Help with with fertilizer please - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Help with with fertilizer please

I am currently using Leaf Zone but my plants aren't looking to great. They're surviving but not thriving.
The tank is a 29 gallon, sand substrate with a Vivagrow LED light (Finnex 24/7 knockoff). I have Dwarf sag, Java Fern and Anubias. I am picking up some (free!!) Jungle Val and Amazon Sword this weekend. I have very soft water, the dwarf sag leaves are turning yellow and anubias has some yellowing around the old leaf edges, java fern has brown/black spots (not spores though).

My question is: Should I use Flourish, Thrive All-In-One or DIY PPS-PRO?

The DIY PPS stuff comes as a dry powder and is then mixed with water. Seems like a good deal. Both of the Thrive (NilocG Aquatics) products have more nutrients than flourish.

DIY PPS-PRO Liquid Fertilizer - NilocG Aquatics
Thrive 500ml | Premium Liquid Fertilizer | NilocG Aquatics
Seachem - Flourish

Also with soft water do I need a GH booster?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 06:18 PM
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quick google search says leaf zone provides Fe and K. You are likely low on the other two macros: N, P. Your tank sounds super low tech so dosing a bit of dry ferts like KNO3, KH2PO4, K2SO4 will probably have you covered. Iron / micros I wouldn't even worry about given your plant selection. Can't hurt though.

Again, given your plant selection you should only need to dose a little bit.

Generally you should use dry ferts. Liquid ferts are a waste of $$$ IMO. Just make your own solution or dose dry.


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klibs View Post
quick google search says leaf zone provides Fe and K. You are likely low on the other two macros: N, P. Your tank sounds super low tech so dosing a bit of dry ferts like KNO3, KH2PO4, K2SO4 will probably have you covered. Iron / micros I wouldn't even worry about given your plant selection. Can't hurt though.

Again, given your plant selection you should only need to dose a little bit.

Generally you should use dry ferts. Liquid ferts are a waste of $$$ IMO. Just make your own solution or dose dry.
Yeah I originally thought it would be enough since I'm running super low-tech, but since I got this new light it threw the balance out of wack between light/nutrients. Anywho, so this DIY PPS-PRO Liquid Fertilizer - NilocG Aquatics should be more than sufficient then? It comes dry and then mix it at home
Given my plant selection but with such soft water do you think I should get a "GH booster"?

Last edited by ermpickle; 01-27-2017 at 06:39 PM. Reason: URL
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 10:12 PM
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As klibs pointed out leaf zone is not an all inclusive fertilizer. So which fertilizer is best for your tank?

Too many get focused on the "best way to fertilize" and forget there is more than one way to skin a cat. You have to ask yourself a few questions to decide. How much time do you want to spend dosing your tank? Do you like to tweak things? What's your water change schedule?

Basically, there are two sides to this. Use Thrive if you just want to dose and go - or - buy KNO3, KH2PO4, K2SO4, Plantex CSM, GH booster and calculate your own fertilizers using any method you like. I like the freedom to make anything I want and basically tinker. That doesn't mean everyone else wants that. So my advise would be to get Thrive if you want to go with the KISS method or get the full compliment of dry fertilizers above.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-28-2017, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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Lol I like the way you put that. I think I will go with the dry fert mix they're selling instead of Thrive. I'm not keen on the idea of dosing everyday but I like the idea of the micros and macros being separate. I feel like this way I'll have a little bit of flexibility to 'tinker' but not so much I would get confused.
And yes, I now realize the leafzone is basically, Imho, junk. I wish I had known before I known this all along, my poor plants have been struggling along this whole time.

Do you know why it says to dose everyday before the lights come on? Does the light damage the fertilizer?
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-28-2017, 06:12 PM
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dose before the lights come on? here I guess I've been doing it wrong...I use NiloCG ferts.I've been low tech dosing at 1/3 EI once a week,and using DIY osmocote root caps.Been working for me,and has been simple.

MTS? no,I just need one more tank...
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-28-2017, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MtAnimals View Post
dose before the lights come on? here I guess I've been doing it wrong...I use NiloCG ferts.I've been low tech dosing at 1/3 EI once a week,and using DIY osmocote root caps.Been working for me,and has been simple.
Yeah I've never heard that before but maybe its just that type of fertilizer. I'm not sure. Either way I have a VivaGrow (Finnex 24/7 knockoff) so the lights never really go all the way off lol. Glad to hear its working well for you, I've heard a lot of good things about their products. And about Osmocote for root tabs. I'll probably end up buying Osmocote from Lowes Hardware or Home Depot and DIYing it.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-28-2017, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ermpickle View Post
Yeah I've never heard that before but maybe its just that type of fertilizer. I'm not sure. Either way I have a VivaGrow (Finnex 24/7 knockoff) so the lights never really go all the way off lol. Glad to hear its working well for you, I've heard a lot of good things about their products. And about Osmocote for root tabs. I'll probably end up buying Osmocote from Lowes Hardware or Home Depot and DIYing it.
I got the size 00 gelcaps from a health food store.I have my 24/7 on a cheap timer so that it's off from about midnght to 6 AM,since the light defaults to 6 am.

MTS? no,I just need one more tank...
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-28-2017, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ermpickle View Post
Do you know why it says to dose everyday before the lights come on? Does the light damage the fertilizer?
Are you are referring to the directions on nilocg's site for DIY PPS-PRO? If so, those are the directions for the PPS-PRO method. Here is the official page for that method, Perpetual Preservation System. That may answer alot of your questions. There are other methods as well.

As far as the dosing time... Truth is, it makes VERY little difference what time you dose. Trace fertilizers are time sensitive. However, depending on the chelate used, most commercial trace mixes will have reasonable levels upwards of 48 hours. So basically, as long as the food is in the water when the plants want it it's all good. However, people still insist feeding just before the plants table up for breakfast is better.

In my opinion, as long as the pantry is full it doesn't matter what time the plant wants to eat. The food is there plain and simple.

If you're concerned fertilizers won't be there when the "plants wake up" then you need to be dosing more in the first place.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-30-2017, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MtAnimals View Post
I got the size 00 gelcaps from a health food store.I have my 24/7 on a cheap timer so that it's off from about midnght to 6 AM,since the light defaults to 6 am.
That's a great idea, I will probably end up doing that just because I don't like how bright it is overnight. I just got the osmocote yesterday and am trying the ice cube way, so we'll see how that works out lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorfox View Post
Are you are referring to the directions on nilocg's site for DIY PPS-PRO? If so, those are the directions for the PPS-PRO method. Here is the official page for that method, Perpetual Preservation System. That may answer alot of your questions. There are other methods as well.

As far as the dosing time... Truth is, it makes VERY little difference what time you dose. Trace fertilizers are time sensitive. However, depending on the chelate used, most commercial trace mixes will have reasonable levels upwards of 48 hours. So basically, as long as the food is in the water when the plants want it it's all good. However, people still insist feeding just before the plants table up for breakfast is better.

In my opinion, as long as the pantry is full it doesn't matter what time the plant wants to eat. The food is there plain and simple.

If you're concerned fertilizers won't be there when the "plants wake up" then you need to be dosing more in the first place.
That makes perfect sense, that's always the way I've looked at it. But I also never realized how complicated plant ferts can be. So I'm definitely going to check out that article because I wasn't aware that was even a method, I just found out about the EI method lol.
Edit: I just read the article, I definitely like the PPS-Pro system! It's seems very straight forward and simple

*So I have a new question. I've moved plants around and put the Java fern and Anubias in the Walstad tank. I was given a bunch of Jungle Val and Amazon Sword over the weekend.
New question is since the only plants in the tank now are root feeders, will using just Osmocote root tabs and the Leaf Zone suffice?

Last edited by ermpickle; 01-30-2017 at 04:02 PM. Reason: Edit addition
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