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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all

I have been using seachem flourish as my fertilizer for my planted tank. Everything seems to be growing fine. However just wondering, is there anything else that seachem flourish doesn't not provide that I should be adding to my dosing?

A few of the new growth of my red plants are yellow-ish. I'm guessing adding iron would help this?

Also, some of the older leaves drop out, trace should solve this?

Anyone have any ideas or recommendations of what would be a good complement to flourish from their seachem line?

Thanks
 

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I was just reading up about this because I just bought Seachem Potassium and Excel to add to my collection of fertilizers (Seachem Flourish, Aquavitro P, N, and Fe). In your case, it really depends on a lot of things specific to your tank. For example, how high is your light, do you use CO2, what is your substrate, what kind of plants do you have, and etc. Many people will suggest dry ferts, which is harder to get in Canada, but its much cheaper for a larger tank. I have nano tanks so I'm ok with liquid ferts. With the limited info you have I'm assuming its more of a low tech tank since you only use Flourish, which is a micronutrient supplement. You are probably lacking macronutrients, which are essential to plants. It seems like there are deficiencies in your plants, but I'm not that experienced enough to define deficiencies just yet so perhaps someone can help. You do not need Trace if you already have Flourish, its both micronutrients.

Here is some great info:

The first 3 are the actual fertilizers, and are grouped together and called Macros. Better to dose each one separately depending on your plants' needs.

Nitrogen: In our aquariums plants can take in N in the form of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. The main source of N in a low tech tank is fish food. The protein in fish food is broken down by the fish, bacteria and other microorganisms to a point that plants can use it. In a heavily stocked tank you might be feeding enough to take care of the plants. Test the NO3. If it is pretty consistently between 5-20 ppm, or if you have to do water changes to keep it low, then the plants have enough. If the NO3 keeps hitting 0, then the plants may be deficient. Using it all and needing more.

Phosphate: Like N, the main supply in a low tech tank is fish food. I would simply go by the NO3 test, and assume the phosphate is either OK, or not enough, and dose phosphate at the same ratio as N. This does not mean the same amount! It means that if you find you need half what the bottle is labeled of N then use half the rate that the phosphate bottle is labeled.

Potassium: Some tap water has potassium, but in my tanks this was one of the first fertilizer I needed to add. Fish food does not have very much. I add potassium to all my tanks, and monitor the plants.

This next group of nutrients plants need in amounts that are somewhat less than the macros, but more than trace amounts.

Calcium and Magnesium are tested as GH. Most tap water has these minerals, though the levels vary wildly. These are very important to fish, also. Soft water fish come from water with a very low GH. Many aquarium plants will grow OK in low GH water, so long as both Ca and Mg are present. If the GH is less than 3 German degrees of hardness I would supplement with a GH booster, or at least try to figure out if both Ca and Mg are present in acceptable ratios. Plants use roughly 3-4 parts Ca to 1 part Mg. Hard water fish come from water that is high in GH. Most aquarium plants will do just fine in hard water, though there are some that really do require soft water. That list is quite short, though.

Iron: often included with trace minerals, but plants seem to use more iron than is in most blends. This was the other element that I needed to start supplementing pretty early on. A separate iron supplement is a good idea. Use a chelated iron. This means it is bound in a special molecule that allows plants to use the iron, but the iron will not get locked up in a way that plants cannot use it.

The other elements that plants use, they need in much smaller amounts. There are less than a dozen of them. Many are minerals that would be toxic if there were at too high a level in the tank.
These are the minerals that are referred to as Trace or Micros.

Together, all these are casually referred to as fertilizers, but technically only the first 3 are really fertilizers.

Carbon is not usually thought of as a fertilizer. CO2 from the air can dissolve in water, and aquatic plants take the CO2 from the water. It is important to have the right amount of surface agitation so more CO2 will enter the water as the plants use it up. At night plants add CO2 to the water. As long as the fish are OK in the early morning do not drive off this CO2.
Another source of carbon in a low tech tank is the decomposition of plant parts. It is a slow, low, constant source.
Some plants can use carbonates as a source of carbon.
Excel is a source of carbon that plants can use, but not all plants do OK with it. Of your list Vals do not like it, and I know Anacharis does not. There are a few others, but I do not remember now what they are. Lower doses may be acceptable to these plants.

Carbonates are also one of the most common buffers in an aquarium, that stabilize the pH. The pH swings from CO2 seem not to bother the fish. There are charts comparing the KH and pH and coming up with a value for CO2. If ALL there was in the tank was KH to buffer the pH, then the charts would not be too far off. But there are way too many other things in aquariums to use those charts. Use a drop checker. It also is not 'the best', but it is much better than the charts, and a whale of a lot cheaper than any other method.

If the pH is changing because of adding pH altering minerals or salts this can be a problem. Not so much because of the pH, but because of the minerals or salts. Fish are best if the levels of all the things dissolved in the water (Total Dissolved Solids, TDS) stays stable.


Source: http://http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/general-aquarium-plants-discussions/85117-seachem-excel-low-tech-planted-tank.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have a 33 gallon and running co2 and current satellite freshwater + as my light. Every plant seems healthy except for the red plants new grow are more yellow-ish. I'm guessing that iron would resolve that.

However I've noticed that the plants don't grow as fast as they used to anymore, should I up my flourish dosing or add other supplements to flourish and iron?
 

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Alright, so you are running a high tech tank. My advice would be to look into a dosing method (ie. Tom Barr's EI or PPS). It's hard to tell if you have micronutrient deficiency or if it is a limiting factor to growth rate in your tank, but assuming you dose according to the bottle instructions I would assume you have enough. Since we live in GVA with almost RO water quality, there isn't much minerals and nutrients for your plants. I believe getting some sort of macronutrients (NPK - nitrogen, phosphate, potassium), whether it is dry or liquid form, would help with better growth. If you follow the EI method, the theory is that it is not harmful to plants/livestock if we overdose nutrients to a certain amount. Therefore, we want to dose enough where macro/micro nutrients will not be a limiting factor. Since light is also a constant (usually people have it on timer for around 8-9 hrs photoperiod), this means CO2 will be the other factor that is variable. By adjusting CO2, you can control the growth rate for your plants. Hope I got this right.

No matter what, your plants will benefit from added macronutrients. If you have lots of stem/rooted plants, DIY root tabs (indoor plant fertilizer in a capsule) are a great way to provide nutrients. Dry/liquid macro ferts are also beneficial, especially to rhizome plants. Or perhaps add more iron for now to see if yellowing leaves will go away, but co2 and nitrogen deficiency can also cause yellowing leaves.
 
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