idea, it is just that part of what many of us aim to do is eliminate this testing and "guessing". We just know we are dosing more than our plants need.

Also, it would seem if you aren't adding nitrogen, you're not really following the spirit of EI. The goal is "non limiting nutrients". By not adding "n" you are also dosing less K than Ei intends you to dose.

Sorry for the completely off topic discussion.

Tank Volume: 75g
Substrate Type: PFS
Sub. Fertilization: RootMedic Complete, Complete+
# of Small Fish : 20
# of Large fish (above 4"): 3
Lighting type & wattage: 54w T5HO
Distance from top of tank & photoperiod: 6" 12 hours
Co2 Addition: none
Fertilization regimen: RootMedic NPK/Micro 3x week
Filtration: Odysseus CFS 500
Known Algal problems: Hair Algae
Known Deficiencies: None
Plants (Optional): Crypts, swords
 

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Tank Volume: 29g
Substrate Type: Flourite
Sub. Fertilization: fish waste
# of Small Fish : 30
# of Large fish (above 4"): 0
Lighting type & wattage: 72w T5NO
Distance from top of tank & photoperiod: 1 inch 11 hours
Co2 Addition: pressurized. cerge reactor 60-80 ppm
Fertilization regimen: NPK 3x/ CSM+B + 1/2 tsp epsom salt. 2 ml seachem iron 3x/week
Filtration: SunSun 402B. koralia nano 425 for circulation
Known Algal problems: Hair Algae
Known Deficiencies: None
Plants (Optional): Crypts: wendtii, brown, red. amazon sword. red flame sword. water wisteria. rotala colorata. ludwigia repens broadleaf. ""bacopa sp. carolina""" (Iron and magnesium hog)
 

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One of the issues with blanket dosing regimens is that each tank is different. I think a library/compendium of people's stocking levels, lighting levels, substrate/substrate fertilization, CO2 additions (Y/N), and regimen would really help us to understand what to do about fertilizing.

Information should be like this:

Tank Volume:
Substrate Type:
Sub. Fertilization:
# of Small Fish :
# of Large fish (above 4"):
Lighting type & wattage:
Distance from top of tank & photoperiod:
Co2 Addition:
Fertilization regimen:
Filtration:
Known Algal problems:
Known Deficiencies:
Plants (Optional):

I know it's a lot to ask for but I believe it'd be very helpful for the hobby and for people looking to set up new tanks. Being able to just skim through a thread for settings similar to their own would make life wonderfully easier.



Tank Volume: 17.6 gallons
Substrate Type: Fluval stratum
Sub. Fertilization: Osmocote +
# of Small Fish :10
# of Large fish (above 4"): 0
Lighting type & wattage: ~36watt T5HO
Distance from top of tank & photoperiod: 5 inches above tank, split 2 on 2 off 4 on
Co2 Addition: Yes
Fertilization regimen: EI as per tom barr, no N added, Daily dosed via liquid
Filtration: Fluval 305
Known Algal problems: Green dust, bba, green spot
Known Deficiencies: None.
Plants (Optional): L. arcuata, L. brevipes, B. japonica, E. Acicularis, S. 'porto velho', R. mexicanas goias, H. verticillata., purple bamboo.

As for why I have no N? It's because my fish/osmocote are making up for it. I'm hovering a constant 50ppm Nitrates without adding N. I believe strongly that bioload has a lot to do with what's happening in addition to the osmocote. So just in case there's some wild card I'm forgetting it may be important to know what fish are around.
I think for new folks, they want to KNOW what to do to care for their tank well and not make mistakes.

As with anything NEW, there is an insecurity and a sharp learning curve. Information overload is typically a problem, thus simplifying things for them and getting them to consider the big pictures, eg LIGHT and CO2 are much more the key.

Fertilizers are way way down the line for a newbie or the advanced aquarist interested in plants.

Light and CO2 are much more what defines the rates and the different methods.

Measuring sediments is not done by hobbyist, some comparing those is rather difficult and their nutrient content can vary wildly over time and age, but plenty of hobbyist use that source.

How can you account for that?
I do not think we can easily.

I think it's wiser for the newbies to look at this article:
http://www.tropica.com/advising/technical-articles/biology-of-aquatic-plants/co2-and-light.aspx

See table 1. You have nearly 20X difference in growth rates on that table which covers most of the ranges folks might use for light and CO2.
Plants GROW in ALL cases, but the RATE of growth changes.

Without taking into account these differences, a factor of 20X is going to place a massive difference on adding nutrients and what is the best management. You will note, in Troels and Ole's study, they used a non limiting nutrient solution, this made CO2 and light independent so they could explore CO2 and light. EI does the same thing:icon_idea

I do not think piece mealing ferts is a good idea. Measuring CO2 and light are two large issues for newbies. Folks spend way too much time and energy on ferts from my view. Not enough on CO2 and typically add too much light for their stated goals.

My variables on your list above vary about 20-30X between the tanks I have at my house.
 

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How are you dosing Osmocote Plus? I have heard good things so I grabbed some, but idk how much and how often to dose.

Thanks,
Patricia
 

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That was a pretty informative article Tom.

What the OP is suggesting, though, could be useful. For example, I understand that ferts (EI dosing especially) is really intended for high-tech tanks with CO2 injection. However, as Overstocked showed, there lies a fuzzy boundary where people without CO2 injection still dose ferts.

As you may know from my PM to you, I wasn't sure how extra ferts would help my low-light/no CO2 tank. I just ended up taking the try and see approach. Still waiting on the results!

Tank Volume: 20G
Substrate Type: 1" Miracle Grow Organic Potting Soil + 2" Eco-complete
Sub. Fertilization:
# of Small Fish : 25
# of Large fish (above 4"): 0
Lighting type & wattage: 24W power compact + 24W Actinic for effect (may switch this one out).
Distance from top of tank & photoperiod: 8"/ 8 - 12 hrs.
Co2 Addition: None
Fertilization regimen: Excel 2x-3x a week, Flourish Comprehensive 2x a week
Filtration: Eheim 2215
Known Algal problems: Green spotted algae
Known Deficiencies: Anachris melting a bit - probably the excel
Plants (Optional): Bronze wendtii, nana petite, anachris, ambuia, wisteria, needle-leaf java fern

Nitrate levels are around 20ppm.
 

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Two major deficiencies in the questionnaire:

1) Since tank dimensions can vary for a given volume, a better stat than "lighting distance from top of tank" would be "lighting distance from substrate".
2) You've forgotten the most important chemical, water. :) Tapwater, wellwater, RO, distilled? Hardness? GH Booster? Nutrients/contaminants in water source? Water change frequency/amount?

And I could add more. A large angelfish doesn't produce anywhere near as much waste as a large goldfish, etc.

It's a good idea in theory, but ultimately I think any meaningful results will get lost in the huge number of variables; both listed and unlisted.
 
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