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[APD] RE: stuned grow

> From: Gregor Palcnik <gregor_palcnik at guest.arnes.si>
> Subject: [APD] stuned grow
> To: aquatic-plants at actwin_com
> A month ago I set up 72g plant tank 
> Here are some datails: pH - 6.8, kH - 8, temp 79K (26oC), 4x36W tubes
> 12h/day, DIY C02 (3 yeast bottles), liquid and tablet fertilization
> once/week ? I keep 5 med angelfish, 4 platies, 6 rasboras, 6 tetras,
> 2 ancistrus ?

Try dosing 2-3x a week.
Do a 50% weekly water change
Dose these nutrients: 
KNO3 about 1/2 teaspoon 2-3x a week
KH2PO4 or Fleet enema(A source of PO4) 2-3x a week(a trad less than
1/8teaspoon or 3-4 drops of Fleet)
Traces about 10-15mls 2-3x a week.

Start out with 2x aweek, then as plant mass increases, you might try a
little more but I think you'll be fine with 2x a week.
One thing in particular you really really need to be careful with: DIY CO2

You maty think the CO2 is good right now and it might be,
BUT...........measure your pH in the am and the pm for one day. See what
the difference is. 
Compare that against the pH/KH/CO2 chart.
Make certain that CO2 is good for your routine the whole time(whatever brew
Change routine you use(say weekly, every two weeks etc).
Your CO2 might be fine in the start right after you change the Brew, but
near the end of the week, it's CO2 production drops off and you do NOT have
enough CO2, especially in the latter part of the day photoperoid.

You do the above, you will see a great improvement.
It also will only cost you less than 10$ for KNO3/Fleet enema
You have traces/CO2/light.

> I know I probably did one big mistake at the start, I used washed sand
> for substrate. I thought it was Ok, because I did the same thing with all
> other tank and never had problems growing plant. Vals were allways doing
> excellent with washed sandand tablet fertilization only.
> I have been keeping fish tanks for years and I do know a little something
> about it, but this situation is killing me. What should I do? Should I set
> up the tank once again with richer substrate?

Well you can if you want. Onyx sand is a great substrate and I'd recommend
this. It's not so much a richer substrate, but it has plenty of iron
forever and has porous grains which allow for good decompostion and
recycling of waste into plant food. It's made by SeaChem which is a Company
that you will see on the APD discussion and talking about the plant hobby.
There are similar products but they cost more and the companies are nowhere
nearly as good as far as service to the consumer.
SeaChem has a long history of going the extra mile, helping the customer,
supplying good products that work at a fairer price than anyone else in
this hobby.

That means more to me personally than any subtle differences in the
substrate or slight difference in cost(but SeaChem is cheaper). 

If you want to upgrade this part, I'd get about 7-8 bags onyx sand, some
ground peat moss(Scott's or whatever brand), Vacuum all the "dirt" out of
the old gravel and add this "dirt" back to the very bottom of the new
substrate along with about 3-4 cups of peat, then wask the onyx 3x in a
bucket good, then cap the peat/dirt mix with 3" or so of the onyx sand.

Now you have a good substrate that will behave very well and act like a
mature established tank/substrate.

If you add the CO2/KNO3/PO4, then you have taken care of the water column
Do the above with the substrate, and you have taken care of that as well.
You can add tablets if you want, I have never found adding more to the
substrate is an advantage IF you take care of the water column dosing
regularly(except iron but flourite/Onyx have plenty), but some variation,
alittle more in the substrate, a little less in the water column works
fine, but I've found little advantage either way, but there are slight
differences in routines and you can figure out what you prefer and tweak
the dosing routine to suit your individual tank. 

Adding the substrate I suggest will cost a fair amount, a 7kg bag is around
12-13$ mail order, so that's 100$ or so and then shipping. But you'll never
need another substrate or mess with it again.

That is a big change and a lot of work, but for now, try the KNO3/PO4 and
water changes and especially look at your CO2 critically over a brew chaneg

Tom Barr


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