Do I Need To Dose Macro Nutrients?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by Schmidthead, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. Schmidthead

    SchmidtheadValued MemberMember

    I'm pretty new to planted tanks, and my plants are growing okay I guess. The issue that I wanted to address was my java fern (who cant grow java fern right). I understand that java fern is a super slow grower.

    But since I've added more plants (java moss, hornwort, amazon sword) my java fern has started growing significantly slower. Ive grown them all from plantlets from a mother leaf, and the plantlets all just stopped growing when I added the extra plants.

    I would like for them to grow better so I was just looking through stuff online and it got me thinking.

    I dose Flourish and Excel in my 10 Gallon, but flourish is just MICRO nutrients isn't it? Do fish and just my natural tap water provide enough of the K and Ca that the I assume the plants want? Is there any way to test if my levels are too low?

    My params are:
    Ammonia 0
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrates ~ 20-25
    Lighting ~ two 50/50 10watt CFLs for 7.5 hrs

    5 zebra danios, gold inca snail, 4 ghost shrimp (I lost one this morning :()
  2. Farlowella Fella

    Farlowella FellaValued MemberMember

    Excel isn't great for shrimp I've heard and it has spurred many a debate on fish forums. I have two 30 gal planted tanks which I haven't dosed in months and all the plants are doing well. I don't have java fern but my mosses are growing well (also non-vascular column feeding). I think generally you should be able to get away with just conditioned tap water and maybe at flourish if you really want to make sure the micro nutrients are available.

    Also you should get those Nitrates under 20 ppm :)
  3. OP

    SchmidtheadValued MemberMember

    My moss is growing like crazy which is why I'm a little confused on why the fern isnt. That's what I was originally researching and just started reading about macros and got curious. As for the nitrates I tend to keep them around 10-15 but I've gotten a little lazy lately haha

  4. SeattleRoy

    SeattleRoyWell Known MemberMember

    Hi @Schmidthead

    What size tank? Are you dosing Seachem Flourish Comprehensive or Seachem Flourish Trace? How much do you dose? How many times a week? A few pictures of the plants in the tank (java fern and stem plants) may give us some clues as the what is happening.

  5. OP

    SchmidtheadValued MemberMember

    Thanks for the reply, Its a 10 gallon. Im dosing Flourish Comprehensive and i do just under 1 ml twice a week. I'm not home right now so I cant get any pictures until probably tomorrow
  6. varmintWell Known MemberMember

    Flourish Comp is the one to use. It has the 3 ingredients for plant grow, in short N P K. It also has Iron (Fe) which as far as I know, is essential for Swords. I would suggest fert tabs for all of your rooted plants. Hope this helps.
  7. Gadfly

    GadflyValued MemberMember

  8. varmintWell Known MemberMember

    For the size of tank and the plants that you have, I would suggest Flourish, on its own twice a week, along with tabs for the Swords.
  9. SeattleRoy

    SeattleRoyWell Known MemberMember

    Hi All,

    If @Schmidthead has 20-25 ppm of nitrates I doubt if macros are the issue. Let's see what the pictures show before we make assumptions.
  10. OP

    SchmidtheadValued MemberMember

    @SeattleRoy be warned I don't have a pretty tank. I have 3 months left of college and I've used this year of college to experiment and try and get into the fish hobby, to get a bigger, nicer setup once I graduate.

    here are the pictures of my plants. A little more explanation. Both the java fern pictures are from the same plantlets. the big java fern shot up like crazy in about a month. the other ones got as big as they are now. then it all stopped. The small ones haven't grown in about 2-3 months. While my hornwort is starting to thicken out but is growing vertically much faster than outwards (which i assume is normal?)

    you can see some of my moss in the java fern pictures and that's growing well I've only had that a few weeks.

    on a side note, I have that dead moss I'm trying to salvage. Figured id leave that here and see if anyone has any ideas how I can (if I can) get it to bounce back at all.

    Attached Files:

  11. SeattleRoy

    SeattleRoyWell Known MemberMember

    Hi @Schmidthead,

    For three months left in college and all that entails you tank looks good! No obvious deficiencies noted, so here are a couple of suggestions. If you have a florescent lamp and it is over 1 year old change the bulb. Increase your dosing of Seachem Flourish Comprehensive; unless you are already dosing 3X per week. Don't overdose the Seachem Excel, it will cause problems with your hornwort, in fact try skipping it for a week or two and see if the growth improves.

    Pick up a container of Seachem Equilibrium, which contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, and a little iron and manganese. Dose 1 teaspoon initially and Equilibrium to new water during water changes. (Calcium is a growth regulator for many species and if it is deficient this should increase your growth.) Keep us posted how thing go! -Roy
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice