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New Tank Advise For Plant Nutrients

This is a discussion on New Tank Advise For Plant Nutrients within the Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; So I am still working out the kinks of setting up a new tank. (Still very fun!) But I am ...

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Old 1st May 2017   #1 (permalink)
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Default New Tank Advise For Plant Nutrients

So I am still working out the kinks of setting up a new tank. (Still very fun!) But I am hitting a few snags that are waaaaay over my head. I'm good with research but this is killing my brain.

1) My base tap water parameters are:
PH: 6.5 (This has me a bit worried.)
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0

- Is there a natural way to bring up my PH to like 7.8ish? (Crushed coral in mesh baggy)?

2) I am tiling the bottom (in other words Bare Bottom). But I want a good deal of plants. Yet still keep future Axolotls happy and safe.

I plan to use several types of mosses, a few different Anubis, and Pennywort under water.

Above/ floating/ growing out of water:
Water Hawthorn
Water Lettuce
Water Hyacinth
Forget-Me-Not Aquatic
Maybe a few others

I am concerned about them not getting enough nutrients right off the bat as I plan to plant and water and cycle.

I do have a good deal if Natural light due to lots of Windows. (I have LOTS of Axi hides!)

I was contemplating various ways to naturally get them nutrients. (Kelp/ seaweed powder, worm castings, other organic things). Any advice is appreciated. Lol, and please make sure it is practical for a newbie. My head started spinning with all the "solutions" out there.

I also love the idea of using nylon hose or mesh bags to hold plants and keep larger particles and roots contained.

Thanks for any help! I really appreciate it!

Sweet Pea



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Old 2nd May 2017   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Tank Advise For Plant Nutrients

A quick question, what are the other water parameters?
Hardness tends to be a test you can do with a lot of home kits, and that is the one I have become the most wary about when I have live plants with animals in an aquarium.

From what I have been told, when the water becomes softer, it is unable to keep its pH steady, and while this may not be great for a tank with just animals, it's really bad in a planted tank. Although plants do produce O2 as long as they have light, they switch from photosynthesis at night, and produce CO2. While animals also produce CO2, and do it as long as they're alive, this means you will have a whole mess of things at night producing CO2, that do not during the day. If your tap water is like mine as ridiculously soft you will likely have to supplement the tank in addition to normal fertilizers and what not.

As long as the pH is not too acidic for the axolotls they should be fine for the plants. Some plants can be happy to as low as 4.5, definitely out of the axolotls' preferred pH.

Your tap water should not really have any base ammonia, nitrates or nitrites, additionally I've had some issues in the past with getting the pH to balance with crushed coral so ended up changing some things so I did not have to worry about forcing my water to be more basic. The most frequent advice I have heard with the coral is to have it in a mesh bag in the filter (if it's one that hangs off the back). While I am unsure how sensitive axolotls are to buffering salts (get them from your local fish store or online), I have a mess of scaleless fish that seem to tolerate it well. I tend to avoid using the liquid ones that you can get at large pet stores for any long term pH fix as they can cause other problems (I think I remember some of them causing increases in phosphates? I can not remember for sure).

Also! I would strongly recommend that if you happen to have a local fish store that you trust the people to be knowledgeable about live plants ask them for advice with products. I have some that I use with scaleless fish that work pretty well I would be happy to message you about if you would like.

Do not be surprised if you end up with a few freebie snails, they seem to like to hitch rides on aquarium plants.

Sorry for the long post, I've had a medium planted tank for 2 years now and there are mistakes I made, which lost me almost a whole fully stocked tank of fish (13 of 15 plus a fresh water clam), I would much rather not have others make.




Last edited by KitaKhat; 2nd May 2017 at 05:19. Reason: a word a word, my kingdom for a word!
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Old 2nd May 2017   #3 (permalink)
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Question Re: New Tank Advise For Plant Nutrients

*Head Desk X10*
The forum deleted my quick response twice right after I finished it but before I could post. Sigh. So this is what I remember.

THANK YOU so much for posting such a thorough reply! I REALLY APPRECIATE it. I am trying VERY hard to not make a ton of mistakes right away (although I will inevitably make quite a few, but that is how we learn). I hate having living organisms suffer, even plants (lol, I'm that crazy​ person buying the half dead plant because I feel bad for it.) Thus the reason I am on here (that and I like the pretty tanks!).

I have the API Hardness test coming on Thursday. I researched the death out of the nitrogen cycle but only recently learned how important the PH and Hardness levels are. I admit I am a bit lost when it comes to KH, GH, and PH especially when it concerns the salts. But I have found a few articles that are a bit easier to digest. Any advice on that is ALWAYS appreciated! I guess there really is nothing I can do till the test gets here and I can test the water.

I'm going to guess that it is running on the soft side due to the PH. But we will see. I always prefer Natural methods over chemicals as I have lots of allergies and am very sensitive to chemicals (funny enough I can't have chlorine or floride ether). So I would like to know. I drink well water I get from a well down the Rd. I literally haul jugs of it every week. It's impractical for me to use all well water for a 40 gal tank O.o but I can supplement the tap with the well water if they will balance out to a more preferred PH, KH, and GH. Is this an ok idea? Especially for the weekly water changes.

Also as a quick question do you do water changes while cycling a brand new tank? I'm getting a lot of conflicting info on that.



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Old 4th May 2017   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Tank Advise For Plant Nutrients

Quote:
Originally Posted by KitaKhat View Post
A quick question, what are the other water parameters?
Hardness tends to be a test you can do with a lot of home kits, and that is the one I have become the most wary about when I have live plants with animals in an aquarium.

From what I have been told, when the water becomes softer, it is unable to keep its pH steady, and while this may not be great for a tank with just animals, it's really bad in a planted tank. Although plants do produce O2 as long as they have light, they switch from photosynthesis at night, and produce CO2. While animals also produce CO2, and do it as long as they're alive, this means you will have a whole mess of things at night producing CO2, that do not during the day. If your tap water is like mine as ridiculously soft you will likely have to supplement the tank in addition to normal fertilizers and what not.

As long as the pH is not too acidic for the axolotls they should be fine for the plants. Some plants can be happy to as low as 4.5, definitely out of the axolotls' preferred pH.

Your tap water should not really have any base ammonia, nitrates or nitrites, additionally I've had some issues in the past with getting the pH to balance with crushed coral so ended up changing some things so I did not have to worry about forcing my water to be more basic. The most frequent advice I have heard with the coral is to have it in a mesh bag in the filter (if it's one that hangs off the back). While I am unsure how sensitive axolotls are to buffering salts (get them from your local fish store or online), I have a mess of scaleless fish that seem to tolerate it well. I tend to avoid using the liquid ones that you can get at large pet stores for any long term pH fix as they can cause other problems (I think I remember some of them causing increases in phosphates? I can not remember for sure).

Also! I would strongly recommend that if you happen to have a local fish store that you trust the people to be knowledgeable about live plants ask them for advice with products. I have some that I use with scaleless fish that work pretty well I would be happy to message you about if you would like.

Do not be surprised if you end up with a few freebie snails, they seem to like to hitch rides on aquarium plants.

Sorry for the long post, I've had a medium planted tank for 2 years now and there are mistakes I made, which lost me almost a whole fully stocked tank of fish (13 of 15 plus a fresh water clam), I would much rather not have others make.
Ok, so I tested​ my GH and KH. Both where at 2 °dKH with the API test kit. (That is soft, correct?) Slightly frustrated because I am still not completely understanding what the Water Hardness is. Like I get it, but not really. Lol. Ok, from what I understand, if I want plants and to keep an Axi comfortable I need to raise my KH and GH to raise my PH. I am going to what 24 hours and retest sitting water to get a more accurate reading. However I'm thinking I need to add in minerals. From what I read Baking Soda is dangerous because of the major PH swing. Where as crushed coral gives you a more steady continuous reading. What about Marine/ Aquarium Salt. Read Marine is better than Aquarium? What about API's Aquarium Salt? *Head desk* I am sooooo confused. Please someone help! I want a happy Aquarium!



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