Flourish, Flourish Tabs, and Flourish Excel questions - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 05:00 AM Thread Starter
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Flourish, Flourish Tabs, and Flourish Excel questions

Hey guys,
I recently got a 3 gallon tank that I put some plants and a betta in. I picked up a few different kinds of plants from petsmart (the kind that came in the pre-packaged containers, not the kind in the big tank). I'll have to double check what kind they are, I'm not home at the moment.

The tank came with LED lighting. Nothing fancy, I'm sure.
I have normal gravel as the substrate.

I just ordered Flourish, Flourish Excel, and Flourish root tabs.
Will I need any other kind of fertilizers? The Flourish says to use with their potassium, phosphorus, or nitrogen liquid... Do I need to get one of those as well? If so, which one? Or all?

Also wanted to ask about dosing and how often. I'm thinking it would only be a couple drops of each since it's such a small tank, but I'm terrible at math, and I'm not sure how often I would need to do that.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 09:55 AM
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Flourish comprehensive a little twice a week, Flourish Excel a little each day just before light's come on. I say a little because unsure if dosing instruction's for such a small volume of water are readily figured out by you/me.
The flourish root tab's can be replaced once a month.
Would look to place like www.aquariumfertilzer.com for macro nutrient's like Potassium, (K2SO4)Phoshate (KH2PO4) and Nitrogen (KNO3).
Or can order their macro/micro package which has everything but KH2PO4 which might be able to be provided by simply feeding the fish.
Might prove to be a bit lean on phosphates,but this is not a bad way to run a tank.
In NON CO2 injected 2.5 gal (actual volume after substrate) I should think 1/16th tsp once a week of macro and micros would at least be somewhere to start right after weekly water change.
Just a guesstimate on trying to dose such a small volume of water.
Can't imagine enough plant mass in this small volume to demand much in the way of nutrient's depending on the plant species and you might get away with the flourish comprehensive at twice a week for easy plants like crypt's,anubia,water sprite,anacharis.
My two cent's.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 12:17 PM
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Depends on the amount of plants you'll be getting but I think for now what you have will be fine. Just follow the directions and adjust it to fit your tank volume. You can add nitrogen, potassium or phosphate later if you see any deficiencies. No need to get those right now.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 12:28 PM
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Two school's of thought it appears.
Provide a little of all nutrient's plant's need Macro's/micros from the outset, or...wait till plant's begin to struggle.
I have had good success with the former, and not so much with the latter.
Just sayin.
When I began to attempt the planted tanks,I did not realize how poorly the plant's were doing with next to nothing and had no clue what deficiencies looked like.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the replies! Upon reading some more info, I'm getting some conflicting info online... Some say fertilizers aren't needed for low light tanks with no co2 injection, others say fertilizers are always needed. I would like to fertilize because I want to give them all the help they can get.

As far as the macro NPK's, I'd prefer to keep everything liquid. This will be on my desk at work, so I don't want it to get messy with having to measure out powders and whatnot, when I can just do drops of liquid. I've read that not a lot of phosphorous is needed when you have fish in the tank, correct?

Should I buy test kits for the NPK's and/or the micros, or is that overkill?

Thanks again!
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 02:09 PM
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Drops from this bottle and that bottle in my view, are messier than just scooping out a 1/8 to 1/16th tsp once or twice a week, and the macro/micro package I mentioned would last way over a year in 3 gal tank.(1 lb bag)
With liquid fertz,,you are paying for mostly water IMHO
Will ALWAYS find conflicting info on the web,just sayin.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 02:23 PM
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I would also recommend dry over liquid for a desk operation. I think of how the ferts are stored. A small tank like this will make it easy to have a small plastic storage box with the reguired items in separated divider compartments. This box can be tucked in among the hundred other things in the desk? It will not harm anything if it gets spilled. Liquids in a desk? Good chance they do some real damage to the other stuff like paper. I find desks get moved and jostled around when folks clean and I don't like the thought of it tipping and spilling.
For the amount of ferts you are going to use, I don't worry the pre mixing but just add a pinch straight to the tank. I don't try to measure the amount in spoons but just go for "pinch, smaller pinch, etc".
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ciityliights View Post
Thank you for the replies! Upon reading some more info, I'm getting some conflicting info online... Some say fertilizers aren't needed for low light tanks with no co2 injection, others say fertilizers are always needed. I would like to fertilize because I want to give them all the help they can get...
While I'm by no means an expert on planted tanks, it is my understanding that providing for the needs of the plants in ANY aquarium, whether low tech or high tech, is basically a matter of amount and the balance between those amounts. Low tech is simply providing nutrients, light and CO2 on a smaller (or "slower") scale than a fast growing high tech setup, and the primary difference begins with the availability of Carbon (CO2). By increasing the CO2 in a high tech tank, you are increasing the ability of the plants to utilize the other components of growth (light and ferts). The plants have the exact same demands, but with a high tech system, you are simply "ramping up" the speed at which the exact same processes occur, but everything still needs to be furnished in the same proportions in relation to each other, and when one single proponent is limited or boosted, the process just slows down at best, or "crashes" at worse, depending on which element is lacking or too abundant. Some (most?) people say to make light? the limiting factor, especially in low tech tanks, since that is the one component that plants are better than algae at utilizing. So if you have enough nutrients and Carbon (added CO2 or Excel), then the stage is set for "action" when the lights come on. Algae takes longer than more advanced plants to get its photosynthesis processes going, so the plants are already out-competing it in absorbing the nutrients and Carbon. (I suppose algae can get in the game if there are enough available nutrients once it "wakes up", but that is one of the purposes of providing a "siesta"/lights off period in the middle of the day.) Of course, that's not to say that dumping a lot of ferts into the tank is a good idea, because that wouldn't be in the interest of balancing them with the amount of light they receive. Depriving plants of one or more requirements creates an imbalance that can at best stunt proper plant growth or, at worst, cause serious algae problems. Many people say the best way to start a new planted tank is to start low and increase lighting gradually. Remember, plants are still a little shocked after replanting, so they need a little time to settle in before they are up to par and ready to grow again. (Kind of like people eating small amounts at first after a bad stomach virus or other illness.)

Like I said, I'm no expert, but this seems to be the basics according to what I've read here; I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, and I wouldn't mind at all, since that would assist in my own understanding and success in this hobby.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ciityliights View Post
Thank you for the replies! Upon reading some more info, I'm getting some conflicting info online... Some say fertilizers aren't needed for low light tanks with no co2 injection, others say fertilizers are always needed. I would like to fertilize because I want to give them all the help they can get.

As far as the macro NPK's, I'd prefer to keep everything liquid. This will be on my desk at work, so I don't want it to get messy with having to measure out powders and whatnot, when I can just do drops of liquid. I've read that not a lot of phosphorous is needed when you have fish in the tank, correct?

Should I buy test kits for the NPK's and/or the micros, or is that overkill?

Thanks again!
for a 3 gallon tank, what you have will last you for about a year. you have plenty already. for your low light, low tech set up, things will be going slower than a high tech tank. therefore you will need less nutrients. We are talking about DROPS at a weekly time.

use dry fertz first. stick them into the soil so the plants can leach off that. then put drops of liquid fertz into the water once a week at a time. Id prob say something like 2-3 drops once a week.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, that makes sense with the powders. I didn't think about having them in nice containers.. I was thinking of loose bags that are hard to seal.
I would need to buy all 3 of the NPK's, correct? Any recommended test kits for them, or is that not even needed?

With the Excel, is it okay to skip a couple few days a week? I usually work 5 days a week, occasionally only 4. Would it be okay to go without any Excel (and everything else) on those days I'm off, or would I need to have a coworker do it those days?

Also, regarding the "siesta" - any recommended timers? I work in operations that doesn't involve any customer facing, so we are downstairs in the basement with no windows. Strong ceiling tube lights are on 8am-6pm Mon-Fri, and 8am-1pm Saturday. On sundays and evenings/nights no one is there, so we just have a few of the lights on, very low light aka "security" lights, just enough to see when we turn the other lights off. What is a good schedule for the aquarium lights?
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