06-16-2012, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by KPainter
I've been reading a lot about Flourish and am just wondering if this is a necessity with a planted tank or just something to be used if the plants don't look like they're doing well? Thanks.
Plants need 17 nutrients, and all of them do occur naturally in a tank with fish--to some degree. Fish food for instance has everything plants need, so as it passes through the fish and becomes waste, the bacteria in the substrate break it down and the minerals are taken up by plants. Other nutrients can occur in the water from water changes depending upon how hard the water is. And some like oxygen, carbon and hydrogen [water] is just there.
It is possible to have plants growing well without anything being added. But it depends upon the source water, fish load and fish food.
I have very soft water, so right from the start I have to add minerals or the plants just die. The amount needed depends upon the individual factors I mentioned above. For most of us with natural method planted tanks, meaning those that are low-tech relying on nature more than equipment, a basic complete liquid fertilizer is sufficient. Seachem's Flourish comprehensive Supplement is one, Brightwell Aquatics' makes FlorinMulti which is basically the same. These are two i am familiar with, and they are adequate for most of us. If you have very soft tap water, addition hard minerals (calcium, magnesium, potassium) will be needed as the two products mentioned do not contain enough of these.