Waste as plant fertilizer? 10 Gallon Tank

  1. tpasser2 Member Member

    Hey everyone - I have hornwort, some type of low-light sword, and (as of today) corkscrew val in my 10 gallon tank. I have not really had trouble growing plants so far in my tank. I was just wondering because I read in another post that someone said they don't vacuum around their plants so that the waste acts as a fertilizer and the roots aren't disturbed. Can this really help your plants or not? I never use any plant fertilizer or anything and I just moved from gravel to sand. Thanks!
     
  2. backflipfronflip Well Known Member Member

    If you do that then you need a heavily planted tank so that they can absorb all of the nitrogenous waste from the poop. The problem in a tank of that size is that an ammonia spike can get out of hand VERY quickly due to the small amount of water in there. I do not know a lot about sand substrate so maybe hold on for other responses.

    One thing that 'natural' fertilization does not replace is tank care and water changes. It can take a while for the plants to develop a substantial enough root system to be able to cope with the rotting waste. I never vacuum in my 20G but it took a while for the plants to get big enough for that. For a while i was doing very large water changes to keep Ammonia down. Now after 6 months it is great and the plants seem really happy.

    More experienced people will weigh in but that is just my little bit of experience.
     

  3. tpasser2 Member Member

    Thanks, I don't necessarily plan on doing it, but I am just wondering whether or not that would be more beneficial than no fertilizer at all. I know my hornwort takes off easily as is but I'm not sure how the corkscrew will do.
     
  4. pirahnah3 Fishlore VIP Member

    The Vals would like some root tabs, as for non vacuuming the bottom, its usually done as stated when a tank is heavily planted. I have run into it a few times in my tanks and there are a couple that I just simply cannot vac due to the plants. That aside, those are also the tanks that I have to dose with fertilizer because I don't have enough food for the plants to begin with.
     

  5. catsma_97504 Fishlore Legend Member

    In all of my planted tanks I vac in the open areas to minimize the amount of debris. As you only have a couple of plants, and have a small tank, you will need to pick up the debris. Even in my heavily planted, high tech tank I am finding that I need to so a quick scan of the substrate a couple of times a year to avoid issues.

    Good luck with your plants!