Questions on ADA fertilisers - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 04:03 AM Thread Starter
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Questions on ADA fertilisers

hello! 🙂
I have started using ADA Fertilisers for the last 4 weeks on my new carpet ‘Iwagumi’
style tank. The only plant I have is Hemianthus callitrichoides ‘cuba’ to carpet.
Here are my questions 🙂

1) ADA recommends using 2 ferts together for the first month of a new aquarium.
•ADA Brighty K (potassium)
•ADA green brightly mineral (trace elements and micro nutrients)
Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t there other macro nutrients other than potassium that plants need, for example Nitrogen, phosphorus etc?

Also I understand that the bio-load from animals in the tank is converted to nitrates and other macro nutrients for the plants but I have a fairly low bioload with only 20 amanos in a 10G. And I’m concerned that the ADA ferts rely on the animals to produce the rest of the macros, and I have too low of a bioload to support all the carpeting plants?? (Also there is no other macro ferts from ADA just Brighy K)


2) ADA recommends using •Green brightly iron supplement for a matured aquarium from 2 months on. I am wondering if carpeting plants require the extra iron? I understand that stem plants like rotala rotundafolia require iron but is it necessary for carpeting plants?

3) I have a 10 gallon, about 40 liters and the ferts recommend 1 pump (1ml) per 20 L. So I should do 2 pumps. BUT I have a large amount of space taken by the large dragon stones and substrate which I calculated takes nearly half the volume leaving 20L would I dose for 20L (1 pump) for what volume of water is left or 40L (2 pumps) for what the volume of the tank is??
I am probably overthinking this since I don’t see people dosing ferts taking in account of the volume of water loss from hardscape.

4) Lastly, as my plant mass increase I would increase the intensity of the light, I have it at 3 levels from the 6 (half the brightness). As I increase the light intensity would I increase the dosing is the ferts and co2 too?

Thank you in advance for your time! 😛
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 12:13 AM
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Are you using aquasoil? Their dosing is designed for tanks using their soil. If you are not, then you will have to come up with custom dosing.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 03:50 AM Thread Starter
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Yes I am using ADA’s Amazonia aqausoil.
Does the ADA soil release the rest of the missing nutrients form the ferts?
And how long will the aquasoil last until it stops doing so?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 07:59 PM
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The AS will have all the nutrients you need to make up the deficit for about 1-2 months. After that I think ADA has instructions on how to continue to dose. They also recommend adding fresh handfuls of aquasoil directly to the tank after a few months. The whole system works pretty well. However, it is designed with their lighting and CO2 system in mind.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 06:23 AM
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Is there anywhere to find out what's actually inside the ADA ferts? How do ppl know how much they are adding to their tanks?


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 07:38 AM Thread Starter
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ADA ferts include: ADA K (potassium) ADA minerals (trace elements) ADA IRON (iron) ADA Nitrogen (nitrogen)
Unlike other ferts like thrive, it doesn’t say how many ppm you are adding of something when dosing. Maybe somewhere on their website it says but it’s not on the box or bottle
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 10:55 AM
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You could just buy a bottle of thrive and call it a day. /shrug The branding is nice but ADA is not the end all be all of this hobby. Like Apple is not the end all be all of phones. Both have great marketing however.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 12:49 PM
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Or you could use a fertilizer calculator, check the Fert section here, ask other members for assistance. Buy dry fertilizer salts and mix your own. Exponentially cheaper than paying someone $30 for a bottle of water containing $0.25 worth of fertilizer. It's way less complicated or confusing than you're thinking. Once you use up all the ADA ferts you have, give dry ferts some serious consideration.

And if you're keeping shrimp, please don't fall for the marketing hype/scare tactic that you need shrimp-specific fertilizer.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hydrosolic View Post

1) ADA recommends using 2 ferts together for the first month of a new aquarium.
ēADA Brighty K (potassium)
ēADA green brightly mineral (trace elements and micro nutrients)
Correct me if Iím wrong but isnít there other macro nutrients other than potassium that plants need, for example Nitrogen, phosphorus etc?

Also I understand that the bio-load from animals in the tank is converted to nitrates and other macro nutrients for the plants but I have a fairly low bioload with only 20 amanos in a 10G. And Iím concerned that the ADA ferts rely on the animals to produce the rest of the macros, and I have too low of a bioload to support all the carpeting plants?? (Also there is no other macro ferts from ADA just Brighy K)
The reason why they recommend Brighty K and the trace is because those are the missing nutrients not provided by the aquasoil during the 1st 6 months or so. There is no magic potion in the ADA ferts, it's the same stuff essentially that you would buy generically and at a much reduced cost as discussed using dry ferts.

The aquasoil will provide both N & P so the lifestock is irrelevent. Typically for most AS bssed tanks if you dose K and micros for the 1st 6 months you cover everything. After that you could follow the ADA fert line or simply use dry ferts and dose according to your tank. Most in the states don't buy ADA ferts and use either dry or other ferts. I've typically dosed dry Potassium and used either dry CSM+B or Seachem Flourish Comp for my micros. After the first 6 months or so you can add N & P to your dosing.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all the responses!
Unfortunately Nilocg and amazon doesn’t ship thrive internationally to where I am. 😞

I will do more research and look into dry ferts. I initially tried to stay away as it seems complicated, however you could mix your own fert with lower costs and custom concentration of nutrients according to your tank.
ADA aquasoil does give out N and P however from ADA’s website it still takes bioload and livestock into account stating:

‘’Nitrogen is the most demanded nutrient amongst all the nutrients essential for plant growth...... ADA nitrogen to be used in an aquarium more than one year old or with extremely fewer fish to the amount of plants.’’ (This was taking into account the nitrogen already released from the ADA aqausoil.)

Although my aquarium is only 5 weeks old, is it considered ‘’extremely fewer fish to the amount of plants?’’ And lightly stocked with 20 amano shrimp in a 10 gallon with quite a large plant mass nearly carpeting 70% of the substrate?
Should I use ADA nitrogen or would it most likely just cause an algae outbreak.


Also unlike every other fertiliser, ADA doesn’t have phosphate ferts at all and only rely on the fish’s waste and small amounts in the substrate:
‘’Supplying phosphate to aquarium is a double-edged sword,
phosphate can trigger algal blooms once it is supplied even slightly more than the amount needed by plants. That is why all the lineups of the new Green Brighty Series are phosphate-free. The phosphate in water will always run out. Phosphate is leached out of fish droppings or unconsumed fish food, the aquatic plants will promptly take it up through their leaves and this will prevent algae growth. Keeping the phosphate level as low as possible is a key to maintaining beautiful planted aquarium.’’

Is there truth to this since people dose thrive and other highly concentrated ferts with phosphates and have no issue with algae.
And also phosphate is a macro nutrients (NPK) it does not need to be supplied with ferts at all!? With the only stable source of phosphate being the 20 amanos is this possible?

So sorry for asking so many questions.
Thanks! 😄
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 07:24 PM
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You can't rely on fish waste and food if your setting up a hi-light, co2 tank. The plants generally need more food than that and you can run out. The dry dosing or dosing of N & P will not cause algae in a setup that has healthy growing plants. I've setup more than 10 aquasoil-based tanks using this method and don't have algae issues. There are many other things involved including water changes and good tank husbandry that keeps a tank healthy and clean.


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