Best Aquarium Plant Food for Strong Plant Growth
People who have aquariums at home may occasionally forget that it isn’t just the fishes that require food. If there are aquatic plants in the aquarium then it’s also important to provide these plants with the necessary nutrients and minerals. In this article, we look at a number of great aquarium plant food choices for strong and healthy plant growth. Before we present the top choices, here are some important factors to consider:
1. Fish-safe Food
First, make sure the plant food is safe for the fishes. Most aquarium plant food should be safe-for-use as long as they don’t contain any harmful chemicals. That said, you should always take precautions and start off with applying smaller-than-required doses of plant food. If you don’t observe any strange behaviors from your fishes then you can start to increase the doses of plant food to the required amount.
2. N-P-K Ratio
The N-P-K ratio refers to the balance of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus in the fertilizer. You can learn more about it in this article. Plants are going to require different levels of these three nutrients depending on their stage of growth. Most aquarium plant food should be labeled with a ratio. A common example is 0-0-1. This means the fertilizer contains 0% available nitrogen, 0% available phosphorus, and 1% available potassium.
3. Liquid or Tablet Fertilizer
Aquarium plant food comes in several forms. The most common are liquid fertilizers and tablets. There are a few factors to consider when picking the type of plant food. For example, if you only have a few plants in the tank then the small tablets may be effective. If you have a forest of plants then it may make more sense to use liquid fertilizer to ensure the plant food is spread across the whole tank. There’s no major right or wrong answer. You may need to do some testing on your own to find out which choice works better for your aquatic plants.
With the above factors in mind, here are some aquarium plant food choices to consider getting.
Seachem Flourish Excel
This is a must-have if your planted tank does not come with CO2 supplementation. Plants require carbon to thrive and this product contains plenty of it. Seachem Flourish Excel also has the added benefit of providing some algae control in the tank. Click here to learn more about the product.
API Aquatic Plant Food
API Aquatic Plant Food is another highly rated choice among consumers. These tablets work well for many potted pond plants, including marginal and bog plants. One customer mentioned that these tablets have worked well for the pond lily pads. Click here to learn more.
Laguna Fertilizer Spikes
One additional product we recommend is the Laguna Fertilizer spike. This plant food product works well for aquatic plants with established root systems. One customer, however, did mention that you’ll go through these fertilizer spikes really quickly if you have a large tank or pond so this product may be better suited for people maintaining a small tank. Click here to learn more.
There you have it. We hope we have provided some tips on helping you select the right aquarium plant food. Keep in mind that even with the same product, the result could be different for each individual due to there being many different variables. Tank size, plant species, fish species, and water quality to name a few. If the first product doesn’t work well for you then continue to experiment to see which product allows for your plant to thrive and grow.
Bonus Content: Aquatic Plants that Control Algae
If your are having frequent algae issues in your fish tank then here are some fast-growing aquatic plants to consider.
1. Java Moss
Java Moss is a favorite among those who maintain a fish tank or aquarium. This particular aquatic plant is popular for a number of reasons. For example, its’ fairly easy to install and maintain. It doesn’t require any sort of special layer or gravel in order to thrive. Most importantly, it’s known to help absorb excess nutrients, which helps with algae control. This could be helpful for those who don’t have an exact idea of how much plant food they need to put into their fish tanks.
2. Amazon Swords
Amazon Swords are great beginner plants. They can reach up to 20 inches in height under the right conditions. Like the Java Moss, the Amazon Swords plant could help with absorbing excess nutrients from aquatic plant foods.
3. Java Ferns
Java Ferns make welcome additions to any aquarium. Java Ferns are especially popular with people who keep tropical fishes of the Southeast Asia region because that’s where they originate from. Under the right conditions, Java Ferns could grow up to eight inches tall.
Anubias are popular aquatic plants as they are known to have resilient properties. These plants can add a nice touch of green to the fish tank and could also act as a great stimulant for the fishes. Like Java Ferns, Anubias plants may grow up to eight inches tall.
Ultimately, most aquatic plants would serve a purpose of controlling the algae population in the fish tank. You are having the plants and algae compete for the nutrients so the more plants you have in the fish tank, the less likely it would be for the algae to thrive.