what kind of plant nutes are needed/used for aquarium plant growth? i ask this because another hobby of mine is hydroponic gardening. and since its basically the same thing "water gardening" i was wondering if the hydro nutes could be used for aquarium plants also. the nutes i have for the hydro is flora micro, flora grow and flora bloom. the flora micro is used for the basic foundation nutes plants needs and supplies Nitrogen, Potassium, Calcium, and trace elements. flora grow stimulates structural and vegetative growth. Builds strong roots. Provides Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium, and secondary minerals. and the flora bloom Stimulates flower and fruit development. Enhances flavor, roma, and essential oils. Provides high Phosphorous, Potassium, Magnesium, and Sulfur. I know this stuff is not intended to be used with live fish so thats why im asking you guys. which, if not all of these ingredeints will be harmfull to fish? thanks!
I know very little--which is to say nothing at all basically--about hydroponics, but my understanding is that it is the culture of terrestrial plants using water without soil. This may seem close to aquarium plant culture, but in fact aquatic plants require somewhat different nutrients, or require some of them in quite different proportions. For example, terrestrial plants require sodium, silicon, iodine, and cobalt for functions not necessary in aquatic plants, such as one obvious example, the fixation of nitrogen from the air. This is one reason fertilizers for terrestrial plants should never be used in the aquarium.
Aquatic plants require 17 nutrients; the macro-nutrients are oxygen, calcium, hydrogen, carbon, magnesium, nitrogen, sulphur, potassium and phosphorus, while the micro-nutrients are iron, copper, zinc, molybdenum, boron, manganese, chlorine and nickel. They require these in very specific proportions to each other; an excess of some nutrients can cause adverse reactions such as the plant shutting down assimilation of specific other nutrients. For example, an excess of potassium will result in a deficiency in iron.
It will also be obvious that some of the micro-nutrients are heavy metals (iron, copper, zinc, manganese) and these are highly toxic to all life--plant, fish and bacteria. While plants have the ability to take up (as opposed to assimilate as in nutrition) these substances, they only have a certain capacity for this.
The form of some nutrients is also critical. Iron in the presence of oxygen changes its ion form such that plants cannot assimilate it; chelated iron overcomes this problem.
All of the above demonstrates that the specific quantity of each nutrient must be carefully controlled. Not only will the plants suffer, but the fish also can be poisoned by excessive minerals. On another level, some nutrients in excess will promote algae.
Some form of fertilization is almost always required, since all the necessary nutrients are unlikely to occur solely from tap water, fish food, and organics. There are two basic approaches to providing these. One is the EI or Estimated Index method that is successful (depending how you view all this) in high-tech planted aquaria that have mega light and added CO2. Dry nutrients are mixed and added to the aquarium, followed by a major water change to remove the excess that the plants can't use and which otherwise may be toxic.
The second method is well suited to low-tech setups, involving use of a comprehensive liquid fertilizer and sometimes substrate nutrients whether as fertilizer tabs/sticks, an enriched substrate or a soil substrates. This is my preferred method, as it basically avoids any possibility of toxicity and with a good fertilizer will provide all that is required safely. For the record, I use Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium which to the best of my knowledge is the only preparation containing all nutrients (save oxygen and hydrogen which obviously occur in the aquarium naturally, and nickel which interestingly is not included in any aquarium plant fertilizer I have come across). The nutrients are also in the approximate correct proportions, as shown in the list on their website:
thanks i was wanting to know the specific amounts of what nutes "aquarium" nutes contained.i guess i should have just asked for a link to a reputable nutes info. : ) i understand the heavy metals found in my hydro nutes are a no no to the fishes. also the hydro nutes are absorbed by the root mass only. the aquarium plants absorb nutes by the roots also but should probly absorb quite alot from foliar absorbsion also right?
As for the specific proportion of nutrients, I have not myself come across this, but it must be out there somewhere.
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