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Best fertiliser?

Drouthie

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Joined
20 Jun 2009
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70
Location
Liverpool
Hi, I'm a noob to all this but very keen to learn.

I've set up a 180L juwel tank with just the standard filter and lights that come with it. My stocking levels are quiet high 6 x trichogaster trichopterus, 1 clown plec, 14 x guppies. I plan to add cardinal tetras (large shoal) ottos, SAE and shrimp when the tank is mature enough.

Future plans are to get an external filter and a pressurised CO2 system but alas money fails me at the moment.

I have planted with mostly easy growers,
Anubias nana, Cryptocoryne Wendtii, Small hezine, Java fern, Creeping yellow jenny, Rosaefolia, Amazon sword, Vallisneria spiralis and Elodea Densa

The Roseafolia I think will soon be dead but the rest are alright but growing so slowly with the exception of the elodea which went crazy but that's no surprise. It's a pity I hate it but I'm keeping it until I can support other plants.

I was thinking of getting EasyLife Profito and Easylife Easycarbo to help the plants a bit until I can get the money together to make a nice high tech set up. I'm not sure whether there is any point in going all out on a complicated fertilising regime until I have the CO2 and lights to back it up.

On a side note how have other people increased their lighting on Rio Juwel tanks?

Any help much appreciated :D

EDIT

I'm really sorry this is really in the wrong section I only just found the rest of the forum!
 

ceg4048

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UKAPS Team
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11 Jul 2007
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Chicago, USA
Well try reading this=> EI DOSING USING DRY SALTS to understand a bit about fertilizers. In fact there is no "best" strictly speaking because they are all made of the same basic ingredients. Some brands don't include the most important ingredients and some brands are weak. Best depends on your needs and objectives, so it's more important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each product.

Here's an example; Easylife Profito contains only 1/3 of the most important components, which are Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium otherwise known as NPK. This product is high in Potassium (K) and does have the much less important nutrients such as Iron. Under lower lighting levels, with high stocking rates it entirely possible that the Profito will work fine for you and will be "best" because although it only has K, the fish waste and fish food you add will produce the N and P. In addition, it might be that your tap water (if you're using tap) might be high in Nitrates and Phosphates which would suit your needs. However, if you change the parameters of your tank, say you decided to use RO water, which has no nutrients, or say you decided on drastically reducing your stocking levels, or if you increased the lighting level or added more CO2 - or any combination of these - then you might find that this very same Profito all of a sudden becomes inadequate. This explains why some people think a given product is "best" while others, using the same product may think it's "worst".

If you wanted to use a commercial product, a "safer" brand would be TPN+ which contains all necessary ingredients, so in many cases, TPN+ is "better" than Profito.

If you become hard core like myself then you'll consider that they are all rubbish and that it's better to DIY your own using the raw ingredients that these commercial products use at vastly reduced concentrations and vastly increased prices. So in the end the argument boils down to which fertilizer is "cheaper" :idea:

I don't understand why so many people use the expression "complicated...regime" when it comes to plant nutrition. Is it complicated to eat fish and chips? Or to mix a rum punch? I mean, if you don't eat you will die, correct? So however complicated food is to prepare you had better do it or face extinction, just like your Rosefolia.

People who increase their Rio Juwel lighting without tanking into consideration NPK, micronutrients, CO2, flow and distribution, filtration and maintenance have a 100% negative experience because those tanks also face extinction.

My suggestion? Make it a top priority to become adept and expert at "complicated fertilising regime" first before you become adept at Juwel lighting. A much wiser course of action... :idea:

Cheers,
 

Drouthie

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20 Jun 2009
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Liverpool
Hi, thanks for the tips I think I'm going to try and copy LondonDragons' dosing because he's got it in grams and I can't get my head around teaspoons. Also he's got the same size of tank, although much higher lights so I'll try half doses and see how that goes.

To tell you the truth if I can't get it to work it'll be professionally embarrassing seeing as I'm a biochemist. I spend half my days at work measuring out minute amounts of salts and making up buffers.

I thought I'd be able to get away with being lazy but you've convinced me otherwise!
 

ceg4048

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Ahhmm...err...OK, that's it. You've just officially blown my mind and I'm going to have a special mind-blown certificate issued to validate it. :wideyed: Because there is just no way you should have trouble with the teaspoon concept. In any case, here is a quick and dirty conversion factor: 1 teaspoon = 6 grams (more or less).

At least you're convinced though, so I've got to be happy with the progress. Remember as covered in the article that regardless of your dosing scheme, there are still plenty of issues that can undermine your success, such as poor CO2, poor flow/distribution and so forth.

Easycarbo is a good starting point but it needs to be dosed daily and that might be expensive for a 180L.

If you are doing a non CO2 enriched (that means no gas and no Easycarbo) then you'll only need a fifth of what is discussed in the article. A non-CO2 environment is a completely different operating regime from which LondonDragon is using or which is discussed in the article. It's not just because of the light he's using, it's primarily because of the CO2 he's injecting.

Enhanced CO2 generates accelerated nutrient consumption thereby fueling accelerated growth. Just so that we're absolutely clear on this, if you don't use either CO2 or Easycarbo then you don't need anywhere near this level of nutrition and you can get away with very small dosage levels once a week or so, especially considering your stocking levels.

So actually, for a non carbon enriched tank you can be lazy...

Cheers,
 

Drouthie

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Oh ok. I'll keep it simple until I get the Co2 set up. Form what I was reading it seamed like it wasn't a big deal to overdose but I suppose they were talking about low stocked tanks.

I didn't know 1 teaspoon was 6 grams I don't cook, not even a little. I'm not too smart but I'm trying my best! Plants are picking up a bit now which is nice, I think they've hit the plant substrate underneath.

Cheers for the help, it seems I do need it :oops:
 

ceg4048

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Well, it's not a big deal to overdose (regardless of stocking levels) but it is a waste. Also, if you do have algae problems then the extra levels of nutrients feeds the algae.

The conversion is simply an empirical measurement of the powders, all of which have similar densities. Some are 5g per teaspoon, but it simply doesn't matter. The conversion helps if you don't have a scale. It has nothing to do with flour or sugar or anything like that. Some guy named Chuck just took a teaspoon of KNO3 and measured it's weight on a scale. No big deal really. The object lesson is that you don't need the precision of a lab when it comes to nutrient dosing. Just being in the neighbourhood is good enough so don't get wrapped around the axle trying to get everything perfectly measured.

Cheers,
 

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