I've been researching like crazy for the last 3 days, but I still have some questions when it comes to fertilizers. I have read the EI article and it helped, but I still have some questions.
I was planning on buying Seachem NPK for my macro's and Seachem Flourish for my micros. Is this all I will need or are there other ferts I'll need to successfully grow Dwarf Hair Grass? Here is my other info.
10 Gallon tank
High pH from tap (7.6), I plan on mixing in some RO water to bring to a safe level
No CO2 at the moment, might do a DIY later on.
Eco complete substrate (will this effect my micro levels?)
I have no way to test micro or macro levels, will my tap water/RO water mix have any in it before I go adding any?
Keep on reading
. You never mentioned your lighting. Remember, light drives everything. IMO, if you got medium-high light, you gonna want CO2. EI really is not necessary in low light tanks if you have a decent bioload. Otherwise, you might want to dose leaner.
Eco complete is pretty inert, so I doubt it will effect micros that much. I reccommend you get dry ferts as they are cheaper in the long run. They also offer more flexibility. Say your plants use a lot more N than P. You will be wasting or even overdosing on P, though overdosing is not the root cause of algae issues.
Might want to check your KH and GH of the water. 7.6 is barely "high". You might need to cut with RO if the GH/KH are really high.
TL;DR. Lights -> CO2 -> Ferts. These are the 3 main players in planted tanks. EI rules out ferts by introducing nonlimiting supply of nutrients. That way plants can grow at max rate as driven by light and CO2. If you haven't already read, excess nutrients does not cause algae.