If you aim for 0 nitrates, what do you feed your plants?

Stan510

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Two cents from me. Iron. Its the only must have IMO. If you have iron,so many other problems go away. I think the chelation also works to allow other nutrients to become available in the water to the plants. Just an observation.
 
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Alice B

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I am inclined to agree with you but getting just iron, I have a rusty nail, or iron tablets, (for humans) but somehow I don't think they will work. I have used the iron tablets in tomato plants on my aquaponic tray. Worked there.

There is iron IN the supplement I bought yesterday, which was Flourish. I saw new red cyano this morning, wiped it off the glass and filled the CO2 generator. I did a water change last night and potted my crypts. Put plant food tablets in their pot. The crypts looked iron deficient, pothos died, I can't kill a pothos in Fort Worth water but I killed one in that aquarium, and I've putting in tanks for years. The mossy stuff died back heavily too, only a couple strands left, but the frogbit is going wild, which makes me wonder who's eating all the plant food
 

Stan510

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The iron didn't kill the moss. Could have been the tablets. Were they for aquariums or houseplants?
Chelated iron in liquid form works for me. Steven F. uses a pellet iron that also sounds good. I need to order that. I mean of the 16 nutrients and spices Tom Barr says all water plants need ( a huge claim to make for ALL water plants?) I've found only iron to make a real difference..much more than the runner-up,potassium.
 
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Alice B

Alice B

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I didn't use the iron. and I just put Flourish tablets, for aquariums, in the pot around my crypts late last night, only 2 tablets a few inches apart.
Nitrates and phosphates on the tank weren't high, my living plants look like they have iron deficiency. I think the plants are starving, just not sure what for, although iron tops the list. I may not have enough fish in the tank. It's a 55 with about 20 guppies and a clown pleco
 

Byron

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The whole iron issue is blown out of all proportion. Back in the 1980's "iron" was the solution to all plant problems; fish magazine authors recommended laterite substrates for increasing iron. No one advocates this any longer because it is not relevant nor safe. Iron is a micro-nutrient, and it is a heavy metal. Conditioners detoxify iron. This is where Prime fails, but that's another issue. The amount of iron in a comprehensive fertilizer is more than sufficient. I was persuaded many years ago (about 12) to increase iron, so I did; my floating plants turned to mush. I repeated the iron, same thing. Iron deficiency some think they see is more likely due to other issues.
 
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Alice B

Alice B

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so I have just done all tanks water changes. I need to redo the little 10 with catfish this afternoon, their ph had gotten to 6, the frogbit has totally covered the water's surface. I didn't test anything but pH on any of them. I have a history now with the 29 and the 55, and I don't worry about the others, one is older and 2 are basically quarantine tanks, all fish healthy. So plant food on those isn't being used.

I have the crypts in the 55 doing poorly and in the 29 doing well. I am beginning to suspect whatever is wrong with the 55 is coming from the big piece of brown driftwood I have in there, which my clown pleco adores. The LED lights I removed probably started it, but something is feeding it. and nitrates and phosphates were both plenty low.... the whole out of balance for minerals is a possibility, except it's only one tank and Fort Worth water has a very GOOD mineral balance. Alkaline yes, but I grow pond plants without pots.

@StevenF I'm not sure I need a fancy fertilizer. I think I have a bad piece of driftwood.

Interestingly enough, I used water and a sponge from the 55 to start the top 10, with the tetras, because I planned to quarantine panda garas in it for the 55. and interestingly enough, there isn't cyano in the 10 gallon tank. I am getting a couple more tank pics, will post them on this thread.
 
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Alice B

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Clown on his driftwood, 55 with bright. Hex has a centered plant and a pleco cave. 29 is healthy and last, the 10 that should have cyano and doesn't
 

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