Which would be better for plant growth? - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 17 Old 04-25-2013, 12:12 PM
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On the nitrogen comment- plants need all their nutrients available at all times.

I don't know about your balanced systems, but mine (before soil) had all 0's for nitrogenous compounds, and growth was slow.

Most frets we reccomend here (the comprehensive fertilisers) are, for all intents and purposes, trace element ferts. Their Npk is negligable, and they mostly provide nutrients that are lacking- like copper, iron, silica, and boron.

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post #12 of 17 Old 04-25-2013, 07:15 PM
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How regulated does CO2 need to be for it to be useful ? I don't have any idea.
very, co2 requires extra fert and extra light to keep plants growing and algae under control. if your co2 dips but ur fert and light are still high algae will take hold in a matter of day(s). then once you have it itll take weeks to get rid if it. consistency is key with high tech co2.
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post #13 of 17 Old 04-25-2013, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redchigh View Post
On the nitrogen comment- plants need all their nutrients available at all times.

I don't know about your balanced systems, but mine (before soil) had all 0's for nitrogenous compounds, and growth was slow.

Most frets we reccomend here (the comprehensive fertilisers) are, for all intents and purposes, trace element ferts. Their Npk is negligable, and they mostly provide nutrients that are lacking- like copper, iron, silica, and boron.
I can agree with you here, ive been using seachems flourish since I started my tank. with the tank now much more full of plants then before I am starting to see macro def's in the bigger plants. flourish isn't for a co2 tank by any means or a high light non co2 system.
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post #14 of 17 Old 04-25-2013, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by MoneyMitch View Post
very, co2 requires extra fert and extra light to keep plants growing and algae under control. if your co2 dips but ur fert and light are still high algae will take hold in a matter of day(s). then once you have it itll take weeks to get rid if it. consistency is key with high tech co2.
This is an absolute. I learned the hard way when I started using co2. The co2 has to remain consistent. DIY is a little tougher to keep levels regulated. The generator bottles have to be replaced as soon as the bubble count drops in the least.
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post #15 of 17 Old 04-26-2013, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by fish keeper 2013 View Post
Would seachem excel and seachem root tabs be better or a mini pressurized co2 kit? This is assuming the substrate is just plain old aquarium sand.

Also, how many pounds would I need of the aformentioned sand per gallon in a planted tank?

Thanks in advance!
Some of what I will now mention has already been said, so bear with the repeat. But I would like to stress the all-important aspect of balance. Unless this is understood and achieved, the planted aquarium will not be at its best, whatever the method. I don't know your particular level of experience, so some of this may be "old news," but it is at the crux of a healthy planted tank.

Aquarium plants require light of sufficient intensity to drive photosynthesis [this varies with the plant species]. But sufficient nutrients, of which there are 17, must also be available. Plants will only photosynthesize (= grow) up to the point at which something is no longer available/sufficient, what we call the limiting factor. This balance is crucial not only for plant growth, but with respect to algae.

Light we can easily provide, so I'll move on to nutrients which are the basis of your question. Most nutrients will be naturally present in a fish tank. They occur from fish foods and water changes. Some may not be in sufficient quantity, so we add them. Carbon is a macro-nutrient, but there is more of it available in a balanced system than many realize. But the question one must first decide, is the sort of "planted tank" you want. Different species of pants have differing nutrient requirements (with respect to volume) same as light. A tank full of stem plants and floating plants--all being much faster growing--will require more light intensity and more nutrients to balance. While a tank of ferns, mosses, crypts, Anubias and some swords will need much less of both.

Adding CO2 is not necessary unless you are aiming for a high-tech high-plant volume tank. The photo below is just one of my tanks, none of which use any form of carbon supplementation; but the plants are all low and moderate light requirement, and the natural CO2 is sufficient to balance.

If you feel the need to add carbon, I would do so with a diffuser and not rely on liquid carbon supplements like Excel. These will decimate some plant species, and if overdosed can kill plants, fish and bacteria.

Substrate tabs will benefit substrate-rooted plants (only), but this is not always needed either. Large swords, tiger lotus, aponogeton, etc which are fairly heavy feeding plants will benefit from substrate tabs. But they also must have liquid fertilizer, as must all plants if nutrient supplementation is needed at all. Some nutrients are only taken up via the leaves from the water column, so substrate nutrients are ineffective here. A comprehensive (complete) liquid supplement is the first thing to add, and may be all you need. The tank in the photo has plain sand substrate, with substrate tabs only next to the larger swords, and receives liquid fertilized (Flourish Comprehensive) once a week, and Flourish Trace once a week. I also use Equilibrium to increase the "hard" minerals which are completely lacking in my very soft tap water. But each aquarium is or can be different, depending upon your source water, fish stocking, and fish foods.

As to the amount of sand, you want somewhere between 1 inch and 3 inches, depending upon the plants. The tank in the photo has 1 inch in front (or almost) and not quite 2 inches in back.

Byron.
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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 #16 of 17 Old 04-26-2013, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fish keeper 2013 View Post
Would seachem excel and seachem root tabs be better or a mini pressurized co2 kit? This is assuming the substrate is just plain old aquarium sand.

Also, how many pounds would I need of the aformentioned sand per gallon in a planted tank?

Thanks in advance!

I would use a layer of peat moss with a layer of sand on top to "trap" the peat moss. (canadian spaghnum peat moss in the 1 footx1 footx3ft plastic "bales" $11). then forgo the excell or root tabs.


my .02

maintain Fw and marine system with a strong emphasis on balanced, stabilized system that as much as possible are self substaning.

have maintained FW systems for up to 9 years with descendants from original fish and marine aquariums for up to 8 years.

With no water changes, untreated tap water, inexpensive lighting by first starting the tank with live plants (FW) or macro algae( marine)

see: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...-build-295530/
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post #17 of 17 Old 04-26-2013, 01:58 PM
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want to point out there is nothing wrong with high tech at all and it is very doable. byrons tanks are examples of years of maturity and wernt done overnight. a high light Ei ferts and co2 will turn a new tank from a light forest into a dense jungle in very short time. but with using the high tech there are many factors that need to be kepts in check. I would not recommend high tech for anyone new to the plant side of things.
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