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Question about plant fertiliser.


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I went and bought the VitaPet Aquarium Plant Food which is in liquid form.

Earlier today I went to the nursery to get some aquatic plants for my aquarium, the guy at the nursery gave me these little fertiliser blocks, he says to bury them in the substrate of my fish tank and stick the plants either on top or next to it. He says just remember to replace them in a couple of years when it runs out. I asked him if it was safe for fish, he says yes.

So when I got home today I planted about 4-5 of these blocks in the substrate and arranged the plants around them.

How many of these things can I have in my aquarium before it's starts to get toxic for my fish....?

Also my Anubias is growing on a piece of driftwood, its roots are not in the gravel. Can I continue to dose the liquid plant food?

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General rule: don't put anything into your tank that doesn't have instructions/ ingredients and explanation of what it will do to your tank....

The block fertilisers from a plant nursery could possibly be meant for ponds - which have much more water volume than a tank - personally I'd get plant tablets suitable for tank grown plants with a dosage or instructions available.

Most plants will do fine with just the fish wastes - but plants can benefit from fertilisers with mineral trace elements and those that provide a small carbon boost such as Flourish Excel or if you want cheap and good go to AquaGreen website and get some of their Dino Spit and Dino Pee as well as some Dino Dung to put in the substrate for plants that need a lot more feeding. Matt might be able to give better advice on plants if he sees the topic..

The anubias will be fine :)

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Personally I would use them

If anything I would break them up a little and place a couple of small bits around the roots of your plants, use only with swords, crypts and lotus things that are heavy root feeders dont place under the roots of stem plants

I have used manutec fern spikes, manutec pond?, osmocote native(about 8 pieces frozen in an ice cube trays) and dino dung (blood and bone mixed with clay)

There should not be anything in them that can harm fish as long as you dont go overboard and use a little common sense

As for pond use rember there are small ponds as well as big ponds

Ray

Edited by pritch33
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I use osmocote native as well. I usually put a couple of teaspoons on the bottom of a new tank setup then top with gravel. For existing tanks you can wrap some in unbleached kitchen paper and just shove it in the substrate. I think your block ferts would have been fine if it was in the substrate and you're not using an undergravel. Are there no ingredients listed on the pack?

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I use osmocote native as well. I usually put a couple of teaspoons on the bottom of a new tank setup then top with gravel. For existing tanks you can wrap some in unbleached kitchen paper and just shove it in the substrate. I think your block ferts would have been fine if it was in the substrate and you're not using an undergravel. Are there no ingredients listed on the pack?

Nice Idea with wrapping them in the paper, a lot easier than freezing them

Ray

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This is the product they gave me:

http://www.scottsasiapacific.com/pdfs/hort/agriform.pdf

"Urea-formaldehyde is the total Nitrogen source, supplying

prolonged-release nonleaching Nitrogen to the plant

roots. Adequate quantities of available Phosphorus,

Potassium and essential Iron complete the formula."

Ammonia and nitrite readings have skyrocketed, I'm really worried for my fish.

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As I said before .... pond fertiliser blocks tend to be too overpowering for tanks - they are meant for gross feeders like water lillies and the like....

There are a number of aquarium safe fertilisers available - from the expensive to the inexpensive - including fish poo - the common thing amongst them is that they tend not to drop huge amounts of ammonia into the water or nitrates for that matter ... usually low in phosphates as well (hence Razzi's using native plant fertiliser)....

From reading the document you linked to - its pretty obvious that these are meant for putting into soil for landscape situations - NOT for putting into a pond or fish tank!

Get the water changes going to get the ammonia down and get specific aquarium fertiliser tablets - try AquaGreen's dino dung/dino spit/dino pee, or go for a commercial one like Seachem's Flourish Excel, or API's Leaf Zone and CO2 Boost, etc ....

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I've been doing a lot of water changes to try and bring the readings down. My readings have been stable and consistent up until Monday-Tuesday and then suddenly this huge spike out of no where (I thought there would be at least some kind of build up to it). Even major 50% water changes don't seem to have any effect on diluting the ammonia and nitrites.

I've gone to the store to get Seachem Prime. If this doesn't work, my fish probably won't last any longer. :(

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What type of plants do you have? I wouldn't worry about substrate fertiliser if you only have stems TBH I would use a water column fert such as Dino per :)

What type of plants do you have? I wouldn't worry about substrate fertiliser if you only have stems TBH I would use a water column fert such as Dino per :)

What type of plants do you have? I wouldn't worry about substrate fertiliser if you only have stems TBH I would use a water column fert such as Dino per :)

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Apologies as I assumed you had heavy root feaders and these where for pond use mot for normal garden use and I should know better as to ask what plants and your setup.

I still beleive they could be used in a tank but the dosage would be so so so much less.

Well done to fishbites or his promt and correct advice.

Osmocote will have the same problems with ammonia if dosed at high levels I beleive, and I need to remeber I have high plant and light levels and assume everyone else does

Hope it works out well

Ray

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Mat_95 - I've ripped out most of the plants, I have the names somewhere. A lot of them were vals which were dying and rotting, and contributing to the ammonia/nitrite spike. The store told me yesterday that they weren't actually aquatic plants, that's why they were rotting away in the water (fishbites warned me about this a couple of weeks ago).

A couple of nights ago I was doing drip-water change after drip-water change when the ammonia/nitrite readings were high and refused to budge. I was doing this for about 9 hours straight I think, right from when I got home from work to 3-4am. I was conscious of not dumping a whole lot of cold fresh water into the tank all in one go so that's why it took me so long to go through each water change.

During one of these water changes I found a rogue piece of fertiliser in the gravel that I missed earlier, it fell apart as I tried to scoop it up and the whole tank was cloudy with that white powder. In fact it explained why the whole tank started to smell like a chemical dump. So that was when I did another couple of water changes to get as much of it out of the system as possible (hence I was up until 3-4am).

I think I've got all that crap out now.

I've gone out to buy fresh charcoal filters, fresh wool filters, Seachem Prime and Seachem Stability. The fish seem to be doing better tonight after I added all this in plus another water change. I didn't even bother doing another API water chemistry check because I figured the Prime and Stability is going to screw with the results anyway and even if the results show toxic levels of ammonia and nitrite, I'm already doing everything I can to fix this.

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The dumbest thing was when I went to the LFS to ask for emergency advice and to look into the Seachem products, the fish expert there was initially kind of rude with me.

He came back and explained that earlier in the day he spent 1/2hr on the phone arguing with an irate customer who was having trouble with his aquarium. That customer had apparently refused to listen to advice about having to cycle the tank first. So the LFS fish guy thought I was that customer and hence he was being a little irate to me first off. I think after the other shop assistant who was familiar with me explained that I wasn't the guy who called earlier, the fish guy came back and tried to help out a bit.

Vals are 100% aquatic, only grow submerged. But I only buy from specialty plant stores or online. He should have told you BEFORE you bought them!

Good luck!

He said they weren't aquatic and that they only last a few weeks in the water...?? I see you're in QLD, can you recommend some online shops I can have a look at? I have yet to visit Subscape here in Melbourne, Ness highly recommends it.

Does anyone know if the Seachem products need to be stored in the fridge after opening?

Edited by SiameseFightingFist
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Maybe he sold you something else that looks like val, are the leaves limp when you remove them from the tank? Could have been sedge if it can support its leaves out of water. Val only grow submersed.

Aquagreen has great ferts, cheaper than seachem and more concentrated, some spit and pee will do everything all those bottles of seachem would do IMO He alos sells great plants for good prices. Also Jeff at Liverpoolcreek aquatics, he deals with more of the rarer species but also has some of the easier common ones.

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Thanks, others have mentioned Aquagreen before, I've got it bookmarked and will check it out after I stabilise my tank again. It's been a real stressful past few days, amazingly I haven't lost a fish yet but every morning when I check the tank I expect to see a little lifeless floating body in the water.

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Vals shouldn't rot away .... actually what I said about plants was "be careful of shops selling non-aquatic plants for tanks (some are terrestrial and will rot in a few weeks) - only buy true aquatic plants...."

If you had vallisnaria and it was rotting there was something else going on that caused that because vals are aquatic (although I never seem to be able to grow it as easily as others due to low light I think)....

Good to hear the fertliser blocks are out of the tank now--- go with Matt's suggestion of the Dino products from Aquagreen and you won't be sorry....

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I don't know what the hell he meant when he said they weren't aquatic plants then, although I think he was still in irate mode at the time.

I think my vals failed because I put them in right at the very start and there would've been nothing in the way of plant food for them to survive on, and also maybe my lights in my tank aren't strong enough for it.

I've been doing water changes every day and using Seachem Prime and Stability. I changed to a brand new set of wool filters and added charcoal filters as well. Tonight's readings are:

ph: 7.0 - 7.2

Ammonia: 0.25ppm

Nitrite: deep purple, I can't tell which reading it is but it's toxic-bad.

Nitrate: 10ppm.

None of my fish are dead *cross fingers & touch wood* but since I started using Prime and Stability, they don't seem to look as stressed so despite the high nitrite readings. I can only assume that Prime is doing its job neutralising nitrite while the Stability is helping convert the ammonia.

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Not sure if you mentioned it but watch out with your tank lighting as well. Planted tanks generally only need 6-8 hours of light and depending on the type of plant may require different lighting requirements.

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