NilocG Fertilizer thoughts? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 02:32 AM Thread Starter
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NilocG Fertilizer thoughts?

I am currently dosing Seachem's line but am having difficulty staying on top of it with all the separate bottles. Was thinking of changing to NilocG. Any thoughts or opinions from people that use this?

I have a low tech Fluval spec V 5 gallon. Not dosing Co2 but using Seachem Excel. Should I continue dosing Excel with NilocG? I think it contains something similar.

Should I get thriveC for low tech tanks or the shrimp specific one? I do have an amano shrimp.

Plants anubias, Christmas moss, buce, crypts, Rotala.

Thank you!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 01:16 PM
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Have you considered buying dry fertilizer and mixing your own? It's not complicated or confusing if you use one of the many calculators online. $10 worth of dry fertilizer will last you several years and a $30 bottle of 50 cents worth of fertilizer already mixed with water... won't.

You also don't need to buy shrimp-specific fertilizer. It's marketing hype and long disproven that all copper is bad for shrimp. Living creatures actually need it in their systems. The trace amounts of copper in fertilizer and food are perfectly safe for shrimp. It's only when concentrations get super-high that they become toxic - like medications containing strong concentrations of copper.

If you're keeping shrimp, Excel should probably not be something you use if you're new. Especially in a 5-gallon aquarium. Some shrimp can tolerate it in small concentrations but it's really easy to poison them in a small tank - even when using recommended dosages. Excel is just glutaraldehyde (commonly known as Metricide) and is used as a disinfectant outside of the aquarium hobby. So unless you know you absolutely need it in your planted tank? Don't use it. It looks like you have undemanding plants, so I'd stop using it.

Are you running a Finnex fixture on the tank? Because the stock LED would be fine for what you're growing. Even the older model Spec LED would be fine.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 02:27 PM
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I have had good success with both ThriveC and ThriveS personally. I don't use Excel with either, so I don't know whether it would provide any benefit (and many would argue the benefits of Excel in the first place.) I've used the ThriveC in tanks with Amanos and Neos with no issues. Growth has been healthy (still slow because my tanks are all low tech) and both contain little enough Nitrate that you can keep up a regular dosing schedule even if you're forced to extend your water changes a bit.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
Have you considered buying dry fertilizer and mixing your own?

Are you running a Finnex fixture on the tank? Because the stock LED would be fine for what you're growing. Even the older model Spec LED would be fine.
I have thought about dry ferts and may try them at some point. Just not sure on making the jump yet with more measurements.

I have the Finnex Planted Plus set at with a dimmer at 40%. I had to dim the light because it was way too much for a five gallon tank and I was seeing algae issues.

Any suggestions if I should used Thrive C over regular Thrive? My nitrate level is currently really low but my tank also only has one shrimp in it at the moment. My endlers died. I believe from soft water. Thinking thriveC but it says to use regular Thrive in low nitrate tanks.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 05:31 PM
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What are your current water parameters? Specifically kH & gH?

From the looks of your tank in other threads and your description here, you don't need to be dosing much at all. You have extremely low demand plants. You could even get away with just root tabs for your stem plants & Cryptocoryne. Moss doesn't need much, if anything, to thrive. Anubias and Bucephalandra don't need much and grow extremely slowly.

Can't help you with which Thrive you should use because just about anything is going to work well. You could dose a tiny amount of Flourish every week after water change and that would likely be plenty. Until you have a ton more plants that are faster growing, you won't need much. I've had Buces sit in buckets of still water for years at a time, no ferts added, just treated tap. They still grew well.

I have a Spec 5 with about 150 Crypts, a similar number of Anubias and Buces, moss, floating plants, Hydrocotyle. Using the stock LED. I have a huge plant mass compared to your tank and don't need Excel and don't need to dose fertilizers. My substrate is Controsoil, so it's not offering a ton but it's fine for the root feeders I've got. It's roughly equivalent to using root tabs in pool filter sand.


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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What are your current water parameters? Specifically kH & gH?
Kh is 4
gH is 5
Ph tests 7.6 on the low API liquid test and 7.4 on the high.

Nitrates keep bottoming out so I think plants are using that. Growth has also slowed quiet a bit so I think some ferts are needed. Substrate is eco-complete which has no ferts. I am planning on trying to get more Rotala. I added five or six red root floaters and they are not really taking off either. I was dosing .5ppm of phosphate and those would read zero at the end of the week as well.

Should I hold off on buying thrive?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 08:30 PM
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I'm not sure about PAR data but I think you probably still have too much light for your tank. The Finnex fixtures are pretty bright for such a shallow tank. So that may be why you're experiencing issues. If you still have the stock fixture, it may be worth running that for a while to see how things go. At least until you have a tank packed with tons of plants or you're running CO2.

If you have other fertilizer on-hand, I'd hold off on buying anything until you run out of what you've got. That's just my personal opinion. If you want it? Buy it. I'd avoid the shrimp-specific one because your shrimp will be fine with regular stuff. Still think you should consider dry ferts. Since you can measure water hardness and are familiar with fert PPMs, you already have way more knowledge than many people when they start with dry ferts. It'll be super-easy for you. I've used this calculator in the past to come up with how much of each mineral salt I need to create my own mix. But you could also post a thread here on the forum and members would come through to help you decide how much you should use to make your own liquid ferts.

About water hardness... your kH & gH are generally fine for Endlers. I've usually kept mine in a gH of about 7-8 but have had them in all kinds of parameters. Should be easy to bump it up a couple degrees with some gH booster from somewhere like GLA.


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
I have a Spec 5 with about 150 Crypts, a similar number of Anubias and Buces, moss, floating plants, Hydrocotyle. Using the stock LED. I have a huge plant mass compared to your tank and don't need Excel and don't need to dose fertilizers.
Would you mind sharing a photo? I love seeing other people's spec Vs and yours sounds amazing with that many plants packed in! Thanks for all the help.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-04-2019, 12:40 AM
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That tank journal is in my signature. Most recent photos are from a couple weeks ago, though. It's changed quite a bit since then. Will probably do a photo update at some point this week.


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