Do not keep plants on a starvation diet.
Top dressing aquarium plants is an important component for their growth. Often, an aquarist is confronted with a situation where, under normal conditions, seemingly: clean soil, good filtration, and well-chosen lighting. temperature, etc. – aquatic plants do not develop at the pace that they should be expected from. Experimenting with the change in various indicators, we concluded that the reason for this lies, most likely, in an unsatisfactory diet. Under natural conditions, hydroflora is constantly fed. Swamp species grow on a rich organic substrate; in flowing waters – streams, rivers, lakes – the most dense thickets, as a rule, are concentrated in areas where the flow slows down and the suspension suspended by streams falls to the bottom. forming a thick layer of nutrient sludge.
Stocks of "fertilizers" are constantly replenished due to massive water exchange, receipt of waste products of hydrobionts and leaching of necessary chemical elements and compounds from the soil. Therefore, plants, no matter how dense their population, are almost never left hungry. Similar conditions in a closed system aquarium it is impossible to reproduce in detail, but hope for it. that by just changing the water we will provide the plants with all the necessary substances is also not worth it. So, if you want to have a wildly developing underwater garden, consisting of strong and beautiful plants, you can not do without special dressings. The most unsophisticated option is the use of liquid fertilizers. Making them does not present difficulties, and the choice is quite rich. In addition to the special aquarium can be used and those that are intended for indoor plants, but in proportions that make up no more than 1/10 of the recommended instructions. However, using only liquid fertilizer, you significantly reduce the diet of plants. Of course, the water long-stemming flora receives a significant part of the substances necessary for vital activity through the surface of the stems and leaves, but it would be too bold to believe that the roots do not take part in the process of feeding, but only fix the plant in the soil. Therefore, if there are rooting in the aquarium plants, they need to be provided with a dirt, sub-root feeding aquarium plants.
Then the broth is filtered through several layers of gauze. The filtrate is cooled, dismantled large lumps and, if necessary, molded with the addition of clay. There is no need to drain the broth – it also goes into the business, since it is a nutrient-rich mixture (it acquires tea-amber color), which serves as an excellent feeding for plants with a developed leaf surface, in particular, finely cut peristristis, rodentolis, limnophil and other long-shallow. Make a decoction in the aquarium after weekly water changes. Dosage – a maximum of 1-1.5 cups per 100 liters of volume. Unfortunately, giving a single recipe for feeding is very difficult. Its composition is determined by the species of the plants, their number, growing conditions, etc. For example, most cryptocoryne prefer mixtures with a predominance of peat components, to echinodorus to taste, in which the soil and clay are in equal proportions. Ideally, the soil mixture is added when organizing a reservoir, before pouring water. It is done this way. Coarse gravel is poured into the bottom of the aquarium with a layer of 2-3 cm. The ground is evenly applied at the rate of no more than 1 teaspoon per 10 cm2 of surface and mixed thoroughly, and the top is covered with fine gravel, laid in a layer of 3-4 cm. Thus, top dressing is evenly distributed in the lower tier of the soil, that is, in the zone of concentration of small roots and root hairs, which serve for the absorption of nutrients. Water is poured carefully, trying to prevent soil erosion. But if the aquarium is already functioning, there is no need to re-arrange it. In this case, the prepared land is brought under the roots of already planted plants, as is usual granulated fertilizer.
The dosage remains the same. As a binder, they use the same clay – chamotte, and preferably red, rich in iron salts. Sometimes a positive result is achieved even by simply sprinkling boiled soil mixture over a bush (with a temporarily disconnected filter or aerator as a source of flow). Being heavier than water. particles of the earth quickly fall to the ground, gradually being drawn into it and find themselves in the zone of accessibility for the roots. Dosage and frequency of land application for feeding aquarium plants determined experimentally. It all depends on the type of plant, its size, the state of the root system. biological phase. Actively developing plants in the phase of flowering or the formation of offspring, more nutrients are required; those that have entered the rest phase are less. Naturally, an adult Echinodorus bleheri with a height of 50-60 cm consumes more than, say, 10 centimeters E.tenellus. etc. As a rule, land is brought under large plants weekly, and under small plants once every 2-4 weeks. If the plant is "retired", feeding is temporarily stopped. renewing since the beginning of the active growing season. Long-stem-trees, and even more so, floating plants do not need a top dressing, being satisfied with the addition to the water of an extract obtained from the digestion of the earth. In the first one or two days after fertilization, the water may slightly cloud. but then again restores its transparency. If, however, this did not happen, the dosage during the subsequent addition of land or decoction should be reduced. Do not put fertilizer in the tank "by eye". It is easy to miscalculate. overdose can lead to the worst consequences. This includes soil rotting, and a sharp shift in pH, and the onset of oxygen deficiency, and other environmental changes. which can be fatal not only for the fish, but also for the plants themselves. especially young, weakened by transportation and transfer stress. When used in aquaculture nutrient soils regular water exchange becomes even more significant.
Under these conditions, a weekly water change not only refreshes the environment and maintains the concentration of nitrogenous compounds at the proper level. But it also eliminates mineral components unclaimed by plants from the aquarium. Accumulating in the water, they can change its chemical parameters and stifle the development of higher flora, while triggering an algal outbreak. In the absence of overdose and regular water changes, conditions for the development of algae do not arise. Moreover, the "well-fed" higher plants have more strength to combat fouling, and suppress their development. Nevertheless, the light mode, as one of the factors determining the comfort of the existence of lower flora, must be treated rather strictly if only because the abundance of nutrients available to plants must necessarily be in harmony with the possibilities of photosynthesis. Duration of daylight hours – at least 10-12 hours. But the intensity of illumination can be somewhat reduced. Do not abuse and over. Pumps of modern filters with a rather modest size and cost can pump up to several tons of water per hour. However, the intensive current they create does not always benefit hydroflora, literally sucking nutrients out of the ground. With this exercise top dressing meaninglessly, it enters the filter tank and is neutralized faster. than utilized by the roots and leaves of plants. If you do it right, the results will not be long in coming. And the matter is not only in the growth of plant biomass – this, in the end, can be important only for those who carry out the distillation of plants for commercial purposes. Another thing is valuable: plants not sitting on starvation rations acquire the size, characteristic of nature, tissue strength, leaf color, endurance, adaptability, high growth and reproduction rates. Taking care of the plants properly. You will forget about such unpleasant phenomena as yellowing or mucusing of leaves, the folding of leaf plates, the underdevelopment of stems, the appearance of stunted side shoots, etc. In short, the underwater garden will flourish and you will not regret the time spent on experiments.