Same Products, Better Value! - The Planted Tank Forum
  • 2 Post By madcrafted
  • 4 Post By houseofcards
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Same Products, Better Value!

I just got my order of aquarium necessities in from a major online source and thought I would share some cost-cutting revelations with everyone. First of all, as I was browsing all Seachem products, I noticed that they market Flourish Tabs (fertilizer) packaged specifically for ponds, marketed as "Pond Flourish Tabs". This product doesn't come up in a search for "Flourish Tabs" specifically (probably intentionally), but this "pond product" cost me $9.09 for 30 tabs, whereas the "regular" Flourish Tabs are priced at $7.79 for 10 tabs, or $23.13 for 40 tabs, either of which comes out to a lot more $ per tab. I have a package of the (aquarium) Flourish Tabs and compared the two. They both have the exact same analysis/ingredients-THEY ARE THE EXACT SAME THING! So guess which ones I will be buying from now on? With this in mind, I decided to check another product I was intending to order, Novaqua Plus. Sure enough, the pond version was the same price per equal size, but treated much more water. So I ordered the pond version (30ml treats 150 gallons) and diluted it (200ml Pond Novaqua Plus to 300ml distilled water) to get the strength equal to the aquarium version (5ml treats 10 gallons) and put it in an empty 16oz. (regular) Novaqua Plus bottle so that the labeling is accurate. By doing this, I can get 2.5 times more of the exact same product for the same cost.

I don't appreciate companies jacking the price way up on a product just because it is marketed for a specific consumer group, when the exact same thing can be bought for much less if you only know what to look for (like Glutaraldehyde/Metricide/Excel). This hobby is expensive enough without companies taking advantage of us! I understand more costly packaging that makes a product easier for the consumer to use (or dose), and I'm all for convenience, but some of these markups are waaaay overboard and unreasonable.

You can bet that before I make any future orders, I'll be checking out similar (or the same) products marketed for ponds or other large volume end-users. It's too bad that I live in a rural area and don't have a lot of other aquarists nearby so we could pool our orders and buy in bulk (and save on shipping, too), but many of you do have several other aquarium hobbyists close by and might think about doing that.

I hope this helps others save some money, and if anyone else has some cost-cutting ideas, let's hear 'em!


"May the Fish be with you."
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 11:58 PM
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That's just the way of the world, capitalizing on a niche market. I've seen it happen a lot in the horticulture business as well. "Organic" this and that. Dog poop is organic too, doesn't mean it's good either. I've been farming using natural methods for over 20 years. Nothing ground breaking has happened since I started either. Just more inflation and marketing. Nothing beats rolling up your sleeves and turning compost year round.

The planted tank hobby is not so different. More and more companies popping up trying to sell something that nobody really even needs. Not that Seachem is a bad company by any means, but the flourish tabs are pretty much just micros. Easy enough to dose them and have them readily available to the plants. Heck, my tap water has enough of these to sustain many of the plants I grow for months just sitting in a window sill. Then there's the whole debate on whether aquatic plants even need to pull nutrients from the substrate. "Aquatic" plants don't generally care where they get their nutrients from, IME. When comparing any brand name pre-mixed formula to the cost of buying dry fertilizers, it's a rip off. Some people aren't concerned about costs, they just want convenience... and that you pay for.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-09-2018, 12:13 AM
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Not sure its much of a debate anymore. There is overwhelming evidence that if your dosing the water column you don't need to stick anything in the substrate. The whole "heavy rooter feeder" is a busted myth in the sense that swords, crypts, etc will do just fine when given just water column ferts. You don't need both.

If your looking to save money, dose the water column with dry ferts as mentioned by @madcrafted this way your feeding all the plants not just the ones planted in the substrate.
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