New to ferts. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-12-2014, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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New to ferts.

Hi, I am new to the aquarium hobby and have decided to go with a planted tank for my 20g high. My plants have been in the for a few weeks now and have stopped melting for the most part. I have looked into fertilizing a bit, but it is still a little confusing on which fertilizers I will actually need for the plants I have and which method of fertilizing I should do. I have been using API Leaf Zone from day 1, but it doesn't seem to be helping much since it is really nothing but Potash, Iron and water. It seems like the most cost-effective way of fertilizing is by using dry ferts, so I think that is the way I will go.

My Tank:

I'm thinking of getting 1lb bags of Plantex CSM+B, Potassium Nitrate and Potassium Sulfate. No P, because I want to avoid any algae buildup and hopefully any leftover fish food would will be sufficient. Would that be about right for my tank? Will I need P anyway?

Would PPS dosing be for me? I do a 30% PWC weekly and don't want to be doing extra or larger PWCs. I don't have any test kits for nutrients and I prefer daily dosing to weekly. I just don't know how to figure out how much I need to be dosing of each fert.

Im new...
Which ferts?
Which method?
How much do I dose? Or where can I find out?

Last edited by Animag771; 06-12-2014 at 11:11 PM. Reason: fixed incomplete sentence
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-12-2014, 10:42 PM
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Google aquarium plant fertilizer calculator.

This will tell you exactly how much of what to use and how often for what ever size your tank is and your dosing bottle.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-12-2014, 11:43 PM
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A good thread to read is. Dry dosing and nutrient solution recipes. Zorfox gave the various dosages for different sizes of tanks. This is for the EI method.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-13-2014, 02:13 AM
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Welcome to TPT Animag!

You're already way ahead of most people with only a few weeks experience. Realizing Leafzone only provides potash and iron is spot on.

I would certainly dose phosphates. Many new to the hobby have heard the myth that it causes algae. Trust me, it's a myth. In fact, to the contrary. Not supplying adequate phosphates will cause algae. So let me be the first to tell you to dismiss that myth.

The other fertilizers you listed are perfect. There are two groups of nutrients we want to supply, macros and micros. The macros are NPK usually listed as three numbers on most fertilizers for example, 30-0-10 for your lawn. Those are Nitrogen (nitrates for us), Potassium and Phosphorus (phosphates for us) respectively. The others are "everything else" which we get from Plantex CSM +B. Many people also purchase extra iron as a supplement. This is probably a good idea. I would look for DTPA iron, the percentage is not important.

Which method to use? This seems to cause a lot of confusion. It appears to most people that they have to choose a method. Instead, choose to simply supply your plants with non-limiting nutrients at all times. This is the concept of the EI method. The normal EI dose is for high tech tanks. However, it can be reduced and modified any way we like. As long as we maintain specific levels of nutrients to never limit plant growth. This eliminates nutrient deficiencies and a lot of guess work. Yes, it can also be used for 30% weekly water changes although 50% is a better target IMO.

As Korya said here is a thread, Dry dosing and nutrient solution recipes., listing doses for common tank sizes. I think it's important to first understand why we dose what we do. Here, EI concept explained, is a link to a post I made explaining the EI "Concept". Notice the concept and not method? I feel this should be viewed as a target to achieve rather than blindly dosing a recommended amount, otherwise viewed as a method. Non-limiting nutrients is the ONLY way to maximize growth based on nutrients. So basically when choosing a "method" there aren't really any options. It's simple logic. Call the method anything you like. Providing non-limiting nutrients regarless of your parameters is the only way to fly IMO.
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