Low tech - can I just do Flourish and ignore the rest? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-16-2014, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Low tech - can I just do Flourish and ignore the rest?

Just learning, have a 45g tank lightly planted with fish, fresh water, with ecco-complete + gravel bed, no CO2, moderately hard water (though am using more RODI because my tap water is 8.6ph). Light with Satellite LED+ 4 hours x twice a day. It just completed its initial cycle.

Plants: Jungle Val or maybe Sagettari spreading quickly, and some have grown to about 16" high, one Annubis growing slowly but lots of new leaves, and one crypt wendtti also looking healthy but slow change. Added a Amazon Sword a week ago, it's nice and healthy looking and two new leaves already. Two sets of java fern just turned brown and I removed them.

At the LFS recommendation have been using Flourish Comprehensive (1 cap per week), Flourish Iron (1 cap per week), and Flourish Excel (1 cap twice a week).

Long lead up to a short question:

What's the practical minimum effort I can put into fertilizer regime that is likely to still be successful?

I know every tank is different, but how important are the kind of extensive testing and fine adjustments that people appear to do?

Do I really need to be testing iron, hardness, phosphates, etc. regularly? And adjusting?

Is there a "practical man's guide to minimal effort in fertilizers"?

PS. I realize that buying bulk is cheaper than these pre-made products, but in this case I'm not asking a cost question so much as a convenience one.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-16-2014, 08:10 PM
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As you stated every tank is different. I have a 26B with the same substrate, Eco-Complete, and about the same lighting as you. My tank is heavily planted but with nothing really exotic. I'm currently using Flourish Excel daily and Flourish Iron weekly. I quit using Comprehensive as I believe it was causing algae in my tank. I do provide CO2 but nothing really fancy,Hagen Nutrafin CO2 Natural Plant System .
Unless you want to provide CO2 I believe your current regiment sounds good. If you really want to see a difference you might try increasing the Excel. What is hard to balance, and I still don't have figured out, is the amount of lighting with the amount of CO2. As for testing I use to run complete testing daily. Now I can look at the water and smell it and know pretty much what is going on but I still test before and after any major changes. If you don't you are walking blind and that can be very costly. Any changes to your plants effect your tank which affects your fish. It's all a big balancing act and the more information, from testing, you have the better off you are. Best of luck.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-16-2014, 08:23 PM
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Excel primarilly works best when used daily/small amounts(as per direction) which on a 45g should be about 3.5-4 ml.
With fish you may not need ferts. Large amounts of plants or higher light will cause it's need. Test just before a water change to see what your nitrates are. A planted tank should have some. The liquid ferts you list are good but expensive compared to dry ferts. But Tetra Pride provides some Potassium if you want to stick to liquid.
So would Leaf Zone. But I would watch for deficiencies to see if you actually need any.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-17-2014, 12:25 AM
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Lowering nutrient demand is easy- lower your lighting and stick with plant species that will still grow even at low light levels.

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