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Plant fertilizer question

Discussion in 'Plants, Ponds & Planted Tanks' started by chriscoli, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. chriscoli

    chriscoli Vice President
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    I've been using Seachem Flourish and Excel in my planted tanks with some success but I noticed that the Flourish gets dark over time. I'm assuming that this is due to oxidation of the nutrients inside. If I get the little bottle, I use it up before it gets really dark.

    So here's my question - is it still good to use? Are the oxidized nutrients still in a form that is available to the plants?

    I also recently heard or read somewhere that when you buy the liquid plant fertilizers, you're paying for some very expensive water in the process. I'm assuming that the point was being made was that the dry powder is just as good and more economical. Any opinions?

    What are you all using?
     
  2. mchambers

    mchambers Occasional Corydoras Breeder
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    I've been using dry ferts for 2-3 months. It's relatively easy.

    I bought both micro and macro ferts and two dispensing bottles. Every other day, I dispense one of them. On Saturday, I don't add any ferts.

    My tanks don't have CO2 or particularly strong lights, so I dose at fairly low levels. My plants seem happy and I haven't had algae problems.

    There are a couple of sites on the Internet that sell the ingredients and dispensing bottles at reasonable prices.
     
  3. chriscoli

    chriscoli Vice President
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    Hmmmm I also have no CO2 and medium to low light. I may have to pick your brain a bit next time I see you at a meeting...
     
  4. mscichlid

    mscichlid Founder
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    Buy the dry ferts and make your own stock solutions if it easier for you to dose by ml.
     
  5. rsretep

    rsretep CCA Members

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    +1
     
  6. b considine

    b considine Global Moderators
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    You do have carbon, if you're dosing Excel. Hit the GWAPA forum for solid advice on dry ferts. Lots of members use them. I'm a mineralized substrate guy, so can't help there.

    Blaise
     
  7. chriscoli

    chriscoli Vice President
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    good point about the carbon! Duh, I didn't have my head on straight when I wrote that. :D
     
  8. tug

    tug Guest

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    I'm not sure I can answer your oxidation question. It might be that the Fe has changed form. Dry fertz (CSM+B) are the way to go and if your tank is large enough they can be added directly to the tank. If you have hard water you may want to also consider something with a stronger chelating agent then the one used in Flourish.

    Excel is a bioavailable form of carbon but there are some cheaper alternatives to flourish excel e.g., Metricide 14 or Cidex Plus (the "plus" is a separate component, throw it away). Both Metricide 14 and Cidex can be cut in half with distilled water. Makes it about the same strength as Excel. Or, just dose half the amounts as you would dose Excel.

    Excel was put through analysis at a lab and they came out with 1.5% glutaraldehyde. Cidex is 3.4%, metricide 14 (2.7%) glutaraldehyde.

    Warning: Prolonged exposure to the stuff has showen some health risk to people working in Dental offices, it bears watching. My local expert on such matters asserts that that is prolonged exposure to open trays of the solution in poorly ventilated areas, still, let us be careful.

    wet's glutaraldehyde calculator
    http://glut.petalphile.com/
     
  9. tug

    tug Guest

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    #9 tug, Jun 30, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2012
    Some other Flourish alternatives if your interested are;

    KNO3 for Nitrate and Potassium.

    KH2PO4 for Phosphate but some use fleet enema to add PO4.
    I've also heard of using it to wipe down the glass in the tank to remove GSA.

    Epsom salt (MgSO4·7H2O) if you need Mg.

    CSM+B for adding Micros, Fe, etc. to the water column.

    Osmocote Plus for substrate feeders contains macro and micro nutrients. I am using it and do not see any significant algae related problems. It's easier to add before putting down the soil but some people freeze it in water and push the ice under the substrate for DIY root tabs.

    Some places that sell Fertz and Glutaraldehyde product are;
    Planted Aquarium Fertilizer
    http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com/

    GLA
    http://greenleafaquariums.com/

    DealMED
    http://www.dealmed.com/

    ChemicalStore
    http://shop.chemicalstore.com/index.asp?MySessionID=38-1046403183

    I hope this helps. :)
     
  10. chriscoli

    chriscoli Vice President
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    Awesome! Thanks! Yeah...the warnings on the gluteraldehyde make me handle it carefully. I suspected it wasn't as innocent as it looked.

    Sent from my Droid using MonsterAquariaNetwork App
     

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