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Hi, guys/gals. I have a 125 planted tank. Medium/high light no co2. I currently dose daily with excel and all is well. My question is that I see a lot of post about phosphates and other levels. What all should I be dosing. I prefer to use seachem products. So they have flourish, iron, and phosphates and trace along with excel. What should I be using?? Help lol!!! Also, I kno they have a test kit for phosphate but why not other minerals?


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I think with medium/high light, you will run into issues if you do not have CO2.

That being said, Excel will work for lower lighting conditions, but if you truly have high lighting, there is no substitute for CO2. In addition, with an aquarium your size, you will soon find out that Excel will be quite expensive in the long run.

Regarding fertilizers, you can take a look through my Primer to the Planted Aquarium (linked in my signature below) for some preliminary information regarding fertilizers and fertilization regimens.

As for test kits, the most commonly used ones are ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate, pH, gH, and kH. There are other test kits out there (iron, potassium, etc) but they are generally used less often.
 

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The Seachem Flourish line includes separate bottles of each:
N
P
K
C
Fe
and Comprehensive' which is mostly trace minerals.

Fish food supplies some, but not enough for a high (or medium) tech tank.
Fish food: N, P, most Traces. But maybe not enough. Use the NO3 test as a stand in for all of these.
Water: If the GH is over about 3 degrees, then it is likely the Ca and Mg are supplied. If the GH is too low use Seachem Equilibrium to set the GH when you do a water change. Plants and fish do not use very much between water changes, probably do not need to add more. Just monitor it (GH test) to be sure.

First ferts to add:
K
Fe
C (Excel is fine)

As the plants find out that the things they were most lacking are now supplied they will start using more of the others, so stay on top of things.

When it reaches the point that the plants are keeping the NO3 low then dose
N
P
traces.
 

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It can very expensive trying to add ferts in a tank that size if using liquids. Dry ferts are the best route and cost about 1/10th.

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The test kits I use are API master, API phosphate and API GH/KH. I typically only use them when cycling a tank or have issues with an old one. There are many brands out there. These just happened to be the ones carried by the LFS near me. They have served me well.

May I ask why you want to use Seachem products. With a tank that large it will get quite expensive. For about $25 you can get enough fertilizer to last a year or more. These can be mixed in water creating the same fertilizers Seachem sells.

I think it's important for hobbyist to learn why we dose fertilizers and how. Here is an article that will get you started. If you should have any problems or questions feel free to ask.
 
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