plant ferts - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 15 Old 11-04-2009, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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Question plant ferts

i just started planting my 20 gal tropical freshwater aqurium. my question is....what do you guys recommend for ferts....ive seen the seachem flourish is this a good product. Jack Middleton had recommended NPK+Trace but i cant find it anyway on-line or in stores.

Tank size: 20 gal
lighting: 2 15w/120v incadacent lights
Co2: no ( would like to stay away from)
Ammonia: 0-0.25ppm
nitrite: 0ppm
nitrate:20-40ppm
any other info you need??

"Fish are friends not food"
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post #2 of 15 Old 11-04-2009, 08:08 PM
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Plants require a balance of 17 nutrients. Some of these may occur in your tap water, some will come from the fish food, but the chance of getting everything in the required amount is unlikely. Dosing individual nutrients is risky at best, and can be dangerous. Some nutrients in excess can lead to deficiencies in other nutrients because they affect the plant's metabolism.

The EI method of dosing quantities of certain nutrients appears to work in aquaria with CO2 and mega light, i.e., high-tech planted tanks; its inventor and proponent, Tom Barr, says as much. In low-tech or natural planted aquaria, this is not a good practice. The light and CO2 will be much lower and to balance 16 nutrients with this is not simple (CO2 is one of the 17 nutrients, as carbon). The best solution is a comprehensive fertilizer.

I have used Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium for more than a year now, with very good results. Previously I used Kent Freshwater Plant Supplement, also successful. These are liquid fertilizers, adequate in most situations. But if you have swords or crypts, plants which are largely bog plants in nature which means they absorb largely through their roots, substrate fertilization is beneficial. And swords (Echinodorus species) are heavy feeders. For these I use Nutrafin's Plant-Gro sticks; there is also a tablet in the Flourish line.

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 #3 of 15 Old 11-04-2009, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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thank you byron....so the seachem i mentioned is it different from the one you mentioned? i do plan on getting some anubias (sp??) as soon as the lfs gets theorder in but currently i have java moss, java fern, anacharis, and banana plants. I will also be getting some light care floatingplants for my betta tank....all the products you mentioned are safe for fish too right??

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post #4 of 15 Old 11-05-2009, 12:15 AM
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personally i use the flourish tabs, but learned they lack photsphate and something else which a plant needs. so before you waste ur money look into the plnt gro sticks maybe.
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post #5 of 15 Old 11-05-2009, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by molliefan09 View Post
thank you byron....so the seachem i mentioned is it different from the one you mentioned? i do plan on getting some anubias (sp??) as soon as the lfs gets theorder in but currently i have java moss, java fern, anacharis, and banana plants. I will also be getting some light care floatingplants for my betta tank....all the products you mentioned are safe for fish too right??
Yes to your last question. But another reason not to go dosing ad hoc nutrients is the possible effect on fish. In the required balance nutrients will feed the plants; there is no need for more than what they need. So why risk it.

For the plants you mention, substrate fertilizer would be of little value. Liquid is fine. And use the specific one I named; Seachem make several products in the Flourish line but the "Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium" is the basic all-found fertilizer.

Anubias is like Java Fern, it grows by roots attached to wood and rocks, so don't plant it in the substrate when you get it. Banana plants should be planted with the lowest 1/3 of the "banana" structure in the gravel (substrate), and other roots will develop down into the substrate. The bananas are actually stores of nutrients, not roots. And banana plants do not live long, about a year it seems; but they will produce daughter plants readily.

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 #6 of 15 Old 11-05-2009, 10:17 AM
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Curious, as I have been looking online and haven't found Nutrafin's Plant-Gro sticks. Byron, where do you purchase yours from??

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post #7 of 15 Old 11-05-2009, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by aunt kymmie View Post
Curious, as I have been looking online and haven't found Nutrafin's Plant-Gro sticks. Byron, where do you purchase yours from??
There are several stores in Vancouver that carry them. They are made by Hagen/Nutrafin. I believe this company is actually Hagen, and they incorporated the Nutrafin line, or something.

I just tried to access the site to get you the direct link, but it may be down or something, can't get on at the moment. They're at www.hagen.com or www.rchagen.com

B.

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 15 Old 11-05-2009, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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ok so seachem flourish comprehensive suppliment for planted aquariums...got it, i will go purchase some later today. i currently have my java fern stuck in the substrate so i will go attach it to my piece of drift wood....any suggestions on what to attach it with??

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post #9 of 15 Old 11-05-2009, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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is this the correct product?....
Seachem Supplement For The Planted Aquarium Flourish 50 Ml-Aquarium Live Plant Supplies

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post #10 of 15 Old 11-05-2009, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by molliefan09 View Post
Yep, that's it. The largest size (2 litres) is less expensive per ml so it depends how much you may be using. I have three large aquaria plus a couple small ones, and I am still using the 2L I bought last October (2008). I saved several dollars over buying the smaller size. Some people don't mind if they don't use much. Same with water conditioner, it is cheaper per ml in the largest size.

B.

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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