Which ferts should I use? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-04-2014, 04:54 AM Thread Starter
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Which ferts should I use?

Hello,[censored] First post here woo!
I currently have a 20 gallon planted tank which is still under the works. I currently have Red Sea Co2 running and have a dual T5HO fixture (48 running from 11-6). The tank still is pretty new about 2 months and it's only inhabitants are 2 otocincluses. But in about a week or so after I come back from this road trip I'll be adding 5 Praecox rainbowfish and 3 red coral platies. And if I can find them 5 raboras espei.[censored]
The plants I currently have in the tank are
4 anubius
7 Java fern
1 crypt
2 Amazon swords
Water wisteria
Red ludwigia
Money wort
And A couple little bits of Salvania.[censored]
Currently I am double dosing Api Co2 booster to control the nice flowing locks of hair algae and then a normal dose of Flourish every other day.[censored]

The plants I plan to add are
Giant hygrophillia
Rotala indica
Nymphaea micrantha[censored]
A banana plant
Dwarf Sagittaria[censored]
Dwarf Hair grass
And now I'm thinking of Tiger Valisneria or some other type of val.[censored]

I know that the Api co2 booster will melt Valisneria so I only plan on using it to get my plants established and to get the algae under control for the first month or so. That meaning I'll get my val way down the road.[censored]
Anyway which type of fertilizer would work best for my tank?[censored]
I am going to continue using Flourish and was thinking about Seachem Iron and Api leaf zone.[censored]
Are these any good or are they not needed? I was thinking the iron so I can bring out the nice red in the ludwigia and Rotala.[censored]
I don't really want to go the dry ferts road as I'm still revitivley new at all this planted tank stuff.

After all the research I've done and me wanting to get everything right with this new tank it's seems as I have failed. apparently sand as the only substrate is a big no no when it comes to planted tanks. And that info somehow avoided me untill today. Well that's just great. Will my plants still grow fine and live in just black National geographic sand?? And would you guys recommend flourish or Api root tabs?[censored]
Also how long would I have to wait until I would need to replace them?[censored]
Thanks
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-04-2014, 09:02 PM
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Plants need about a dozen elements to grow.
Water and fish food add most of them, as long as you want only the easy plants that grow slowly.
For faster growth and a wider selection of plants you need to add the elements that are in short supply.

Hydrogen and Oxygen- if your tanks are lacking this there is a much bigger problem!

Carbon- You can use a liquid supplement, but you are right, Vals are not thrilled with it. Low dose seems OK.

Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium: Plants use more of these than the rest of the list that follows. Fish food offers a fair amount of N and P, so if the NO3 test stays in the pink (at least 5 ppm) then do not dose N or P. If the NO3 test keeps dropping to zero then dose both N and P. Fish food does not have enough K. So dose potassium (such as Leaf Zone).

Calcium, Magnesium are used in moderate amounts, and most tap water has these minerals. If the GH is over about 3 German degrees of hardness, then I would not worry about these. If you suspect a deficiency you might need to test more to see what the actual levels of Ca and Mg are. If the GH is under 3 degrees, then I use Seachem Equilibrium.

Iron is the other mineral that is not supplied very well by fish food. Leaf Zone is good.

All the other minerals are lumped together as Trace Minerals or Micros. Seachem Comprehensive is one possible source.

If you want to start with dry materials (the actual active ingredients in most liquid fertilizers) then look into the Estimative Index.

Fertilizer tablets that you put under the sand can be a good way to get many minerals to the plants. Read the label to see if they have what your tank needs. Push them all the way to the bottom so they do not work their way into the water column.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-05-2014, 05:23 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help! Sounds good.
Yeah all these different elements are making my head hurt!
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-05-2014, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Carbon- You can use a liquid supplement, but you are right, Vals are not thrilled with it. Low dose seems OK.
If you are referring to excel, Excel doesn’t equal co2

Nor is it organic carbon? Polyglut, glut being the important ingredient, I see no carbonates in the ingredients, it’s a sterilizer and nothing else. Look at metricide, it has same ingredient but more potent used to clean dental gear. Both killer of algae. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great product but plants I’ve read cannot use carbon in the liquid form, and only uptake in the gas form. Overdose it and any plant will melt. It is hard to overdose plants on with co2 gas form, I haven't seen it.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-05-2014, 12:50 PM
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That's a great post, Diana, as usual.

Splat - I'm dying to know what all the censored words are. :-)

For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
-Carl Sagan
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-05-2014, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrungOut View Post
If you are referring to excel, Excel doesnít equal co2

Nor is it organic carbon? Polyglut, glut being the important ingredient, I see no carbonates in the ingredients, itís a sterilizer and nothing else. Look at metricide, it has same ingredient but more potent used to clean dental gear. Both killer of algae. Donít get me wrong, itís a great product but plants Iíve read cannot use carbon in the liquid form, and only uptake in the gas form. Overdose it and any plant will melt. It is hard to overdose plants on with co2 gas form, I haven't seen it.
Wrong again I guess, got this in a pm
The algaecide quickly breaks down...into Carbon in
the tank. Plants can actually use this form of carbon BETTER than the other form as they can convert it to other chemicals they need more at the time. The only glitch in that system is that they can absorb the other form of carbon more easilly.
I suggest you go to the Sea Chem site and read
the additional details provided by them on the Excel portion of the site.
Thousands of people regularly use it for carbon sucessfully in their tanks.

I don't understand why if you overdose it it melts plants though
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-05-2014, 10:31 PM
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From the first post in this thread:

Quote:
... Api co2 booster...
I have not used this product, but I assume it is the same active ingredient as Excel. Maybe it is not.
Anyway, many plants can use Glut as a source of carbon. Some do get tissue damage from it.

While it is true that land plants seem to use CO2 exclusively, this is not true of under water plants. Roughly half the aquarium plants we use can indeed get their carbon from carbonates. But it takes more energy to get it that way, so if there is any CO2 present plants will not switch to the uptake of carbonates. I am not adding CO2 to my tanks. Plants that can get carbon from carbonates are the ones doing best in my tanks, especially my hard water tanks.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 01:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
From the first post in this thread:



I have not used this product, but I assume it is the same active ingredient as Excel. Maybe it is not.
Anyway, many plants can use Glut as a source of carbon. Some do get tissue damage from it.

While it is true that land plants seem to use CO2 exclusively, this is not true of under water plants. Roughly half the aquarium plants we use can indeed get their carbon from carbonates. But it takes more energy to get it that way, so if there is any CO2 present plants will not switch to the uptake of carbonates. I am not adding CO2 to my tanks. Plants that can get carbon from carbonates are the ones doing best in my tanks, especially my hard water tanks.
Thanks for the valuable information
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Plants that can get carbon from carbonates are the ones doing best in my tanks, especially my hard water tanks.
I just recently learned that vallisneria do this extremely well, perhaps even preferring it to CO2. This was a revelation to me. So, much like I've made the move to fish that love my hard water, I've planted a tank of vals and they seem happy so far!

For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
-Carl Sagan
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 04:12 PM
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I have a lot of Vals, Hornwort and Guppy Grass in several tanks.
The other group that is doing well is floaters. Plants in contact with the air are getting their carbon from the CO2.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah there's a lot of debate around flourish excel and that's why I thought it would be better to stay away from it.
I have no idea what the censored words are. I don't think there were ever words were it says censored. Huh weird.
Once again thanks for all this good info!
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-07-2014, 03:00 AM
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I have glut (active ingredient in liquid carbon supplements), just don't use it as often as I should. Even my Vals are OK with the low dose that I use.
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