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Fertilizer Dosing a Planted 20gal; is it necessary?

606 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  BigMek
Hey y'all, just an amateur trying not to make anymore mistakes. I recently restarted by 20gal because of a bad green algae growth and then a subsequent brown algae growth. My only fish is hanging out in a ten gal. I've heard lots of stuff about dry dosing micro/macro nutrients, but I don't have a lot of cash on hand and I don't like to make it real complicated. I put some potting soil as a base below some Caribsea Crystal River substrate. I have a CO2 pump attached as well. If I put some root tabs in there, would micro/macro dosing really be needed? I don't want the tank to be insanely grown, but just some nice spots for my perch to hang out in. He comes from a heavy alkaline freshwater creek where I live that was filled with only rocks and literally no plants, so I want to make him feel at home without a ton of growth. He likes open space. Since he likes room to swim, should I not accelerate the growth with the micro/macro? Or is it needed with the CO2 pump? The water is 8.25ph with driftwood (already boiled and soaked for a week) and Cadamine Lyrata, Hornwort, Java Fern Windelov, Anubias Nana, Anubias Frazeri, Dwarf Chain sword as a little patch of carpet and Water Wisteria. That sounds like a lot, but its all going to be in a cluster up in the back.

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Honestly it's all a balancing game. Generally injecting CO2 without dosing ferts results in algae, as does dosing ferts without injecting CO2. However, the combination of potting soil and root tabs means you already have some ferts in there. Realistically you could not dose any additional ferts and just adjust your lighting and CO2 to keep algae at bay. This approach will also result in slower plant growth, which sounds like what you're looking for. Heck you might even be able to stop the CO2 altogether and be fine.
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