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Do you fertilize your substrate?

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Discussion Starter #1
While most of us seem to agree on the ferts used in the water column, not everyone feels the same about fertilizing their substrate.

So.... do you or don't you? why? products used?
 

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For my 60c, tank, I use ADA Power Sand M.
For my 20cm tank, I used volcanic potting soil at the bottom layer.
 

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My tanks have Eco-Complete, Flourite, or Onyx Sand. Any tanks that have root-feeding plants get a Flourish tab in the substrate.
 

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Yes I do. I use Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Pond Care Aquatic Plant Food Tablets. They are quite large so I cut them in quarters and put them in every 6x6 in.
 

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Well compared to plain gravel I think laterite and flourite are fertilizers :lol: But no I dont add anything else to these substrates. The plants are doing great without them at the moment.
 

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How can you say laterite is not fertilizer? Products like Substrate Gold are loaded with ferts. Guess it would depend on the type but here is what SG looks like:

Nitrogen .01%
Phosphorus .041%
Potassium .01%
Boron .0091%
Molybdenum .0000187%
Calcium .3815%
Magnesium .1361%
Copper .001754%
Iron 3.37%
Manganese .016%
Zinc .001236%
Sulfur .01%
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Substrate Gold, Eco-Complete and similar substrates do contain some nutrients so I guess you could say they are "Fertilized substrates". However flourite and laterite, besides their iron content, don't really qualify as fertilizers. It's true that they will absorb nutrients from the water and as they age, they will be able to provide many more nutrients, this is true for just about any substrate. But in this case I am referring to additional fertilizers, these usually contain both traces and macros, usually in the form of tabs of some kind. Some use jobes sticks, AP root tabs, Flourish tabs, rich sands, home made pellets....

Many people rely solely on water column fertilizers, others use both substrate and water column fertilizers. Some, usually lower light tanks, only fertilize the substrate and don't add any additives to the water at all.

I for one fertilize all my substrates. Soil, sand, flourite.... they all get extra ferts, just in different amounts or forms. Flourish tabs have to be my product of choice for most substrates.

Giancarlo Podio
 

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Okay. I was thinking after I posted maybe you meant by tabs and what not. I have use some plant spikes. Something German. Worked on my sword a little. I can't find the Jobe's palm and fern so I will probably go with Flourish tabs if I need something.

I guess it would depend on your plant choice in the tank.
 

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I use flourish tabs and jobes, but really only stick them under heavy root feeders (swords, vals, etc.) or those plants that I notice could use a boost.

Matt
 

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I might try flourish tabs under my radican and marble queen. they both seem to be doing good and the radican is reproducing like crazy, but it may help....?
 

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Sir_BlackhOle said:
I might try flourish tabs under my radican and marble queen. they both seem to be doing good and the radican is reproducing like crazy, but it may help....?
I would say it would definately help. How long have you had your tank setup and what is the substrate in it? When was the substrate added? Of course there is always that theory if it isn't broke, don't fix it, but I find even when I think my root feeders are doing great, I throw a tab under them and then watch them grow like crazy. My red rubin sword with a 1/4 stick of jobes under it has been almost producing a new big broad leaf every 2 days.

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Talk about coincidents, I started this poll and as I got home my Hydra magazine had just arrived from Italy with a very detailed study about substrates and preferences in nutrient uptake. Various tests were done using crypts in different substrates and varying nutrient levels. I have yet to read it all but so far it looks very interesting. I will have to translate it one of these days and post it here. I have to try to subscribe to this magazine somehow...

Giancarlo Podio
 

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The tank is less than two months old and Im using laterite and gravel. Everything is going good but I might try it just to see what happens.
 

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I regularily add SeaChem Root Tabs to the 8 bags of Flourite and 3 bags of Onyx in my 75G. All my plants are root feeders and appreciate the substrate as nutrient rich as possible. I also dose column, but not heavily.
 
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