Posted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:06 pm Post subject: Re: Help me choose fertilizer..
I am a beginner...I have 10G tank....Lights will be 10watts or lower (Low light as on described in EI) I have guppies and neon tetra..No CO2 if required at later stage will use DIY..will use river Sand....Plants will be few stem like crypts, cobamba, star grass....and planning a bed of some plants which could adapt this system...
Posted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:39 pm Post subject: Re: Help me choose fertilizer..
Ok. It all depends on the type of substrate that you use, the plants that are in the tank and the bioload in the tank.
River sand is pretty much without nutrients or the ability to hold, lock and disperse nutrients. Therefore all the nutrients that you plants will derive will be out of the water column.
Next is the plants - you mentioned star grass (staurogyne?) ; Cobomba'& Stem plants - Most of these will require better lighting than 1 W per gallon - it will require 2 to 3 W per gallon. Therefore you will have to get atleast 30w of light especially for the staurogyne. Crypts dont reqiure high light. Also stem plants take a lot of nutrients to grow dense and give you the look that you would need. You will also require co2 for these plants that you mention.
With the hardware that you have right now, I would recommend you look at a plants that can be grown in low tech tanks like - Anubias, crypts, ferns, moss etc. However if you really want to grow the plants that you want to, then please upgrade.
Start by using a substrate that is able to lock in nutrients and is nutrient rich, like JBL , ADA, etc. Also you will need co2. From what I have heard DIY is difficult to maintain but thats just me and it might be just a perception. You will defenitely need higher wattage in lighting which is around 6,500kelvin and you will need ferts. There are many liquid fert systems that you can use ADA, Ocean free, Seachem etc or you can go for EI with KNO2, KHPO4 and micros.
Please decide which path you would like to go down and then you will know what to do. Also there are sub-forums in IAH for water chemistry, fertilizingt and lighting that you might want to peek at and get familiar with.
Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:26 am Post subject: Re: Help me choose fertilizer..
Sam11 - 10-20G is a good start for beginners. Once you get better understanding, you would obviously want to upgrade with the options that you cant explore in your 10G.
For now, have a simple setup, if I am at your situation I would not spend much on advanced/professional substrate/ferts...etc.
Being a beginner, I would spend less and try with minimum available resources, this enable me to learn and understand this lovely hobby.
1) Get some vermicompost or wormcompost(pure), for a 10G use 3-4 tsps as a bottom layer. Dont use a lot, otherwise you will end up in an algae farm
2) Get pure laterite as the second layer, this will give you iron and high CEC to hold nutrients from compost
3) use Aqua Clay as third layer,for bacterial growth.(this layer is optional)
4) Top layer river sand or some fine substrate.
You are good to go!
Do not add fish till you complete your cycle.
You can dose Potassium Nitrate,Potassium Sulphate,Potassuium Phosphate,Magnessium Sulphate,Chealted Iron and other micros. Read forums for dosage amounts.
Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:33 am Post subject: Re: Help me choose fertilizer..
May be bump your lights to 20W after summer, not more than that! I see you live in mumbai, during this summer the temperature would raise up to 35C, increasing the wattage will further increase. This will reduce the amount of Co2 and O2 in water, it will lead to stunted plants growth and fish stress.
Recommended plants for 10G,
Dwarf Sags, Anubias nana,moss types, narrow leaf fern and other low light tanks. Vals will also do.
Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:19 pm Post subject: Re: Help me choose fertilizer..
Sam - Yes. It is very true it will spike ammonia levels. But only for first few weeks, I would say first 15 days. So, do not add macro or micro for atleast 2 weeks.
Plants like Cabomba and Rotatla can be used in the initial phases to avoid algae boom, plants like these would suck up most of the nitrate/ammonia.
Plants depend either on their root system or water column to get nutrients. Remember there is no harm in having tons of fertilizers under the substrate, but when it is released in to the water column that is when we get in to trouble. Reason is simple, Algae cannot grow under the substrate
Also, donot leak or disturb your layers, this will breach the nutrients leaking in to water column.
Slowly, start your tank, there are many seniors in IAH can help you.
Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:22 pm Post subject: Re: Help me choose fertilizer..
Didn't really understand your query. Do you already have plants, or are you planning on keeping some? What do you aim to do? Are the plants your main target or do you want to keep plants as an add on to fish?
If you don't already have plants, your worries about ferts need be a bit further along the way. first you have to correctly decide on what plants you want to have. what lights will be optimum for those. what substrate you want/need to use. In any case, you don't really have to start dosing ferts from day 1 of planting.
So first get your plan sorted out.
Start with something like a workflow plan:
How big is my tank?
what plants do I want to keep?
what substrate is needed for those plants? Is substrate important for those plants?
How much light I will need for those plants?
or you could do the reverse of this... first prioritize your lights, substrate etc, and then think about what plants can be kept in those conditions.
In my opinion, the second method is a good way to keep a check on your expenses.
And because you already have fish in your tank, it would be a risk to plant in the tank as your ammonia levels would spike & that would be dangerous for fish. If you plan to do an altogether new setup, make sure you make arrangements to keep your fish safe & healthy for that time period. You may have to cycle another tank or a plastic tub/bucket or something like that beforehand.
PS: Why would you think any fertilizer would make your tank muddy?!?!
Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:14 pm Post subject: Re: Help me choose fertilizer..
I am planning to make a new setup...as my current setup has gravels which are big so have brought river sand so that I can start with plants...
So with river sand and will again read on EI method and then decide which ferts are necessary/not for the plants I choose....
@Athreyan: Muddy means cloudy water..sorry if you misunderstood...as mine is a very small tank evn small movements in plants will make the tank cloudy...
Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:22 pm Post subject: Re: Help me choose fertilizer..
I asked because I'm yet to come across any fertilizer that makes water cloudy or muddy or whatever. Liquid ferts are usually clear, and they mix readily into the water column. dry ferts also do not cloud water.
Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:04 pm Post subject: Re: Help me choose fertilizer..
EI & PMDD are today's most widely used methods, and both are proven & very good. what method you chose depends on what you're looking for & what you're comfortable with. Both are the same as far as success is concerned. be it a beginner or seasoned hobbyist.
EI is for people looking for good fast growth using high-tech methods. high lights, high CO2, heavy fertilization etc. This method is also labour intensive. ecause growth is heavy you have to do maintenance very often. Dosing has to be done frequently. This IMO is for the impatient people who look to re do their tanks often.
PMDD or low-tech EI on the other hand is for the more laid back (lazy) people like me . Growth is slow. dosing is less. lights are low. No or very little CO2. Maintenance is low. If you plan to keep your tank for a long period of time then this is the way to go. Also, in these 'low-tech' methods, things go wrong slowly . So you kinda have a bit of time to correct your mistakes.
What I have seen though, is that when the initial frenzy and euphoria starts mellowing down and the dust settles, most people tend to shift towards the 'low-tech' methods. i guess maturity & mellowness are directly proportional!
Choose anything. Do it properly & wisely and you should have a long & happy affair with your fishes and tanks.
This affair is as dangerous as real life affairs, so don't ignore the missus! - That's sound advise for the married aquarist, from another.
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