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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone found this to be a great comprehensive fertilizer for their plants, or do you feel that you need to fertilize additional nutrients (K, N, Fe)? In other words, does flourish contain all the necessary nutrients. Or does it depend on the plants you are keeping?

I am planning on Crypts and Eleocharis (For Crypts, I would also use the flourish tabs, as they are root feeders). I don't know what is best for the Eleocharis.

In addition, my 75G tank (which has been running a year with fish and a few plants) was initially seeded with a bag of Flourite, and gravel from a 29 that was mixed with laterite.

Will I still have sufficient amounts of a fertilized bottom , even if the tank has been running for a year? The current plants are Java Moss on rocks and Java fern on driftwood, so it is not tapping into the substrate. I also have two mangroves that are doing well.
 

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I think Flourish is a good fertilizer for low light tanks, but if the tank were higher light I would use separate macros for fertilizing...KNO3, KH2PO4, K (if needed) and a good trace mix for iron and the other traces.

You didn't mention your lighting or CO2 use so it is hard to say if Flourish alone would be enough.
 

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I guess it still depends on the plant mass you have. If it is just a few plants then Flourish may do the job. The hairgrass could be quite a bit of mass as it grows in. I would use separate macros rather than Flourish for your tank.

IMO your substrate will be fine but if you want to add root tabs it won't hurt.
 

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If you using seachem products i would suggest you get there whole line
Flourish,iron,nitrogen,phosphorus,potassium,excell and exquliberium and trace are some others if needed
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah, that seems like a lot of $$$ to spend on their products and very time consuming for dosing. What about this:

http://www.gregwatson.com/products.asp?cat=8

Anyone use these products?

There is one called PMDD Pre-mix that Contains 1 part Potassium Nitrate, 1 part Potassium Sulfate, 1 part Magnesium Sulfate, 1 part Plantex CSM+Boron.
 

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I didn't get my ferts from Greg but I am using individual macros and CSM+B for my traces. Seachem's products just get too expensive when you try to dose a large, CO2 injected, high light tank with them. I am using some the Flourish line to dose my low light 10g tank. However, these products were in the grab bag from the AGA convention in DC last year. I don't think I would pay that much for them individually.

I wouldn't use the PMDD myself since I would rather have control over the indivudual ferts I add.

If you use PMDD and you find that, say, your PO4 is low and NO3 is high, the only option you have is to increase your PO4 is to add more PMDD. Unfortunately this will also raise your NO3 even higher.

You would be better off to go with individual dry ferts from Greg. I would get KNO3, KH2PO4, and K2SO4. You may not need to dose the K2SO4 but it comes in handy to have around if you do need it. I would also get the CSM+B. 1 lb of any of these will last a long time. KNO3 would probably get used be the fastest (it does in my case) and 1lb should last close to a year if not more for a single 75g tank. Pretty good bargain I think.
 

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I dose KNO3 for nitrates and Fleet Enema for phophate (I use Fleet instead of KH2PO4) 3-4x a week and I dose CSM+B on days opposite the KNO3 and Fleets. I will be switching the Fleets out for KH2PO4 the next time I place an order from Greg. If you place an order from him, make sure you get the measuring spoons.

Here is the dosing routine I use:

Day 1 - 50% water change, dose 1/2 tsp KNO3 and 3 ml of Fleet Enema (these are your macros)
Day 2 - Dose 15 ml of CSM+B (these are your micros)
Day 3 - Dose 1/2 tsp KNO3 and 3ml of Fleets
Day 4 - Dose 15ml of CSM+B
day 5 - repeat day 3
Day 6 - Repeat day 4
Day 7 - Repeat day 3
Day 8 - 50% water change, dose 1/2 tsp KNO3 and 1 ml of Fleet Enema.

Depending on my NO3 and PO4 levels, I may not dose anything on Day 7. This is also the only day I test my tank. Saves money on test kits this way too!

I know that I add about 24ppm of NO3 and 3.6ppm of PO4 through Day 6. By testing on Day 7 I know whether I need to add anything or not. Most of the time I do not add anything on Day 7.

This is a good starting point for dosing and you may have to increase or decrease the dosing depending on how many plants you have in your tank and whether or not you use CO2. The 50% water change is also important as it prevents things from building up to excessive levels.

This dosing routine gives me approximately 8pm of NO3, 1.2ppm of PO4, and 5ppm of K (KNO3 includes K along with the NO3) per dose. Once I make the switch to KH2PO4, I will add 1/8 tsp of KH2PO4 ( ~2ppm) versus the 3ml of Fleets. This will also give me extra K since there is K in the KH2PO4. I probably won't need to dose any K2SO4 after switching from the Fleet Enema.

Feel free to PM me with more questions if you would like.
 

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Hmm, I know I will forget some but here goes:

75g - Pogostemon stellata (regular and broad leaf), Myriophyllum mattogrossense, Java Fern (narrow leaf and regular), Elatine triandra, E. tenellus, Sag. subulata, Crypt lutea, retrospiralis, and spiralis, Java Moss, Tiawan Moss, X-mas moss (I think), Anubias barteri and nana, Eichhornia diversifolia, Pearlweed, Rotala magenta, Rotala sp, "Vietnam", R. indica or rotundifolia (whichever it is), R. sp "Green", Hygrophila corymbosa (I think) H. balsamica, Didiplis diandra, Bolbitis sp., Najas indica, I think that is it.

30g - I have some Tonina fluviatilis, Ludwigia sp. "Cuba", Dwarf Hairgrass, Stargrass, HC, Lysimmachia nummularia, and some of the same plants I also have in the 75g.

10g - My low light, non-CO2 tank has C. lutea, A. nana, Elatine triandra, Java ferns/mosses, sag, Red Root Floater and pearlweed in it so far. This is kinda an experimental tank to see what I can grow in low light and no CO2.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Cool. Thanks again. The reason I asked was whether the plants you were keeping were very demanding with respect to nutrients? I was mostly curious about hairgrass as this will be the first time I try keeping it. The crypts from my readings are mostly root feeders, which was why I would use the plant tabs and the Flourish, and hopefully have adequate nutrients in my substrate. The Java moss and fern pretty much grow currently without any demands.
 

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I'm not sure if this is correct, but I think I remember reading somewhere (i'm not sure where at the moment) that plants prefer to take their nutrients from the water column since it requires them to use less energy. The roots are mainly there to anchor the plant into the substrate and provide nutients in the event the water column becomes too lean, i.e. floods that would decrease the ppm content of the water in their natural environment.

Please, someone correct me if I am spreading bad information.
 

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I hope I haven't been too wordy in my replies :) I just realized I missed your question about the hairgrass.

IME, the hairgrass is definately going to need CO2 to survive. Everytime I have tried it wothout CO2 it has withered away within a week or two. Most of the crypts, anubias, and java ferns/mosses will do fine with much less fertilizer in the water column than I use in my tank. You could probably cut my dosing in half for your tank until you get some more plants and your CO2 going. Just keep an eye on your levels for the first few weeks until you get the hang of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I read the article, and according to some of the responses, crypts definately benefit more from a good substrate as opposed to the water column. While I am sure both types of fertilizer complement each other, I think I remember crypts liking iron in good amounts. I would guess this is also the case with eleocharis. I am supposed to be getting a CO2 system from a coworker's uncle this weekend. He only want's $35 for everything and it has only been in use for maybe 6-8 months, so I am pretty excited to see what I am getting. Apparently it is a complete system (cylinder included)!
 

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I have a dozen or so small C. lutea planted in my 10g with a Tahitian Moon Sand/peat substrate. I didn't add any root tabs and I am only using the water column for fertilization. So far, the crypts look better in my 10g with 15 watts of light than they do in either of my high light CO2 injected tanks.

It has only been a couple of weeks so it is probably too early to tell anything yet. C. lutea may not be the best Crypt to test this out on either, since it is so easy to grow. I only add iron to the water column in this tank when I notice the Dwarf Sag starting to look a lighter green.

Phil Edward's reply (the last one) was the one that got me thinking. Since we mainly dose NO3 and not NH4, it seems that the leaves would do the most intake of nutrients. I'm not as knowledgable as the other in that post, so I decide to set up an infertile substrate tank and try it out.

My 10g is an experimental tank for this. I suppose to make a good experiment I would have needed to set up an identical 10g with a nutrient rich substrate to compare growth between the two. Hmmm, maybe I should do that!

You'll have to post a pic, or at least e-mail me one once you get things growing in a bit. $35 is a steal for a functional CO2 setup. It's even a steal for just the cylinder and CO2 alone!
 
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