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Johnny's Plant Build

This is a discussion on Johnny's Plant Build within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> unless I'm dreaming....I think my plants are somewhat growing already!! I've noticed two new smaller leaves growing on my swords. I also noticed that ...

Old 03-02-2010, 08:35 PM   #131
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unless I'm dreaming....I think my plants are somewhat growing already!!

I've noticed two new smaller leaves growing on my swords. I also noticed that my ludwiga natans are getting a little taller!!!

I'm getting excited!!

Anyone recommend a fertilizer dosing schedule? or how I should go about adding the root tabs for the swords since they're already planted?

I also run my lights for 10.5 hours a that enough? or should I turn it up some!?
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:36 PM   #132
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I placed my root tabs an inch or so away from the sword plant. Just push it in to the substrate to hide it. Once every week or two weeks add the amount for your tank size of fertilizer. I let my plants go awhile before adding fertz.
I'm hesitant to recommend lighting length of time. I'd say at least 8 hours up to 10. I do an afternoon siesta where I have them turn off for a few hours from about 11:30am to 2:30pm. Gives the co2 a chance to come up some for consumption later in the evening lighting schedule.
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Old 03-03-2010, 06:51 AM   #133
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Thanks Eric!

I was reading about running two different sets of times for the lights. My dad runs his lights in his partially planted tank from 11am-3pm then 7pm-11pm. My timer has the ability to do that.....

Are the pros/cons to running your lights in a break(as you mentioned for co2 reasons) versus letting them run hours straight?

My bottle of Flourish(unless I read it wrong) says to dose the tank twice a week.....maybe I read it wrong though..
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:28 AM   #134
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Any root feeding plants like Swords, Crypts I'd add the root pills close by, but not directly at the root.
For the Flourish - You have the comprehensive one right? I'd dose 1x week at XYZ ml you need for your tank size.
Lights I'd also not run more then 10hrs/day. The 'advantage' if you will for siestas it will help hinder certain algae types to develop fast. Naturally you sometimes do have a rainstorm come over during the day; you'd copy cat that in having your lights off and then on again.
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:43 AM   #135
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I keep my lights on from 12:00pm-10:00pm everyday. I thought about doing the siesta approach as well. It makes sense in order to control certain algae. . Natalie, do you allow your lights to turn off mid-day or do you have yours on all throughout the day?
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Old 03-03-2010, 06:37 PM   #136
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As mentioned by Natalie it can help curb algae by doing a siesta. I think the bigger benefit to a siesta is: as the plants consume the co2 with lights on the co2 levels in that tank naturally drop. with a siesta it lets the co2 levels rise a bit so when the lights come back on there is a higher level of co2 available to take them the rest of the lighting period. Versus no siesta, the co2 drags down to low levels and may be extremely low before the photo period is finished. It is used as a re-cooperation of co2 for the plants at mid day, if you will. As mentioned it mimics the overcast and cloudy conditions as a rain storm that is common in the tropic.
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:05 PM   #137
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I apologize for not having paid careful enough attention to this thread. I just noticed a couple of issues that need some more thought.

First, the fertilization schedule you mention Johnny, I would start with once a week, on the day following the partial water change, and observe the plant growth for a couple of weeks. If yellowing leaves begin to appear [and I mean, new yellowing after this schedule is started] then go to twice a week. Especially if you have root tabs for the swords, once a week should be adequate. It takes a bit of experimenting. Over the past year, I was using Flourish twice weekly; three times I went to once and after 2 weeks noticed yellowing sword leaves, so back to twice. Recently I learned [we never stop learning] that the water conditioner that detoxifies heavy metals was probably detoxifying the micro-nutrient minerals in Flourish when used simultaneously; I changed to dosing Flourish the day following the pwc, and at the same time I went back to once a week from twice. So far, my logic seems to be correct--the plants are thriving, suggesting to me that the water conditioner was in fact nullifying some or all of the first dose of Flourish. There is no need to dump more nutrients in a tank than will balance the light and CO2, plus it wastes money. I would try once a week and monitor.

Second, the siesta. Erik or anyone, do you have evidence from a reliable source that this works to increase CO2 and benefit plants? I'm not saying it doesn't, but I've never read anyone who says it does. The siesta can sometimes help to reduce an algae excess, which we all know is caused solely by excess light beyond what plants can use in balance with the nutrients. But beyond this, I've no evidence that CO2 is improved nor the plants. And Johnny, I would also caution that a siesta of 4+ hours mid-day may be detrimental long-term. This also I have yet to ascertain, but it does seem a bit questionable. Just a caution at this juncture.

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Old 03-03-2010, 08:18 PM   #138
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I was waitin' for you to jump on here B.!!

Thanks for the advice on using Flourish a day after the i'll be pwc'ing on sundays and then dosing with Flourish on mondays around thanks for that. I"ll also add the root tabs tomorrow.

As for lighting....another thanks on that! So based off of what you said, would you leave the schedule how I have it (noon-1030pm) or would you alter it in any way??

Also - I didn't know if you got a chance to look a few pages back and see my plants in!! I didn't know if you had any thoughts or advice on how i have them set up.

Thanks everyone!! I'm still debating shoaling fish for this sucker...

Eric - how are you vals making out?? I knew you said you were dissapointed/not happy with them....
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:30 PM   #139
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As for lighting....another thanks on that! So based off of what you said, would you leave the schedule how I have it (noon-1030pm) or would you alter it in any way??
I don't think there is any doubt that the best schedule is lights on for 10+ hours, off for minimum 10 hours of total darkness. There is a fair bit of flexibility in this. In the 1990's I had my tanks lit for 15 hours each day (same tanks, same lights, different room then, another home). Currently I have the lights on for 11 hours a day, because algae began to increase so I cut it back from 12 to 11. I also have more light in this room, even with blinds, there are more windows and they are west facing which means stronger sunlight, so I have to adjust the tank lights to take that into account.

The only reason I have seen for siesta is the algae problem. So without having more to base it on, I'm suggesting a regular schedule close to the 10/10. Monitor things, adjust the light by an hour one way or the other if needed. Also remember that algae is more common in newer tanks due to more unstable water parameters until the biological equilibrium is established in 3-4 months. So you can't jump into something just because some algae appears. It takes a while to work out everything, lighting periods, fert schedule, etc., and the fish load, type of fish, water parameters all impact so there is no standard as every aquarium is unique.
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:36 PM   #140
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Again thanks Byron....I just clicked it back to noon-10pm. Which will where I will monitor for a few weeks.

This will also make the wifey happy because somehow even tho in the 2nd room, the glow of the tank keeps her awake at night....I told to just stay up till 1030 hahaha

Thanks again. I'll look into putting those tabs on near the swords tomorrow after work.
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