Is Foliage Pro 9-3-6 Fish Safe? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-27-2017, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Is Foliage Pro 9-3-6 Fish Safe?

Hi guys,

I've been improving my knowledge of (non-aquatic) container gardening, and have learned a bit about NPK ratios and macro+micro nutrients when it comes to terrestrial plants. I've been using a dilute solution of a complete liquid fertilizer called Foliage Pro 9-3-6 on my potted plants with great success.

I recently placed some excess frogbit from my aquarium in a 1/4tsp/gal solution of Foliage Pro 9-3-6 and within a week it was green and thriving (it was struggling before, see next paragraph).

I've been tinkering with separate bottles of Seachem Nitrogen and Phosphorous to try and address the macronutrient deficiency in my aquarium (I use a RO/spring water mix bc my tap is awful). I'm seeing significant improvement, but the frogbit in Foliage Pro is far surpassing my results.

Is there any reason I shouldn't use Foliage Pro in an aquarium with fish/inverts?

I understand that complete fertilizers risk the precipitation of iron with phosphorous, so I'm prepared to dose iron separately or try to work out another plan for that if the FP doesn't supply enough.

Here is the data on FP: (contents listed on second tab)
https://dyna-gro.com/product/foliage-pro/

I know that Foliage Pro does NOT contain urea. Are there other substances in the mix that could be harmful, or that I should look out for?

This poster was investigating FP 9-2-6 for aquatic use until she "was told that ammonia based fertilizers aren't good for aquariums."
https://www.aquariacentral.com/forum...please.250035/
What does this mean? Is it true? If so, could the problem be addressed using Prime?

Thanks for your help!!!

Last edited by Jennywren; 04-27-2017 at 03:09 PM. Reason: words
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-27-2017, 05:40 PM
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Right out of the gate, I see two things of concernÖ

- The total Nitrogen is 9%, the total Phosphate is 3% (3-1 ratio). Itís my understanding that we attempt to create a 10-1 ratio to undermine certain types of algae.
- Some of this Nitrogen is coming in the form of NH4, or Ammonium. If your tank ph is higher than 7, or fluctuates to higher than 7 at any point in time, this ammonium will convert to ammonia, a toxic substance to your fish.

Do you mind if I ask why you would want to go this route, as opposed to a tried and true method like EI or PPS-pro?
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-27-2017, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply Jello!

You've given me some good information. 9-3-6 is said to be the optimal NPK ratio for basically all plants, but it makes sense that that would include algae as well (unless it were out-competed by faster growing species?). Which types of algae does a 10-1 ratio discourage, and would they not be defeated by more vigorous growers?

My ph is around 8 which is definitely in the converts-back-to-NH3 zone. My tank is fully cycled and stable though, and of course my fish are constantly producing ammonia. I wonder if I could introduce the ferts in small amounts and use Prime regularly to keep the NH3 locked down as NH4 while I build up my biofilter to process the additional ammonia load. After a while it should be just the same as if I were using, say, tap water that had some ammonia in it (which many people do), right?

My reason for wanting to go this route is simply that the results with my frogbit test have been effortless and spectacular, while my results dosing individual ferts have been much more modest.

I still have lots to learn, and I am not rigorously following a comprehensive dosing plan like those you mentioned. Option two (if this is unwise course of action) would be to get serious and study up on EI or PPS-pro.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-27-2017, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennywren View Post
Thanks for your reply Jello!

You've given me some good information. 9-3-6 is said to be the optimal NPK ratio for basically all plants, but it makes sense that that would include algae as well (unless it were out-competed by faster growing species?). Which types of algae does a 10-1 ratio discourage, and would they not be defeated by more vigorous growers?

My ph is around 8 which is definitely in the converts-back-to-NH3 zone. My tank is fully cycled and stable though, and of course my fish are constantly producing ammonia. I wonder if I could introduce the ferts in small amounts and use Prime regularly to keep the NH3 locked down as NH4 while I build up my biofilter to process the additional ammonia load. After a while it should be just the same as if I were using, say, tap water that had some ammonia in it (which many people do), right?

My reason for wanting to go this route is simply that the results with my frogbit test have been effortless and spectacular, while my results dosing individual ferts have been much more modest.

I still have lots to learn, and I am not rigorously following a comprehensive dosing plan like those you mentioned. Option two (if this is unwise course of action) would be to get serious and study up on EI or PPS-pro.
Several types of Algae are fond of Phosphate heavy water, specifically Diatoms, Green Hair Algae, and Blue-Green Algae. You can also get Staghorn and Green Water from excess Ammonia(ium).

As far as dosing regiments, itís actually not as complicated as you might think. If you donít want to get into the nitty gritty details about plant nutrition, you can do what I did and just go with EI dosing. Pick up the kit from NiloCG here, add the Macro packet to the Macro bottle, add the Micro packet to the Micro bottle, fill them with distilled water, and dose on alternating days. Do a weekly 50% water change, and TADA! Good, cheap fertilization that will last you forever.
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