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Feeding Live Plants

Author Topic: Feeding live plants  (Read 718 times)

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Offline pollydoodle

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Feeding live plants
« on: April 14, 2019, 03:27:48 PM »
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I am being a busy bee this afternoon with all my questions :)

I'm planning to increase my live plants and get rid of all the rubbishy silk ones which seem to be coated with brown gritty algae, although there is very little or none on the glass.

the lighting is on from 7am to 1pm. it then changes to blue and I either turn it off completely or leave it on, depending if I'm in or out for the day.

should I be feeding the plants?  I've just started using some Evolution Aqua which was recommended in the Practical Fishkeeping mag a few months ago, using 3 ml per day.  However I found that the water has begun to go cloudy, unless it's  something else causing it.  any ideas please

Online Matt

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Re: Feeding live plants
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2019, 04:02:17 PM »
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Is the water green cloudy? This could be algae? What is the volume of your tank? If you have only a few live plants this amount of fertiliser sounds quite high.

You irregular lighting schedule with low light levels for extended periods also may be a contributing factor, could you start the main lighting later to minimise this? Appreciate you have used this regime for a while so may not be what you are looking to change right now, though it would explain the algae on the plastic plants...

Offline Sue

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Re: Feeding live plants
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2019, 05:13:49 PM »
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I have also read elsewhere, though I can't find it again, that blue light encourages algae.

Offline pollydoodle

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Re: Feeding live plants
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2019, 07:21:51 AM »
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Good morning Sue.  I have just googled blue light /algae and have found an interesting article from practical fish keeping. When I have 5 mins I will investigate my lighting and timer. I'm retired but never seem to have any spare time 🙄
I have learnt so much from Thinkfish, I don't know how I would have managed without everyone's help and support xx

Offline Sue

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Re: Feeding live plants
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2019, 09:00:06 AM »
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I too am busier than ever since my husband retired  ;D

I forgot one part of your first post - plant food.

Unless you have a high tech planted tank, you don't need to add much in the way of plant stuff.

Nitrogen is provided by the fish in the form of ammonia.
Potassium and phosphorus are in fish food.
Carbon dioxide is made by both fish and bacteria in the substrate breaking down the debris (poo, uneaten food etc) that gets in there.

Soft water has few minerals, so a supplement should be used to provide the micro nutrients. It is also advisable with hard water as it may not contain all the minerals plants need. The most highly recommended one is Seachem Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium (not to be confused with the other Seachem Flourish products) A lot of plant micro fertilisers are missing several of the vital minerals - this product is lacking just one.


The way you add it depends on your attitude to plants and fish. If plants are your priority and the fish are just there to add a bit extra, dose the tank every day. If the fish are your priority and the plants are there as decor, add the fertiliser in one dose once a week.

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Re: Feeding live plants
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2019, 10:10:34 PM »
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To add to what Sue has said here. You should look for a fertiliser that contains the micro element plus potassium as this is needed in high quantities (more than fish food etc will provide). JBL Ferropol and Tropica's specialised plant food are food examples. With these types of mainly micro fertilisers there is no need to be dosing every day. Weekly or a couple of times per week is just fine.

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