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I have a 29 gallon non fully cycled tank with the plants below. I got Seachem flourish for free so I'm dosing it to the tank size once a week. I now have some red plants and wanted to make sure using prime and flourish with easy Iron would be safe. I also use root tabs. I have 3 on each side of the tank spaced out, so 6 total in it. I'm also getting a GH and KH API test kit in the mail tomorrow as the tetra strips don't seem right. I currently have 6 cardinals in the tank for a fish in cycle and double dosing with prime every 48 hours and no water changes. This is my 11th day cycling the tank and 4th with fish in.  My substrate is half gravel and half Fluval Stratum.




  • Ammonia - 2
  • Nitrites - 2
  • Nitrates - 5-10 - same as tap
  • pH - 6.6
  • Temp - 76
  • GH - 75
  • Kh - 0






  • 1 Beta
  • 12 Cardinals - 6 in already
  • 6 Harlequin Rasboras 
  • 8 Pygmy Cories
  • 6 Khuli Loaches
  • 1 Borneo loach
  • Snails for days




image0 (1).jpeg

Edited by lmhicks101
Correcting formatting
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Beautiful selection of plants, I love the way your tank looks! For ferts, I've heard good things about Aquarium Co-op's Easy Green and NilocG's Thrive line!

I was recommended (by a friend) and use Thrive, but so far, I'm a little neutral on it. The composition of it is great and really helped my plants with some deficiencies from when I started out with Flourish. However, my biggest gripe is I personally have to pump it into a cup of water and swish it around before putting it in my tank. I was originally pumping it straight into the tank and it would make my nitrates 40+ ppm according to my test kit. Diluting it with aquarium water has helped a lot with preventing too much nitrates. Despite my complaints, I do like it and I don't have to dose super often due to only having a 10 gallon and a mixed needs plant load (dwarf hair grass, various Anubis, buce, 1 huge bundle of java fern, bacopa and dwarf aquarium lily). 

Definitely keep up with using root tabs, especially with all those swords! I would get some extra suggestions and/or do some research on opinions. I haven't used EasyGreen, but I'm sure someone can share their experience with it. I like Thrive, but I wish I was able to try EasyGreen because I'm sure it would've been fine. 

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@Hayleythank you for that. I started out with just a sword, the 2 Wendtii on the right and the chain at the bottom but every time I go to my local shop I stop and get another plant.  Finally said screw it and moved my plants around to make the most room and filled every inch I could while still give room for them to go. I told the guy at the store I was done and he just laughed and said we’ll see. Here’s the progress pics of my tank to what it is now. 














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my own recommendation for the future, dont spread out the root tabs, stick em in near the roots of the plants you want to target with fertilizer.  a little iron shouldnt hurt anything, just sneak up on the amount you dose by monitoring your water tests.

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On 10/9/2021 at 8:35 PM, lmhicks101 said:

@lefty o I put them in before I thought I was going to get more plants. Definitely will next time though. What am I monitoring in my tests? I’m guessing I need to get a test just for iron? 



i wouldnt worry about one just for iron, more so that you dont see the normal tests go crazy. i dont know if they even make a test for iron. for me when adding iron along with other ferts, i just give the tank an occasional  small dose of iron. now having said that, be aware i fly by the seat of my pants with fertilizing aquarium plants. i let my eyes be the judge of what is needed. so take my advice with a grain of salt.

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@lefty o I have a question about my red flame melon sword. It's longer leaves are yellowing at the edges. This plant was in the stores aquarium for probably a few months. Should I just let go for a week and see what else turns yellow or dose it with some iron. Just got it the other day so no new growth to see if they turn yellow as well and nothing else in the tank is yellow. All these plants came out of the same tank at the store. 


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i would give it a shot of iron. now my observation, that melon sword and the bigger one in theback corner behind it, probably were not at the fish store all that long. those bigger leaves appear to be emmersed growth, so over time you will lose those leaves. key in on the new growth and watch that for signs of needing ferts.

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Nice looking tank with a great starting plant mass! You’re going to need some Nitrogen to keep all those plants growing. I’d switch from The flourish to Easy Green for its high nitrogen content. My 75 gal started out with a similar plant mass and I quickly found I needed to dose Easy Green at the medium light level or the plants suffered. 
Also, once you get all those fish in and they grow to full size you’ll have a lot more natural Nitrogen so you might go back to using the Flourish. 

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