Select Aquatics Rapid Grow Fertilizer - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Select Aquatics Rapid Grow Fertilizer

I have not seen any posts about Rapid Grow Fertilizer besides one where @bigbadjon referenced using it last year.

I thought I would share what information I have about the product in case others come looking for information.


It is sold as a dry mix fertilizer with instructions to mix into a liquid fertilizer for short term storage and dosing. It is made and packaged by Greg Sage of Select Aquatics. He is known mostly for his livebearers and plecos and is generally just a knowledgeable and kind person. Here is the product page: Rapid Grow aquarium Plant Fertilizer


The fertilizer is invertebrate safe, which was critical for my usage. Greg does not publish the exact breakdown, but will readily answer questions via email. I asked him a few and will share the answers:
  • It contains iron at .13%.
  • It contains Ammoniacal and Nitrate forms of Nitrogen.
  • It does not include trace elements Cobalt or Boron.
  • The dosing recommendations are based on "a combination of the best concentration for plant growth with the least potential for toxic issue for fish, and was derived over three years of testing... in [his] fish room." His fish room primarily uses java moss and java fern, potted or free floating, with medium light. His website has many examples of his tanks.
I bought the fertilizer a month or two ago on a whim since I was not having much luck with Seachem (due to my own ignorance most likely). I began dosing Rapid Grow in my display tank about 2 weeks ago, so consider this a short-term review.


The fertilizer mixes nicely and the instructions make it easy to dose since it is not too concentrated in liquid form. 1.5floz or 44ml per 30 gallons of tank water per month. For my 40g I end up at about 60ml per month, or 15ml per week.



I conducted the first dose as a 15ml weekly dose. Starting in the second week, I begam auto-dosing 2.5ml per day. I also conduct ~7% daily auto water changes, so I dose right after changing water.


I don't have much experience with other fertilizer options besides Seachem, so this analysis is somewhat in a vacuum.


My tank is a 40g with a Fluval Plant 3 and injected CO2 (at low levels, 10-15ppm). I have some stems, moss, monte carlo, a buce, some tripartita japan, scarlet temple, and a few others. EcoComplete substrate. I also have API root tabs under the densely planted areas.



Prior to dosing any ferts, the plants all grew slowly. The moss seemed to be eating up many of the nutrients since there is a large amount of it and it catches a lot of CO2 bubbles. The monte carlo didn't spread at all in the weeks prior to dosing. Almost immediately after the initial dose, the monte carlo began spreading. It has seen considerable growth by my standards since dosing began. The red plants are not exhibiting very good coloration, but that is to be expected with the low amounts of iron in the mix. I plan to supplement the dosing schedule with iron.



Some of you will have noticed that this contains ammonia per his answers. I did not get any information on how the ammonia is built in. Seachem claims that theirs is "complexed." I don't know enough water chemistry to know how that functions or if Rapid Grow is also complexed.



I will try to continue updating or answer questions, but so far so good. Here are a couple of progress pictures. I am new to growing plants so I cannot grow as fast as many here, but I am happy with how it functions for now.


Rapid Grow in the DOS system, nearest the camera:





July 21 (no dosing):



August 1 (no dosing):



August 11 (after initial dose):





It has definitely helped the moss perk up and also has allowed the monte carlo to spread a bit.

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Last edited by ohaple; 08-16-2019 at 03:43 PM. Reason: .
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 10:19 PM
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Hi @ohaple,

I think you will find that Select Aquatics 'Rapid Grow' and Aquarium Co-op 'Easy Green' are very, very similar in their nutrient analysis; both are a little "light" on iron.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
It does not include trace elements Cobalt or Boron.
Cobalt is only needed legume plants. With cobalt they can host bacteria that can extract Nitrogen from the air. Without Cobalt legumes would need a nitrate fertilizer. Most plants cannot use cobalt.

Boron is needed by all plant. If your tap water doesn't have boron in the fertilizer a boron deficiency will develop and the plants will stop growing.

Most fertilizers are labeled shrimp safe because they don't have copper. Plants need copper to grow. Most plants only need about 0.006ppm of copper to grow. Most fertilizer on the market only dose to 0.001ppm of copper. So you don't have to worry about copper in most fertilizers. It is the copper levels in tap water that is more of a concern. I use RO in my aquarium but I did once set the copper levels in it and found it had 0.05ppm of copper. The EPA has set a upper limit for copper at 1.3ppm.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi @ohaple,

I think you will find that Select Aquatics 'Rapid Grow' and Aquarium Co-op 'Easy Green' are very, very similar in their nutrient analysis; both are a little "light" on iron.

I like Cory and Greg both, and they both seem to have positive things to say about each other being in the livebearer community. It is probably no coincidence that their fertilizers come from the same philosophy (if not the same source). Cory has noted that Easy Green is light on iron, which even relates to the name Easy GREEN. I believe it is why he started selling Easy Iron. Easy Green leans more towards convenience, but the Rapid Grow is probably a better value by gallon since it is sold dry. It definitely suits their personalities. Greg does not sell an Iron product that I know of, but there are plenty on the market to choose from to supplement.



I actually considered buying Easy Green, but took the opportunity to buy from Greg while I was visiting his fish room.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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A little update. I am having a hard time understanding the dosing graphs for the DOS system. Some days the bar charts show no dosing occurred, but the calendar view shows that it did.

I have been increasing the dosing to more like 21/wk instead of 15wk. The monte carlo seems to love it and grows much better with more ferts. Here is a brief video showing the growth as of August 18, 2019
https://i.imgur.com/bk8WpUF.mp4

I have not started supplementing iron, and you can see it in the poor coloration of my scarlet temple.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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An update to show growth as of 8.25.19. After adding these floating plants I think I will need to up the dosage, but things are still growing well.

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