[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[APD] RE: Fertilizing a new tank(when to start)

"I'll rise to the bait also, thinking that it might have been set for me as I've been promoting that lack of ferts at the start on forums recently."

Ahha! I knew someone was out there spreading vexacious, slanderous, libelous plant smack:-)
Again:) hehe 

>My theory of why this was so, coming from experience with terresterial plants, is that plants can experience >shock at transplanting and if they are not actively growing it would be a mistake to add fertilizers which would >then be consumed by algae. In the garden, this transplanting shock is probably due to root damage, leading to >poor water uptake and wilting which may be irreversable -- clearly not a problem in the fish tank."

But why do algae grow in the first place? Are you suggesting nutrients are causing this bloom?
If so, which nutrient/s might be doing this?

I have suggested for many years that this is not true if we provide the plants with good conditions for growth.
New tank, old tank, it does not matter.

What is the difference between an old tank and new tank?

The only real difference is the perhaps sickly new plants, which would benefit from the the added ferts rather than going after their reserves(remeber that they are already sickly and stressed, I guess less will help this??).
As far as other differences, bacteria/substrate is about it. 
Add mulm and peat and that takes care of that(adds what is present in an old substrate).

>Even the plants moved from my own tanks suffered a lot of root damage as they were pulled up. Anyhow, I can >see plenty of opportunities for the growth of the newly planted plant to be set back a bit."

Well if the roots are important as some have suggested, why then, do we not see this when we replant each week/month etc?

Should we not fertilize after pruning?

>So, the question is, if the plants are not growing yet should you be fertilizing yet? Or do you need to at least cut >back the ferts to allow for the lower growth rates, since ferts without active growth ought to equal algae? I have >certainly heard from time to time of folks who have done a harsh pruning and seen an algae bloom, apparently >due to the now excess ferts in the water after the large removal of biomass from the tank. 

That is not why they got the algae.
I've pruned 100% of my tanks in the past and never had any bloom.
I removed all the herbivores and fish to remove that cause, then added them back to see what influence they might have. 

If you do the 50% etc water change after the pruning, then you do not have this issue. Guess why?
When you remove all the plants and prune them, this pulls up all that detritus, and NH4/DOC/lowers the O2 levels etc.

If you leave it in the tank for a day, then you'll get algae.
If you do the water change, you don't. 

If the substrate has nothing to start with, say like in a new tank, this is not a similar situation now.
We don't pull up the plants right after we plant them in a new tank.

>Your advice seems to >be go for half-doses of ferts and then rapidly go full strength to get the plants up and growing. It reminds me >just a bit of being told to shift into second and give it some gas, as a novice I needed a bigger lag time to be >sure I was actually ready to release the clutch.

Well, perhaps. I think most folks were very timid with adding PO4 a few years ago. 
Now new folks use it often. Companies sell PO4 supplements etc.

I dose heavy rich amounts, but I know it will not cause algae blooms, but 1/2 is fine also.

Why? Because a newly planted tank generally has less biomass than an established tank.
After 2-3 weeks of vigorous growth, the biomass maybe increase 2-3 fold, then the amount of nutrients will become more critical as a deficicency may occur if you are just enough for the start up phase.

My method I'm suggesting here is something that does not require a clutch:)
It assumes that algae are not caused by excess nutrients, but rather poor plant growth/NH4/CO2 issues.
It can be tough for people to start a tank up and rev the nutrients up to add just enough.

How much is enough? 
Why worry, you can add more than the plants minimum requirements. That's non limiting conditions for algae certainly also.

So this range of dosing in the start or the end will be the same, I would rather drive an automatic:)

>After carefully reading your post, I wonder if maybe it was the lack of mulm and peat in my new tanks that >made the difference and led to the algae at the start, for the tank set up following Chuck's advice did have a bit >of concentrated mulm added below the gravel while all the new tanks at home were cleaned Flourite. I've have >come to the idea that mulm is simply aquatic humus, which in the garden is a physical place for the elements >from fertilizers to reside until plants consume them, a sort of sponge to hold nutrients. 

Well, sort of but this is not why it prevents algae. Algae are simply not nutrient limited in planted tanks(with exception to NH4).
I may die in 60 years and folks may never get this point about aquatic plants and algae in tanks.

So, perhaps the new tank >with mulm and peat will have the ability to hold some excess nutrients without creating an alage outbreak while >the new tank with only new gravel or Flourite won't have that absorbing buffer. My simple analogy may be in >error.

The bacteria will help cycle and prevent NH4 accumulation, even small amounts which are all that's needed.
The roots do/may leak a lot of material into the substrate and the bacteria are already there to get these bacterial enhancements/NH4 from the plants. 
If there are few/no bacteria present, then this fluxes up into the water column and stimulates algae growth.

>As for the biomass of roots in the unfertilized tank, I can say that in the tank I set up, I was astonished at the >visible roots around the wisteria. Really, it was a cloud of brown roots the size of a half a volleyball, more from >the gravel than from the stems. They went away after I began adding fertilizers, but I didn't keep notes on this >tank so I can't say how it happened exactly. It would seem that a plant would grow extensive roots in search of >nutrients if there were not nutrients available from the leaves. This would be useful for a tank that was not going >to have a lot of water column ferts.

Yes. Eg a a non CO2 tank or a slower growth/lower light tank.
You can force the plants to go after the nutrients if you limit the water column......

But.............this begs the questions and supports my old contention, plants prefer the water column for uptake, you said it yourself in this observation.

So the growth rates will be the same or higher if you dose the water column. Root growth declined when you fertilized the water column.

Your plant just told you what it prefers.

Give it what and where it needs nutrients ...and it will not produce all those roots.

Why remove the nutrients from the substrate when the algae are in the water column?
Better to remove the NH4 in the water column and allow the plants to do their thing.
>And if nutrients were easily available then roots would be for anchorage only >or as a backup system for >nutrients, at least in plants that could process nutrients that arrive without whatever >processes occur in the >roots.

I've set up quite a few new tanks lately and have found that adding loads of nutrients like I would if the tank was established does not cause an algae bloom when you do the mulm/peat thing and plant heavy from day one.

A go start up is a key element for success for newbies and oldies alike. 

I think the mulm method does an excellent job, allows immediate set up, dosing routines and no algae. 
The new tank acts like an established tank.

No wait, no worry, simple.

Tom Barr

Aquatic-Plants mailing list
Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com