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water column dose or not?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
yes or no? i realize that both the el natural and mineralized soil tanks are by nature not requiring ferts but it seems as though some still do. please vote and if you voted yes to fertilizing, could you please elaborate in the comment section.

thanks,
darryl
 

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it tends to promote an algae bloom when you dose extra in the water column.
 

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I dose, but I only have 1/4" soil substrate rahter than the 1" or more that most soil users have. I've had to be VERY careful about adding too much ferts due to algae, but part of this is just "new-tank" adjustment period. I try to keep the tank heavily planted at all times and decrease dosing when I trim. I constantly watch my CO2 output and recharge the DIY weekly. (Upgrading to pressurized on the 17th to avoid this headache. )

-Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
so far 90% of those who voted say they do so how about some info on the results and what regime has been used...

please :biggrin:
 

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I do and dose:

5mL's Iron-3x week
2mL's PMDD-1x week
2mL's Plantex-1x week
2mL's Nitrogen-1x week
5mL's Phosphorus-3x week

I do have Kitty litter, Power Sand, Amazonia II, and mineralized soil under a black sand cap. CO2 is run at 5 bubbles per second for 12 hours a day; 25% water change twice per week. Water is UV sterilized to prevent algae blooms.

Results have been great, so far. I do use a bamboo skewer to prevent aneaerobic conditions in the substrate. Water is also filtered through peat granules.
 

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hey Dave, what fertilizers are you using dosing the full recommended amounts?
I dose dry ferts and use EI method. 1/2 tsp Potassium Nitrate, 1/8 tsp Mono-Potassium Phosphate, and 1/8 tsp CSM+B, 3 times per week. I alternate days for the macros and micros.

When I do a heavy trim, I cut that back to 2/3 the amounts.

-Dave
 

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I try to maintain ~10ppm of NO3 - whenever I dose KNO3, I put equal amounts (by volume) of K2SO4 in. And occasionally, some KH2PO4 in 1ppm amounts (but do this rarely).

Algae seems to keep at bay as long as I keep the CO2 up.

Things are growing out of control right now - I just trimmed and what I didn't list for sale amounted to about 1/2 of a 5 gallon bucket.

- Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thanks for your reply's everyone, i'm just new to this method so i'm still trying to figure out why it is that the main proponents to this substrate say not to fertilize the water column. IMO even if i used eco complete or florabase i would dose, so why why is it they're so adamant that it's such a bad thing to do?
 

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Keep in mind however (at least IME), that once you go soil, it will take tuning - I had to play with mine a couple of months till I was able to fertilize and not get algae.

(also, mine is not mineralized...)

- Jeff
 

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thanks for your reply's everyone, i'm just new to this method so i'm still trying to figure out why it is that the main proponents to this substrate say not to fertilize the water column. IMO even if i used eco complete or florabase i would dose, so why why is it they're so adamant that it's such a bad thing to do?
Ideally, if you had the proper soil depth (1-1.5 inch soil layer rich in organic matter topped with something else) you would not need water column dosing. Everything you would need (Carbon and all other nutrients) come from that soil and the fish and fish food loading.

If I had that depth of soil rather than the 1/4 inch, I'd shy away from dosing extra ferts, and just watch for any deficiencies that arise. You probably would not run into any defficiencies unless you had very high lighting intensity. The more light, the more nutrients are needed.

And like Jeff said, it's a matter of fine tuning if you dose and have soil substrate. Dosing the water column can easily cause an imbalance and a subsequent algae bloom.

-Dave

-Dave
 

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I put some CO2 into my tank with a Do it yourself setup only because I want to supplement my plants' natural growth. I added some crushed shells to my substrate so the water has a little extra calcium because it promotes hardier plant growth but also makes the plants grow slower. The added CO2 helps give them more nutrients to use for growth and helps counter the effect of the calcium.

My results are very hardy and resilient plants which grow quickly.:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
well after close to 3 months of good to marginal results, i will add myself to the list of those who dose and hope i don't turn this tank into an algae farm. i've got co2 and high light but i'm only using 2 bulbs at the moment as that's still quite bright.

i've had algae growing on some of the slower growing plants and lower leaves of some of the fast growers. all i can assume is that the plants are not growing to their potential without ferts.

we'll see what happens and i wish to thank those who helped me make a decision to try this.

cheers,
darryl
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
UPDATE: i'm now using full light, 4x54w t5ho and dosing on a daily basis. plants are much healthier looking and far more robust than without. so far as algae...i get what looks like a bit of brush algae dusting the surface of my substrate but nothing major...

i'm fairly convinced that if not for the ferts, with the light and co2 i've got, there's no way this tank would be thriving the way it is.
 
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