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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to this and I'm trying a middle road approach to this, and I'm not sure which way to go as far as fertilizer goes. The only thing that I have been using so far is Flourish Comprehensive and what is in my substrate. The tank is pretty new and I have been having considerable growth as it is, without algae. It is 2.1 watts/gallon with CO2. The plants have been growing well except one that totally melted and is now regrowing and some blackening on the tips of the leaves on a lace java fern. The leaves on some of the plants may be paler than they were when I got them (particularly an anubias). I don't really have a frame of reference to know what the plants should look like healthy. I have some swords, hygro, and water sprite that are growing at a phenomenal rate. I'm new to this and I'm trying a middle road approach to this, and I'm not sure which way to go as far as fertilizer goes.


TANK SET-UP AND HISTORY:

Tank has been set-up for about a month, but started with cycled media, substrate, etc), but then 2 weeks ago I added some Aquasoil Amazonia and the cycle was broken and the pH dropped to insanely low values < 6.0 (below the bottom of the range measured by API kit). I have been doing a lot of water changes to save my fish, although I lost a few catfish) but I am nearly cycled. I still have some ammonia but I also have NO2 & NO3. I am upset that there was no warning on the aquasoil that this would happen, I would not have put it in my tank.

Using and Flourish Comprehensive

15g tall (20x10x20in) tank
Eclipse 1 Hood
Replaced carbon filter cartridge with filter pad and Purigen
32w CF lighting (retrofit from the stock 15w) on 12hr/day
Redsea Turbo CO2 Bio-System (just installed)
Substrate (50% Flourite, 35% Amazonia, 15% large black gravel)

Fish: 6 female betta, 5 pygmy cories, 2 otos, and a juvenile BN Pleco.

Tap GH=10, KH=8, pH=8.0, no N compounds
Tank GH=11, KH<1, pH<6.0 (until I used baking soda to raise KH)
last test before WC Ammonia=0, NO2=0, NO3=10
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your reply,

I do have the 4pin type bulbs using a retrofit with a good reflector.

I also have a high fish load, and I have nitrates in the tank, so I should skip the N, right?

I have also seen in posts that phosphate comes from fish food, and I see 1.2% phosphate in my betta pellets. About 12 betta pellets get processed through the fish in a day (zero waste, bettas are efficient eaters). Does this influence my dosing any? The other food is all frozen hakari bloodworms and daphnia and doesn't appear to have phosphate in it.

Right now I am thinking of using the dosing from the seachem chart leaving out the nitrogen and iron (I figure the fish are producing the N, and the Fe is in my Flourite/Amazonia mixed substrate). Does this seem to be a good place to start?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No, I'm using a SunPaq Dual Daylight 6700K/10000K. In fact I ended up with 2 new bulbs I have no use for, the bulb that came with the hood and the bulb that came with the retrofit.

I ordered some KHPO3 and KNO3, pretty remarkable how cheap it is.
 
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