how safe are ferts - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-22-2014, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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how safe are ferts

So I just started a planted tank. It is a 29 gallon very low light 1.6 watt per gallon. The plants seem to be doing pretty good but they grow very slow (except for the pennywort which grows like crazy). I am thinking about adding ferts but I am worried both about the health of my fish, inverts, and me. How safe is it to put your arms in the tank to prune and replant and stuff like that? To me it just seems like over time it could be bad for your health. What are your thoughts?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-22-2014, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by kedoades View Post
So I just started a planted tank. It is a 29 gallon very low light 1.6 watt per gallon. The plants seem to be doing pretty good but they grow very slow (except for the pennywort which grows like crazy). I am thinking about adding ferts but I am worried both about the health of my fish, inverts, and me. How safe is it to put your arms in the tank to prune and replant and stuff like that? To me it just seems like over time it could be bad for your health. What are your thoughts?
Hello ked...

Your lighting is moderate. So, you can grow any of the dark green aquatic plants. These are slow growing naturally, so you don't need commercial fertilizers. As long as you have a good stock of fish and feed them a good diet of a little flaked food, some freeze dried and a little frozen, they'll provide all the fertilizer the plants need. Commercial fertilizers can create water problems and aren't needed for low light plants. Change the tank water regularly to replace minerals that filtration removes and the plants will be healthy.

The light green plants like Pennywort require stronger light. But, by floating it close to the light source, it grows fine in most lighting conditions.

Wait until it's time to do a water change to trim your plants. The low water level makes it much easier. The water is completely safe for you, so don't worry about getting your hands in it. If it's safe for the fish, it's safe for you.

I always wash, rinse and dry my hands, so I don't get anything foreign in the tank water.

Have fun!

B

"Fear not my child, just change the tank water."
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-22-2014, 06:10 PM
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A lot of low light plants are nutrient hogs(crypts, swords) as they get larger. If you don't get the proper nutrients to the roots they wont survive. Root tabs or a substrate that contains or transports nutrients to the roots are necessary. Plants like anubias, and Java fern will also need the full range of nutrients. If you tank is moderately stocked and lightly planted your fish food may suffice for these plants, but the previously mentioned plants will still need nutrients to their roots. Otherwise you will need to dose ferts for good growth, especially after a month or two of growth.
Fertilizers are completely safe as long as you aren't drinking you water, even then I would think it would be fine. Wash your hands after you work on your tank. Enjoy, don't worry. Practically hundreds of thousands of users on here using dry and premade ferts and not one horror story.

If in doubt, add more plants!

My not-enough-plants-but-not-enough-space-to-put-anymore-so-will-start-going-up-box-of-water.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-22-2014, 06:41 PM
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Fertilizers a quite safe for humans. Thousands of people have used the EI method without problems to fish and most invertebrates. The EI method provides excess nutrients so this would be the most extreme fertilizing case as far as toxicity.

Humans are less sensitive. You would literally have to ingest FAR more than you would ever dose in your tank to cause significant problems. The levels below are oral LD50. LD stands for lethal dose. The 50 represents a 50% death rate among test subjects. To become toxic through the skin those numbers would essentially be doubled or more.

KNO3 2,000mg/kg

K2SO4 6,600 mg/kg

KH2PO4 2,000mg/kg

Those are the commonly used fertilizers. I don't know the LD50 for trace mix since it's a mixture but It's certainly safe.

Example, a full EI dose of KNO3 for your 29 gallon tank is 1,300mg. To reach the LD50 a 100 pound person would have to ingest 90,909mg.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-22-2014, 07:46 PM
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The ferts are eating away my flesh. My Lord....

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-23-2014, 11:13 PM
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LOL. Most ferts are invert safe. Its just a matter of research. And no, no ferts on the market will do anything to you provided you dont drink a bottle of it. :P

Hope that helps ked
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-24-2014, 02:08 AM
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The ferts are eating away my flesh.
That is not the ferts, someone added Piranhas to your tank when you weren't looking.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-24-2014, 07:13 AM
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I am not Diana Walstad.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-24-2014, 10:55 PM
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.-.

:'( Lol. Hi.

**Awkward**
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-25-2014, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Lol, ok some maybe I am a little paranoid, but I can take a joke. I will try using small doses of ferts at first to see how my fish and snails act. I have java fern and moss, ludwigia repens, moneywort, pennywort, cambomba and anubias, will these plants like root tabs? Right now I have a bottle of flourish comp. and excell.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2014, 09:19 PM
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Ludwigia, moneywort, pennywort, and cambomba will like root tabs. I believe that everything else uses water column ferts.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2014, 11:51 PM
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ferts are quite safe, Kno3 is used as a food preservative and in some toothpastes. Last week I was drinking a gatorade and saw that the ingredients included mono potassium phosphate
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-27-2014, 07:32 AM
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Might consider Excel dosing and some very light ferts, EI, maybe 1/4 th the suggested dosing, maybe 1-2x a week etc. easy and should improve growth and health by 200-500% or so with the light you have.

Change maybe 20-40% every 2 weeks, nothing will get away from you if you do that.

Same idea as EI, just a slower rate for a slower growth tank.

More light, more CO2, faster growing weeds: more ferts/water changes generally.




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-27-2014, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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So are seachem root tabs good or should I get something else.
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