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Filtration and fertilization

Last year, I gradually replaced all filter media in the filter. It means, I replaced the coarse sponge in September. Then the fine sponges in October and November. In January, I replaced the Cirax media. In December, I installed a new Juwel pump into the filter. It had been working for three years. I have kept the old one as a backup.

In February, the aquarium began to act strangely. I had no idea what was going on. The new plants Ludwigia sp. Super Red and Hemianthus callitrichoides did not prosper. And the other plants were not growing as before. Goldstripe corydordas (Corydoras aeneus) died. Only two of them left. All new Ram cichlids (Mikrogeophagus ramirezi) died too. One of two females I bought a year ago, started to suffer from some mold. Finally disappeared. So, there is only one left.

When changing the water in March, I checked the filter media. I was surprised because the coarse sponge was quite clogged. It had only been there since September. I used to exchange it once per year and it has never been in such condition. I cleaned it up a little. The flow of the filter got improved considerably, which was reflected on the CO2 bubbles drifting. And the plants in the aquarium started to grow again. It seems that the filter was clogged and did not filter well. In April, I replaced the coarse sponge by a new one. I think I will have to exchange it more often.

Concerning the fertilization by means of Aqua Nova NMDP-5, some time ago I mentioned that the fertilizer was returning to the bottle at the fourth dispenser. I tried to claim it in the Sklorex store, but I was told that there is one extra dispenser in the package for these cases. I replaced the dispenser, but I installed check valves on the fertilizer inlets so the fertilizer could not return. I bought the check valves on eBay. A pack of 5 pcs cost 31 CZK (US$ 1.30).

The fertilizer dosage has been adjusted as follows:

Fertilizer Frequency Dose
Easy Life Fosfo 3x daily 2 ml, 2 ml, 3 ml
Easy Life Kalium (Potassium) 2x daily 2 ml, 2 ml
Seachem Flourish Excel 1x daily 1 ml
Seachem Flourish Iron 1x daily 1 ml
Seachem Flourish Nitrogen 2x daily 1 ml, 1 ml

The plants have been growing well for the last two months. I purchased the Ludwigia sp. Super Red and Eleocharis parvulus plants again. They seem to be doing well. I decided to try new fish food, so I bought the Hikari brand:

  • Cichlid Gold Mini
  • Sinking Cichlid Gold Mini

The first one stays afloat. The other one sinks. It is kind of small pellets. The fish enjoy it.



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