Is there a need for Fertilizer when you have high light and co2? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 08:30 AM Thread Starter
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Is there a need for Fertilizer when you have high light and co2?

Hi, I'm new to this forum and the 'professional' planted tank hobby. This may seem like a noob question so bare with me. I have a 10 gallon with a Seachem Fluorite and Eco-complete substrate mix. I currently have a 14 watt light but I am planning to upgrade to at least a 20 watt light very soon. I will be dosing API liquid co2 daily. The plants that are in my my tank are listed in the following-

Anubias nana
Anubias barteri
Java Fern
Windelov Java fern
Crypts
Pearl weed (Hemianthus micranthemoides)
American val
marimo moss balls

Is it an absolute necessity to add fertilizer to the tank. I'm only 14 and money is limited.
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 09:10 AM
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First the Crypts are likely the common Petco Crypts ?
They are Crypt Wendtii which will get when fully mature about 7-9" tall and 6-8" around. So I'd just get one.
Quite a bit for a 10g tank. The Pearl weed will likely give you a hard time/w 14W as if
I'm not mistaken the 18" T8 bulbs are so one of those isn't really enough for Pearl weed.
If you can find someone who will give you a tablespoon full of the beads from a bottle of Osmocote Plus Indoor & Outdoor fertilizer and place one bead under the Crypt and then use two only of the beads to drop into the tank in a place where you can see them
and that the current will flow on them that will fertilize this tank for you for all of the plants except that I don't think it will be enough for the vals cause they grow to fast. So get just one Crypt and eliminate the vals and that would be good ferts for this tank.
The color of those beads is a greenish/yellowish color but when they run out they are translucent. They are not made to be used under water. But they are great for using under the substrate in tanks. So on the package they say good for up to 6 months,
but under water you don't know just how long they will last. So watch for them to turn
to that translucent looking color. The ones you put where you can see of course.

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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 09:13 AM
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No its not absolutely essential to fertilize the tank. There's definitely going to be a difference in growth, and a well dosed tank will last longer. That all being said you could try flourish excel once week, for a cheap and easy fertilization. For a 10 gallon tank a 500ml bottle should last well over a year, and I think the go for around $10 on amazon.

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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 01:57 PM
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The answer to your title is yes. Bt7896 is confused I think. Excel is a carbon source not a fertilizer. An according to your post your not using co2 but are using a liquid carbon source.

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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 02:40 PM
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If you are on a budget, API liquid carbon is the most expensive item in your line up. Ditch it for this tank.

I have a 4 gallon tank. I dose nothing but fertilize with Osmocote as Raymond says. I put some in the substrate then a bead or two on top the substrate so it can get into the water column.
Stock cheap LED light that came with the tank,,,narrow leaf Java fern and tenellus growing very well.

You don't need all the fancy stuff to have a nice tank, you just have to pay attention to the limitations of the setup and match the plants to it. In your example, you are combing two plants on opposite ends of the spectrum. Java fern can grow in near darkness and you about can't kill it with a stick. Pearl weed is on the opposite end of that.

So you have a choice, setup for the most demanding plant, high light, CO2, ferts, etc.
or
setup for the least demanding and stick with plants that fit that category.
Like all things in life,,,,you can't have your cake and eat it too!
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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 03:46 PM
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Fish food has a reasonable amount of most fertilizers, so if there will be fish in the tank, and you will be feeding the fish, then you would need very little fertilizer. Fish food is low in potassium and iron. If you just supplement these 2 I think the plants will do much better for your.

Keep the liquid carbon, and add a source of potassium and iron. Look into Leaf Zone, and look at Seachem Flourish Potassium and Seachem Flourish Iron. Compare the suggested dosing if you bought one bottle of Leaf Zone OR one bottle of each of the seachem products.
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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Shouldn't the seachem fluorite and the eco-complete be enough iron for the plants. They both have high amounts of it and wouldn't dosing with leaf zone be too much?

Bump: Im worried about the osmocote fertilizer though. I've heard many people not burying deep enough and it made their ammonia go above 8 ppm and their nitrates above 200 ppm. My substrate isn't that deep.
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 07:02 PM
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FYI on the osmocote - yes, not buying a capsule containing 20-30 beads could over fertilize the water column. Putting 1 or 2 beads in the water will not.


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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 07:09 PM
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Eco and Fluorite DO NOT give any nutrients to the plants.
Well to be honest, they give the plants as much nutrients as your dinner plate gives to you
because your food was on top of it.
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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are you serious?! Was there no point in buying the substrate...
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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saeisbest View Post
are you serious?! Was there no point in buying the substrate...
It's not all bad, eco complete looks good and provides the plants with a very good medium to root in. It doesn't have any nutrients, but it does have a high CEC due to its porosity. In other words it does a good job of holding onto nutrients introduced by outside sources. Stick with the eco complete, but do so knowing you will have to dose fertilizers in one form or another. Good luck!

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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-30-2015, 04:42 AM
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To match your budget - just substitute Metricide 14 for the API liquid co2 when you need to order more - it would be cheaper.

Don't upgrade your light if the present one is doing what you like - the higher light may lead to undesirable results.

You may consider dosing a little potassium - Flourish Potassium as suggested by Diana - but do keep off the mixed fertilisers like "osmocote" unless you would like to make life more complicated for yourself. The potassium is needed only to balance the nutrients supplied to plants indirectly by the fish food.

I would also suggest not to add any iron fertilisers for the time being. If ever you see any signs of iron deficiency you may use Flourish Iron for correction - I don't think at your rate of plant growth you will ever need to do that.

Most problems are caused by overdose of unbalanced fertilisers - ie by overdoing things.

If you have a choice, you have a problem, till you elect your choice. No choice, no problem, only consequences, learn to live with them.
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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-30-2015, 06:49 AM Thread Starter
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I already bought two 15 watt fluorescent lights, 30 watts in total. What do you mean by "undesirable results". Does it cause a nutrient imbalance. I'll probably get a co2 system for x-mas.
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post #14 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-30-2015, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrill View Post
The answer to your title is yes. Bt7896 is confused I think. Excel is a carbon source not a fertilizer. An according to your post your not using co2 but are using a liquid carbon source.

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Yes I am confused. I guess I mistyped out of habit. I meant to say Seachem flourish. Ive used it sparingly on low tech tanks with good results.

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post #15 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-30-2015, 08:45 AM
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Look up Estimative Index and PPS Pro fertilization. All you'll need to buy is KNO3 , KH2PO4 and trace mix (Rexolin APN, CSM+B etc) powders. That's all you need to fertilise adequately. Powders are usually dirt cheap. You'll have 1-2yrs supply for pocket change.

It's as easy as a science experiment in the lab at school.

You can make these into solutions that are much more concentrated than Seachem etc. Most of what you pay for with Seachem is packaging and water with some fertilizer.

If your tank is heavily planted and you stay low tech, I recommend a 1/3 EI dose to start with. Monitor algae and plant growth and adapt. Simple.

Bump: Here's a link to EI

http://www.barrreport.com/forum/barr...-for-test-kits

Last edited by Straight shooter; 11-30-2015 at 10:01 AM. Reason: added link
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