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API Leaf Zone?

vanalisa

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I've been looking at a lot of threats lately, and I don't remember exactly where I saw it. Somewhere on one of the threads I read that iron was bad for---I can't remember---
But iron content was a deal-breaker.

I've been using this API Leaf Zone , randomly when I think about, no more than every 2 weeks, in my tanks. Do you like this product? What has been your experience if you do or don't like this product ? Finally and most importantly, what should I NOT use this for?
 

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CryptFan

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I have been using this simply because I got a free bottle and I really haven’t noticed a difference in my plants
 
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vanalisa

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Okay, thanks for responding.
Please post if you come across any specific tank inhabitant(s) that are in danger from iron in liquid fertilizer; as will I.
 

essjay

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One of the best fertilisers for the water column in Seachem Flourish comprehensive supplement for the planted aquarium (there are several Flourishes, this one is the one to use). Another is made by Brightwell, though I haven't used that one.
For plants rooted in the substrate you can use root tabs, though some of them do have a tendency to foul the water.
 

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Please post if you come across any specific tank inhabitant(s) that are in danger from iron in liquid fertilizer; as will I.
All tank inhabitants, from fish to plants to invertebrates to bacteria, can be killed by too much iron. Iron is a heavy metal (as is copper, zinc, manganese, and some others) and thus toxic, but iron (like the others I mentioned) is also a necessary mineral for fish and plants. Most water conditioners detoxify heavy metals; this in itself should tell us that there is a danger. The thing is to ensure sufficient iron is present for what the plants need, but no more.

Fish obtain their mineral requirements from fish food and water. Soft water fish species do not need minerals in the water, but hard water fish species do need the "hard" minerals calcium and magnesium. Iron in the water column is not going to benefit any fish or invertebrates.

Several decades ago the idea emerged in the hobby that iron was the "missing" ingredient for aquarium plants. But this can be taken too far, as iron is a micro-nutrient, and in excess it does more harm than good to plants (and obviously to the fish and invertebrates). An excess of iron can cause plants to shut down assimilation of other nutrients. Iron should always be minimal, and in proportion with the other 16 necessary plant nutrients. A "comprehensive" fertilizer like the one essjay mentioned is the safest way to ensure this; the Brightwell Aquatics product which is basically identical to Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium is called MultiFlorin.

Concerning the API Leaf Zone, I would not use this. It is only potassium and iron. Some claim to have improved plant growth using this product, and it may well be that iron and potassium are missing in their water. Fish foods that pass through the fish will provide the nutrients plants need as they are broken down. Sometimes this is all that is needed, depending upon the fish load, plant species and number of plants. When this is not sufficient, and "fertilizer" is deemed necessary, it is safer to use one of the comprehensive supplements mentioned above. Both of these products not only have all essential nutrients, but they are also in the right proportion to each other, and that is important to prevent an excess.

None of these products are "good" for fish or invertebrates, so using them minimally is always wise. And substrate tabs, at least the Seachem Flourish Tabs, are safer for fish, invertebrates and plants because they only release nutrients into the substrate water and these are taken up by the plants rooted in the substrate. Floating plants and non-substrate rooted plants obviously will not benefit from substrate tabs and a comprehensive liquid is (or may be) required.
 

essjay

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Thanks Byron, I know that you knew the name of the Brightwell product, and which was the best root tab :)
 
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vanalisa

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All tank inhabitants, from fish to plants to invertebrates to bacteria, can be killed by too much iron. Iron is a heavy metal (as is copper, zinc, manganese, and some others) and thus toxic, but iron (like the others I mentioned) is also a necessary mineral for fish and plants. Most water conditioners detoxify heavy metals; this in itself should tell us that there is a danger. The thing is to ensure sufficient iron is present for what the plants need, but no more.

Fish obtain their mineral requirements from fish food and water. Soft water fish species do not need minerals in the water, but hard water fish species do need the "hard" minerals calcium and magnesium. Iron in the water column is not going to benefit any fish or invertebrates.

Several decades ago the idea emerged in the hobby that iron was the "missing" ingredient for aquarium plants. But this can be taken too far, as iron is a micro-nutrient, and in excess it does more harm than good to plants (and obviously to the fish and invertebrates). An excess of iron can cause plants to shut down assimilation of other nutrients. Iron should always be minimal, and in proportion with the other 16 necessary plant nutrients. A "comprehensive" fertilizer like the one essjay mentioned is the safest way to ensure this; the Brightwell Aquatics product which is basically identical to Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium is called MultiFlorin.

Concerning the API Leaf Zone, I would not use this. It is only potassium and iron. Some claim to have improved plant growth using this product, and it may well be that iron and potassium are missing in their water. Fish foods that pass through the fish will provide the nutrients plants need as they are broken down. Sometimes this is all that is needed, depending upon the fish load, plant species and number of plants. When this is not sufficient, and "fertilizer" is deemed necessary, it is safer to use one of the comprehensive supplements mentioned above. Both of these products not only have all essential nutrients, but they are also in the right proportion to each other, and that is important to prevent an excess.

None of these products are "good" for fish or invertebrates, so using them minimally is always wise. And substrate tabs, at least the Seachem Flourish Tabs, are safer for fish, invertebrates and plants because they only release nutrients into the substrate water and these are taken up by the plants rooted in the substrate. Floating plants and non-substrate rooted plants obviously will not benefit from substrate tabs and a comprehensive liquid is (or may be) required.
Wow, this is great ! Thanks for all the information.
Seachum Flourish seems like the best choice for me. I have floaters...
BUT, I do have one tank that has some planted plants if I were to get tablets for that one do I just push it down and into the substrate or do I have to use it when I set up the tank?
Would it be overkill to use both products?
 
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vanalisa

vanalisa

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One of the best fertilisers for the water column in Seachem Flourish comprehensive supplement for the planted aquarium (there are several Flourishes, this one is the one to use). Another is made by Brightwell, though I haven't used that one.
For plants rooted in the substrate you can use root tabs, though some of them do have a tendency to foul the water.
Thanks !
 
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vanalisa

vanalisa

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One of the best fertilisers for the water column in Seachem Flourish comprehensive supplement for the planted aquarium (there are several Flourishes, this one is the one to use). Another is made by Brightwell, though I haven't used that one.
For plants rooted in the substrate you can use root tabs, though some of them do have a tendency to foul the water.
Thanks!
 

Byron

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Wow, this is great ! Thanks for all the information.
Seachum Flourish seems like the best choice for me. I have floaters...
BUT, I do have one tank that has some planted plants if I were to get tablets for that one do I just push it down and into the substrate or do I have to use it when I set up the tank?
Would it be overkill to use both products?
You are welcome.

Plants that are rooted in the substrate can benefit from substrate tabs, especially if the plants are large and heavy feeders like swords, "bulb" plants (lilies, lotus, aponogeton), crypts, and some others. The nice thing about the Flourish Tabs is that they do not release nutrients into the upper water column, so the nutrients are benefiting the plants but not having any detrimental impact on the fish. I'vee no idea how Seachem manage this, but studies have substantiated the claim. It may be that the release is so slow the plants readily take up the nutrients before they have a chance of getting into the upper water column. Push one tab into the substrate close to the crown of the plant, and add the next tab in 3 or 4 months.

There is no harm in using both substrate tabs and the liquid. However, keep the liquid minimal. There is no benefit to overdosing, especially to the fish, and it can encourage problem algae. Floating plants are fast growing plants, and that means they need more nutrients than would slow growing plants. I have found that in my tanks the floating plants do benefit from one dose of Flourish Comprehensive Supplement each week, but I have very soft water (therefore a shortage of the "hard" minerals) and a lot of floating plants. Add the liquid fertilizer on the day following the water change, not the same day; reason is that most conditioners detoxify heavy metals so you are negating them, but conditioners tend to be active for 24-36 hours only. It is also kinder to the fish to not add fertilizers on top of the conditioner and upheaval from the water change.
 
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vanalisa

vanalisa

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You are welcome.

Plants that are rooted in the substrate can benefit from substrate tabs, especially if the plants are large and heavy feeders like swords, "bulb" plants (lilies, lotus, aponogeton), crypts, and some others. The nice thing about the Flourish Tabs is that they do not release nutrients into the upper water column, so the nutrients are benefiting the plants but not having any detrimental impact on the fish. I'vee no idea how Seachem manage this, but studies have substantiated the claim. It may be that the release is so slow the plants readily take up the nutrients before they have a chance of getting into the upper water column. Push one tab into the substrate close to the crown of the plant, and add the next tab in 3 or 4 months.

There is no harm in using both substrate tabs and the liquid. However, keep the liquid minimal. There is no benefit to overdosing, especially to the fish, and it can encourage problem algae. Floating plants are fast growing plants, and that means they need more nutrients than would slow growing plants. I have found that in my tanks the floating plants do benefit from one dose of Flourish Comprehensive Supplement each week, but I have very soft water (therefore a shortage of the "hard" minerals) and a lot of floating plants. Add the liquid fertilizer on the day following the water change, not the same day; reason is that most conditioners detoxify heavy metals so you are negating them, but conditioners tend to be active for 24-36 hours only. It is also kinder to the fish to not add fertilizers on top of the conditioner and upheaval from the water change.
 

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You are welcome.

Plants that are rooted in the substrate can benefit from substrate tabs, especially if the plants are large and heavy feeders like swords, "bulb" plants (lilies, lotus, aponogeton), crypts, and some others. The nice thing about the Flourish Tabs is that they do not release nutrients into the upper water column, so the nutrients are benefiting the plants but not having any detrimental impact on the fish. I'vee no idea how Seachem manage this, but studies have substantiated the claim. It may be that the release is so slow the plants readily take up the nutrients before they have a chance of getting into the upper water column. Push one tab into the substrate close to the crown of the plant, and add the next tab in 3 or 4 months.

There is no harm in using both substrate tabs and the liquid. However, keep the liquid minimal. There is no benefit to overdosing, especially to the fish, and it can encourage problem algae. Floating plants are fast growing plants, and that means they need more nutrients than would slow growing plants. I have found that in my tanks the floating plants do benefit from one dose of Flourish Comprehensive Supplement each week, but I have very soft water (therefore a shortage of the "hard" minerals) and a lot of floating plants. Add the liquid fertilizer on the day following the water change, not the same day; reason is that most conditioners detoxify heavy metals so you are negating them, but conditioners tend to be active for 24-36 hours only. It is also kinder to the fish to not add fertilizers on top of the conditioner and upheaval from the water change.
Thanks for the info on when it is best to add Flourish :)
 
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