Too Many Ferts? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-27-2015, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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Too Many Ferts?

My tank is relatively low tech. 55g with Finnex Planted+ 48" on for 6 hours a day. Osmocote root tabs in inert sand as a substrate.

Water wisteria
Dwarf sag
Amazon sword
Anubias coffeefolia

The ferts I have on hand:
Dry potassium nitrate (KNO3, mainly provides nitrates to plants)
Dry monopotassium phosphate (KH2PO4, mainly provides phosphates to plants)
Seachem Equilibrium (mainly provides potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium to plants. My water is soft-moderately hard)
Seachem Flourish (all around fertilizer with lots of different elements in it)
Seachem Excel (not really a fert but provides carbon to plants, increasing the uptake rate of minerals/ferts)

What I'm already doing:
5mL Excel daily
Dosing KNO3, KH2PO4, and Equilibrium according to the measurements provided in Tom Barr's non CO2 method (I like that the amounts aren't too excessive)

As far as types of nutrients go, I'd say that what I'm already dosing is pretty well rounded. But I was wondering if I could also dose the Flourish. Would it hurt any? Is there such thing as too many ferts if the correct balance is found? I'm basically using all my ferts except Flourish, and since I bought it, I want to put it to use.

I guess this is relevant as well: current stock is 11 Rummynose tetra and 6 Black Skirt Tetras. Fed flakes once a day.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-27-2015, 08:45 PM
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Since you aren't dosing any micros you should be using the Flourish! I don't know exactly how much but start with whatever the packaging suggests. Flourish is mostly micros and the other nutrients are macro nutrients. Equilibrium doesn't provide iron, Flourish does.


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-27-2015, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kathyy View Post
Since you aren't dosing any micros you should be using the Flourish! I don't know exactly how much but start with whatever the packaging suggests. Flourish is mostly micros and the other nutrients are macro nutrients. Equilibrium doesn't provide iron, Flourish does.
It says that Equilibrium has soluble iron, and Flourish has only iron. I guess there's a difference! I'll use the suggested amount on the bottle then.

It sounds to me that you are considering equilibrium as a source of macro nutrients. In this case, do you recommend dosing the KNO3, KH2PO4, and equilibrium on the same day, and then the Flourish on a separate day since it is a micro nutrient?

Thanks!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-27-2015, 10:18 PM
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Flourish is a source of micros, a replacement for CSM+B, so you need to dose it (as you are not dosing CSM+B or anything else for micros). I think you can dose them all together, especially if you are dosing 1/3 - 1/4 EI. I do this and I never observed any precipitate.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Oso Polar View Post
Flourish is a source of micros, a replacement for CSM+B, so you need to dose it (as you are not dosing CSM+B or anything else for micros). I think you can dose them all together, especially if you are dosing 1/3 - 1/4 EI. I do this and I never observed any precipitate.
Doesn't EI consist of dosing 3x a week? I was under the impression that it involves providing the plants with an excess of nutrients so they don't "starve". In any case, if you suggest to do 1/3 - 1/4 EI, does that also apply to frequency? For example, if full EI calls for dosing 3 times a week, if I cut that by a third it would be only dosing for once a week. Or, when you say 1/3 - 1/4 EI, are you strictly talking about quantity of ferts?

Thanks!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 01:30 AM
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Dry potassium nitrate (KNO3, mainly provides nitrates to plants) And potassium. If the NO3 level in the tank is holding stable, then that is a good amount to dose for the nitrogen.
Dry monopotassium phosphate (KH2PO4, mainly provides phosphates to plants)Yes, phosphate. While there is also potassium, the dose is so low it almost does not count, but there is a little bit there.
Seachem Equilibrium (mainly provides potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium to plants. My water is soft-moderately hard)Extremely low dose of Fe. If the GH of your water is over 3 German degrees of hardness, then the Ca and Mg are probably in the right range for the plants. If your fish want harder water (higher GH) then dose to suit the fish. Otherwise, a low dose (enough to raise the GH 1-2 degrees is fine, and a reasonable way to be sure there is Ca and Mg available. Yes, it contains potassium, too, and it might be a reasonably supply, depending on how much you need. Treat it as a Ca and Mg supplement, though, and dose to supply these elements.
Seachem Flourish (all around fertilizer with lots of different elements in it) Actually, Comprehensisve is more of a source of micros. While there are some macros in there, it is too low to really treat it as a source of these elements.
Seachem Excel (not really a fert but provides carbon to plants, increasing the uptake rate of minerals/ferts) Yes, a carbon source.

runninthruthe6, the "EI light" or "Non CO2" version of EI has modified levels, modified dosing to suit a low tech tank. While Excel is providing some carbon, it does not behave the same as CO2, and the reduced dosing of ferts suits a low light tank with (or without) Excel. The concept is similar: Give the plants plenty of ferts, but with the understanding that lower light and less carbon will make the plants grow slower, so they do not demand the same level of ferts as the original EI concept (based on high light and CO2).

I modified the EI method into something a lot like that, basing my changes on water test results.
Fish food can supply most of the elements that plants need, but tends to be low in K, Ca, Mg and Fe.
Water changes with GH > 3 degrees supplies Ca and Mg (unless there is something odd in the balance of Ca and Mg).
Fertilizers that will be in shortest supply in a low tech tanks are K, Fe and C. Dose first to keep these up. (K2SO3 for K, Chelated iron for Fe, Excel for C)
Then supplement the NO3. Dose a small amount of KH2PO4, depending on how much KNO3 is needed.
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