Ferts - the missing link? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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Ferts - the missing link?

They say jungle vals are easy and grow quick. For some reason my vals seem to die.

I've changed the gravel to fluorite.
The lights are T-5 HO
Tank is 40 Gallons.
I'm on the hunt for CO2 and still saving coin & researching regulators. I know the addition of CO2 will help, but ferts are also needed.

What I've been doing:
Excel & liquid CO2, but I've read that this can harm vals. So I stopped using it.

Once a week I do a water change and add a dose of mineralize (from seachem). It's 13.5% Calcium, 1.2% Magnesium.

Occasional (2 times a week, 3 times?) I add a dose of envy (also from seachem). http://www.aquavitro.com/products/envy.html

I'm on a well and have been told that we've got hard water.

Enter the confusion:
I was at a LFS where I found out about the Barr report and EI. At this fish store they had powdered KNO3 (potassium nitrate) and KH2PO4 (potassium phosphate). But without selling the stuff, they told me to read up on the barr report then come back for the goods.

It will take me some time to get my head around all the info on that site, and I found a thread here where the EI was discussed (pros & cons).

So ...what's missing in my tank that vals aren't happy? What's needed for plants to take off (and what changes once CO2 gets added)?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 11:54 PM
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You'll need to dose other nutrients in time, but the two you listed should take care of the three major ones.

Without seeing photos of your val and the damage I'd have to say it seems like the excel damaged them. In a few days/weeks they should recover and start growing again.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 12:13 AM
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What is this "liquid Co2" you speak of? I know folks use Excel as a carbon source, is there another product as well?
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 12:20 AM
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Yea they,look somewhat normal. They do this,when they are trimmed, excel or recently planted. Keep doing what your doing and before you know it you'll have 10 feet of vals

-Chris
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 12:22 AM Thread Starter
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API CO2 Booster

http://www.apifishcare.com/product.p...7#.UyY_8GdOV9A

I think it's the same thing as EXCEL, and I've tried both and quit using both.

Zapins, when you say the two I've listed, do you mean mineralize + envy, or the powder from the LFS (KNO3 + KH2PO4)?
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 12:24 AM
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The powered ferts.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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Guy at the LFS who was suggesting the EI said the flourish is mostly water, and I've been suspecting that what I've been using so far has been useless.

I know the 2 powders would supply the macro nutrients for the EI, would the Envy supply the micro / trace elements?
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 12:33 AM
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Flourish is mainly water. It is a decent fertilizer but it extremely dilute, which means you have to dose large amounts which gets expensive.

I'm on my cellphone on a plane at the moment or I'd check the ingredients of the aquavitro. Most people use CSM+B for the micro ferts.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
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Envy

Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) 2.5 mg
Thiamine (B1) 20 g
Riboflavin (B2) 20 g
Niacin (B3) 120 g
Choline (B4) 4 g
Pantothenate (B5) 70 g
Vitamin B 120.8 g
Inositol 10 g
Arginine 300 g
Glutamate 600 g
Lysine 300 g
Tyrosine 190 g
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids 600 g

Ingredients: chlorella, ascorbic acid, niacin, calcium pantothenate, thiamine, riboflavin, inositol, choline chloride, vitamin B12

Last edited by Matthew RJ; 03-17-2014 at 01:30 AM. Reason: more accurate info
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 02:00 AM
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Ah, then no it provides no micro nutrients at all. In fact, none of those are actually vital to dose and as far as I've been able to tell the jury is still out on whether dosing them helps plants in any noticeable way, or if plants can even take up those vitamins from the water column at all.

You'll want something like CSM+B for micros, or one of the other micro nutrient products out there.

In my opinion it is another product designed to fleece more cash out of people.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 02:08 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, that's what I thought. I've had my suspicion about it, used it regularly, and used it infrequently, and didn't really notice a difference.

I'll call the LFS that had the powders and ask them about the micros and CSM+B.

Thanks for the help.

Is the mineralize useless as well? It says on the front "raises general hardness." If I'm starting with hard water, I don't think this product would be needed.

Last edited by Matthew RJ; 03-17-2014 at 02:24 AM. Reason: follow up question
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 02:40 AM
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General hardness is primarily made up of calcium and magnesium - both essential plant nutrients. But if your water is hard to begin with (about about 6 GH) then you almost certainly won't need to dose either of them.

Ordering fertilizers can also be done online. Ebay is a decent source as well as this site: http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com/in...ditU=1&Regit=2

I order my ferts from the aquariumfertilizer site, they are quite affordable.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 02:41 AM Thread Starter
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I'm in Canada, so I'm not sure about this stuff crossing the border. I'll try to find something local first.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 03:12 AM
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How are you planting your vals? If you are planting the crown under the substrate that might be your problem. I had vals but they never really grew until I pulled the crown just a tad bit over the substrate. Now they are growing like crazy with runners everywhere.

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 03:19 AM
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Study the plant not the nutrients. Its a brackish plant alongside glossostigma you fellas wanna grow it like a weed? What if I told you a super secret not really I grew a glossostigma carpet in a month... double your magnesium that's it all there is to it.

Epsom is all you need.

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