From planted to fully stocked with Tetras



Tom, as my nearly fully planted tank is nearing the end of a fishless cycle I would like to bounce off you how my plan to fertilize and by how much will change once the tank is stocked with fish.

I have a 30 gal, 30 in. wide tank with a 350 g/hr HOB filter, an internal heater, and a 55 watt compact fluorescent AHSupply light raised 3 to 4 inches (as per Vaughan's recommendation). It is nearly fully-planted in Seachem fluorite and is on a 6x/week Seachem fert regime, as per Seachem's recommended dosing schedule, including Excel, Flourish, N, P & K. My pH is 7.6. Water is clear. I have a light load of diatoms which has become less and less an issue since I starting dosing Seachem ferts and better tank maintenance.

This is where the tank is in regards to the fishless cycle: 12 hours after dosing 5 ppm Ammonia, Ammonia is 0ppm; Nitrites, 0ppm for 2 days, now; Nitrates, 40 ppm. After Nitrites go to 0 in 12 hours for one week I'll do an 80-90% water change then fully stock with Rummy Nosed Tetras and one Siamensis.

In your 03-28-2005 post, "Non CO2 methods, another method for different goals"- , you write that most of the nutrients will come from the fish load and recommend adding once every week or two per 20 gal tank:

Seachme Equilibrium about 1/4 teaspoon
about 1/8" and 1/32" teaspoon of KNO3 and KH2PO4 respectively

Then, "if you want more growth, Excel is a good option. You can add about 2-3x as much ferts then."

This is what I plan to start with then see what happens, with one exception. I'll use Seachem Flourish instead of Equilibrium until I run out. Then I will use Greg Watson's CSM+B Plantex, KNO3 and KH2PO4. I want a slow to medium growing, non-co2 injected tank, fully stocked community fish tank.

Does my approach sound about right?

Thanks for any advice,