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Fertilization of substrate in a new tank
Just wanted to post a recent experience. From time to time someone writes that a newly-set up tank, where they fertilized the substrate heavily is having ongoing problems with algae. From personal experience, it seems it can be a never ending battle, until the fertilizer is _Gone_. IMO, better to cut your losses, and start over.
I attempted a small 10 gallon tank with Hartz Kitty litter 5.0 and sand on top. I mixed some osmocote in with the bottom layer of kitty litter.
Unfortunately, filtering a tank with an outside power filter is a little bit of overkill, and it eroded sand away in areas, exposing some of the osmocote. I have had a perpetual problem with green water in this tank. I attempted adding sand on top, but this didn't resolve the problem. Apparently osmocote grows _Great_ green water. And green water is probably one of the worst algaes to grow--the plants simply die and rot in the murk. At least they have a chance competing with other types of algae.
Finally, this past weekend, I ripped it apart in frustration, and started over.
Part of the problem may be that, in small tanks like a 10 gallon, you're not adding 4-6 inches of substrate or more, and it may be too shallow for any bottom layer fertilization. Any fertilizer added to the *bottom layer* is just adding it basically to the water in any case. Or it could be the consistency of the kitty litter, which is very light and no doubt the osmocote didn't stay put. Or it could be that osmocote itself is a problem.
It is probably best to not do a lot of substrate enrichment in a small tank such as this. Maybe _after_ planting and setup, insert (part of) a jobes stick very close to heavy root feeders only.
Okay, I guess it was a bad idea. You never know till you try and fail.