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Ferts for my tank? I'm confused!

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Hey everyone I'm starting up a new 26g bow front planted tank. Here's my set-up:

Substrate: Eco-complete
Filter: Eheim 2215
Lights: 1x45w Compact (1.7 wpg)
Cover: Glass top
Java Fern
Anubias nana
Java Lace Fern
Cryptocoryne spiralis

Cryptocoryne wendtii small
Dwarf Sag
Java moss

My question:
Should I add ferts and what should I add? I don't want to make things too complicated but I want my plants to be healthy. I heard flourish is good but it's just micros and I may need macros. What would you do? Be specific! (how much to dose with)

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6,259 Posts
In my search for low cost non-co2 tank came across this info.
In non-co2 the rate of growth is such that the fish waste alone is enough to supply the needs for the plants. If we added more light then the CO2 would start becoming a more limiting factor and allow algae to grow better (algae need higher light to grow well in non CO2 enriched systems wereas the plants are much more limited without CO2). A lower light level is required, generally about 1.5 to 2w/gal is good.

I still think it is important to use flourish excell. By the way I find it cheaper to buy it on EBay.

329 Posts
just watch your N reading, if it drops then you will need some ferts or more fish or reduce the lighting. Or else!(algae, lol)

13,610 Posts
Yep, given your goal(always state this upfront), the advice is pretty much what you are looking for.

You may consider a fairly healthy fish load, you can do water changes as often as you'd like here, so that will not be an issue nor algae, as the Excel is pretty good at low level algae issues.

Also, algae eaters are good to have in such tanks, they do a lot more work per critter than in high light tanks as the algae grows slower. And they turn algae into plant ferts.

Match up a good algae eater group with your fish stocking load/plan.
also, add as many plants from day one as you can, do not wait for the plants to "grow in".

That along with regular water changes will keep things running well.
You can get away with fewer water changes later on.........when things are well grown in and established.

Just like a newly planted garden, lawn or ag field... you have to keep up on the care and weeding the first while.

Tom Barr
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