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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I'd like to ask your opinion regarding the dosing of fertilizers in one of my tanks. This tank is the home of a large green terror (11-12 inches) who loves to use plants as toys, so not an aquascaping tank. Still, since he loves his toys, I want to keep the plants healthy and I want to make sure they grow faster than he can destroy them. I also don't have an algae eater, so another reason to make sure the plants can grow as quickly as possible with the current setup. I had a lot of java ferns and some rotala rotundifolia, but no fast-growing species. I recently added a lot of hygrophila polysperma, which might need more nutrients since it is a fast-growing plant, so I would like to check if I should increase my dosing.

I don't use substrate fertilizers, since my fish is always digging in the sand and the type of plants I have will do fine with liquid fertilizers anyway. I add a bit of CO2 with a sugar and yeast recipe, but it only slightly increases the CO2 level, so this is not a high-tech setup. I do 40% water changes twice a week and I add one capful of Seachem Flourish after each water change. I add 1/2 teaspoon of Equilibrium to the new water before adding it to the tank. Is this enough for the needs of my plants in potassium, calcium, magnesium and manganese, or do you think I should add a bit more? I want to maximize growth, but without dosing more than necessary, so what amount would you recommend?

Also, do you think I should start dosing Flourish Iron in addition to Flourish? As of now, the new leaves have a nice color, so there is no deficiency, but would I see more growth with more iron or would the growth of the plants be limited by other factors anyway?

And do you know how much iron you get with the recommended dose of Flourish compared to the recommended Flourish Iron dose? I see that Equilibrium also contains iron, how much iron do you get with the recommended Equilibrium dose (1 tablespoon per 80 L)? I've read that the type of iron used in Seachem's products doesn't last long in the water, do you know how long exactly?

Tank size = 66 gallons (250 L)
Light: LED Current USA Satellite Plus 30 watts (aquarium height = 51 cm)
GH = 40 mg/L (2.24°)
KH = 40 mg/L (2.24°)
pH = 7.0
Nitrates = 5 mg/L
 

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I can give a rough idea of using Iron. It works. You will notice in days,plants get greener,some much more ( Swords) and usually a flush of growth from most plants. Just do not over do it,as it can boost cyano also along with some fish species seem to be sensitive to iron.
Iron and Potassium are a must use. For perfection in high tech the other formulas are out there,like Barr's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've ordered some Flourish Iron and an iron test kit. I guess the best way to know for sure how much iron my plants need is to test it and go from there.

Meanwhile, I found how much iron the recommended doses add. Flourish Iron adds 0.25 ppm and Flourish adds 0.064 ppm. I'm surprised Flourish is so low on iron. Do some of you add half a dose of Flourish Iron on the same day as Flourish to dose a bit more iron?

I've also found that with the amount of Equilibrium I add, I get about 2.44 ppm of potassium, twice a week (calculated assuming my 250-liter tank contains actually about 200 liters of water). I think I'm going to double that amount to get 4.88 ppm, twice a week. Does that sound like enough potassium considering my setup?
 

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Are you dosing any NO3 or PO4? Need to address those two for sure

Flourish + Iron as you mentioned should be plenty as far as micros and Fe. Seachem uses Fe gluconate, how long it sticks around depends on your PH level. The higher your PH, the less time it remains in an available state. The flip side is plants absorb it very quickly with very little energy. So lets say its gone in 12 hours, the plants will have had time to take in a good bit. Its fine to use with your 7 PH, you'll just have to watch the plants to see how much is best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Are you dosing any NO3 or PO4? Need to address those two for sure
I'm not dosing NO3 and PO4. I don't think it will ever be necessary with my fully-grown green terror. Keeping the nitrates down is actually a lot of work, so I hope the hygrophila will help with that.
 

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I see. Then your best bet is just keep the fish happy and stick to whatever plants happen to do well. There's no need to over analyze Fe and micros. Thats not the limiting factor. Just dose Flourish per instructions and dont worry about it.

Also you're probably better off ditching the diy co2. Unless you are really keeping up with it and running consistent levels day in and day out, which it doesnt sound like you are, irregular co2 will do more harm than good
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Also you're probably better off ditching the diy co2. Unless you are really keeping up with it and running consistent levels day in and day out, which it doesnt sound like you are, irregular co2 will do more harm than good
The CO2 levels seem pretty consistent, my pH is always exactly at 7.0 despite having a low KH. The plants grow much better with it than without it, so although it's not providing a lot of CO2, it still seems to be helpful.
 
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