Can someone recommend me good dry fertz for my tank. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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Can someone recommend me good dry fertz for my tank.

Hi

So I am still learning about plants in the aquarium and would like some help
choosing the correct fertilizers for my 90 liter tank and keeping it relatively cheap.

I believe I have low/med lightning, and am running DIY CO2.

So from what I researched I understand that Macros (NPK) are the most important fertilizers for my plants, and most likely I would need to purchase 3 different fertilizers for each Macronutrient.

I am wondering though If I actually need Nitrogen as my tap water contains over 60ppm nitrate, and I have never been able to get this anywhere near to 20ppm, but have never had problems with my fish.

Also with Phosphorous would I need this as-well, as I read this can be gained from fish food and is naturally in the tank. I do have a lot of green algea on the back of my tank glass which I scrub of then it comes back 2 weeks later, so would this indicate I have a lot of Phosphorous, obviously I may need a test kit to check that....

So then I presume I would need to buy Potassium fertilizer.

Also for the Micronutrients I was thinking of just buying Seachem Flourish Tabs.

I don't know a great deal about all this stuff and only have done a little research, I would have no idea on dosages etc, but hope that would come with the product or can be found online..

So can anyone recommend me some good dry fertilizers that I can buy in the UK, as the only place I found was greenleafaquariums but they don't ship outside of the USA.

Also because my tank is low/med light do I even need to buy macro ferts? or would I better just sticking to micro's. Thanks for any help on this
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 05:21 PM
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Hello, I can't recommend a place to order in the UK but I'm hoping someone else can. You prolly should get a phosphate test kit, just because you have green algae doesn't mean you have phosphate, green spot algae usually shows up in low phosphate amounts. How hard is your water (GH and KH) If you have soft water you may need to add calcium/magnesium this can be added through a GH buffer which is generally sold where you get other dry ferts.

You indeed might not need to dose nitrates since they are pretty high coming out of the tap but if you get a large enough plant mass they might use it up before your next water change. This will need to be monitored and added if needed. Potassium sulfate can be added from what I understand there isn't a need to test for it because it can't be overdosed you can look for deficiencies and add or just add it along with other macros.

Flourish plant tabs are not a micro fert, these are used to suppliment root growing plants ie amazon swords. You will need to get a micro fert, seachem flourish is a trace fert, or CSM+B is another less expensive one. I've used both.

Do you know what your co2 levels are? If you have a drop checker that would be best to determine the levels. Seachem Excel is a carbon suppliment that can be added daily or every other day to help if the co2 isn't optimal.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Hey thanks for the reply, I am not sure how hard my water is, I am from a hard water area though, so it will be on the high end, I was going to get a GH and KH test kit to measure my CO2 with the PH charts, but instead opted for a drop checker, which I am still learning how to read its shades, from the front of my tank its a nice green from the side of my tank is a light blue with a hint of green, I have also read the color by holding paper behind the checker and that was a light green.

So if I buy some seachem flourish will that be dosing micro ferts or trace ferts?, bit confused there. I was considering seachem flourish originally then on the seachem website it said the tabs are the same but in a tab form.. and because I just have normal gravel and not any plant substrate I thought that would give a healthy boost for the roots to form but if that's not case I will go with flourish, and buy some seachem potassium?

You mention calcium/magnesium if I have soft water, I know I have hard water just never tested how hard, so does hard water benefit me in anyway?

Thanks for the help.

I will also look into buying a phosphate test kit so if my phosphate is low I will be needing to buy seachem Flourish Phosphorus?

Once again this seems like the expensive liquid fertilizers, so I guess I can get all this stuff through dry fertilizers at a cheaper price if they can be purchased in the UK.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 06:06 PM
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Sorry micro=trace ferts. I wouldn't recommend buying seachem potassium its way expensive for what you get dry ferts are a lot cheaper. The root tabs may be the same as seachem flourish but some plants feed through their roots and other through the water. The root tabs will benefit the root feeders.

Just wait to order till someone responds if there is a place to get dry ferts. You will spend something like 20 bucks on dry ferts that will last 2-3 years compared to liquid that will last a couple months. Although seachem flourish is pretty concentrated and will last a lot longer then say their nitrogen/potassium/phosphorus macro line.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Ok cheers I really do appreciate your help, I'm only starting out in the planting side of the hobby, since I've seen how beautiful some people's tanks on here are, so am learning as I go.

I will just wait then till someone from UK can recommend me dry ferts

Also just to note I am from the south east of England, which our water comes from all types of quarry's which include lots of chalk and limestone, I looked at my water report and at this time I cant find my hardness in figures, so is it still worth me buying a GH KH test kit?

From what I've read in my water report, we have a LOT of calcium and magnesium.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jafooli View Post
Ok cheers I really do appreciate your help, I'm only starting out in the planting side of the hobby, since I've seen how beautiful some people's tanks on here are, so am learning as I go.

I will just wait then till someone from UK can recommend me dry ferts

Also just to note I am from the south east of England, which our water comes from all types of quarry's which include lots of chalk and limestone, I looked at my water report and at this time I cant find my hardness in figures, so is it still worth me buying a GH KH test kit?

From what I've read in my water report, we have a LOT of calcium and magnesium.
It still might be in your interest to know, ask you LFS to test your water for you, if they have a GH KH test kit, might as well have them check phosphate too.

Where I live my GH is 14 degrees and KH is 13. I mix RO water with tap water to get my GH and KH between 4 and 5
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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Hey latchdan

Thanks for reply, I will look into getting my GH and KH tested, so if mine are high will I have to make them lower like you are? I'm not sure what GH and KH you should be aiming for with plants. I will work on getting my phosphate tested to.

I have been doing some of my own research around the UK and found cheap all in one fertilizers on ebay called Green Low but I remember reading on here that all in one's are probably false as some macro/micros cant be mixed? Anyhow I have came across two website's that seem to sell fertilizers at a fair price, I would appreciate it if you or anyone else can have a quick look and give your opinions.

The first website I was looking at sell two products called APF SIMPLY MACRO 500ml and APF SIMPLY MICRO 500ML, for my 90 litre tank I worked out both would last me a good couple of months. They can be found here: http://www.aquariumplantfood.co.uk/f...ser/apfuk.html

The second is another website that sells Tropica fertilizers, most of the plants I purchase at my LFS are from Tropica, so I guess there more of a established and well known brand, anyway the two fertilizers there are:

Tropica Plant Growth Premium
Tropica Plant Growth Specialised

They can be found here: http://www.thegreenmachineonline.com...id-fertilisers

They are more expensive and one would last me around 2 months. It also says the Premium Fertiliser does not however contain nitrogen (N) or phosphorus (P). This could benefit me in the mean time, as I know my nitrate is high and do not know my Phosphate level. So I could go with the Premium mix to start.

So any opinions on them products would be great, don't worry I'm not in no rush to buy so I can wait for someone from the UK to reply with there dry ferts but from what I found they looked quite promising, all though I guess there are not dry fertilizers and are liquid fertilizers, but once again they seem fair priced.

Also to add are all these fertilizers safe for fish? as I have some sensitive fish, pleco, ram, loaches.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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I've just come across the Ei Starter Kit, and after reading some info about EI dosing, I'm starting to think this could be the best way for me to go, as I am still pretty new to all this, and with EI dosing, I presume all my plants will be getting all the nutrients they need and I won't need to invest in test kits, which could get pretty expensive.

Would this be a good route for me to start with? and will the improvement in growth be a lot? My worry is like you mentioned tabs will work on root feeding plants, so would dosing EI not benefit root feeders? or will the nutrients find there way into the gravel bed.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 10:21 PM
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Just to be certain EI dosing doses all ferts to excess so the plants are not hindered by lack of nutrients. A 50% water change at the end of the week is suppose to reset your nutrients. Since your tap is high Nitrate you will have to modify your EI dosing by not adding it as much or not after a water change.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 11:13 PM
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Can someone recommend me good dry fertz for my tank.

I have to say that I prefer separate dry ferts. As I'm getting more familiar with what my tank needs, I can adjust a little as required.
For example, my Hygro can't seem to get enough Potassium and I've had to spike my Trace mix with a little extra iron.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 09:04 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Latchdan and Jeff for replying.

I'm inexperienced when it comes to all this so if I was to dose separately, things may be more complicated for me? How would I know when a plant cant get enough potassium like in Jeff's case, and would the hobby become more expensive in the sense I would need test kits to measure levels of nutrients.

So after reading the EI method and it being used to make things a little more simple for people like me who are just starting out I thought it could be a start, I did think the Nitrate could be a concern, the website did say to email them about anything if you have questions regarding the EI starter kit, I could ask them what they recommend for my mix.. or I could just leave the Potassium Nitrate out of the mix? then as my plants hopefully flourish and grow more, I can take readings of the nitrate during the week to get an idea of when to add the Potassium Nitrate separately if the plants use all the nitrate by the end of the week and my 50% water change? If they don't use it all up then I wont need to add any.

If I use the EI method is there any other nutrient I should be worrying about that could build up to fast as it may already be in my water and cause harm to my fish, how about phosphate as like mentioned I am not sure how high/low that is, or is Nitrate the only cause for concern with my livestock?

Once again thanks for the help.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 11:23 PM
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Can someone recommend me good dry fertz for my tank.

Don't have many answers to your new questions but this... As you settle into some routine with EI, you'll be able to see how your plants are responding. For me, I had curling leaves with pinholes in them. Classic Potassium deficiency. Just keep reading, watch your aquarium for a while each night, be consistent. It'll work out...

EI is made to not need test kits, but in dialing in my EI dosing a little more close to needs, I tested for Iron, Nitrate and Phosphate until I leveled things out.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-02-2013, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Hey Jeff

Sorry for the late reply, I came down with a bug.

Cheers for your advice that makes sense about the symptoms of nutrient deficiency, I will be sure to keep a close eye on my plants if I do start out on EI and slowly learn my way.

At the moment, I just need to get around to doing a bit more research to find out if a build up of any nutrients can kill my fish, I don't want to lose no fish.

Thanks again.
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