01-11-2010, 12:58 PM
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Likewise, I had some comments in the other thread but will repeat as this is the proper place for discussions on planted tanks.
Stop using Excel, as Angel said it is a carbon supplement and you have enough of that with your fish plus your CO2 diffusion. Although I am not a fan of CO2 diffusion, I can say that using CO2 only increases the need for mineral fertilizers. In a planted tank, there has to be a balance between light and nutrients. Nutrients include carbon (from CO2), nitrogen (as ammonium from the ammonia produced by the fish and biological processes) and 15 minerals in approximate proportion to each other. Plants will grow up to the nutrient (or light) that is in least supply, we call this the limiting factor. So if minerals for example are insufficient to balance the available light and CO2, plants can't grow further. Balance is the key.
You need a good liquid fertilizer. Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium works well, as does Kent Freshwater Supplement. I've experience with both these. Others have used Nutrafin's Comprehensive and although I haven't myself the specs seem fine. Hagen's Leaf-Zone I do not recommend, it is too limited.
Last comment on the CO2. With the number of fish you have, and the plant species, I personally don't think it is needed. You can have a look at the photos of my aquaria and Angel's to see what we have without CO2. Removing it would mean less fertilization, and I happen to be a fan of "less" when it comes to interfering or adding things to fish tanks provided the plants grow and the fish are healthy. I also have a series of four articles as stickies at the top of this section that explain my approach to natural planted aquaria. You'll find more info there on balance and ferts.