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Differences In Plant Fertilizers?

Discussion in 'Plant Fertilizers' started by FoulFishes, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. FoulFishes Valued Member Member

    I've been really curious, what exactly are the differences between SeaChem Flourish Excel/Comprehensive, API Leafzone, and Aqueon Plant Food? Which would be best for a low-medium light planted tropical fish & shrimp tank? Thanks

  2. jetajockey Fishlore VIP Member

    API leafzone is just an iron and potassium supplement. Flourish Excel is a carbon supplement, it's kind of like adding more co2 to the tank, but the process is different. Flourish comprehensive is an all in one type micromix that has a laundry list of micronutrients and a small bit of macros as well.

    Aqueon plant food appears to be a micromix also but it's lacking a lot of what Flourish comprehensive provides (iirc they are about the same price also), so ultimately I'd pick Flourish comprehensive.

    As for Excel, you can dose this alongside your fertilizers since it deals with the carbon aspect of plant growth. It can even be used in conjunction with co2 injection. Ultimately though I suggest getting pressurized co2 or DIY co2 to aid with plant growth if you end up wanting more growth out of the tank setup. Excel dosing has it's drawbacks in cost, potential to melt some plants, and some fish/inverts can be sensitive to overdosing.

  3. FoulFishes Valued Member Member

    So here is the list of ingredients for Comprehensive:

    Total Nitrogen.......................0.07%
    Available Phosphate (P2O5)..0.01%
    Soluble Potash....................0.37%
    Calcium (Ca).......................0.14%
    Magnesium (Mg)..................0.11%
    Sulfur (S).........................0.2773%
    Boron (B)...........................0.009%
    Chlorine (Cl).........................1.15%
    Cobalt (Co).......................0.0004%
    Copper (Cu)......................0.0001%
    Iron (Fe)...............................0.32%
    Manganese (Mn)...............0.0118%
    Molybdenum (Mo).............0.0009%
    Sodium (Na).........................0.13%
    Zinc (Zn)...........................0.0007%

    I'm also concerned about the Chlorine now that I see it, cause that harms all aquatic creatures, and that would be working against the SeaChem's Prime that I am using..

  4. jetajockey Fishlore VIP Member

    Here's a snippet from  

  5. FoulFishes Valued Member Member

    Thanks for sharing!
  6. FoulFishes Valued Member Member

    Added Flourish Comprehensive to my planted tank earlier this evening. So far everybody appears to be doing alright! I have not noticed a change in the plants though, I assumed it'd take a few weeks or so probably. I did half a dose just so my animals could get used to the chemical changes in the water.

    So has anybody actually refrigerated after opening? Any benefits/drawbacks?
  7. Eienna Fishlore VIP Member

    It does take some time to see the results, but you will :)
    I have not refrigerated mine, mainly because of limited fridge space. It doesn't seem to have hurt it, but I don't have a tank using a fridged bottle to compare it to.

    My plants were still showing deficiency issues when I was using Flourish, so I use Leaf Zone as well now and they're happy as clams.
  8. FoulFishes Valued Member Member

    Oh man, I hope that doesn't mean i'm going to have to end up getting LeafZone too, haha. I'm just tired of seeing parts of my plants melt away...they were all perfect for a while. I have to be honest, plant care has been more difficult in this tank than the fish are, but they aren't exactly complicated fish either.
  9. Eienna Fishlore VIP Member

    Haha. I'm not so great with plants either, usually. All my terrestrial plants die (except for some four-o-clock flowers descended from my Grandpa's garden - extremely hardy plants.) Only my aquatic plants are doing well XD
  10. AlyeskaGirl Fishlore VIP Member

    It's taken my planted tank 2-3 weeks or more to bounce back from problems.

    Keep us posted :)
  11. Terra Well Known Member Member

    If your plants are reletively new to your tank the melting can be normal and not your fault or lack of something. A lot of plant nurseries grow them emersed, not sure if that's for space or speed (?) and the melting is normal while they re-tool themselves for submerged life.

    I had a wendtii crypt that literally lost 100% of it's leaves several at a time for 3-4 weeks after I got it, and replaced them with completely different looking leaves. It's much prettier now and finally stopped melting. My amazon swords melted off long stems and rounded short leaves on top and regrew short stems with long pointier leaves, while the ozelot swords melted off the same shape/size green leaves and grew back medium long pointy red leaves. Man my tank was a MESS that first month :D I had some bacopa caroliniana that melted so bad and so continuously that I threw the majority of it away. I had one tiny stem that kept 1 tiny green leaf that I left in there since it was the only leaf that didn't melt... and after *2 months* it started regrowing healthy and green, lol.
  12. FoulFishes Valued Member Member

    That has happened with alot of my Bacopa and Wisteria, especially that part about new leaves, all my Wisteria plants dropped the round leaves they came with and grew back pointy ones. Whats really bugging me is that lately almost all of my Anacharis has melted, and its the plant i've had in their the very longest. Even the ones with new growths are melting, including the new growths. I have two long stalks that have completely reached the waterline. These are the only two that are perfects, not a brown spot on the whole plant, so i'm kinda afraid to trim and re-plant them honestly. I just don't understand whats happening to all my Anacharis, it was doing great for so long..
  13. Eienna Fishlore VIP Member

  14. FoulFishes Valued Member Member

    But I don't have any Co2 in that tank....All I have is Flourish Comprehensive and its only been in one day.
  15. Terra Well Known Member Member

    Yikes! I've started using co2, my poor anacharis :(
  16. Aquarist Fishlore Legend Member

    Good morning,

    As for the Wisteria, the leaves will take shape depending on the amount of light they receive according to the information below:

    So the rounded leaves you lost and the pointed ones returning have to do with the lighting and not the fertilizers.

  17. Eienna Fishlore VIP Member

    Oops, right, got this thread confused with another.

    My anacharis died shorty after using Flourish, as well. I thought it was coincidence.
  18. jetajockey Fishlore VIP Member

    Sounds coincidental, flourish comprehensive doesn't have anything in it that will melt plants.
  19. FoulFishes Valued Member Member

    See my issue was that all the Anacharis started melting before I even bought the Flourish Comprehensive. I have no CO2 but I have T8 Flourescent lights. But now that I added a half dose of Flourish even my two really nice stalks of Anacharis have a couple brown spots..
  20. jetajockey Fishlore VIP Member

    Lighting is a more likely culprit, I've not heard of anacharis having a sensitivity to regular ferts, it's actually an invasive weed in some parts.