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Substrate and root tabs

1943 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  lauraleellbp
I've been really impressed with the knowledge base of this forum and I've been stuck with a few questions about my low tech tank and thought I'd start my first thread. Please help!

I have a low tech 65 gallon planted tank. 48 long, around 16" height. I have about 144 watts of light. Substrated with ecocomplete + floramax with a thin top layer of regular gravel. Planted are Rotala Rotundifolia, java fern, anubias, hornswort, anubias, crypts, java moss, xmas moss, backgrounded with bamboo which rises above my tank. I have about 4 new amazon swords after a debacle with bba which killed off my vals and anacharis after overdosing excel. BBA has been eliminated from my tank.

I feed about 4-5 times a day 4-5 times a week and 1-3 times the rest with occasional fasts. Frequent water changes because of the discus.

Dosed daily with flourish excel. 2x a week with flourish comprehensive. Full dose once a week and half dose the second. I'm using diy co2 as well.

My questions is are root tabs necessary with my substrate? iron, calcium, magnesium and sulfur are the main ingredients but since the bulk of my plants are amazon swords I was thinking it would be a good idea to use some root tabs because they contain elements my substrate doesn't have and swords are heavy root feeders. If so do i need to lower the dose of my flourish comprehensive?

Also since 4 of my swords were planted this week, would it be okay to stick a tab there while they're not well rooted? I'm a little weary about the root tabs because of the addition of the new swords. When i started the tank (about 6 months ago) I was told not to fert until my plants become established.
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Whoever told you not to fertilizer till established didn't know what they were talking about. Plants need nutrients at the beginning, as much as any other time.

ROot Tabs will not hurt anything at all and I am sure your swords will appreciate them.

144 watts of WHAT kind of light? That is a lot of light if it is CF or T5.
Thanks for the reply :smile: I'll pick up some tabs today, you were a big help. For the lighting I have 2 daylight spectrum T12's and 2 T8's also daylight spectrum. I hang them about 4-5 inches away from the top of my tank.
I agree that root tabs can only help.

And it doesn't take plants more than a week or so to become established.

I'd also keep dosing the water column since you're doing such large water changes for the discus.
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