Aquatics Unlimited: Articles: Fertilizing Plants
Image 1
Image 2
Image 3

"Fertilizing" Plants

for the week of 2/25/99

Like so many other aquarium issues, whether or not to fertilize aquarium plants depends on what sort of tank is being kept.

An aquarium with many fish, few or slow-growing plants, and standard lighting (less than 1 watt per gallon) may require no more plant nutrients than what are available in the form of fish waste. Since plant growth is very limited, any additional plant nutrients will likely result in an algae outbreak.

Tiger BarbAn aquarium with a moderate to heavy fish load, faster growing plants, and better lighting (one to two watts per gallon) may need partial treatment. The fish waste may well supply enough of the major elements (nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium), but rapidly growing plants may begin to run out of trace elements, especially iron. Discoloration or transparency of new leaves indicate the lack of one or more important trace elements. Such tanks should be regularly treated with an aquatic plant supplement that contains iron, but little or no nitrate or phosphate. Overdoing the nitrate or phosphate may again lead to algae blooms.

Planted TankAn aquarium with low to moderate fish load, many rapidly growing plants and excellent lighting (three to five watts per gallon) may need a full-blown "fertilizer" - especially if carbon dioxide is being added to the tank. Under these optimal conditions, the plants may use up nitrogenous waste faster than the fish are excreting it. In such "nitrogen-limited" tanks, plant growth slows and ammonia, nitrite and nitrate readings are all near zero. And sure enough, algae once again takes over. These tanks should receive a supplement that includes both the trace elements and nitrogen and potassium (phosphorous is rarely in short supply).

"Tip of the week" appeared regularly in 1999 and 2000.

Copyright © 1999 Aquatics Unlimited
All rights reserved.

Local Specials

Through 2-25-18

Zebra Danio, Gold Zebra Danio, White Tetra & Black Tetra ONLY $1!

Discus 10% OFF!

Driftwood 10% OFF!

Select Clownfish 50% OFF!

Select Saltwater Snails 20% OFF!

Select Piranhas $9.99!

Buy 3 Shrimp & a Morimo Ball Get a Free Java Moss Cup!

2.5 Gallon Tank $13

5.5 Gallon Tank $14

10 Gallon Tank $17

15 Gallon Tank $35

20 Gallon High Tank $36

20 Gallon Long Tank $36

29 Gallon Tank $56

30 Gallon Tank $66

30 Gallon Breeder Tank $75

37 Gallon Tank $76

38 Gallon Tank $82

40 Gallon Breeder Tank $95

45 Gallon Tank $107

50 Gallon Tank $151

55 Gallon Tank $117

65 Gallon Tank $159

75 Gallon Tank $148

90 Gallon Tank $255

120 Gallon Tank $414*

125 Gallon Tank $342*

150 Gallon Tank $591*

180 Gallon Tank $715*

210 Gallon Tank $808*

65 Gallon Overflow Tank $249*

75 Gallon Overflow Tank $280*

90 Gallon Overflow Tank $336*

120 Gallon Overflow Tank $556*

125 Gallon Overflow Tank $478*

150 Gallon Overflow Tank $779*

180 Gallon Overflow Tank $852*

210 Gallon Overflow Tank $953*

Select Aqueon Pine Black Stands 20% OFF!

REWARDS account may be required for special pricing. You may sign up and use the special pricing the same day!

* = SPECIAL ORDER; 100% deposit required

** = while supplies last

*** = specially marked tanks only; selection may vary during the sale

Aquatics Unlimited | 3550 S. 108th Street | Greenfield, WI 53228
Monday-Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m., Sunday 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. | Phone: 414-543-2552 | Fax: 414-543-4929