Low Tech Starter Ferts - The Planted Tank Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-16-2013, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
PTrader: (21/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Rolla, MO
Posts: 464
Low Tech Starter Ferts

I am in the process of setting up two super low tech tanks. Ultimately, I want the inhabitants of the tanks to be the source of ferts for my plants, but initially, I want to give my plants a boost to get going prior to putting the fish in.

I've had a couple thoughts.

1 - Water from inhabited fish tanks. When I do water changes, just swap the water from the new tank and the inhabited ones.

2 - Miracle-Gro Houseplant Food. I have a bottle of the liquid stuff that I use on my houseplants. I read the label, but it doesn't provide much info on the inactive ingredients. Of course, I wouldn't use more than a couple drops at a time, and I would stop fertilizing at least one week before adding any fish.

3 - Commercial aquatic fertilizer. I'd rather not spend much, if any money on this, since I'll only be adding ferts once or twice.


1g Window Bowl *** 1.5g Moss Cube *** 5.5g PFR Garden *** 5.5g RCS *** 7.25g Shrimp Pond ***10g Rili Playground *** 20H Guppy Tank *** Assorted Jars, Tanks & Buckets
cjyhc4 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-16-2013, 03:59 PM
Planted Tank Guru
Hoppy's Avatar
PTrader: (79/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 19,607
If you want low tech, meaning low light, you don't need to dose fertilizers. If you want to give the plants a boost, use DIY CO2, but just giving them CO2 for a short time can do more harm than good. Crypts, at least, may die back when you stop the CO2. The best way to do "low tech", in my opinion, is to use a fertile substrate, no fertilizers added to the water, low light, and just wait for the plants to adapt to the conditions and grow at the slow pace that is typical for low tech tanks.

If the tank is a small one, 20 gallons or less, you can use Flourish Excel to give the plants a boost, and continue using it to keep them growing at a steady rate. With larger tanks, Excel can begin to get expensive.

Hoppy is offline  
post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-16-2013, 04:11 PM
Planted Tank Guru
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 10,333
I would use some substrate tablets. Slow release, so as the other fertilizer sources build up the tablets are getting used up.

Another source is starting with good soil. This really is the basis for a low tech tank: Use the best materials to start with so the soil, fish food and water changes provide the plants with the things they need.
Diana is online now  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome