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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-29-2013, 02:30 AM Thread Starter
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Seachem Flourish

I'm noticing some stunting so I will try to dose some ferts. Don't tell me that EI is better and etc. Because I'm not that involved in dosing yet. What I want to know is what two flourish products should I dose? (Because I don't want to get like 8 of the flourish products lol)

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-29-2013, 03:08 AM
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E.I. probably is better, but I don't want to be locked in to dosing every day. Even if I miss a week on dosing my
Excel it won't hurt that much as I do dose that every day. But here is what I use/do. Try it or don't, cause
what you do doesn't effect my tank...so...You may like something else that was suggested by "others".
I have Flourish Comprehensive. I change water once a week. After I change the water I dose the Comprehensive.
This replaces the Micros that are talked about in the E.I.
Then I bought two items from e-bay...Potassium Nitrate and Potassium Phosphate. These replace/are two of the
ingredients from the Macros in the E.I.
I dose them separately(keep them separated) but use them at the same time after the water change.
So I dose three things once each week and the Excel I dose each day.
With the three things I have 95% of everything in the E.I. but only dose it once a week and do a more regular sized
water change according to the stocking level rather than the 50% suggested by those who do E.I.
It works for me/w less work than E.I. but has the basic ingredients of the E.I.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-29-2013, 03:16 AM Thread Starter
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Ok Thanks for the response

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-29-2013, 04:39 AM
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EI has evolved over the years. Where it used to be concerned with just NPK and trace elements, now it also involves GH - Ca and Mg in particular. So, if you dose just 3 things, KNO3, KH2PO4, and Flourish, you are taking care of NPK and trace elements, but ignoring GH. Many people have no reason to worry about GH, having plenty of both Ca and Mg in their tap water, but some people, those with softer water, or water with little Mg in it, should also dose a GH booster about once a week.

You can dose Flourish Nitrogen, Flourish Phosphorous and Flourish Potassium in place of KNO3 and KH2PO4 if you prefer to do so.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-29-2013, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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Ok Thanks

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-29-2013, 06:51 PM
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There's a big difference between dosing "EI" and dosing dry ferts...I started off on Flourish products, and while they're convenient to begin with, you're paying a lot for little fertilizer...it's mostly water.

Now, I'm dosing dry ferts essentially on an EI schedule, but cut back quite a bit since I have lower tech tank. You'll notice a difference in cost just based on how long a batch of dry ferts lasts compared to Flourish. And honestly, dosing out of teaspoons is just as easy to do as dosing out of a Flourish cap...it takes some experimenting with your schedule, but realistically a dosing schedule for the Flourish line isn't going to be ubiquitous for all tanks either...

Depending on your setup you most likely don't have to dose the full EI regimen but I'd still highly suggest going the dry fert route. You can get pretty much all you need in terms of NPK and most traces for around $20 (I bought from a member here). I don't have to target dose Ca/Mg but like Hoppy said it's something to also keep in mind. I started back in August and I haven't made much of a dent in my batches...probably will last me a year, at the least.

If it's higher tech, then you might as well commit to EI or something similar quickly though.

All that being said, my first tank was just Comp and Excel, and I remember it doing well enough but growth was soooo sssslllloooowwww...
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-29-2013, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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Lol coolio

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-29-2013, 07:09 PM
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Which leg of a 3-legged stool do you want to try living without?

Plants need about 16 elements to live.
If you short them any of these they will not live.

Hydrogen and Oxygen are OK.

Carbon is the element they use the next most of. Excel is a good source of carbon, if you do not want to go pressurized. I also use Excel for carbon. It was one of the first 'fertilizers' that I started dosing.

N, P and K are the next 3 elements plants use the most. These are the macros.
Fish food supplies N and P in reasonable amounts for a low tech tank. If the NO3 test is always showing there is some NO3 there (5-20 ppm) then you can assume there is a reasonable amount of P, also. If the NO3 test keeps dropping under 5 ppm, especially if it hits zero, then you need to dose N and P.
K is the element that is most often missing of these 3. When I was just getting into ferts this was one of the first I started dosing: Plants use a lot of it, and it is difficult to overdose. Just follow the label directions.

The secondary elements are the ones the plants use the next most of. Ca and Mg are usually supplied by tap water, unless it is softer than about 3 degrees. Then I would question if one or the other might be in short supply.
Iron is another element that plants use quite a bit of. Almost enough to call it a secondary element. Fish food usually does not contain enough iron. This is the other element I started dosing when I ran low tech but well stocked tanks.

Trace minerals- this is a long list of all the other elements that the plants use, but they use these in very small amounts. Fish food contains pretty much all of them, so if the NO3 test shows that fish food is supplying N in sufficient amounts, then you are probably also getting enough trace minerals from the fish food. Tap water has some of these, too.

So... if I had to minimize the fertilizers, here is the order in which I would do this:

1) DOSE:
K, Fe, C, and (if needed) GH booster for Ca and Mg, but only if the water is so soft as to suggest a possible deficiency.

2) If the NO3 test suggests the plants are using all the elements from the fish food, and need more, add:
N, P, traces.

There are 2 ways to do this:
1) Get a pre-mixed blend, an 'all in one' sort of fertilizer. Tablets that you put in the substrate are a good idea for this sort of dosing. They do not add C, but they are pretty good (read the label) for the other elements.

2) Get each element separately, then you blend them to make a mix that suits your tank. Dry ferts allow you to do this. Make a blend of macros in one bottle. Make a blend of traces and iron in another bottle. Excel in a 3rd bottle. Dosing would be alternating between macros and micros, and always Excel. 2 bottles per day. Or, you could dose a bit more when you do dose, but dose fewer days. Such as:
M = Macros, Excel
T = Micros, Excel
W = Skip
Th = Macros, Excel
F = Micros, Excel
S & Su, skip, and one of these is water change day.

3) Keep each fert separate, but use pump bottles for faster daily dosing.
Day 1 = N, P, K, Excel (4 bottles)
Day 2 = Traces, Iron, Excel (3 bottles)

Methods 2 & 3 will allow you to figure out which elements your plants are using, and customize the dosing for your tanks.
Method 1 allows you to do this to some extent: Under dose the tablets, and make up the difference with method 2 or 3, fine tuning it as needed.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-29-2013, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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I'm using diy co2 so carbon is not a problem but will need to dose potassium and maybe some trace elements.

Already dosing iron

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-29-2013, 08:07 PM
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Your plants are a pretty good 'test kit'.
If they are showing any deficiencies, then dose to correct that.
Then another deficiency may show up...
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-29-2013, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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My sword plant new growth is whitish lol

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-29-2013, 09:14 PM
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What size tank is this btw? How big of a batch is the DIY CO2?
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-29-2013, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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30gallon running 2 two liter bottles so 4 liters lol

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