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Plants that I have so far are

Dwarf hairgrass
Dwarf sag
Java moss
Lace fern
Cabomba
Flame moss
Christmas moss
Pennywort
Ansian abulia
Rotala
And I will be getting.more.

So first question, do you need to feet? Why can't fish food and waste be enough on its own to feed the plants?

If I need to feet what is the least I can do to keep them healthy? I don't care for very fast growth as long as they are growing its fine.

I don't plan to run c02
I have safe t sorb substrate
I have finnex planted plus led fixture


Fish I have and will get to stock
25-50 cardinal tetra
2 blue rams
Colony of RCS
10 otos

Maybe more fish but for now that's all I want.

Currently I have a smaller school of cardinals 13 of em
 

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my advise is go for easy low light plants....and give them exactly that.i.e low light.
no need for ferts,continuous trimming,or algae removal.
 

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What size is your tank?

It is possible to run a planted tank without having to dose ferts (that's the way I always set my own up), but you have to stick with very hardy plants and get your light levels just right (enough to keep the plants growing, but not so much that they grow quickly enough that there aren't enough nutrients from the fish).

Looking over your plant list, I suspect some of those plants probably won't do well in a really lean tank like you're wanting, but planted tanks are typically trial and error - sometimes you'll get a plant species to thrive for you that someone else can't in a similar setup.

Some other plants you might consider that have done well for me in lean tanks are Crypts, swords, and several of the hardier Hygrophila species.
 

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http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=107303
For that list of fish, I hope it's a 75g tank or larger. BTW: the RCS will be food for
the fish eventually if not at first.
The Camoba and Rotala may give you a bit of a hard time in there without adding
ferts. The Dwarf Hair Grass is a high light plant AND gives lots of people a hard time even when set up for it.
By picking low light plants that grow slowly you can get away/w no ferts being added.
Just know that you will need a minimum amount of them for it to be anything like sucessful.
 

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Plants need about a dozen elements to live.
Some of these are easy to supply, some more difficult.
Part of the concept of Low Tech is that you make the ferts a part of the set up so you do not have to be constantly adding them.

Plants need such basics as hydrogen and oxygen. I think in an aquarium, there is enough of these.

Plants use a lot of carbon, but in a low light situation there is enough CO2 entering the water from the air and from fish respiration. Adding some carbon in the form of Excel is a good way to go if you think you need to add some.

The next group is referred to as macros. These are the fertilizers plants use the most of.
Nitrogen. Fish food supplies enough N in a low tech tank.
Phosphorus. Fish food supplies enough P in a low tech tank.
Potassium. Fish food seems to lack enough K. The first deficiency symptom I noticed in my planted tanks was potassium deficiency. If you can supply this in the form of root tablets, the Safe-T-Sorb will help by holding the K in a way the plants can take it, and not let the K escape into the water.

The next group of fertilizers are the secondary ferts. Plants need these in amounts less than the macros, but more than the micros.
Calcium. Usually supplied by water, if the GH is over about 3 German degrees of hardness.
Magnesium. Usually supplied by water, if the GH is over about 3 German degrees of hardness.
If the GH is under 3 degrees, then I would add a GH booster at each water change, and monitor it in between. MAYBE need to add a bit more. Slow growing plants won't need much. The fish also rely on this as their source of Ca.
Iron. Fish food does not supply much iron. I would supplement, even a low tech tank. You can use certain materials in the substrate, root tabs or water column dosing. Eventually there will be a reserve of iron in the substrate to give you a bit of a cushion.

The last group is all the minerals that plants use in very small amounts. They are lumped together and called micros. Fish food probably supplies all these. Some root tablets have some of these minerals.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

So...
Fish Food = N, P, Micros.
Water Changes = Ca, Mg
Best to add = K, Fe
Good option to add = C (such as Excel)
 

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brilliant post Diana,really easy to understand.
I currently add iron and supplement...3 Weeks on...1 week off..
Would you advise dropping the supplement?
 

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Would it be beneficial to excel at the weekend only?






I
If you're going to use Excel, you should use it every day. I believe it dissolves within a day or so, so dosing once a week only helps your plants the first day. I dose my nano tank daily with a full dosage of Excel and have no issues at all.
 

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What size is your tank?

It is possible to run a planted tank without having to dose ferts (that's the way I always set my own up), but you have to stick with very hardy plants and get your light levels just right (enough to keep the plants growing, but not so much that they grow quickly enough that there aren't enough nutrients from the fish).

Looking over your plant list, I suspect some of those plants probably won't do well in a really lean tank like you're wanting, but planted tanks are typically trial and error - sometimes you'll get a plant species to thrive for you that someone else can't in a similar setup.

Some other plants you might consider that have done well for me in lean tanks are Crypts, swords, and several of the hardier Hygrophila species.
You want to provide nutrients entirely from fish but it isn't enough? Go with platies or mollies in the tank. They're poop MACHINES! Just make sure to overfeed a little bit but not too much and keep up with water changes
 
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