What should I be doing?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by Mmbrown, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. MmbrownWell Known MemberMember

    Hello again!

    I have a 20 gallon tank with low lighting (a single fluorescent bulb). Right now, the only thing in there is java moss and Brazilian pennywort, and I'm only dosing Flourish Comp once a week. I've had some issues with diatoms on the pennywort - I was thinking that decreasing the amount of time the lights are on as well as increasing circulation (new filter) will help that.

    I've seen some drop dead gorgeous tanks, with lots of lush plants. I want a tank like that someday. I will likely stick with low lighting, which I know limits me a little bit, but if I'm going all low light plants, what other ferts should I use? How do I know if I need to start using particular ferts, or CO2, etc?

    Basically, my mom asked what I want for Christmas ;D Got any plant related ideas?

  2. ZiggiWell Known MemberMember

    Someone with more experience will chime in to correct me I hope, but if you're keeping it low light then CO2 is not necessary. You could try the liquid suppliments (API CO2 booster or Flourish excel I believe).
    I think the ferts depends on the plants you have and want to get. Example: If you're gonna try some of the heavy root feeders, you'll need to suppliment root tabs.

    I had dwarf sag, (I think) java fern, a bunched plant... possibly hornwort and an amazon sword that didn't fair too well in a super low tech (we're talking basic kit low!) 20 gal with no ferts besides what the fish left behind :) the sag carpeted the tank in no time. *shrug*
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  3. chevyguy8893Well Known MemberMember

    There are some amazing low light, low tech tanks out there, so you may still be able to achieve those lush plants. Oddly enough, I am not very good with low tech for some reason. Anyway, nitrates would be plentiful from the fish (depending on the stock), so that shouldn't be need to be dosed as long as they are between 5-10 ppm. I would start with dosing API leafzone (or similar product) for iron and potassium with the flourish comp. Also, flourish trace for the trace elements in the tank. This should provide everything needed for the plants except for heavy root feeders.

    There may be enough CO2 in the water to support low light plants. Although I have found brazilian pennywort to have fast growth rate, and still do well under low light. So, I would try the liquid CO2 that Ziggi listed and observe the plant growth. There are some plants that react negatively to liquid CO2 so you may want to look that up, but you don't have any at the moment.

    Anubias nana, java ferns, cryptocoryne wendtii "green" (and some other crypts), marimo balls, and jungle vals (this is one that will melt with liquid CO2) are easy low light plants. Another option is to add the plants, and observe how they do over time. If they show deficiencies then you could start adding other fertilizers based on the deficiency (may not be the best route, but it is an option)
  4. MmbrownWell Known MemberMember

    Thank you for the lovely replies :) I added LeafZone to my Christmas list ;D

    Is it possible I will run into a problem of having too much fertilizer and not enough light to keep up with it?
  5. chevyguy8893Well Known MemberMember

    If you keep up with your water changes you will be removing the fertilizer at some point. How much gets removed will depend on the water change amount. EI dosing fertilizers, for example, purposely overdoses everything the plants need, and at the end of the week a 50% water change resets it, somewhat. Anyway, I don't see it causing a problem at the dosing amount they recommend.