What fertilizer if at all? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-29-2010, 01:34 AM Thread Starter
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What fertilizer if at all?

I know everyone asks this probably a hundred times in here....but here is another one.

I am new to a fully planted tank. I have a 25 gal with a coralife dual t5 fixture. One bulb is colormax 14w and the other is a 14w 6700K bulb.

Plants;
Windelov Java Fern
Crypt Lutea
Giant Micro Sword
Vals (not looking so good)
Anubias Nana
Moss Balls
Java Moss
Banana Plants

Fish;
8 Dwarf Platies (4 are juvies)
1 Albino BN Pl*co
will be adding 4 red cherry shrimp, 2 nerite snails

With what I have, do I need to add fertilizers? I don't want to do C02 if I don't have to, or ferts for that matter. Just wasn't sure if I should with the plants and lighting that I have. Would prefer liquid ferts over dry if ferts are necessary. If so, what is a readily available good product? I was thinking Seachem Flourish?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-29-2010, 01:56 AM
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What is a giant micro sword... its like a double negative! HAHA


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-29-2010, 02:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyler79durdan View Post
What is a giant micro sword... its like a double negative! HAHA
Lilaeopsis carolinensis: http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...olinensis.html


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-29-2010, 03:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you dj2005, that's the stuff. Except the guy at the LFS said it would be ok with my lighting, and I definitely don't think I have high lighting. The tallest of mine is probably close to 8".

Anyone have any advice for the ferts question?
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 12:58 AM
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I think you will have to use fertilizer. The Seachem Flourish line is a good one, if you really want to buy the water. Each of the major nutrients are in a separate bottle so you can fine tune the dosage. Then the micro nutrients are in a 4th bottle.
Get one each:
Nitrogen
Phosphorus
Potassium
Comprehensive
Dose according to the label.

When you get about halfway through the bottles order dry ferts and mix your own. All you add is water, all you are paying for is the actual fertilizer, not paying to ship water.
Compare the pricing of a bottle of water with a little fertilizer in it to a bag of actual fertilizer with nothing to dilute it.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 01:17 AM Thread Starter
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I can't just get away with only using Comprehensive? I didn't think I'd need ALL of those since I thought they were all in the Comp bottle.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 08:47 AM
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I can't just get away with only using Comprehensive? I didn't think I'd need ALL of those since I thought they were all in the Comp bottle.
Comprehensive is for trace (micro) nutrients, like stated by Diana. The macro nutrients (NPK) are much more important, though it helps to dose trace along with it.


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Oh yeah forgot to mention I have Flourite substrate with a gravel top, does that make a difference?
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 05:30 PM
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Flourite has a high CEC and I think it also contains a decent amount of iron. Besides that, it doesn't carry many nutrients.

Personally, I think you can get by without ferts for many of those plants. For the Crypt Lutea, I suggest adding a substrate fertilizer next to it since crypts are heavy root feeders. The Lilaeopsis carolinensis may not live as I find Lilaeopsis brasiliensis to be somewhat demanding (ferts & basic CO2).

Java fern, Anubias, moss balls (make sure to turn them every so often and also give them a squeeze during WC), Java moss, Banana plant, and even vals are all very easy to care for.

Now the issue that may arise is algae. Without macro ferts, your plants will not grow as quickly and this could allow algae to become more aggressive. You have a lot of slow growers, which algae loves to attach itself to.

Remember, keeping a planted tank is suppose to be enjoyable. Some of us forget this at times.


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 06:24 PM
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Dry ferts as have been discussed in many threads here is the least expensive option. For ease, Pfertz line is good and less expensive than most commercial pre-mixes. YMMV, but I'd expect $50/yr or less for a tank your size.


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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 06:42 PM
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With that lighting, plant selection, and bioload, your need for additional ferts should be minimal if any are needed.

I'm running a similar setup with my own 29gal and haven't needed any ferts at all other than a single Excel dose about 4 months ago to take care of startup algae. (My red lotus does need a root tab, but the rest of the plants are doing well w/out any)





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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dj2005 View Post
Remember, keeping a planted tank is suppose to be enjoyable. Some of us forget this at times.
Yes I totally agree, and in my opinion, having to worry about constant fertilizing etc, isn't necessarily part of the joy. I know I'm probably going to get ridiculed for saying that.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 10:25 PM
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Yes I totally agree, and in my opinion, having to worry about constant fertilizing etc, isn't necessarily part of the joy. I know I'm probably going to get ridiculed for saying that.
I absolutely feel the same way, which is why I like low tech setups that I don't have to do it.





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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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The Lilaeopsis carolinensis may not live as I find Lilaeopsis brasiliensis to be somewhat demanding (ferts & basic CO2).
I have a feeling the "plant guy" at the LFS where I got them was wrong when he told me my lighting was fine etc. Every day I come home and find little leaves of it floating in my tank. I know it will probably take a little while for it to root, but at this rate I'll have nothing left to take root.


Quote:
lauraleellbp- With that lighting, plant selection, and bioload, your need for additional ferts should be minimal if any are needed.
So you think I will be fine then? I have added a couple root tabs at the base of the Crypts and at the base of the GMS just in case. Everything else seems to be doing fine.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 06:23 AM
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Root tablets are the easy way to fertilize without having to do something on a daily or even weekly basis.

Comprehensive has macros, but in such low levels that it is better to think of it as a source of micros.

Compare the ratios that plants use of N, P & K to trace fertilizers. All the traces put together are a small amount compared to the amount of N, P and K that plants need. They need even more carbon than any of the macro fertilizers.

Next look at sources.
Fish food has nitrogen, phosphorus and most of the traces in levels that can be fine for a low tech tank and slow growing plants. The things most often lacking are potassium and iron. If your substrate has some iron (I have not used Flourite) then perhaps all you might have to add is potassium. Some tap water may have potassium.
If the nitrate test pretty much always shows some NO3 (5-20 ppm) then the plants probably are getting enough Nitrogen and phosphates, and probably most traces. If the plants are regularly keeping the NO3 close to 0 ppm, then you will need to add fertilizers.
Testing the NO3 and using it as a guage for all fertilizers is one very rough way of assessing whether the fish food is likely to supply enough fertilizer for the plants.

Root tablets are a good way to go, if you can find the ones you need.
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