Several folks suggest that you do not fertilize a new plant tank for the first week/month. My question is **why** not?
I've done it that way for a number of years, I fertilize the first day, sometimes only 1/2 the norm, the plant biomass is low etc and I know the plant's needs are being met.
But I see advice on sites suggesting not to fertilize for the first month etc, Amano included I recall(?).
I see no reason for this. In terms of cycling, very much like the "silent cycling" we see in our tanks with respect to NH4/NO2/NO3, if you add enough plant biomass and plant heavy from the start like all the good advice suggest, then there's no NH4 anyway. Add enough CO2 and that addresses that issue.
So that rules that out.
So unless you assume NO3/PO4/Trace "excesses" etc cause algae in and of themselves, why would this make any difference and wouldn't this help the plants to get on their feet and pump up their reserves better?
Crank the CO2 and nutrients and keep up on water changes etc. Maybe doing 2x a week water changes for the first month seems like a better method and advice to me rather than "starving" plants for a month.
I did not know that starving plants grew any better
I think it gets back to the orginal premise here.
Take care of the plant's needs and you do not have problems.
Why would this be any different at the start?
Seems to be more important actually.
Peat/mulm will take care of the bacteria/substrate, the nutrients/CO2/light will take care of the rest. Adding lots of plants will remove the NH4.
I find this type of advice to contradict with the basic notion that you do not avoid algae by not dosing ferts. This selects for algae, not plants.
Adding more plants, lots of plants at the very start, gives any tank a leg up.
Providing the new plants with good CO2 and nutrients will give them even more of a leg up.
So can someone please explain to me why no ferts or less ferts is somehow preferable in and of itself at the start if the other issues such as enough biomass and mulm etc is added?
Why would this cause algae or be somehow "bad"?
Rotting plant material from new plants will not be that great if you trimmed them, got decent stock, have good CO2 etc.
I think getting the CO2 in good shape is much more important at the start, but excess nutrients(NO3, PO4 etc) are being blamed here and not NH4/poor CO2.
Deficient plant/stunted growth will cause algae.