The Seachem Flourish line of ferts makes my head hurt! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-11-2004, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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The Seachem Flourish line of ferts makes my head hurt!

So today I received my package of fertilizers and test kits from BigAl's. What I got was:

Flourish A general fert.
Flourish Trace Mi(a?)cronutrients
Flourish Iron Obvious
Flourish Potassium Obvious
Flourish Phosphorus Obvious
Flourish Tabs For my Amazon Swords and other root-feeders.
and a Seachem Phosphate test

Now when I ordered this stuff, I thought I knew what I was doing. I place one "Tab" below the substrate as close to each root-feeder as I can get them (well within the 4" radius of the plant). Now I begin to read the directions for each of the liquid ferts.

What's the problem? Well, they direct me to put this stuff in my tank in REALLY small increments (~2.4 mL for Flourish for my 29G tank, for instance). I used a children's medicine "spoon" which measures in both tablespoons and mL, and got to work.

I soon realized it's really difficult to get this stuff to stay within .5 mL of what I need it to be. I *think* I got everything squared away in the end (although I may have been a drop or two off, depending on weather or not there was some fert on the "spoon" portion and not in the "measuring" portion, and a drop seems to be around 1/4 a mL each), but what I'm wondering is, really, how careful do I need to be to not over/under dose? Should I be using a dropper to get this stuff into the measuring spoon as to not get a touch below/above 1/4-1/3 mL or what?

Another question: The Potassium bottle says to add more/less often depending on how the plants look. Right now the new leaves of my Amazon Swords are looking pretty pale. Now that Iíve added the ferts, how long should I wait for them to darken up a bit before I add more?

Last question: For the very first time since I cycled this tank (or since I even started the fish keeping hobby 10 years ago) I tested the phosphates of my planted tankís water. I had no trouble figuring out what the Seachemís test wanted me to do, but what puzzled me is how long I really should wait for the correct color to form (the prescribed ď5-30 secondsĒ is wayyyyy too broad, and the color seems to change greatly over this period). Do most people wait closer to the 5, or the 30-second end of the waiting timeline?


Thanks in advance for the help! Reading these bottles scares the **** outta me.

29G, 55W CF, 10 Dwarf Puffers, 3 Otos, an Amazon Sword, Anacharis, Water Sprite, Telanthera, Java fern, Dwarf Hairgrass, Hornwort, and more!
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-11-2004, 12:28 AM
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If you're set on Seachem stuff, I suggest using the Fertilator to get your dosing in the proper amounts. The Seachem amounts won't do squat in a high light, CO2 tank.

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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-11-2004, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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Well, what would you consider 2WPG? Should I dose the tank like it's "high light", or use the Seachem amounts, or somewhere in between the two?

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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-11-2004, 12:42 AM
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2 wpg is a low light tank on a 29 gallon tank. And you do know that you would need to dose in the neighborhood of 50 ml of the Seachem Potassium to get your tank to the recommended 20 ppm?

Once you use up the Seachem stuff head to www.gregwatson.com and order bulk ferts. You will save a lot of money that way.
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-11-2004, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
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Really? 50 mL? That's insane!

Why are the direction on the bottles so far off from what you all reccomend?

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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-11-2004, 01:55 AM
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The Flourish line recommendations are for general all around use. People who have high light tanks are required to be more aggressive and keep up with certain level of macro/micro nutrients. I can be broke soon if I use Flourish lines for macro nutrients.

For the Flourish (regular micro), I would recommend you to start with half of the dosing direction and increase it if you don't see any algae break out. Let your tank adjust slowly and not all tanks can handle the same dosage.

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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-11-2004, 02:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSmJ
Thanks in advance for the help! Reading these bottles scares the **** outta me.
yeah, me too. they all read like stereo instructions that were written first in an obscure asian language and translated by a third year english student.

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30 gallon tall, pressurized CO2...killer lights
50 gallon long, killer filtration, low tech otherwise
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-11-2004, 02:56 AM
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Here's what I do in my planted 250-Watt Metal Halide 42 gallon hex tank - with a weekly water change of 15 gallons, replacing with RO/DI water (reconstituted with Seachem Alkaline Buffer and Kent Botanica gH+):

Sunday: 3.5 mL Flourish, 4 mL Flourish Excel, 4 mL Flourish Iron, 4 mL Flourish Potassium

Monday: 10 mL Fresh Trace, 4 mL Flourish Excel, 4 mL Flourish Iron

Tuesday (after 15 gallon water change): 10 mL Flourish Trace, 4 mL Flourish Excel, 4 mL Flourish Iron

Wednesday: 3.5 mL Flourish, 4 mL Flourish Excel, 4 mL Flourish Iron, 4 mL Flourish Potassium

Thursday: 10 mL Fresh Trace, 4 mL Flourish Iron, 4 mL Flourish Excel

Friday: 10 mL Flourish Trace, 4 mL Flourish Excel, 4 mL Flourish Iron, 4 mL Flourish Potassium

Saturday: 4 mL Flourish Excel, 4 mL Flourish Iron

I maintain a CO2 level between 15-20 ppm.

I do not recommend dosing higher levels of Potassium. Plants should do just fine with this dosage. Putting a lot of potassium in the tank with the presence of CO2 can cause calcium uptake problems.

Last edited by Hypancistrus; 12-12-2004 at 11:49 PM.
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-11-2004, 03:05 AM
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i don't notice you dosing NO3 or P04
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-11-2004, 07:51 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypancistrus
Here's what I do in my planted 250-Watt Metal Halide 42 gallon hex tank - with a weekly water change of 15 gallons, replacing with RO/DI water (reconstituted with Seachem Alkaline Buffer and Kent Botanica gH+):

Sunday: 3.5 mL Flourish, 4 mL Flourish Excel, 4 mL Flourish Iron, 4 mL Flourish Potassium

Monday: 10 mL Fresh Trace, 4 mL Flourish Excel, 4 mL Flourish Iron

Tuesday (after 15 gallon water change): 10 mL Flourish Trace, 4 mL Flourish Excel, 4 mL Flourish Iron

Wednesday: 3.5 mL Flourish, 4 mL Flourish Excel, 4 mL Flourish Iron, 4 mL Flourish Potassium

Thursday: 10 mL Fresh Trace, 4 mL Flourish Iron, 4 mL Flourish Potassium

Friday: 10 mL Flourish Trace, 4 mL Flourish Excel, 4 mL Flourish Iron, 4 mL Flourish Potassium

Saturday: 4 mL Flourish Excel, 4 mL Flourish Iron

I maintain a CO2 level between 15-20 ppm.

I do not recommend dosing higher levels of Potassium. Plants should do just fine with this dosage. Putting a lot of potassium in the tank with the presence of CO2 can cause calcium uptake problems.

Interesting how you add some ferts as much as every day. I guess there really is some wiggle-room with this stuff. I take it I shouldn't go adding ferts every day to my tank without knowing it'll need it though, so how would I best go about figuring out my tank's specific fert schedule? I do a 50%-75% water change every week (large volume water changes like this is a general requirement for just about all species of puffers), so I would imagine I'd have to add every fert back to the tank at least as often as I change the water.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fishyboy
i don't notice you dosing NO3 or P04
I checked the phosphates using my new test kit, and it shows to be in the .5-.75 range. I have phosphate fert, I just chose not to add it as the tank's current level is already right where I think I should have it.

My Nitrates are at 10 ppm, just like they always have been (although I'm starting to wonder if I should continue to check it with those dip-strips, how accurate are those things anyways?). Therefore I never even bothered to order the supplement.

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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-11-2004, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishyboy
i don't notice you dosing NO3 or P04
Most of my dosing is all based on testing. For example, 4 mL of Flourish Iron (which is a chelated form) gets used up 100% every day in my tank.

According to my test readings, there is always a small amount of phosphate and nitrate (< 10 ppm) present in my tank, so no need to dose. (Flourish does actually contain Nitrogen and Phosphorus though.)

Personally I believe if you have a full fish load in the tank, you are always getting nitrates and phosphates added to the tank through fish waste and fish food. Flourish Nitrogen/Phosphorus is probably better used in a tank with no fish or with a very light fish load.
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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-11-2004, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypancistrus
Personally I believe if you have a full fish load in the tank, you are always getting nitrates and phosphates added to the tank through fish waste and fish food. Flourish Nitrogen/Phosphorus is probably better used in a tank with no fish or with a very light fish load.
That's the case if you have low or medium low light tank. 2 of my very high light tanks are fully stocked (one maybe overstocked) with fish. PO4 and Nitrate bottom out every 3 days. I dose them heavily with KNO3 and fleet enema.

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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-11-2004, 10:27 AM
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Get rid of the dip strips. Get a decent liquid reagent test kit.

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post #14 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-12-2004, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, so with my current lighting system, I should just keep doing what I'm doing (with the acception of the dip-strips) and play it by ear? I won't make an atomic bomb out of my aquarium if I'm a drop or two off with the ferts either?

Speaking of the measurement aspect of the ferts, I'm going to buy a dropper marked in mLs. That should make measureing the amount of liquid a whole lot easier for me!

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post #15 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-14-2004, 02:20 PM
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Every bottle of Flourish fert comes with a dropper/pipette inside. Sometimes it's hard to get out until the bottle is empty though.

As for Flourish in general...they won't give you dosing instructions to achieve 20ppm of potassium...which is why it takes 50mL to get 20ppm in a 29gallon. Flourish is a fine line of chemicals...but they'll eat a hole in your bank account, especially if you go with a larger tank. I used a bottle of flourish K in my 75gallon in under 3 weeks.

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