Fluorite + ferts?

Discussion in 'Substrates' started by jlm, 4 Aug 2009.

  1. jlm

    jlm Member

    On setting up a new El natural tank with Fluorite as substrate, are water column fertilizers such as Tropica TPN+ needed as well, or does the Fluorite supply everything the plant mass will need (apart from carbon)?

    Fluorite is considered the best substrate there is, but it only contains micronutrients, which makes me wonder about the best way to supply the macronutrients missing. The tank will have some fish, but not too many, to minimize maintenance.
  2. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    worksop, nottinghamshire
    with an EL natural tank you shouldnt (going by the "rules") use a fertiliser and rely on the plants & fish food providing most of the macro nutrients, along with soil which you "should" be using.

    You need some source, so a weekly dose of TPN+ wont hurt. or just buy some KH2PO4 & KNO3.
  3. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member


    The typical El Natural/low-tech technique usually has a soil-based substrate topped with plain gravel.

    If you follow Diana Walstad's principles then these supplies all the required nutrients, along with fish food and fish waste.

    Tom Barr likes to add more nutrients to the water column.

    Take a look here -

    http://www.aquatic-eden.com/2008/09/dia ... ch-to.html

    And here -

    http://www.barrreport.com/articles/433- ... thods.html

    Flourite is a good substrate but there are plenty that perform equally well or better, at less cost too.
  4. jlm

    jlm Member

    Precisely, according to the EL natural rules additional ferts should't be used, but remember, this is a tank in its early stages with very few fish, so I thought that a bit of encouragement would be welcome. The question is, Tropica PLANT NUTRITION+ liquid contains essential nutrients including nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), but also micronutrients, which are already included in the Fluorite. Woudln't this be too much, or do I have nothing to worry about?
  5. jlm

    jlm Member

    Thanks for that, George Farmer. I suppose my concern really is whether the Flourite substrate provides enough nutrients in the early stages, when the tank isn't fully established, especially as compared with other soil-based substrates such as CaribSea Eco-Complete or Tetra Plant Complete Substrate. Fluorite is supposed to contain micronutrients only !

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