Originally Posted by relaxedcrazyman
would having an NPT decrease the number/amount of ferts i would need?
In a nutshell, with dirt, yes it would. The dirt does alot of the the feeding and then the waste from the fish/critters also feed them as well. We use Miracle Grow Organic and still dose ferts and excel but it's just because I have a ton of fast growing plants. In a low light setting, so long as your plants don't show stunted growth, yellow leaves or leaves with holes, then you won't need ferts because a lot of low light plants are slow growers.
If you check out http://greenleafaquariums.com/aquarium-fertilizer.html
and you can see how much cheaper the dry ferts are. I'm sure if you talked with them or used the fert calculator it will tell you what you need to use. I use the PPS PRO option because, lets face it, it's just easier and I don't have to deal with the P, K, HSHFJSDHSDFJS that I would forget what to dose everyday. Since I am full low tech and med light, I do not dose everyday as called for. I dose 2 to 3 times a week. Dosing everyday was a tad to much and I started to see algae, lowering it down was just perfect.
Ferts don't have to be crazy expensive. For 1 ten gallon tank that 30.00 PPS PRO pack or the other dry ferts would pretty much last you forever, esp if you don't dose daily. With very limited funds here because I am unable to have a job because of sickness we have explored a lot of the ways to save money when it comes to maintaining the tanks. The Jobes Plant Sticks from Wal-Mart are 0.99 a pack and work just as good as expensive root tabs, crazy growth and happy plants from them, I break 1 stick into 4 or 5 pieces and then push it into the substrate under the swords, crypts and heavy bushes of plants.
Merticide 14 gallon jugs http://www.ebay.com/itm/CIDEX-METRIC...item51b8055e0a
save you a TON of money from Excel and works just as well, is basically the same thing. We've used it for months now in our tanks and it's great.