Fertilization options

Joined
13 Feb 2020
Messages
100
Location
Wexford,Ireland
Hi all, hope everyone is having a good day.

My planned tank is as follows.

Aquarium: Roma 125
Lighting: Chihiros A-series A801 50w
Substrate: Tropica soil + powder
Filtration: Ehiem classic 2217 + powerhead for flow
Co2: I have a pressurized system that i haven't decided if i am using yet or not but leaning towards using it.

And here is where i am just lost as in what are my options for ferts? Is EI dosing the only option for a setup like this? Especially if using pressurized co2? I can be a pretty forgetful person so having to dose the tank daily just has me worried that i will forget and run into huge problems. Also the large frequent water changes with EI is also off putting.

Will i just have to suck it up and go the EI route? Or are there other routes i could take in regards to ferts?

I am pretty new to all this so any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you.
Jason
 

Zeus.

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1 Oct 2016
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3,382
Location
Yorkshire,UK
Hi

For CO2 route APFUK Starter kit £20 or spend loads on liquid ferts or mega loads on ADA ferts. But you will still need to add them 5days a week or have auto doser. 50% WC once a week

Or dont use CO2 and just use an All in One fertiliser DIY or commercial , DIY cheaper OFC, less WCs needed
 

alto

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Joined
24 Dec 2014
Messages
5,992
I have a kitchen counter Nano that is tripping along in a state of benign neglect (just a few shrimp and snail inhabitants)
- run out of CO2 3 months back
- no water changes (just top ups for evaporation)
- no fertilizer since
It is drastically in need of a TRIM (I swear I’ll get things back in order every week ;))
There is no visible algae
The Eriocaulon cinereum decided rather quickly that it was NOT going to live in a non-CO2 world
The Hydrocotyle verticillata has stuck about but is no longer bent on tank domination
The R Vietnam H’ra, H micranthemoides, and Bacopa australis (which seldom likes my Lazy Aquarist style - it’s not usually this bad in that I generally maintain some CO2, water changes and Tropica fertilizers - is thriving :confused: ) have been slow steady growers and it’s a Real Jungle in there :eek:

BUT
plants in this tank were established with small steady CO2 (recall the lazy bit? I just left it running at 1bubble per few seconds (Tropica Nano CO2 System)), regular water changes, intermittent fertilizers (Tropica Premium & Specialized as water is very soft), Tropica Powder Soil
Filter - Ehiem mini up (which is barely trickling as I’ve not done the weekly sponge clean either :oops: )
Light - ONF Nano + (6h 50-75% intensity, 6h very low intensity (just enough for me to see the tank ... though really who would want to gaze upon this neglected plant mass for so long o_O)

When you’re new at this whole plant thing I suggest following a regime such as Tropica’s 90Day App (as you’ve got the Tropica Soil), it’s aimed at general success for moderate water (if your water is very hard or very soft, this presents some different challenges) and moderate effort (I think 1/3 water changes every 3rd day to start - sorry I’ve not downloaded the App and it’s no longer visible on their website without the download (at least I couldn’t find it in the usual place ;)))

EI is certainly cheaper in terms of fertilizer cost BUT it isn’t as simple as just pressing the toggle on that pre-mixed bottle of stuff (I choose Tropica brand as they’re in the business of growing plants, they have done extensive growth experiments before they release their products to market, and I can cover all I need with their 2 options ...)
I recommend people switch to alternate types of fertilizers once they have some (successful) plant growing experience - though if you were starting with a 500litre aquarium, I’d say just follow Zeus. :D

Roma 125
Aquarium dimensions ( L x W x H): 80 x 35 x 50cm
Set up your Chihiros and look at the light/shadow (empty aquarium in a dark room), if there are more shaded areas, plant your hardscape/plant scheme accordingly
Once the hardscape is in, look again at how the light fall has changed

CO2
I would always recommend using this when establishing plants - transition from emerse culture to submerse growth is so much easier for plants when there is suitable C (Carbon) available for new leaf structures

Fertilizers - I’m in the lean water column nutrients camp (pretty much the opposite of the EI folks)
This doesn’t negate the need for regular water changes, but does tend to be more forgiving
You can dose weekly, but plants do seem to prefer (smaller) daily doses
Having a nutrient rich substrate (Tropica Soil) definitely gives you more latitude re forgotten fertilizer doses

Filipe Oliveira has some thoughts and videos - he runs his tanks as “low energy” systems despite providing relatively high light, CO2 (note use of good surface skim/agitation)
I believe Aquarium Gardens is still running the most recent scape he did (workshop) following his protocols



Jurijs mit JS also discusses this “low energy” concept in some of his videos
This video tutorial from Jurijs (and Florian) demonstrates planting technique with (mostly) 1-2-Grow type plants
(and I love the hardscape)



First 1-2 Months - depending on plant choices and plant quality, more/less frequent water changes are required
If you observe leaf melt/plant breakdown, the released nutrients seem able to trigger MORE melt, more algae growth, so general rule is water change, water change AND physical removal of damaged leafs, visible algae

Once tank is established, you can begin playing with options to slow growth etc (but be prepared for some Plant Revolt)

Livestock - for a low maintenance tank, make sure you have a good clean up crew in place, eg, Clithon sp snails, shrimp (not japonica if you go for a sand path ;)), maybe Otocinclus
Generally lower bioload is suggested if you’re looking to do fewer/smaller water changes
Don’t add Corydoras or other substrate sifters until plant’s are well established (especially if you use 1-2-Grow type “baby” plants as they are easily uprooted and stems and leafs are delicate)
Wait until tank is established before adding the bulk of your livestock
 
Joined
13 Feb 2020
Messages
100
Location
Wexford,Ireland
Hi

For CO2 route APFUK Starter kit £20 or spend loads on liquid ferts or mega loads on ADA ferts. But you will still need to add them 5days a week or have auto doser. 50% WC once a week

Or dont use CO2 and just use an All in One fertiliser DIY or commercial , DIY cheaper OFC, less WCs needed

Thanks Zeus,
I was looking at that fert starter kit. £20 is a good deal but to ship it to Ireland is £16 and i just can't justify that shipping charge. I have tried to find a supplier of ferts so i can buy the ferts individually and mix it myself but all the suppliers seem to be out of stock of some ingredients for it so i will have to wait until all the ferts are available so i do not get screwed with shipping charges.

Years ago i used a company called Fluidsensor and they were brilliant, guess they have gone out of business since then though.
 
Joined
13 Feb 2020
Messages
100
Location
Wexford,Ireland
I have a kitchen counter Nano that is tripping along in a state of benign neglect (just a few shrimp and snail inhabitants)

Thanks Alto for linking those. I like Filipe Oliveiras approach to using ferts.

So from what i can tell this is what he doses

Potassium 2-3 times a week
Iron once every 2 weeks and Nitrogen and Phosphorus once every 2 weeks (one week he will dose Iron and the following week he will dose Nitrogen and Phosphorus)

So does this sound right going by what he

Week 1
Monday - Potassium
Wednesday - Potassium- Iron
Friday - Potassium
Sunday - Waterchange

Week 2
Monday - Potassium
Wednesday - Nitrogen - Phosphorus
Friday - Potassium
Sunday - Waterchange

As i am sort of new to all this does that schedule include every essential thing needed for plant nutrition? Does that seem like a good schedule for a relative beginner?
In his video i see he is using all Seachem Flourish products, instead of using ready made products can you just add the dry salts to the water column?

Sorry if these questions seem silly but i am just trying to get my head around it all.
 

Witcher

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Joined
15 Jan 2020
Messages
298
Location
London
does that schedule include every essential thing needed for plant nutrition? Does that seem like a good schedule
Hey @Angelfishguy99 I think the answer is: "It depends." It looks like quite good approach for matured tank where we want to stunt or slow down the growth of the plants - and limiting phosphates and Iron may be quite good idea (personally I'd also limit N in this case). If your tank is quite fresh with rather young and not fully grown plants, my personal approach would be completely opposite: small doses of Fe as often as possible with dosing of as much PO4 as the tank can handle (without inducing algae growth etc.) on alternate days. And of course other nutrients respectively.
 
Last edited:

Simon Cole

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25 Dec 2018
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Location
Buckingham
Good question @Angelfishguy99. Seachem actually have quite a smart approach on Iron and nitrogen - I can see why he uses those products.
I'm guessing that some of the micro nutrients are not added because they are already present.
If I was just starting out, I would give it a go (with CO2). But bear in mind that Filipe is quite a whizz when it comes to algae control and CO2 distribution.
I tend to use daily EI - just because my tank is inspired by Tom Barr and I never got as far as looking at Seachem. Now I use their Iron. It's powerful stuff.
 
Joined
13 Feb 2020
Messages
100
Location
Wexford,Ireland
Thanks everyone. I just took the shipping charge hit and went with the APFUK starter kit as it seemed the most straight forward for a beginner.
 
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