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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am to setup a 10 gal tank. I have so far only 2 amazon sword plants and seachem flourish comprehensive. I plan on adding other low light plants. So far dosing flourish comprehensive some leaves are dying but new ones are growing. I was told that I should buy seachem flourish brand NPK bottles. All those bottles would cost me around $30. is there a better option other than seachem ferts? Do I need to buy more fertilizers are my sword plants dying because lack of nutrients? Are they even dying? maybe the leaves are just melting...

thank for answers in advance.
 

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Hey friend. Speaking from experience, I have two planted 10 gallon tanks that are almost 2 years old now! Both of them have some swords in them, one has just one and the other uses swords as a background so maybe 6-7 plants. I have always used flourish comprehensive and excel, with the root-tabs as well for the swords (they like a few, but I've noticed too many and they get grumpy lol!). The swords have always done great. I wished the swords that make up the background tank would get bigger tbh, but they are all healthy and around a year and a half old. My other lone sword is two years old, and man that thing is starting to get really big! It started off small and kinda sad, now its almost too big.
When dosing, I usually just dosed after a water change which for awhile was every 3 days. I first only dosed 1 ml of the comp, and 4 ml of excel (better to start small then work up since it can melt some plants). Now i do a water change every week or so, and i dose 2 ml of comp and 6 ml of excel after the water change. I try to dose in the middle of the week as well, but usually im too lazy and the plants have always been fine with the one dose. Plus now that the water changes are more spread out, nitrates build up more (to around 20-30, vs 10-20 before)which is good because all the plants need them!

Also, your swords are probably just having normal die-off/melt. They may have been grown previously emmersed, and even if they werent it is usually normal to have some melt with new plants as long as you can see new growth.

Anyways kind of a long response but i hope this is helpful to you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
yes thanks very helpful. I thought comprehensive is only micro nutrients so wouldnt you need to dose macros? maybe the root tabs you use are supplying the macros? what brand of root tabs do you use? I can spend up to $30 on more ferts. I dont use root tabs because I use seachem flourish and I thought that the fertilizer would be able to get in to the gravel sized peices?
 

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So comprehensive does have macros, nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, ie: NPK's. The bottle should list the ingredients. Its not as strong as other stand-alone ferts, but like i said it does the trick for me, and my tanks are heavily planted. You dont need root tabs, but if you notice leaves turning yellow, (Not melting, which newly added plants will do. also, old leaves will melt as new leaves grow which is totally normal), then i would think about adding a tab or two. They have only helped the plants. The brand i use is still seachem for the tabs. The fertilizer will not go into the gravel, it will only feed the water column. Your fishes poop however will go into the gravel so in time that will also provide ferts. One of my tanks has a sand top layer so poo doesnt get into the gravel below as easily, so i substituted with root tabs. But i also use 1-2 root tabs for my other tank which has just the one amazon. That will last me around 3 months, and its gotten really big.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Should I buy the sea chem excel ? What do you use it for? The plants I plant on buying are Water wisteria, dwarf saggitaria, jungle vals, S repens, Moneywort, elodia, and some type of floating plant I haven't decided yet. I was thinking to buy most of the plants from Jacobs aquarium. Have you ever bought from him or any online place any tips? Am I buying too many plants for one 10 gal? Any suggestions for a floating plant?

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have the light that came with the kit. I am testing whether that light can grow the amazon swords and if they grow well I wont need to replace it. But if they dont then I was thinking to buy the Nicrew sky led plus. this is a picture of the amazon swords that I bought 3 weeks ago. Are they healthy? Tomorrow I will buy the seachem root tabs. Organism Aquarium decor Pet supply Aquatic plant Freshwater aquarium
Leaf Terrestrial plant Flowering plant Aquarium decor Plant stem
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The bio load is like 15 guppies. I just bought the sea chem root tabs and put them in. The substrate is seachem flourish red.

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Root tabs under swords. You have a pretty good fish load with those 15 guppies. Between the root tabs and the fish load you will probably be good. First thing that might run low is K, or Fe. Tetra Flora Pride is just those two, K and Fe. Its not a bad option for a small low tech with a heavy fish load. Can find it at wal-mart, pet stores etc.

Flourish Comp does have some N/P/K but the amounts are negligible, pretend it has none. Its a good source of Fe and micros, Id keep using it, sparingly

Low techs can always go with an complete fertilizer like Thrive, APT Complete, etc....and just dose less of it
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok thanks for those replies. You would advise buying a fert like thrive and dosing along with comprehensive?
 

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I say keep dosing your Flourish, get some Flourish Trace and get the Flora Pride for the K and FE like Burr says. The point is you already have plenty, maybe too much, Nitrogen and Phosphate. You're adding micro elements with Flourish, so you need K, FE, trace elements, root tabs like Nicole says and CO2. I think those Swords are going to want to get some iron through their roots. So maybe an iron rich substrate would be something to consider in the future if the root tabs don't work. The Excel would be to provide CO2 to certain plants. I don't think it will work on Swords but you can try it. If it does work, that will be wonderful and you will be all set. Otherwise you have to grapple with the question of CO2.

Edit: Do not add more macros other than the Potassium. No more Nitrates or Phosphate. Don't get the Thrive or APT. Just keep them in mind for future reference. Burr is an accomplished master at this, but we have to consider how many fish you have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok I will get the tetra flora pride, but ehy would I need to get trace? I thought comprehensive is just trace elements?
 

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Hi There - Whether you need to dose with NPK depends on whether you're using tap or RO water and what your tap water might already contain. If using RO/Distilled then you need more macro than the Flourish Comprehensive provides.

I plan on trying some different ferts so I'll try to remember to come back and update if I find anything out. SeaChem makes sense if you really know what you're doing and you want to use a little less of one, a little more of another depending on plant/water conditions but the all-in-one ferts with a pump per 10 gallons seem a lot easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The water comes from the tap. Buying all the different bottles of flourish is kinda expensive. I couldnt find the tetra flora pride on amazon can some send a link of where to buy from? or am I spelling it wrong?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The water comes from the tap. Buying all the different bottles of flourish is kinda expensive. I couldnt find the tetra flora pride on amazon can some send a link of where to buy from? or am I spelling it wrong?
Yes that is why I wanted to buy the thrive all in one fertilizer. Which ferts were you going to try and which have you used in the passed that worked? also the ph of this tank is around 7.9. Does that really matter with plants? I have this higher level of ph for the guppies and snails I have.
 

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Tap water already has trace elements and some of them are in fish food. You can live without the trace elements. You are being redirected.... Flourish and Florapride might be a good combo. Looks like they compliment each other because Flourish is low in iron and Florapride is high in iron. Plus you need the Potassium in Florapride that the Flourish does not have. Amazon Sword plants pH range is 6.5 to 7.5 but I don't know if that really matters or not. I've found other ways to kill Amazon Swords. They're an intermediate level plant. If you succeed at growing them your pretty good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ok but the florapride is not on Amazon so where would I get it?

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I thought Amazon swords were beginner level plants?

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Also what other plant are not beginner level I was planning on buying elodia, dwarf sag, S repens, vallisneria, crypt wendti, and duck weed. Are those all beginner?

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There is actually a link for BigAlsPets in my last post. The link did not come out right. It says You are being redirected instead of BigAlsPets. I am pretty sure Amazon Swords are intermediate. As long as you have a good substrate and the Excel works as a source of CO2, you should be fine. I did OK the last time I tried them but I was using CO2 and two T8 fluorescent lights. My Elodea always melted. I've done alright with Crypts. Your substrate will have Nitrogen from the fish and I think those root tabs will have some Iron. The Iron in the FloraPride gets absorbed through the leaves and the Iron in the root tabs gets absorbed through the roots. You'll know when you are succeeding with the Swords. They're glorious when they thrive.
 
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