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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hello all.

I have a tank already set up with a few plants in it. I have always dosed with seachem liquids like flourish, trace, and excel (excel until I get CO2) I just bought some flourish tabs but I haven't used them yet since I'm stuck on what to do. So first thing is first I have four amazons and one crypt already in my tank they've been in there for quite some time and doing okay, not great not terrible but okay... I bought some fluorite and rinsing it has been a complete task I must say and I still have not rinsed it completely. I was wondering if I just use my root tabs, my liquids, and my co2 setup I'm getting (just a few weeks) if I can get away with just keeping my plants in the gravel I have and they'd do good? If I find some way to completely rinse the fluorite I know in the near future after co2 is installed I will be planting a couple more crypts in but I'm worried it will stir the bottom up and get all dirty and possibly harm my AQ30? I got myself into quite a mess I must say lol... If I can get away with just my gravel I would be extremely happy but only if my plants would do well with all my fertz plus co2.

Thank you in advanced!
 

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The ferts you list are not complete.
Flourish product line includes all the ferts you need, in separate bottles. No one bottle has all the different nutrients.
The bottle most people simply call Flourish is Flourish Comprehensive which is very low in macro nutrients (N, P, K) and a reasonable source of traces.
Flourish Trace is a low dose of traces.
Flourish Excel is CO2. You can certainly stop dosing Excel when you add other CO2.

Fish food is fairly high in N, P and most traces, but is low in potassium (K), iron (Fe), calcium (Ca, and magnesium (Mg). If you are monitoring your NO3, and it is between 5-20ppm from fish food, then you can assume the phosphate and most traces are OK, too.
Please post all the test results that you have.

This list of fertilizers is very high in traces, too low in macros.

Adding the root tablets will help. They have macros and micros. I would stop using the Flourish Trace and Flourish Comprehensive, if the fish food and root tablets are supplying traces. Too much traces can be toxic.
Bury the tablets deep in the gravel, and do not use too many. Test the water to see if the nutrients are getting into the water. Monitor the plants and see if they start doing better.

If fish food is supplying a lot of the nutrients you might just need to supplement the fish food by using potassium and iron.
Water with a GH of at least 3 German degrees of hardness will usually supply enough Calcium and Magnesium. You could supplement with GH booster, just to be sure.

Flourite is a better substrate for a planted tank. If you want to switch over you could still use the gravel for a cap, it will look like a gravel tank, but the plants should grow better.
To do this, remove fish, drain most of the water, then skim off the top layer of gravel. This is where the biggest population of nitrifying bacteria are found. Save this gravel for use as a cap.
Remove everything else.
Add well rinsed Flourite, hardscape (wood, rocks), cap. You can put the fertilizer tablets at the bottom of the tank, touching the glass. Then plant (misting as needed) then refill with treated water. Put a plate or plastic bag over the substrate and pour the water in slowly. Let it seep over the edges of the bag so it does not stir up the substrate.
As you are refilling set up the equipment and start it when the water level is OK.
Then add the fish back to the tank. Net the fish out of the bucket. Fish under stress can produce excess ammonia, and you do not want this in the tank.

Monitor the tank to be sure the ammonia and nitrite are under control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the great reply! My NO3 is usually always around 15-20ppm so I'm assuming there is no problem there! I also have 0-.025 ammonia and 0ppm nitrites. Our water here is really hard whenever I used one of API's sticks since it doesn't come with a KH OR GH in a master kit they were always reading at the highest color (purple and a teal color)
 

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Hard water can also have other minerals, trace elements that the plants need, but there are no test kits at the hobby level for these.
As I suggested above, you are over dosing traces, and probably low in potassium. Hard water may have potassium, but usually not enough for the plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay, I guess I should supplement the potassium then. But am I still okay to just use gravel if I get everything under control while using root tabs and co2? I know my plants would benefit with using the fluorite but if they will do well in the gravel doing everything else I'd rather keep it like that instead of stripping the tank down.
 
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