Orchid Fertiliser For Planted Tanks With Fish

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PascalKrypt

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Recently I saw a video about a guy with a basement full of shrimp (sorry forgot who it was), who advocated using orchid fertiliser for his tanks.
I happen to have that around since I grow orchids and was wondering.. what do the experts on here have to say about that? Or has anyone perhaps ever tried it? I don't think I would risk tossing it at my shrimp, but how about a fish tank without inverts.

What is the verdict on common houseplant fertiliser actually? Will I overrun my tank with nitrogen and phosphorus even with a solid stocking/cycle? Any specific compounds to check the ingredients for that is toxic to fish?
Are the ratios of micro nutrients in these types of fertilisers significantly different than aquatic ones? I'm a little worried about poisoning the fish with trace elements.

And if I were to use either of these, I would love some dosing advice. Below lists of ingredients and proportions. Please excuse translation errors as there was no english version so I translated best I could.

Orchid fertiliser (unfortunately does not list micronutrients if any, it is a brand from a local shop)
  • NPK 3-1-5
  • 3% N of which 2.4% "organically bound nitrogen from suspension of nitrogen fertilisers" (not sure what that entails tbh)
  • 1% water soluble P2O5 and neutral ammoniacitrate
  • 5% water soluble potassiumoxide (K2O)
  • 23% organic compound (not specified)
  • dosing advice for orchids 10ml/L once a week during period of active growth
General houseplant fertiliser (Pokon)
  • NPK 7-2-7
  • 3.5% N divided as follows: 1.4% nitrate-N, 0.9% ammonium-N, 1.2% ureum-N
  • 1% water soluble P2O5
  • 3.5% water soluble potassiumoxide (K2O)
  • 1% magnesiumoxide (MgO)
  • Micronutrients (water soluble): 0.02% boron, 0.004% copper (is that a safe level?), 0.03% iron, 0.02% manganese, 0.002% molybdene (Mo), 0.004% zinq.
  • dosing advice for houseplants 20ml/L once a week during period of active growth.

I'm a little confused about dosage calculations. Does 3.5% N for example mean that 3.5% of the weight of the bottle consists of N-atoms (so should I calculate using molar mass and the total weight of the solution in the bottle) or does the 3.5% refer to something else (like volume, or is it a % of the dry weight of all the dissolved compounds taken together)?

Educate me senpai~
 

Fahn

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Was it Mark Peggy of Mark's Shrimp Tanks? Considering he breeds expensive Caridina for a living, I imagine he wouldn't dose anything unless he was certain it wasn't dangerous. He's really good about replying to emails and has helped me get stuff under control in my shrimp tanks. Perhaps you can ask him personally?
 
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PascalKrypt

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Fahn said:
Was it Mark Peggy of Mark's Shrimp Tanks? Considering he breeds expensive Caridina for a living, I imagine he wouldn't dose anything unless he was certain it wasn't dangerous. He's really good about replying to emails and has helped me get stuff under control in my shrimp tanks. Perhaps you can ask him personally?
Thanks, I found that video back somehow, you were right. I'll try that.
 

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What did you find out so far? can we use orchid fert for aquarium tank? Which kind and what name? Please! Tell before i buy thrive .Thank you.
 

jpm995

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I would be very careful especially if you have a small tank. Water parameters can go south quickly.
 

Vinh

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I’m a very new bee on aquarium plants.,heard that thrive all in one is right fert for many players with low and mid light none co2.But also heard of this thread about possible orchid fert for aquarium plant.Could you explain how water parameter may go south while using orchid fert for aquarium plants..Thank you!
Ps: i have try orchid fert one time in test tank.It create alot of algae beside brown the plant leaves.Maybe a did over dose it but when i low it in 1/4 dose which i did use.Plant grow ok but still had algae on a side.I’m thinking add up micro trace element fert on top of it but not testing that far yet.
 

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PascalKrypt said:
Micronutrients (water soluble): 0.02% boron, 0.004% copper (is that a safe level?), 0.03% iron, 0.02% manganese, 0.002% molybdene (Mo), 0.004% zinq.
These are not safe levels...

Boron 0.02% = 200 ppm - Rotalabutterfly.com target is 0.025 ppm for weekly/low light dozing
Copper 0.004% = 40 ppm - I am currentusing 0.05 ppm for weekly/low light dozing but could probably safely go to 0.2 ppm
Etc.

40 ppm Copper will likely kill your beneficial bacterias and invertebrates as a minimum, but also sensitive fish. One of the reasons that medication with Copper is always to be used in a hospital tank for a limited period of time.
 

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Vinh said:
I’m a very new bee on aquarium plants.,heard that thrive all in one is right fert for many players with low and mid light none co2.But also heard of this thread about possible orchid fert for aquarium plant.Could you explain how water parameter may go south while using orchid fert for aquarium plants..Thank you!
Ps: i have try orchid fert one time in test tank.It create alot of algae beside brown the plant leaves.Maybe a did over dose it but when i low it in 1/4 dose which i did use.Plant grow ok but still had algae on a side.I’m thinking add up micro trace element fert on top of it but not testing that far yet.
Many fertializers contain elements that can be harmful to fish. Urea is common which becomes ammonia. Copper can be poison to fish in high doses. I would be leary of anything that not specifically stated is safe for aquarium use. I would make sure i needed any fert to grow plants [i've had java fern grow out of the tank with no ferts]. As youve seen alge blooms can be an issue with many ferts.
 
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fa4960 said:
These are not safe levels...

Boron 0.02% = 200 ppm - Rotalabutterfly.com target is 0.025 ppm for weekly/low light dozing
Copper 0.004% = 40 ppm - I am currentusing 0.05 ppm for weekly/low light dozing but could probably safely go to 0.2 ppm
Etc.

40 ppm Copper will likely kill your beneficial bacterias and invertebrates as a minimum, but also sensitive fish. One of the reasons that medication with Copper is always to be used in a hospital tank for a limited period of time.
So that's how I get to the PPM? I wasn't sure what the percentages stood for (total parts dissolved - which is what you indicate, weight, volume, etc.).
I actually did a test run since posting this thread but before your reply and diluted the fertiliser further, so in that way it could be made safe (otherwise the macronutrients would also be a very severe overdose). It is kind of late but I'll see if I can make some calculations tomorrow to what dosing I ended up with.
Anyway my stocking was perfectly unharmed and the plants seem to like it, though I have not really noticed explosive growth but I guess I would need CO2 for that.
 

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When i use orchid fert, i only take 1/4 doze due it is strong % for same amount of water dilute. Let see with water change every week 30% How many plants or fish die.Compare with safe level of Copper above.0.00005 % I should take 1/1000 of doze to be safe.
This is Thrive C analysis.Check it out so you know how safe Thrive C use on their product:

Guaranteed Analysis

Total Nitrogen(N)...................1.24%

1.24% Water Soluble Nitrogen(N)

Available Phosphate(P2O5).......0.53%

Soluble Potash(K2O)..................5.06%

Magnesium(Mg)...........................0.29%

0.29% Water Soluble Magnesium(Mg)

Sulfur(S).......................................0.96%

0.96% Combined Sulfur(S)

Boron(B)......................................0.008%

Cobalt(Co)...................................0.0003%

Copper(Cu)..................................0.0001%

0.0001% Water Soluble Copper(Cu)

Iron(Fe)........................................0.32%

0.32% Water Soluble Iron(Fe)

Manganese(Mn)..........................0.145%

0.145% Water Soluble Manganese(Mn)

Molybdenum(Mo)........................0.0006%

Zinc(Zn).......................................0.0045%

0.0045% Water Soluble Zinc(Zn)
And here is the link for copper info.Hope that aware and help.
Aquarium Copper Facts and Use; Cupramine, Copper-Safe, Testing
 

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Vinh

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I personally not recommend use orchid fertilizer for fish tank with plants due to its contain is not good for fish.
 
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Vinh said:
I personally not recommend use orchid fertilizer for fish tank with plants due to its contain is not good for fish.
That is a bit of an unspecific answer. Is there any particular reason why you came to this conclusion?

In my personal experience non-aquatic plant ferts are just too strong and difficult to dose - some of my tanks had algae or bacterial blooms when I used them - but all-in-all I haven't found it to be detrimental to the livestock.
 

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The contain of nitrite and ammonia too high for big dose in small tank,if you dont becareful while you dozing it.It might increase ammonia up to .25 ppm each time.If you know how much you dozing it to be safe to your fish then it is not a problem.It might be ok for experience member but not for beginner.
update: if you doze it too less to match for the safe of fish tank then all other elements will not enough to provide for the plants grown in general.That is the reason why the scientific create the fertilizer just use for water plants and also safe for fish tank.It might ok to use for the plant tank without live stock In all level.
 

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I think the specifics of how and why the professional using it is doing it will make the whole thing make sense....

For example - for breeding large quantities of shrimp that feed on algae - a controlled algae bloom is probably beneficial to the shrimp.

Remember also that cost is a key consideration to the professional who is running perhaps several thousand gallons... Orchid fertilizer costs a fraction of Thrive when you are talking about the possibilty of using gallons of Thrive each month...

As an aside - I always preferred tomato fertilizer over orchid fertilizer for my orchids. The calcium in tomato fertilizer makes a big difference....
 

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Truckjohn said:
I think the specifics of how and why the professional using it is doing it will make the whole thing make sense....

For example - for breeding large quantities of shrimp that feed on algae - a controlled algae bloom is probably beneficial to the shrimp.

Remember also that cost is a key consideration to the professional who is running perhaps several thousand gallons... Orchid fertilizer costs a fraction of Thrive when you are talking about the possibilty of using gallons of Thrive each month...

As an aside - I always preferred tomato fertilizer over orchid fertilizer for my orchids. The calcium in tomato fertilizer makes a big difference....
You are totally right when come to these point.That make sense alot to me,and when it come to that point we might have not thing to discuss.But like you said: we have to understand what we are going to use and what it suppose out come for the purpose.
 

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Truckjohn said:
As an aside - I always preferred tomato fertilizer over orchid fertilizer for my orchids. The calcium in tomato fertilizer makes a big difference....
Talking about orchid.Not alway using the tomato fertilizer is good for all the orchid.The need of calcium of orchid from tomato fertilizer only good for the " my orchid ".From here ,you can see.,general use and specific use .
 

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Vinh said:
You are totally right when come to these point.That make sense alot to me,and when it come to that point we might have not thing to discuss.But like you said: we have to understand what we are going to use and what it suppose out come for the purpose.
Then consider that for an average person running a moderately planted 20gal tank- the smallest bottle of Thrive might last a couple years.

So trying to home-brew a solution that could well kill all your fish/shrimp seems like a false economy to me....

Seriously - you mix 1-tsp of miracle grow orchid fertilizer into a gallon of water to make the concentrate mix (or whatever).... Then add a few drops per week into your tank.... A single box is a 5,000-year supply... ;) ;)
 

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Few drop per week it go to no where.I did add 3 cup per 40 gals / each 3 days and not thing grown ,only more algae.I did add.1/4 gallon to 40 gallon tank/ each week.Plant grown very slow but ammonia increase .25 ppm Each time .So you tell me...Like i said early..Any thing are not design for ...only use for specific purpose and one must understand how to use it and how it will be out come to serve for their purpose...alone...Not for general use!
 

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UPDATE: I know one of my mistake for this process.Months ago.!i add big carbon filter pad to my water filter and test for orchid firt.As the doze increase from time to time but no improvement on plants grown.Just barely read it some where in some threat state that carbon filter removed firts in water .Now i know why with 1/4 gallon of liquid orchid firt for 40 gallon tank and plant grown is so slow...
Back to the test with 3 drop a day ....with out carbon filter.
 

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After testing with several house hold fertilizer and also orchid fertilizer. I came with the result of too much ammonia increase after doze..i found out these household ferts contain either urea or nitrogen /ammonia compound ...So .my answer for this is ""We can not use household or orchid ferts for aquarium tank with fish in safety matter for the livestock.""
 
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