No Fert ? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 36 Old 03-24-2010, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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No Fert ?

I was recommended a certain fert, bought at Petsmart. However, the ones around me do not carry it. I called Petco, and they don't have any better brands. I'm still planning on those plants (guess what, my dad is considering sweetsaquatics.com!), but I'm fearful without the fertilizer.

What would happen without the fertilizer? Should I REALLY go crazy and search everywhere for a good one? Unlikely with the chance, though. Should I succumb to one of the lesser fertilizers? I believe it was API Plant Food (?) and Tetra Flora-Pride (?). The Flora-Pride is apparently different from the website, so I'll look at that.

If I ask to buy one online, it is a huge gamble. My dad may get mad and call off the plants. Or not. (But I don't want to spend anymore money with shipping myself, either).

Thank you~

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post #2 of 36 Old 03-24-2010, 10:11 PM
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fish waste is a fertilizer.
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post #3 of 36 Old 03-24-2010, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I've heard that, however the fish waste does not contain all the "nutrients" it needs - so I've been told- , and I only have two bettas in the 5 gallon (divided), so I'm afraid it won't be enough.

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post #4 of 36 Old 03-24-2010, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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I looked up Tetra Florapride online, and it seems like it only majors in Iron and...something else, I believe potassium.

However, there are tablets(?) as well, but would these be helpful with stem plants?

"Hey. I have some bad news, and some good news."
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post #5 of 36 Old 03-25-2010, 04:59 AM
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With the fish waste and the food falling on the ground, if the plants looks healthy, i do not see to add any fertiliser.
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post #6 of 36 Old 03-25-2010, 08:43 AM
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PetSmart sells Flourish Comprehensive. This is a liquid fertilizer that will give you all the nutrients you need.
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post #7 of 36 Old 03-25-2010, 11:06 AM
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First on what plants do need: 17 nutrients, of which 13 are mineral. Some of these will occur from fish food and fish waste and organics breaking down via bacteria in the substrate. Carbon (as CO2) and nitrogen (as ammonia/ammonium) come from the fish and biological actions in the aquarium. Others might be present in your tap water and will be replenished during the weekly partial water change; I'm thinking mainly calcium and magnesium here, these are the minerals that determine the hardness of water so the degree of hardness of your tap water will indicate if these are present.

Without knowing all the above, it is difficult to say whether you will or will not definitely need a good liquid fertilizer. Most of us find we do need it, but it varies depending upon all those things and from aquarium to aquarium. Plant the aquarium and observe the plants; they will show signs of nutrient deficiency if something is lacking, and if you are at that point able to buy a good fertilizer, they will recover.

As for the fertilizers themselves, not all are good. Root tabs work well with substrate rooted plants, and less so with stem plants. For plants that root on wood and rock (like Anubias, Java Fern, Java Moss) or floating plants, substrate fertilizer will be useless.

Liquid fertilizers are the best overall, as all plants can use them. Nutrients come from the water, assimilated via the plant roots and in some the leaves as well. The liquid has to be a comprehensive one providing most of what the plants need that is likely to be missing from the water, fish food, etc. I mentioned above. Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive is good, I use it. I do not recommend the API Leaf Zone nor the Tetra because they are not complete. There are some others, if you can tell me what is available at your stores I can comment.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #8 of 36 Old 03-25-2010, 04:00 PM
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just a newbie here. Ive had my tank setup for 7 weeks now. I do NOT use any fert. I bought my plants from SA. Almost all my plants have grown or sprouted. So i'm not sure if I will need or ever need fert.
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post #9 of 36 Old 03-25-2010, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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What I'm afraid is that, when I get all my plants and I find out I DO need fert, what would I do then? I like to take preventative methods first.

The Flourish Comprehensive is only online, and I called my petsmarts. They only sell the API.

I could buy them, but I'm just plain fearful for them as well. I wouldn't want them dying on me.

"Hey. I have some bad news, and some good news."
"What's the bad news??"
"There's no good news."
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post #10 of 36 Old 03-25-2010, 10:18 PM
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I believe your plants will be perfectly fine a few weeks without fertilizer. My java moss is growing quite a bit in my 44g with babies that I don't fertilize. Permanently, you might want fertilizer, but I think if you end up with your plants before you get fertilizer, they will be perfectly fine for a few weeks. Might have minimal growth though.

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