Monthly Archives: October 2013

Can fertilizers cause algae?

NO! Is the short answer.

Many people are being given false information that fertilizers such as TNC Plant Food can cause algae. Furthermore people are being told if you have an algae outbreak then you should cut back on your fertilizers or stop dosing altogether in order to starve the algae.

The truth is, by not adding these vital nutrients to your planted aquarium you are actually starving your plants and you will cause nutrient deficiency. As soon as your plants stop performing well, algae swoops in. Algae is like a predator, it waits to find a weakness and then swoops in for the kill. 

The same can be said for Co2, if you starve your plants from Co2 (a vital component for photosynthesis) then your plants will start performing badly, start to decay, and then algae will start covering the leaves.

By providing good amounts of Co2 and nutrients your plants will be healthy and thrive. As long as you have healthy plants, you won’t see any algae.

Your plants need macro and micro nutrients, we recommend TNC Complete as a full nutrient solution for your plants. As a solution for carbon, we recommend TNC Carbon, an excellent alternative to Co2 injection, or the perfect partner for Co2 injection. Liquid carbon also acts as an algaecide, so for best results use both Co2 injection and liquid carbon.

Jungle Style Aquarium

A great example of a jungle style aquarium. Large leaved plants, little hardscape on show & a mixture of colours all add up to the perfect jungle aquarium!

You will need a medium to large sized aquarium as many of the plants used in jungle aquariums are on the larger side.

Maintenance on these types of aquariums is very much on the easier side. With only a 50% water change every week and pruning of dead/oversized leaves.

As long as you have medium light, consistent co2, nutrient rich substrate and/or liquid nutrient dosing & good circulation, you will find your plants flourishing.  Because of the huge plant mass you will need lots of liquid fertilizers and lots of co2.

Here are some good plant collections to get you started with a jungle style aquarium:

Discus Plant Collections

Mixed Cryptocoryne Collections

For a high plant we recommend lots of plant food and a nutrient rich substrat. Here’s a couple of things you may need to feed your plants:

Root tabs to nourish your substrate

Liquid Aquarium Plant Fertilizers

Planted Aquarium Maintenance

As a guide, we suggest following these daily, weekly and monthly aquarium plant maintenance routines:

Daily Maintenance


1. Dose fertilizers & liquid carbon. Missing your daily dose of liquid carbon will mean your plants are not getting an even supply of carbon. Fluctuating levels can cause algae.

2. Remove any dead leaves or plant matter. Their breakdown will promote algae growth.

3. Check your water temperature. Any faults with your heater could mean your temperature drops which could harm fish & plants.

Weekly Maintenance


1. Conduct a water change of a minimum 50% each week. This prevents a build up of waste products, which algae thrives on. During the first 2-3 weeks you should be changing the water 2-3 times per week to reduced algae outbreaks during the most fragile stages of your aquarium, where your tank is yet to stabilize.

2. Check your aquarium equipment is working properly (heater, filter, light timer, co2 injection etc.). Any faults can disrupt the stability of your planted aquarium.

3. Clean glass, hardscape and plant leaves. If you are encountering a large build up of algae, seriously consider reducing your lighting, increasing your co2 and increasing the amount of water changes. Cleaning algae out of the tank is only a short term solution, stopping the cause of algae is a long term solution.

4. Trim your plants. It is important to trim regularly to encourage new growth, remove dead/old leaves & prevent any plants from being blocked from light. It is also your chance to be creative and create a planted aquarium to be proud of! Re-plant any cuttings by removing lower leaves, snipping the roots and replanting into your substrate.

Monthly Maintenance


1. Clean out your filters. Give your filter media a good clean, it is often best to do this in aquarium water you have taken out from a water change. Cleaning your filter will remove organic waste that has built up over time in your filter. Do not worry about killing the beneficial bacteria that’s in your filter, there will still be plenty left to deal with your tanks natural eco-system.

2. Clean pipes, lily pipes and any other equipment inside/outside your tank. Presentation is everythin

Java Moss, Easy Grower

Looking for an easy grow, low tech plant? Read on…
Java Moss, is one of the the most common aquatic moss kept in the aquarium. It is grown by attaching itself onto aquarium hard scape such as wood, rocks, coconut and can even be attached to piece of mess/net to form a carpet or wall of moss.
It grows under many water conditions, light intensity’s and high or low tech tanks. Like many plants growth is faster under high light, however Java Moss will grow well under lower lighting, just a little slower. In high light tanks you will find yourself trimming regularly, but if you keep on top of it this plant will look stunning in your aquarium.
When you first introduce Java moss to your aquarium, simply attach strands to hardscape using a piece of cotton. Over time the Java Moss will attach itself.
The plant can be propagated by cutting off overgrown strands and re-attaching to other pieces of hardscape.
Another great thing about Java moss is its ability to grow above the aquarium. If you have pieces of hardscape such as wood that escape the water then Java Moss will in time works its way up out the the water.
One last thing to note – be sure to keep you water clean and free of debris as this can collect and build up within the Java Moss itself, making it look unsightly.
Other than that, give it a go and enjoy this wonderful plant!