Help with plants care/nutrients
Hey gang. We just added a bunch of live plants to our 20 gallon tank and want to make sure we give them what they need.
First off should we start a nutrient program as soon as they are planted or give it time before we feed them? If so how long?
It's a 20 gal high tank
We have a Nova Extreme SLR 48 watt T5 fixture with a Flora sun bulb and a Ultra sun bulb.
Here are the plants we have in the tank:
Floating: Anacharis and Water sprite
Planted: water wisteria, amazon sword, micro sword, Anubis nana, java fern, cryptocoryne undulata, cabomba, jungle val
We bought root tabs (API root tabs), have seachem Flourish (liquid)
Should we get anything else? Will we need to supplement with CO2? If so does Flourish excel work?
Am I missing anything? We don't want to go chemical crazy the goal is to give just enough to keep everything healthy! Hence the questions now before we start dong what we "think" is right.
We did read the nutrients sticky and will probably read it 12 more times! Lol
You wlll need the root tabs at about 2 tabs per plant every months.Liquid flourish at the normal dose would be helpful as well. no co2 will be needed for your system.
So with what I have now that's like 20 tabs a month. Seems like alot.
Should I wait a few days, week before I start and let the plants settle in or start right now?
With that light fixture, (2 T5HO bulbs, right?), you have a high light high tech tank. I think you're going to have to get serious with using CO2 and up your dosing with a complete fertilizer.
Light drives the uptake of nutrients. High light means high nutrient requirements. That includes carbon from CO2. Excel isnt going to hack it with 2 HO bulbs.
Until you get some experience with plants, I suggest dimming the fixture somehow. Either raise the fixture, or take out one of the bulbs, or put a screen between the light and the tank. If you dont cut the lights I believe you'll soon have an algae farm.
It's good that you're dosing Flourish with the API root tabs. API tabs are major nutrients only while Flourish is basically the trace nutrients. But your Sword plant is a heavy root feeder so I'd look at trying to get some of the trace nutrients down to the roots by using Flourish tabs. Flourish tabs are also basically trace elements but they are slow release unlike the API tabs.
Yes they are high output bulbs. Zoomed Florasun and Ultrasun to be exact.
So Api tabs in the tank spread around and the flourish tabs just near the swords? Or do those all over also and don't use the liquid at all?
As for Co2. I've been told excel is all I need with my setup and I've been told that excel will not help me and that I need to inject Co2.. I certainly don't want an "algae farm". Hell I bought this light on the advice of someone on the forums that uses zone on their tank.
Last edited by Bolsen27; 10-11-2012 at 02:57 AM.
I disagree somewhat with what's been said. A 20H is a tall tank, same as a 29 I believe and 48W directly on the tank with proper reflectors does not put your substrate at very high light. Medium-high is more realistic.
You should follow the directions on the root tabs to see how they should be spaced and how often they should be replaced.
For the plants you've listed, you don't really need a CO2 setup. Dosing a carbon supplement like Easy-carbo or excel will help, but you should be careful with these compounds as they are toxic to both fish and plants in high enough doses.
The cheapest setup you could hope get going would be a 20oz paintball canister with a proper regulator. However, these things run out fast and it usually involves some work on your part.
A 5lb CO2 can with a proper regulator that has a solenoid along with all the fittings and hosing without a fill will probably run close to $200.