Sunday, December 25, 2016

NPK Fertilizer For Aquarium Plants

NPK Fertilizer For Aquarium Plants

The nutrients that every aquatic plant need to thrive can be divided into two groups. They are the Macronutrients and Micronutrients.  This article will give you a brief overview about the macronutrients aka NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium).

Macronutrients are those nutrients that plants need in a larger amount. Among the macronutrients, the key nutritive elements are Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K).

Nitrogen (N):

NPK Fertilizer For Aquarium Plants

Nitrogen is generally found in every aquarium in the form of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. It is one of the very first nutritive elements that needs supplementation in the aquarium. For healthy growth of plants, it is recommended to provide enough nitrogen for the plants to absorb. It is advised to keep nitrate level 10 to 20 ppm in the tank. Lack of nitrogen in the water column may result in nitrogen deficiency on the plants. The first symptom of nitrogen deficiency is new leaves will get smaller and lighter colored. You can provide nitrogen to the aquarium by making your own fertilizer using dry salts, i.e. Potassium Nitrate (KNO3). If you find this troublesome, you can always go for commercial fertilizers such as Seachem Nitrogen.

Click here to know about Nitrogen deficiency in details!

Phosphorus (P):

NPK Fertilizer For Aquarium Plants

Phosphorus is usually absorbed aquatic plants in the form of Phosphate (PO4). But for the harmful nature of phosphate, we try to keep the amount of it as low as possible in the aquarium. Generally, this element doesn’t need any supplementation. There are multiple sources of phosphate in the aquarium such as fish food, fish waste etc. The recommended level of phosphate in the tank is 1 to 2 ppm. Though the smaller amount you have, the better. There is a high risk of algae bloom if there is an excess amount of phosphate in your tank. Although, if you have no phosphorus at all (which is unlikely), phosphorus deficiency may appear as yellowing of the older leaves.

Medium light and low light tanks do not need additional doses of Phosphorus. But if you have a high light tank, you may need to provide phosphorus if there is a shortage. To provide phosphorus in the aquarium, you can use dry salts such as Monopotassium Phosphate (KH2PO4) or go for commercial products such as Seachem Phosphorus.

Click here to know more about the role of Phosphorus in planted tanks!

Potassium (K):

NPK Fertilizer For Aquarium Plants

Every aquatic plant need potassium to thrive.  It is a benevolent macronutrient which doesn’t bring any harm, even if you liberally dose it! Potassium and Nitrogen are the two macronutrients that need dosing in planted tank. The desired level of potassium in a tank is 10 to 20 ppm. But you won’t face any issue if your tank has a higher potassium level than that. As potassium doesn’t bring any harm, it is safe to use more than needed in the aquarium. Potassium deficiency reveals itself as yellowing of the leaf edges, small holes in the leaves, etc. You can dose potassium in the tank using dry salts such as Potassium Sulfate (K2SO4) or liquid fertilizer like Seachem Potassium.

Click here to know more about Potassium deficiency in a planted tank!

Comment below if you have any question and I’ll try to answer as soon as I can!