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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a 55 gallon tank that I am rather sure is fully cycled. I moved over an entire HOB filter, sponge filter, and media (into a bigger HOB) and have noticed no increases in any of the nitrogenous compounds when testing with the liquid kit. Also, I have shaken bottle number two very well several times when testing. I went from 0/0/5 to what looks like 0/0/0. The kit is working as my other tank is showing accurate nitrate fluctuations based on stocking and water changes. I believe this is because the tank is too heavily planted for the fish stock that I have. I plan on adding CO2 injection early next year as I fully stock the fish. The plants have been in the tank for about two weeks with the following:
  • amazon swords with big brown spots and new leaves with holes (perhaps from transit or bleach tip damage)
  • wisteria lower leaves are melting, although there are roots growing throughout the stems
  • cardinalis seems to be turning pale but is fine overall
There are other plants that seem to be doing fine. I know that there could be several causes for this, but given the newness of the tank and plants, I am not sure what to rule out. Low nitrogen levels seem to be what I should rule out firtst. My tank is not fully stocked, but I currently have:
  • 3 mid sized yo-yo loaches
  • gold German ram
  • five x-ray tetras
  • 1 angel
  • 3 tiny sparkling gouramis
  • 2 panda garras less than 2 inches
I am unsure of the lights as well. I am using a glass hood with the LEDs that the Top Fin 55 gallon came with, as well as an addiitonal 27W light. I don't know the overall wattage, but eyeballing it it loks like enough light. Without the wattage of the original LED lights, I don't know the overall wattage. In terms of the 2-5W rule, clearly I am under the required threshold. I have used root tabs as well as an accidental double dose of Seachem fluorish comprehensive liquid. My readings are still 0/0/0. Should I start using seachem nitrogren?

TL;DR: My nitrates are at 0 and I want to know if I should use seachem nitrogen to get non-zero numbers for my nitrogen levels in a moderately planted tank that I hope to make a heavily planted one.
 

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The short answer is yes. But I'd imagine you are low on all the other Macros and Micros as well. Flourish is just a supplement, and contains very little in the way of Macros. I would look for something more comprehensive.
I'm not a fan of the the Seachem line, but it certainly can work. Personally, I would look into dry fertilizers. They offer the cheapest price and most flexibility.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Bonus question:
The short answer is yes. But I'd imagine you are low on all the other Macros and Micros as well. Flourish is just a supplement, and contains very little in the way of Macros. I would look for something more comprehensive.
I'm not a fan of the the Seachem line, but it certainly can work. Personally, I would look into dry fertilizers. They offer the cheapest price and most flexibility.
So something like this? Clearly there's a whole host of overall options, though. I'm not sure that I'm ready to invest in the whole gamut of water tests, so I'll probably be relying on plant appearance in the long run.
 

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Bonus question:

So something like this? Clearly there's a whole host of overall options, though. I'm not sure that I'm ready to invest in the whole gamut of water tests, so I'll probably be relying on plant appearance in the long run.
I would just do this package. Estimative Index (EI) Aquarium Nutrients Package - Jars Or buy the N P and K separately and opt for GLA (EDTA+DTPA) Micromix Aquarium Fertilizer - 1lb Jar if you have a higher pH.
If you commit to 50% water changes, there's no reason to test. Testing Nitrates is all I would check. You can certainly go down the rabbit hole later and test for other things in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would just do this package. Estimative Index (EI) Aquarium Nutrients Package - Jars Or buy the N P and K separately and opt for GLA (EDTA+DTPA) Micromix Aquarium Fertilizer - 1lb Jar if you have a higher pH.
If you commit to 50% water changes, there's no reason to test. Testing Nitrates is all I would check. You can certainly go down the rabbit hole later and test for other things in the future.
Thanks for all the help. My pH is around 8.0-8.2; the peat is going to take a while to kick in. So if I go with your second suggestion, would I just dose equal amounts or per the dosage on the package? I clearly don't know what ratios of P and K I will need.
 

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Just use this for now. Once you start to get more involved, you can tailor doses to your tank.
Rectangle Font Circle Number Screenshot

I would start at 1/4th these doses if your tank has no CO2 injection. And there's no reason to dose following the schedule. You can simply dose everything on day 1 and dose Micros on day 2. However, dosing per the schedule is more "stable".

You can also use these fertilizers to make your own solutions if you want to go that route. I make a micro solution because I have both high energy and low energy tanks. This allows me to quickly reduce my Micro dosing in my non CO2 tanks. This simplifies things a bit. To calculate everything, get familiar with this. For me, at first, this all seemed overly complicated, but once your eyes learn where to look, it will become easy. It takes just a few minutes if I need to make adjustments or mix a solution.

Here is a place that really helped me and he explains how to mix fertilizers using rotala.

And here he explains more in other areas.

Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just use this for now. Once you start to get more involved, you can tailor doses to your tank.

You can also use these fertilizers to make your own solutions if you want to go that route. I make a micro solution because I have both high energy and low energy tanks. This allows me to quickly reduce my Micro dosing in my non CO2 tanks. This simplifies things a bit. To calculate everything, get familiar with this. For me, at first, this all seemed overly complicated, but once your eyes learn where to look, it will become easy. It takes just a few minutes if I need to make adjustments or mix a solution.

Here is a place that really helped me and he explains how to mix fertilizers using rotala.

And here he explains more in other areas.

Hope this helps!
Thank you so much; sorry for the late reply!

This is definitely a lot to take in. The calculator seems to be rather useful, although I have only looked into the KNO3 option so far. You mentioned 50% water changes allowing me to not worry about changing the dose; how frequently are you suggesting that I do those WCs?
 

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Thank you so much; sorry for the late reply!

This is definitely a lot to take in. The calculator seems to be rather useful, although I have only looked into the KNO3 option so far. You mentioned 50% water changes allowing me to not worry about changing the dose; how frequently are you suggesting that I do those WCs?
The 50% change along with Estimative Index dosing allows you not to have to test as the 50% change resets the nutrients. It would be one change every 7 days.
 
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