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Need Help Understanding How To Fertilize My Tank

Discussion in 'Plant Fertilizers' started by Blk69, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. Blk69Valued MemberMember

    Hello. Looking for some guidance on keeping my plants alive. I have been having good results for 3 months but getting some melting and want to see if I can correct before too late.

    I have a 90 gal tank, running 2, 32 watt florescence full spectrum bulbs and a LED fixture eq to 64 watts at a 4000K color. This adds up to 128 watts of light,but as Florescent and LED really don't know how this compares. Lights on 8 hours a day (timer). Running a mechanical filter (16"by 10",by 10") with media balls and screen/cloth). Something like this =tbn:ANd9GcTqzh8-roLsfAwZia6kreVP45VYupvbvvvhsmtY7D9wAoTZ0u43tK41IR1uLFwHz2Tw-QTuEugh3A&usqp=CAc.png . Had it laying around so using it. Bio load is light, 40 guppies and various stages of development. Fertz, Florish (1 cap ful) Excel (7 squirts) weekly. No water changes (water numbers always look good so didn't see the point). Just tapping off 2.5 gal of water weekly. Water is conditioned (water softener) PH 8.5. Substrate is dirt with gravel cover. Put some Water Lilly Fert tablets in the dirt before covering with gravel. Again had these lying around too.

    So when I first got my plants, got some melting, then good growth. Alge has not been an issue, have some pond snails that seam to do the trick.
    1) Amazon Sword. About 2 years old, almost died this spring, put in an outdoor pond in the summer. Grew to about 5". Put in my tank, growing out of the water (18"). New leaves look good, old ones showing some yellowing and melting.
    2)Cript. I have two in the substrate one tied to a price of drift wood. All are doing well. Drift wood one has grown a lot of roots. It is a slightly lighter color of red then the ones in the dirt. Know I need to move down into the substrate, but its doing well so hate to temp fate.
    3)grown plants that look like grass (unknown variety). They melted a first then exploded with growth. This went on for 2 months, then starting melt again. Put some of the pond lilly fert tabs in by all the plants hoping things would approve.
    4) Java Fern, this plant basically died and has started to come back. New leafs are very light green in color.
    5) Rest of my plants are water column feed, they are doing good.

    I have access to my well water unsoftened (lot of iron) and am going to do a 50% water change with this. Just ran out of Florish, thinking of trying some DIY liquid fertz. Anyone selling a kit or something to help get this started. Florish is ok, but tried that in the past and all my plants died. Thinking need more then just Florish so that this why I went with the dirt substrate and Excel this time around. Water 80 deg F, fish are doing ok, get a few guppy deaths after birth, seams common issue.

    My plants would appreciate any guidance. thank you for reading my post and looking forward to reading your thoughts.
  2. -Mak-Fishlore VIPMember

    I would recommend dosing dry ferts using the Estimative Index method, developed by Tom Barr. Flourish doesn't contain adequate amounts of macros, which may have been your problem. Nilocg.com sells dry fertilizer packages

    However, with planted tanks large water changes are good to remove organics, which promote algae, and to replenish trace minerals. With EI dosing large weekly water changes are required so that may be something to think about.
  3. danhutchinsWell Known MemberMember

    A good all in one fertilizer is Nilocg Thrive. I switched to this from the seachem and couldn't be happier. The only issue I have at the moment is my red plants turn green no matter how much iron I dose. Not really sure how to go about making your own mix but I absolutely love Thrive. Soil loses its ferts over time so I would recommend root tabs for your root feeders.
  4. Blk69Valued MemberMember

    I am using the Thrive. What dosing levels are you using?

    Will have to look into the EI method. Was thinking my macros would be great as using dirt from my garden, plus a lot of fish waste in the gravel over the dirt.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 12, 2018
  5. -Mak-Fishlore VIPMember

    They would be for a year or two, but after that a lot would be depleted. Plus two sources of nutrients is always better than one. Soil has a high cation exchange capacity, which is basically the ability of a substrate to bind positively charged nutrients from the water to itself and make them available to plant roots. However, those nutrients need to actually be available for this to happen, hence water column dosing. Also, nitrate and phosphate are negatively charged, so CEC doesn't work well with them.
  6. danhutchinsWell Known MemberMember

    I have a very heavily planted tank so I dose 10 pumps every other day, on off days I dose iron.
  7. Blk69Valued MemberMember

    Ok, just did a 40 gal water change (50 % is, 75 gal tank). Took water straight from my well and then heated it to get to the tanks temp. This was a lot more worth then I thought, going to need to come up with a plan B.

    Wife not the most pleased as I had every pot she owned on the stove warming water (well water 55 F). Running tank in high 70's.

    Looks like I over Fert one of my cripts as it has totally melted in a few days. Don't think this one is coming back.....soil should be good thou for the next plant to move into this space. Think I am going to dose 6 squirts of Excel weekly and see where this puts us.
  8. Thunder_o_bFishlore VIPMember

    I on the other hand use the Seachem line with very good results.

    It is beyond my comprehension how any one can say the Seachem line is .

    I grow everything from wisteria to Madagascar lace plants and they are all doing very well.

    Notice my red plants are actually red.