Which is the Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer to Use? (Top 7 Reviews)

How lovely it is to watch your beautiful fish swimming around the plants and the stunning ornaments in your aquarium along with other kinds of fish. But when your aquarium plants start to wither, it’ll leave nothing but an unhealthy underwater habitat for your fish and a complete mess. That is definitely another matter you should ponder over. What should you do?

If you’re trying to enhance the growth of your plants and make your aquarium much more livable for your fish, what you need is the best aquarium plant fertilizer. And if you’re wondering how you can pick out the ideal boost for your plants, there are several factors you need to know. Keep reading!

IMAGE PRODUCT NAME FEATURE PRICE
Seachem Flourish Excel Bioavailable Carbon TYPE: Liquid Fertilizer

PRIMARY BENEFITS: Supplies optimum levels of carbon, controls algae growth, and regulates levels of iron

QUANTITY: 500 ml

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API CO2 Booster TYPE: Liquid Fertilizer

PRIMARY BENEFITS: Supplies optimum levels of carbon and promotes photosynthetic process

QUANTITY: 16 oz

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Luffy Marimo Fertilizer TYPE: Liquid Fertilizer

PRIMARY BENEFITS: Supplies Phosphate, Calcium, and Nitrates for Marimo Moss Ball Plants

QUANTITY: 30 ml

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Thrive Aquarium Plant Fertilizer TYPE: Liquid Fertilizer

PRIMARY BENEFITS: Supplies nitrate, macronutrients, and micronutrients and controls algae growth

QUANTITY: 500 ml

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Liquid NPK+M Aquarium Liquid Fertilizer TYPE: Liquid Fertilizer

PRIMARY BENEFITS: Supplies macronutrients and micronutrients

QUANTITY: 2 x 500 ml

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Glosso Factory All in one Planted Aquarium Fertilizer TYPE: Liquid Fertilizer

PRIMARY BENEFITS: Supplies macronutrients and micronutrients

QUANTITY: 16 oz

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Aquarium Plant Root Fertilizer Tabs TYPE: Root Fertilizer Tabs

PRIMARY BENEFITS: Supplies macronutrients and micronutrients

QUANTITY: 40 tabs

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Top 7 Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer Reviews

Seachem Flourish Excel Bioavailable Carbon

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The primary focus of this aquarium plant fertilizer from Seachem is to boost the levels of carbon which is quite beneficial for your aquatic plants. Works as an alternative source of bioavailable organic carbon, it increases the nutrient retention of your plant and biological diversity, allowing your plants to grow healthily and abundantly.

What’s also great about using this fertilizer on your plants is its efficiency in promoting the optimum balance of ferrous state of iron. Therefore, the iron production stays at the ideal level and does not cause toxic effects on the plants as well as the fish, making it eco-friendly and safe to use.

If you’re also worried about unwanted algae growth like hair algae, this aquarium fertilizer also boasts its controlling properties. As it stabilizes the growth of algae and also inhibits the outbreak of hair algae and black beard algae, it can speed up the growth of your plants and also keeps your aquarium clean at all times. So, if you’re experiencing any algae problem, this fertilizer could be the solution you need.

For the correct application, the manufacturer provides detailed instructions and make sure you use it as directed to prevent any adverse results. It is best to always consider how much and when you should add to on your aquarium like after a major water change. With utmost precaution, you can keep your plants healthy and happy!

PROS:

  • Enhances carbon levels for fast and efficient plant growth
  • Has iron reducing properties to promote optimum levels of ferrous state of iron
  • Has controlling properties to eradicate unwanted algae

CONS:

  • Needs to be used with an utmost caution, especially after a major water change

API CO2 Booster

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For lush and vibrant aquatic plants, you can consider this CO2 booster from API. While it works to enhance the growth of your plants, this fertilizer also fuels the photosynthetic process and therefore, transforms light energy to chemical energy. In this process, the plants can obtain substantial nutrients to grow properly and healthily.

This alternative source of carbon makes it much easier to absorb essential carbon levels, allowing the plants to grow bountifully. The manufacturer recommends to use it daily for best results and of course, with precaution and proper heed to the detailed instructions.

With correct application, you’ll notice vibrant and healthy colors on your plants. While it keeps your aquarium beautiful, it also provides better habitat for your fish and other aquatic animals.

As it comes in a bottle with a measuring cap, it is much easier to use. The liquid form easily spreads throughout the water and on the plants, ensuring prompt and efficient application. The manufacturer also recommends to use it alone or together with CO2 systems. This product is available in 8 oz and 16 oz.

PROS

  • Supplies essential carbon to the plants for efficient growth
  • Comes with a measuring cap for easy use
  • Promotes the photosynthetic process for the proper and healthy growth of plants

CONS

  • It does not help control algae growth

Luffy Marimo Fertilizer

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The Luffy aquarium plant fertilizer targets proper care for Marimo moss ball plants. These fluffy Marimo balls are a friendly type of algae that lends an eco-friendly home for your fish and other aquatic pets. But to support their healthy growth, they require fundamental nutrients such as Phosphate, Calcium, and Nitrates, which is what this Luffy fertilizer offers. So, if you have any of these dainty fluffy balls, you can let them thrive beautifully in your tank with this fertilizer.

As mentioned, it carries out 3 vital nutrients that a marimo moss ball needs. And because it has the exact ratio of Phosphate, Calcium, and Nitrates, this fertilizer will nurture your marimo plants: they will be larger, fluffier, greener, and just how your healthy marimo plants should be. Apart from fish, shrimps and snails love to play with these fuzzy balls and if they are healthy, your aquatic pets will also be.

The manufacturer also guarantees that it is safe to use and therefore, won’t harm your other aquatic pets and plants. And if your other plants in the aquarium, they can also benefit from the substantial nutrients from the fertilizer and hence, grow healthily and properly as well.

Coming in a form of liquid, it is much easier to use and the marimo ball plants can absorb it much more easily and efficiently. Once you change 50% of the water in your tank, you can apply a few drops as directed in the instructions. Just make sure to squeeze your fuzzy little balls before you apply the fertilizer for better food absorption.

PROS:

  • Specially formulated to nurture the growth of marimo ball plants
  • Provides essential nutrients for marimo plants such as Phosphate, Calcium, and Nitrates
  • Safe to use; does not harm aquatic pets and other plants in the aquarium
  • Easy to use

CONS:

  • The packaging seems flimsy

Thrive Aquarium Plant Fertilizer

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If you’re looking for a fertilizer that can treat large aquarium tanks, this 500 ML plant fertilizer from Thrive can be the ideal boost you need. With its highly concentrated formulation, this fertilizer has the ability to treat large tanks up to 2500 gallons. You won’t have to waste a single drop of this liquid fertilizer and you can definitely use it for further treatments in the long run.

It contains macronutrients, micronutrients, and essential minerals that help enhance the growth of your aquatic plants. Just how the name suggests, this fertilizer lends substantial nutrients and let the plants thrive efficiently and fast. And because it is aquatic pet-friendly, it ensures the safety of your fish, shrimp, snails, and any other plants in your aquarium.

When it comes to ease of use, Thrive also makes application hassle-free with a pump bottle. All you need to do is just pump it in your tank according to how much treatment your plants require. Just make sure to closely follow the guidelines when adding it to your tank and therefore, stabilize the levels of nutrients your plants need such as nitrate, macros, and micros.

If you’re also worried about algae growth, this product also has controlling properties that can deter the development of algae in your tank. Therefore, this helps keep your tank clean all the time.

PROS:

  • Primarily supplies essential nutrients such as macronutrients, micronutrients, and nitrate
  • Can treat large tanks up to 2500 gallons
  • Has properties that can control or prevent the growth of algae
  • Comes in a pump bottle for easy application

CONS:

  • Does not contain carbon

Liquid NPK+M Aquarium Liquid Fertilizer

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When deficiencies in your aquatic plants start to appear, it might be a lack of micronutrients and macronutrients. Without these fundamental nutrients, you might notice your aquatic plants slowly dying and that’s why NilocG Aquatics formulated this liquid fertilizer to provide the aforementioned nutrients for your plants.

They come in two separate pump bottles – one for micronutrients and macronutrients. While it supplies essential nutrients for the plants, you can also use it together with CO2 supplements to control algae growth. The pump bottle design also makes it a lot easier to control the dosage you need for your tank. If you’re planning to use it for EI dosing method or any other dosing techniques.

If you also have a large aquarium tank, these fertilizers also do a great job to provide an efficient amount of concentrated formula. It can treat tanks up to 2500 gallons, making it reliable to use for homes with multiple aquariums or large aquariums.

The bottle indicates the precise dosage and therefore, recommends 1 pump per 10 gallons. But if you want to know further details regarding the instructions, you can check their website.

PROS:

  • Nurtures the growth of aquatic plants with micronutrients and macronutrients
  • Comes in two separate pump bottles for easy dosing
  • Applicable to use for EI dosing and other preferred dosing techniques
  • Can work on large tanks up to 2500 gallons

CONS:

  • May work better with tanks with low to moderate lighting and not for high tech tanks

Glosso Factory All in one Planted Aquarium Fertilizer

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If you have a low-tech aquarium tank and you need some help from efficient boosters to keep your aquatic plants leafy and green, you might want to try this all-in-one aquarium fertilizer from Glosso Factory. It targets plants that lack macronutrients and micronutrients and hence, essentially formulated to supply the proper balance of the aforementioned substantial nutrients.

As this fertilizer nourishes the growth of your plants quickly and efficiently, you’ll be left with nothing but healthy and happy plants. This also revamps the underwater habitat of your aquatic pets, making it an environment fit to live in.

If you also need to amplify the growth of your plants in large tanks, this fertilizer can treat up to 4,730 gallons of aquarium tanks and the manufacturer provides detailed instructions for the recommended dosage.

This fertilizer solution comes in a pump bottle, allowing you to treat your aquarium tank like a breeze. Just shake it before applying but make sure to follow the guidelines carefully before you pump it in your tank to prevent any adverse effects on your plants, fish, and other aquatic pets. With strict adherence, you’ll be able to keep both your aquatic plants and pets safe and healthy.

PROS:

  • Nourishes growth of plants through the proper balance of macronutrients and micronutrients
  • All-in-one fertilizer solution to keep your aquatic plants green and leafy
  • Can treat large tanks (up to 4,370 gallons)
  • Easy to use; comes in a pump bottle

CONS:

  • Has trace amounts of copper which could not be safe for shrimp if used in high or irregular quantities
  • Can fog up your aquarium at times

Aquarium Plant Root Fertilizer Tabs

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If you’re trying to boost your plants on a gravel bed or aquatic substrate, you can consider using these fertilizer tabs from Planted Aquarium Concepts. Specially formulated to promote balance between macronutrients and micronutrients, your plants can absorb vital nutrients to grow properly and healthily.

These tablets are easy to use and also hold up well in water. And because they are shaped in little cubes, they are much easier to place or plant at the bottom of the substrate or gravel bed. It is not messy and does not cloud your aquarium. You can just press these tabs into the substrate 3 to 6 inches apart and you can repeat this every 3 months.

What’s also great about these tabs is they do not contain copper; it is a compound that can be harmful to aquatic pets such as shrimps, snails, and other invertebrate underwater creatures. Besides tropical fish and other kinds of fish in your aquarium, this fertilizer is safe to use.

Compared to other aquarium plant fertilizers, these tabs are also much cheaper. So, if you’re on a tight budget but want to nourish the growth of your plants, these tabs are worth considering. And because they are not in a liquid form, putting them away for storage is easy and messy-free. After use, you can just keep them in its resealable packaging.

PROS:

  • Balances out the supply of macronutrients and micronutrients to the aquatic plants
  • Easy to use and put away for storage
  • Does not contain copper; safe to use both on aquatic plants and pets
  • Inexpensive compared to other aquarium plant fertilizers
  • Ideal to use for substrate and gravel bed

CONS:

  • It seems a little bit soft

How to Choose the Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer

To find the perfect aquarium plant fertilizer for your needs, you can just pick out any type of fertilizer that seems fitting; there are vital factors to consider first. As we delve into the significant properties of the aquarium plant fertilizers, it is a must to identify their nutritional content, type, safety, ease of use, and how much you really need.

1. Check the nutritional content.

First and foremost, it is very important to know the kind of nutrients the fertilizer has to offer. There are vast ranges of essential nutrients that boost the growth of aquatic plants to keep them healthy and aesthetically beautiful. However, every product highlights certain brackets of substantial nutrients and minerals that target specific kinds of plants and areas of essential growth in plants. There are also nutrients that can manage algae growth or even prevent them.

If by any chance, you end up choosing the wrong kind of fertilizer or you dosed your aquarium tank with large or irregular quantities of fertilizers, it may cause adverse effects to your aquatic plants and also to your aquatic plants.

Furthermore, it is necessary to know what lies beyond the labels and nutritional content of the fertilizer you’re planning to buy. Take a look at these essential nutrients and their benefits on plants:

a. Carbon: It is responsible for fueling the process of photosynthesis and hence, nurtures the growth of aquatic plants as it converts the nutrients and light energy. It also enhances the nutrient retention of the plants, allowing them to replenish and grow healthily.

b. Macronutrients: This is comprised of Nitrogen, Phosphate, and Potassium or also known as NPK. A lot of aquarium plant fertilizers highlight these fundamental nutrients to provide an essential boost to the growth of the plants.

As the term macro suggests, these are the kind of nutrients that aquatic plants require in large scale or quantities and inevitably vital to the efficient growth of plants in the aquarium. Therefore, aquarium plants should obtain these nutrients regularly. Some fertilizers, however, include Calcium, Sulfur, and Magnesium.

c. Micronutrients: Contrary to macronutrients, these are the kind of nutrients that aquatic plants require in minimal quantities. This is comprised of Nickel, Boron, Iron, Copper, Manganese, Molybdenum, Zinc, Cobalt, and Chloride. Aquatic plants also need them and therefore, should be supplied now and then to stabilize nutrient absorption.

However, as these elements are only required in small amounts, they should be maintained at an optimum level and not be given to aquatic plants in large scale. Otherwise, it may cause adverse effects not only to your plants but also to your fish and other aquatic pets in your tank.

2. Choose the type of fertilizer.

When choosing the type of fertilizer to use, you need to consider the substrate of your aquarium. Whether you use coarse gravel bed, fine gravel bed, or sand, there are fertilizers that are available in liquid form and tabs or tablets.

Those fertilizers in liquid form are much easier to use as they just dissolve in the water right on the dot. Root tabs, on the other hand, are ideal to use for substrates such as gravel or sand. In a form of a tablet, you can just poke them into the substrate and let the plants feed on it. If you also have heavy root feeders, this type of fertilizer will also do.

3. Know how much you need.

Aquarium plant fertilizers come in different quantities and the optimum amount you need may depend on the size of your tank, how much plants you’re growing, state of water, the intensity level of your lighting, and how much fish or aquatic pets you have.

4. Check if it is safe to use on plants, fish, and other aquatic creatures in your aquarium.

It is imperative to know whether the fertilizer you’re buying is aquatic pet-friendly. Most fertilizers available on the market, however, are formulated to support and enhance the growth of your plants while keeping your fish and other aquatic pets safe.

Although it is rare for aquarium fertilizers to harm your beloved fish, shrimp, snails, or other underwater creatures in your aquarium, you still need to be careful of using the fertilizer. You can do this by reading the labels closely, carefully following the instructions for precise application, and checking the nutritional content.

Most of the time, the fertilizer itself is not what causes the plants, fish, and other aquatic pets to weaken or die but because of mishandling the product.

5. Ease of use.

Aside from the nutritional content and other significant factors mentioned, you can also consider the ease of use. The packaging of these fertilizers makes up for convenience, allowing you to use the fertilizer without any hassle.

Liquid fertilizers come in pump bottles while others make application easy with measuring caps. And while root tabs are not typically messy to use, manufacturers make storage a lot easier with resealable bags.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How to plant aquarium plants in gravel?

All you need is ample lighting, the right choice of plants, and a sufficient amount of fertilizers. For gravel substrates, you may use root tabs to boost the growth of your plants. When it comes to the kind of plants to grow in gravel, you may try Java Fern, Anubis, or Java Moss as they can thrive with little to no substrate and hence, can thrive in most aquariums.

2. How to plant live plants in an aquarium?

To set up your aquarium for live plants, it is highly essential to put up simulated sunlight or optimum lighting on your aquarium for 8 to 12 hours. Do not place it directly under the sunlight. It is also a must to consider the size of your tank as this will tell you how much plants it can accommodate. After layering the bottom of the aquarium with the substrate for your plants, make sure to supply an adequate amount of fertilizer regularly to keep them growing.

3. How to make aquarium plant fertilizer?

If you want to go completely DIY with your aquarium plant fertilizer, you should consider first the size of your tank and what nutrients your aquarium plants really need. Others opt for homemade fertilizers to save money but do know that it may require lots of effort, a series of trial and error, and research.

The popular recipe that you may also try is comprised of a teaspoon of potassium nitrate, 2 teaspoons of potassium sulfate, 5 tbsps of hydrated magnesium sulfate, and 1 tbsp of chelated trace elements. This mixture is diluted in one and a half cups of water.

Aside from this formula, there are other recipes that you can try to make your own fertilizer. However, it depends on what nutrients your plants need and many other properties.

Wrapping Up

It is safe to say that picking out the best aquarium plant fertilizer is crucial. But if you notice any lapses in the growth of your plants, it is probably time to bolster their health and keep them leafy and green with the use of plant fertilizers that are specially formulated for aquarium plants.

Although there are overwhelming options for these fertilizers, you can take note of the factors mentioned above to help you come up with the best boost for your plants. Just make sure to determine what your plants really need, how much plants you have, the kind of plants your growing, or the substrate you’re using and you’ll definitely figure out which aquarium plant fertilizer to use.