There are a lot of aquarium plants out there that get their nutrients via their roots. They are called root-feeders and rely on nutrient rich soil or root tabs to grow. But what if your plant gets their nutrients straight from the aquarium water? Than you will need a good all-round liquid plant fertilizer.
The one that I recommend you get if you are keeping live plants is called “Flourish” from the brand “Seachem”. There are so many people satisfied with this product! I know for sure you will not be disappointed.
But before you buy it, I will teach you everything you need to know. Especially why you would even want to have a liquid fertilizer for your plants in the first place.
It is available here on Amazon, where you can check out the price. It is not expensive so it won’t break the bank. It will even save you money because you won’t have to buy new plants as often.
Why liquid fertilizer
A lot of fish keepers struggle or have struggled keeping their live plants alive, myself included. Plants keep on dying, even when people claim they are extremely hardy and unkillable.
This is extremely frustrating, and I have succeeded to kill java ferns, crypts and even anubias plants in the past. You might recognize this feeling.
Well a lot of the times a proper liquid fertilizer can solve a lot of your problems (they can also cause some! algae, which I will cover in a second). When the plants are not able to get their nutrients, they will stop to grow and even die down.
Therefore, it is crucial to provide your plants with nutrients. Even when you think your fish will provide everything your plants need, they don’t.
What is the right dosage?
On the bottle, there will always be a recommended dosage. Well in my experience, this is a good point to start but by no means perfect. It depends on a couple of factors.
How much plants do you have in your aquarium? If you have a lot of plants, and especially when they are fast growing plants, you will need to add more fertilizer. When you are only growing slowgrowing plants and maybe just a handful, than the recommended dosage might be (way) too much nutrients.
Do you add CO2 to your water? Recently I have started to inject pressurized CO2 into my aquarium water, to promote plant growth. While I can not say yet what the results are, I know I have to add way more liquid fertilizer. This is because plants will be able to grow much faster now they have access to sufficient CO2.
So if you add CO2, you will need to fertilizer more.
When to add the liquid fertilizer
The one that I recommend is a daily fertilizer, so it is best to add the fertilizer every day. If you find this is too much for your aquarium, you can do it every other day.
Keep in mind that you will remove a lot of the nutrients as soon as you do a water change. This means that you should add the fertilizer after you did your water change, otherwise you will be throwing away a big part of it.
Also, try and add the fertilizer as soon as your lights come on, so the plants can use it the entire day. This is just a tip and not strictly necessary.
Beware of algae growth
If you are adding too much liquid fertilizer, or in other words, you plants are not able to consume all the nutrients fast enough, you will get a lot of algae.
This is because algae basically “eat all the nutrients that your plants can’t eat”. Therefore, when testing and looking for the right dosage for your own aquarium, algae is a big indicator you are adding too much.
I have had this problem in the past, in my case I got a lot of green string algae all over my tank. It was terrible. So: be careful that you do not go overboard with the liquid fertilizers.
If you are seeing a sudden increase in algae, you are adding too much nutrients to the water.
To solve this problem, first remove all the algae by hand, and after that do a giant (40 – 50%) water change to flush out the excess nutrients. What you do next is a choice you have to make, either slow down on the liquid fertilizer or you can add more (fast growing) plants to consume more of the nutrients.
Is the fertilizer safe for shrimp and snails?
I myself have had no problems with using this liquid fertilizer in my aquarium where I am also keeping neocaridina orange sakura shrimp. I do want to warn you if you are also adding liquid iron to your aquarium. This is not safe to use with shrimp.
Snails are fine either way, those animals are super hardy.
Sidenote: As long as you use the right dosage!
Where to get this liquid fertilizer?
If you do not have a liquid fertilizer yet, make sure you get one. It is important for your plants, and will safe you a lot of money buying new plants.
Get your liquid fertilizer here on Amazon. It is rather cheap and will not break the bank. You will definitely not be disappointed.
Feature image/moss image – Author: Ranjith-chemmad Licensed under: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license No changes made
Plants on wood image – Author: Local River Licensed under: CC3.0 No changes made