Originally Posted by Bluydgrl
I just started my aquarium a few weeks back(36 gallon bowfront).I have about 13 live plants in there.All still somewhat small.
I heard to many plants can cause the fish to need more oxygen?My balloon Angel Rams and my Gourami seem like they are breathing a little harder with there mouths open to breath.I have Seachemm Flourish Excel.I use 1/2 capful daily.I don't have a co2 system or a air pump.Is this something i need?I just want the best for my fish.
No, your plants are actually doing your tank a great service in helping to keep the parameters stable by absorbing any toxins that may occur in a newly set-up tank!
As a general rule, in a 24 hour period, plants RELEASE
more oxygen than they take in, however, this only happens as the end-result of photosynthesis while the lights are on and the plants are active. When the lights are off overnight, the plants are still respiring - taking IN oxygen, but not releasing it. In a very
densely planted tank with a high amount of fish, it is possible to have some issues overnight with low oxygen levels, but I really doubt that this is an issue in your tank at the moment.
If your fish are showing signs of having trouble breathing, it can't hurt to err on the side of caution and add a bubbler - especially through the night when it is more likely to be a problem. Loaches are active in the evenings and will ALSO
be using more oxygen when the lights are out. . .but I really doubt your plants are dense enough yet to be causing a problem. One thing to consider is that Gourami are labrynth fish and breathe from the surface (they actually thrive in waters where oxygen is in shorts supply). I don't keep gourami (yet) but my Betta (also Labyrinth fish) open and close their mouths normally, as do my rams (Bolivians) - both of these make the stereotypical 'fishy faces' - so it *may* just be normal behavior for these fish that you're seeing (glad that you're keeping such a close eye out! I'm thinking if you have an issue, oxygen is not necessarily it! I would do a water test, just to make sure things are where they should be as far as toxins in the tank. Things can easily fall a little bit off in a newly set-up tank, even when it's been cycled, so it's best to keep an eye on parameters fairly diligently for a month of so after initial set up.
As far as ferts are concerned, a LOT
of people use Excel, but I don't prefer it. Having looked into the ingredients in that product. . . well. . . do your own research, but I don't feel that it's the safest or best option for the fish. I recommend Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive, instead. It gives the plants a broad range of micro and macro nutrients - everything they need to thrive - and only needs to be dosed one time a week. If you have any plants that feed heavily from the roots (like crypts and sword plants) you'll want to look into their line of root tabs to keep this type of plant happy!
Hope this helps. . . good luck with your fishies, and remember that its ALWAYS better to be cautious and keep them safe, than to let a possible issue go that might cause harm. :-)