So what do I actually need (Micro/Macro nutrients?) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 10-17-2012, 04:06 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 18
So what do I actually need (Micro/Macro nutrients?)

I understand what I need to add to the tank and why.

Micro is your trace elements, Macro is your nitrate/potassium/phosphates.

I realize I can get Micro from bottles sold at the LPS. Flourish etc?

But what about Macro's. how do i actually add them to the water? where do I buy them?

Some links to actual products would be nice, as a starting point - its like telling me my fish tank needs water, but I have no concept of getting water out of a tank.. how should I know what do i do?


reason I ask is because all my plants are showing very pale/almost white new-growth.. I read this is due to lack of nutrients. I have used Co2 injection heavily when I first set the tank up and my thought is that the plants used up everything in that time. (I dont co2 inject any more, and its only been 4 or 5 days since I stopped.). I will be doing co2 injects eventually though, just going to wait till I get a furuval co2 kit - I cant be bothered with the mess of DIY kits
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 10-17-2012, 04:25 AM
Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 10,520
I do not know about sources in Oz, but here are some USA source ideas:

N from KNO3, an agricultural fertilizer. Since ag ferts are sold in 50 pound bags, aquarium clubs and specialty aquatic fertilizer companies will repackage it, usually into 1 lb bags.

P from KH2PO4, another agricultural fertilizer, same comment as for N.

K from K2SO4, another agricultural fertilizer, same comment as for N.

Secondary fertilizers are usually found in the water:
Ca and Mg measured with the GH test, or separate test for Ca. If your tap water has at least 3 German degrees of hardness, then there is probably enough of each, Ca and Mg. If you are using reverse osmosis or distilled water, or your tap water is very soft (<3dGH) then the Ca and Mg are probably too low. GH booster is a general term for a nutrient supplement that supplies Ca, Mg and occasionally other minerals. For example, Seachem Equilibrium also has K.

Micros may be available separately, but are usually purchased pre-blended.
Iron is the most common mineral that is purchased separately, in chelated form (Yup! Another ag product).
I buy a blend called CSM+B that includes some iron, as well as the other micros. I do add more chelated iron.
CSM+B is not an ag product, but is a specialty aquarium product.

You might also look into hydroponic sources. Some of their products might work in an aquarium.

Here is a link to one supplier here in the USA. I do not think they ship to Oz, though. Anyway, look for something like this in your area.
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