Ferts to go along with excel?


I had been using excel for a little bit until realizing that my carbon filter would cancel it out, so ive been holding out.

I dropped a sponge in last night and planning on waiting a few days before totally ditching the carbon.

Anyways, I have been noticing a lot of people using other seachem ferts ALONG with the excel.

I was wondering if other products in conjunction with the excel will help out my plant growth without doing a co2 setup (I don't think I have the right substrate for it)

Currently just using excel and root tabs, dual t5 HO lighting (2x24w)

Plants are
Green Cabomba
Amazon Sword
Jungle Val
Stat Grass


What Ive been doing is dosing Iron, phosphate, and nitrogen separately. I acquired the Seachem test kits for all of them.. And it's been doing wonders for my little 5.5 heavily planted utopia.


Every week after my 50% water change I dose seachem comprehensive and excel. Then every other day I will dose excel until my next water change.


Every week after my 50% water change I dose seachem comprehensive and excel. Then every other day I will dose excel until my next water change.

Is seachem comprehensive just "flourish"? The product name confuses me. I found flourish but its labeled as "a comprehensive plant supplement"


A few things...

Flourish Excel is not a fertilizer per say. It is a liquid algaecide that the main ingredient can also be used by plants to replace CO2 in the water. So in a sense it is a liquid CO2 substitute. I don't think that carbon will filter it out too much. Carbon filters out organic material and will remove regular ferts like nitrogen. Flourish Excel has 2 benefits in that it provides the liquid CO2 substitute while also killing/inhibiting Algae. This makes sure that the algae aren't consuming the good stuff that the plants need.

Flourish Comprehensive is sometimes labeled as just Flourish and it is an all around fertilizer with a little of everything including a small amount of macro ferts (Nitrogen-N, Phosphorus-P, and Potassium-K) and some of the micro ferts (iron, magnesium, boron, etc). It is a great all around fert to start with and will do well for most easy low-tech and low light tanks.

Flourish also makes specific formulas for the macro ferts and iron.

N,P, and K are the 3 main elements all plants need in some form. Flourish Comp has them but in lesser amounts. If you have a lot plants or really low bio-load (fish producing waste) than you may need the the big 3 N,P, and K in addition to the Flourish Comp.

Flourish Iron is only needed if you have plants that have higher iron needs then the average plant. This is usually plants that have a lot of reddish orange color to them. Most plants don't need an additional iron supplement if you are using Flourish Comp or have a decent bio-load as fish waste will have iron in it.

Root tabs are an all in one fertilizer that only benefits root feeders like sword plants. Other plants are water column feeders and need the liquid ferts.

As for your specific setup You don't seem to have any difficult or special needs plants. I'm not sure what "stat grass" is though? If I were you I would use Flourish Comprehensive to go with your root tabs. You can keep using the Excel if you want as it will make sure there is plenty of CO2 available to the plants so they are not limited in growth. Remember you can have healthy awesome plants that may just grow slowly. Some people get in a rush and think dumping in all sorts of ferts and chems will make their plants explode with growth. While this may happen, you can also trigger algae blooms or other unhealthy issues with the tank. Start slow and ease into it. If plants are dying after just using the Comprehensive and root tabs then try the NPK if needed. If your plants are doing good now and look healthy you may not want to change anything. As the less ferts you put in your tank, they more fish waste they can pull out of the water and help clean it up.


Thank you Dolfan for the concise and helpful response. That answered everything I need!


I use

Dino Spit (Excel equivalent) daily
Seachem Flourish every 2-3 days
Seachem Trace every 2-3 days


I use excel+flourish on a regular basis, and also added some osmocote plus capsules as root tabs once every 5-6 months.

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