It’s hard not to agree with us when we say that there’s not a lot of content out there about aquarium plant fertilizers and how you can utilize them properly.
That’s why we decided to test several different aquarium plant fertilizers in order to learn more about how they work and also to see which ones are the best of the best.
In today’s post, we’ll discuss what aquarium plant fertilizers can do for you and how you can buy the right one in order to realize your aquarium’s full potential.
These three products set themselves apart from the crowd through distinctive performance and efficient plant growth.
Now, let’s get into the detailed reviews for the top 7 best aquarium plant fertilizers.
Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer - Top 7 Reviews
1. Overall Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer - Seachem Flourish Freshwater Plant Supplement Review
When buying an aquarium plant fertilizer, it’s important that you get one that comes with everything you need, this is a product that definitely checks that box. It comes in many different sizes which is quite convenient since buying several small bottles of an aquarium plant fertilizer can get quite annoying if you have a large aquarium.
It dissolves into the water as soon as you drop it into your aquarium and it does not dirty or cloud the water even a little bit.
Features of Seachem Flourish Freshwater Plant Supplement – Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer
- Comes in five sizes: 50 ml, 100 ml, 250 ml, 500 ml and 1000 ml
- Requires 5 ml to treat 20 gallons of water
- Enhances root absorption
- Improves disease resistance
- Easy to use
- Does not make the water cloudy
- Requires very little amount to be effective
- Encourages rapid growth
- Perfect for wilting plants
- Relatively expensive
- Can’t be used in saltwater aquariums
If you’re looking for a dependable aquarium plant fertilizer that is beginner-friendly then this is the product for you. It’s available in many different sizes and it facilitates fast growth.
2. Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer Tablets - Seachem Flourish Tabs Growth Supplement Review
When it comes to aquarium plant fertilizers that come in the form of tablets, this product is definitely the one that stands out on top. Most of the tablet aquarium plant fertilizers that we tested turned out to be useless because of the fact that a lot of our fish actually dug them up and ate them.
This product, however, has specific ingredients inside it that repel and discourage the fish from eating it. They sit nicely within the gravel and provide your plants with nutrients for a very long time before needing to be replaced.
Features of Seachem Flourish Tabs Growth Supplement
- One pack contains 10 tablets
- Slightly acidic similar to peat moss
- About 6 tabs needed to treat a 10-gallon aquarium
- New tablets need to be added every 3 – 4 months
- Contains beneficial vitamins
- Does not discolor the water
- Do not get eaten by fish like some of its competitors
- Contains all the nutrients plants need
- Easy to use
- Has acidic properties which may not be desirable in all cases
If you’re looking for an aquarium plant fertilizer in the form of tablets then this is the perfect product for you. They last a very long time and you can see the results in your plants within a few days.
3. Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer for Yellowing Leaves - API LEAF ZONE Plant Treatment Review
Oftentimes, aquarium plant fertilizers are designed to sustain plants that are in a relatively healthy state. You will definitely have trouble finding an aquarium plant fertilizer that is designed to nurse wilting or yellowing plants back to health. Luckily for you, we’ve found it for you.
We tested this product specifically on some of our aquarium plants that had wilted due to a subpar aquarium plant fertilizer that we had used on them. Not only was this product able to bring back the green color of our plants, but it was also able to enhance the color exponentially.
Features of API LEAF ZONE Plant Treatment
- Comes in three sizes: 8 ounces, 16 ounces and 32 ounces
- Contains iron and potassium
- Designed for rapid absorption
- Intended for use in freshwater aquariums
- Works with under-gravel filtration systems
- Safe for all aquatic life
- Does not make the water cloudy
- Enhances leaf color
- Promotes resistance to diseases
- Cannot be used in saltwater aquariums
If you have a problem with yellowing leaves of your aquarium plants then this is the product you’re looking for. It acts fast and does a great job of promoting bright colors in your plants.
4. Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer for Increasing CO2 Levels - API CO2 Booster Review
Carbon is an essential element that is required by plants in order to perform photosynthesis. The primary source of carbon for plants is the CO2 that’s present in the water. Oftentimes, this isn’t enough and you need to supplement it with additional carbon. That’s where this product comes in.
This product dissolved into the water as soon as we added it in without clouding or muddying up our water in any way. It’s also odorless which is an added benefit as most aquarium fertilizers are quite stinky before they are submerged in water.
Features of API CO2 Booster
- Comes in two sizes: 8 ounces and 16 ounces
- Does not alter pH
- Adds essential carbon to aquarium
- Use daily
- Intended for use in freshwater aquariums
- Does not affect water chemistry
- Can be used in coldwater or tropical tanks
- Does not cloud the water
- Easy to use
- Promotes effective plant growth
- You may require additional products for your aquarium plants
If you have plants that are not getting the carbon they need then this product is ideal for you. It’s a very convenient way of introducing carbon to your aquarium so your plants can photosynthesize effectively.
5. Best Inexpensive Aquarium Plant Fertilizer - Luffy Aquarium Plant Fertilizer Review
We were quite skeptical when we first picked up this product as the manufacturer makes a lot of claims as to the effectiveness of this product and the number of things it can do for your aquarium plants. This skepticism increased even more when we saw how cheap the product was.
It only took a few days of use for all that skepticism to fade away. We were very pleasantly surprised to see that every single claim that the manufacturer had made was indeed true and we were left with an aquarium full of plants with strong, vibrant, lush green leaves.
Features of Luffy Aquarium Plant Fertilizer
- Comes in two sizes: 3.5 ounces and 16 ounces
- Made from organic ingredients
- Safe for all aquatic life
- Intended for freshwater aquariums
- Increases disease resistance
- Enables stronger and more vibrant leaves
- Helps in seed germination
- Highly effective
- Container is frustrating to open and close
If you’re low on cash but still want to ensure your plants grow effectively then this is the product you’re looking for. It may be cheap but its performance is just as good as all the other products on this list.
6. Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer with Pump Bottle - Thrive Aquarium Plant Fertilizer Review
This is a product that one of our staff members uses for her personal aquarium. It was not on our radar at first but she recommended it and we are all so glad she did. This aquarium plant fertilizer took no time in showing us its beautiful results. Within a few days of us starting using this product, we started noticing our aquarium plants stem becoming thicker. The leaves also grew to be more luscious and enveloping.
The pump bottle makes it very convenient to use it daily and it takes no time at all to get the required amount you need into your aquarium.
Features of Thrive Aquarium Plant Fertilizer
- Comes in two sizes: 500 ml and 2000 ml
- Single bottle can treat up to 2500 gallons of water
- Well-designed pump bottle
- Full-refund policy
- Prevents algae growth
- Does not make water murky
- Bottle can last for a very long period
- Safe for all aquariums
- Acts very quickly
- Pump design makes it very easy to use
- Overdosing can cause stress in your fish
If you don’t want to waste your time opening and closing the bottle of your aquarium plant fertilizer then this product was made for you. It comes in a huge bottle that will last you a very long time.
7. Best Kelp-Based Aquarium Plant Fertilizer - Aqueon Aquarium Plant Food Review
Aqueon is a company that prides itself in producing products from natural ingredients and this product is no different. It’s very easy to dissolve into your aquarium and you normally need a very little dose to treat a large amount of aquarium water.
The kelp-based extract inside it really does a great job of promoting strong roots in your aquarium plants. They will grow long and wide inside your aquarium substrate and you’ll find that they’ll also have thicker stems and lush green leaves as well. The great thing about it is that you can also adjust the dosage to adjust the growth rate to your liking.
Features of Aqueon Aquarium Plant Food
- Comes in three sizes: 4 ounces, 8 ounces and 16 ounces
- Contains kelp extract
- Perfect for deep-rooted plants
- Provides all essential macro and micronutrients
- Intended for freshwater use
- Harmless to all aquatic life
- Does not cloud the water
- Easily dissolvable
- Overdosing may result in algae growth
If you have plants that grow to have deep, long roots then this is the product you’re looking for. It contains kelp extract which is perfect for strong root development in aquarium plants.
What are aquarium plant fertilizers and how do they work?
You can think of aquarium plant fertilizers as basically, plant food. These come in the form of tablets or liquids. The former often lasts much longer than the former.
A lot of beginner aquarists tend to think that aquarium plant fertilizers and aquarium substrates are the same things but it’s important to note that they are two completely different things that serve completely different purposes. Yes, there do exist some substrates that are rich in nutrients that don’t require you to add aquarium plant fertilizers but in most cases, you’re going to need to add some form of aquarium plant fertilizer if you want your aquarium plants to grow in a healthy and efficient way.
What are some advantages of aquarium plant fertilizers?
Aquarium plant fertilizers are definitely underrated among many aquarists and you really can’t know how beneficial these can be for your aquarium plants unless you try them yourself. Some of the advantages of using aquarium plant fertilizers are:
- They help in light absorption among your aquarium plants and also help in preventing bleaching that happens due to excessive light absorption.
- They are rich in micro and macronutrients which are essential for aquarium plants to grow rapidly and effectively without any deformities or stunted growth.
- They actively discourage the accumulation and growth of algae inside your planted aquarium.
- They can be utilized to nurse dying or wilting plants back to health.
What are some factors to think about before purchasing an aquarium plant fertilizer?
As we mentioned earlier in this post, there’s not a lot of information regarding aquarium plant fertilizers available online. This can make choosing the right aquarium plant fertilizer quite difficult. The key is to look at certain factors and aspects regarding aquarium plant fertilizers which can help you narrow down your search and make an informed decision in regards to which aquarium plant fertilizer would be most suitable for you. Some factors to think about before purchasing an aquarium plant fertilizer are:
The Nutrients they Contain
Different aquarium plant fertilizers contain different types of nutrients. It’s important that you do your research and find out what particular nutrients your specific species of aquarium plants need and whether the aquarium plant fertilizer you’re planning on getting contains all those nutrients or not.
You have to think about how many plants you have inside your aquarium and how big your aquarium is and get the right amount of fertilizer accordingly. It’s not a big deal if you get a bottle that’s too big as you can utilize the leftover fertilizer in the future but be sure you don’t get too small a bottle as it would be inadequate for your plants and you would have to go out and buy more.
Are aquarium plant fertilizers safe for fish?
Yes. All fertilizers that are meant to be used inside aquariums are safe for fish and any other aquatic inhabitants that you may have such as shrimp or corals. Please note that this is true for aquarium plant fertilizers. You cannot use regular fertilizer inside your aquarium and expect it to not have adverse effects on your aquatic pets. When you’re buying an aquarium plant fertilizer, make sure it has the “aquarium-safe” label on it.
What are the different types of aquarium plant fertilizers?
The different types of aquarium plant fertilizers are:
These are mainly substrates that are rich in nutrients that can be utilized by your aquarium’s plants. They have a soil-like texture and you can pack them on the bottom of your aquarium and plant your aquarium plants into it. If you use these types of substrates, you’re not going to need any additional fertilizer for your aquarium plants. This type of fertilizer is perfect for plants that grow to have strong and deep roots such as Amazon Sword and Dwarf Baby Tears.
Liquid Aquarium Fertilizer
This type of aquarium fertilizer dissolves directly into the aquarium water. It’s perfect if you have aquarium plants that are water column feeders, i.e., plants that obtain a majority of their nutrients directly from the aquarium water. Examples of plants such as these are Anubias and Java Fern.
Aquarium Fertilizer Root Tablets
As the name suggests, this type of aquarium plant fertilizer comes in the form of circular tablets. This is perfect if you have plants that are root feeders but don’t have a substrate that’s rich in nutrients.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Should I fertilize my aquarium plants?
Yes. Your plants absolutely need the nutrients that they get from aquarium plant fertilizers in order to grow properly. The only case in which you shouldn’t fertilize your aquarium plants is when you have a soil-like substrate that already contains all the nutrients that your plants need.
What are some basic nutrients that aquarium plants need?
Nitrogen, Phosphate and Potassium are oftentimes known as macronutrients as they are needed in large amounts by most aquarium plants. Other macronutrients include Sulfur, Magnesium and Calcium. Micronutrients include elements such as Iron, Copper, Nickel, Manganese and Cobalt.
How often should I fertilize my aquarium plants?
Most aquarium plant fertilizers come with instructions on how often you should use it inside your aquarium. If you’re unsure of how often you should fertilize your aquarium plants then a good rule of thumb is to add a dose of your aquarium plant fertilizer every time you perform a water change.
What is the difference between aquarium gravel and aquarium plant fertilizers?
Aquarium gravel and aquarium plant fertilizers are two drastically different things but since aquarium gravel is a form of substrate, some beginner aquarists do tend to confuse the two.
Aquarium gravel is found at the bottom of your aquarium. It comes in the form of small, polished rocks and you can utilize this gravel to securely plant your aquarium plants into your tank so they don’t float freely. Aquarium gravel does not provide any nutritional value to your aquarium plants.
Aquarium plant fertilizers come in the form of liquid or tablets. They contain nutrients that are absorbed by your aquarium plants so they can grow effectively.
How do I use aquarium plant fertilizers?
Your method of utilizing the aquarium plant fertilizer will depend on what type of aquarium plant fertilizer it is.
In the case of pre-packed substrate, you don’t have to do anything. The nutrients are present in the substrate and all you really have to do is set up the substrate on your aquarium floor when initially setting it up.
For aquarium plant fertilizers that come in the form of a liquid, we recommend that you accurately measure out how much you need, drop it into your aquarium and maybe swirl the water gently to make sure it completely dissolves. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to the dosage of the aquarium plant fertilizer.
For aquarium plant fertilizers that come in the form of tablets, you can place these tablets at equidistant spots underneath your aquarium gravel or sand.
How should I store aquarium plant fertilizers so they don’t go bad?
Just like any other regular product, you should store it in a cool dry place. Make sure it’s kept away from direct sunlight and that it’s also in a room whose temperature does not change drastically from time to time.
How much fertilizer should I use each time for my aquarium plants?
This can vary by a lot depending on the manufacturer. Some manufacturers require as little as 5 milliliters to treat 10 gallons of water while others require as much as 25 milliliters to treat the same amount. It’s important that you look the dosage up and stick to it exactly. Overdosing your aquarium could result in unforeseen consequences such as algae growth whereas underdosing would cause your aquarium plants to have stunted growth and deformities.
Where can I conveniently buy aquarium plant fertilizers?
Aquarium plant fertilizers are fairly easy to come by. You can look them up online and order them from websites such as Amazon or you can visit your local pet store to choose from many different varieties.
Can adding aquarium plant fertilizers encourage algae growth in my tank?
This is a source of great debate among aquarists. Many old-school aquarists tend to think that aquarium plant fertilizers can oftentimes be the sole cause of algae breakouts in your aquarium but in reality, there’s really no substantial evidence to prove this claim.
In most cases, aquarium plant fertilizers are specifically manufactured with the thought in mind that they won’t create conditions that would encourage algae growth. If you feel that your aquarium is starting to have an algae problem because of the aquarium plant fertilizer you’re using, it’s quite likely that you’re overdosing your aquarium. Try lowering the amount of fertilizer you’re adding and your problem should be resolved.
Will adding aquarium plant fertilizer be disturbing or stressful for my fish?
No. Aquarium plant fertilizers are usually required in very small doses to be effective. Your fish will barely notice anything when you add it to your aquarium.
Aquarium plant fertilizers are often an essential tool that many aquarists tend to ignore. It’s important for aquarists to realize how beneficial aquarium plant fertilizers can be when you choose the right one for your particular aquarium.
In the end, we’ve given the crown to the Seachem Flourish Freshwater Plant Supplement. It results in incredibly strong roots for your plants, it’s incredibly simple to use and it doesn’t cost much either.
And with that, we’re at the end of our post for the best aquarium plant fertilizers.
Give us feedback and let us know what aquarium plant fertilizer you’re using for your tank.