When to start using fertilizers after setting up a new tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-04-2016, 03:47 AM Thread Starter
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When to start using fertilizers after setting up a new tank

After setting up a tank, when do you start dosing fertilizers? The reason I ask is because I have heard from a couple of sources to start dosing ferts after a few weeks (3-6) while others suggest doing so immediately after setting up the tank.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-04-2016, 03:51 AM
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Would it make a difference depending on what substrate you used?

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-04-2016, 05:24 AM
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I start ferts the day I plant.

Here is my rational: my primary goal with a new planted tank is to get the plants going asap. With a given set of plants, light, and substrate I really do not know if plants are short on any nutrients without extensive water testing day after day. So, why not give them everything from the start? I do go either light or heavy with dosage: more light = more ferts, rich substrate = less ferts. I start at 1/2 of recommended EI and adjust up or down based on the tank.

Bump: dosage wise, substrates can get tricky and you need to think a bit. Ask if your specific substrate is likely to leach nutrients into the water column and and what types of plant you have. As an example, Aqua Soil leaches a lot at the start and if I mostly have stem plants then I go light on macros and heavier on micros. If you have a capped soil with mostly crypts then I wait a week before fertilizing and check on how plants are doing. If you have capped soil with mostly stems, then go 1/2 EI to start.
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