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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
He admits he hasn't tried every fertilizer out there but he says that he found using only iron glutamate was all his plants needed in various client mega aquariums. I feel the same way with the exception of the use of potassium..but fish waste is all the phosphates they need. So you have pretty much the big three right there.
I'm sure you will all agree..wink,wink.
 

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I only run low tech aquariums for reference. I have only dosed iron and potassium, just a couple drops per day, for years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was reminded again when I did two doses this week instead of one..and the plants responded with new growth,darker leaves.
I also am not running high intensity lighting so the most colorful plants and the most compact are sort of not doable. Otherwise still many plants that can be grown..they just won't be super orange or gold or maybe deepest red.
 

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Naughty, naughty: although I don't speak German well enough, anymore, to pull it out of the video, I suspect that he is talking about Iron GLUCONATE, not Iron GLUTAMATE ...correct?

Regarding Iron GLUCONATE, yes: it is a perfectly fine source of Iron (it's all that I use in my high-tech tank for an Iron source), but you have to use more of it than other chelated forms since it doesn't stay around more than about an hour after dosing. I agree that many, if not most, low-tech tanks only need Iron and Potassium, but it would be a good idea to monitor NO3 and PO4 levels just to be sure.

There is no way that such a simple dosing regimen wlll work in a high-tech tank, as nutrients are consumed at a faster and higher rate than fish and other organic sources can generate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I did that again? I meant to correct it. On another board I got it right thinking how I got it wrong here!..should have double,triple checked my post!
It's gotten popular..since I started my heart campaign for the stuff,one major hobby company that specializes in aquarium fertilizers says we can all save oodles buying it in powder from them ( 2 pounds of it! all you will ever need! they said)..now says "Not in stock"..but everything I don't need is?

Kevin Novack of plenum fame just put out a video of " The right way to fertilize". In it he says Iron gluconate is the only way to go as its the iron aquarium plants take up best.
When I have tried land plant based iron fertilizers? I didn't see any results with aquarium plants. In fact,I suspect those might be much more toxic to fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Lilly Miller brand,It only says , "Water soluble iron" as one ingredient. Now,when used by a cup full or more on outdoor plants,it makes for a nice flush of dark green on palms and ferns for example. Its main ingredient is 10% nitrogen. Small amounts of zinc..probably not good for fish. Also has molybdenum..good for aquarium plants..but again not made for aquariums.
 

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Ah, ok, I thought you were primarily concerned about the iron source, but it sounds like it is actually the other components that worry you. A lot of the time the fertilizer salts are the same, but not always, and the ratios are often a lot different. You definitely have to be careful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Anybody tried Ammonium sulphate? Its the lawn fertilizer than is so strong it makes crosshatch on baseball fields.
I know my father decades ago had a push lawn fertilizer...forgot to close it and pure fert fell on the lawn..in days it was deep green. Back in the 1960's. Funny that sort of thing has comeback.
 

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Dosing Ammonium salts can be a little tricky, but many do it and successfully. It is safer to get the N to plants via NO3. Urea (which requires a tiny amount of Nickel to be processed) will provide Ammonium much more safely than direct NH4 dosing, it’s like a slow-release NH4 aspect. Although plants prefer Ammonium to Nitrate (from an energy standpoint), it is debatable as to whether plants will perform better with NH4 (I believe that they do) and many ‘experts’ believe, and have shown, that having both present is ideal. Remember that our animals also provide NH3/NH4 directly. I happen to dose only Urea now (have played with NH4NO3 and NH4SO4) and watch NO3 measurements as a guide as to how I’m doing.

If you decide to dose NH4, be aware that it will lower pH. It can be easy to overdose NH4, which can present other problems if pH rises above 7 and algae may multiply as well. Conversely, Urea keeps NH4 unavailable until processed by plants or BB and this may limit access to N by algae. Keep your eye on TAN (measured by most ammonia test kits) until you settle in and are comfortable with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks..I haven't read any mention of it in fish media. My brother also never bothered with mixed ferts for his lawn either- he went pure 20 or 22-0-0! Had a great lawn.
 

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Thanks..I haven't read any mention of it in fish media. My brother also never bothered with mixed ferts for his lawn either- he went pure 20 or 22-0-0! Had a great lawn.
It's more likely that he had great soil, with all necessary elements, but N. The lawn is just the reflection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
True. His soil was everything California ag was famous for in the bay area. Deep alluvial soils,black in look and yet easy to dig ( or plow) with not much effort.
I had forgotten all that..but he and his wife would plant things and those plants looked perfect with fast growth. It used to be stone fruit orchards a century ago..or maybe just 75 years ago.
My house? Funny thing is- the soil under my home's crawl space is like that. The soil out in my yards..is not. Like all the good stuff was scraped off to make it level. Only under the home is it quality.
 

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If you think about it, the soil of which you speak is what the various active substrates we use in our hobby are trying to mimic, and they work as well as your Bay area soil. I don't use them because I don't want to deal with the inevitable nutrient exhaustion and replacement issues, but they do work with little need for dosing, while they last.

Builders do the same thing in my area: they scrape off any saleable topsoil and leave us with hard clay.
 
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