Liquid Ferts? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-24-2019, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Liquid Ferts?

Long story short, I was deep-cleaning one of my aquariums and noticed that my plants are deficient in... well, according to the attached guide, basically everything. The only things that arenít noticeable are Boron, Calcium, and Nitrogen(?). Iíll get a FTS and plant shots once I get home from school, but basically: Is there a good, compact liquid fert solution? The dry fert is... quite a bit over my head, to say the least. I donít dose anything in any of my tanks, but I have Seachem root tabs for my Swords, which donít seem to be helping. Other than that I have a very happy Pothos in one tank and Bamboo in another. Aquatic plants include Anubias, Java Fern, basically dead Anarchis, and some Crypts that are doing okay. Advice?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-24-2019, 07:33 PM
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I've never been able to keep Anachris alive either for some reason, but it sounds like NilocG ThriveC (not "plain old" Thrive, mind you) might be a good fit for you. Do you happen to know that your GH is?
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-24-2019, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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I do not- I can maybe find a water quality report for our water but that still wouldnít give a good idea of the tank gH. Iím heading to PetCo tonight to see if they have gH/kH test kits as Iíve noticed that is one of the numbers that everyone keeps track of in their tanks!

Update: PetCo didnít have it, neither did petsmart or the LFS :/ Amazon it is, I guess.

Aquariums~
5.5G QT | 10G Planted Shrimp | 10G Nonplanted Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish
15G Rimless Mess of an Aquarium | 20G Long Divided Betta | 20G Long Guppy Growout
100G Kiddie Pool Goldfish Pond

Betta | Rainbowfish | Goldfish | Guppies | Corydoras | Shrimp
(Also mass populations of Pond Snails and Planaria...)

Last edited by Darkblade48; 01-28-2019 at 02:00 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-25-2019, 02:41 PM
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I've found it's a good thing to have. I never paid much attention to the GH in my tanks until I found out our tap water is basically bad RO water with a bunch of chlorine in it (TDS ~30 out of the tap.) I started adding some GH booster (also from NilocG, but other solutions like Seachem Equilibrium work just as well) with every water change to get the GH up to somewhere between 6 and 8 degrees and was amazed at the effect it had on my plants, so it's something to look into along with the ferts if your GH is too low.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-26-2019, 02:33 PM
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Beware GH and KH test kits don't really last that long on shelf. Also dry ferts are cheaper and easier to do than liquid. You basically have RO water with a TDS of 30. Most likely your gh and kh is almost zero. Rather than testing it you can use dry buffers and gh booster to set your desired levels. I can help you with buffers, gh and dry ferts if you'd like. It's not that bad. It's about 15 bucks for all the ferts, and 20 bucks for buffers and gh booster. Which will last you a very long time. Liquid ferts are extremely overpriced.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-26-2019, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xUma View Post
I do not- I can maybe find a water quality report for our water but that still wouldn’t give a good idea of the tank gH. I’m heading to PetCo tonight to see if they have gH/kH test kits as I’ve noticed that is one of the numbers that everyone keeps track of in their tanks!
GH (not KH) is determined by how much Ca and Mg is in the water. A water quality report should tell you how many ppm of each one you have. This is precisely what you want to know.

GH tests are only going to give you the total. They wont tell you how much is from Ca and how much is Mg. Could be all one or the other

So yeah, see if you can find a report. Post it if you need help understanding it.

As for a liquid fert (which isnt going to have Ca btw) any "all-in-one" should do the trick.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-26-2019, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you! I didnít see Ca/Mg on the water quality report (which was from 2016 anyway) but Iíll check again.

Aquariums~
5.5G QT | 10G Planted Shrimp | 10G Nonplanted Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish
15G Rimless Mess of an Aquarium | 20G Long Divided Betta | 20G Long Guppy Growout
100G Kiddie Pool Goldfish Pond

Betta | Rainbowfish | Goldfish | Guppies | Corydoras | Shrimp
(Also mass populations of Pond Snails and Planaria...)
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-28-2019, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Ben3721 View Post
You basically have RO water with a TDS of 30. Most likely your gh and kh is almost zero. Rather than testing it you can use dry buffers and gh booster to set your desired levels.
Just for the record, that's my water and not the OP's. I just mentioned it as a detail in my story about never paying attention to my GH in the past and how finally checking and correcting my GH made a big difference in my tanks - probably a "duh" kind of thing, but I was (and still am) learning!

My algae is the only plant that pearls.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-28-2019, 03:03 PM
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Be aware that water quality reports can mislead you! They are called CCR for a reason. That is Consumer Confidence Report and they are designed to tell us if our water is tested and found safe to drink. The report is not designed to be a continuous monitor on how it will grow plants! And water does change in many locations due to seasons, flooding, different sources like changing from lakes to wells during dry spells. Form all those seasonal changes, we will get a max and min and average but that doesn't really tell us what we get on any given day, does it? So if you want to know what your tank water has, you have to do the work of finding out as your tank and the tank across the street may be totally different!
For a choice on ferts, I want full flexible ferts that I can add more of one without more of something which may already be too high. That means simple, basic dry ferts which also happens to be much cheaper as I don't want to buy water and pay to ship it all over. I've got lots of cheap water to mix the ferts into.
I suggest, pick a method of dosing, EI (my choice), PPO ,etc. then go here to find how much:
Rotala Butterfly | Planted Aquarium Nutrient Dosing Calculator
Don't make testing/measuring into rocket science as it IS just a starting ESTIMATE as all tanks and plants use different amounts. Start simple and adjust as needed. Kitchen spoons work for me!
A good place to get the dry ferts in little plastic bags that store on the shelf real nice and don't mold or go bad:
Dry Fertilizer | Aquarium Fertilizer
And after doing ti for some time, it may not all look right, so do some looking at what needs help:
https://www.google.com/search?q=aqua...n4aQwqnj0DI2M:

Stay out of the rocket science/brain surgery thing and it will be far more fun!!! If you don't have times to dip a spoon, stir it in water and dump it in a few times a week, you may be in the wrong game as you really don't have time to look at the tank anyway. I consider standing in front of the tank and looking at it to be one of the major bennies so I may stir the ferts for five minutes, just while standing there counting fish!
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-28-2019, 03:37 PM
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I have found that mixing dry ferts into a 500ml solution is rather easy, NilocG .com mixing and dosing and mixing instructions.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 02:19 PM
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We each have to work out what is best for each of our tanks and that is where I fully admit that I tend to take the easy methods when I find them. If I find it works, I'm just not into sweating details on things like measurements for an estimate!
So we can do it one of two ways, We can mix the ferts in water, figuring the correct amount for each container, and then figure how much of that liquid to add to the tank but I find that requires two sets of thinking, measurements as well as two sets of tools and storing the wet mix, which may tend to mold over time.
I find it seems to work just as well for me to stock the dry ferts on a shelf in small stable containers, dip a cup of tank water and use a small set of spoons to stir the correct amount of dry ingredients into the water before pouring into the tank. For downsides, I can see that my amounts may not be as precise as some but doesn't that come almost automatically with an ESTIMATE?
Is there something important about doing it the easy way that I have missed?
Unless there is something I'm missing, it seems better for me to no do the second step of calculations, deal with storing wet ingredients and watch for the potential for it to mold.
Clue me in if I've missed something?
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
We each have to work out what is best for each of our tanks and that is where I fully admit that I tend to take the easy methods when I find them. If I find it works, I'm just not into sweating details on things like measurements for an estimate!
So we can do it one of two ways, We can mix the ferts in water, figuring the correct amount for each container, and then figure how much of that liquid to add to the tank but I find that requires two sets of thinking, measurements as well as two sets of tools and storing the wet mix, which may tend to mold over time.
I find it seems to work just as well for me to stock the dry ferts on a shelf in small stable containers, dip a cup of tank water and use a small set of spoons to stir the correct amount of dry ingredients into the water before pouring into the tank. For downsides, I can see that my amounts may not be as precise as some but doesn't that come almost automatically with an ESTIMATE?
Is there something important about doing it the easy way that I have missed?
Unless there is something I'm missing, it seems better for me to no do the second step of calculations, deal with storing wet ingredients and watch for the potential for it to mold.
Clue me in if I've missed something?
I started out in this hobby dosing dry ferts. Then I needed to go on vacation (1 week) and had no one to tend the tank. I went to liquid ferts to work out an auto dosing solution that worked for me. Been mixing solutions since. Now I've got one of those "squeeze and fill the cup" dosing bottles that doesn't scare my wife away from dosing if I need her to. I'll be going to D.C. this year on a bucket list vaca (Marine Barracks One - Evening Parade) and I'm planning on a Jebao dosing pump for then.
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