I am new to plants, what is some all-purpose fert/mineral supplement I can add? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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I am new to plants, what is some all-purpose fert/mineral supplement I can add?

I am not growing anything extraoridinary. Just some elodea, reeds, duckweed, lucky bamboo, pothos ivy, arrowheads, anubias and a few unidentified.

My duckweed has gotten to the point of doubling every 3 days or so. I fear soon the other plants will be low on nutrients. I like the plants but their real benefit and reason I have them is to cut down on water changes. I don't really want to get into super technical things and testing right now. Is there some product I could add as a general purpose fert/minerals without getting into testing?

Right now I just feed the fish a variety of frozen and dry foods and use 1 teaspoon of reef crystals salt per ~8 gallons which obviously will have some good minerals etc. I change 50% of the water monthly just using tap water and take out a cup of packed duckweed per week. Tank is 25 gallons.

Just looking for something simple to get me started.


~Kimberly
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 12:13 PM
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Salt is for salt water tanks.
Lucky bamboo is a land plant that will eventually die under water.
But a nitrate test kit would keep you from killing fish.
The nitrate builds up and gets to be too much in there.
A test kit would let you determine if this is happenning or not. You only need increase the amount of water you change in most cases if it is building up on you. There are all in one ferts but most are more expensive than regular dry ferts. Those need to be learned however.
There is a root capsule that will fertilize the plants which have roots in the gravel. That usually doesn't effect the amount of anything in the water. The capsules are called Osmocote+ capsules and are available from a few sources and one person(at least) on here sells them.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=168153
You just place them in the gravel close or at the bottom of it with tweezers. Ask for directions from the person you get them from.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
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The bamboo is sitting in an uncovered HOB filter, only the bottom and roots are submerged. I have no plants rooted except anubias that is secured to a piece of drift wood. All my other plants besides elodia are emersed. The tank is a riparium hybrid.

As far as my using reef crystals salt, I have read at least enough opinions to feel ok with my use in small amounts. Why do you feel it is not ok? Just curious as others have said it is fine to use instead of basic sodium chloride. I like the added calcium for snail shell growth and trace elements. It is just instead of using regular freshwater salt and has shown no ill effects. I have it because I also keep reef tanks. It has the same thing freshwater salt has plus just things like calcium, magnesium, etc. Things that plants too can use, in small amounts. And livebearers like guppies very much benefit from a small amount of salt in their water and this is an all guppy tank. Many livebearers are brackish and some can live in full salt when acclimated right (like mollies).

So there is really nothing I can just add a little bit at a time just for peace of mind? I never go crazy adding things. I am talking a few drops a week. If not then I guess I will continue as I am doing until I run into problems. So far everything is happy. I just start to get concerned knowing the duckweed has reached a point of doubling in 3 days, I know they are sucking up a lot of nutrients other plants may need.

My nitrates are below 5, no ammonia or nitrites. I suppose I should have mentioned I have kept fish for decades and am familiar...I just don't test for things like plant ferts....yet.

Cost is not a problem if there is some all-in-one I can add a tiny amount of every once in a while. Less is more for me.

~Kimberly

Last edited by Ripple; 10-22-2014 at 12:59 PM. Reason: add info
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 01:00 PM
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Ah the tank with the blue light....

You can try seachem Flourish which has everything, including a small amount of Nitrates/Phosphates. Other wise the above suggestion on osmocote plus will work also

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Yep the blue light Taken from a reef I broke down, just too expensive to not at least try it rather than packing it in the garage. Plants are still doing well so seems to be ok. I added a small other light and am just about to add 1 more. Just for some orange from cfls. Seems to be ok for now.

So the osmocote, will that still be good even though I don't have rooted plants?

Thank you, I will look up the Flourish!

~Kimberly
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 02:09 PM
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I was not aware of guppies being OK with salt, thank you. I have had a Molly tank/w salt but other tropical fish don't like it.
If the nitrates are under control it should be OK then.
The Flourish has a very small amount of the Potassium in it.
Without rooted plants I don't think Osmocote would benefit much.
There is a complete liquid fert out now but I don't know the name of it.
Someone who does can let you know what it is. Comes in a pump bottle.
Don't know if you'd want to bother with it but on that link I gave you there is a complete fert package which gives you pre mixed dry ferts and bottles for it. You just add distilled water to each bottle and when the dry stuff runs out you can get just the refills.
Read where it says "Liquid ferts". And this is full strength. You can only use one dose per week to give a light amount of ferts to your tank and then it last three times as long.
Only a suggestion.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 02:32 PM
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 03:06 PM
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Your Tank

Hello Rip...

Your fish will supply all the nutrients the plants need. The plants return the favor by providing oxygen for the fish. The dissolved fish waste will nourish all the plants. You're feeding the fish a balanced diet and provided you have enough fish in the tank, there will be enough nutrients for all the plants.

Water needs to be changed weekly, because of the wastes from the fish and the constant filtration lowers the water quality. The filter and the plants alone won't keep the water clean enough to guarantee a healthy environment.

If you want to add a little extra nutrient to the water, Seachem's Comprehensive is a good product. Just add a half cap full to the new water when you do a water change.

These are suggestions only, you do what you feel is best for your tank.

B

"Fear not my child, just change the tank water."
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-23-2014, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you guys, much appreciated. I will look into these products As far as water changes I do the 50% per month instead of 15% per week because it's such a pain with plants above water. As the water level lowers they shift and having to re-situate them every week is tedious. So instead I just do a good 50% once a month to keep things clean and it seems to be alright so far. I don't mess with any filter media when I change that much water so as not to disrupt the bacteria. So far so good, thanks again!

~Kimberly
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-26-2014, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBradbury View Post
If you want to add a little extra nutrient to the water, Seachem's Comprehensive is a good product.
Please excuse me for butting in on this thread, but I'm a total newbie. When you say Seachem Comprehensive, does that mean just the plain ol' Flourish, e.g. not Flourish Excel or Flourish [fill in the blank]?
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-26-2014, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zuzu View Post
Please excuse me for butting in on this thread, but I'm a total newbie. When you say Seachem Comprehensive, does that mean just the plain ol' Flourish, e.g. not Flourish Excel or Flourish [fill in the blank]?
Yep you got it.
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