New to fertilizing
I have a tank with dwarf hairgrass, micro chain sword, java ferns, spiral sword (vesuvius?), and Staurogyne repens 'Tropica'. I've been using a 3/4 dose of excel and using flourish comprehensive as my fertilizer. I have 4 t5 48" bulbs over the tank, which is probably too much I know. I'd prefer to use dry ferts, as they are much cheaper. What is a good fertilizer mix for this batch of plants? And what is an effective dosing method? I'd rather do 2 25% water changes per week rather than 1 50% weekly. Is this sufficient for EI method? Thanks
I plan to have some shrimp in this tank, so copper is a no go.
All you need for good fertilizing is Seachem Flourish Comprehensive. It has everything you need. Don't even bother buying Excel. Root tabs can be good for crypts and swords; both are heavy root feeders.
Ok, yeah, probably overkill. the lights can be controlled in 2s, so I'll just use 2 of the bulbs. If I have algae problems I'll look into t8s or spot dose with excel. You're saying not to use macro fertilizers, but everywhere I read where people are doing high light, heavily planted tanks they supplement with macros using the EI method. Why do you say different?
Those who dose EI method,and use higher lighting, normally are injecting CO2 .
Excel need's to be dosed each day, to be truly effective and will get expensive for four foot tank which I assume you have, with lighting measurement's you mention (48'').
I run a four foot 80 gal planted tank with T8 bulb's, and once a week dry fertz KNO3,KH2PO4,Trace mineral's (aquariumfertilizer.com Macro Micro package).
Being as how I am not using CO2 supplement's or injection,, I simply add about 1/2 tsp of each once a week, and perform 50 % water change each week or maybe every two week's.
Plant's I have benefit from this, and have seen no negative effect's on fishes,shrimp in over a year now.
No one can tell you what fertz may or may not be needed due to variables such as fish load,plant mass,lighting,CO2 or not,substrate composistion, types of plant's, Source water composistion,ETC.
Best to decide what your goal's are and choose a method that achieve's those goal's.
Trying to utilze bit's of several method's ,often lead's to dissapointment.
Might google(BarrReport.com) and read through some thread's there that interst you if you choose High energy tank with CO2 ,and higher lighting.It is a good source for those considering the High energy approach.
If it is low energy ,more natural approach you wish to achieve then another member here ,Byron has written a very informative three or four part informational how to that work's well for that approach.
Hope some of this help's.8-)
1077 has explained it very well. The all-important issue in any planted tank is balance. The light must be in balance with the nutrients, that's it in a nutshell. More light does no good for the plants if all nutrients are not available at sufficient levels to balance.
We refer to the law of minimum, or the limiting factor to plant growth. Plants will photosynthesize [= grow] full out [meaning as fast as they possibly can] as long as light is sufficient and all 17 nutrients are available. As soon as any one thing is missing, photosynthesis slows and may even stop. And this can be a bit variable from tank to tank, as some plants can store certain nutrients that may help when that nutrient becomes less, while others cannot.
Carbon is going to be your biggest issue here. Without CO2 diffusion [the so-called liquid carbon supplements do not really work as well here] you don't want the other nutrients to be excessive because they will only cause problems, and similarly with light.
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