Plants look bad, maybe time for fertz? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-08-2009, 05:08 AM Thread Starter
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Question Plants look bad, maybe time for fertz?

I've got a new planted 29g tank with 54 watts of light 10 hrs a day and my water parameters are ph-7.4, nitrate-40-50, nitrite-0, ammonia-0, kh 3d. Three days ago i put a Co2 generator in, and i have flourite substrate. My plants are looking sickly the edges of the older leaves are turning black and some little brown spots on the leaves, also the leaves kinda dont have all of their colors and new leaves are slightly transparent. i use Plant Gro iron enhanced fertilizer after every water change each week. from what i read i need fertizilers like nitrogen and potassium and phosphate, im not sure how much of each i should use in my 29 and if there is any other additives i need.

any advice or links to threads would be appreciated thank you
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-08-2009, 11:22 AM
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You are right, you need nitrate phosphate and potassium. I would recommend you go to and buy 1lb each of potassium nitrate, potassium sulphate, and mono potassium phosphate. You will also want to read up on EI (Estimative Index) which is a guide to dosing fertilizers.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-08-2009, 12:56 PM
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You can also just buy ready made fertilizers such as pFertz or Seachem. Seachem is available at almost all lfs. You can get pFertz here.

I reccomend this route to beginners just because it takes some of the stress off. Plus they come with instructions and such.

I would consider shortening up that lighting cycle too for a bit...

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-08-2009, 04:30 PM
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You would learn a lot by reading: This isn't the only way to fertilize a planted tank, but it is the easiest way and has been found to work very well by a lot of people.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-08-2009, 08:38 PM
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While you can buy commercial brands, they are not any easier/harder than dry ferts, and you are paying for 99% water, and quite a pretty penny for that water

You still need to read and follow instructions on any commercial brand and figure out the rates and how much to dose.

This is no different using a dry generic powder vs a commercial liquid.
Except cost really.

KNO3 cost about 3$ per lb
One little bottle of say Pfertz is 15$

I dose 1 teaspoon per day(5 grams or 1 teaspoon) to my 180 gal.
How much Pfertz would I require and how long might it last to add the same NO3?

I'm guessing at best, 45 days.

2X as long for assuming that their dosing is the same as the 5 grams in a 180 of KNO3.

So that is 10X cheaper, and just as easy to add.
Shipping dry concentrated ferts is much cheaper than liquids.
Plus, such basic nutrient estimations, and consistent nutrient use vs a wide range of commnerical productrs with different concentrations does not help later on if you compare with other folks that use the basic salts like KNO3, KH2PO4, GH booster, Traces.

This helps folks to be all on the same page.

You only add 4 things, after you read a bit, figure out how big your tank is, how much to dose via table, or a dosing calculator etc, after that, it's old hat. Same is true for any commercial brand.

Still worried?
Simply ask how much to dose.
Folks will tell you.
Plenty of sites discuss it.

This was the whole thing on the web a decade ago using PMDD methods and DIY ferts. They are no harder and the cost is virtually nil after you buy a few pounds of dry bulk ferts, you will not buy any more for a years typically.

That's the point.
This is why/how a little knowledge can save you time, $ and work/labor.
There's long discussions about PMDD about the differences and reasoning about DIY vs Commercial brands.

Do not be put off and weird out by Chemical formulas, you still add those no matter what brand or DIY formula you pick. You only need to know 4 basic things/names. You can use teaspoons. Pretty easy.

Tom Barr

Tom Barr
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