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I know dry ferts are the most cost effective route to go, but as I restart my 5G tank with no ferts on hand, I'm wondering if all the storage and manual mixing is worth the effort for a 5g tank (my only tank).

For those of you who have nano tanks, what's the best route in your opinion?

If it's liquid ferts, which do you use?

One thing to note is that I am using ADA amazonia, which to my knowledge means no need for ferts for a while. Is there anything I'd need to add to it at all?

My tank specs:
  • 5G
  • CO2 injected
  • plants include HM, buce mini, elatine hydropiper, bolbitis difformis, a. reineckii
  • ADA amazonia soil

Thanks in advance!
 

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I used to keep a small ADA Mini (in addition to a 10 gallon, and a 30 gallon, and a 90 gallon and a .... let's not carried away here ;)), and was using dry fertilizers (that I mixed into liquid for ease of dosing).

Even if I were to only have the single small aquarium, I'd probably choose to go with dry fertilizers (either dosed directly dry, or mixed up into liquid), mainly for economic reasons. There are plenty of commercially available liquid products, but for the price of a single bottle, I can get a tub of several dry chemicals that will last me infinitely longer.
 

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I've been using Thrive for 2 to 4 aquariums ranging in size from 5 gallons to 40 gallons. I still have my original bottle 2 years after purchase and I'm guessing it will last me a few months yet. One pump per 5 gallons once a week after 50+% water change. Doesn't get much easier.
 

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Dry fertilizer is cheaper, but that's on a percentage basis. With a small tank, fertilizer is just not a significant cost. I think it makes sense to maximize the convenience of not having to store and weigh out all the salts for such a small amount of water. I also don't buy the 5 lb container of peanut butter at Sam's for similar reasons.
 

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Not saying that it can't be done but I'd caution against using an all in one. Things build up, and get depleted, so much more quickly in nano tanks than in bigger water volumes. Assuming Amazonia soil, co2 use and full planting including stems. Not so much in a Buce/Crypt only tank, lol!

I'm adding 5ppm nitrates (dry Ferts) weekly to my 10gal co2 tank, Amazonia type soil (~8gal actual water) to keep things manageable instead of the typical 15-20ppm that EI recommends (ADA recommends 6ppm btw). I'm now at ~3x recommended dosing of Thrive S for micros.

If you really don't want to go down the dry Ferts route this actually would be a good case for Seachem products. They split out N, P & K into different bottles and then Flourish for micros. With the small tank size, it would take awhile to go thru a bottle. Especially the N and P as in the beginning those will come mostly from the Amazonia soil.


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