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Re: New Tank

>Date: Mon, 1 Jan 2001 08:26:44 -0800 (PST)
>From: Greg <red_house_painter at yahoo_com>
>I am setting up my first plant tank...
>I am also using a DIY CO2 system. Should I turn it on
>as soon as plants are added? Or wait a bit till the
>plants are established?
>Lastly, when should I begin addind fertilizer and what
>types? I saw the recipe for PPMD but I would rather
>just buy it off the shelf at this point... Maybe after
>a while I will make my own... Thanks in advance.

James suggested maybe starting CO2 and later starting fertilizer. I would
counter that by suggesting that you provide the plants with everything they
need immediately.

Remember, plants need certain minimum amounts of nutrients and energy to
grow.  Growth rate is limited by whichever necessary item is at the lowest
relative level. If you have bright lights and plenty of micro nutrients but
little CO2, CO2 will be the limiting factor.  Ditto for any other parts of
the equation. If everything (light, CO2, macro nutrients, micro nutrients)
is not provided in the right proportion, plants will not be happy and algae
WILL be happy. And don't forget, "right proportion" does not mean "more is

As far as "waiting for the plants to get established", what do you think
they do to get established? They grow! If they aren't growing (actively
photosynthesizing) they are either dormant or dying. If you get your initial
stock from a store, they are probably dying already (few stores really
provide good growth conditions for plants). If you buy them mail-order, they
have been in a dark bag for a few days are aren't growing much either. If
you get them from other hobbyists (the best idea), they are healthy and
ready to continue growing in your tank.

In any case, provide the optimum growing conditions immediately!

George Booth in Ft. Collins, CO (booth at frii dot com)
The web site for Aquatic Gardeners by Aquatic Gardeners