Is CO2 and fertilizer really necessary?
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Is CO2 and fertilizer really necessary?

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Is CO2 and fertilizer really necessary?
Old 05-16-2010, 07:30 PM   #1
 
Is CO2 and fertilizer really necessary?

My tank is getting to the point where there are quite a few live plants. I have a 10 gal and 8 cllumps of plants. I don't know any of their names unfortuneately. I would not call it a heavily planted tank but I hope it soon will be. What I was wondering is if fertilizing my plants is really necessary same for C02.
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Old 05-16-2010, 10:30 PM   #2
 
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What type and how many fish do you have in this tank? What type of plants? Your fish will provide the CO2 but depending on the type of plants will determine the type of ferts.
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Old 05-16-2010, 11:10 PM   #3
 
For fish I have 2 harlequin rasboras 2 rosy tetras 1 orange neon tetra 1 redtail shark 1 zebra danio 1 yoyo loach. The only plant that I have that I know the name of it corkscrew Val.
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Old 05-16-2010, 11:12 PM   #4
 
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Well sometimes assuming can be dangerous, but since he said "clumps" I'm thinking they're stem/bunch plants.

Stem/bunch plants take all their "food" from the water column.
I think that you can have good growth -for a while- with just the fish waste, CO2 from fish, and good lighting. (My 10G livebearer is an example- I've never used any ferts in that tank, although I'm begginning to see symptoms after nearly a year and a half)

Eventually, you probably will want to buy a GOOD liquid fert like flourish comprehensive.

If any of your plants are "rooted" (stem plants will produce roots, but their roots are just for holding the plant in place.) plants like Dwarf sag, aponogetons, crypts, sword plants, etc then you will probably need some type of root fertiliser...

Post a pic of your plants and we can ID them for you.
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Old 05-17-2010, 07:34 AM   #5
 
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How long have you had this very planted tank? If you were to judge the growth of the plants as it is would you say they're growing well or do you see issues? Do you see issues such as stem plants leaves all yellowing falling off? Holes in leaves?

The co2 will be provided by your fish, the proper ferts (maybe liquid maybe root tablets) would be determined by what KIND of plants you have. However its not always necessary to needing to use ferts, here's a collection of my tanks and non of them recive co2 nor ferts http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/p...hp?userid=1029
On a smaller not asked for side note: The Yoyo loach in your 10g there will rather sooner then later need a larger home and all the Tetra's are school fish that you'd ideally wanna house in groups of 8-10.
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Old 05-17-2010, 06:47 PM   #6
 
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Red Tail shark will outgrow that tank too.

Angel, do you use play sand in all your tanks? I'm thinking, perhaps, if play sand is "beach sand", maybe it's got trace elements in it?

I think the only ferts I lack are trace elements...
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Old 05-17-2010, 07:54 PM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outpost View Post
My tank is getting to the point where there are quite a few live plants. I have a 10 gal and 8 cllumps of plants. I don't know any of their names unfortuneately. I would not call it a heavily planted tank but I hope it soon will be. What I was wondering is if fertilizing my plants is really necessary same for C02.
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Plants require light and nutrients to grow (live). These must be in balance; plants will grow up to the point where something they require is lacking, whether that be sufficient light (intensity and duration) or one of the 17 nutrients they need. We call this the limiting factor, and it is always advisable to have light as the limiting factor. If the nutrients (any of them) are insufficient for the amount of light, algae will use the light and become problematical. It is important to keep the plants out-competing the algae.

Nothing has been mentioned of your light, so perhaps you could tell us what you have. Please be specific; type, watts, name of tube/bulb, the Kelvin rating if you know it (usually on the end of fluorescent tubes or the packaging). And how long each day it is on.

One thing I can say, you do not need added CO2. Other nutrients (as in liquid fertilizer) will probably be required; some come from fish foods, some from the water (the hardness), some from the fish and biological processes ongoing in all aquaria, some from organic matter that bacteria break down. But we first need to know about the light.

And on the fish, I second that the redtail shark is too potentially-large a fish for a 10g; it will develop health issues if kept in this environment. And the loach is a very social fish that must be kept in a small group, minimum three. But given its potential size, a 10 g will not be suitable for three of these. And all tetras are shoaling fish that need to be in groups to be healthy; single fish or even 2 will be stressed and subject to disease and such. These comments are not meant to be derogatory, but intended for the better health and longer life of your fish.

Byron.
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:21 PM   #8
 
Thanks Byron I understand. I love my tetras and would be happy to get more of the species I have. The guy at my aquarium store (owner) said that schooling fish in captivity won't school because they feel too secure. I do plan on getting rid of my redtail shark and my danio. They are being jerks to my tetras and rasboras. Always chasing them. And for my lights I have two screw in CFL 15 watt 6500K. They are the spiral type CFLs. I realy like them compared to my 50/50 lights I used to have.
My ludwiga is turning a redish at the top. The aquarium guy said that it will turn this color when exposed to more intense lighting. My lights are on about 8 hours a day +- 15 min.
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Last edited by outpost; 05-17-2010 at 11:25 PM..
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Old 05-18-2010, 01:19 PM   #9
 
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Thanks Byron I understand. I love my tetras and would be happy to get more of the species I have. The guy at my aquarium store (owner) said that schooling fish in captivity won't school because they feel too secure.
There is a misconception here between schooling and shoaling that I'll try to explain. "Schooling" technically means the fish remain in a close group and remain in "formation" when threatened by predators, and usually hunt/feed together as a group. Many marine fish around reefs do this. Freshwater fish such as characins are not strictly speaking "schooling" but "shoaling" fish which is different. Shoaling means they live in groups but it is more a social structure [sometimes very highly developed as in some cichlids and gourami, and some characins] and/or a strategy to avoid predation simply by numbers. They hunt/feed individually, not as a "pack" like wolves, although some suggest that the piranha come close to this. The group is a security issue; the fish are programmed by nature to remain together, and when a sole fish or two is placed in an aquarium, it instinctively senses that it is vulnerable and in constant danger, because its natural instincts to remain in a close group are not being met.

Quote:
I do plan on getting rid of my redtail shark and my danio. They are being jerks to my tetras and rasboras. Always chasing them.
This is the natural tendency of the fish coming through. In the case of the shark, it is in a very confined space and many such fish become even more aggressive than normal under these conditions. The danio is probably reacting to not being in a group (another shoaling fish) and such fish again will often become bullies when they are out of their natural environment. The same can happen with tetras too, by the way, another reason for keeping them in suitable groups. Good idea to remove the shark and danio. Stores will often accept fish in exchange.

Quote:
And for my lights I have two screw in CFL 15 watt 6500K. They are the spiral type CFLs. I really like them compared to my 50/50 lights I used to have.
My ludwiga is turning a redish at the top. The aquarium guy said that it will turn this color when exposed to more intense lighting. My lights are on about 8 hours a day +- 15 min.
On the plant, true. On the light, the colour (the 6500K) is ideal; these will result in much better plant growth than the poor 50/50 type. Two of these bulbs over a 10g is somewhat high though, so two things: less duration will help against algae, and definitely a good liquid fertilizer to assist the plants to use this light. Eight hours is fine, I would leave that; a timer (the type you buy in the hardware for lamps) is a good investment to keep the light schedule constant, both for fish and plants.

I would suggest for fertilizer Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium. I use this myself, as do many others here. Make sure it is exactly the one I've named, Seachem make several products in the Flourish line and this is the only comprehensive (complete) one and all that you need. It will only take a few drops once a week in a 10g. Always use it the day following a water change, since the water conditioner will detoxify heavy metals and some of the required nutrients are trace minerals that are also heavy metals (iron, copper, nickel, zinc, manganese) and you don't want to be wasting fertilizer when the water conditioner is detoxifying it. If you can't get Flourish locally, Nutrafin's Plant-Gro liquid is I think quite good.

Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 05-18-2010 at 01:21 PM..
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Old 05-18-2010, 04:12 PM   #10
 
Thanks you byron. My lights are on a timer. Sorry about the confusion. I have a couple questions though. I'm using regular silicon coated gravel right now. Should I use some kind of planted aquarium substrate? I have 2 harlequin rasboras, 2 rosy tetras, (plan on getting another one or is it at least 4 that they need to feel safe together?) 1 orange neon tetra, 1 yoyo loach. (I think I need to get more of these too) and the redtail shark and danio that will be going back to the fish store. Do I need to get more rasboras for them to feel safe? I would like to get a "shoal" of true rummynose tetras and and lemon tetras. With all the extra fish I need to add for my current fish to feel safe and the new additions that I want to make, will my tank be overstocked?
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