Liquid frets - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-05-2014, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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Liquid frets

I have a 90g heavy planted tank with co2. The only frets I use at the moment are excel, flourish, trace and root tabs. I'm new to the whole ferts game and was wondering if this is enough for am I missing something ? I know there's dry getto but I feel I'm not ready for that yet. All my plants are growing very well, I just know there's more I could be doing for them.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-05-2014, 12:40 PM
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Assuming your root tabs are seachem, not something like DIY osmocote... you are going to be rather low on the macronutrients Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium(K). Other than water and carbon, plants use these nutrients in substantially larger quantities than anything else.

Yes, Flourish comprehensive (aka Flourish) has some NPK content, but compared to the amount plants use it is effectively trivial unless you overdose the micronutrients it contains to dangerous levels. Flourish contains .32% iron and 0.07% nitrogen, or 4.5x as much iron, but plants use nitrogen significantly more than iron (probably over 100x more, but I don't have numbers onhand).

Seachem root tabs are in a similar boat, containing almost 10x as much iron as nitrogen.

Seachem does this somewhat deliberately, allowing people to dose macronutrients separately so they can adjust them based on the amount of fish waste they have (fish waste provides N and P, but very little K)

If your plants are growing fine, you're probably OK for now.. keep an eye out for brown-yellow edged holes in leaves, which suggest K deficiency. That will probably show up first.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-05-2014, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Is there anything else that I should be using ?
And yes, root tabs are seachem

Last edited by Aceman; 11-05-2014 at 12:52 PM.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-05-2014, 01:39 PM
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Look, let's keep it simple here and look at nutrients in tiers..

Light, Hydrogen and carbon - your plants use these in mass quantities to make sugars/starches which feed them, and cellulose that is the structure of the plant. The plants are in water (hydrogen), you use pressurized CO2 (carbon), and presumably have decent lighting. You might have some minor light/CO2 tweaking to do, but that's not really what most think of in terms of fertilizers.

Macronutrients (N-P-K), among the fertilizers, these are the most used heavily by plants. You are probably low on these given that you are dosing CO2, but no deficiency signs are present yet based on your descriptions.

Secondary nutrients Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg) and Sulfur (S). Plants use moderate amounts of these. If your water isn't very soft, it will provide Ca and Mg enough for plants that aren't hard-water specific as long as you are doing regular water changes... Your root tabs provide lots of sulfur, and Flourish comprehensive provides a bit more. You're probably OK here, assuming you don't have super-soft water.

Micronutrients - Iron, copper, zinc, boron, etc, etc.. plants needs quite small amounts of these. Your Flourish comprehensive and flourish trace should provide all you need here. Maybe you might need more iron if you have iron-demanding plants, but this will show up as obvious chlorosis (leaves turning yellow with green veins) in the plants.

Of course, all of this is somewhat general, we haven't discussed what plants you are growing.. some plants have higher demand for some nutrients than your average plant.
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