Flourish Complete vs. Flourish Trace and dosing strategy - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 04:20 AM Thread Starter
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Flourish Complete vs. Flourish Trace and dosing strategy

I'm having a tough time determing major differences between Seachem's Flourish and Trace products. Is there any reason to dose one versus the other? It looks like many of the nutrients are found in each but in varying levels.

What effect would each of these have on the plants? I have been dosing Flourish, Potassium, Iron and Excel. I have Nitrogen and Phosphoruous but I really don't use either of them much.

I just recently had an algae outbreak: Staghorn, BBA, GSA and green dust. All at once. I realized I had the lights on way too long (11 hours) for the minimal amount of plants I have in there at the moment. I was also overdosing, then I was underdosing. I have all of the algae cleaned up and things appear healthy at the moment. It took a long time to clean up and I'm pretty happy with where the tank is at the moment.

I have a 72 gallon, Hagen Aqualife 48" LED lights combined with a Marineland Double Bright LED that I am keeping on for 7 hours now. I am using DIY CO2 and just bought a 10 lb tank, regulator and reactor but have yet to put it in.

Here is what I am dosing:

25% Water Change (day of): 5 caps Excel, 1 cap Flourish, 1.5 cap Potassium, 1 cap Iron. I might put a cap of Nitrogen in there just because, but its every other water change and not consistent.

Daily: 1 cap Excel

Here is on average what my readings are:
GH: 180
KH: 140
pH: 7.3
NO2: 0
No3: 0-10 (maybe 10 but barely?)
PO4: 0
NH3/4: 0

What would be a recommended strategy? Would Trace versus Flourish be helpful?

I know it is a balancing act but where would a good staring point be? I feel like I am just tossing stuff in because but have no effective way to measure what difference things are making. Until I get algae and then... well, I don't want to go through that again.

Thanks!!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 06:27 AM
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They are the same product, identical in every single way except the packaging.

"Some components are no longer listed in the Guaranteed Analysis due to state regulations. The formulation of this product has not be altered."

http://www.seachem.com/Products/prod.../Flourish.html

Oh, wait, NVM. They are different products.
http://www.seachem.com/Products/prod...rishTrace.html

Regardless, sounds like you have a lot of issues stemming from inconsistent CO2. If you resolve this, then you'll have issues due to inconsistent dosing regimen.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 06:40 AM
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It only becomes a balancing act when you try to get as close to no ferts as you can while still getting plant growth.
My "strategy" would be to buy dry ferts and just use a "dosing guide" to
get the proper amounts of each one.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=21944
But until you get dry ferts...
http://www.fishfriend.com/fertfriend.html

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ght=back+black

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 12:04 PM
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Seeing so close to zero NO3 suggests you are right on the edge of deficiencies, perhaps of other nutrients, too.

Fish food supplies reasonable amounts of N, P and most traces for a low tech tank. You can go by the NO3 test, and dose this way:
If it needs N, then it also needs P and traces. So dose per the directions on the label for a week or two, then test the NO3. If it is holding pretty close to 10 ppm then I think you are in the ballpark.
Read the Seachem label about their nitrogen product. I think you are supposed to double your NO3 test results to find out how much available NO3 there is. The N in Seachem Flourish Nitrogen is not all in the form of NO3, so does not all read when you test.

Fish food is low in K and Fe.
I would dose these at the full bottle recommendations.

Use Excel or other carbon source at a fairly high level. Do not try to skimp.

Water changes are supplying Ca, Mg and probably some other traces.

The more light you have (both intensity and duration) the closer you are getting to a high tech tank, and the more careful you will have to be to make sure the plants are getting all the nutrients they need.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Would it be safe to say then, that at the moment without the CO2 I am running a low-tech tank and when I get all of this rigged up then I would be crossing into the high tech territory? Meaning that any EI dosing I find that works is going to completely change? With a higher level of CO2, the plants will require more ferts?

Would you say that the NPK solutions are ways to keep the nitrogen, phosphorus and pottasium dosed at equal amounts and then you would does them individually if you continue to see deficiences of one of the 3? Are the dry ferts equal to what you would get in the liquid forms but cheaper and last longer since you would mix it yourself or are there other advantages?

For my micros, currently (without the CO2) the fish food and excrement would probably be suiting the needs of the tank - however; when I cross into CO2 territory I may need to supplement this with an additional shot of micros?

I tried asking these questions at my LFS and the answer I get is "Oh, just put Flourish in there and some Excel - maybe some Iron" hehe I should have known there was much more to it than that. There are so many variables but when I get the hang of this I know I will be much better for it.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtDevilDTOM View Post
Would it be safe to say then, that at the moment without the CO2 I am running a low-tech tank and when I get all of this rigged up then I would be crossing into the high tech territory? Meaning that any EI dosing I find that works is going to completely change? With a higher level of CO2, the plants will require more ferts?

Would you say that the NPK solutions are ways to keep the nitrogen, phosphorus and pottasium dosed at equal amounts and then you would does them individually if you continue to see deficiences of one of the 3? Are the dry ferts equal to what you would get in the liquid forms but cheaper and last longer since you would mix it yourself or are there other advantages?

For my micros, currently (without the CO2) the fish food and excrement would probably be suiting the needs of the tank - however; when I cross into CO2 territory I may need to supplement this with an additional shot of micros?

I tried asking these questions at my LFS and the answer I get is "Oh, just put Flourish in there and some Excel - maybe some Iron" hehe I should have known there was much more to it than that. There are so many variables but when I get the hang of this I know I will be much better for it.
Hi, I am not using CO2, just Excel and other SeaChem fertilizers, but so far am having luck using this calculator. Maybe it can help you.

http://calc.petalphile.com/en/
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtDevilDTOM View Post
Would it be safe to say then, that at the moment without the CO2 I am running a low-tech tank and when I get all of this rigged up then I would be crossing into the high tech territory? Meaning that any EI dosing I find that works is going to completely change? With a higher level of CO2, the plants will require more ferts?

Would you say that the NPK solutions are ways to keep the nitrogen, phosphorus and pottasium dosed at equal amounts and then you would does them individually if you continue to see deficiences of one of the 3? Are the dry ferts equal to what you would get in the liquid forms but cheaper and last longer since you would mix it yourself or are there other advantages?

For my micros, currently (without the CO2) the fish food and excrement would probably be suiting the needs of the tank - however; when I cross into CO2 territory I may need to supplement this with an additional shot of micros?

I tried asking these questions at my LFS and the answer I get is "Oh, just put Flourish in there and some Excel - maybe some Iron" hehe I should have known there was much more to it than that. There are so many variables but when I get the hang of this I know I will be much better for it.

#1 Exactly
#2 I would substitute the word "needed" for the word equal in the first sentence.
They are the actual ingredients that are the nutrients you get, but without the water.
"Package deals" have smaller quantities but individual nutrients are usually sold by the Lb. I use 1/32 tsp of CSM+B in my 10g tank each week. At that rate a 1 Lb bag will last three years and cost about $8. That nutrient is the same as Flourish comp
more or less. But the other nutrients work out better.
The KNO3(Potassium) dose of dry is aprx 3/4 tsp per week. How long do you think a Lb will last. At $4 per LB it has to be cheaper than a bottle of Flourish Potassium and
last longer also.
#3 That is what the CSM+B is for and almost equal to Flourish comp.
#4 The variables are: How many fish/plants...how long/high is the light.
But with the EI method of ferts it gives a saturation of nutrients(at a safe level
provided you do the recommended water changes) so that you only need watch for deficiencies and if they happen, just add more of the nutrient that is deficient.
The "EI method" is commonly use with injected CO2 and was developed for those tanks. A lower level of it is used in non-CO2 injected tanks sometimes.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome, this is great stuff! I think I will be looking into dry ferts as this will be much cheaper - even in the short term. Seachem stuff is expensive.

Would CO2 levels impact the amount required for dosing or is it unrelated? From what I would guess, the CO2 itself wouldn't impact the amount needed but as I see more growth because of the CO2, I would need to add more NPK and micros to keep up with the plant demand?

For EI dosing, is this done weekly immediately following a water change or is there some other method that is followed? About how long does it take someone on average to find a proper balance that will work in the long term?
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 07:43 PM
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I just copied this for you from another thread.

As per the Zorfox:
Non limiting nutrient levels are listed below.

CO2 range 25-35ppm
NO3 range 5-30ppm (KNO3)
K+ range 10-30ppm (K2SO4 or GH booster)
PO4 range 1.0-3.0 ppm (KH2PO4)
Fe 0.2-0.5ppm or higher (?) (Plantex CSM +B)
GH range 3 degrees ~ 50ppm or higher (GH Booster)

These are by NO means my numbers. Simply recommendations by Tom Barr. I wrote an article, The EI "Concept" Explained., explaining the idea of non-limiting nutrients with the numbers listed above.

All that said we don't need to "count calories" in our tanks like most suggest. We have three basic systems we keep (this is my interpretation).

High tech; High light and CO2.
Medium tech; Medium light and Excel.
Low tech; low light and no CO2 methods.

You can muddle the waters with variations but they all have basic commonalities.

High tech should receive a full EI dose 2-3 times per week and a 50% weekly water change.

Medium tech should receive about 1/3 full EI and 10% plus weekly water change.

Low tech without water changes is a different animal. Regular water changes? Use the medium tech dosing method. Little to no water changes? Use Tom Barr's Non-CO2 methods.

Mixing solutions to full EI dosing levels is the way to go IMO. For example if you want full EI you dose this 3 times a week. If you want medium tech which is 1/3 EI once a week well...the math ain't so hard. Dose one full EI dose once a week.

The recipe for solutions and dry dosing are listed here,
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...697&highlight=

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ght=back+black

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-02-2014, 05:30 AM Thread Starter
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**UPDATE**

I ended up ordering the GLA EI Pack which is:

Micros -
Plantex CSM + B - 1 / 2 Pound

Macros -
Potassium Nitrate (KNO3) - 1 Pound
Mono Potassium Phosphate (KH2PO4) - 1 / 2 Pound
Potassium Sulfate (K2SO4) - 1 Pound

Yesterday, I did a nice big water change and started out with day one of my macros today. We'll see if I notice a difference within week one!

I'm skipping the GH booster as my GH is somewhere around 180.

Question... It looks like the CSM+B has iron in it. Should I supplement this with the Seachem Iron I have as well or is this overkill?
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-02-2014, 01:08 PM
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Some people find that CSM+B is a bit low in iron.
If you want to add a dry chelated iron you could mix it with the CSM+B at the rate of 3 parts CSM+B: 1 part iron.
I am not sure how to suggest you dose liquid iron if you are also dosing CSM+B. Perhaps a quarter to half of the label?

I do add dry chelated iron to the CSM+B at that rate (25% iron + 75% CSM+B)
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-02-2014, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Diana, I'll think about picking up some dry iron - probably be easier to keep things a bit consistent at least after I use up the rest of this liquid stuff.

Do you dose iron on the same days you would put in the micros or add it more often than that?
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