Dosing Substrate for Emersed HC/Glosso

brentling

Junior Poster
Sep 10, 2008
10
0
1
Lexington, KY
I made a post a month or so ago and got excellent advice about DIY substrate, lights, etc. My tank is now on its stand, with a DIY cork bark background (looks so cool!) and filled with some gorgeous driftwood that I collected myself. I have 100 lbs of Turface MVP gray, some peat, and I am expecting some HC, some Glosso, and some Lobelia cardinalis 'short form' from Aqua Botanica. My lights should be on their way (39 Watts x 8 T5HO) as well as ferts:

* Micros -
o Plantex CSM + B
* Macros -
o Potassium Nitrate (KNO3)
o Mono Potassium Phosphate (KH2PO4)
o Potassium Sulfate (K2SO4)

I have been instructed from a new friend at a semi local Plant club (SWOAPE) as follows:

"Next, fill up a 5g bucket with water and mix in 1.5 tsp of KNO3 and 0.25tsp of KH2PO4 into the water in the bucket. You can add some K2SO4 if you have it but our water supply here in Dayton (and probably in KY) is already pretty high in K so it probably isn't needed. This is a highly concentrated amount of fertilizers considering the volume of the 5g bucket and should give you about 10ppm of NO3, 2ppm of PO4 and 7ppm of K based on the total water volume of your tank."
I will put some mulm in with the peat and Turface before all of this. This all sounds good to me and I have been reading like crazy about EI fertilization and PPS methods as well as non-CO2 methods. I have also read all I can find about growing HC and glosso emersed.

I will be using pressurized CO2 and some method of fertilization, which I have some time to decide on. I am posting here just to kind of let y'all know what I am up to and if I am about to do anything particularly horrible? I am slightly concerned about the ferts in the substrate at such a high concentration and whether or not to add K2SO4, but also try to listen to good advice when I get it! SWOAPE has been very helpful and invited me to join their club! :) I expect the HC/glosso to grow emersed for as long as 8 weeks while I assemble my filter and CO2 system.

Any comments would be appreciated. I have been learning bunches: just enough to be really dangerous now that I will own plants, lights AND chemicals! I have been so busy reading that I have not posted! Thanks for any thoughts.
 

VaughnH

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jan 24, 2005
3,011
94
48
85
Sacramento, CA
I don't see the purpose of the 5 gallon bucket of highly fertilized water. What do you do with it? It sounds like an attempt to "pre-charge" the substrate with fertilizers, so do you soak the Turface with this, then drain it out of the tank? If I understand CEC properly, the Turface would adsorb only cations from the fertilized water, K+, Fe+++(or how ever much charge it has), and other metalic ions, but not nitrate or phosphate.
 

Tom Barr

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 23, 2005
18,696
745
113
I'd spend the $ of ADA aqua soil instead , you spent a lot on the light, then tank, the filter, the CO2............why go cheap here? I assume the tank is a 3ft long 40-50 breeder size, 2-3 bags is all you'd need, maybe 75$. You will not have any issues with Gloss or HC using this and most any type of water column dosing routine.

These are both weeds and do very well in ADA AS.
Turface will work etc, but I think over time, the ADA will be more suited to your goal.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

brentling

Junior Poster
Sep 10, 2008
10
0
1
Lexington, KY
It's a 125 that I have had for years (traded some aquarium services for it when I worked at LFS). The lights are $200 for everything and the rest is DIY, found objects, etc. I cannot afford the $300 or so for Aquasoil. The Turface cost $36 total and will allow me to actually have an aquarium set up that I have been dragging around the country empty for 8 years. This is a big extravagance for me and I have to make every dollar count, or I will continue to have a big empty tank in my garage... I have seen comments like "if you cannot afford $X for X equipment, then find another hobby..." This isn't a good answer for me as I am definitely an aquarium junkie and I have actually been doing 'fish tanks' for a long time. I find it enjoyable to make things and do research and find other ways to succeed that require less financial outlay. It is the only way I can manage to remain in this hobby that I so love.

The purpose for the 5 gallon bucket is to, indeed "charge" the substrate. Maybe it wasn't clear that the fertilized water will be added to the aquarium substrate prior to planting the emersed plants. I do not intend to drain it once it is in there but instead leave it for the glosso and HC to utilize while it is growing emersed. I figure to put enough water in there to come to just below the surface of the substrate and cover the tank carefully to make a greenhouse. Lights will be on for 16(?) ish hours per day and I will keep the environment moist. This was all recommended to me from folks who seem to know what they are talking about. I feel strongly that this forum is among the best if not THE best as far as knowledge is concerned, hence the questions.

I guess my real question is: Will adding ferts at the above concentrations to enough water to soak 3 to 4 inches of substrate be helpful or harmful to emersed glosso & HC? If not, is there another method you would recommend? Thanks for the help.
 

VaughnH

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jan 24, 2005
3,011
94
48
85
Sacramento, CA
I don't see where that concentration of fertilizers would be harmful to emersed plants. In fact I think this will work very well, even if not as well as ADA Aquasoil.
 

brentling

Junior Poster
Sep 10, 2008
10
0
1
Lexington, KY
VaughnH;29653 said:
I don't see where that concentration of fertilizers would be harmful to emersed plants. In fact I think this will work very well, even if not as well as ADA Aquasoil.

Thank you for your answer. I feel better with some advice from folks here :) When I set up my next tank I will use Aquasoil, as it obviously is the best available substrate. The next tank is a pair of 5 1/2 gallons, so I can probably afford it! :D !