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[APD] RE: Aquatic-Plants Digest, Vol 11, Issue 16

> Many threads mention Jobe's plant spikes, but I cant seem to find any
directions for their use in the aquarium. I have only been able to find one
type of Jobe's
 >spikes, are they all 10-10-4 or is there a spike that is more suited for
the tank. The package has the Jobe's fertilizer spikes logo and under it it
says "for beautiful 
>flowering plants". They are presently being offered with an extended
package containing twice the normal amount. (Or what they would like us to
believe is twice the >normal amount.) 25 spikes is crossed out and a giant
yellow 50 is written over it, but if you count the actual spikes, there are
only 23 in the top section and 23 in the >bottom section. 4 spikes short or
not is still pretty cheap at $1.27. I am planning on purchasing!

I'd not bother with them. If you pull one up , you'll find out why. I do
not think they really do much for growth except on perhaps a few plants
which get too big anyway, like swords, but plants will take the nutrients
from the water column if it is present there, rasther than from the
substrate. The problem with house plant fertilizers on CO2 high light
tranks is that it can cause very bad algae, due to the NH4 and urea in
these ferts. 
KNO3 is fine to add to a tank without this same effect.

> I plan to use a couple, maybe 3, 3liter bottles for my DIY Co2. I think I
may have made a grave error in my choice of light fixture. I bought an All
Glass triple tube 
>strip light which has 3 48" T-8 bulbs. I then bought 2 Coralife Nutrigrow
bulbs which claim to be 36watts( I thought true T-8 tubes 48" long were
32watts )and a 
>Zoo Med Flora sun. Tank looks terrific in this light but I'm afraid it
won't be enough for the plants so I'm thinking of buying the 48" Coralife
Aqualight 4 x 65watt ( 
>again I'm crazy but is there REALLY a such thing as 65watt compact
fluorescent ) for freshwater ( this is !
>  the one with all four full spectrum bulbs as opposed to the saltwater
one which is half and half with actinic. The fixture is $219 but I have
spent sooooo much 
>already that I would be a fool to let it all go for naught if the light is
insufficient. Anyway, sorry to bore you with all this but I am curious
about the spikes and if you 
>see any glaring problems with my plans, please let me know.
>  Thanks, Mike

Don't buy the light. You need gas tank CO2 before you consider all that
light, plants will be fine that you list with 3x 48 T-8's.
So get a decent CO2 set up before you consider more light, DIY is always an
issue for new folks because CO2 is more critical thasn light and more light
makes keeping the CO2 levels good that much more promlematic.

So buy a gas tank, reg, needle valve, DIY a CO2 reactor and that will cost
about 120-130$ and will make your life MUCH easier. 
Don 't go cheap on the one critical piece of this set up and spend a load
on lighting, that's one of the worse thing you can do.

As far as ferts:

Are likely all you need. 
see www.gregwatson.com for these
They are likely cheaper than all the root tabs and other ferts you have in

Tom Barr 


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