Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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milindsaraswala 03-23-2010 10:05 AM

Advice on Plants Fertz
I have 8 gallon fresh water tank with two plants. I don't have CO2. Now I was looking for some fertilizer for my plants. I show in my market API Leaf Zone,API Root Tab, Tetra fertz exactly I dont know name of it But I know it is from Tetra and lastly Seachem Flourish liquid or Tablets. I wanted to know which one is gud from those. can somebody give me advice on that

Byron 03-23-2010 11:05 AM

Of those named, in my view only the Seachem Flourish (liquid) is worth getting. Assuming it is the Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium. They make several products in the Flourish line, this one named is the complete comprehensive supplement of micro-nutrients. I have used it for well over a year now, and nothing else, and you can see the results in the photos under my "Aquariums."

To explain the reasoning behind this, plants require 17 nutrients. Some, such as nitrogen and carbon (CO2) come from the fish and biological processes in the aquarium, so there is no need to be adding those. But the others have to be in balance. And with the light of course. Only then can the plants photosynthesize which is how they grow.

My only other comment would be that with substrate-rooted plants like swords, crypts, vallisneria, sagittaria, etc, a substrate fertilizer tablet or stick would probably work. But this is useless with floating plants, plants not rooted in the substrate such as Anubias, Java Fern and Java Moss; and with stem plants liquid is more useful as they assimilate nutrients via leaves and roots. Liquid ferts in the water get into the substrate naturally, so as a basic general fert, a good liquid like Flourish Comprehensive is recommended.

The reason I do not recommend the API or Tetra liquids is because they are limited to a couple nutrients; API Leaf Zone is only iron and potassium (according to their info online and on the bottle) so there's a lot of other nutrients missing. Tetra Flora-Pride is similar, they only mention iron and potassium, so one must assume nothing else is included.

Last point, use the liquid fert a day after each water change not the same day. Reason here is that most conditioners detoxify heavy metals, and iron, copper, nickel, zinc and magnesium are "heavy metals" but also are necessary micro-nutrients for plants. Detoxifying them when you add them is wasting the fert. I asked Seachem directly and they recommend waiting 24 hours after a water change using a conditioner that detoxifies metals before adding Flourish to replenish those minerals and others.

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