If you could only have ONE fertilizer.... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 05:10 AM Thread Starter
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If you could only have ONE fertilizer....

Which would you choose?

I ask this because thats basically what I can afford...one item. Ive read Flourish excel is pretty good and can be had for about 6+shipping for a 250ml. Reviews seemed to be good. Seems pretty idiotproof...just pour a measured amount in...

I would love to know what you each consider your 'must have'....so I can go purchase it
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 05:22 AM
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If I could only have one fertilizer I would limit myself to low light tanks, and would consider using Flourish Excel to be sure the plants had some source of carbon. For higher light intensity I would probably want to use only ADA Aquasoil as a substrate, planning to replace that substrate with new stuff every year. But, if I couldn't afford a package of the needed dry fertilizers I certainly couldn't afford ADA Aquasoil, so I guess I would just do low light tanks.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 05:23 AM
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You really can't just have one. Excel is a carbon suppliment i wouldn't call it a fertilizer. Depending on the amount of light you are using you might get away with dosing just a micro fert, such as flourish for example. If not you will need to dose macros aswell which are nitrogen potassium and phosphate. All these are dosed separate for the most part. You could go the way of dosing dry ferts which is a lot cheaper and use a micro fert such as CSM+B.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 05:26 AM Thread Starter
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Yea, mine would definitely be considered low light. I was thinking about just dipping a toe into the plant supplement puddle and trying some Flourish excel. It also seems like I may be able to find the flourish locally, which chops a nice price chunk off.

Hoppy...you are a beast on this forum. Every single question I throw out here, and basically every thread I read, you have a great answer for...and usually immediately after I ask the question. Its crazy. Youre the man.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 02:41 PM
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g33tar where did you find the excel for that price?
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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The 250ml bottle is that price basically everywhere...I guess its smaller than the standard bottle.

http://www.google.com/products/catal...wAg#ps-sellers
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 05:03 PM
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If you can afford one commercial fertilizer, you can afford a Dry Fert option. research the threads for more info. You will still need Flourish Excel or an inexpensive CO2 source though.


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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 05:32 PM
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uhhh, root tabs for me, but it depends what you wanna keep in there...
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 06:46 PM
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flourish
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 07:23 PM
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I would go low light and use gravel tabs by Flourish.

btw - Excel gets expensive, I set up two CO2 tanks with pressurized CO2. I was spending more on Excel! I did it for about 150 bucks a tank.

The fertilizers NP&K are super cheap - as I recall all are less than 5 or 6 bucks
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g33tar View Post
Which would you choose?

I ask this because thats basically what I can afford...one item. Ive read Flourish excel is pretty good and can be had for about 6+shipping for a 250ml. Reviews seemed to be good. Seems pretty idiotproof...just pour a measured amount in...

I would love to know what you each consider your 'must have'....so I can go purchase it
go for dirt (mineralize top soil), with low to moderate light, No ferts or CO2.
You can modify the MTS a bit if you don't want to spend the money to buy the materials. You can leave out the clay and replace the dolomite with whatever you have like limestone, or crushed coral.


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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 08:14 PM
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you can used crushed coral in planted?
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 08:22 PM
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Small quantities of crushed coral. Not chunks of coral

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you can used crushed coral in planted?
Mineralized top soil should contain minerals. Kaolin clay is the usual additive. It's high in calcium. Some people have trouble finding less than 50 lb. bags. So, instead of calcite clay, you can use a bit of crushed coral as a substitute.
* Not big honking chunks of decorative coral. *
post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 08:25 PM
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hmm, i thought it would push the PH too high...cool. thanks
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g33tar View Post
Which would you choose?

I ask this because thats basically what I can afford...one item. Ive read Flourish excel is pretty good and can be had for about 6+shipping for a 250ml. Reviews seemed to be good. Seems pretty idiotproof...just pour a measured amount in...
Personally I'd not bother with a $6.00 bottle of Flourish Excel. You'll use it up too quickly and it is only a carbon source. It's a great carbon source, but you need balance for good growth.

So, what to do...
Save up until you have $20 - $25 and purchase a dry fert kit from one of the supporters of this forum. That kit of several different dry fertilizers will last a year or more and provide a well balanced supplement.

Or, find your local fish club or planted tank group. Meet new people and gain access for support and swapping. Someone there will also be on a budget. Multiple people can purchase a bigger lot of fertilizer and share the costs. At least share the shipping.

Good luck.
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