Seachem fertilizers - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-24-2019, 09:34 AM Thread Starter
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Seachem fertilizers

Hey guys, I have a 4 foot tank, with half of it planted, low tech with a Fluval plant light 3.0, and was thinking about dosing flourish, flourish excel, flourish advance and maybe flourish potassium and iron. Any advice or thoughts from people who have used these products before or have a different dosing schedule, cheers
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-24-2019, 09:45 AM
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With such a large aquarium, I would recommend bulk chemicals instead, as it will be significantly cheaper in the long run.

You can look up Estimative Index (EI) dosing or PPS-Pro.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-24-2019, 02:05 PM
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When/if using the bulk chemicals (powder), you will find this calculator invaluable: Rotala Butterfly | Planted Aquarium Nutrient Dosing Calculator.

However, as a beginner, you might find it easier to first start with the bulk chemicals: KNO3 and KH2PO4 for the nitrate, phosphate and potassium (the macros: N, P and K). If you decide that you need more potassium, you can add K2SO4. Many of us measure NO3 and PO4 to determine how much of the N and P is needed, since our fish food (via the fish poop) often provides enough. So, if we cut down on the KNO3 and KH2PO4 because of this, we may need to add some extra potassium with the K2SO4.

For traces, I would stick with the Flourish as it contains all the traces (including iron, although you may need to bump the iron a little) that you will need but, again, use the calculator, above. Depending upon which way you go: PPS or EI dosing methods, the calculator will then help you select the quantities to dose. Once you get used to using bulk chemicals with the N, P and K, you can move on to bulk chemicals for the traces, if you wish. It can be very low cost.

The Excel cannot be purchased in the powder form and is very good for low-tech (no CO2 injection) tanks. There are other options, such as Metricide 14, but I'd stick with the Excel for now.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-24-2019, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeStef View Post
Hey guys, I have a 4 foot tank, with half of it planted, low tech with a Fluval plant light 3.0, and was thinking about dosing flourish, flourish excel, flourish advance and maybe flourish potassium and iron. Any advice or thoughts from people who have used these products before or have a different dosing schedule, cheers
Since you were asking for advice and comments from those who have used this line of liquid ferts:
I have used Seachem Ferts for 2 years. With my low-tech aquariums I dose Flourish, N, P, K, Iron, Advance ( off and on- not consistently) and Excel ( in 1 tank of 6). I use the back of each bottle as a guide to dosing. In the last few months I had been adjusting some of these numbers to reflect the needs of the aquarium. For instance, a few of my tanks have large cichlids that produce a big bio-load, so I had adjusted the amount of nitrogen down to reflect this.



Recently ( within last month) I have been using Thrive all in one to try it as an alternative to Seachem. The results have not been good for me so will most likely try something else when this is gone. I really liked the results I got from the Seachem liquid fert line, but it has become a hassle with all the bottles and expensive to dose a 180 gallon, 60 gallon, 2 - 30 gallons, a 5 gallon, and a 9gallon.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-24-2019, 06:12 PM
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I am also a big fan of using the dry salts. I used the Seachem line and much like @Discusluv, I found them to be too expensive to continue using (on top of somewhat of a hassle of having too many bottles to dose from). I then also switched to Thrive, and just like @Discusluv, I was not happy with it. In my particular tank, after using Thrive, it gave me a big algae bloom. I then went back to NilocG and purchased dry salts...it's the best thing I've ever done in terms of tank dosing.

Just as @Deanna highlighted, you have a lot of granular control over what element you dose and it's very easy to "fine tune" the fertilizers to your specific tanks. They are a lot more cost effective and with a gram scale, very, very easy to measure out. Rotalabufferfly.com also has a calculator for EI low light/weekly dosing, I would use that calculator in your case if you're running the 3.0 on a lower intensity setting and growing easy plants.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-25-2019, 03:58 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the information guys, I think I'm gonna take Deanna's advice and use dry salts as well as flourish, hopefully all goes well
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-25-2019, 04:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post
I really liked the results I got from the Seachem liquid fert line, but it has become a hassle with all the bottles and expensive to dose a 180 gallon, 60 gallon, 2 - 30 gallons, a 5 gallon, and a 9gallon.
I used Seachem line once, due to cost I refilled the bottles with a dry homemade mix.
Pennies to re-create each bottle of Seachem.
I still keep a separate bottle of nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium homebrew to dose at those certain times.

If you need help to re-create the Seachem equivalents I'm sure several could help.


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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-25-2019, 04:23 PM
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For instance,
Seachem Potassium 100 ml $5 bottle contains 10 grams of K2SO4. Dry K2SO4 powder is $4 for 454 grams 1 lb, and that can make 45 such bottles for only $0.10 a bottle.


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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-25-2019, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
I used Seachem line once, due to cost I refilled the bottles with a dry homemade mix.
Pennies to re-create each bottle of Seachem.
I still keep a separate bottle of nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium homebrew to dose at those certain times.

If you need help to re-create the Seachem equivalents I'm sure several could help.
I dont want to mix my own chemicals-- at all. Not interested- even if loads cheaper.

Is there a dry mix prepackaged that I just add water to? Now, that would work.

If not, ill stick to my overpriced fertilizer water.


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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 01:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post
I dont want to mix my own chemicals-- at all. Not interested- even if loads cheaper. Is there a dry mix prepackaged that I just add water to? Now, that would work.
Sure there is Ovaltine, Dry Milk Powder and Whey Protein Powder.
Macro nutrient powders are harmless just like usual kitchen salt or sugar. They donít bite. Whatís the problem?


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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 01:37 AM
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Sure there is Ovaltine, Dry Milk Powder and Whey Protein Powder.
Macro nutrient powders are harmless just like usual kitchen salt or sugar. They donít bite. Whatís the problem?
Why do I have a "problem" if I dont choose to mix my own.

My choice and my pocketbook.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 01:44 AM
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I've done it all. Dry ferts, Seachem, and other all in one liquid fertilizers.

I would agree that the Seachem line is pricy for what it is but I also have to say that was what I was using when I had my best ever results in a high tech planted tank with stem plants.

But mostly it is just out of laziness that I stick with Seachem. I can't be arsed to mix my own even though I still have some dry ferts tucked away in a closet. Currently for my new tanks I am just using Flourish, Advance, and Trace without the additional NPK or Iron. I'm a horticulturist and I've always been more of a "less is more" type of guy when it comes to fertilizing plants.

As I fill up my fish room with more and more and bigger tanks I may switch to dry just as a cost saver.


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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 01:51 AM
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I tried seachem at first. I could never get it to work the way I thought they should. So I spent some time reading and struggling through figuring out ei and am very happy I did so. Far cheaper too
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 01:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post
I dont want to mix my own chemicals-- at all. Not interested- even if loads cheaper.

Is there a dry mix prepackaged that I just add water to? Now, that would work.

If not, ill stick to my overpriced fertilizer water.
nilocG does sell prepackaged mix-your-own dry ferts for his Thrive line. But if the liquid Thrive wasn't good for you, you'd probably want something else. When researching my fert options I came across several people like Barr who also sell dry fert mixes. Perhaps others with experience with these can weigh in?

I went with liquid Thrive also, and I'm still having algae issues. I bought a couple of bottles, so any suggestions on how to tweak it to address the algae issues? I'm already dosing Excel, but with my crazy travel schedule of late I often skip a week of dosing. Trying to convince my dogsitter to dose Excel daily in addition to feeding, but he says he's afraid. Funny the 80lb greyhound doesn't scare him, but a tank with baby angels and some guppies does.....
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 01:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post
I dont want to mix my own chemicals-- at all. Not interested- even if loads cheaper.

Is there a dry mix prepackaged that I just add water to? Now, that would work.

If not, ill stick to my overpriced fertilizer water.
If you buy dry ferts, in two minutes you can make the same thing as a "prepackaged" dry mix that you add water to. Honestly it's much easier than you think.

If you are curious to try it out, let me know and I will send you a dry mix to try. And a custom mix for micros too. Might give you a better idea of what you would be dealing with.

You could use your Seachem bottles, or get a couple of 1000ml containers so you don't need to make it so often.

PM me if it interested and we can talk about what you are dosing now and how to duplicate it.

And as Edward mentioned above, it's not just a little bit cheaper........it's loads cheaper. And you can adjust things to your needs as time goes on.
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