Fertilizing Systems in Aquascaping

Fertilizing a plant-oriented tank or a nicely decorated aquascape is of growing importance as the technical possibilities of lighting a tank and adding CO2 grow more and more advanced. Besides a good complete iron fertilizer that does not only contain iron but also all the other essential micronutrients, additional macronutrients have to be added in relatively many cases in order to prevent the plants from showing deficiency symptoms.

Aquatic Plants

Here we'd like to compare several fertilizing systems and detail on their specific strengths and weaknesses. We will differentiate between:

  1. Unlimited nutrient supply, on the example of the Estimative Index method, which involves adding fertilizer every one to two days.
  2. Limited nutrient supply, on the examples of the PMDD system (also called PPS Pro), which involves daily fertilization, and of a soil-oriented fertilizing system. The soil-oriented fertilizing system consists of a soil substrate and additional special liquid fertilizers, also added daily as a rule.

Regarding the different fertilizing systems we have to keep in mind that they can only give us a basic framework and leave much leeway for individual adjustments to the specific tank. Considering this, it is of the utmost importance to adapt the fertilizer dosage to one?s own tank and to not cling religiously to the dosages prescribed by the system you have chosen. These dosages are mere guidelines. In the beginning you might want to keep to them, however, to get a feeling for the system, and then individualise in time, by reducing or increasing the dosage.