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Re: what do you think? (Fertilization 101)

NPK are Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium, the 'big three' of fertilizing. These are the nutrients that plants most commonly need added. Others that are less often needed are S (sulfur), Mg (magnesium) and Ca (Calcium) All these are in the macronutrient group, macronutrient meaning that plants use relatively large amounts of these.

Iron is in the micronutrient group, but it often has to be added regularly to planted aquaria because it tends to precipitate out in the water and become unavailable to the plants. Tanks with soil, especially soil with added organic matter, such as peat, usually don't need iron additions, because the iron gets reduced from Fe+++ to Fe++ and therefore solubilized under the anaerobic conditions in the soil and continually diffuses into the water where it gets oxidized back to Fe+++ and precipitates onto the plants. Plants can take up iron when it has precipitated on their leaves and stems.
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