Forward: Last time I tried changing fertilizer from Flourish, I got green water, in a client's aquarium
, so I'm nervous about straying from Flourish again! I don't want an Amano tank; I just want to get this crap at least growing again! I apologize for the length of the following:
Hi, I have a few low tech planted tanks with Profile substrate
. I've been using Flourish for the last few years on city water with, eh, ok results, I guess. Most plants aren't curling up and dying, anyway. I've also just started using some Excel this past month, and that's been doing well for some plants, so I got a gallon of Metricide 14 and will continue with that.
But I think I have potassium problems with my Anubias (chronic holes in new leaves) and iron problems with my Red Rubin Sword - just poor growth and color on city water & lots of Flourish versus NO ferts at my old house that, well...we had a dug well with mildly acidic water with excellent GH & KH, and as for K and Fe, the levels were sky high (we lived right off the "Isinglass River," and our water tasted like liquid iron.) Believe me, if I had a pickup truck, I'd get a 100 gallon sealed transport tank and be filling it up at the river every month for water changes!!!
Red Rubins and Java Fern especially went wild there. Red Rubins used to have very little petiole but gargantuan leaves 20+ inches, and the root systems almost doubled the thickness of my substrate, even with zero Nitrates! I used a tiny bit of Flourish once in a while. My Java Fern grew wild in a 125 gallon Koi tank with no added ferts or CO2 (tons of Nitrates,) and I sold it by the boxful. I easily made a couple hundred bucks on eBay clearing out the tank once a year for my xmas money.
Java Fern here is now just...eh. It barely grows at all. Red Rubin has all but disappeared. The big leaves are gone, and the plants are tiny puffs on the bottom with 2" long stubby, transparent, malformed leaves. Oh, how I miss my house in so many ways!
As an aside, the city water pH maxes out
my high-range pH kit - two of them. I haven't measured GH and KH here. No wonder I'm down to only Goldfish and Platys!
So, anyway, I read the blurbs on websites touting how Leaf Zone adds only Fe and K, and I thought, that seems perfect to supplement the Flourish and Excel, as I think I'm especially lacking those two nutrients! But then I just found this analysis of metals in it
, and now I'm wondering what's the deal?
Is Leaf Zone just another Flourish, so that adding it would be like double-dosing Flourish?
In that case, I don't want to overdose micronutrients! Also, isn't Iron a metal? Then why isn't it listed?
As for Flourish's guaranteed analysis
, what components are no longer listed, and at what %? Someone's got to have a copy of the old chart stashed somewhere! It's impossible
to compare the two thoroughly without complete guaranteed analyses. WTF, US law? You suck!
BTW, I only wanted to try a little bit of an Fe & K blend first to see if it helped, without splurging on bottles of Seachem's brand, and then I'd probably buy it dry in bulk or whatever, the same way I bought Excel to try it first and later got a gallon of Metricide when I saw improvement. I'm poor!
I've also considered that I'm also lacking phosphorus and calcium. Should I just go ahead and buy everything I might be lacking in bulk and sell off whatever doesn't seem to do anything, while keeping on the Flourish for micros? Or try something like this "Green Fert Package
?" I don't think I really want to add Nitrogen, btw, because I have plenty, believe me! But with lower light levels and generally undemanding plants, it seems like going this route is way overkill. Plus, the guaranteed analysis for the micros
isn't as impressive-looking to me as Flourish. However, I'm the first to admit that I'd don't know what I'm talking about.
I know about "EI" from reading on here but I'm too overwhelmed at the moment to make personal sense out of it.