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Re: Melissas Fertilizer question

In a message dated 00-02-07 15:54:39 EST, you write: (some clipped out)

<< Mmmmm..... O.K.......
 With a tank of that size, you'll want to get it right the first time, 'cause
 it will be a drag to have to break it down to correct a major problem after
 the fact.
 Yap, that's why I want to do it right the 1st time, to save aggrivation 
later on.
 1. What kind of fish are you planning on keeping in the tank? Are they
 "plant friendly" or do you hope to keep "monsters"? The most attractive
 large planted tanks usually have very small fish in schools, with maybe a
 few Angelfish or Discus as a focal point (substitute any other medium sized
 fish which won't attack and eat your plants). If you are hoping for Rift
 Lake Cichlids, your options are limited but not entirely gone. If any of
 your fish are "diggers" you might be forced to pot up your plants
 individually in clay pots and sink those into the substrate, protected by
 pebbles large enough so that the fish can't get at the substrate around the
 Definaly plant freindly fish only. Various tetras, gouramis, couple of 
angels, rasboras, dwarf cichlids.. ect ect ect  No diggers, no plant 
destroyers.. I do currently have a couple of tinfoil barbs (6inch) that I 
plan on either trading off at my LFS, or finding someone who wants em. 
 2. Are you planning a hi-tech or a low-tech approach? High-tech involves
 supplemental CO2 and very high light levels (approximately 3-4 watts/gal).
 Low-tech may or may not have supplemental CO2 and has more moderate light
 levels, usually around 2 watts per gallon. Both approaches work, but the
 plants which do well in one type of setup may or may not do well in the
 other and the rate of growth of your plants will differ (faster in a
 high-tech set-up, requiring more maintenance). The "need" for supplemental
 CO2 depends to a large extent on how much light you are providing - at 1.5 -
 2 watts/gal. the need is less than at 3-4 watts/gal. For low tech set-ups
 without supplemental CO2, you can also select plants capable of using
 bicarbonate as a source of Carbon. See Diana Walstad's new book "Ecology of
 Planted Aquariums" for more details on that sort of thing.
 Okay, Ive been doing research on keeping plants for a couple of months now.  
Yes, I'm going the high tech route.. yes I'm going to utilize CO2 
(pressurized-- dave gomberg's system to be exact) ,, also, metal halide 
lighting, 2x 175 watt.. two fixtures. 

 3. The absolutely worst substrate in a planted tank is plain gravel with no
 additives, at least in the beginning. Over time, as fish mulm and uneaten
 food gets mineralized, it will be able to grow plants but never really well.
 If you want a nicely planted tank, the substrate deserves more attention
 than this.
 I was thinking of either going with Profile (like flourite) or just going 
with the flourite, although very expensive for the amount I need.  If I go 
the profile route, I might (dont know yet) layer it with a sm. layer of fine 
gravel..   And that substrate gold product sounds good too.. 
 Oh, and by the way - get out of the habit of vacuuming the gravel - it might
 be needed in a fish tank but it isn't a good idea in a plant tank.
 It will be pretty hard to vacuum the gravel with lush growth of plants 
everywhere, hehe :)
 The appropriate amount of Substrate Gold (176 oz will do a 120 gallon tank
 nicely @ $45.00 + $9.00 shipping within the US) mixed into the lower 1/3 of
 the gravel bed, covered under a couple of inches of plain washed gravel,
 will make a safe, suitable substrate which will be stable for a number of
 Hmm.. that doesnt sound too bad.. have you had any experience withthis 

 For fertilizing the water column, pick a good, well rounded aquatic plant
 fertilizer like Tropica Mastergrow or Seachem Flourish. Dose initally at no
 more than half of the manufacturer's recommended doseage and make any future
 changes slowly, over a period of weeks.
 Yah, I had already picked up some flourish earlier on. 
 You asked about "Jobes" sticks and I ended up writing a book...... oh well,
 old aquarists do tend to go on...... ;-)
 Well, thanks for your response, although it didnt have to be that extended, 
but you didnt know how much experience/knowledge I had ..      How long have 
you been keeping fish?  Ten years here..   just the plants are a new thing to 
me..  :)
 Good luck...
 James Purchase
 Toronto >>