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About Me

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  1. I really want to get a great planted tank but I can't seem to be able to feed my plans without feeding algae. I wouldn't mind the algae but it grows on the plans and suffocates them. My lights are on timers and I'm adding flourish liquid fertilizer and root tabs. I've been trying to keep NO3 around 20 to 30 ppm and I've been pretty successful. My lights are on a timer and go on and off so they're on 8 of 12 hours (two separate two hour breaks in the day) I started using some gluteraldrahyde (the ingredient in easy carbon) to stop the algae and it's slowly killing it back but I'm afraid 1) it's harming the thin leaf plants 2) as soon as I reduce the dose I'm going right back to growing more algae. What should my next steps be?
  2. I normally don't order lots of root tabs. I should; I have tons of plants that can use them. But they are more buoyant than anything I've ever seen in a aquarium, and it's really difficult to get them deep under the root of my plants (even with forceps) so that they'll stay there before the tablet casing begins to degrade! It sometimes takes me several minutes to deposit one tablet, and it's a task I really don't look forward to. When folks on this forum a couple weeks ago mentioned a very expensive, unavailable-to-the-US mechanism made just for this purpose, I hit the internets. But there was no way I could have something like this shipped to the US for less than $60! So I started researching the DIY route, and after some trial and error and lots of research, I've come up with this one-handed solution. It can be made for less than $10 in parts from your local Home Depot. In fact, you can make two for about the same cost! It is sized for Aquarium Co-Op Easy Root Tabs. PARTS: So let's dive in. These are the parts I collected together (non-affiliate links) : 1. Straight PEX Pipe: 1/4" ID, 5' length: $1.76 https://www.homedepot.com/p/Apollo-1-4-in-x-5-ft-White-PEX-Pipe-APPW514/301541226 2. Wood dowel: 3/16" diameter, 4' length: $0.70 https://www.homedepot.com/p/3-16-in-x-48-in-Wood-Round-Dowel-HDDH31648/204354369 3. Drawer pull: 1-1/14" birch cabinet knob: $0.98 https://www.homedepot.com/p/Liberty-Rowland-1-1-4-in-32-mm-Birch-Wood-Round-Cabinet-Knob-P10512H-BIR-C/204143998 4. Drawer pull: 1-13/16" birch cabinet knob: $1.88 https://www.homedepot.com/p/Liberty-Classic-1-13-16-in-46-mm-Unfinished-Birch-Wood-Round-Cabinet-Knob-P10515C-BIR-C5/100156480 5. Springs: 6-pack zinc-plated compression springs (used the 3/8" x 1-1/8" x 0.041" spring): $4.22 https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-Zinc-Plated-Compression-Spring-6-Pack-16087/202045468 TOTAL: $9.54 TOOLS: 1. Drill and assorted bits 2. Wood glue (or white glue) 3. 5-minute epoxy PREP: The 1/4" PEX pipe does not fit the Easy Root tabs. I made it fit by enlarging the first inch or so of one end of the pipe using a 5/16" drill bit. Now, the smaller end of the Easy Root Tab fits very snugly. If I don't push it in too far, it's a perfect grip! Next, I cut a 12" length of the PEX pipe and a 13" length of the dowel. I don't have very deep tanks, so this is fine for me. But this can be cut to any length you need; just make sure the dowel is always one inch longer than the tube. The wooden knobs already have holes drilled in them, which made it very easy to enlarge them to exactly the diameters I needed. For the smaller knob, I enlarged the hole to 3/16", making sure not to drill all the way through. I glued in my wood dowel with a drop of wood glue to hold it permanently: For the larger knob, I enlarged the hole to 3/8" diameter, this time going all the way through. I made sure to start with a 3/16" bit, and repeatedly went larger and larger until I reached 3/8". This ensured my hole stayed centered and I had a nice clean cut all the way through. I glued in the length of PEX pipe with 5-minute epoxy. This should hold well enough for my purposes. I'm using the shorter, wider spring for this project (3/8" x 1-1/8" x 0.41"). For good measure, I used some 5-minute epoxy to glue the spring to my plunger. This is totally optional, but gives me one less piece I can lose. That's pretty much all there is to do. I just inserted the plunger in the tube and I'm ready to try it out! I placed an Easy Root Tab in the end, just far enough for it to grip, but not so far that it won't push out easily. I inserted the tool with one hand into the tank, pushed the plunger, and voila! A deposited tablet in 5 seconds! But I am over the moon about how this tool turned out. I just placed about 20 tabs in two minutes. Even with coarse gravel, forcing the pill in was no problem. The two pieces come apart for drying, as that wood dowel won't last forever. Now I understand why the professional ones are so expensive. This makes things so much easier. I'm definitely making a longer one for deeper tanks. Hope you find this useful. Thanks for reading! Bill
  3. 😊 I have been using Easy Green for two years now, great product. I store my dispenser bottle in the refrigerator. It formed crystals in the bottom of the bottle . Is it still good to use for my planted tank. Thanks Fishy people Al M
  4. TLDR: What do you think of burying algae as a way to "get rid of it"? First I had a ton of black beard algae and staghorn algae, but flourish got rid of it. It's still there, but more or less under control. My problem now is green hair algae all over the substrate. The Monte Caro isn't grown in, so there's lots of exposed substrate still. I'm doing water changes weekly, and manually pulling out green hair algae... I'm tired of it. What do you think of simply pushing the algae into the substrate where it will hopefully be out of the light, die off, and eventually become sort of a fertilizer for my plants? The tank is a 40 gallon freshwater tank with a NICREW SkyLED Plus & hob filter and a sponge filter. It's about 5 months old, with Java moss, crypts, s. repens, Monte Carlo, and bacopa monnieri, about 20 phoenix rasboras 20 blue dream shrimp, and a few nerites. Thanks!
  5. Anyone use this Kent Marine fertilizer? My fiancé picked it up for me when we were at a et store in town. Any thoughts??
  6. I’ve noticed some pinholes in my java fern that I believe are indicated of a (potassium) deficiency? Currently, I’m doing a 25% water change once a week and dosing 3 mLs of easy green. The tank is a 29 gallon guppy breeding setup. Would this be an indication that I should increase the easy green dosage or should I consider dosing the specific nutrient that is in deficiency?
  7. /drumrolls Aquarium Co-op Easy Green! To all of you unimpressed Américain, just know that for a Canadian, this is a very precious item. It’s just such a bummer to buy it and know there is no chance for a stickers. 😭 Karen
  8. As a mirror to the Walstad thread here is a thread about sharing your experience with PPS-Pro, linked below. PPS-Pro Personally I already had the fertilizer salts when I learned about this method but you can also perform something similar by dilluting Easy Green down to a daily dose. This method has worked great for me keeping my plants healthy and growing. Most of the salts I was able to get bulk off of ebay and for micros I use GLA's micromix.
  9. So I posted this question on YouTube, but I figured it might go unanswered because of how busy everyone is. So I decided to join and ask it here. 🙂 So I have a 20 gallon tank and it's lightly planted. I have had it since late June/early July 2020 and I wish I knew what I know now. Anyways, I want to add some Eco-Complete under my black sand because I only have like an inch deep. I want to heavily plant my tank and it is why I want to add the Eco-Complete. I was trying to find a video or article or something that talks about doing it. I haven't had luck or maybe I'm not looking at the right thing. So has anyone done what I want to do and was it a success or failure? I guess you could say I want to re-landscape-re-plant my already established aquarium. Any advice or suggestions are appreciated! Thank you! I will try attaching a picture of my tank for more help. 🙂
  10. My Val in my 72 bow front tank grows like crazy but the plants seem thin and translucent and just don’t look great over all I does 7 pumps of easy green weekly
  11. I wonder can you have too much calcium? I know I have pest or bladder snails in half of my tanks, but my potho roots grow incredible. Now looking at this, it could be due to the light and the random snail shells left behind. Could I add wonder shells to what is already there in my other tanks? Even if some have crushed coral? Now the tank that has crushed coral and snail shells plus the incredible light is the tank that grows like crazy. I have all hard water and 7.6 ph in all tanks. I don’t want to mess with ph, but that will be with water from my well with gh and KH. I just want better plant growth. Thoughts here? Tanks: 48 gallon: crushed coral and no pest snails, only nerite and slow reproducing (forgot the name). Plants grow medium, good LED aquenon kit light, pothos have to be established with root system before adding here because of Buenos Aires tetras will eat. 2.6g fluval: crushed coral, great LED light, pest snails constantly reproducing, one nitrite snail, and pothos grows extremely fast root system here. Basically my start up tank for propagation. first 10g: good light, pest snails, one nerite snail, no crushed coral, pothos grows slower but will grow. second ten gallon: okay light, no pest snails, one nerite snail, no crushed coral, pothos grows extremely slow until moved out of filter and into tank light and then started picking up pace. so from what I see is that extra calcium helps, but my Buenos Aires are a predator. The great tank light of my 2.6g is crucial as well. But my question remains, what is too much calcium? As for parameters, All tanks are a stable- ph7.6, ammonia and nitrite 0ppm and nitrates at 40-80ppm in the red on the api scale. Hard to read but room for plants to grow here and absorb. I’ve been doing weekly water changes as well. (I got covid and it did get out of control and my older plants died so I am planting new ones.)
  12. I am hoping to get Java Fern and Water Sprite in my 10 Gallon tank with one male betta fish and 5 pigmy corydora catfish. I was wondering if I floated the Water Sprite could I use Seachem Flourish as a fertilizer and the Nicrew SkylLED 18" as the light? I know that Water Sprite and Java Fern don't really need that much fertilizer and I was wondering if Seachem Flourish would be enough of a fertilizer for micronutrients and the fish could provide the Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorous? Thank You So So Much🙂!
  13. I am concerned that I am not properly taking care of my plants in my 35g hexagon tank. I have one tank that I absolutely struggle to keep nitrates above 5 ppm. It is my 35 gallon hexagon tank with a 1/2" base of peat moss with 2" of ecocomplete on top of it. The background plants are Amazon swords (4) which are growing somewhat slow. The midground plants are broadleaf sagittaria (4). What makes up the front half of the tank is dwarf sagitaria. Both types of sagitaria is growing very well. In the 6" ring at the top I have frogbit which I weed back twice a week. At the moment, based on the calculation of rotala butterfly I made my mixture of KNO3 to be a dosing to reach a target of 7.5 ppm and dose 4x a week. The dose is detectable throughout the day of the dosing, however it is depleted by the next day. I do use passive CO2. Algae is not a problem. I have for about a year I have put root tabs in the substrate at the beginning of the month as the bulk of the plants are root feeders. I use 10 root tabs at the beginning of the month (at the moment DIY osmocote root tabs that I made in bulk then hope to switch to the co op brand). Should I be concerned about the low levels of nitrate in the water column and begin dosing more? Or because I do dose heavily in the substrate, I shouldn't worry about it so much? Edit: The dosing seems to be accurate and not miscalculated based on my usage in my other tanks. Edit: I have cross checked these levels with three different types of test kits. The readings seem to be accurate.
  14. See photos: I seem to have trouble with my Red Temple. Twice now I've tried to get it to grow/ stay alive but the bottoms of the stems keep turning white. Eventually the stem melts away and the plant starts to float. Trimming the melted end and re-planting sometimes ends in the same result. I've got gravel and use root tabs and fluval plant light. What am I doing wrong? Also, the roots from the stems of my ludwigia are super long. Is this normal? What i should i be doing if it's not? They don't seem to be growing taller but the roots keep getting longer. Thanks
  15. Ive been considering getting some seachem flourish advanced but im still on the fence about it and was wondering if anyone has any info on the product. Also does it help any plants in particular like moss or water stem plants?
  16. So I’ve got my Easy Green, Easy Iron, and East Carbon. I’ve used others....still have some. I’m curious if anyone has tested the number. So I test my Nitrates especially as my plants are growing....and my algae currently. I have not started before and after tests because I feel there are too many variables in a tank but.... A dose/squirt of easy green would be how much nitrate in ppm in the suggested 10 gallons of water? I may test before and after. I’m one of those folks that fiddles too much. Thank heaven I have my kid’s tank to keep me from inadvertently killing mine.
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