New light for 29G FW tank advice. - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 20 Old 09-13-2011, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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OK, I got my first plants, 2 Amazon swords and a Aponogetron that the guy at the store said would do great and look good. He didn't have chain swords or true floating plants. I put them all on the left side of the tank since the water movement is slower there. I added some fertilizer tabs (that looked like they had been in the store for years) and my nitrate level shot up to .5-1ppm. I assume that's from the fertilizer but should I be concerned or is it a misreading by the API test kit? The tabs are "Plantabbs Aquarium plant food". I think I may go to Petsmart and pick up something else.
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post #12 of 20 Old 09-13-2011, 07:44 PM
It could be a miss reading or the tabs.... maybe some one else knows about the tabs because I don't use them. I would recommend getting comprehensive flourish by sachem. Unless of course it is a high tech planted tank. then look into individual nutrients.

38 gallon :
Pelvicachromis Taeniatus Nigerian Red not yet breeding pair
4 Pangio Kuhli
12 Hemmigrammus Bleheri
2 Botia Lohachata
1 Botia Straita
1 Ancistrus Sp.
6 Poecilia Reticulata




The Wet Spot Portland Oregon!!!!!!

ADA: Do!aqua Iwagumi 10 gallon size!
7 Clown Killies
7 Ghost shrimp
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post #13 of 20 Old 09-13-2011, 08:17 PM
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Interesting. I did a quick search but couldn't find what's in them. I've not noticed this with other ferts but then I don't normally test nitrate anyway.

On the test, if it is the API liquid, you need to shake Regent #2 for 2 minutes, not just the 30 seconds as stated in the instructions; otherwise the test can be inaccurate and read higher. Could be this.

Swords are heavy feeders so the tabs will help them. And Aponogeton too for that matter. The Flourish Comprehensive Supplement Christople mentioned is a good liquid fert. It won't hurt to use it for what you have (with the tabs), and if you do get floating plants it will help those. There are no other liquid fertilizers as good, in my opinion. It may seem expensive by comparison, but you use very little so long-term it is more economical.

Byron.

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 youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre 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 #14 of 20 Old 09-13-2011, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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The tablets are "Plantabbs" (spelled just like that) from Aquarium Products (AP). I did a search for them today at work and didn't find much info either but it doesn't look like AP makes them anymore. The only thing I can find is their MSDS on the AP webpage. But anyways, they are a 11-15-20 fertilizer containing Nitrogen,Phosphoric acid and Potash.
The guaranteed analyis is : 11% Total Nitrogen; 4.9% Ammoniacal Nitrogen, 6.1% Nitrate Nitrogen, 15% Avail. Phosphoric Acid and 20% Soluble Potash.
The nitrogen is derived from Ammonium Phosphate and Potassium Nitrate. Phosphoric acid comes from Ammonium Phosphate, and Potash from Potassium Nitrate.
The fish seem to be fine but I did a partial change anyways.
50 tablets only cost $2.79.
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post #15 of 20 Old 09-13-2011, 10:23 PM
could be the nitrogen... but I thought it was only called that when it was a gas not a pollutant in the water. Not sure if those numbers could be harmful.... Byron what do you think

38 gallon :
Pelvicachromis Taeniatus Nigerian Red not yet breeding pair
4 Pangio Kuhli
12 Hemmigrammus Bleheri
2 Botia Lohachata
1 Botia Straita
1 Ancistrus Sp.
6 Poecilia Reticulata




The Wet Spot Portland Oregon!!!!!!

ADA: Do!aqua Iwagumi 10 gallon size!
7 Clown Killies
7 Ghost shrimp
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post #16 of 20 Old 09-14-2011, 10:56 AM
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As the tabs are meant for an aquarium, I wouldn't expect trouble. A rise of 5ppm in nitrate is no big deal if this is the source, and now I see this info I suspect it is [if you did the 2 minute shaking of Regent 2]. Still, I would myself want to avoid it.

I wouldn't get these again, there are a lot of nutrients missing. The Flourish Comprehensive will supply those.

Dosing planted tanks with nitrate doesn't make much sense to me. Plants have to convert the nitrate back into ammonium in order to assimilate it as their source of nitrogen, and this is extra work. This may have a benefit in high-tech setups, but in natural systems there is likely sufficient ammonium (sourced from the ammonia produced by fish and organics breakdown) to satisfy the plants in balance with everything else.

Byron.

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 youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre 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 #17 of 20 Old 09-14-2011, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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I actually meant that the NitRITE level went to up to 0.5-1ppm. The levels are pretty stable so I didn't feel like doing the 2 step Nitrate test so I did the Nitrite test instead expecting to see the usual zero. Sorry I didn't catch that before.
It looks like Flourish is a micro nutrient supplement that can be used with an NPK fertilizer, like the tablets.
Thanks.
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post #18 of 20 Old 09-14-2011, 07:19 PM
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Flourish Comprehensive [they make several products under the Flourish name] is a complete comprehensive fertilizer. It has all required nutrients except oxygen, hydrogen and carbon. Of course, the macro nutrients are in limited quantity, since most will be otherwise available in the aquarium. But it is complete in itself and can serve as the sole fertilizer in a natural planted tank.

Having said that, the addition of substrate tab ferts (or an enriched substrate) will benefit substrate-rooted plants, especially those that are heavy feeders such as swords and Aponogeton. I have maintained tanks of swords with just Flourish, and with an enriched substrate plus Flourish (the latter was still necessary) and with Flourish + Nutrafin Plant-Gro sticks or Flourish tabs.

The nitrite rise is intriguing. I have a hunch, but I'll keep it to myself for the present.

Byron.

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 youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

Last edited by Byron; 09-14-2011 at 07:22 PM.
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post #19 of 20 Old 09-30-2011, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Byron, it's been two weeks, can you share your hunch now? The only thing that happened shortly after the 14th was that the smaller platy died unexpectedly, one day he looked fine, the next he was dead.
The plants are growing fine. The swords are getting new leaves but not getting much taller and the Apo is sporting 8 leaves instead of its original three and spreading across the top of the tank.
I think I'll go the store and get some rock to mound up near the filter and put some java fern on it.
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post #20 of 20 Old 10-01-2011, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimBinSC View Post
Byron, it's been two weeks, can you share your hunch now? The only thing that happened shortly after the 14th was that the smaller platy died unexpectedly, one day he looked fine, the next he was dead.
The plants are growing fine. The swords are getting new leaves but not getting much taller and the Apo is sporting 8 leaves instead of its original three and spreading across the top of the tank.
I think I'll go the store and get some rock to mound up near the filter and put some java fern on it.
I have read through this thread twice and while I'm not remembering what I may have been thinking back then, I now think it might be those fertilizer things since it is nitrite.

The demise of the platy is likely the nitrite; if it did reach 1ppm, that is going to affect many fish. They may live through the initial issue, but it can kill them later.

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 youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre 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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