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View Full Version : Fertilizer recommendation for my plants.



Cliff
07-10-2010, 04:04 PM
My water parameters are stable at 0 ammonia and nitrite, around 5 nitrate (some days less, but never about 10), and 7.6 PH. Same parameters as the water right out of the tap. I complete weekly 50% water changes. I have two T5 fixtures with approx 120 watts at 6700K of light

Some of my plants are starting to show signs of Nitrogen and Phosphorus deficiency on occasion. Older leaves turn yellow and die off while others get small dead spots on the leaves. Iím starting to notice this happening more and more often. I have java fern, moss balls, and an onion plant. The moss balls seam to be doing fine, just a little concerned over the


Just wondering if anyone can recommend a good fert for my plants

Lady Hobbs
07-10-2010, 04:12 PM
I am not into all this dosing of this and that and don't claim to even understand how much I'm supposed to even use. But what helped me more than anything was the addition of Iron. I dose with it weekly and dose with Flourish (or Leaf Zone) about once every two weeks. I have high phosphates from my tap so never add anything that contains phosphates. Fish food has enough of that already. :)

Cliff
07-10-2010, 04:16 PM
Thanks Lady Hobbs

SunSchein89
07-10-2010, 07:26 PM
I started using leaf zone along with flourish once a week right after water changes and it seemed to help with the same symptoms. I still get a spot now and again, but not like it was originally. Looks like my red plants I bought half dead are reacting well to the leaf zone too since I'm starting to see some new growth on them and it's staying red too, so I'm excited to see how the plant will turn out when it fully recovers

SpyderSpy6
07-11-2010, 12:40 AM
Hopefully this will help... in addition to what everyone is saying...

Yellowish leaves and holes is typically a potassium deficiency. Dosing all depends on the plant load you have in your tank and what type of growth you are trying to accomplish. Plants will soak up any readily available nutrients in the water, ESPECIALLY iron! Here is what I've had great success with...

I use all of the seachem plant supplements. I don't use nitrogen or phosphorus because nitrogen is added to the water through fish waste and phosphorus can help boost algae growth. Those two supplements are typically used for a water garden without fish.

You need to dose Potassium, Iron, and Trace elements on a daily basis if possible. Minimum once a week to see good growth. Potassium and Iron are stables to the metabolic processes happening inside the plant and also helps open the cells responsible for nutrient absorption (can't think of the technical name).

Aside from that type of dosing you also need to consider what type of plants you have and find out whether your plants obtain most of their nutrients through the leaves or the roots. For root absorption plants you can add root tabs. I have also had really good success in the past with taking a hand full of laterite and gripping the plant roots and then planting it all together. Recently, I moved and when I re-setup my tank I added a 3/4 inch layer of soil in my substrate and I've seen really good results so far.

*easy way to tell how your plants absorb is...

1. are the leaves very fine and condensed like this... http://www.AquariumPlants.com/Rotalla_Wallichii_Rotalla_wallichii_p/bp030.htm (this will asborb through the leaves) and if you stir up your tank does sediment stick to the leaves of the plant.

2. are the leaves more shaped/prominent and don't seem to hold on to sediment, like this... http://www.AquariumPlants.com/Cardinal_Temple_Alternanthera_cardinalis_p/bp101.htm (this plant absorbs through the roots)

Keep in mind that all plants absorb through both the roots and leaves, just some differ based on the regions they hail from and what type of water they flourish in. This helps knowing how and what you need to correctly dose your plants.

Iron is a stable and is needed for all plants especially red colored plants. If you are lacking iron in your tank, your plants will look extremely depleted and will not recover until you begin dosing regularly.
Hope that helps!

smaug
07-11-2010, 12:47 AM
Heres the thing.None of your plants are very nutrient hungry type plants at all,especially the fern and mossball.The onion could use a fert tab placed at its base.The fern actually has far too much light available to it and would do much better with less.The mossball only needs what what the fish naturally provide.Try to shade the fern and add a good wide spectrum fert like what has been mentioned already.Do not use excel,it will kill the mossball.

Cliff
07-11-2010, 01:07 AM
Thanks for the replys everyone.

Spyderspy6, Thanks for the detailed info. I'll look into adding some iron just as Lady Hobbs has suggested s well.

I'm also going to look into the flourish, just as SunSchein89 suggested

Smaug, thanks for the heads up on the excel. I will be adjusting the lighting for the ferns.

SunSchein89
07-11-2010, 07:00 AM
...
You need to dose Potassium, Iron, and Trace elements on a daily basis if possible.
...

I'm not too sure about dosing on a daily basis. I guess it would depend on what kind of fertilizers you're using, but I only put 1 ml of Flourish in my 10 gal. tank per week, so it would be kind of hard/tedious/annoying to dose 1/7 of a ml every day. Even on the bottle it recommends just dosing once or twice a week. Also, if you dose your tank the day before you do a water change, you're probably going to flush some of that down the drain anyway. I've had pretty good success just dosing my main fertilizers right after doing water changes; this way (at least in my mind) as much of it can be used as possible before the next water change comes around which brings in nutrients in the new water too.

SpyderSpy6
07-11-2010, 01:44 PM
SunSchein - For a fully planted tank you should dose those elements daily. You don't have to, but the reason for it is that those elements are immediately consumed. If you have the testing kits for it, dose those elements and then test for it 30-40 mins after you have dosed it and it will not show on the test kit.

I was taught this and I was also skeptical but decided to give it a shot and my plants grow like crazy.

SpyderSpy6
07-11-2010, 02:46 PM
SunSchein - For a fully planted tank you should dose those elements daily. You don't have to, but the reason for it is that those elements are immediately consumed. If you have the testing kits for it, dose those elements and then test for it 30-40 mins after you have dosed it and it will not show on the test kit.

I was taught this and I was also skeptical but decided to give it a shot and my plants grow like crazy.

SunSchein89
07-11-2010, 04:27 PM
So you're saying that the whole 1 ml I dose, as per instructions on the bottle, in my 10 gal. tank would be absorbed within 24 hours or less, the same as if I was adding 1/7 ml of the same fertilizer? I'm guessing it works out better for the plant to uptake some every day rather than store it all at once and wait until the next go around, but are the effects noticeable on most common aquarium plants?

SpyderSpy6
07-12-2010, 11:21 PM
That's exactly what I'm saying. :)

I've been doing it for a couple years now and have seen really good results.