• [18:18 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Many folks have heard about adding CO2 but are suspicious of it and then they hear someone say "Ahhhwww you don’t need CO2 to grow plants well"
  • [18:18 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> And they are quite correct
  • [18:19 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> While adding CO2 increases plant growth and great deal, it also places more nutrient demand than the fish food/feedings can supply
  • [18:20 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Many folks approach planted tanks with the mindset of having a balance between the fish waste and the plant's uptake of nutrients.
  • [18:21 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Nowhere is this there a better example perhaps than the non CO2 approach.
  • [18:22 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> The tanks can go literally months without water changes as long as some growth is picked off and the fish are fed regularly
  • [18:23 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Folks are often astonished at the lack of algae, "All I do is fed the fish and top the water off for evaporation"
  • [18:23 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Many complain about all the work and algae war they encounter with their attempts with plants and CO2.
  • [18:24 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> These tanks do not grow and pearl like the CO2 enriched tanks but this by no means suggest they are any less of an art form in their excution
  • [18:25 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> These tanks are some of the most satisfying of all planted tanks.
    [18:26 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Many approach non CO2 planted tanks with a low tech, low cost approach, so some folks decide on this method for economic reasons as well, but these tanks can be taken to a very high level of design and aquascaping
  • [18:27 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Diana Walstad's book is one of the best books out there and the only one that addresses this method with due credit
  • [18:28 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> The Ecology of the planted Aquarium, see the Aquatic Garden's associations web site for how to buy
  • [18:28 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> It's not a pretty pic book, it's more a "how and why, and here's what I did book"
  • [18:29 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> She backs up her assertions with research references and details them out
  • [18:30 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> In any event, the method works, I've done both the CO2 and the Non CO2 tank method for a number of years now.
  • [18:31 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Some main tenents: Good rich to semi rich base substrate with sand, flourite, onyx sand, Flora base, Eco complete, Turface over top of a base
  • [18:33 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Add roughly 1/2" to 1" of soil that's been pre soaked for 2-3 weeks will work fine. The pre soaking is to remove the NH4 that might be and often is present in soil, bacteria will convert the NH4 into NO3 which is much less prone to cause algae blooms
  • [18:33 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> I've done some experimenting around with the substrate and replaced the soil with peat and mulm, the detrital matter that settles in the bottom of a bucket as you vacuum your tank
  • [18:34 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> This seems to work well with Flourite and Onyx sand, if you use plain gravel, soil is likely better
  • [18:34 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Many folks take a short cut on the substrate but it really is the key over the long term
  • [18:35 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Having a few Floating plants, I go with 10-25% surface coverage. These help modulate the spikes in nutrients since these plants are non CO2 limited and have plenty of light.
  • [18:36 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Generally a small filter to provide circulation is added, I often use a Hagen HOB type filter.
  • [18:36 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> One thing that many people make a misatke when setting up a planted tank: adding enough plants from the very start
  • [18:37 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> This is important for any planted tank, add as many as will fit! Sometimes this might cost alot so use cheap plants till the ones you like grow in and replace them slowly
  • [18:38 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> I always add a bicarb user like Hornwort, Egeria najas, Vals etc, these plants when limited, will use the HCO3(KH) from the water either through direct uptake or through indirect uptake
  • [18:39 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> I'll stuff in java fern, Anubias and especially Crypts in any unfilled or darker regions
  • [18:39 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Light levels are about 1.5-2w/gal
  • [18:40 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> I've gone higher and I've gone lower but this seems about right and this is using T-12/T-8 lights, not PC etc.
  • [18:40 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> 10-11 hr day length
  • [18:41 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> One thing that often bugs some folks, not doing water changes, I think people feel guilty or something:-)
  • [18:42 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> But it does work and helps stabilize the tank. To some this sounds like a blessing and it is.
  • [18:42 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> We all neglect our tanks at some time in life, these tanks are not the type you will worry about when you leave or when there is a power outage
  • [18:43 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Fish loads can be moderate, but I tend to add a good sized herbivore crew, typically SAE's, Amano Shrimp, Otto cats etc
  • [18:44 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> These herbivores are more effective since while the plants growth is slower, so is the algal growth, sometimes it just stops altogether as these animals convert algae back into nutrients and select for the plant dominace.
  • [18:45 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> There are at least 50 or more good non CO2 plants and they might not be the latest plants from Asia, but they can still look very nice, healthy and clean
  • [18:47 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> I've grown some nice red plants in non CO2 tanks also but generally the red and more ecceltic plants should be added after the tank has gotten off to a good start and is doing well.
  • [18:48 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> The hair grass grows inches per month, not day. Stem plants that are weeds in CO2 planted tank become much more controllable
  • [18:48 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> One thing I like to achieve is the balance between fish and feeding and the plant's health
  • [18:49 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> This might seem tough but a little experimenting will allow you to tailor your tank's balance
  • [18:50 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> I'll do a water change only if I have to remove a fair amount of plants, butr realize that these plants were actively removing waste and now they gone, so you'll need to feed a little less till the biomass grows back, just keep in mind that the fish food is your plant food also
  • [18:51 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> You will still get some nutrients from the soil but a lot of N&P will be from fish waste after a few months/one year.
  • [18:53 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Crypts are one of my favorite plants and this method works well for many of them.
  • [18:54 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> But for folks that have not tried plants, this method is very good and it's different in many ways from CO2 planted tanks
  • [18:55 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> For folks already using CO2 and not having re evaluated this method, I would suggest you give it a try, most are very pleased aquascape that you must have CO2
  • [18:56 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> This is a misconception
  • [18:57 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> A good plan before you start adding plants is always the best way to go about planted tank set ups.
  • [18:57 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Do the substrate right from the start
  • [18:57 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Add enough plants from the very start,
  • [18:58 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Add herbivores,fish and feed them routinely, you are feeding them and the plants
  • [18:59 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Make a nice looking design for the tank with Rock driftwood, try to play around with as many aesthetic combinations as you can.
  • [19:00 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> This will anchor your layout and design or if you prefer, use only the plants themselves, but this very often leads to "flat substrate syndrom"
  • [19:00 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Many folks terrace or make a slope, since non CO2 are not pruned as much nor in the same way, the gravel stays in place once set up.
  • [19:01 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> The plant roots are not removed for months, if at all like with Crypts.
  • [19:02 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> While you must wait longer for growth, the ease of the method maskes it really worth while
  • [19:03 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> I've certainly had fewer algae issues with non CO2 planted tanks
  • [19:03 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Many techy folks think more is better like with light, but it just depends on your goal
  • [19:04 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> I see soooo many folks go, "I just wants some slow growth, I don't want to do too much/prune and dose a lot etc".
  • [19:05 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Well give the people what they want, cost less, if set up correctly from the start has fewer issues for most people.
  • [[19:05 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> CO2 is like a drug and I know it's addiction as well, but this method is truly underated
  • [19:10 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Well I think I'm better at answering questions so I'll open the floor [19:11 27/02/2004] <@Jessica> all right then [19:11 27/02/2004] <Chris> Okay Question 1: In my 2g, which has a 10 wat screw-in fluorescent, (5 WPG) I have anacharis, Java Fern, Java Moss, and some hair algae. What can I do to get rid of the algae?
  • [19:11 27/02/2004] <@Jessica> thank you very much tom
  • [19:12 27/02/2004] <@Jessica> Please try to keep your questions related to the topic at hand, non-CO2 enriched tanks.
  • next to your name you can talk.
    [19:12 27/02/2004] <@Jessica> chris start us off [19:12 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Many seem to think I have a personal preference of a method over another, I like marine planted, CO2, enriched and non CO2 tanks all pretty much equally. [19:14 27/02/2004] <+Chris> Ok. Like I said, I have a non C02 tank. For a sub, I have simple gravel. But I have a high lit tank (5 WPG) I was wondering, how would I get rid of the algae that is clinging to the Anacharis. BTW- this is a 2 gallon Hex [19:14 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> I'd add some amano shrimps since they are small, effective algae eaters
  • [19:14 27/02/2004] <+Chris> Would Ghost Shrimp also work?
  • [19:14 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> You can pick off as much as you can, it's a small tank so this will not take very long.
    [19:15 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> That's also a great deal of light on such a small tiny tank,
    [19:15 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> If you want a better set up, reduce the light intensity, not the time that the light is on
  • [19:15 27/02/2004] <+Chris> I know. But I didn't know how much brighter a fluorescent is compared to an incadescent.
  • [19:16 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Naw, GS don't do much except eat detritus and fish food
  • [19:16 27/02/2004] <+Chris> Ok thank you! :D
    [19:16 27/02/2004] <@Jessica> Tom, i'm going to ask a question from a member who couldn't make it tonight
    [19:16 27/02/2004] <+Chris> I have an idea on how to reduce teh intensity.
  • [19:17 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Well Incads run 5-17W lumen/watt vs a FL's at 70-85 lumen per watt
  • [19:18 27/02/2004] <@Jessica> there was a discussion about surface distabance and how much good it would do in a no CO2 tank. the question is do you want it or no?
  • [19:18 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> I use those Galaxy lights from Azoo for small tanks, they have a micro filter to go with it also, then you can raise the light up or down to suit
    [19:18 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Well, I've done fine with moderate to slow flow and I've also done well with more flow.
    [19:19 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> I generally will set the flow around 5times turn over per hours with some surface movement, more than many CO2 tanks, but not a torrent either
  • [19:20 27/02/2004] <@Jessica> do you try to keep surface agitation to a minimum? or does that not matter as much?
  • [19:21 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> I tend to keep deep gravel also, 4" or so except the sloped front region
    [19:21 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Well it does matter at some point since the tank is CO2 linmited for perhaps 12 hrs a day
    [19:22 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> But you do not get better growth growth if the plants are not waving around too much also
    [19:22 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Some folks suggest adding airstones, and lots of turnover etc
  • [19:23 27/02/2004] <@Jessica> Is that an effective method? the airstones at least?
  • [19:25 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> I really don't use them in the non CO2 tank set ups, I feel it's not as peaceful and the method I use with moderate flow with HOB filters works well
  • [19:25 27/02/2004] <@Jessica> thank you :-)
    [19:25 27/02/2004] <@Jessica> Chris you're up
  • [19:26 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> The CO2 limitation also occurs with algae, not just plants, so they grow slower also and under less light
  • [19:26 27/02/2004] <@Jessica> Chris?
    [19:27 27/02/2004] <+Chris> This is a silly question but here it goes: I have an anacharis in my tank and it is growing like a weed, due to the high light intensity. How should I trim it?
  • [19:27 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> The greatest CO2 limitation is going to be on the plant's leaf surface, it's a balance like the fish load w/o getting into the issue more
    [19:27 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Remove the older parts if it's not rooted. It's rooted, top it and it'll branch out
  • [19:28 27/02/2004] <+cindy> You listed about 6 different substrates. Is it OK to use jsut one, like straight fluorite, or did you mean for us to use several? Also, will continuing to change water hurt in any way, or is it just not necessary?
  • [19:28 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> It uses the KH as a carbon source when the CO2 drops after the lights are turned on.
    [19:28 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> No, I do not suggest that folks use several mixed.
    [19:29 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Folks should try a semi rich base, say the mulm, the peat/soil pre soaked, then cap it with 2-4" of one of those substrates
    [19:30 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Water changes seem to hurt the tank, here's why:
    [19:30 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> It adds lots of CO2
    [19:30 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Sounds weird, but plants and algae both adapt to low or high CO2 environments
  • [19:30 27/02/2004] <+cindy> Thank you. Do you have a favorite "cap"?
  • [19:31 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> It takes a few days/week or so to switch back, adding CO2 just once a week will favor the algae as they a little faster about this switch since their CO2.carbon needs are much less than the plants.
    [19:32 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Switching the sources of Carbon on the plants seems to be detrimental
  • [19:32 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Folks that do use CO2 often don't have enough CO2 or the levels jump from 3-15ppm during the day etc
    [19:33 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Thye have the worst algae issues of all
    [19:33 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Onyx sand is my favorite substrate, but I'm still looking and tweaking
    [19:34 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> 2 of my non CO2 tanks have about 2-6 inches of it and have a mulm peat base
    [19:35 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> They are 4 gal cubes with a 7 w pendant so a little less than 2 w/gal
  • [19:36 27/02/2004] <@Jessica> Russ?
  • [19:37 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> adding too much light on these tanks will cause algae
    [19:38 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> While onyx sand is not cheap, I think it's worth the $ for the non CO2 method
  • [19:39 27/02/2004] <@Jessica> Once again, Tom, thank you very much for your time. I will now open the floor for general discussion.
  • [19:39 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Lighting can be nice PC lights but most often FL's work fine and are suitable for 2w'gal or less
  • [19:40 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Thanks all
  • [19:40 27/02/2004] <cindy> Thank you!
    [19:40 27/02/2004] <{Z}Wolfen> good job
    [19:40 27/02/2004] <megan> Thanks Tom :)
    [19:40 27/02/2004] <shell> thank you for being here, what red plant would you reccomend the most for this setup
    [19:40 27/02/2004] <Aftica> Thanks very much - very informative indeed
    [19:40 27/02/2004] * {Z}Wolfen hands Plantbrain a cold Coke Enjoy!!!
  • [19:41 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Awww thanks, but I'm decaff and soda free for 5 years now and I don't drink da booze either
  • [19:41 27/02/2004] <@Jessica> Tom, in a heavily stocked tank, do you still advise less water changes?
    [19:41 27/02/2004] * @Nigel got a cold beer here if he ever visits :-D
  • [19:42 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Alternathera reinkeckii, Red temple it's sometimes called.
  • [19:42 27/02/2004] <melrae> Do you have a favorite brand/type of light bulb?
    [19:42 27/02/2004] <crandf> Hi Tom, is it advisable to use egg shells to buffer the water?
    [19:42 27/02/2004] <shell> is rottala macaranda a big no no
    [19:43 27/02/2004] <cindy> Where can we get a list of those 50 or so plants that work well with this set-up?
  • [19:43 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> It's pretty easy once the tank is going along well, it got very red in my tank since it's very N limited which will accent red colors in many plants but non CO2 tanks grow slow enough that the N limitation does not stunt the plant.
  • [19:43 27/02/2004] <benny> Thanks Tom! Great Session
    [19:43 27/02/2004] <@craig> Folks, please, please, let Tom answer one question at a time, k?
    [19:43 27/02/2004] <@Nigel> else voice will be imposed :-D
  • [19:44 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Favorite bulb is a 7200K Triton bulb, costly, but I like the color, other wise 5000-6700K range
  • [19:44 27/02/2004] <+russ> Realizing that the rate of photosythesis is dependent on environmental factors such as light intensity, temperature, and availability of carbon dioxide, water and certain minerals, is the contributing factors of carbon fixation dependent on just the fish in the tank? Or will the 'regulatory enzymes' of the plant just keep pace with the carbon that is available? In other words, do you need more fish to provide CO2 or wil
    [19:44 27/02/2004] <@craig> Well, yeah or I could pull the power cord from the wall. ;-D
    [19:44 27/02/2004] <@Jessica> lol craig..
  • [19:44 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> I'd suggest Dolomite or CaCO3 to buffer the water
    [19:45 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> CaCO3==> Calcite or Aragonite
  • [19:45 27/02/2004] <Penny> Hi Tom, You say substrate is key, so is there any "spot fix" you can add while trying to plant an established aquarium that has basic gravel substrate?
    [19:45 27/02/2004] <melrae> Thank you
  • [19:46 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> R mac can be grown, but it's tough for some, it likes more fish waste and tends to do well in certain tanks, it's easy for me in a CO2 tank but a bit more trouble in the NON CO2 tanks, I'bve never tried it much in my own non CO2 tanks.
  • [19:46 27/02/2004] <crandf> knock knock?
  • [19:47 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Most of the easy to grow plants fit this bill, Anubias, Java ferns, moneywort, Hornwort etc. I mentioned a few
  • [19:48 27/02/2004] <cindy> Where can we find a copy of the rest of that list of "50 or so" plants that do well with this set-up...the less common ones?
  • [19:49 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> No, the fish play little role in the tank's CO2 cycling, mainly substrate and waste reduction/oxidation by bacterial actions and the input fromn the air above which is exceeded during the day, but refills with CO2 at night
  • [19:50 27/02/2004] <cindy> So...no vacuuming?
  • [19:50 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Spot fixing? Yes, some folks use soil or add plants in pots with soil etc under there
    [19:50 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> You can pre soak the soil for a few weeks, then add water to make "mud", put mud into ice cube tray and place under plants.
    [19:51 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Make sure the muddy cubes are added deep under the gravel and the gravel is fine(2-4mm) and deep, 4" or so
  • [19:52 27/02/2004] <Kim> Tom, what fish do you keep?
  • [19:52 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> No vacuuming is par for any plant tank, but you can lightly remove any detritus that builds up on the substrate
  • [19:53 27/02/2004] <Penny> Thanks, Tom!
  • [19:53 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Fish are referred to as "bait", they are there for the plants:)
    [19:53 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> No, not really, anything I can catch I add to my tanks, I live in FL so that's a lot of critters, not just fish
  • [19:53 27/02/2004] <JonathanDooley> Tom, Thanks for the talk tonight. :) Can you give us some algae eradication strategies for non-co2 tanks?
    [19:54 27/02/2004] <@craig> Tom, thank you for being here, I do appreciate your time. :-)
    [19:54 27/02/2004] <Kim> :) yes, thank you Tom
  • [19:55 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> I keep mostly native fish from the local regions, Madtom Cats, Pygmy sunfish (ooo!!), Killi's, Blue fin shiners, southern darters, Water mantis's, Ghost shrimp are everywhere here, Gar even and turtles, no one is left out
    [19:56 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Algae killing, somehow it always gets back to this:)
  • [19:56 27/02/2004] <@Jessica> hehe
    [19:56 27/02/2004] <JonathanDooley> Its my customers favorte question.. :)
  • [19:56 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Well, the best method is be smart, don't start, add a ton of plants, add floating plants, pick off what's there, add algae eaters, SAE's, Amano Shrimps are very good
  • [19:57 27/02/2004] <cindy> Ahhhh, another native fish keeper! Great chat, Tom....This must have set an attendance record!
    [19:57 27/02/2004] <aeon> my SAE is lazy lol!
  • [19:57 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> But if you got algae, remove all you can, blackouts work pretty well on non CO2 low light tanks, why?
    [19:58 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Because the algae and plants are already down near their limit of light, plants generally have a fair amount more reserves and the algae have trouble starting back up.
  • [19:58 27/02/2004] <aeon> I observed otocincluses, though very active but their mouths aren't very efficient in scraping algae off
  • [19:58 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Most plants have no response to a 3 day blackout, some might not like 5 days etc.
  • [19:59 27/02/2004] <aeon> How do you guys blackout?
  • [19:59 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> 3 Day blackout will get rid of BGA in any tanks for example if you make sure no light gets in at all
    [20:00 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Cover with a trash bag, towel etc, pick off all the algae you can, clean the tank up some and maybe do a water change, then cover and increase the surface turbulance a little.
  • [20:01 27/02/2004] <aeon> why increase surface turbulence?
  • [20:01 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Ottos are good at disturbing new growth, not so much established hair algae.
  • [20:01 27/02/2004] <aeon> true
    [20:01 27/02/2004] <shell> lets say you were alittle(or alot) overstocked in the fish dept, would you still recommend monthly water changes and is this harsh on some of the delicate species
  • [20:01 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Which would you rather eat and would think would be more nutritious? Fresh tender greens or tough old chewy leaves off the bottom?
  • [20:02 27/02/2004] <aeon> how long will this chat last??
  • [20:02 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Well, I d suggest you get another tank, remove some fish. You could add a plant filter
    [20:03 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> I'd also consider keeping mainly fast growing easy plants and plan on more maintenance and less stability with the tank, but a little could be dealt with
  • [20:04 27/02/2004] <shell> ooh i like the “another tank” idea
    [20:04 27/02/2004] * aeon goes for breakfast
    [20:04 27/02/2004] <cindy> Nobody mentioned liquid ferts or plant tabs all night..is good substrate and fish food really enough?
  • [20:05 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> A lot over stocked is like cramming 20 people in a small bathroom and not flushing for a week, bad idea for them, you, your wallet, ethically
    [20:05 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Plant tabs etc: yes, the onyx is great and if you look up the nutrients in soil, it's a lot
  • [20:05 27/02/2004] <Zapins> this is for co2 added tanks right?
  • [20:06 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> So folks do not need to amplify growth with a good substrate, the tank is CO2 limited, not plant tab limited or N,P, Iron etc
  • [20:07 27/02/2004] <Zapins> ah
  • [20:07 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Adding KNO3, Traces, etc can be done is some cases but why? Add a few more fish, feed more etc
    [20:08 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> You will hit a limit of adding too many fish though, so keep things moderate/balanced
  • [20:08 27/02/2004] <Zapins> Is all KNO3 the same? i saw some on ebay being sold as "rocket fuel" is this the same thing as the KNO3 you add to your tanks? if not where do you buy your KNO3 from?
  • [20:09 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Yes, folks don't need to add plant tabs or liquids but in some cases adding it will help
  • [20:10 27/02/2004] <@Jessica> Tom, any tips for knowing where the limit is on stocking?
  • [20:10 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> This is due to some plants getting CO2 from the air(floating) or older tanks lacking a good substrate/depeleted, but adding fish or fish food generally helps
    [20:10 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Yes, KNO3 seems to all be the same, most sell it as stump remover, ag turf places also sell it for 22-30$ for 50lbs
  • [20:11 27/02/2004] <Zapins> oh
  • [20:11 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> You don't need it for non CO2 tanks generally.
    [20:11 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> I cannot say what the limit is on stocking since it also involves feeding also.
  • [20:11 27/02/2004] <Zapins> i had it in mind for my show tank (55 gal w/ co2)
  • [20:12 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Types of fish also change things, but generally an inch per gal works also lonmg as you have a fair number of algae eaters
  • [20:13 27/02/2004] <JonathanDooley> If you were to dose something like Flourish, or CSM, ramp up dosing till you see no more added benefit?
    [20:13 27/02/2004] <+russ> Tom, great presentation and sorry for my double post question :-)
  • [20:14 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Well CO2 changes things, sorry but it's OT here, non CO2 approaches, I can go on and on about either method but want to stick with this topic here, www.litemanu.com sells all your NKP needs, KNO3, KH2PO4 is likely all you need with some traces
  • [20:14 27/02/2004] <Guest46> what happen if my tank gravel has no fertilizer(plain sand), and wish to convert it to non CO2? Can I still reuse it?
  • [20:14 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> JD, naw, the root uptake should be fine at these growth rates.
    [20:15 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Yes, you can still reuse it, I would, or at least rinse out and save the detrital matter(mulm) and add this back to the new gravel's base layer.
  • [20:16 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> I really am pleased with Flourite and Onyx sand with the non CO2 method, if it's a smaller tank, it's worth it.
  • [20:17 27/02/2004] <Guest46> why? what's the difference?
  • [20:17 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> I think it cycles the nutrients better, more efficently for the plants
  • [20:18 27/02/2004] <shell> would an under gravel heater benefit this method or no
  • [20:18 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Not much, maybe a little, why spend the $ on that and not on CO2? Few do that
    [20:19 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> I used a RF UG filter for about 20 years and noticed it did great on swords.
    [20:19 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> The sand happened to be 2-3mm, 4-5" deep, lots of humics, lots of fish/well filtered
    [20:20 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> The RFUG is made like a gaint spray bar, out of small CPVC fittings and pipe
    [20:21 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> Cheap, works grweat and will not clog if the water is prefiltered and you can use the finest sand
    [20:21 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> It can be fit to any sized tank for about 10$ or so and drill, something to cut the pipe.
    [20:22 27/02/2004] <+Plantbrain> But then you'll rely more on the water column and might need to add KNO3 etc


Back to Message board
Back to main transcript page
Back to main site

Email: badman@badmanstropicalfish.com