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Re: More info on my H. micranthemoides
- To: Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com
- Subject: Re: More info on my H. micranthemoides
- From: Chuck H <grendel at usit_net>
- Date: Sat, 10 May 2003 17:57:53 -0400
- In-reply-to: <200305091113.h49BDbin016025@otter.actwin.com>
Sorry my reply is late, Jennifer.
First, I just want to underline the fact that I'm not the master...still
got plenty of grasshopper in me...and just about everything I know about
aquatic plants I learned from the experienced folks on this list,
particularly Tom Barr. Pay close attention to his posts. I'm convinced he
is at least half plant.
Here are the answers to the questions you posed me.
Yes, I have 6 x 65W CF lights. I orginally bought a strip with 2
then bought a strip with 4 a couple of months ago.
For the time being, I think you'd probably be better off turning the 2x65W
strip off and just run the 4x65W. You'll still have plenty of light, but
things won't run quite as fast. You can always add the 2x65W back later
for added challenge. Also, a 10-hour photoperiod should be enough.
I dose Flourish and Flourish Trace, Iron, and K 2 x week per bottle
The label recommendation for Flourish is not enough for high light. That's
probably not enough K, either. I'll lay out some dosing suggestions later on.
I have some Phosphorus on order now.
I also dose KNO3 when nitrate levels get low.
IME, it's far better to develop a regular dosing routine rather than just
dosing whenever. My Laziness Alert Level is usually at "elevated", though,
so you may be better at keeping up with it than I would be.
CO2 is injected at a rate of 32 bubbles/second. Right now the
tank has nitrates of 5, pH=7, KH=9, and iron=0 (tonight is a fert
CO2 looks ok. Nitrate at 5ppm is fine, but it will get sucked down quickly
once the plants are growing well. You want to keep some NO3 in there at
all times...some plants are downright fussy about it. Fe=0 is not good for
more than a day IME.
Here's the basic routine I use for my high light tanks:
After the weekly 50% water change, I add:
nitrate: 5-10ppm via KNO3 *
phosphate: 1ppm via KH2PO4
potassium: 10ppm via K2SO4
traces: 5ml Flourish per 20gal **
I repeat dose everything _except K2SO4_ after 3 days.
In between 'dosing days', I add enough Flourish Iron daily to estimate
0.1ppm (roughly 1ml per 10gal).
* The exact amount of nitrate I add is dependent upon the metabolism of the
individual tank. When a tank is new, I'll usually start at 5ppm. If that
amount runs out before the second dose, I up the dosage until a little bit
is left after the 3 day period. If a particular plant seems to need more,
I increase the dosage until the plant seems happy. I wait a couple of
weeks after making adjustments before making a decision whether I'm adding
enough or not. Basically, I just try to make sure everything else is
plentiful, and use nitrate as a 'volume knob' of sorts. I hope all that
** If a tank is really stroking, I may dose Flourish every two days (i.e.,
3x a week): 5ml per 20gal first dose, 3ml per 20gal next two doses.
Using this routine along with keeping consistent CO2 levels, I've managed
to eliminate all algae except greenspot/dust (aka: satanic zoospore spewing
alga from hell) and, in a couple of tanks, Cladophora, but both of these
have a hard time...they just won't disappear for good.
BTW, I only test for NO3 and, sometimes, PO4 (and CO2 of course). But,
once a tank gets into a steady groove, I may go awhile without testing
unless I notice a problem developing.
I have never checked the difference in CO2 levels between
morning and night; I only do my testing at night.
You don't have to -- IMO, if possible, checking it in the AM is better than
PM (shoot for ~30ppm) -- BUT, it is revealing to actually see how the CO2
behaves during the course of the photoperiod (i.e. checking it early &
late). IME, when a tank is doing well, the CO2 level will noticeably drop
(pH will increase). When one of my tanks doesn't show this behavior, I get
to looking for the problem. Once a new tank settles in, I usually just
check CO2 the day after the water change and maybe again around
'midweek'. If KH remains consistent, you only need to test pH. In between
tests, I just check the bubble count when I feed the fishes.
Also, IMHO, good CO2/water mixing is critical in a high light tank. For
that reason, I recommend that a reactor be used.
It was also mentioned by another poster that it does better in finer
substrate. My substrate is mostly Flourite with some regular
landscaping gravel included.
Yes, most creepers/carpet plants do seem to prefer fine substrates. Don't
worry...Flourite is perfectly ok. Unless the landscaping gravel is really
chunky and plentiful, it shouldn't pose a significant problem, either.
I have noticed that when I go to push the stems in the bottom, they
have a tendency to snap. Maybe that is part of the problem, too.
Hemianthus does have a delicate stem. I use a stainless 11" needle-nose
tweezers to plant stem plants (hemostats are good, too). I let the
tweezers bear the brunt of pushing through the substrate. I also leave a
few leaves on the bottom of the stem to help anchor it until it roots. The
buried leaves will eventually melt away but won't hurt anything. When
planting stems with larger leaves, I trim the leaves down to where only a
portion of the petiole (leaf stem) is left -- it forms a sort of barb which
helps hold the stem down.