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[APD] RE: Flourite/Flourish tabs

> Tom Barr replied:
> >>I plan on using Flourish Tabs as fertilizer supplement
> >Why? You alrerady have a flourite based, this is all you'll need.
> >Adding more nutrients to the substrate will not force plants to grow
> faster.
> Tom,
> What do you mean by this? 

Don't need more.
Realize I give advice to specific folks, not in general.I often will not
suggest things on purpose.
I also will not cover every possible senario in one post, we need to hear
back from them first in this case.

I have a good notion of where this substrate "mania" is going.
How? I've had it myself.

> Flourite to my knowledge doesn't contain anything
> other than iron, 

Which is the main role that adds one of the few significant nutrients to a
This means the tank, no matter how well run with the water column, still
needs iron in the substrate for good growth and health of the plants.
Some plants do fine without any, but perhaps 1/3 do significantly better
with iron there.  

I can't see how having a flourite substrate eliminates the
> need to fertilize it. 

Easy, I have healthy plants, adding jobes, tabs whatever....does not help
improve the growth significantly and later creates a vile mess under the
This person is new and is trying to cover all the bases, they are into it:)

I have not added anything to flourite in many years, non CO2 or CO2 plant

> I agree that in high light tanks substrate
> fertilization is not as important and can be done without, 

Well, not with iron, I would not try to do a tank without iron in the
substrate. I've had pure inert substrates for many years.
I know the effects of tabs, jobes etc.

however for low
> light tanks without CO2 I find substrate fertilization to be a very
> important element. 

Okay, but now you have switched gears. We do not know if this person has
CO2 or not, I asked and will adjust my advice as I see fit when we find out.
We do not know whether this person has CO2 or not.
But....I'm willing to bet based off all the stuff they have, that CO2 will
be part of the rotuine.

I use flourish tabs in both low and high light tanks and
> all of them have a flourite substrate. I can easily see differences in
> growth in my high light tank when the flourish tabs are getting depleted,
> I've tried to not use them at all and adjusted my liquid ferts to
> but in general I find that the plants are doing better with the tabs than
> without.

My plants are just fine. If they look all pretty like amano's Pics, I tend
not worry.
I am good with the water column, this is perhaps a better place to start
for some new folks.
They certainly can see results faster with this method.

Simple, step wise is better than adding all sorts of stuff blindly to the

> But my point is not to fertilize the substrate or not, different things
> for different people :-)

At issue is WHY a method works or not. Going back and forth between CO2/non
CO2 is mute till we hear back.
We need to determine what method this person wants to use and their goals

 ...But what's Flourite got to do with this? There
> is more than iron in Flourish Tabs and Flourite, to my knowledge, doesn't
> contain anything other than iron (besides what it absorbs from it's
> surroundings)."

Well it's got plenty of anaerobic and aerobic sites to bind, organic
detritual matter, it builds up over time is becomes more a good sink for
nutrients of all kinds.
Generally I do niot think the Flourish tabs will harm anything, but most
folks have less need for them.
If you have a big old sword, adding one under there may help some.

> Are you simply referring to iron levels?

Generally Fe and Mn.

> Thanks
> Giancarlo Podio

Tom Barr

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