Please Help Me Pick A Fertilizer Method For My Needs?


New Member
Oct 26, 2018
I could use some help, please! Which fertilizing method should I go with for my low tech tanks?

I am a low tech girl, I do NOT have the understanding of it all, the money, or the energy or memory to keep up with anything complex or expensive.

-I have a fish room of about 20 or so tanks from 10 gallons to 65 gallons (currently).
-Most of these are planted.
-Light is mostly at medium level.
-I use pool filter sand with root tabs of Osmocote Plus.
-I don't use CO2.
-My tanks are stocked lightly with inhabitants to keep down my maintenance.
-I don't do weekly or regular water changes, I just do them as needed, some are done roughly once a month.
-I have a variety of plants, whatever works in my conditions, I'll grow them.
-I add leaves and bark to some of these tanks (I mostly do biotopes).
-I do NOT want to fertilize every day!
-I purchase my stock in the PPS-Pro package, which is Macros and Plantex CSM+B, and I also bought Fe EDTA.
-These are my source water parameters (I'm going to be installing a heavy metal filter at the source) (fyi, this loads slowly).
-I purchased 500 mL bottles that give 2 mL per pump.

EL Low Light Weekly may not be enough, I'm thinking?

PPS-Pro sounds ideal, but I don't know how to convert it to a dosing formula where I'm dosing only a couple of times a week. Rotala Butterfly doesn't show me how to mix for that, as far as I can tell. Do I just double or triple up on the dose and only fertilize twice a week?

PMDD doesn't even tell you on that website how often I'm supposed to dose.

Thanks for your help.


Feb 24, 2019
Modesto, CA
No co2
Osmocote in substrate

In my opinion you don't need much more than that. I have a small tank, no co2, that I dose Excel 5 days per week . I dose Nilocg Thrive all-in-one once per week. That's down from dosing almost daily when the tank was first set-up (new Aquasoil and didn't know any better).

To give you an idea of the difference, I have another tank that I dose CO2 in that gets a reduced regimen of the PPS-Pro Method. Basically a half dose of Macro's and slightly more than one dose of CSM+B 6 times per week.

If you really want to try dosing some ferts I would start with the CSM+B. FYI the CSM+B already has EDTA iron in it. And from what I've read EDTA iron is only good in low ph water. I would stick with recommended dosing per day even though you are skipping days. Maybe add one dose of Macro's once a week. See what happens and adjust from there. No increase in algae, increase the number of days you dose. You see an increase in algae, back off on the dosing.

In any event, I would not increase the quantity dosed to make up for days lost. I did that to a tank with shrimp and within an hour the shrimp where on their sides. That's my experience, others may have a different result.

Recent image of my overgrown for the betta, no CO2, tank. Algae growth on driftwood receding after my near daily dosing of ferts. This is 2 weeks since water change. No algae growth on sides of tank.