Where to buy fertalizers?


Nov 14, 2009
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?


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Lifetime Member
Jan 5, 2009
Washington, DC
Hi gunk,
The two I'm aware of are; Aquarium Fertilizer, http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com/ and GLA, http://www.greenleafaquariums.com/
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.
Left C;45750 said:
Some GH Boosters contain Fe...
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).
Biollante;44088 said:
The only form of Glutaraldehyde (aside from Excel) is Cidex, used principally by hospitals for cold sterilization. It is wicked bad stuff, so be very careful with the stuff. :)

A source I know of is http://www.afge.org/Index.cfm?Page=Glutaraldehyde. You may be able to find this in medical supply or even janitorial supply houses. ;)

Before your purchase, consider downloading Greg Watson's Guide to Dosing Strategies, which can be found online at www.aquaticplantnews.com

I hope this gets you started.
Last edited by a moderator:


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Jun 21, 2009
Surprise, AZ

What Tug said! :gw

I bought Cidex Plus from http://www.allegromedical.com/swine-flu-c7240/cidex-plus-28-day-solution-1-quart-p189979.html, 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.​