I recently got quite a few low light plants for my soon to be Betta tank (I say soon to be because it's not cycled yet :P) I will post pictures at some point because some of the plants are a bit ambiguous to me.
The problem now is the fertilizers. What fertilizer do I get?! Everyone says Flourish by Seachem. What does this fertilizer look like? I visited my LFS and I saw a bunch of products with the name Flourish by Seachem and the only difference is one says Potassium the other says Iron, etc. Do I buy them all? Isn't there one fertilizer for all?
I also hear about Excel. What is this? I'm also looking for some root tabs since all my plants are stem plants :O
I know I have a lot of questions so bare with me. I was also wondering what low light plants can I buy that would make the scape look more bushy and forest like and less stemmy.
Umm...not sure if I made any sense in my previous post. Overall, my question is: What fertilizer should I get for my plants? Please indicated complete brand name so I know exactly what to look for in my LFS :)
I meant to respond to this the other day but forgot to so sorry about that.
Anyways, I use the Seachem range of fertilisers in my tanks. I have Flourish, Potassium, Nitrogen, Trace, Excel and Iron. I also dose ADA Brighty K (hasn't really done much for me to be honest) as well as an Australian-made less diluted version of the above fertilisers.
The big three macro fertilisers are NPK, which translate to Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphates. These usually need to be dosed, as there is not enough present in tap water to support plant growth.
Probably one of the most important trace elements is iron, and you might have to dose this depending on your plant choices. Other trace elements are generally added during water changes, since most are present in tap water supplies.
I would recommend Seachem Flourish, Seachem Potassium, and Seachem Excel if you just want to have the basics. Seachem Excel is a carbon substitute; however, some plants can be sensitive to it and melt so you have to exercise some caution when using it. Also be careful not to overdose as it can kill your fish - if I recall correctly, it strips the oxygen from the water.
Seachem Flourish is a general fertiliser, which should provide enough nutrients for your plants as long as you're not running a high-light, high-tech set-up. It only needs dosing a few times a week. Seachem Flourish Potassium provides your plants with potassium, which I think helps in the uptake of nitrogen and phosphates, and encourages root growth.
My crypts go nuts for the Seachem brand root tabs. What I do is crush up a single tab with a hammer and bury the smaller sections close to the plant. When I've pulled up my long-suffering crypts, I've found the roots have literally grabbed onto the root tabs. In all instances where I have planted my crypts into root-tab rich substrate, I have lost maybe one or two leaves to melt.
Hopefully that helps a bit. I'm a semi plant noob. I like easy care and slow-growing plants.
I am totally going to just sit here and watch this thread. This is exactly what I am trying to do right now.
Though I have a specific question about root tabs as well. I also have Seachem Fluorite substrate, but only 2 plant species: Anubias and Christmas moss. The Anubias is attached to a rock. Do I still need root tabs? If not, what should I be using to get maximum growth?
To answer your question about root tabs, I'm not entirely sure but I always assumed that they were to be put into the substrate to promote root growth within the substrate. Anubias and Christmas moss are water column plants (if that's what you call them o.o) in the sense that they don't grow roots into the substrate.
My say is, is that root tabs will not help much for your 2 plants. For maximum growth, I think LittleBettaFish has a decent suggestion. Flourish by Seachem and other liquid fertilizers can help your moss and anubias :) (I'm so jealous you have Christmas moss >.>)
Last edited by Shaon; 07-13-2011 at 03:58 PM.
You mentioned Iron is pretty important. Does Flourish supply Iron? (I'm assuming Flourish is a mixture of different nutrients; could be wrong)
How long does a bottle of Flourish, Potassium, Excel last on average?
I only dose iron when I have plants that consume a lot of it. These plants are usually floaters such as duckweed or Amazon frogbit. Seachem Flourish does provide trace amounts of iron, and this should be enough to supplement growth in most plants.
You will find your fertilisers should last a long time, particularly, if your tank is 20 gallons or less and low tech. In this case, your dosage amounts are going to probably max out at 3ml or so. To dose a 10 gallon tank for example, I would use 0.8ml Seachem Flourish, 1ml Excel, 2.5ml Trace and 1.7ml Potassium. I use a 1ml syringe for dosing to avoid waste.
Though I have a specific question about root tabs as well. I also have Seachem Fluorite substrate, but only 2 plant species: anubias and Christmas moss. The anubias is attached to a rock. Do I still need root tabs? If not, what should I be using to get maximum growth?
Simply dosing into the water column with Seachem Flourish should be enough, especially if you are only running low light. I wouldn’t dose Excel as moss can be sensitive to it, and none of your plants really require a source of carbon for growth.
If the roots of your anubias are growing down into the substrate, than root tabs can be used to boost growth and provide a good source of micronutrients. If the plant roots are growing primarily above the substrate, then I wouldn’t bother and you should be fine with water column dosing.
Will I really need micronutrients? And also, I have Seachem Fluorite substrate, do I still have to get root tabs for my stem plants?
Seachem Flourite is a basically inert substrate, but being clay-based, it has a high Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC). This means it is excellent at up taking nutrients, but these must already be present in the system through water column dosing or substrate fertilisation. It does seem to provide a good source of iron to root feeders, but I would probably recommend using root tabs to really get your plant root systems established.
All of the fertilizers are great suggestions, and they do last a long time. It will be costly up front, but after that it will last you what seems like forever and evens out a lot.
Root tabs are more for sensitive plants, I use them for my crypts so they don't melt at the slightest movement. I use Flourish root tabs. Your plants probably wont need them unless they have trouble rooting.
If you have fertilizers, don't worry too much about root tabs.
If you want fast, fast growth, keep low lighting, but switch to fluorescent lighting with a wide range spectrum. You could have 20watts total on a 10 gallon with this and it will add a LOT. C02 is very helpful, but it is not needed in low maintenance plants at all.
Hornwort gives a very 'bushy' feel, and I feel anacharis gives a great look, BUT they're highly sensitive to fertilizers. Hornwort 'sheds' a lot, but I love their look. I love lemon bacopa and moneywort (not pennywort) as well.
For those like me who have trouble getting good fertilizers, I use API's root tabs with good results (comperable to Flourish, more or less), Aqueon Plant food (like it!) and I use Tetra's brand of liquid ferts for a heavy iron splash as well as potash (why not? LAWL)
I cant get raw chemicals or that great of ferts, but these guys together keep my medium light tank happy B: