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RE: Tropica Master Grow - OOOPS!

James Purchase wrote:
> What I _should_ have said (and thought I did, until I re-read the message
> this morning), is that NO commercial fertilizer aimed at aquarium plants
> contains all of the essential elements necessary for plant growth, not even
> Mastergrow. This is not a flaw in the formulations, it is due to the fact
> that certain nutrients are added to a typical aquarium via fish food and
> regular water changes.

I'm not so sure about that James! There are several pond fertilizers
which contain macro nutrients.

In fact, IMHO, about the best fertilizer you can use for aquatic plants
is to take ordinary house plant fertilizer (14-14-14) containing trace
nutrients and mix it in a ratio of about 200 mg with a clay ball about 1
cm in diameter and add this to the substrate near the roots of your
plants. This supplies trace nutrients including iron and macro nutrients
including phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium. This approach can be used
with ordinary aquarium gravel alone; no need of using laterite, clay,
vermiculite, soil or kitty litter!!

Granted, this fertilizer is not sold in aquarium stores. The pure fact
of the matter is that you can buy the fertilizer more cheaply in a
gardening store or even a general store like Safeway. Aquarium stores
cannot compete selling at low markups like large chain stores. One
aquarium store owner wanted me to supply him with home made clay
fertilizer balls which he would retail at somewhere around $0.25 each. I
tried to convince my wife to go into the business of making these little
balls but she wouldn't go for it.

The fact that people will buy products in aquarium stores that they
could easily get from other sources is really amazing. For example,
tonight while browsing in a local store, I saw a bottle of boron
supplement for sale at $35. I have several lifetime supply of boron
which I bought at Safeway in the form of boric acid for about $5. I
could make about a thousand bottles of the boron supplement with that
single bottle of boric acid. :-)


PS I haven't mentioned Ca, Mg and K nutrients but these need to be
present in the water. Refer to web pages for more info.

Steve Pushak                              Vancouver, BC, CANADA 

Visit "Steve's Aquatic Page"      http://home.infinet.net/teban/
 for LOTS of pics, tips and links for aquatic gardening!!!