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I've got a 50 gallon low-tech, dirted tank. The dirt seems to have been depleted some time ago, and most of my plants are heavy root feeders. When I first started getting deficiency symptoms I used the Osmocote+ root tab sampler I got, as well as a weekly dosing of Seachem Flourish, but now that both are almost gone, I thought it might be time to ask about different fertilizing methods, because I really have no idea what I'm doing.
The tank was suppose to be a Walstad, almost maintenance free tank, but alas, it's become a bigger project than anticipated!

So, my question is basically how do you suggest I continue dosing my tank? Continue my previous method? Switch to dry ferts? Use only root tabs?

I'm not sure all what goes with fertilizing either. I know most people suggest water changes to take out excessive nutrients, but I'll be honest, I hardly ever do WC on this tank. I don't because our heated water goes through a softener (so I don't use it) and our hard water is freezing and needs to sit out to be brought up to temp (a hassle), plus every time I test it the Nitrates are at or close to 0ppm. I haven't noticed any symptoms of toxicity. So... am I doing something really wrong?

I just need a step by step as to what I should be doing here, or someone to point me in the right direction. :)
 

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If you don't want to change a lot of water???
I would suggest PPS-Pro method of dosing.
You would need to mix two solutions with dry ferts though.
Here is a link to an excellent site!
https://sites.google.com/site/aquaticplantfertilizer/home/pps-pro

Many topics are covered on Edward's site.
I think it is worth a read even if you choose another method.

I just noticed root feeders in your post.
You may also want to add root tabs as well but in moderation.
 

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I've got a 50 gallon low-tech, dirted tank. The dirt seems to have been depleted some time ago, and most of my plants are heavy root feeders. When I first started getting deficiency symptoms I used the Osmocote+ root tab sampler I got, as well as a weekly dosing of Seachem Flourish, but now that both are almost gone, I thought it might be time to ask about different fertilizing methods, because I really have no idea what I'm doing.
The tank was suppose to be a Walstad, almost maintenance free tank, but alas, it's become a bigger project than anticipated!

So, my question is basically how do you suggest I continue dosing my tank? Continue my previous method? Switch to dry ferts? Use only root tabs?

I'm not sure all what goes with fertilizing either. I know most people suggest water changes to take out excessive nutrients, but I'll be honest, I hardly ever do WC on this tank. I don't because our heated water goes through a softener (so I don't use it) and our hard water is freezing and needs to sit out to be brought up to temp (a hassle), plus every time I test it the Nitrates are at or close to 0ppm. I haven't noticed any symptoms of toxicity. So... am I doing something really wrong?

I just need a step by step as to what I should be doing here, or someone to point me in the right direction. :)

If the deficiencies subsided after you started with the Osmocote and flourish,then I would just by more of both.
Other option for me,,would be to tear down and replace the dirt with fresh dirt and use the Flourish comprehensive at twice a week. (buy a gallon).
 

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Being new to the Planted tank world I'm wondering why we don't use minerals off the shelf at Walmart for plant supplements. Potassium Gluconate is readily available and is cheap and pure, you know exactly how much your adding.
 

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Being new to the Planted tank world I'm wondering why we don't use minerals off the shelf at Walmart for plant supplements. Potassium Gluconate is readily available and is cheap and pure, you know exactly how much your adding.
You can but quite a few of them have urea and or chicken manure which foul up the tank easily. You can dose urea in your tank but you have to be careful with the quantity (less than 2ppm).
 

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Being new to the Planted tank world I'm wondering why we don't use minerals off the shelf at Walmart for plant supplements. Potassium Gluconate is readily available and is cheap and pure, you know exactly how much your adding.
KNO3 is $3 per pound. How can you get cheaper than that ?
And generally speaking the sellers know this is going in aquariums
so it's food quality.
 

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Vitamins are something needed by humans, not plants. We already use minerals, agricultural grade, which is far cheaper than food grade. As Tom Barr said several years ago, we are farmers who grow our crops under water, so we emulate traditional farmers to a large extent.
 

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I don't like dirt so I wash up, take showers and wash clothes!! :laugh2:

Why not just use some good quality root tabs and add modest amounts of trace elements (Flourish or Fresh Trace). Actually I think with an appropriate bio-load and proper filter/tank maintenance, organics can go a long way in feeding plants...nature doesn't use chemical ferts!
 
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I don't like dirt so I wash up, take showers and wash clothes!! :laugh2:

Why not just use some good quality root tabs and add modest amounts of trace elements (Flourish or Fresh Trace). Actually I think with an appropriate bio-load and proper filter/tank maintenance, organics can go a long way in feeding plants...nature doesn't use chemical ferts!
Remember, most of us are not trying to duplicate a natural aquatic plant environment. Most stem plants grow where the water dries up during the dry season, and the plants must switch to emersed form to keep growing. Many aquatic plants grow in water that is brown from tannins released by forest debris in the water. Rivers that have aquatic plants also have a constant supply of new water passing through them.

We are much more like farmers, setting up an artificial environment that lets us grow plants to satisfy our needs much more than to satisfy the needs dictated by nature. So, like farmers, we fertilize our plants.
 
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