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Cycling and liquid fertiliser.

Discussion in 'General Aquascaping and Planted Tank Discussions' started by ksmit123, Apr 27, 2015.

  1. ksmit123

    ksmit123 New Member

    Feb 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Hi all.

    I have a few questions regarding the days and week/s after flooding a tank and switching on the filter for the first time.

    Since the end of March I have been utilising the dry start method in my first aquascaped aquarium. I planted one pot of hair-grass at the end of March and decided that I would like to plant some more, which I did a fortnight ago. The hair-grass is growing in well, and I believe has responded well to the dry start method.

    So my most prominent questions is regarding the cycling of the tank and filter. This will be the first time that the tank has been flooded and also the first time the filter has been switched on and used. Is there anything that I should do before I flood my tank and switch on the filter? Would it be beneficial or recommended if I purchased some chemicals from an aquarium shop to kick start the 'good' bacteria growth in the aquarium and filter? If so, at what point should I pour in the chemicals? The day I flood the aquarium, the following day, four days later? What are some recommended bacteria chemical brands? Forgive me for not knowing the correct lingo regarding bacteria chemicals.

    I plan on taking a water sample to a good local aquarium shop after two weeks for them to test the chemicals in the water, in my aquarium.

    Also, I would like to add some liquid fertiliser to boost the hair-grass growth. Again, similar questions to the ones above, can I get away with adding some liquid fertiliser the day I flood my aquarium or should I wait a few days? Is there such a thing as a general liquid fertiliser that can be used for all or many aquatic plants? At the moment all I'm growing is hair-grass, but in the future I would like to grow a variety of aquatic plants. I would like to help encourage the hair-grass to start producing runners and to begin spreading, as just opposed to growing and sprouting in clumps. Naturally, I don't want to waste money on a bottle of liquid fertiliser that is either specific for one type of plants, e.g. hair-grass and there for can't be used in the future if and when I introduce other plants. Is it possible that some chemicals introduced intentionally to an aquarium can be damaging on equipment?

    I'm considering the Azoo Nature Gro Plant Premium fertiliser. Has anyone had experience with this liquid fertiliser?

    Aquarium details.

    Tank: Mr Aqua 30cm x 30cm x 30cm.
    Filter: Eden 501 Filter.
    Lighting: Up-Aqua Pro LED Z series 30cm light.
    CO2: None.
    Substrate: ADA Amazonia powder substrate.

    Thank you for your potential advice and help.
  2. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 4, 2010
    Likes Received:
    North Dakota, USA
    Hi ksmit123,

    Could you please fill in your location, that way we can better guide you and members from your area can chime in and provide some localized input.

    In regards to your questions. For a non-CO2 tank most commercial fertilizers will do fine. I am most familiar with the Seachem brand. Without pressurized CO2 you want a low energy system meaning low light and thus low fertilizer demand. Since you have aquasoil, you most likely wouldn't need to fertilize the first couple weeks. You may be a bit short on potassium, so a fert intended to supplement potassium would be beneficial the first month. You can also just dose a more comprehensive brand that covers micro and macro elements (Iron, potassium, nitrate, phospate, etc)

    The biggest limitation to your growth potential is going to be available carbon. Since there is no pressurized CO2 the next best thing would be to dose glutaraldehyde (Seachem excel or similar brand). It is a liquid source of carbon for your plants.

    The word "chemical" has such a bad wrap these days. Everything is chemicals, whether it is naturally derived or synthetically derived. Fertilizers and liquid carbon will not have a detrimental impact on the system when dosed according to the label. Glutaraldehyde has a biocidal effect in more concentrated doses and is used to sterilize some medical equipment. Non of the compounds we use would harm equipment. Some chemicals used to treat ailments can harm invertebrates or sensitive fish, malachite green for example or Algaefix.

    I am uncertain of the efficacy of the biofilter bacteria additives. I've used Seachem stability in the past with good results...or at least no negative results. One would have to test regularly to determine if it has an impact. The best way to jump start a filter is to use filter media from an already cycled filter or even some mulm from within a cycled filter. This will have all the bacteria ready to go. If you use a product, dose according to bottle instructions.
    greenfinger 2 and keithgh like this.

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