Let’s Talk Fertilizer & Schedule ( again)

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Kimunaffected

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I ordered the Seachem root tabs & recently I bought the Flourish comprehensive for the water column.
I see now this line takes a much for individual approach to fertilizers. ( maybe not the best for a beginner. Buuuut I already purchased these two, So crash course? )
If I was going to try a simplistic approach to using this brand. Would these two alone be enough or Is there another product I should have ordered or what should add next to my list?

This seemed to be a list I keep coming back to online.

•Flourish Excel is not a fertilizer per say. It is a liquid algaecide that the main ingredient can also be used by plants to replace CO2 in the water. So in a sense it is a liquid CO2 substitute. Flourish Excel has 2 benefits in that it provides the liquid CO2 substitute while also killing/inhibiting Algae. This makes sure that the algae aren't consuming the good stuff that the plants need.
•Flourish Comprehensive is sometimes labeled as just Flourish and it is an all around fertilizer with a little of everything including a small amount of macro ferts Nitrogen-N and Phosphorus-P, while containing a decent amount of Potassium-K and some of the micro ferts (iron, magnesium, boron, etc). It is a great all around fert to start with and will do well for most easy low-tech and low light tanks. This product is great for tanks with fish as they assume the fish waste and food are providing most of the N and P.
•Flourish also makes specific formulas for the macro ferts and iron.
•Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium are the 3 main elements all plants need in some form. Flourish Comp has them but in lesser amounts of the N and P, with a little bit more of the K. If you have a lot plants or really low bio-load (fish producing waste) than you may need the 3 individual products, N,P, and K in addition to the Flourish Comp.
•Flourish Iron is only needed if you have plants that have higher iron needs then the average plant. This is usually plants that have a lot of reddish orange color to them. Most plants don't need an additional iron supplement if you are using Flourish Comp and/or have a decent bio-load of fish with a varied diet, as their fish waste will have some iron in it.
•Flourish Trace is a mix of just the micro/trace elements needed by plants. I personally prefer to use the Comprehensive to add some of the macros too, as it is roughly the same price, but others prefer to do everything separate using the individual 3 macros (N,P, and K) and then the Flourish trace to cover the micros.
•Flourish Root tabs are an all in one fertilizer that only benefits root feeders like sword plants, crypts, etc. Other plants are water column feeders and need the liquid ferts. They are a great product to use, just place them around the base of any root feeders. One complaint is they can be a bit pricey””



So since I have the tabs and comprehensive. I am thinking I should buy the Flourish Excel next? Or what about advanced that is available but not mentioned in the above list?



My current plants are an unknown sword ,foxtail , anubas java moss

a couple banana plants , Barcopa, tripartita, and some stems that I was given I was told they are ludwigia repens.

Along with a mix beginners batch I bought from amazon. I included a photo.



My nitrates are sitting at .5-.10 ppm and according to my water company I have soft water ( included photo ) but my old test strips read harder.

And I now operate of api master kit so I don’t have an read.

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F501433A-8311-4267-A2C6-4DDA23DCD1E8.jpeg
 
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Kimunaffected

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I am going to drink my coffee and run a full test of everything I have in my API liquid test kit and I will post the results since that will probably help you guys more than helps me
 

Rbishop

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How "old" are your test strips? Age and humidity can affect their accuracy.
 
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Kimunaffected

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How "old" are your test strips? Age and humidity can affect their accuracy.
I apologize by old I meant the type I used to use prior to purchasing my API master kit I had recently bought them within the last three months it was the API five and one the strips. I was able to find a few photos of them. ( keep in mind any test results with a strip are NOT from a current tank I had a whole mess of upgrading since then. But they could be helpful since they tested hardness and the tank I was working on at the time was testing the same as my tap water)

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Kimunaffected

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Here are the results from my current 20g planted tank in progress the one I am using seachem root tabs + seachem Flourish comprehensive in. ( recently )

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the loach

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For now the 5 to 10 ppm nitrate is fine, eventually you might need to add either KNO3 or a nitrogen fertilizer as you get more plants and they all grow, too. Keep on monitoring the nitrate, you don't want it to be less at 5ppm as this can promote algae.
 
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fishorama

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I think maybe when you moved everything from the broken tank the root tabs got stirred around. That may have caused them crumble a little more than if they sat undisturbed & might be in your water column from that. There would be some water movement near the surface. This is just a guess. I would wait until the nitrate drops to add anything...unless you have some nitrate in your tap water.

I have Flourish Tabs & a couple others, they are all slightly different. My plant clubbers usually use dry ferts. They are a lot less expensive than liquid ferts. & some test for all kinds of stuff, I don't. Macros & micros are usually dosed on separate days. I have mixed up dry ferts in water to (supposedly) make it easier, I just forget to do it. That's ok in some ways, I don't want out of control plant growth or algae if I can help it. I also grow easy to medium plants that don't require co2. Inconsistent co2 ( or excel use) & can lead to some forms of algae. Like I said before I have a "club version" of Excel that I've dosed for algae. There are other similar products that are much less than Seachem, ours is $20/gal diluted so it's dosed like Excel, I'm not sure of other kinds.

Your water looks seasonal as far as minerals go. The GH is enough in the winter but too low in summer. You can also buy dry GH & KH booster from the same places as other dry ferts. It's a tiny bit of investment but dry will last a really long time. So instead of bottles of Seachem products at ~$10 each you'd get a lot more. There are often starter packages that might be better for your small tank. AFAIK they don't go bad.
 
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dougall

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My vote would be for dry ferts and DIY root tabs.

Or second would be for Thrive all in one liquid and thrive capsules for the substrate

Not sure I would suggest using the flourish line, unless you were gonna use most all the products . From memory flourish (comprehensive) and trace are about the same thing just different strengths in water.

You would wanna use the N,P and K as well

Advance is a growth hormone

Excel is a glutetaldehyde derivative, as such I never suggest to use it due to the potential dangers. I think Fishorama's club version is likely unactivated glutetaldehyde, bought from eBay bybtge gallon. She is likely safe and doing it with her eyes open, if you wanna use it, I strongly suggest reading up on it not just looking at potential results (and that goes for any of the 'liquid CO2' products)

Tropica make their own all in one fertilizer, as do aquarium co-op too... But that Cory guy rubs me the wrong way so I'm not likely to try it... I haven't heard good things about it's consistency it the QC of the stuff from manufacturing.
 
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dougall

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fishorama

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Yeah, dougall, I think I mentioned that biocide thing in Kim's PG thread. I'm not happy using it all the time, just as an algae-cide at times...but there other products that are used in our tanks...but also have a place in our tanks, hydrogen peroxide comes to mind, antibiotics etc, like many things dosage matters!! even salt (plain old table salt) is NOT something I endorse on a regular basis...but glut has the co2 replacement reputation. I'm not an advocate of high daily dosing it as a regular maintenance thing...

Is Thrive an "all in 1" macros & micros fert? Like I said, the dry dosers use them on alternate days. I forget what is inhibited by the all at once dosing, I don't pay much attention...but it's something...

(our club glut is from a "recipe" from TB) I believe it doesn't have the "preservatives" as in Excel, really I haven't paid much attention to that issue either...
 
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