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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After my regulator went out on my 65, I turned the lights down, and I like the look. It just looks natural and beautiful. I also lost about 50% of my plant mass when I went on my honeymoon, presumably because my sister got something crossed on the dosing regime. All of the plants developed holes in the leaves, and wilted.

I'm also getting tired of religious 50% water changes every week. I own two rental houses, have more than a full time job, and I'd like to not have my aquarium be a chore.

So, I am going to focus on crypts, swords, anubias and the like. The thing I enjoy most about the hobby is creating natural habitats, and keeping fish that think they're in heaven, not a glass cage.

How should I fertilize my water? Could I dose 50% EI, and then do a water change every 2 weeks?

Keep in mind, that I've lowered my lights. I now have 2x39 T5HO, but on a 24" deep tank, I don't think that's high light, probably medium.

I am going to keep the CO2 up after I get my new regulator.

Thanks.
 

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With some eyeballing, and a bit more careful watching, once every 2 weeks is pretty easy, and very easy with low light, dose (1/2) maybe even less if that's the goal.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Keep in mind, that I've lowered my lights. I now have 2x39 T5HO, but on a 24" deep tank, I don't think that's high light, probably medium.

I am going to keep the CO2 up after I get my new regulator.

Thanks.
According to the data I have collected you still have high light intensity in that tank, around 80-100 micromols of PAR, unless you have the light raised about 10 inches above the top of the tank. Or, unless the light fixture uses reflectors that are significantly worse than the usual single bulb, highly polished aluminum reflectors typical for T5HO fixtures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
According to the data I have collected you still have high light intensity in that tank, around 80-100 micromols of PAR, unless you have the light raised about 10 inches above the top of the tank. Or, unless the light fixture uses reflectors that are significantly worse than the usual single bulb, highly polished aluminum reflectors typical for T5HO fixtures.
I just went down to measure, and it's about 6-1/2" inches from the lights to the water surface. On top of that, it's a 24" tank, and I have a big mass of floating plants across about 25% of the tank, blocking one of the lights pretty well.
 

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Still, less light is the best method to reduce the rates of growth, thereby the demand for CO2, and thereby the demand for nutrients.

You do not wag the dog by the tail, the tail is "wug" by the dog.

So start with light, then reduce it.

This way you have much more wiggle room with dosing no matter how you go about it.

I'd also suggest using soil/ADA As etc. This will give a back up if you go too lean with the water column dosing.

Then you have hedged the bets much better with light+ sediment macro ferts. Now dosing should be very easy and management and growth rates easier, but you can still keep most every species you want in excellent shape.

I'd say you can easily get away with 1x a month water change at 30-40micro light+ sediment ferts, + light water column dosing.

This is a holistic approach, you start with light, then go from there.
That is where all algae growth and plant growth starts, not with nutrients.
Many seem to poo poo EI and focus on the nutrients, without giving hardly any consideration to light, measuring it, adjusting it etc.

EI is just a tool that uses water changes and does not imply high light. I've used EI on low light tanks without any issue and gone a month without water changes. I do not need to dose, but doing so caused no harm that I, others, have ever demonstrated.

But common sense should be obvious/prevail here, with lower light, lower growth rates, obviously anyone with 1/2 a brain would predict less uptake.
So dose less.

These nutrient dosing, sediments etc are not strict dosing methods.
If they where, few would be able to master them. You can and should modify to suit. I use rich sediment and dose similar EI levels with high light, and maybe 1/2 or so with low light. I dose traces richer still, but it's not mattered either way, it's just adding enough for the plants for the most part.

I just use the light intensity to change the rates of growth to make things easier for myself. Much easier all the way around, cures most any algae issue, makes CO2 easier etc. If I leave for a few days, week or two, I adjust the light up and bit and the sediments provide some back up while I'm gone.



Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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I just went down to measure, and it's about 6-1/2" inches from the lights to the water surface. On top of that, it's a 24" tank, and I have a big mass of floating plants across about 25% of the tank, blocking one of the lights pretty well.
I agree, you probably have low to medium light. There is more than one way to reduce the light intensity.:icon_smil
 
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