Flourish or Flourish Potassium? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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Question Flourish or Flourish Potassium?

Hi, I'm a planted tank newb (2 1/2 weeks in), and I have Excel, but realize I need more stuff to keep plants going in my very low tech tank.
I only use a Current USA Satellite+ light in my 75g tank with the supplements.

I have some r macandra, along with easier to keep green plants. Because I got the r macandra, the guy at the LFS said to pickup Seachem Iron, so I did and been using that as well.

I feel my plants are still yellowing maybe a tinge and would like to keep them all healthy!

So I figure to buy Seachem Flourish as well? Or should I try Potassium? It's confusing with so many things to possibly add! Please share any recommendations. Thanks a lot!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 02:13 PM
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Really a picture of the tank would help determine how much plants you are feeding. Fish food/waste will support a few plants in that low level of light. Both the Flourish comp and the Potassium will be used and the fish food will supply Phosphorus. But if you will read this it will help explain what is going on.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...php?t=107303#2
Dry individual ferts are much cheaper for a large tank in the long run.
There are several sources and a couple of people on here who sell them.
But I wouldn't suggest you run out and buy anything till you are more familiar/w it. There is always someone on hear who will be willing to answer any questions you might have about the dry ferts etc.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 02:17 PM
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This is a bit of a slippery slope...



There's a couple of approaches to fertilizing out there..

The hardest is trying to figure out what your plants need, and provide just that. There's no exact universal formula here, as it will depend on both your fish load and plant load. It will also change over time as plants and fish grow.

If you go with this method, you need to either learn to read your plants and know what they are missing based on how they look, or get a lot of test kits (gets expensive) to test all your water parameters on a regular basis.

"yellowing" could be any one of a large number of deficiencies, depending on how it is yellowing and what else is going on. Lack of Nitrogen, Iron, Phosphorus, Potassium, magnesium, and light all cause various forms of yellowing. You can look at sites like deficiencyfinder.com to compare your plant symptoms and figure out what you are missing...


The more common method is to try to provide more than your plants need of everything. EI low-light and PPS-Pro are two dosing methods in this theme that work in low-tech.

To dose these methods you will need nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, micronutrients (ie: flourish comprehensive) and possibly iron. Most heading in this direction quickly switch to using dry fertilizers and make their own liquid concentrates, as Seachem gets rather expensive rather fast.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
Really a picture of the tank would help determine how much plants you are feeding. Fish food/waste will support a few plants in that low level of light. Both the Flourish comp and the Potassium will be used and the fish food will supply Phosphorus. But if you will read this it will help explain what is going on.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...php?t=107303#2
Dry individual ferts are much cheaper for a large tank in the long run.
There are several sources and a couple of people on here who sell them.
But I wouldn't suggest you run out and buy anything till you are more familiar/w it. There is always someone on hear who will be willing to answer any questions you might have about the dry ferts etc.
Thanks Ray, maybe I will look into the Dry Ferts then, that seems like a simple enough aid. I just didn't realize how much planted tanks would cost to maintain! Haha
Here's a pic, I added more plants over the weekend though (not shown) and have a lot more to add for future plans!


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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattinmd View Post
This is a bit of a slippery slope...



There's a couple of approaches to fertilizing out there..

The hardest is trying to figure out what your plants need, and provide just that. There's no exact universal formula here, as it will depend on both your fish load and plant load. It will also change over time as plants and fish grow.

If you go with this method, you need to either learn to read your plants and know what they are missing based on how they look, or get a lot of test kits (gets expensive) to test all your water parameters on a regular basis.

"yellowing" could be any one of a large number of deficiencies, depending on how it is yellowing and what else is going on. Lack of Nitrogen, Iron, Phosphorus, Potassium, magnesium, and light all cause various forms of yellowing. You can look at sites like deficiencyfinder.com to compare your plant symptoms and figure out what you are missing...


The more common method is to try to provide more than your plants need of everything. EI low-light and PPS-Pro are two dosing methods in this theme that work in low-tech.

To dose these methods you will need nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, micronutrients (ie: flourish comprehensive) and possibly iron. Most heading in this direction quickly switch to using dry fertilizers and make their own liquid concentrates, as Seachem gets rather expensive rather fast.
Thank you, Matt! You did a nice job explaining that it seems to be a game of patience and maybe some trial and error. I am leaning towards the dry ferts after reading your responses now. In your opinion would the Flourish tabs be the way to go then over the liquid flourish?

Bump: Hey I just checked out amazon for Seachem Flourish and Flourish tabs...
40 tabs for $21
250 ml for $6

With 75 gallon tank, the liquid should last about 20-25 weeks for the $6 I think.
But the tabs only last 12 weeks for the $21...

If they do the same thing, I'd think the liquid is the way to go, right?
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 03:09 PM
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By dry fertilizers I do not mean root tablets.

I mean buying powdered potassium nitrate (KNO3), potassium sulfate (K2SO4), monopotassium phosphate (KH2PO4), and Plantex CSM+B (or miller microplex) and using these to make your own liquid fertilizers.

You will probably not find these products at any local fish store... Hydroponic supply stores, agricultural supply stores, chemical supply stores, etc are the places to look. However, it can be hard to get smallish quantities. 1lb of potassium sulfate will last you years, but an agricultural supply shop will be more interested in selling you 20-50lb sacks.

There's one supplier who sells via the for sale forums here, in pound/half pound increments.

Green leaf aquariums also sells them online:
http://greenleafaquariums.com/aquarium-fertilizer.html

Last edited by mattinmd; 11-10-2014 at 03:14 PM. Reason: added GLA, chemical formulas.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattinmd View Post
By dry fertilizers I do not mean root tablets.

I mean buying powdered potassium nitrate (KNO3), potassium sulfate (K2SO4), monopotassium phosphate (KH2PO4), and Plantex CSM+B (or miller microplex) and using these to make your own liquid fertilizers.

You will probably not find these products at any local fish store... Hydroponic supply stores, agricultural supply stores, chemical supply stores, etc are the places to look. However, it can be hard to get smallish quantities. 1lb of potassium sulfate will last you years, but an agricultural supply shop will be more interested in selling you 20-50lb sacks.

There's one supplier who sells via the for sale forums here, in pound/half pound increments.

Green leaf aquariums also sells them online:
http://greenleafaquariums.com/aquarium-fertilizer.html
Oh wow, I'm not sure I'm ready to take on that method. Maybe if I get to having multiple planted tanks, but for just my first one and just starting, I think I will stick to the generic/commercialized options. So I'd hope that a Flourish liquid or tab would be comparable to this solution?
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djb7880 View Post
Oh wow, I'm not sure I'm ready to take on that method. Maybe if I get to having multiple planted tanks, but for just my first one and just starting, I think I will stick to the generic/commercialized options. So I'd hope that a Flourish liquid or tab would be comparable to this solution?
I did say it was a slippery slope... I wasn't kidding. It is a steep muddy slope with a very deep pool at the bottom...

Let's look at Liquid fertilizers, which fertilize the water column and mostly feeds plants that feed through their leaves or live as floaters:

You can get the same stuff out of the seachem liquid fertilizers as mixing your own from dry.. It is 100% doable. It just gets expensive because you need to buy 4-5 different bottles, and they all go fairly fast at non-limiting dosage rates. The Seachem liquid fertilizers are intended to be used as a set, not singly.

Let's compare nitrogen as a simple example:

In a 75 gallon tank, EI low-light would call for 43ml of Flourish nitrogen every week. A 2L bottle costs $30 and would last a bit over 46 weeks (just under 1 year).

In the same 75 gallon tank using KNO3 you'd need 4.629 grams/week. At this rate 1 pound (453 grams) would last 97 weeks (nearly 2 years), and costs $3 (+s/h as you won't find it locally).

Repeat this kind of expense difference for phosphorus, potassium, micronutrients and iron.

Now, substrate fertilizing (tabs) is a different ball of wax. Some plants root feed, and do great on tabs. Other plants leaf feed or float and tabs do little or nothing for them.

Again, there's the Seachem option, or the DIY option. DIY'ers take Osmocote+ and fill empty gelatin capsules with it, then cram them all the way to the bottom of their substrate....
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 05:29 PM
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Liquid vs root tab:

The difference is in the primary nutrient uptake for different types of plant. Heavily rooted plants like swords and crypts are going to respond best to root tabs as thier primary nutrient uptake is thru their roots.

Plants like floaters and mounted rhizome plants, that don't make any contact with the substrate, are obviously going to respond better to having liquid ferts added to the water column.

Stems are a lot more variable, depending on species and how they're being cultivated.

As most tanks contain a variety of plants, it's not so much an either/or question as it is a matter of how much of each and it's common provide fertilization both thru the substrate and in the water column.

As for liquid vs dry: with liquid ferts, you're basically paying more for the water and containers than the actual ferts and the cost can rack up really fast, especially if you're doing something like the EI method where the goal is to oversupply the ferts to ensure adequate levels of everything are provided. It's also not at all unusual for the general chain store brands to be lacking in certain nutrients and there's really no way to adjust how much of each is provided except by increasing the dosage of the whole kit-n-kaboodle; with dry ferts that you mix yourself, you can easily adjust the dosage to meet your specific tank needs. My tanks, for example, are potassium hogs and I'd be spending a fortune pouring pre-mixed liquid ferts in my tanks to keep up.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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I stumbled into this as an option of planting tabs, seems affordable. Anyone see any reason why using Osmocote wouldn't work in a capsule like this?:
[Ebay Link Removed]

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I stumbled into this as an option of planting tabs, seems affordable. Anyone see any reason why using Osmocote wouldn't work in a capsule like this?:
[Ebay Link Removed]
I guess this site doesn't like ebay links, but basically someone sells capsuled osmocote for pretty cheap on ebay.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 06:13 PM
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Osmocote gelcaps like those are quite popular... There's 3-4 folks that sell em over in the for-sale forum here, evilbay, and lots of other places. You're right, they are cheap.

As long as your plants are root feeders (as Knotyoureality points out above) and you have substrate deep enough to hold them down they reportedly work quite well. Occasionally you'll read about someone having problems with them surfacing.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-11-2014, 01:41 AM
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Note about the Seachem line:
They are ALL called Flourish.

Flourish Nitrogen
Flourish Phosphorus
Flourish Potassium
Flourish Iron
Flourish Comprehensive
Flourish Excel
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-11-2014, 07:32 PM
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I think that the tree has been hidden by the forest. As djb said, he is only 2 1/2 weeks into having plants. Many plants go through a die-off period when fully submerged because the plants need to grow new leaves. This can be mistaken as plant deficiencies. The old leaves will need to be gradually trimmed off so new growth can replace it. Plant fertalizer talk can become very confusing and might not be the problem yet
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-11-2014, 07:58 PM
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Few things:

Dry ferts >>>> liquid ferts (paying for water)

Your plant mass is minimal - you need way more plants

Never ever ever plant your stems in bunches. Separate them and plant each stem an inch or two apart at the least.


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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-11-2014, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Few things:

Dry ferts >>>> liquid ferts (paying for water)

Your plant mass is minimal - you need way more plants

Never ever ever plant your stems in bunches. Separate them and plant each stem an inch or two apart at the least.
Duly noted!
I have ordered the osmocote pills, I bought more plants last weekend, I already debunched my stemmed plants, and will buy MORE plants soon.
This is fun, I just hope my plants live and thrive!

I will get more pics up this week I hope for those that are interested
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