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About Me

  1. 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
  2. It’s almost been about 5 1/2 months since I have set my nano tank up and it’s been amazing. Although I’ve never really understood the calculating and all the scientific things that go on into a tank, I finally got a tds meter and shrimp minerals from saltyshrimp to start somewhere lol. I got the meter and shrimp minerals a few hours ago and I was shocked. I surely figured my tds was going to be over 300 since I’ve never tested it but check it out!😁 I haven’t even added the minerals nor do I use RO or distilled water. I do one water change a month of about 15% water. I don’t vacuum the substrate since shrimp are grazers and will eat just about anything. I add aquasafe to my tap water and stir the water for a few minutes and then let it sit for some hours. (Always test your water too) I dose my plants with 1 pump of Easy Green on one day of each week. Sometimes I may do 1 1/2 pumps depending on if I’ve trimmed plants. keep in mind, your tank could be different than mine so everything could be different. TDS / 173 Temp / 68-75
  3. In the past I’ve had fish in a tank for a while then decided to get plants and fertilize with easy green. So established tank nitrates already present. No worries, but what about starting a fresh tank with plants? No nitrates so if it’s a 20G use 2 squirts and next day maybe not even 10ppm do I dose again to get nitrates up? If so how often till I reach my desired amount? Daily, couple times a day, keep hitting it till it reads what I want? I ask because I set up a plant grow out tank and needed to get nitrates up as fast as possible. I did like 5 doses in 3 days now to maintain I’m dosing 3ish times a week. Also I now have a 125G with plants that was a fresh restart and it’s fairly heavily planted and I can’t get up past 20ppm dosing once a day and that’s a lot of squirts every time. Ive got fish in now so that will help but I want my plants to thrive as well (all were transplanted from other tanks)
  4. 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?
  5. I have a 10 gallon tank with fish, and have been trying to be more careful about my water parameters. I'm using EasyStrips but I do have a test kit. Whenever I use Easy Green (1 pump per water change), the Nitrates increase and stay increased days later. Shouldn't the plants be absorbing it? I noticed there is nitrogen in the ingredients list, and tried not using it, but the plants suffer. My tank was previously cycled and no fish have died for the few months I've had them. Without adding EasyGreen there are little nitrates or nitrites detected. The nitrates are in the "low" zone when I check them but I still worry it will effect my fish. Here is the tank and the water test (a few days after a water change with easy green)
  6. I have a 20 gallon, about 1/2 full of healthy hornwort to combat and prevent green water. But I currently have green water. Been 2 weeks. I'm keeping the light off for now, except a couple hours of very dim per day to help the fish find their food. I've decreased the adult's feeding from 2x to 1x per day, though I shouldn't fast them since about half are preggy, and I can't reduce the feeding for the tiniest fry. The tank is bare-bottom, with a ton of MTS, so no food is getting lost. (I also watch to make sure the filter doesn't grab it.) In the next few days, I'll put a few of my extra neocaridina in there, since they'll help re-process the MTS poo. My current question: Nitrate is ~5. Do I add Easy Green to help the hornwort, or leave nitrates low to starve the green water?
  7. Ordered a couple of days ago and opened my package to see that they the Co-op has got new packaged root tabs! I LOVE this design instead of the sleeve personally. I thought I would also get some pictures for those who haven't seen it yet. I hope they continue to go with this packaging.
  8. I have a low to medium light planted tank and have been using AC's Easy Green. I also have a small bag of Purigen in my Tidal 35 HOB filter. Should I remove the Purigen when dosing the water with Easy Green once a week? If so, how long should I have it removed? I just want to make sure the Purigen isn't pulling out the nutrients that I'm intentionally putting into the water for my plants. This is my first planted tank so I'm figuring things out. Thanks!
  9. Hi all, I was doing my water change on my 75 gallon planted tank and added my easy green. I filled another bucket of water to keep filling the tank and added more easy green, after I dumped that bucket in that I realized I double dosed my aquarium. Is this going to cause issues? I try to do a 5 gallon water change daily. Are my fish and plants at risk of illness or injury from a double dose of easy green?
  10. Hi there, Just wondering if anyone else has had this problem or not and if there's a way to fix it. I kept the fertilizer in the fridge and realized after a while that you don't need to keep it cold after doing some research. I noticed that the liquid inside has developed crystals so I left the bottle out over night hoping it was just ice. Next day, the fertilizer is still crystallized. Is there a way to fix this/ is it safe to still use in my aquariums? Thanks!
  11. I'm thinking that, instead of simply disposing the aquarium water resulting from water changes, the aquarium water would make good garden fertilizer. The aquarium water contains nitrates, biodegradables and some nutrients, which the garden plants could utilize. Have you had experience with using the aquarium water as fertilizer or have some thoughts on whether this is a reasonable idea? Thanks.
  12. So Newb question for y'all. Is plant fertilizer (like Aquarium Co-op's All-in-One) "food" for aquatic plants? Do I need to provide animal waste so my plants do not die while the tank is cycling?
  13. Context: I have two tanks that have algae problems (surprise surprise) to some degree, and I've been doing around 40% water changes every week to keep it at bay. The two tanks are: 5.5 Gallon with Finnex Stingray for 6 hours, nitrate testing at zero. Crazy hair algae and cyano that I have to pull every week. 6 Emerald Rasboras, and snails. 20 gallon long with Finnex Stingray for 9 hours, nitrate testing at around 10 ppm. Algae isnt as bad, just some BBA will build up on large flat leaves of anubias or such if I miss a week. 10 Red Eye Tetras, 1 Electric Blue Ram, a whole smattering of Kuhli Loaches, Amano shrimp and snails as algae control. I'm attaching a picture of today's nitrate test for context, this is a week after my last water change, no fertilizers. (Left is 5.5 gallon, right is 20 gallon). The question is, should I stop being such a nut about water changes and adjust with fertilizers and light instead? I tried being hands off with the 5.5 gallon but the hair algae just goes bonkers. If I skip a week on the 20 gallon, there's definitely a noticeable buildup of algae. Unfortunately I don't think I can cram in any more clean-up in either tank as they are bit full on stocking I think. Thanks in advance!
  14. I recently received an order from Aquarium Co-Op of Anubias Golden and Anubias Nana. Inside one of the pots were little round objects. They look a little like salmon eggs but orange in color. Is it possible they are seeds that haven’t grown? Or perhaps some fertilizer?
  15. 1) What is a good target number (ppm) for Iron, specifically with red plants? 2) What test do you prefer? I was looking at the Seachem test. (edited: I think I mispoke earlier reffering to the seachem test as strips) 3) Should I just forget 1 and 2 and look at try to let the plants tell me.... I will probably test just to know the baseline but interested to hear how folks like to manage this.
  16. When I went to order some of my plants from a source I have never orderd from I saw that they had some "Dry Fertilizer" up until today I have only used liquad stuff. Well, I decided to give it a try and thought I would create a thread for it as I document how well my dry fertilizer is. Is it better then the all in one liquad stuff like easy green? Heres what the package looks like: I accidently clicked the "high tech" option instead of the "low tech" option so hopefully it will be alright. As you can see it does not say how much to dose, it only says "the following dose will add _______ to your water". I could see how one (espically a beginner) may find this confusing. After filling a old 500ml hand sanititzer bottle (it has been throughly rinsed) with condtined water I add the powder. I must say that when adding the powder I made a HUGE mess. I reccemend fillind the bottle up with water then add the powder, I overflowed the bottle lots when trying to get it all in. I then shook it until you could not see the powderd substance. It says to shake every couple hours and wait for 24hrs. I shall update this thread then. I will be taking the hand sanitizer label off and putting a homemade label on it.
  17. Hello. Need help identifying these small yellow balls in my shrimp tank. I saw these appear a couple of weeks ago and ignored it. Now they've turned translucent. I took one out and it squished like an egg. They are bigger than shrimp eggs so I don't they any shrimp would have dropped it. It's an open tank so I guess an insect must have laid eggs?
  18. I just got plants in from here, and I was wondering if I take the weird green ball things off of them?
  19. Hi guys, The micro fertilizer that I plan to use is CSM-B Compound [0.134g/ml], which apparently consists of 0.1% chelated copper... I plan to add ~2 mL a week, that means I'm adding about 26.8 mg of chelated copper into the tank. I have a 20 gal (75 L) tank so that's 0.357 mg/L or ppm of chelated copper in the tank. Plus according to my city's water quality report, my tap water has 1 ppm of copper already. Based on what I've read online about the toxicity of copper to shrimps.. the tap water alone should have already killed them... They seem fine so far. But I've only had them for a couple weeks. Is this micro fertilizer safe to use with my ghost shrimp and apple snails? Could my tap water pose a problem? Thanks for you help!
  20. Hello, just dosed easy green for the first time in my 55gl. I only used 3 pumps out of the recommended 5, and I noticed my fish swimming near the top. I increased the pressure on my air stone and they seem fine now. Just curious if this is normal after dosing fertilizer or if anyone else has noticed this? Maybe it was caused by something else?
  21. Hi Everyone, Wanted to start by saying that I went through the forum to see if I can find anything related to my issue, but couldn’t exactly. Here is my issue: Plants: I have what one would consider moderately planted, if not heavy, 30G. I have swords, water sprite, xmas moss, epiphytes of various kinds, Crinum, Rotala- Green and Red, hornwort. I have also some new plants which are undergoing snail quarantine and will be added this week. That’s a mix of water cabbage, crypt and 2 green plants I forgot ID of. My HOB has destroyed most my water lettuce and only duckweed remains. The airline dam I use barely holds. HOB will go away in few months. Parameters: I am battling High Nitrates despite all this for months. Ph stays around 7, Ammonia and Nitrite always 0. Ammonia may touch the 0.25 sometimes. I do weekly water change. Nitrates stay close to 40-80ppm Fertilizer: I made a mistake of adding 3 root tabs in one go and that drove my Nitrates through the roof. This has been a problem since. Its been more than a month and nothing has helped except water change and that is also temporarily. I also added Easy green liquid for moss once last week but no use. I also add CO2 booster 3 times a week and only 1ml. This is less than recommended. Algae: I was struggling with black beard, hair algae and green dust. Most of which are under control since I did a blackout, taped half of my LEDs. Questions: 1. Clearly my plants are struggling. What am I doing wrong? 2. What can automatically contain my Nitrate apart from water change? 3. Why are they not absorbing Nitrates like they should? 4. Do I need more floaters? Thank you
  22. I have pinholes in the leaves of my crypts. I'm currently dosing easy green 1-2x per week but my nitrates are wanting to stay over 40ppm. Is there a fertilizer I could add into my routine with much less to no nitrates and more of the rest?
  23. I am new to living plants in the aquarium. I just got two packages of S. repens. When I peeled the rockwool off of The Roots, there were some little gray balls entwined in The Roots. They are irregularly shaped and about 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch in diameter. They appear to have a skin on the outside, and then a liquid or gel inside. They are not attached to the roots. However, they are intertwined tightly in The Roots. I'm thinking these are either little fertilizer the plant picked up, or some kind of seed that the plant propagates. Does anyone have an idea what these things are? I'm going to keep them in a wet bag, until I know for sure. Just in case
  24. 😊 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
  25. 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!
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