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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I am in the process of setting up a 29 gallon planted tank and am trying to get an idea of a good fertilizing strategy. What does everyone here recommend for someone just starting out? I read that dry ferts are cheaper but may not be suited for newbies. I am kind of thinking the seachem line may be the way to go (at first at least). If I were to choose seachem, what product would give the best results. Any advice and strategies would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

-Chad
 

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I use the Seachem fertilizers. Depending on the types of plants you get I would recommend starting out with Flourish and Flourish Excel. If you have many red plants then Flourish Iron could also be necessary. Any heavy root feeders like Amazon swords would benefit from Flourish Tabs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So, let me see if I am interpreting this right. The Seachem Flourish provides all of the nutrients while the Seachem Flourish Excel provides carbon for the most part. So, Excel is kind of a CO2 injection system replacement. Correct me if I am wrong. Also, looking on this site there is a daily Seachem dosage chart. Is this the best way to do things? Thanks!

-Chad
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
By the way, here is the plant list that I am working with...

1 - Red rubin
1 - Ruffled Sword
5 - Subulata
1 - Hornwort
2 - Crypt petchii
1 - Anubias congensis
2 - Aquarium Lily
2 - Crypt spiralis
1 - Java Moss
1 - Wisteria
1 - Crispus
2 - Rotala

-Chad
 

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The Seachem daily dosage chart is more of a guideline as opposed to a hard and fast rule. I would suggest starting with Flourish, Flourish Excel, Flourish Iron and Flourish Tabs at the dosages indicated and then modify as needed.
 

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It is almost always best to dose NPK and trace elements as the basic fertilizers. For Seachem Flourish fertilizers that means dosing Flourish Nitrogen, Flourish Phosphorous, Flourish Potassium and Flourish (which is a trace element mix). Adding Flourish Excel to the dosing supplements the limited natural carbon the plants can get from the substrate and mulm. If you have 2 watts per gallon or so of light you need that supplemental carbon or you can use CO2, either DIY or pressurized for the carbon. If you have more than 2 watts per gallon you will do best to use pressurized CO2. The Seachem table provides the dosing schedule, but it is a minimal dosage most suited for low light tanks.
 

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I agree with what has been said, you want to make sure "your tank" is growing and doing its best to YOUR" needs, so it is all up to you , the chart is for ref yes, but you will want to dose with what is better for you , if you are dosing liquid ferts, than yes, I would say get the whole line, now start slowly, watch your plants they will tell you what is needed, your red rubin may light some iron, but your moss may not like as much as indiacated, so you have to trial and error this . I personally use half of what the chart says to use and instead of dosing every day, I dose every other day , and do my 30% water change every 2 weeks, Now this is how my plants, and fish flourish . You will have to see yours while dosing , keep in mind your fish or inverts, some do not do well with high dosing, some are fine. what kind of fish if any do you have ? but there again , you must go by your tanks' needs . how fast do you want your plants to grow ? what colors are more important ? here is where you find the right liquid ferts, and what you will dose should be your' regimen .IMHO
 

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I use the seachem dosing chart for my 50 gallon tank and have good luck so far. Also keep a check on your Phosphorus with a test kit. Do a 40-50% water change on day 7 and you should be fine.
I have a red rubin sword in another tank and it does like phosphorus, but keep the level down and if it gets to high do a water change and test it a few days later. It will take a few weeks to figure out what you need, but the dosing chart posted somewhere here will get you started. Do not overdose with excel unless you get to much algea. Not using compressed co2 yet. Also, I tend to think that the spectrum of your lighting effects the "reds" quite a bit too.
 

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You are getting a lot of advice here about fertilizing. I suggest you pursue this in the fertilizing forum, and read the stickies in that forum. Just because one of us posts something here doesn't mean it is good advice, it is just an opinion of the poster. For example, not everything posted above this is, in my opinion, good advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, thanks for all the info everyone. I think for now I am going to try my hand with the Seachem line of liquid ferts. This seems like a good place to start. Hopefully my plants will respond well. I will be sure to post if I see any issues!

-Chad
 

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Chad,

Please keep researching. To address a couple of points in this thread,

1. Flourish is a widely used trace elements supplement. It supplies trace elements that are quickly exhausted in planted tanks. Highly recommended.

2. Flourish Excel is a source of carbon that can be used as an alternative to or in addition to CO2. It also has algacide properties. Also highly recommended.

3. NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium) are macro fertilizers which should be used with caution. In a low light tank, it is often recommended not to dose N or P, because excesses of either encourage algae. Fish waste in a moderately stocked low light tank is usually enough. K does not usually cause algae, and does seem to be the first nutrient to run out in our tap water here (San Jose CA).

Bottom line: You can't just add some ferts to your tank and assume that you are doing the right thing, like you can with terrestrial plants. Please research low light tanks (C02, N & P optional) vs high light tanks (CO2, N & P required) to learn more.
 

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Chad,

Please keep researching. To address a couple of points in this thread,

1. Flourish is a widely used trace elements supplement. It supplies trace elements that are quickly exhausted in planted tanks. Highly recommended.

2. Flourish Excel is a source of carbon that can be used as an alternative to or in addition to CO2. It also has algacide properties. Also highly recommended.

3. NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium) are macro fertilizers which should be used with caution. In a low light tank, it is often recommended not to dose N or P, because excesses of either encourage algae. Fish waste in a moderately stocked low light tank is usually enough. K does not usually cause algae, and does seem to be the first nutrient to run out in our tap water here (San Jose CA).

Bottom line: You can't just add some ferts to your tank and assume that you are doing the right thing, like you can with terrestrial plants. Please research low light tanks (C02, N & P optional) vs high light tanks (CO2, N & P required) to learn more.
There are experts in the field that would greatly disagree with you here.

http://www.aquariumalgae.blogspot.com/

http://www.aquatic-plants.org/articles/est_index/est_index1.html
 

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I assume you are referring to my point #3. Actually, I think I am fully aligned with Tom Barr here. Please note that I said "low light" twice. Hmm...perhaps I made an error there, because the poster did not mention CO2, I assumed it was a low light tank. Perhaps the original poster could clarify?
 

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I'm pretty sure I've seen Tom mention that an EI style of dosing in a low light/non CO2 tank won't promote a bloom any more than it will in a different setup. He mainly points to the fact that growth is slow, so you really don't need to dose much at all, especially if you cover the bases in other ways.

Not taking sides or anything, just passing it along since it's something I myself just stumbled on over at barrreport.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Maybe it would help if I clarify things a bit. I recently set this tank up and the plant list is stated earlier in this thread. Here are the specs of my tank along with maintenance scheduling...

Size: 29 gallon
Lighting: 55 watt AHS retro kit + 30 watt standard strip (~10hrs)
Filtration: Penguin 350 HOB + Hydor Koralia Nano Powerhead (256 gph)
Substrate: pea size gravel
Temp: ~82 deg
Water Changes: 50% weekly
Fish: 8 rasporas, 10 neons, 1 bn pleco, 2 german rams

As of now, I am not adding any ferts or CO2 injection. I have been posting and reading quiet a bit in this forum to form a strategy for both CO2 and ferts.

As of now, I have ordered and plan to start dosing flourish and excel. I also got some seachem root tabs. I am going to keep reading up on ferts to see what to do from here. The Tom Barr estimative index seems like a good way to go. I am thinking about experimenting with Potassium Nitrate
Potassium Phosphate, and Traces by slowing introducing them and seeing the results. I plan to keep reading before doing anything drastic. Any further suggestions would be great. Thanks!

-Chad
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
... By the way, I am rather new to this. So if any issues stand out here, I am open to suggestions. So far, plants are growing quite well. Lots of new shoots. I have even split the two spiralis. I would like to seem some increased growth though. Thanks!

-Chad
 
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