Help Me Create A Fertilizer Regimen For My Needs?


New Member
Oct 26, 2018
I'm looking for a fertilizer regimen for the following conditions that describe the way I keep tanks:

-No CO2 in pressurized or liquid form
-Insert substrate with root tabs (maybe some MTS eventually again, but I'm not planning on it again for the present)
-Low to medium light (this ranges from just a window to stronger LED lighting)
-I have well water and it's 6.5 ph, 3 kh and 8 gh, a little less than 200 TDS (for whatever it's worth), and no heavy metals showed up in tests and we don't have metal pipes
-My nitrites are always 0 ppm (according to API's tests), unless I have a lot of leaves and soft wood in the tank
-My tanks don't tend to get very polluted (bad water quality) except for maybe the exception of my fry grow out tank every once in a while
-I don't do a 50% water change once a week. In fact, I don't do them regularly bc of my inability to keep a schedule and my other health issues. I do water changes very randomly and in some tanks, maybe once a month if even that (I try to keep most of my fish in over sized tanks to cut down on maintenance for myself)
-I prefer to dose every day bc otherwise I'll forget/lose track
-I prefer to dose macros and traces together at the same time because otherwise I'll forget which I did and lose track (I used to do this a long time ago and didn't get issues with combining the two since I put dry powder directly into my filters)
-I want to be able to do that again, dry stock of macs and trace mixed up together and scooped into my filters instead of having to mess with mixing up solutions
-My smallest tanks are ten gallons, I'm trying not to go any smaller than that
-I don't use chemical filtration, I mainly just use reticulated 60 (ppsi?) foam in various types of HOB or sponge filters, sumps and canisters, so that's mechanical and biological
-Some of my tanks are buffered with baking soda and/or epsom salt to various degrees

I know that's a lot but I'm trying to be concise in case any of this is pertinent.

I've been doing PPS-Pro and it's NOT cutting it. The only happy plants I have that don't show various deficiencies are in my fry grow out tank that can get dirty fast with the multiple feedings a day and so many fish.

Why am I making things difficult or not as good as normal EI? I'm not trying to. I'm trying to make this as simple to keep up with for myself as possible. Believe it or not but this would be the easiest for me.

Julia Adkins
Lifetime Member
Jun 22, 2015
Napa, California
Hi CaptMicha. I see this post is from last October. I would like to suggest a simple tool to use for water changes in your tanks. It involves 1" threaded PVC pipe in elbows and lengths. I would be willing to describe the setup if you are interested.
As for feeding your aquatic plants, keep in mind that plants need the same nutrients as animals and people and in about the same ratios. There are nutrients for structure. These are the macros. There are nutrients for making the macros useable and for keeping the organism functioning. These are the micros. Then there are water conditioners that make water-soluble nutrients more available for the plants to uptake, bioavailability. Generally, iron compounds are put into a category by themselves. Most plants do not require very much iron. Red leafed plants need more to maintain their red color.
Using dry plant food in the form of ground minerals is a less expensive way to feed your plants. You can mix your own blends or buy premixed blends. Having one graduated dispenser bottle for the macronutrients and one for the micros can make your feeding routine simpler.