Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Learning the hard way

Since we were struggling with algae at the start, I started treating the tank heavily with Flourish Excel because of its off-label use as an algaecide. Not thinking, I assumed that it was also a fertilizer and dosed all my tanks with it for close to two months. Not only didn't things grow as expected, serious signs of nutrient deficiencies resulted as you can see on leaves from my 150g tank above. I have since switched to dosing PMDD which contains 1 part each of Potassium Nitrate, Potassium Sulfate, Magnesium Sulfate, Plantex CSM+B. This provides all required nutrients except for Phosphates, but those typically exist in plentiful amounts in the aquarium as a byproduct of waste, excess food, plant matter, etc. I mixed the components myself from a hobbyist-run site The powdered mix is dissolved into solution and one to four drops are added per gallon on a daily basis. Once a week, a 50% water change is performed to ensure no under-utilized nutrient builds up to toxic levels.

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