Do I really need fertilisers for my plants?


So many newcomers to the hobby are blighted by poor information on the internet dated from years ago, and sadly it’s wrong. So I wanted to make it very very clear:

You cannot rely on fish waste for plant nutrition

If you rely on fish waste for nutrition, your plants will suffer a nutrient deficiency and algae will take hold. Now there are some plants (like vallis) which is like a weed and grows in almost nothing, providing water conditions are suitable. But I’m not talking about weed like plants. I’m talking about the plants sold on our website – the attractive potted one’s that look truly wonderful given the right fertilisers.

So please remember this, and spread the word. You have to give your plants nutrition, and that always comes in a bottle form.

6 thoughts on “Do I really need fertilisers for my plants?”

  1. Excellent advice, Richard, and I fully agree. Adding ferts through fish food might have worked in the old days but people were using A LOT LESS light back then.

    Nowadays, tanks are equipped with T5 lighting which greatly improves the growth rate. However, with high light comes high fertilization and people tend to forget that (or simply do not know because of wrong or out-dated advice), leading to algae and poor plant growth.

    It’s a shame really because a lot of those aquarists give up, while the solution is quite simple: lower the light intensity and add ferts/CO2 + circulation.

  2. Probably a lot more.

    Luckily, I think things are slowly changing. Over here in Belgium and the Netherlands I see a lot of people going pro-ferts and spreading the word on forums which is a good thing IMO!

  3. I had an aquarium until last year and I realise now that failing to fertilise the plants was one of the places I was going wrong; I’d obviously done the online research on aquariums but never came across articles on fertilisation. As you say, I did assume that the fish waste would suffice, which is why I ended up with plants with leaves full of holes and stunted plant growth. I suppose it didn’t help that everywhere I looked on the internet people had a different opinion on how to keep an aquarium so depending on the site my tank was too large, too small, too well-lit, too dark etc. -.-

    1. Yep, that’s the problem with the internet – so many opinions. Sadly most people give you their opinion based on very little knowledge – we’re a bit different here as you know 😉

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