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Where to buy fertalizers?

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by gunk, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. gunk

    gunk Subscriber

    Nov 14, 2009
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    Local Time:
    5:11 PM
    I've read a lot of posts about making your own fertalizers, but where do I buy the raw ingredients needed?

    Also, is there a DIY version of Flourish Excel?
  2. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Jan 5, 2009
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    Local Time:
    5:11 PM
    Hi gunk,
    The two I'm aware of are; Aquarium Fertilizer, and GLA,
    You will find KNO3, KH2PO4 and CSM+B. If you have soft water (low GH) and need to add Ca and Mg, several GH boosters are on the market that will add GH as well as K+. Some add iron and other micro-nutrients as well.
    If you have hard water and do not need to increase the GH, you might want to get some K2SO4 instead. With moderately hard water consider getting some DTPA Fe in addition to CSM.

    I do not use Excel, but the DIY versions contain glutaraldehyde, (very caustic).
    Before your purchase, consider downloading Greg Watson's Guide to Dosing Strategies, which can be found online at

    I hope this gets you started.
    #2 Tug, Jan 26, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2010
  3. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Jun 21, 2009
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    Local Time:
    5:11 PM

    What Tug said! :gw

    I bought Cidex Plus from, they seem to be very reasonable on the shipping and quick. :) I found trying to buy Cidex Plus through pharmacies more expensive and time consuming. :(

    I cut the Cidex (discard the ‘Plus’) equal parts with distilled water, as recommended by JDowns.

    While care is required, working with 3.4% alkaline glutaraldehyde solution, is like working with any mildly caustic cleaning solution.

    I still have a good bit of Excel left so I have been dosing side by side and cannot see any difference. :rolleyes:

    As a side note, I recall a post (I cannot find it) regarding Excel and UV-sterilizer breaking down glutaraldehyde, I do not recall what the products were.

    I have not seen any evidence of problems; I do not have any glutaraldehyde test kits, so I do not have any good measurements. I have set up four tanks (low-tech, ambient light, enriched substrate, medium planted); two tanks with UV-sterilization and two without, one UV and one non-UV dosed at label rates with Excel.

    While I can measure a difference between the UV and non-UV tanks with an ORP meter, I cannot see any difference in the tanks.

    Subjectively both Excel tanks are showing better growth. I have not observed a significant difference in critters.​


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