Understanding Aquarium Fertilizer & Planted Tank Fertilization Methods and Calculators

Understanding Aquarium Fertilizer & Planted Tank Fertilization Methods and Calculators


Fertilizer Dosing Methods:


Fertilizer Dosing Calculator:



When to Fertilize, and Why Fertilize

Fertilize planted tanks that implement carbon dioxide (CO2) injection, pressurized or DIY, combined with moderate to high lighting. Macro and micro nutrients are essential to proper plant growth, coloration, and survival.

How to Fertilize

There are two major Fertilization Methods to follow – PPS (Perpetual Preservation System) and EI (Estimative Index). To properly fertilize your planted tank, you will need to research and choose a method that fits your needs and tank conditions. Always be sure to carefully observe the plant conditions in you tank to avoid over or under fertilizing.

How to Dose the Fertilizer

There are several methods you can use to get the ferts in your aquarium.

  • Measure out the predetermined amount of dry ferts and place the dry fert(s) directly into the aquarium water.
  • Mix the predetermined amount with a little bit of aquarium water in a container until it dissolves, and then pour the solution into the aquarium.
  • Check out our detailed PPS-Pro dosing instructions.



Macros / Macronutrients (NPK) – there are three major macronutrients: Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P), and Potassium (K).

Micros / Micronutrients / Trace Elements – the most popular include: Iron, Boron, Manganese, Plantex, Miller Microplex.

Nitrogen (N) – the most common source is Potassium Nitrate (KNO3). It is the staple nutrient of all plants. It helps plants produce enzymes, proteins, and amino acids. A lack of nitrogen halts plant growth and promotes decay.

Phosphorous (P) – the most common source is Mono Potassium Phosphate (KH2PO4). Assists in plant DNA and RNA replication, and growth related processes. A lack of Phosphorous can result in the decreased ability for plants to uptake or absorb nutrients, leading to excess nutrient in the water and potential algae conditions.

Potassium (K) – potassium is found in compounds such as KNO3 and KH2PO4. For tanks with potassium deficiencies Potassium Sulfate (K2SO4) provides the element of potassium. Potassium plays a very important role in photosynthesis optimization, while keeping plant processes and production in a constant state of activity.

5 thoughts on “Understanding Aquarium Fertilizer & Planted Tank Fertilization Methods and Calculators

  1. gla

    Hi David, simply divide the recommended doses for a 10 gallon tank in half, this makes it suitable for your 5 gallon tank. Have fun with you planted tank!

  2. David Hernandez

    I have the powder ferts but all recomended dosing are for 10 gallons and up i have a 5gallon what should be the amounts used for my size ….dosing the EI method

  3. gla

    Yes you can use PPS pro in the same way. You can also use it daily because PPS pro is a lean dosing system.

  4. jeremy hall

    I have a low tech non c02 no excel planted tank for 6 year old daughter. I ordered your fert package. Can i dose just weekly after i do my water change. I do this with seachem products and im switching to your products because of numerous recomendations. Thanks

  5. George Haray

    Thank you for the weekend response to my question. i will be contacting you soon for my planted tank needs.

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