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Old 03-29-2013, 04:57 PM   #1
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Help with plant care/fertilization

Ok so im new to live plants so i guess you could call me a noob


What do i need to know to care for my plants?
What kind of fertilizer do i use?
My LFS told me to use Flourish excel carbon with every water change
Is carbon dangerous to any of my fish/inverts?
5 checkered barbs
2 balloon molllies
1 zebra danio
1 juliochromis
1 pleco
2 crayfish (lobsters)

I am very worried about using the carbon because it might harm my to crays (electric blue and orange mexican dwarf) cost me $70 together and they are very healthy at the moment

So anyways my tank is 30 gallons
I have a standard light so nothing special but the tank is near a window
My brother got a special light for his aquatic plants
Is that necessary?

Please help, major novice here!
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:28 PM   #2
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Flourish Excel has directions on the bottle that say to dose every other day. Some people on here (myself included) prefer to do a half-dose daily.

I don't have any experience with crayfish specifically, but I have had two bamboo shrimp for two weeks and they're doing great.
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:44 PM   #3
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If you're not dosing co2 you don't need to use excel. What you need is flourish comprehensive and dose once a week since you only have standard lighting. Comprehensive has everything you need.

I also noticed your stock of fish and that you have 1 zebra danio. This is a schooling fish and needs a group of at least 6 to be at ease. Having just that one will lead it to constant stress. You have the room for them. To the pleco, is this a common pleco, if so it needs at least a 55 gallon tank and will quickly outgrow this 30 if it already hasn't .
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:56 PM   #4
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If you're not dosing CO2, than you should be dosing Excel, especially if you're beyond low light. Dosing both isn't necessary, but dosing one is very beneficial to pretty much any tank even if you don't need to fend off algae. As mentioned, Excel should be dosed daily.

As far as ferts, that depends on what your light and CO2/Excel situation is. Something like Flourish Comprehensive is probably best for someone just beginning, and you can consider dry ferts as you get more and more confident in your plant keeping abilities.

Light might be your biggest limiting factor. Depending on the size of the tank and the bulb type ("standard" could be T8 (fluorescent tube) or CFLs (twirly bulbs)), you might be in fairly low light territory. This will lessen the emphasis on your ferts/carbon choice but potentially strictly limit the plant options available to you.
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:10 PM   #5
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Ok so dosing excel every day is what is hould be doing? And it wont harm my inverts? And i didnt know excel fended off algae, i just dont want it to work too well to the point that my pleco is unsatisfied
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:52 PM   #6
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Shrimp should be fine as long as you follow the directions on the bottle.

Excel is algaecidal, but only really effective at these concentrations against some types of algae (eg hair algaes). Also remember that while plecos do eat algae, they're also eating biofilm from the side of the tank, which is made up of many different organisms aside from algae. In my experience, GSA and GSA, the two algaes plecos like the most, is not really affected by Excel.
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:59 PM   #7
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Btw i dont have shrimp i have two crayfish but i guess that means its ok for both lol

Anyways i appreciate the help!
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:06 PM   #8
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Yeah i know having one danio is a very poor decision

I originally had three but they were lost in a power outage (no heat)

Anyways i think my 30 gal is crowded as it is so i dont think i should add any more fish so i cant school them
What i am probably going to do is move him to my brother 50g
Butttt he is very resistant at my mention of this because my danio is about twice the size of the 6 he has (just started the tank in febuary)
That should be a problem should it?
I always thought danios were peaceful towards each other in large school am i right?

But yeah my tank is crowded as it is with an undergrael filter in 30 allons
and im already saving room for a second juliochromis so mine has a buddy
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:37 PM   #9
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I should add that I'm not familiar with crayfish either. I would definitely do some googling to see if anyone else has had problems with this before.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catfish Lover View Post
If you're not dosing co2 you don't need to use excel. What you need is flourish comprehensive and dose once a week since you only have standard lighting. Comprehensive has everything you need.

I also noticed your stock of fish and that you have 1 zebra danio. This is a schooling fish and needs a group of at least 6 to be at ease. Having just that one will lead it to constant stress. You have the room for them. To the pleco, is this a common pleco, if so it needs at least a 55 gallon tank and will quickly outgrow this 30 if it already hasn't .
Actually common pleco's need larger than a 55g, they need atleast 100 gallon if I remember correctly.
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Old 03-30-2013, 01:18 AM   #11
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I agree, if your pleco is a common pleco, I would strongly recommend finding a new home for him.
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Old 03-30-2013, 01:19 AM   #12
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Yeah i think i do have a common pleco
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