low-tech planted + air pump? - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 13 Old 08-08-2010, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by freshAqua View Post
added the flourish comprehensive (its been in fridge for some reason), and i have plant food tabs(made by jungle) which i previously bought from petco but am not sure if its a decent product.. before i put them in
Flourish Comprehensive is recommended to stay refrigerated for some reason, don't as me why but I just do as the bottle says :) . Unsure if the jungle tabs are a good product or not, but they are probably better then nothing, will let someone else who knows what nutrients and in what amounts that plants require to comment on that.
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post #12 of 13 Old 08-08-2010, 03:42 PM
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You've asked about Excel so I'll answer. It continues what has already been mentioned by zof and Johnny, but I'll expand a bit.

If you had a look at that article, or read the rest of the series, the section on nutrients explained how plants need 17 nutrients in proportion, plus light. These together have to be in balance. Too much of any one, or too little, and the plant growth can be negatively affected.

The first premise in a low-tech or natural setup is minimal light, as little as possible, just sufficient for the plants' to photosynthesize. Then you balance that with adequate nutrients. Carbon is one nutrient, nitrogen is another; both these come from the fish and biological processes, and in most aquaria there is sufficient to balance the lower light. The mineral nutrients we add via a comprehensive fertilizer, Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium is probably the best out there at present. Once a week may be sufficient for your setup, or twice; it takes a few weeks to find that "balance" in each aquarium, which depends upon the number and type of fish, the plants, water volume, and source water.

To get back to the Excel, this is a carbon supplement. So it is adding additional carbon to the system. Once you start increasing any single nutrient, you offset the balance. Which means you have to increase the light and other nutrients to create a new balance. Taking this to the farthest extreme, there are the high-tech planted setups which use diffused CO2 to up the carbon. To balance, these must have 3-4 times as much light, plus an injection of liquid fertilizers daily in most cases, and substrate nutrients are almost mandatory. This is fine, except the more stuff you add, the more you are "pushing" things. My approach over 20 years has been to keep it simple; as minimal as possible to achieve reasonable plant growth. I let nature do most of the work--well, all of it actually; I only provide some light and nutrients to balance. Plant growth may be slower (depending upon how you view this), but it will be steady, the plants will be healthy--and perhaps most importantly, the fish are not being bombarded with stuff every day.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #13 of 13 Old 08-09-2010, 03:18 AM
you cant go wrong with all these info but if you feel the need to use co2 you can still make a DIY co2 for your tank.mines doing great without the co2 but for beginers even after you've done your home work you need to see for yourself whats the conditions of your plants from day to day. too much light might get you algae but red plants need more light and some plants like java ferm prefer less ligts and will grow dark or translucent with too much light. check for different changes in the plants and rehome them if needed and you're plants will be fine.

5x2x2 aro,highfin bat,fei feng,ST,albino tinfoil,c.perch
4x1.5x1.5 planted tetras,harlequins,
otto,WMM,2 types of celebes rainbows,rcs,amano, bamboo,red ramhorns,MTS
3.5x2.5x2 flowerhorn,pleco
3x1.5x1.5 russel's lion,blue cleaner,sixline and leopard wrasse,maroon clown pair,green chromis,scorpion,tiger cowrie,turbo,lyretail anthias,jewel,anemone,star polyp,marbled and giant green mushi,zoa
2x1x1 nano sw shrimps
22 May 2012
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