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jessfish
03-19-2011, 04:30 PM
I just finished planting on thurs (its sat now) I decided to put off buying Leaf Zone or any other liquid fertilizer when I saw the price $9+tx & I still didnt know how my snails would respond & if they would just have a 24hr buffet.

So far the plants are looking great, the snails are almost behaving themselves as long as there is a piece of romaine the size of my forearm in the tank.

I have been reading about fertilizers all morning trying to decide if I do need them, if my fish will provide enough nutrients & so on.

I am still not sure, I've learned that with the plants I have (mostly stem plants) a liguid fert is best & that in a heavily planted tank the nutrients could be sucked up pretty fast - its not heavily planted but i'm not sure the difference between heavily & more than 2 lol...beyond that there is no clear cut answer about the use of ferts...until the plants start dying & I would pefer to avoid that lol

Should i 'invest' in a bottle of ferts (im thinking leaf zone since it was recommended)?

the plants:
anubias
hornwort
cabomba
hygro corymbosa 'angustifolia'

here is a pic so you know the amount of plants...
http://i1088.photobucket.com/albums/i330/Jessfish2011/plants9mar17.jpg

Rue
03-19-2011, 05:05 PM
Up to you ultimately.

I suggest that if you have a planted tank (plants are the key feature) vs. a tank with plants in it (fish are the key feature) you might want to take a different approach...or if you're trying to nurture hard to grow plants.

I have a tank with easy plants in it...I have never fertilized...and I have to harvest/trim fairly regularly...

jessfish
03-19-2011, 05:09 PM
i think for the most part i have easy to grow plants...not sure about the hygro though...

What are early signs were a fert is needed? would pants start turning brown/wilting that kind of thing?

Rue
03-19-2011, 05:24 PM
More or less the same as land plants...if they don't get enough nitrogen they'll be yellowing (chlorisis). Or they'll be spindly in growth...

Cermet
03-19-2011, 07:24 PM
Nitrogen is never an issue if you have fish - not a believer in general liquid ferts; they killed a lot of my fish so I don't use these toxins. I use a few trace additives that are critical and often not available in any water: iron is comenly lacking and should be added. Potassium - I just buy no salt which is KCl - and add as I need after every second week (I simply don't care to make up for WC; plants will soak up whats needed when it is available so keeping constant levels is pointless for a fish based planted aquarium.) For both Mg and sulfur (S), I add some Epsom salt. Only the iron can be toxic at slightly higer levels so follow directions exactly for that one - the others I just wag.

Rarely, but if a plant is having trouble, I'll use a solid root tab (but I use a reverse UG system to keep my sand well clear of waste.) A passive CO2 system with a diffuser (again, waging it) and all my plants do far too well.:hmm3grin2orange:

jessfish
03-19-2011, 08:00 PM
so with iron & potassium are you talking about buying vitamins or is there an actual liquid iron &/or potassium that I can use?

how do i test for iron & know if there is too much or too little?

jetajockey
03-19-2011, 08:33 PM
I would suggest against using nosalt (KCI) as a fertilizer. It's potassium chloride, and a key component to making mineralized topsoil (muriate of potash), however, it is also one of the three chemicals used in lethal injections. A quick google should bring this up.

In other words, it's easy to overdo it. Dosing k2so4 (potassium sulfate) is much less dangerous, albeit a bit harder to find.

Ferts, if dosed properly, are not going to kill fish.


Back to the OP, those are fairly low demand plants you have listed. I wouldn't even bother with ferts unless you start seeing deficiencies or want to speed up plant growth.

If you do, though, using something like seachem flourish comprehensive is a safe simple liquid fert that covers the basics. No sense in making it more complicated than it should be.

Cermet
03-19-2011, 11:29 PM
so with iron & potassium are you talking about buying vitamins or is there an actual liquid iron &/or potassium that I can use?

how do i test for iron & know if there is too much or too little?

Yes, an iron kit is sold by Seachem Labs; chelated iron is available from internet and LFS. KCl is deadly when injected in the vein of humans but in trace amounts, both for human food use (low level K is the #1 problem most people are found to have in emmgency room visits when tested, FYI)and in aquarium water at trace levels is harmless (1/8 tsp per 75 gal every other week WITH heavy WC). Many people use liquid ferts with safe results but I used exactly the specified dose and not once, but twice it killed a number of fish -

I'll let others do their own testing on that one - besides these liq. ferts provid a lot of extra nutrients I don't want in my tank since I have fish and waste food.
Don't over do the epsom salt since that is a med at high levels and not good for fish long term (again, I do a lot pf WC's and don't redose - rather, dose every other week - very different issue here), - I belive the "sticky" here on plants gives a dose level.

Do read that sticky, it is loaded with great information!:hmm3grin2orange:

jessfish
03-20-2011, 01:42 AM
I belive the "sticky" here on plants gives a dose level.
Do read that sticky, it is loaded with great information!:hmm3grin2orange:

I kind of skimmed it...I'll read it now to check things out.


Back to the OP, those are fairly low demand plants you have listed. I wouldn't even bother with ferts unless you start seeing deficiencies or want to speed up plant growth.

If you do, though, using something like seachem flourish comprehensive is a safe simple liquid fert that covers the basics. No sense in making it more complicated than it should be.

& yes no sense in making it more complicated than it should be...i'm new to plants & need to do a lot more reading - but wanted to make sure - even with my 'easy' plants that I didn't make a bad choice by not getting the ferts.