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Succes with substrate ferts

1764 Views 4 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  ShaneSmith
Has anyone had a great deal of success with plants like Ludwigia cuba, Eusteralis, Rotala green, Micranthermum umbrosum, and Glosso with only substrate fertilization?

I was thinking about this a lot lately since i recently have gotten bad green fluffy algae (My name for it at least) and i had greenwater a while back.

Here is my plan. K2s04 and heavy traces (1/8 tbs Plantex csm+B 3 times a week). added to water column. And EW castings in the substrate.

Any idea how long this might last? 6months? a year? 2lbs of EW castings are on the bottom 3/4 of the tank. 50 gallons.
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Well you are adding things to the water column.

If you are habving algae issues, it's not from the water column, it's your fault:)

Proper use of PO4, NO3 and CO2 will solve most folk's problems.
These, when you use them correctly, do not cause algae blooms.

NH4 will cause green water and other algae if you allow a lot to enter the water column.

High fish loads/over feeding can also cause this.

The substrates begins to play an increasingly more important role as you limit the water column.

If you do not limit the water column, the role of the substrate is reduced down to attachment.

The substrate can be a back up or alternatively, can be used as a primary source for nutrients.

But both methods can have algae issues and it's due to other things besides NO3/PO4 in the water column.

Namely a lack of nutrients or NH4(too much) or CO2(too little).

These are the three main causes of algae.

I've grown well over a 100 species in RFUG with no nutrients in the substrate at all and no algae and I could not induce green water no matter what I did until I added NH4Cl.


Mic, ES, Rotala etc and Gloss will look better with ample NO3 in the water column.

Tom Barr
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Well i was going to add Potassium and traces to the water column.

What do you think about this, i've been doing it for a week in my 50gallon.

1/8tbs of KNO3 3x a week, 1/8tbs plantex csm+b 2x a week with speratic 1/16tbs. Also 1/64tbs of KH2PO4 2x a week. Fish load is moderately to high, and plants are pretty dense. Will this work in your opinion?
For a 50 gal with CO2, ~3w/gal.

I'd do this:
50-70% weekly water change
Amquel etc added, tap water etc

1/3 teaspoon of KNO3
1/16-1/8th teaspoon of KH2PO4.
Traces: mix with 2 tablespoons in 500mls of water, add 10 mls

Try this routine:
Add macro's on days 1,3,5,7
Traces on day 2,4,6

So you dose every other day macros and traces

I personally like the results from Flourish and TMG better than plantex alone.
You can mix them add one on one day and add the other the next etc.

This should clear up most of the issues if your CO2 is 20-30ppm at least.

The only other thing is if your tap is pretty soft, you might want to add about 1/2 teaspoon of SeaChem Equlibrium after the water change.

Give this about 2-3 weeks.
Tell me what you think.
Make certain the CO2 is up.

Tom Barr
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sorry i didn't read this until after i sent the email. I'm going to try it thank you.
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