What would make a good fertilizer starter kit?
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:42 PM   #1
mjalex007
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Default What would make a good fertilizer starter kit?

I recently set up a planted tank and so far, so good. My plants look like they're doing okay. Some are growing, others not so much, but still look healthy.

I have a CO2 system and and Flourish Excel that I've used periodically.

Now, I'm wondering what I need to do to keep my plants growing and healthy...

Should I be adding also adding phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium? I've read here that is what many others do. I saw an "enhancer kit" from Flourish with these fertilizers. Is a kit like this suitable?

What about root tabs? Would those be an suitable alternative to using a combination of the above chemicals?

I guess what I need to know is what do I do now? Sorry for all the questions but after reading the many posts on fertilizers here, I'm confused.
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:55 PM   #2
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How much light do you have over your aquarium? Light is a main driving factor into whether or not CO2 and fertilizers become a necessity in your aquarium.

The more light you have, the more important the balance between all three becomes.

Since you have CO2, there is no need to be adding Excel at the same time; in fact, CO2 is much better than Excel.

As for fertilizers, as you already know, plants require macronutrients and micronutrients. Of these macronutrients, NPK are the ones that are dosed, while a trace mix is used to dose micronutrients.

For fertilizers, you could always go with commercial products if you want, but they can become very expensive in the long run. Instead, I would recommend you get dry fertilizers instead, and dose from there. That is by far, the cheapest option available to you.

For more information regarding fertilizers and such, please take a look at my primer for planted aquariums linked in my signature below.
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:21 PM   #3
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My suggestion to someone just getting started is to go ahead and buy liquid fertilizers first.
N
P
K
Micros
and see how things go, how much of each you are adding and the plant response.
Then buy the dry ferts and refill the bottles with the same amount of active ingredient. By then you will be much better prepared to alter the formula to suit the way your plants respond.
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
My suggestion to someone just getting started is to go ahead and buy liquid fertilizers first.
N
P
K
Micros
and see how things go, how much of each you are adding and the plant response.
Then buy the dry ferts and refill the bottles with the same amount of active ingredient. By then you will be much better prepared to alter the formula to suit the way your plants respond.
One reason for not doing it this way, but, instead, dosing in non-limiting amounts per an EI type program is that it will let you see what plants that are growing without any nutrient limits look like. Once you know what they look like, you can start reducing how much you dose, and you can recognize when they don't look as good as they should. This has been one of Plantbrain's pieces of advice for some time now, and it seems to be very valid to me.
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:47 PM   #5
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Go to pfertz, they have a 45% discount. The full npk+m is a little less than $50 including shipping. Expensive for a big tank, but should be good for smaller tanks. I got some.
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:47 PM   #6
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They also have root tabs
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:58 PM   #7
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I checked out the pfertz site and the quantities and prices are more than I want at the moment.

The Seachem "enhancer kit" is is less than $12. I think it would be a good place for me to start.

Thanks for the advice.
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