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Donetta 05-23-2013 03:30 PM

Downsizing Fertilizer Routine
 
Hi I'm Donetta and I'm new here. I'm hoping that I can get some guidance on adjusting my fertilizer routine.

My 10gal medium planted tank has been set up for 2 months with good success. I have live growing plants with some mild algae issues. Problem is this is a low tech tank that I've been running like a high tech tank with all this work. After reading though info on this site I think my program is over kill. Here's my set up

10 gal w/ 1 male Betta, 2- 10Watt CFLs, 10 hrs a day, eco-complete substrate topped w/ regular gravel, HOB filter - current slowed with sponges. I dose according to PPS method NPK daily, iron daily, flourish comp for micros, excel daily. Based on what I've read here I believe I can just dose Flourish Comp only. However, I need guidance of how much. Of course I can start off with the suggested amount 1X or 2X per week. But I know up front I always have a serious iron deficiency.

I went to a dose calculated site and calculated the PPS dose for Flourish comp for the daily minimums and thought I could just half that amount. However, my best thinking got my house looking like a full fledge chemist lab with all these chemicals, measuring instruments and dosing.

My goal is to make my daily routine as simple as possible with adding least as possible and for me to be able to see my Betta as much as possible. I had the lights on for 12 hours per day, but someone suggested to decrease and I did to 10. Seems like I have more algae now. I'd like to be back at 12 somehow.

My plants are Anubias nana, nana petite, Afzelii, Echinodorus Tropica sword, Undulated Crypt, moss ball, Wisteria, Anubias Coffecolia, floating pennywort, frog bit, floating Water sprite.

My algae issues: some diatoms, BBA sparingly, green mossy stuff on floating pennywort, tad of gsa. The algae is there, but not overrunning the tank yet.

Thank you!!

Byron 05-23-2013 05:21 PM

Hi Donetta, and welcome to TFK forum--again.:lol: [Guess I better explain that to others...I welcomed Donetta initially when I responded to her PM.;-)]

I would certainly agree that in this setup you will be best with a basic complete liquid fertilizer. Dosing macros is fine in high-tech setups, or in some lower-tech setups if there are a lot of fast-growing plants and with sufficient light, and provided CO2 is sufficient. But in the majority of low-tech setups, dosing macros will often (not always, but often) be of little value because the all-important micro nutrients can be missing. These occur in fish foods of course, but the fish load may not be sufficient to ensure there are enough micros.

I use Flourish Comprehensive Supplement in my tanks, and many others here do too. Brightwell Aquatics' FlorinMulti is much the same thing, so whichever you have locally will do the job. I have 7 tanks all heavily planted but natural method so I buy Flourish in bulk (the 2 liter size) online which is considerably less expensive.

As for doses, I would do two a week. For my 10g I put in just under a 1/2 teaspoon, around 1/4 tsp., per dose. You have to experiment a bit, as every tank is different, but I am suggesting twice weekly because you have a lot of fast-growing plants, only 1 fish (so less food is entering the system), and you have been using dry ferts. This twice weekly might get you converted over with minimal fuss to the plants. Just keep an eye on algae. I find in my 10g and 20g tanks, which both have two 10w CFL Daylight 6500K bulbs over them, that algae is non-existent no matter what I do.:lol: And my 20g is normally without any fish, as it is my QT for new acquisitions.

You might want to also consider Flourish Trace. I went to a different schedule a couple months back, reducing Flourish Comp to once a week and adding Trace once a week, and I think I am seeing slightly better results and slightly less algae, generally. Again, it is a bit of an experiment, as your tank will be biologically different from any of mine, just as each of mine varies from the others.

A last comment on iron. Many of us think iron is lacking, but the fact is that this is rarely the case, assuming it is entering via a comprehensive/complete liquid. Iroin is a heavy metal and therefore highly toxic to all life forms, so overdosing needs to be avoided. I personally have killed plants by using iron. Most allegedly-iron deficiency symptoms can usually be traced to other nutrients.

Hope this is of help.

Byron.

Donetta 05-23-2013 06:11 PM

This is an awesome site and I appreciate all the support and willingness to help!! This new plan sounds like heaven, I feel like I've been through war and back over the past two months!

Yes, I'm going to give this new plan a try. I do have Flourish Comp and had been using it. As a matter of fact I just got Flourish trace in the mail yesterday as well. Splitting Flourish comp and trace sounds scary to me because I barely have 5ppm nitrates in my tank with my lone Betta. Flourish Comp has a little nitrogen right, do you think that's of any significance? Would the trace be dosed at the 1/4th teas as well?

Also, if I age my water with dechlorinator ahead of time, can I add the fertilizers at the same time on water change day?

Byron 05-23-2013 06:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Donetta (Post 2131697)
This is an awesome site and I appreciate all the support and willingness to help!! This new plan sounds like heaven, I feel like I've been through war and back over the past two months!

Yes, I'm going to give this new plan a try. I do have Flourish Comp and had been using it. As a matter of fact I just got Flourish trace in the mail yesterday as well. Splitting Flourish comp and trace sounds scary to me because I barely have 5ppm nitrates in my tank with my lone Betta. Flourish Comp has a little nitrogen right, do you think that's of any significance? Would the trace be dosed at the 1/4th teas as well?

Also, if I age my water with dechlorinator ahead of time, can I add the fertilizers at the same time on water change day?

Flourish will not raise nitrate to any extent. It does contain nitrogen in two forms, ammonium and nitrate, but this is so minimal.

Trace has a larger dosing recommendation, 1 teaspoon per 20 gallons compared to Flourish with 1 teaspoon per 60 gallons. In a 10g, I would dose 1/4+ tsp Flourish Comp, and 1/2 tsp Trace, per dose (once or twice weekly, same amount whichever.

Seachem suggested to me that Flourish Comp (and Trace) should not be dosed simultaneously with conditioners (like their Prime) that detoxify heavy metals, since this would negate these micros. They suggested 24-48 hours apart. This may be over-cautious, many think it is, but once you get in the habit it is fairly easy. I dose Flourish Comp the day following my water change, then Trace the day following that. Though there is no reason not to dose both together. A second dose of whichever can be 3 days following the first dose, to spread it out. I run water direct from the tap into the tanks, and squirt in the conditioner after I start; for a 10g it is easier to fill a pail, dechlorinate, then pour the water into the tank.

Byron.

Donetta 05-23-2013 08:05 PM

This is exactly what I'm looking for. One question about water changes. My normal wc schedule for my Betta is 1x weekly @ 45%. However, he is having splitting with his fins. For next week I planned to do wc 2x weekly @ 30% each. Will this be an issue with removing the fertilizers?

JDM 05-23-2013 08:15 PM

Just always add the ferts right after the water change assuming that you are ageing the water as you mentioned, that is a great idea for a small tank. Otherwise, yes, the water change may remove some of what you've added.

With only the one fish in there I wouldn't think that you would need more than a weekly water change.

I don't know about the splitting fins but perhaps this is a symptom of all the additional stuff you've been dosing your tank with. As far as fish are concerned, the less you add the better.

Jeff.

Byron 05-23-2013 08:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Donetta (Post 2132465)
This is exactly what I'm looking for. One question about water changes. My normal wc schedule for my Betta is 1x weekly @ 45%. However, he is having splitting with his fins. For next week I planned to do wc 2x weekly @ 30% each. Will this be an issue with removing the fertilizers?

Yes, maybe. I am not a botanist, so I cannot qualify how much of any given nutrient the plants can take up initially and store. I do know they do this, regularly. Slower-growing plants store more than rapid-growth plants, for reasons that are probably obvious. [And while I think of it, this was one issue with iron, it can get stored to the point where it becomes an excess, and this negates some other nutrients even before it might kill the plant.] My point here is that some of the fertilizer added on day 1 will obviously be taken up by plants, but how much beyond this is taken up to be used later, as opposed to being left in the water column, I don't know.

Some nutrients are what we term mobile, meaning that the plant can store them in one leaf and move them to another as needed. This is one reason to leave yellowing leaves, provided the stem is intact; the plant can shift nutrients such as potassium to other leaves. Plants often transfer nutrients from older leaves to newer leaves if the nutrients are not as plentiful in the water; this allows them to generate new growth even if sacrificing older leaves, and this is a necessary part of photosynthesis.

So in your situation, I would do the water change (day 1), dose Flourish Comp and Trace the next day (day 2), do the next water change in 2 days (day 4), and dose the day following that (day 5). You might want to lessen the dose a tad, though with a 10g not much is going in anyway. When I have to do something like this with my 115g tank, it is different.

Byron.

Donetta 05-23-2013 09:51 PM

I don't know about the splitting fins but perhaps this is a symptom of all the additional stuff you've been dosing your tank with. As far as fish are concerned, the less you add the better.

Jeff.[/quote]

Jeff this may just be the case and I always wondered about this. That's why I kept searching for another answer and I'm glad I found this site! Basically with my new program I will be dosing in a week what I was dosing in a day! Yikes!

I appreciate all the help. I learned so much! I'll start tomorrow and I'll keep you all posted. Thanks!!

Donetta 05-30-2013 04:44 PM

Hello so it's been 6 days since I stopped dosing macros. My plan was changed to simply dose Flourish Comprehensive 1/4 tsp and 1/2 tsp Trace once per week. So far I've only dosed the Flourish Comp and trace 1 time.

The plants are doing ok, however a couple of the leaves on my Ludwigia Repens yellowed and died. I noticed this morning a few leaves at the base of my Undulated Crypt are starting to yellow. My concern is always with having enough iron.

Should I expect this while my plants are adjusting to not having the daily macros and iron? I don't want my plants to die!!

Thanks Donetta.

Byron 05-30-2013 05:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Donetta (Post 2192905)
Hello so it's been 6 days since I stopped dosing macros. My plan was changed to simply dose Flourish Comprehensive 1/4 tsp and 1/2 tsp Trace once per week. So far I've only dosed the Flourish Comp and trace 1 time.

The plants are doing ok, however a couple of the leaves on my Ludwigia Repens yellowed and died. I noticed this morning a few leaves at the base of my Undulated Crypt are starting to yellow. My concern is always with having enough iron.

Should I expect this while my plants are adjusting to not having the daily macros and iron? I don't want my plants to die!!

Thanks Donetta.

Significant changes can result in plant adjustments, yes. Can you post a photo? I would expect the light more than iron. But notwithstanding this, I would suggest Flourish Comp twice weekly, and no Trace.


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