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Discussion Starter #1
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!!
 

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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.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
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?
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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?
 

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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.
 

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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.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
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!!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
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.
 

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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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Discussion Starter #12
Cyrpt close up. The normal color is brown and light green. Now the light green is going to yellow. I have 2 -10watt CFLs running 10 hours.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
This is my dwarf sword. Basically it's just existing. Doesn't grow at all,so may be sucking up oxygen? However the little plantlet stem is dying now. has gotten worse over last week. Was thinking maybe I should take it out.

Thanks!
 

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Crypts will almost always react to any change, so that is not surprising. I went back to the beginning here, and you have changed quite a lot. I think a third Flourish Comp dose might be advisable, this to be eliminated later. I was dosing Comp three times a week for several weeks, but cut back to twice when I started seeing algae issues. I then went to once, with Trace being added once.

I would also use a substrate tab for the sword. Might not hurt for the crypt too, since they were getting more. The Flourish Tabs last 3 months, and one next to the sword (one for each of these), and one in between two crypts or whatever might be good.

Byron.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ok. I'll dose Flourish Comp 3X weekly and drop the trace for now. Will also get root tabs. Just to remind you. I already have some algae issues. A little bit of black beard algae on the cyrpt/ anubias. Some green spot algae on the glass and a lot on my floating Pennywort. But I just weeded out all the Pennywort that had green spot. Some leaves were completely covered. Lastly a good amount of brown diatoms. Hate the stuff! With that being said should I go ahead with the above? If so how do I know when to cut the flourish comp?

Much appreciation!

Donetta
 

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Ok. I'll dose Flourish Comp 3X weekly and drop the trace for now. Will also get root tabs. Just to remind you. I already have some algae issues. A little bit of black beard algae on the cyrpt/ anubias. Some green spot algae on the glass and a lot on my floating Pennywort. But I just weeded out all the Pennywort that had green spot. Some leaves were completely covered. Lastly a good amount of brown diatoms. Hate the stuff! With that being said should I go ahead with the above? If so how do I know when to cut the flourish comp?

Much appreciation!

Donetta
Yes, increase the Comp and add the tabs. The trick here is establishing a new balance, and this will take a few weeks. Go slow in reducing. I probably should have gone into this more initially. Smaller changes over time are always better and less likely to detrimentally affect plants.

After 3 weeks or so of the new schedule, if the plants are still doing OK, the Comp can be reduced to twice weekly.

Byron.
 

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Yes, increase the Comp and add the tabs. The trick here is establishing a new balance, and this will take a few weeks. Go slow in reducing. I probably should have gone into this more initially. Smaller changes over time are always better and less likely to detrimentally affect plants.

After 3 weeks or so of the new schedule, if the plants are still doing OK, the Comp can be reduced to twice weekly.

Byron.
OK, I got the root tabs last night and will plant. Funny thing I bought Eco-complete thinking it would solve all this for me. Based on my reading and info here now I know different. One good thing about it though it made it easier to plant the plants. Thanks for all the help, so much to learn and understand!

Donetta
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hello, so I got the Flourish tabs last week and from the next day noticed a big improvement. The crypt literally lifted as well as the sword and even the Wisteria picked up a little. I also increased the flourish comp to 3x's per week. This week I have a big increase in the brown fuzzy algae underneath my floating plants. It's pretty thick and it builded up rather quickly as my water change was just Sunday, 5 days ago. Seems like the root tabs took care of the plants. I don't want to be premature, but was thinking to cut back the Flourish to twice per week. what do you suggest? Thanks.
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Hello, so I got the Flourish tabs last week and from the next day noticed a big improvement. The crypt literally lifted as well as the sword and even the Wisteria picked up a little. I also increased the flourish comp to 3x's per week. This week I have a big increase in the brown fuzzy algae underneath my floating plants. It's pretty thick and it builded up rather quickly as my water change was just Sunday, 5 days ago. Seems like the root tabs took care of the plants. I don't want to be premature, but was thinking to cut back the Flourish to twice per week. what do you suggest? Thanks.
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Go ahead (Flourish Comp down to twice). You have the tabs which will add nutrients for the substrate plants.

Wouldn't worry about the brown fuzzy whatever, I see this too now and then. Had it bad in 2 tanks for several weeks about a year or so ago, then it disappeared. Cyano was around at the same time, same tanks, interestingly.
 

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Go ahead (Flourish Comp down to twice). You have the tabs which will add nutrients for the substrate plants.

Wouldn't worry about the brown fuzzy whatever, I see this too now and then. Had it bad in 2 tanks for several weeks about a year or so ago, then it disappeared. Cyano was around at the same time, same tanks, interestingly.
I cut back to two flourish doses. Since the last water change four days ago fuzz algae not as bad, but green spot is starting to smother some of the floating Pennywort. In addition I have a new development, now there is a blueish green slime on the surface of the water in a small area of the tank. Wow, I'm really sick of all this. I researched a little and could be blue/ green algae? What should I do about that? Should I go down to one dose of Flourish? Treatments includes antibiotics which I definitely don't want to do! I just treated the tank with Kanaplex for the fin rot and busted my cycle! I checked the ammonia and nitrates on Sunday. The ammonia was .25 and 0 nitrates! I did my water change and added Tetra Safestart (TSS) and the tank cycled in two days. In addition I'm suppose to wait two weeks before I do a water change with TSS.
 
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