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Is the bottom fertilizer really required?

1061 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Complexity
Hello All,

Tank Specs:
Light - 170W (LED + PL) 8hrs/day
Size - 70G(4lx2hx1.5d)
CO2: Pressurized at 1.5-2 bubbles/second diffused using a glass diffuser and then goes to intake of canister filter
Filter: One external 1800l/h canister and 1 internal filter
Plants: Almost heavily planted.
Growth : Some like red lotus are thriving. Stem plants almost dissolving away.
Fertilization: MgS04, K2SO4, KNO3, EDTA Iron, Trace chemicals weekly once.
Substrate: Bottom layer of JBL aquaplus(powdery substrate rich in all nutrients) + Top layer of 20L controsoil (Looks like amazonia(
Fishes: 20 adult African cichlids

Problem: Brown algae and dust all over plants. When I do a water change, I try to scrub the plants and in a minute or so, the whole tank becomes muddy with the sediments on the plants coming off. I suspect, the base fertilizer which I used(JBL aquaplus) which is a powdery fertilizer leaches out and whenever I replant, it erupts like a volcano from the point where it is disturbed. I guess this eventually settles on the leaves.I wash my internal filter sponge every other day and dark brown stuff comes out of it. Its been 8 months since I have this setup.

My Idea: I am planning to remove all the plants and the substrate from the tank, rinse the substrate and get rid of the bottom substrate completely. Then just use the Controsoil and replant. Do you think this bottom substrate( is really required? The controsoil website says it can be used as a bottom substrate, so why use a powdery substrate in the tank?

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Attaching the images of the leaves affected....


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A video link of my tank with affected leaves.
Poor filtration may be the root of this problem. I'd wait until you fix the problem you're having with your canister filter before tearing the substrate apart. Without proper filtration, nothing in the tank will go right so it's not surprising that you have debris all over the plants and they're not growing well. Fix the filtration problem, see how that affects things, and then decide if you need to make further changes.
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