I would like to fertilise my plants with your product and change over completely. How do I go about doing that?
Generally, one should never change plant fertilizers abruptly. The fertilizers from different manufacturers have somewhat different compositions in terms of trace elements. This may cause temporary nutrient changes. It is best to change over in 3 steps:
1) Reduction of the old fertilizer by 1/3; replace this with 1/3 of the new fertilizer. Wait approx. 3-4 weeks and observe the reaction of the plants.
2) Reduction of the old fertilizer by 2/3; replace this with 2/3 of the new fertilizer. Wait approx. 3-4 weeks and observe the reaction of the plants.
3) Complete discontinuation of the old fertilizer and change-over to the new fertilizer.
It is important to observe the reaction of plant growth and, in addition, to check the iron content of the water at least 2x weekly. Whereas the value should never drop to 0, it should never exceed 0.2 mg/l if possible. However, short peaks are no cause for concern.
These measures should generally be carried out on a weekly basis, ideally right after a water change. This achieves better results than fertilizing in large doses at longer intervals.
Where did my algae come from?
Algae problems in an aquarium can never be traced to just one factor or general condition, and instead, are always the result of a combination of different factors, which include light, fertilization, water changes – specifically, how often and how much – feeding, fish population and, of course, the specific water parameters.
According to analyses that were performed over a course of a number of years, red algae, at least the common brush algae and beard algae, occur in descending order at the following parameters:
1) too little carbon dioxide (in relationship to 100 % of the measured tank); the pH level should be in the slightly acetic range, depending on the carbonate hardness, in every case.
2) elevated phosphate levels (over 90 %); phosphate limitation by means of JBL PhosEx ultra is often helpful here.
3) too little and too irregular fertilization (there should always be traces of iron at least).
4) insufficient water changes; a weekly water change of over 30 % is recommended for algae problems.
5) not enough fast-growing plants.
Should the amount of fertiliser be reduced when there is algae trouble ?
A comprehensive answer to this question cannot be provided, as this would require a comprehensive analysis of the water, the fertilisation, lighting and the carbon dioxide supply, plus regular water care.
Although algae can be attributed to an excess of nutrients - particularly phosphate and nitrate in this case, - in many cases, they are also the result of a lack of so-called micronutrients, of which iron is the best known. Very often, this is the deeper cause of the algae problem.
When algae growth occurs, it is generally highly advisable to increase the amount and frequency of water changes, make sure there is a sufficient supply of fast-growing plants and fertilise these with JBL Ferropol or JBL Ferropol 24 in accordance with the instructions.
Do JBL Ferropol, JBL Ferropol 24 or JBL ProScape Fe+ Microelements contain copper, which is harmful for shrimps?
As with all good trace element fertilisers, all the fertilisers for ornamental plants in aquariums which have been mentioned contain copper. Copper is an essential trace element for plants and animals.
For shrimps, other decapods and some other animal groups copper is a central atom of the blood pigment haemocyanin, and thus essential for transporting oxygen inside the animal.
The concentration in JBL Ferropol, JBL Ferropol 24 and JBL ProScape Fe + Microelements is so designed that all trace elements are available in the required quantities. Not even multiple fertiliser overdosing can result in negative effects on shrimps and other decapods.