Essential products for a newbie - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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Essential products for a newbie

I am getting some plants sent to me this week and my 50 gallon is cycling right now. I used pool filter sang and plant on using root tabs. What other products do I absolutely have to have as far as fertilizers and such. I have heard excel mentioned
Multiple times, should I get that now? This is my first planted tank, not looking to get into high tech. Or invest a lot of money into this as of now. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!


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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 10:21 PM
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Well, if you really want to go low tech then just do nothing and let nature take care of itself lol.

Anyhow, the basics for my low-mid tech tank are:

Seachems: Prime, Excel, Flourish Comprehensive, Flourish Trace and may be Iron.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by roostertech View Post
Well, if you really want to go low tech then just do nothing and let nature take care of itself lol.



Anyhow, the basics for my low-mid tech tank are:



Seachems: Prime, Excel, Flourish Comprehensive, Flourish Trace and may be Iron.

Lol I mean I have multiple saltwater tanks so my idea of low tech is probably different. I want to limit testing on this tank to once a week, maybe even once a month. Dosing once a week. Is that low tech?


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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 10:58 PM
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Lol I mean I have multiple saltwater tanks so my idea of low tech is probably different. I want to limit testing on this tank to once a week, maybe even once a month. Dosing once a week. Is that low tech?


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Well the extreme low tech of freshwater tank is do NOTHING but top off lol. Not even water change.

As for testing, even for high tech tank, once you have everything dialed in there is not much testing to be done especially if you have PH controller.

Any particular reason why you are not using a planted substrate? No need to go all the way to ADA. Mid tier stuff like Eco Complete works great.

The flourish line of ferts are great for low-mid tech.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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I don't like the way the substrates look, I wanted a white or tan sand which isn't available in the planted substrates. And I didn't want to do a dirted tank because I know that I would end up ruining it. So sand with root tabs is the best option for me.


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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 11:11 PM
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I don't like the way the substrates look, I wanted a white or tan sand which isn't available in the planted substrates. And I didn't want to do a dirted tank because I know that I would end up ruining it. So sand with root tabs is the best option for me.


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Have you ever considered putting in something like fluorite or laterite, then capping it (a nice think 1-2 inches) with your white sand? As long as you don't stock any fish that dig too deep or move the plants around too much I can't imagine it mixing too much... Just my opinion... Someone with more experience may be able to chime in on whether or not this would work.

- Matt M.

Last edited by Mattymo92; 01-12-2016 at 11:12 PM. Reason: Typo
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Have you ever considered putting in something like fluorite or laterite, then capping it (a nice think 1-2 inches) with your white sand? As long as you do t stock any fish that dig too deep or move the plants around too much o can't imagine it mixing too much... Just my opinion... Someone with more experience may be able to chime in on whether or not this would work.



- Matt M.

The reason I didn't do that is because I know that I will be messing with it. No doubt about that. And I would get it all
Mixed up and then it would look like crap. Either way, tank is already set up and cycling and I don't want to mess with it. People said that I would be fine with root tabs, haven't
Gotten any yet. Is there a brand that is better. API and seachem have some. They are expensive though.


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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 11:18 PM
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The reason I didn't do that is because I know that I will be messing with it. No doubt about that. And I would get it all
Mixed up and then it would look like crap. Either way, tank is already set up and cycling and I don't want to mess with it. People said that I would be fine with root tabs, haven't
Gotten any yet. Is there a brand that is better. API and seachem have some. They are expensive though.


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I've used both Seachem and API... Both are great, but I kind of think seachems are a little cleaner. They seemed to stay together better because when I used API they would crumble. When I moved plants fert dust would release into the water column. In my experience the Seachem tabs don't fall apart so much if you move it.

- Matt M.

Last edited by Mattymo92; 01-12-2016 at 11:20 PM. Reason: Typo
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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I am also getting some osmocote caps if I can find some. Are they the same thing?


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by martini5788 View Post
The reason I didn't do that is because I know that I will be messing with it. No doubt about that. And I would get it all
Mixed up and then it would look like crap. Either way, tank is already set up and cycling and I don't want to mess with it. People said that I would be fine with root tabs, haven't
Gotten any yet. Is there a brand that is better. API and seachem have some. They are expensive though.


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Make your own, take Osmocote+ (Plant fertilizer) and stick some in 00 size gel capsules, i use them for my tank and they work great!

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 11:22 PM
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I am also getting some osmocote caps if I can find some. Are they the same thing?


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Sorry I have no experience with those.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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So are the seachem and api root tabs the same thing as osmocote capsules?

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 12:00 AM
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If you already run salt tank, then for sure you will be itchy to creep toward high tech ;p

I bet within 6 months or less you'll be injecting co2.

Root tabs have more or less the same thing: NKP + traces, I think seachem one has more trace elements but not sure how that affect the overall picture.

Seachem. Flourish Tabs

https://www.420magazine.com/gallery/...ocote_Plus.jpg
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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Haha I don't have 1 salt tank, I have multiple salt tanks haha. So I'm sure I will be. Trying to avoid that though because I spend so much money on the other tanks


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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 12:36 AM
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So are the seachem and api root tabs the same thing as osmocote capsules?

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They work just as well, not the exact same

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