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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello this is my first post here! I was wondering what to buy for my 5g planted tank. For now it has 9 watts of light. I am planning to plant HC Dwarf baby tears in the foreground and my dwarf hairgrass has sent out runners at the background. I have diy co2 in my tank.
Should i buy Seachem flourish excel or Flourish ?
I do not want my HC to die off.

P.S. Im only using shrimp substrate.
 

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What kind of lighting do you have? 9 watts is not saying a lot, as it is not the wattage of the bulb that is important.

To grow HC well, a good, steady supply of CO2 is the best. Of course, a good fertilization regimen will help as well.

In terms of fertilization, the most economical method would be to use dry chemicals, if that is available. For commercial products, you are often just paying for the cost of water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
My lightings are both from aquazonic. One is 6700k clamping lamp and the other is a 2w led lamp. Co2 wise, i would really like to have seachem excel and also get seachem flourish. But only can have one as im on a budget.
 

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You can try using Excel with HC; some people have success with it, but CO2 is definitely better in getting HC to thrive and do well.

Seachem Flourish will only provide micronutrients and not macronutrients.
 

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I am not sure what products are available in Singapore, but here is a quick rundown on what plants need.

Macros are fertilizers. Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium.
Plants use these in large amounts. If it is a heavily stocked tank, lots of fish, then the fish food can supply the N and P. Fish food does not have so much K. If the tank does not have many fish or shrimp, so you are not adding foods, then you are not adding N, P or K in enough quantities to feed the plants.

Secondary nutrients.
These are minerals like calcium and magnesium.
Test your water with the GH test. If the GH is higher than about 3 German degrees of hardness there is probably enough Ca and Mg in the water, do not bother to dose. If the level is too low you can dose GH Booster, or Seachem Equilibrium.
Iron is worth adding, unless your water already has some. It is usually not present in fish food in enough quantity. Seachem has some iron in Comprehensive, and bottles iron separately.

Micros:
These are minerals the plants use in very small amounts.
Seachem Comprehensive is mostly micro nutrients. Fish food also supplies a fair amount of most micros, but not usually enough for a high tech tank.

Carbon:
Plants use more carbon than any of the other items listed. Supplementing the carbon is very important in a high tech tank. Excel is a good carbon source for small tanks.
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Fertilizing the plants with just some of what they need, and not others is like you trying to live on limited food variety. You just do not get all the vitamins and minerals you need.
Plants that do not get all the things they need will not grow well. They will show deficiency symptoms. For almost all the nutrients the first symptom is slow growth. Then they stop growing. It does not matter if you supply plenty of one material. If there is a lack of something else they cannot grow.
When you supply a small, steady amount of everything the plants will grow.
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Here is what I would do:
Look at what you are already supplying from fish food, water changes, and fertilizers you already have. If it is enough of certain fertilizers, then do not add more of that, just keep on doing that.
Buy the material the tank is lacking.

Here is how I did this for low tech, heavily stocked tanks:
Fish food supplied N, P, micros.
Plants showed deficiency in K and Fe.

I added K, Fe and C.

Plants grew faster, started needing N, P and Micros in amounts greater than I was supplying with fish food, so I started adding those.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I feed my shrimps in a dish so it wouldnt be messy. I feed my shrimps blanched vegs and max shrimp meal and sometimes Hikari food sticks. So if i have diy co2 and nothing else and my plants have steady growth ( shooting out runners) Should i get EXCEL or FLOURISH for my upcoming HC plant?
 

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HC seems to need a bit more than low tech stuff to thrive. Better light, some carbon.
However, some shrimp seem not to like Excel. DIY CO2 can work well, if you can keep the CO2 level stable.

Shrimp food contains the same elements as fish food, but you probably do not feed very much unless the tank is really overrun with shrimp. I would watch the tank, and at the first hint of the plants slowing down, or any symptom of deficiency, start dosing according to what you see.
 
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