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FAQ: Which Seachem® products can I use with my plants?

Planted aquariums and fish-only aquariums often have notably different needs, both in terms of nutrients and in terms of care.  While most products intended for freshwater aquariums will not prove immediately toxic to plants, some products are harmful to plants, or will alter water chemistry in a manner that is not ideal for plants.  Here is a quick guide to choosing products for planted tanks:

         

 

Seachem®'s recommended products for planted tanks

Prime®Removes chlorine and chloramine

Stability®: Supplements bacteria to aid tank stability and remove ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.  Extremely useful in new tanks.

Pristine™: Supplements bacteria to consume organic waste buildup and reduce slime, film, and detritus.  Extremely useful in established tanks.

Alkaline Buffer™: Raises KH and pH

Acid Buffer™: Lowers KH and pH. Use together with Alkaline Buffer to target a pH.

Equilibrium™: Raises GH

Flourish® supplements: Supplement macro and micro nutrients as well as bioavailable carbon

Purigen®: Reduces organic waste to clarify water

Matrix™: Provides high level of surface area for both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria

             

 

Plant Compatibility Charts

Green: This product is recommended for use in planted aquariums as needed

Blue: This product is compatible with planted aquariums, and may even be recommended for planted aquariums, but there are some circumstances under which you might choose not to use it.  Click the product name for more information.

Orange: This product is not directly harmful to plants, but may alter water chemistry in a manner which is not ideal for plants or may prove harmful to plants if large amounts are used.  This may also mean that the type of fish you are keeping are incompatible with planted aquariums. Click the product name for our recommended alternative.

Red: This product may harm plants and is not recommended for planted tanks.

Plant Products

Flourish® Flourish Excel™ Flourish Iron™ Flourish Nitrogen™
Flourish Phosphorous™ Flourish Potassium™ Flourish Trace™ Flourish Advance®
Flourish Tabs™ Alkaline Buffer™ Acid Buffer™ Equilibrium™

 

Water Conditioners

AmGuard™ Clarity® HeadStart Pack™ Prime®
Pristine™ Safe® Stability® StressGuard™

 

Freshwater Buffers & Supplements

Acid Regulator™ Alkaline Regulator™ American Cichlid Salt™ Arowana Buffer™
Betta Basics™ Brackish Salt™ Cichlid Lake Salt™ Cichlid Trace™
Discus Buffer® Discus Trace™ Fresh Trace™ Gold Basics™
Gold Buffer™ Gold Salt™ Gold Trace™ Malawi/Victoria Buffer™
Neutral Regulator® Liquid Neutral Regulator® Tanganyika Buffer™  

 

Filter Medias

CupriSorb™ de*nitrate™ HyperSorb™ Matrix™
MatrixCarbon™ PhosBond™ PhosGuard™ PhosNet™
Purigen® Renew™ SeaGel™ ZeoLite™

 

Medications

None of the Seachem® medications are recommended for use in the water of a planted aquarium.  However, it is perfectly fine to use a medicated food blend in planted aquariums.  We recommend:

MetroPlex™ Food Blend for internal and external parasites like ich, velvet, and hexamita

KanaPlex™ Food Blend for internal and external bacterial and fungal infections

NeoPlex™ Food Blend for bacterial infections of the intestines

SulfaPlex™ Food Blend for external bacterial infections

Cupramine™ Focus™ KanaPlex™ MetroPlex™
NeoPlex™ ParaGuard™ PolyGuard™ SulfaPlex™

 

Saltwater Supplements

None of the Seachem® saltwater supplements are suitable for planted aquariums

Marine buffer® Liquid Marine Buffer® Marine Trace™ Reef Adv Calcium™
Reef Adv Magnesium™ Reef Adv Strontium™

Reef Buffer™

Reef Builder™
Reef Calcium™ Reef Carbonate™ Reef Complete® Reef Dip™
Reef Fusion 1™ & Reef Fusion 2™ Reef Iodide™ Reef Kalkwasser™ Reef Pack Enhancer™
Reef Pack Fundamentals™ Reef Phytoplankton™ Reef Plus™ Reef Reactor Lg™
Reef Reactor Md™ Reef Strontium™ Reef Trace™ Reef Zooplankton™
VibrantSea®      

 

 

Special Circumstances 

American Cichlid Salt™

American Cichlid Salt™ is a mineral supplement that raises the GH of the water.  The minerals of this supplement are in the appropriate ratios to support American cichlids, which is perfectly fine for plants, but is not specifically tailored to their needs and does not include any added potassium.  If you are intending to maximize the benefit to your plants, we recommend Equilibrium™ instead.

Betta Basics™

Betta Basics™ is great for supporting plant growth in exceptionally small aquaria, but in large aquariums this product will be far too dilute to economically buffer the pH or support plants.  For larger tanks, we recommend Alkaline Buffer™ and Acid Buffer™.

Brackish Salt™

Brackish Salt™ is a GH supplement which helps establish the ideal environment for brackish or hard water species.  It is possible to keep plants in a brackish tank if Brackish Salt™ is being used, but this type of high-mineral environment is not typically ideal for planted tanks, and only hard water tolerant plants such as anubias will do well in this type of aquarium setup.  For tanks that are set up with soft-water plants and fish, we recommend Equilibrium™ instead.

Cichlid Trace™

Cichlid Trace™ supplements the needed trace elements for cichlid health.  There is typically no danger from using multiple trace element supplements, but fish that are kept in a planted tank that is regularly dosed with a plant trace element supplement rarely suffer from trace element deficiencies.  If you are already dosing Flourish Trace™ in this tank regularly, it is unlikely you will need to dose Cichlid Trace™ as well.

Discus Trace™ 

Discus Trace™ supplements the needed trace elements for discus health.  There is typically no danger from using multiple trace element supplements, but fish that are kept in a planted tank that is regularly dosed with a plant trace element supplement rarely suffer from trace element deficiencies.  If you are already dosing Flourish Trace™ in this tank regularly, it is unlikely you will need to dose Discus Trace™ as well.

Fresh Trace™

Fresh Trace™ supplements the needed trace elements for freshwater fish health.  There is typically no danger from using multiple trace element supplements, but fish that are kept in a planted tank that is regularly dosed with a plant trace element supplement rarely suffer from trace element deficiencies.  If you are already dosing Flourish Trace™ in this tank regularly, it is unlikely you will need to dose Fresh Trace™ as well.

Gold Buffer™

Gold Buffer™ is a carbonate supplement that raises the alkalinity (KH) and pH of goldfish tanks.  Goldfish are well known for eating plants and the high-pH and high-mineral environment of goldfish tanks may be unsuitable for soft-water plant species.

Gold Trace™ 

Gold Trace™ supplements the needed trace elements for goldfish health.  There is typically no danger from using multiple trace element supplements, but fish that are kept in a planted tank that is regularly dosed with a plant trace element supplement rarely suffer from trace element deficiencies.  If you are already dosing Flourish Trace™ in this tank regularly, it is unlikely you will need to dose Gold Trace™ as well.

CupriSorb™ 

CupriSorb™ is intended to reduce heavy metal concentrations in the aquarium and remove copper-based medications.  Heavy metals are dangerous to fish, plants, and invertebrates in high concentrations, but many of these metals are absolutely essential in low concentrations (many of them fall into the category of "trace elements" needed by plants). Constant use of a heavy metal absorber like CupriSorb™ can eventually result in trace element deficiencies in the aquarium.

de*nitrate™ 

de*nitrate™ is a specialty filter media intended to be used in a slow-moving filter to develop anaerobic bacteria and reduce nitrate.  In planted aquaria, issues with nitrate are almost always a result of a deficiency in potassium or phosphorous, a lack of bioavailable carbon (CO2 or Flourish Excel™), or low growth from improper lighting.  We recommend addressing these concerns first before setting up a specialty filter to run de*nitrate™.

ZeoLite™ 

ZeoLite™ is intended to address an ammonia spike, but is not generally recommended as a permanent addition to the aquarium.  To reduce the waste load of a planted aquarium, we recommend Purigen® instead.

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