Every kind of aquatic plant has different needs and grows in different ways, therefore sometimes special attention needs to be added to the planted tank to ensure the entire system grows and is maintained effectively. Just like with the Green Brighty STEP system, the SPECIAL series also contains desalinated deep sea water, which contains rich minerals that aid in leaf coloration.
The Effect of Cryptocoryne (use SPECIAL Shade)
Cryptocoryne are heavy root feeding plants – meaning that they absorb much of their nutrition from the substrate system itself, and as a result they develop massive, sprawling root systems that can spread throughout the entire aquarium absorbing nutrients. When this happens, Cryptocoryne accelerates the oxidization process of the soil (which normally starts happening at the end of the first year). Additionally, cryptocoryne absorbs much more potassium and phosphorus than other plants, so the balance of these nutrients goes into shortage and it negatively effects growth of both cryptocoryne and other aquatic plants.
To solve this problem, Green Brighty SPECIAL Shade was developed, which has a pH buffering characteristic (to combat oxidization of the soil) and is formulated with abundant potassium and phosphorus to make up for the inconsistency.
When Should I Start Using SPECIAL Shade?
Begin using SPECIAL shade after cryptocoryne has become well established in the aquarium and is densely growing, usually the three to four month mark after setup. Use it in conjunction with Green Brighty STEP 2 and Brighty K.
The Effect of High-Light Aquatic Plants (use SPECIAL Lights)
High-light plants or “sun-loving” plants that grow rapidly and absorb a lot of their nutrients from the water column, such as Riccia, Glossostigma, Rotala and other stem plant varieties tend to grow densely and quickly over the entire aquarium. This rapid growth drains nitrogen and phosphorus from the aquarium at a rate where the aquarium cannot naturally supply these elements (such as from the substrate, fish waste, uneaten fish food, etc).
In many cases in the aquarium, nitrogen and phosphorus are excessive and must be controlled with water changes, but when you’re using high light plants, the opposite occurs – a deficiency. Therefore, SPECIAL Lights was formulated with nitrogen and phosphorus to make up for this deficiency.
When Should I start Using SPECIAL Lights?
Use SPECIAL Lights with Green Brighty STEP series and Brighty K, once the aquarium has matured and the aquatic plants have grown in densely (typically at the beginning or end of the third month after setup).