Here at The Green Machine, we use the full range of Tropica Plant Nutrition ( TPN ) fertilisers from the well respected company Tropica of Denmark.
Tropica Plant Nutrition ( Brown Fluid ) is a trace element mix of iron, cobalt, chromium, copper, iodine, manganese, zinc and molybdenum. Tropica Plant Nutrition + ( Green Fluid ) are all of the above but with added N and P – Nitrogen and Phosphate. When plants show signs of micro nutrient deficiencies you will see that the plant may look as if it is growing as normal, but the new growth is pale or white. This is due to the fact that plants can only obtain micro nutrients from the substrate or water column as it grows, where as if the plant is showing signs of macro (N, P, K – Nitrogen, Phosphates, Potassium) deficiencies, you may see the plant show signs of stunted growth, deformed leaves, and premature die off, pin holes in the leaves or signs of brittle leaf structure. Plants have the ability to obtain macro nutrients from other parts of themselves. Plants will store macros in leaves, bladders or bulbs under the substrate as part of its root system, so when plants are running low on macros it may be a sign of long term deficiencies. Tropica also manufacture a TPN+ capsule which is to be placed at the base of rosette or even stem plants. You will see much stronger, healthy growth with rosette plants pushing a stronger root system and great leaf health. With stem plants you will see stronger stem and leaf structure, more internodal growth with colours appearing brighter.
Here at The Green Machine we use the entire range of Tropica fertilisers with great results. Our fertiliser routine consists of using a very nutrient rich substrate such as the Tropica plant care substrate or the ADA range of aquasoil. Within this, we use the TPN+ capsules and both liquid fertilisers at the rate of one third TPN+ to two thirds TPN, dosed on a daily basis. For example, for a 120 litre tank Tropica recommend 5ml for every 50 litres. This equates to 12ml per week. We recommend that you dose two parts TPN to one part TPN+, we also recommend that in high light tanks and specifically in aquariums using RO water you can dose twice the recommended rate. There is an element of faith in this – watching your plants, looking for signs of deficiencies, algae blooms etc. So based on a 120 litre, high light, heavily planted, CO2 rich aquarium, we would recommend you dose 8ml of TPN+ to 16ml of TPN in your aquarium per week. It is best to dose this on a daily basis or every other day will be fine too. For example this would mean 2.2ml of TPN per day and 1.1ml of TPN+ per day for the 120 litre tank.
I have grown Nesaea crassicaulis in a moderate to high light planted tank with no CO2 with the two thirds TPN to one third TPN+ and the under substrate TPN+ capsules. The plant growth went from a moderate health with pale green leaves to a deep red leaf colour with strong well formed leaf and stem structure.