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Well, I see you went the expensive.

SeaChem Equilibrium will add potassium. Have read some have an excess of potassium when they use it.

To me the important 1s are:
1. Iron
2. Flourish
3. Excel, which I think you'll only need until you get the Co2.
4. Equilibrium, which I think you'll only need for a month.


How about some update pictures!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
How about some update pictures!!
Pictures are proving to be a problem. The wonderfully willful fish doesn't want to stay still long enough for one, he's too busy stalking through the plant life trying to sneak up on the shrimp. Although they invariably see him coming, at which point, knowing he's been caught, he simply swims by non-chalantly as if he hasn't a care or conniving thought in the world.
 

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Well, I am more interest in the layout of the plants than the fish. How about a full picture of the tank!

Just realized it hasn't been long since you posted a picture. More interested in seeing how the plants react to your fert regiment, so wait a month.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Dawn,

You just deflated his poor little ego. Oh well, he's got too much anyway. Other than the HC, I think most of the dying has stopped. It looks like there are a few new leaves on my sag, and the Java Ferns have little plantlets all over the leaves.





 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Did some trimming today and got rid of most of the dead leaves. Looks like every except the HC has new growth. I also pulled the HC out as it was just clogging up my filter as it died. The critters are happy still and I'm trying to decide if I should get more pygmy cories or fewer panda cories to go in the tank. Also debating snails or otos for the acrylic.

Left Side


Right Side


Composite
 

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Here is something Homer_Simpson sent me, which I thought might interest you:
1 pound of dry fert = x liters of Seachem's ferts
1 lb of KNO3 = 3.7 L of F. Nitrogen
1 lb of K2SO4 = 4.5 L of F. Potassium
1 lb of KH2PO4 = 67.0 L of F. Phosphorus

Rex's price of 1 pound of dry ferts compared to DrsFosterSmith.com regular price of $26 for 2 liter jugs of Seachem's ferts
1 lb of KNO3 costs $2 = $48.10 of F. Nitrogen
1 lb of K2SO4 costs $2 = $58.50 of F. Potassium
1 lb of KH2PO4 costs $3 = $871.00 of F. Phosphorus

Shipping cost to US:
1-4 lbs $5.25
5-18 lbs $11
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Dawntwister,

Thanks for the info! I am definitely considering switching to dry ferts. I just have to figure out if it's really worth it for such a small tank to keep bags of this stuff around. One advantage of the Seachem is the bottles fit nicely on the shelf under the tank, but I would reuse them for my own mixes as well, so I guess that's really not a problem. I would be mixing a 250ml batch at a time and I have a feeling that with my current dosing schedule each batch would last me roughly 1 year. We will see if this turns out to be true.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Well, my water parameters have all held steady for a few weeks now, and I still haven't done a water change. One thing that concerns me is that the Bio-filter/Plants are doing such a good job, that my NH3/NH4, NO2, and NO3 readings are all 0. I am assuming that this means there is no nitrogen in the water. I have even been intentionally over-feeding the shrimp with the hopes that the decaying pellets will introduce NH3/NH4 and subsequently NO3. Do I need to start dosing a nitrogen fertilizer? All of my plants are showing new growth, and I'd hate to stop it by robbing them of essential nutrients.
 

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Your dwarf hair grass it would be better to seperate it by little plugs. It will spread fast and fuller like that.
Besides that, everything looks nicely done.
 

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One thing that concerns me is that the Bio-filter/Plants are doing such a good job, that my NH3/NH4, NO2, and NO3 readings are all 0. Do I need to start dosing a nitrogen fertilizer? All of my plants are showing new growth, and I'd hate to stop it by robbing them of essential nutrients.
There is an old say, "If it works don't change it." I have been reading that most people have NO3 at 30 to keep algae under control. You have to gradually increase it or the fish will die. I have been adding it and it is helping me get the chronic BBA I have under control. So if you see algae 1st lower lights, for lights are the engine. 2nd increase circulation, 3rd add flourish excel, 4th add some NO3. This has been working for me. What works for 1 does not always work for others, though.

What about your Gh and Kh readings? Have read that lack of macronutrient in water column can lead to algae problems, for plants will strugle to consume N and P, Joe Faria Aquascapingworld. Perhaps the other nutrients are making up for the lack of NO3.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
GH is 6dH and KH is 7dH. As has already been stated by others more knowledgeable than I, this is apparently a low light setup at ~1 wpg (I really want to change this, just can find a fixture that will work). I dose regulary with excel, and add a little extra until I get my CO2 refilled. Unfortunately, I don't know of a way to test for carbon content. So far I've been lucky and the only algae has been a green film on the front acrylic right under the light, nothing a bounty couldn't take care of in about 10 seconds.
 

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there is not much you can do to get a good reading on co2, best bet it to follow the directions on the excel bottle and if you notice slowed growth add more.
 

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It looks to me like you have 2 wpg. Can you improve the reflection in the tank?

Per Hoppycalif I used metal flash, 3 x 7 plates, and painted with very white paint to improve my light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Ok, engineers should not have aquariums. Wait, engineers should not be allowed to own any mechanical device. I want more light in my little tank, so what I have finally come up with, why the most natural, simplest, cost-effective solution possible, of course :-D. I have a 2.5 Gallon tank that I will set up as an external sump, move the Marineland Filter from the Main tank to the sum, put the heater in the sump, and external power head to move the water, and modify the hood on th Main tank to accomodate my lights. See? I told you it was simple.

Ok, now I know the wife will cut me into fish-food if I even suggest that, so I need help choosing a light fixture. I have a space about 10"x4" that is 3" off the top of the tank, It needs to house a fixture capable of at least 20 watts, pluss 2 white LEDs and a centrally mounted Blue LED. I can figure out the installation part if somebody can point me in the direction of compact flourescent light fixtures that are the required size, wattage, and cost.
 

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I have seen some use desk lamps that would work for that size at Lowe's. I have seen some use the clip on lamps and put daylight CFL bulbs in. At the back of Lowe's, I was told, they have some for $5.
Have noticed some buy compact fluorescent light kits from: http://www.ahsupply.com/

Perhaps you build a box to house all with metal flash guard, $5. Buy extension cords and splice in the Led's.

How are the vals, thin plants in the back, doing? They look like they need more iron.
 

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So what has happened with the Betta? Did you find a light? Big Al's is good place for cheap lights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Betta is permanently in the Hospital Tank, He loves it.

The other tank is overgrown with algae and my 2 surviving plants, a few small snails, and 1 lone ghost shrimp. I kinda gave up on it til I have the time to devote to doing it right. (had a new baby, work got crazy, etc.)
 
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