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Hi guys,

so I'm really new to all this, espeacially ferts, so I'd like a little help in knowing what to do.

currently I have a 10gal tank with Anubias, Water Fern, Dwarf Baby Tears, and a little Anacharis (but I'm probably getting rid of that). From reading the lighting forum I have low to mid level lighting.

so far all I've fed my plants is 1ml every other day od SeaChem Flourish with Trace, just the plane no extra fancy stuff version.

The water test kit I have tests for pH, Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate and so far they've all been well below their recommended limits :)

What I'd like to know is what additional ferts I should/could add, and once I start adding them how will I know if I'm adding too much or too little.

I really don't want to do anything fancy like Co2 or something like that. Just easy stuff off the shelf that I can add and test for if I'm doing it right

Thanks so much!!!

Todd

and is Flourish Excel the same thing as just regular Flourish except that the Excel has the added carbon? or are there other differences? ie. should I feed the plants both or just one of them?
 

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Plants use certain elements in large amounts.
H= Hydrogen and O= oxygen; ought to be in the tanks already.
C= Carbon; the item most often in short supply. Liquid source is Excel.
(Excel does not offer other nutrients, just carbon. It is on the label)

Plants use certain elements in large amounts, but not quite as much as the first 3. This group is called Macros.
N = Nitrogen; Fish food supplies quite a bit of nitrogen. If the NO3 test is between 5-10ppm then there is probably enough N.
P = Phosphorus; Fish food supplies quite a bit of phosphorus. If the NO3 test is between 5-10ppm then there is probably enough P. (The NO3 test is not specific for phosphorus, just a way of seeing if fish food is enough N and P for your tank)
K = Potassium; This one is in low supply in fish foods, so even low tech tanks seem to need potassium.
In liquid form these are all available in the Flourish line. You need to get each one separately because each tank is different. If fish food supplies enough N and P, then just get the K.

Plants use several more elements in a moderate amount. These are secondary nutrients.
Ca = Calcium
Mg = Magnesium
These are usually supplied by your tap water. If the GH is at least 3 German degrees of hardness, then is it likely that there is enough Ca and Mg. If the GH is too low, use Seachem Equilibrium or other GH booster. Read the label and make sure they do not have sodium chloride.
Fe = Iron. This one is available in the Flourish line. This element is one that is in low supply from fish food, so even low tech tanks seem to need iron.

Plants use a lot of other nutrients in such small amounts that they are lumped together as Traces or Micros.
Fish food can supply them, or you can use Seachem's Trace.

There are dry options for all these, too. With just one tank, and just getting started, use the liquids until you get a feel for how your tank responds. When you decide to get more and larger tanks you will find the dry ferts are more reasonably priced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
In liquid form these are all available in the Flourish line. You need to get each one separately because each tank is different.
How do you know which ones your tank needs or doesn't?

I have a wter test kit that tests for pH, Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate numbers.

So how do I know that I would need to add Potassium, or Phosphorus, or Nitrogen, or any of the micros?

Is there a different test kit that tells me which ferts I need to add I need?
 

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The easiest, and possibly best way to dose is by following the tables in http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=21944 and doing 50% water changes every week. Fertilizing is not an exact science, nor does it need to be. Our goal should be to make sure the plants are not short of any of the needed nutrients, because it is the least available nutrient that can stunt the plants growth. If you make sure you have enough of all of the nutrients the light will be what controls the growth rate, which is good.
 
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