Bill – I’m with you, and constantly fight micro-managing my
tanks… and I don’t dose much in the way of ferts… but there are limitations to
I’m going to share with the group probably the highest
compliment I feel I have ever gotten, hopefully to show you what I mean.
While setting up a tank for competition, I had the pleasure of
having Neil Frank visit my home. Those who are involved in the planted tank
hobby will probably know his name. We (we being GWAPA) were showing him the
mineralized soil methods that several GWAPA members use (not far off from your
topsoil, just sort of treated and preloaded for longer lasting ferts.) This is
a high light tank, and injects CO2, but does almost no dosing – ferts come from
the soil by and large
His comment was along the lines of… “Holy cow, Diana needs to
see THIS.” Three guesses which Diana he referred to. I’d been learning a lot
from fellow hobbyists through GWAPA, most of whom remain far above my skill
level, and was simply so proud that the effort had paid off. And still am.
It isn’t set in a scape as of now, 180g are not fun to
constantly keep tip top, but here are shots of the last couple setups:
The second shot being what Neil saw.
Point being - There is a difference between plants in a tank and
an aquascaped tank. I’m not saying your way can’t work to keep plants in a tank
– I’m saying for a scaped tank, a higher tech tank, it just plain doesn’t work without
CO2 and a plan for keeping the plants able to find and feed on ferts (unless specifically
set for just Anubias and crypts sorta thing). That 180g of mine has 12x39 T5HO’s
over it, in TEK fixtures. Turn them on for a month sans CO2, bad things happen.
turn them on, you don’t get the growth, the color, and half the plants in those
The tank Neil saw, by the by, cannot grow Eriocaulums for the
record - no Blyxas or Toninas either…. Limitation of not dosing a water column.
Some of the things folks want to do simply cannot be done “naturally” in a
small cube of water.
I can grow sags and vals without a light. Just a little
something of sunlight through a window. I can keep Anubias alive in a closet in
a Tupperware container for months….but I couldn’t have done the scapes above
without CO2, a method for ferts, etc. Make sense?
Well.I've found Diana's methods work well for me. I
start with baked topsoil, covered with about 1.5 inches of pool filter sand.
I'm growing sags, crypts, vals, and a number of fineleafed plants.
Combined with a dozen larger angels, 3 3" discus, 10-12
assorted tets, 4 cory's and 2 plecos.. in a 125. No ferts, no CO2.
My ammonia and Nitrites are zero, my nitrate will occassionaly spike to 5
in which case I'll siphon off about 5g to clean up some poop. I have a sizable
HOB just stuffed with floss to host the bacteria and to provide a bit of water
movement. At the other end I use a bass-wood airstone to ensure there are
no dead zones.
I could be and am probably wrong but I feel that some folks
just like messing with their tanks too much and tend to micro-manage. I
know I'll not convert any of these types but hopefully someone new to the hobby
will consider a more natural approach in addition to the typical "hands-on"
method. Bill in Va.
From: David Williams
Sent: Sat, April 30, 2011 10:28:03 AM
Subject: RE: [anubiasdesign] Issue #1: Fertilizers
Yes, Bill, good read, but please do
actually understand Diana’s methods. A baseline is emersed growth, packed to
the gills with plants tanks, with very light bioloads. It does in some respects
try to mimic nature.
Know what happens in nature? You get an
incredibly efficient induction of CO2 via emersed growth, incredibly
light bioloads in comparison to what we do, filtration way more than what we
do, and this is before we consider that most of the plants we keep are marginal
marsh plants who immediately get up and out of the water given the option. J
Diana, while I respect her work, does
not show methodology that comes close to some of the modern capabilities, nor
the needs of some of the more finicky plants out there, and their
respective abilities/requirements. It isn’t hard to pack a tank with Anubias and
some narrow leaf ludwigia and let it grow out low tech. Try doing it with
Eriocaulums. J Little
different result, and if you aren’t balancing your tank, you won’t keep them
So the reality is, if you want to
“mimic” nature and still have all growth submersed, scaped, and grown in
density, you are going to be using CO2, and finding a method of introducing
macros. BTW – ever fertilized your lawn? Why not just do it “nature’s” way,
fields of grass in nature…. But not like your lawn, are they… same basic premise
been hesitant to weigh in on this thread for way too long... .Your discus is
stressed!.. Send him on my way I'll take good care of him. But let me
get to the root of your issue... Why ANY CO2 in the first place?... You are
just adding steriods to your tanks. There is a natural balance between
the water, the plants, the fish and the beneficial ferts they provide.
Let nature take it's cycle as closely as possible. So many people
try and micro-manage their tanks they just get in the way and mess things up. Ferts?..
the fish and excess food supply that... They in turn give ya some ammonia that
feeds both types of bacteria present in your filter media and the substrate AND
the plants.. They in turn turn it into nitrite then nitrate.. then off into co2
land... hence the natural cycle continues... Mess with that by adding the
steriods be they CO2 or ferts just demands that your constantly on top of your
water chemistry on a daily basis.
look up a book written by Diane Walstad. "he Ecology of the Planted Aquarium". The
theory being that you shouldn't even have to do ANY w/c's... nor any
filtration.... I don't go that far.. but I do plant my tanks in that manner.
Bill in Va.
9 discus (6 scorpian blue - 3 pigeon blood)
24 angels (5 platinum blue pearlskins, 1 orange/koi
marble, 2 dd's, 5 silver, 9 Red/koi/marlbe, 4 lace tails.. 3 KK blue Marbles)
boatload of tets of various types.
Sent: Sat, April 30, 2011 12:05:39 AM
Subject: Re: [anubiasdesign] Issue #1: Fertilizers
Huh?? LOL. far as I know weekly water changes are ESSENTIAL when dosing with
macro and mirco fertilzers. So you're saying to avoid water changes and just top
off with distilled water?
another note, I upped the CO2 to about 6 bubbles a second and the fish seem a
bit sluggish. 2 in particular (the baby whale and a discus) are going to the
top regularly for air with the discus looking like he's gasping for air
occasionally. Also, most of the Discus with blue in them are VERY dark... so...
I think that may be a bit much so I turned the CO2 down to about 4 BPS (bubbles
per sec). I was tempted to just keep it at 6 BPS but then have the air filter
going as well but that would be Again, this is a 60"x23"x18"
aquarium. I have it under 8 hours of high light (timer) ... Thoughts please!
All the feedback you all give me is helpful... seriously. And I thank you in
advance for it
Apr 28, 2011, at 9:52 AM, Nick Andrews wrote:
Water change, what's that? I only do a water
change in my 55gal a couple of times a year at most, if I think the salts form
all of the hard water (NM desert) are building up to crazy levels as the tank
is uncovered and needs topping off once a week or so.
On Sat, Apr 23, 2011 at 12:18 AM, Shaun Johnson <shaun.johnson2007@...>
In dosing my 100 gal aquarium I'm trying to figure
out a trace/micro combo fro my plants (some of which are red). A little
25 Bacopa Monnieri stems,
25 ALTERNANTHERA REINECKII 'ROSAEFOLIA'
6 Myriophyllum elatinoides,
6 Myriophyllum matogrossense (red),
& a small Aponogeton Fenestralis.
Besides Macros (a whole OTHER story in itself), I dose dry
(MICRO) Plantex CSM+B with a target ppm Fe of 0.50 which is about 3/8 tsp
dosing 3x a week. Recently I found out about Iron Chelated (13%) which helps
red leafed plants stay red & Ferrous Gluconate which I don't know much
about. In any event, I'm trying to come up with a concoction of the 3 that
would be the best for my plants. I had heard to use a ratio of 4:1:1 [That is
3/8tsp CSM+B, 3/32tsp Fe Chelated, & 3/32tsp Ferrous Gluonate] ...Anyone
know how accurate this is? suggestions/ideas?
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