newbie trying to understand the fertilizer - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-04-2003, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
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Okay, I came here to ask about the liquid fertilizer I just bought and low and behold there was that fertilizer article. I read it and tried really hard to keep my eyes from I don't really understand it. I need help to know if the product I just bought is safe and useful to me.

I have a 6g tank with fish. Quite lightly planted, moderatly lit no CO2. just your regular little tank. I had this liquid fertilizer called Plant Gro by Nutrifin it says: its's iron enriched. 15-0-0 with, nitrogen, iron, manganse, zinc, boron, copper, molybdate ( I have no idea what all that means).

Anyways it's almost used up so today I bought some of what I thought was the same thing but it's not.
This is Plant Gro by NPK it says that it benefits tanks using CO2 and/or intense lights. Neither of which is me. The numbers are:
0.6-0.3-2.4. The bottle talks about nitrate levels which I obviously want to watch.
From what I've read in that article, this doesn't seem like the right stuff for me.
I'm wondering if it's beneficial to use, or if I should return it and spend my $7.99 on something more useful.

Thanks for any help offered.

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-04-2003, 03:35 AM
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Whenever you have a #-#-# thing, it shows how much macro nutrients it has, that is, its N-P-K values. N is nitrogen, in a planted tank mostly NO3 or nitrate. P is phosphorus, used by plants in the form of PO4. Lastly is K, or just potassium. Your first fertalizer (the 15-0-0 one with iron etc...) was pretty unbalanced with 15-0-0. Iron, zinc, copper, etc... are all mirco nutrients. Micros are important, but plants don't use them as much as macros.

Your second fertalizer is better, with an N-P-K of 0.6-0.3-2.4. However, the phosphate (or the middle number "P") is a bit high. Here a tip is, nitrate should be in a 10:1 ratio with phosphate, so there should be 10 times as much nitrate as phosphate. As you see in your fertalizer, it is 2:1. The potassium (K) is decent, it could be higher, usually 2-5 times as much as nitrate, but it has 4 times as much in this fertalizer, so it has good potassium. Did this one mention anything about traces (micros) or iron? If not, you would need some sort of trace fertalizer.

Now, about what you should be using. How much light do you have over your six gallon? If you have less than 2 wpg, very occassional fertalizing is good. Over 2 wpg, then you could use it. I would guess that you don't have much from your last post, but exactly how much light do you have, what kind?, like flourescent, incandescent, metal halide-I hope you don't have halides on your 6 gallon, lol! Tell us more about your setup!

If you already used your fertalizer, everything in it is fine unless you poured the whole bottle in, so it is safe.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-05-2003, 01:41 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for taking the time to reply Tim.

The fertilizer I bought doesn't say anything about traces (micros) or iron.
I don't quite know about my light. LOL..."no" it's not a metal halide. I've got an eclipse tank and the bulb is what came with the tank. It's a flourescent bulb. The book says it's a 12" T5-8 watt bulb. Does that help?

ops: Feeling a bit embarassed by my lack of knowledge here.

I had started to use the fertilizer as the tank has had the gravel changed out and for a while only had one betta in the tank so there isn't alot of nutrients in the tank for the plants. I am have a slime algae though :-(

I want to make sure that this new fertilizer doesn't raise the nitrates to an unexceptable level.

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