;o) Controlling the CO2 levels,
> the phosphates and nitrate levels seems to take up a lot of my time.
CO2 perhaps, but a pH drop checker makes testing a thing of the past
and addresses several assumptions well.
Water change + routine dosing addresses the NO3/PO4, not too much, not
too high. You add 2=3x a week, then water change 50% weekyl and you
keep a pretty constant value, no test kits for either method required.
> As for Siphoning out waste, what waste? Unless you mean the stained water
> from the bog wood. The whole idea is to achieve a biological balance.
No, that's not how you do things with CO2/horticulture, this is not
natural ecology. This is horticulture.
You focus on the plant's needs, when you do that, they grow like mad
and provide an ideal place for fish and it also looks good.
Water changes are very effective at removal of organic fractions,
that tend to get measured on test kits but are not bioavailable to the
Using water changes also maintains a more even balance of nutrients.
And it also removes the need for testing to target a particular range
of NO3 or PO4 that's optimal for plant growth.
> Regular water changes (never more than 10 gallons at a time) every 3 days,
> help to replace some of the trace elements, but I live in England and our
> water supply is rich in nitrate, aluminium and various other oxides.
Well then it's ideal for the method, 40-50ppm NO3 and doing a water
change of 50% weekly would add about 20-25ppm and with some fish load,
that's about the perfect range for plant uptake for the week.
Add some K2SO4(about 20ppm worth, some KH2PO4(2-3ppm), Trace elements,
like TMG(5mls 3x a week for every 80 liters of tank).
Same thing the next week and thereafter.
Plenty of folks in the UK do this.
> water change can be a two edged sward. Still, it's easier than maintaining
> sea water (I've only kept marines for the last 30 years), this fresh water
> tank is a new departure for me.
Well, that can be more of an issue.
FW plants can sorb a lot of nutrients, just like a wheat field sucks
out the soil's nutrients.
> I'm a little unsure about the nutrient demands of the various kinds of
> plant, obviously some of the softer stemmed species only produce roots as a
> 'holdfast' and so their nutrient needs to be drawn from the water. Stiffer
> stemmed species and broad leaf species have a more substantial root network
> (some even have rhizomes) and these should benefit from fertilizer direct to
> the root. I'm still struggling to understand the levels of erithrin (that's
> probably misspelled, red pigment) in some plant leaf and stem structures, it
> seems to vary with the amount of light.
Not really, the light has an indirect coloring effect.
It is possible that I need to look
> at the colour temperature of the lights, rather than concentrating on the
> wattage and photoperiod, but I'm still a beginner that's why I'm asking for
Not really, most folks with daylight colors and 2w/gal or more are
fine, more light is not better, it just means more work above 2-3w/
> Algae's are another interesting area, these are very easy to control, but
> less easy to identify. Can anyone put a name to the very dark, branching,
> thread like structures that are growing on one or two leaves? I can't decide
> if I find the attractive or not ;o)
> forgive the excessive length of this ramble, I'm still a beginner and
> probably failing to see the obvious, that's why I asked about planted tank
> tutorials. After all, if you are going to do anything, you need to give of
> your best. This newsgroup I hope will prove a readily available resource in
> providing answers.
> Thanks again David
Sounds like Cladophora if green, if a grey Compsopogon.
Hair and Staghorm algae respectively.
Sound more like Caldophora if you like it some.
Light = 10 hours a day.
Seems like you likely have lower than ideal CO2 levels,
Bump that up some, add the ferts above, weed out any algae, clean
equipment etc, trim plants, dose properly.
sells the ferts above for cheap in the UK.
You might try their web site, TFC, TFR and other UK specific sites
A lot less trolls than this list.
Tom Barr >> Stay informed about: Planted Tank maintainence