Seachem Fertilizers And What They Do

Dolfan

Many people often ask about some of the Seachem Fertilizer products for plants as their names can be confusing (everything has "Flourish" in the name). I feel like they are great fertilizer line to start with as they have all the main products you may need when first getting into plants. Dry ferts may be more cost effective down the road once you get a grasp on things and see how certain products effect your tank and plants. I think the liquid ferts and root tabs by Seachem are great for any beginner just wanting to give their plants a boost.

Seachem's flourish line is a great place to start in my opinion. They are a reputable company and all of their stuff is safe and reliable. Here is some info I copied out of another post I had a while back when someone was asking about the different ferts etc. It explains most of the Seachem Flourish line. You can get these from most any of the better online vendors like bigalspets.com, kensfish.com,petmountain, just to name a few, and you will save a ton of money.

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. 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 and Phosphorus-P, while containing a decent amount of 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. This product is great for tanks with fish as they assume the fish waste and food are providing most of the N and P.

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

Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium are the 3 main elements all plants need in some form. Flourish Comp has them but in lesser amounts of the N and P, with a little bit more of the K. If you have a lot plants or really low bio-load (fish producing waste) than you may need the 3 individual products, 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 and/or have a decent bio-load of fish with a varied diet, as their fish waste will have some iron in it.

Flourish Trace is a mix of just the micro/trace elements needed by plants. I personally prefer to use the Comprehensive to add some of the macros too, as it is roughly the same price, but others prefer to do everything separate using the individual 3 macros (N,P, and K) and then the Flourish trace to cover the micros.

Flourish Root tabs are an all in one fertilizer that only benefits root feeders like sword plants, crypts, etc. Other plants are water column feeders and need the liquid ferts. They are a great product to use, just place them around the base of any root feeders. One complaint is they can be a bit pricey at $7 for a pack of 10. Although that 10 pack will last an average 10-40 gallon tank quite a few months depending on how densely your tank is planted. I use a hammer to smash the larger tabs into smaller chunks. I put the root tab in a Ziploc bag so the pieces don't go flying everywhere. Then lightly tap until it breaks into smaller chunks. These smaller chunks can be spread out more evenly around the bases of the root feeding plants.
 

AquaticBrandon

Thanks! This answered my thread.


 

Dolfan

Yea I was answering your thread and knew I had the info all typed out in an older thread so I had to dig it up and edit it a bit, and I figured others may benefit as it is a common question.

On another note Mike, Lucy, Rivieraneo, ryanr, and all the other mods, (can't remember everyone's name, sorry for whoever I left out), is it possible to make this thread a sticky. There are always a lot of questions about the Seachem products as they are the most commonly available product that many use when first getting into plants. I wasn't sure if this post were to be stickied if it would seem too much like Fishlore was endorsing a certain brand or product, which I know would not be ideal. I just figured it would help to answer a lot of the basic questions about these products. Thanks in advance for looking over it and considering it, and for all that you guys do. I know it's not fun dealing with a lot of the stuff you guys put up with, like grumpy opinionated people like myself, haha.
 
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AquaticBrandon

Thanks. This will help other members too.


 

Anders247

Great thread, third that it needs to be a sticky.
 

Dolfan

Thanks for making this a sticky, hope it helps out anyone looking get to started with fertilizers and/or the Seachem Flourish products.
 

navarro1950

Dolfan, you're the greatest.
 

nboatr

Thanks for the information

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N900A using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
 

James Cochran

Excel is not really an algaecide as much as it is an additional food source for plants in the aquaria. It allows plants to utilize all available energy sources and in return allows plans to starve out the competing algaes... Iron isn't needed for most plants? Iron is probably the most important thing to maintain at a constant level, besides Co2. It is an algaecide though completely. But only because in the instant of use for algae remove is it over fertilizes the algae and it dies.

Flourish is really just a bunch of stuff that's already in tap water. Unless your tank is filled with plants or you never do water changes, it's usually better to just dose trace elements as nitrates and phosphates are already at ratio, and available more than needed.

A lot more focus could be placed on individual dosing of potassium and iron. Nitrogen isn't really needed in most aquariums because of Nitrate. I do personally do an ammonia based nitrogen as plants prefer this form. The only way new plant leafs get nitrogen is from old plant leafs.

So as your plants grow taller or more full this is when you may notice a need for more nitrogen. If your plants seem not to be able to grow any taller it's likely the leafs are lacking nitrogen to pass on. It's very very easy to overload plants with nitrogen because focus needs to be maintained on amount of phosphate in aquaria also.

I also think trace elements should be maintained daily for a moderate to heavily planted tank. Plants use traces very quickly actually. If you supplement fatty acids you'll notice an even greater need for everything else (N, P, K, Fe, and Co2 specifically) Focus needs to be given to water column and roots for specific plants. Plans such a swords cannot transfer water column fertilizers as well as root tabs.

There's many people who try to get their anubias and sword to grow better with water fertilizers but do not have great success as most of the nutrients if drawn from roots.

Nice write up on products! I just think you didn't explain how much of a benefit excel truly is. You made it seem like more of a method for algae control.
 
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Bluestreakfl

Dolfan never said plants didnt need iron. If you read the first description of the Flourish Comprehensive, it already contains some iron, enough so that should be fine for the average persons planted tank. Also in the description of the Iron, It stated that in most cases, additional Iron (on top of the iron already in the comprehensive that one would be using) isn't often needed unless there is a reasonable need for extra supplementation.
 

James Cochran

There's a reasonable need. Especially in the ferrous form. I don't know what form the Iron is in flourish but it may be Ferric. It's Seachem so it may be Ferrous like their Iron supplement is. I prefer to dose trace elements and iron on their own than use Flourish because of everything else it contains mainly Nitrogen.
 
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Bluestreakfl

There's a reasonable need

Well, in reality, that's subjective. Some plants can do just fine with minimal, or no fertilizer supplementation. I have a low tech 10 gallon with some easy plants, Java moss, Moss balls, and Water sprite. I very even seldom dose regular flourish, I never use excel, and have never needed to dose iron. My Java moss and Moss Balls have done fine, are bright and healthy. My water sprite has grown so vigorously, I have to trI'm it once monthly and trI'm off enough to replant another 10 gallon tank, as it literally fills my tank. I feed very responsibly, small portions in this tank, once daily with the occasional fast, or veggie day. There is obviously enough nutrition simply from fish waste to supply this setup with what it needs.

On the flip side, however, yes there are setups that would need additional Iron. I agree that Iron is as a matter of fact one of the most important nutrients for plants. In a higher tech setup, your plants in general will consume nutrients at a much faster rate, especially if you are dosing CO2 or Excel, and have strong lighting. Also in these setups, people can get away with plants that have more specific needs and aren't as forgiving. In such a case, more Iron would be needed, or the plants would become deficient. Especially ones that get the nice reds and browns, such as your ludwigias, some crypts, Rotala, Camboba, and swords to name a few.

When it comes down to it, the needs of different setups are much more specific to a given setup than they are to a more broad spectrum.
 

James Cochran

I never said plants cannot thrive without. There's just a need for it. I'm sure in your low tech tank, despite great results the addition of iron further would only aid in coloration and allow plants to utilize other available energy sources more fully.

Plants can grow with just a light and sand with little nutrients available in substrate. overtime fish waste will aid here. The actual needs of the plant to grow 100%, main focus on 100%, require so so so so much. Iron really really helps as iron is also immobile like nitrogen. Iron transfer from old leaf to the new leafs. As your plants really really start to grow they will enviably find a need for iron to continue growth...
 

Greenplant

Okay I'm a newbie and have had trouble with plants for a while until I started with Excel. Okay so this is my schedule for liquid Ferts any help would be appreciated. Flourish 5ml once a week Excel 7.5ml 5 times a week Iron 5ml every other day Potassium 7.5ml every two days I don't use Nitrogen and I don't use Phosphorus even though Seachem says it will not have an algae outbreak I chose not to use it.

I have everything they sell except for Trace. It's a 50 Gal tank Heavy Planted with Indian Red Sword, Amazon Swords anubius Jave fern. The plants are doing well but it could be better and any advice or suggested schedule would be appreciated.

TIA

GP

Edit: Forgot to ask is it okay to add more then one fert a day?
 

JeffB

Dolfan, can u talk some more about the dry fertilizers. As u said, these liquids are expensive.
 

Bluestreakfl

It's best to alternate fertilizers between days. What kind of light are you running on the 50g?


 

friendlytoanimals

I just found this thread as I was searching for any basics on plant needs. I'm grateful for this conversation as I've found it really hard to find just the beginner info.
 

aniroc

I have a bottle of Seachem Flourish Nitrogen. The label reads: "Flourish Nitrogen is a blend of nitrogen sources. It provides both nitrate and plant preferred ammonium form that is complexed and unavailable until utilized by plants"
Hmmm...Sounds familiar..."converts ammonia into a safe non-toxic form that is readily removed by tank's biofilter.
That must be Seachem's blockbuster product: Prime.
Why can't I mix Old Country ammonia with Prime and make my own fertilizer for a fraction of the price?
 

Greenplant

It's best to alternate fertilizers between days. What kind of light are you running on the 50g?


Sorry for the late reply I use a
  • Ultra bright 6500K white LEDs and rich 445nm blue LEDs
 

Bluestreakfl

I have a bottle of Seachem Flourish Nitrogen. The label reads: "Flourish Nitrogen is a blend of nitrogen sources. It provides both nitrate and plant preferred ammonium form that is complexed and unavailable until utilized by plants"
Hmmm...Sounds familiar..."converts ammonia into a safe non-toxic form that is readily removed by tank's biofilter.
That must be Seachem's blockbuster product: Prime.
Why can't I mix Old Country ammonia with Prime and make my own fertilizer for a fraction of the price?

Prime doesn't convert ammonia to ammonium, but rather a different safe form, I don't remember exactly what it's called.


 

aniroc

I did not say that. It is an "ammonium complex" and I never knew the name but I believe to be the same idea in both Seachem products.
 
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RahRah2113

very informative.. thank you!!
would any of these products harm shrimp and snails?
 

Greenplant

very informative.. thank you!!
would any of these products harm shrimp and snails?

I know it doesn't seem to bother my Nerites but I can't say for shrimp I don't have any. Great Products by Seachem
 

Bluestreakfl

The thing with shrimp, as they're more sensitive to these things compared to fish, is dosage adjustment. For very lightly planted tanks I would dose at 1/4 to 1/3 of the normal dosing. 1/2 to 2/3 for moderately planted tanks, and normal dosing for heavily planted. It's all about finding balance, and ensuring you don't have a buildup of anything. I also like to split my dosing up into smaller amounts so that plants absorb that little bit before more is introduced.


 

ConfusedAquascaper

Thanks alot. That answered a few questions on my thread. My only question now really is should I remove my peat moss? should I change the lighting on my tank? My thread is fairly recent

Would you happen to have any information on my thread I posted today? WHATS WRONG WITH MY WATER. I have lots of information you seem very knowledgeable
 
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Dolfan

Would you happen to have any information on my thread I posted today? WHATS WRONG WITH MY WATER. I have lots of information you seem very knowledgeable
ConfusedAquascaper - many people will be happy to help you, assuming you have a thread already going where you have stated your issues, your current parameters, etc. This thread is about the basic uses and explanation of the Seachem Flourish line of plant fertilizers. If you want some help from someone in particular, use the "@" symbol in front of the users name, and that user will be notified someone mentioned them.
 

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