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> I still believe in the school of thought that small water changes instead of
> adding chemicals are better. I'm in favor of laterite in the substrate
> a UGH for plants requiring more iron than is present in the water supply,
> but I have never used any fertilizer or other additives, except for a small
> fish population and fish food. I've seen remarkably fast growth at times,
> enough to completely fill up the tank in a month, and very poor growth if
> any at all at other times.
When I lived in Western NY, I also had good growth of my plants. Now I live
in Idaho, and without fertilizer, NOTHING grows, not even reasonable amounts
of algae. The difference? Not the kind of fish I keep or the type of fish
food I use. The water is the reason. Locally, the water contains sodium,
calcium,magnesium, slilcate, carbonate, iron and chloride. The
concentrations vary from one season to the next. I currently have 3º GH out
of the tap. In September I have 6º. The fish aren't providing enough boron,
zinc, or probably a number of other micronutrients.
If you get great growth at times and poor growth at times, it may be
seasonal. Track it for a year, and see if it is. If so, then you should
consider fertilizing at those times of year when your water changes aren't
giving your plants everything they need.
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