[Latest 2023] Top 10 Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer for Plant Growth & Safe for Fish

Are you planning to place a planted aquarium? Is it the first and are you a little nervous? Many people become anxious because they are told to use fertilizers to keep plants happy and healthy. Here we have provided 10 Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer to solve your problem.

Using an aquarium that doesn’t have low light or technology can be quite intimidating. Not sure where to start. To make it easier, we will talk extensively about fertilizers.

Comparison Table

CustomSiteStripe ImageTitleReviewBuy
Top PerformanceSeachem Flourish Excel Bioavailable Carbon4.7/5.0Check Price
cheapestAPI ROOT TABS Freshwater Aquarium Plant Fertilizer4.3/5.0Check Price

Many beginners will ignore the last piece of the puzzle because the world of fertilizers seems like a complicated mess. Everyone on the internet is pushing for dry fertilizers because they are profitable and highly adaptable, but they fail to mention the extremely steep learning curve and how easily chemical balances can get out of hand if you don’t know what you are. doing.

You can learn if you need them and how to make them yourself. We also talk about 10 products and tell you which one we think is the Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer.


Do Really Planted Aquariums Need Fertilizers?

We are not going to lie and tell you that every planted aquarium always needs fertilizer. Many aquatic plants have few requirements. This means that they only need natural fertilizers created by fish and other inhabitants.

However, the truth is that if you don’t use fertilizer in the planted tank, the plants may not be the same. If you want to successfully grow aquatic plants, you need to know why fertilizers are used.

There are three factors that affect the growth of your plants. These include CO2, light and fertilizers.

Plants need light to grow and photosynthesize. It is true that some aquarium plants do not need much light. However, others require special lighting systems to thrive.

Do not rush to buy expensive LED lamps just yet. You need adequate lighting, but you also need CO2. This is an essential nutrient.

Plants cannot do much with all that light and without CO2. Instead, the algae in the tank will likely take over. This can result in a huge bloom.

The CO2 that is released naturally will not be enough for many advanced plants. So you must have a system to replenish it. A combination of good lighting and a source of CO2 ensures better plant growth.

Yet you won’t see that if you don’t use fertilizer. Plants need many things to grow as they should. This is reflected in the plant food you give them.

Without this Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer, your plants will not grow properly. They probably produce slender, thin stems with pale, brittle leaves. Eventually they will probably die if you only give them light and CO2.

The 10 Best Fertilizers for Your Aquarium Plants

Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer Reviews

1. Seachem Flourish Freshwater Plant Supplement

Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer

Choosing a fertilizer for your best aquarium plants can be a challenge. However, the Seachem brand contains everything you need.

The advanced formula contains many things your plant needs. These include minerals, nutrients and phytohormones.

The roots and shoots are stimulated to grow strongly. Phytohormones are essential in many ways to regulate plant growth.

It works for cell division, leaf senescence and the formation of shoot meristems. In addition, it can help improve stress response, root growth and seed germination.

You must use this product regularly. Doing so can improve your plant’s ability to resist various diseases.

It can also improve the absorption of suitable minerals. This will make your plant stronger.

The first application takes two weeks to work. During this time, it can help stimulate root growth below the surface. Then you will notice that the stems and leaves of your plants also grow better.

Flourish Advance is designed to be safe for all plants in the aquarium. It is also not harmful to aquatic organisms such as fish. It is also not completely toxic to water.

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2. Seachem Flourish Excel Bioavailable Carbon

Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer

The Flourish brand is quite popular and there are multiple products with the name. The bioavailable carbon version of Excel provides all the carbon your plants need. It is also organic carbon.

You will also notice that the Excel option includes iron-reducing properties. Therefore, iron is ferrous instead of ferric. Your plants can better use ferrous iron easily.

Plants must produce longer carbon chain compounds, which are called photosynthetic intermediates. When you use Flourish Excel, you avoid the need for those string coals. It introduces compounds that are similar in structure and already complete.

Before first use and each time you change 40 percent or more of the water, use one capful of the product for every 10 gallons of water. After that (and as long as you don’t make a significant change to the water you should use one cap for every 50 gallons every day or two. The threads on the cap are about one ml each.

This product is also safe for your fish. However, if your aquarium houses Anacharis, you should probably use the product every other day rather than every day.

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3. API ROOT TABS Freshwater Aquarium Plant Fertilizer

Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer

Did you know that the plants in your tank can turn yellow, drop their leaves and eventually die without the right fertilizer? They need the right essential nutrients to make them more vibrant and stronger. API ROOT tabs are one of the best products available.

It contains the nutrients your plants need, such as potassium and iron. This can give your new aquatic plants a good start and keep your established plants growing and thriving. Of course, nutrients are consumed over time, so they need to be replenished periodically.

This product is safe for use with tropical fish and others. It comes in tablet form, which makes it easy to use. Simply place the tablets in the gravel at appropriate intervals.

Although you can use it around tropical fish and plants, it is designed for use in freshwater aquariums. You will find the manual for correct dosing on the back of the packaging.

You should add one tablet for every 30 square inches of the gravel surface. Push them half way into the gravel bed. Therefore, a 10-gallon aquarium needs six tablets.

It is ideal to add new tablets to the aquarium every month. This is to ensure that your plants continue to grow exuberantly.

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4. NilocG Aquatics Aquarium Fertilizer Shrimp Specific

Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer

If you have a lot of shrimp in your tank, you may want to use the NilocG brand fertilizer. It is designed to keep your plants healthy, but it is also ideal for shrimp tanks. That way, everything in the tank gets what it needs to survive and thrive.

It can make the planted shrimp tank look great. But you’re also giving plants the macronutrients and micronutrients they need.

This product has been specially developed for shrimp tanks. In addition, one bottle can treat up to 2,500 gallons. It also comes with a pump cap, which can make it easier to put into the aquarium.

While it may take a few days to see results, it’s worth the wait. If you have Anubias Nana, Java Ferns, Water Wisteria or Java Moss, they will quickly look stronger and healthier.

When you have developed a root system, you should use three doses of the product every week. After that, you’ll need two pumps a week for 10 gallons of water. There is no need to use fertilizer with every water change.

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5. NilocG Aquatics Aquarium Liquid Fertilizer

Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer

Sometimes a product system is needed to provide the plants in your aquarium with the right nutrients. This is what you get with NilocG macro and micro fertilizers.

The macro version contains potassium, phosphate, nitrogen and much more. It is best to use one pump for every 10 gallons of water. For best results, use plenty of light three times a week with low or medium light once or twice.

You should dose the macro product every other day than the micro. It’s also a good idea to do weekly water changes, changing about 50 percent of the water. Then add the macros.

You will discover that the micro-product contains iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc and vitamin B among other things. This product uses the same instructions as the others. Therefore, you should only remember to use them on other days.

It is important to note that you may need a GH boost. If you have hard water and are unsure of magnesium and calcium levels, you should use the GH booster, which is available separately.

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6. Aqueon Aquarium Plant Food

Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer

Those who have freshwater plants need to make sure they get the nutrients they need. You do this effectively by using the Aqueon plant food brand.

Contains seaweed extract. This is important to encourage better root development. The roots of your plants are where it all starts, so it’s important that they are strong.

This means that your plant’s leaves and stems will also become stronger and more vibrant. Of course you also have to make sure that the plants get the right amount of light.

You will find that this product contains a variety of ingredients. Things like calcium, potassium, magnesium and sulfur are essential for your aquatic plants. It also contains iron, manganese, boron, zinc and molybdenum.

This is of course a plant food, so it is designed to help your plants. Still, it will not harm any fish that is also in the aquarium.

There is a 4, 8 and 16 ounce version of this plant food. It is designed to be used once a week. Just fill the cap and add it to the water.

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7. API Leaf Zone

Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer

It is a good option for a typical aquarium with little plant growth in low light and no additional CO2. It is suitable for an aquarium with a lot of nitrates and phosphates in the water, but little K and micronutrients. On the other hand, if you plan to grow more demanding plants with it, a lack of Mn and other non-Fe micronutrients makes diagnosing deficiency difficult.

API also recommends using Leaf Zone in conjunction with API Root Tabs. According to the material safety data sheet, these consist of clay, carbon and “additives” which are unspecified trade secret ingredients. That said, since API advertises them for use in conjunction with their fertilizer, we can guess a little. The additions will likely make up for the lack of N and P in the liquid fertilizer and may also contain the full set of micro. The clay can be there to hold everything together and add some cation exchange capacity, while the carbon can take up different substances to keep additives from leaching too quickly.

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8. Tropica Premium Nutrition

Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer

Finally, it says “suitable for aquariums with few plants or slow growing and lots of fish”. This is the most complex explanation, but it makes sense and true when we take a closer look at the analysis: The fertilizer contains a range of micronutrients, as well as some potassium and magnesium. Potassium and microbes make sense again because if they are not fertilized, the only sources are water changes and traces in food. The addition of magnesium may not be so necessary, but it will help those few who have unusually low magnesium tap water.

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9. Tropica Specialized Nutrition

Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer

We only get the percentage of phosphorus and nitrogen, so for our ratio we need to convert it to phosphate, which is a multiplication factor of 3.06 (the quotient between the molecular weight of phosphate and phosphorus). The phosphate percentage would therefore be 0.306%. We assume that all nitrogen is supplied as nitrate (a reasonable assumption as ammonia would be toxic and urea very unusual). We multiply by 4.42, which is the molecular weight quotient of nitrate and nitrogen. This gives us a percentage of 5.93%. Therefore, the ratio is 5.93:0.306:0.069 or 100:5.16:1.16.

With these full calculations, we see that this fertilizer is somewhat poor in phosphate and micros (compared to an unrestricted approach). Limiting P is a good way to emphasize reds in plants that are under stress due to nutrient restriction. Moving away from absolute numbers, if we do the math, we also find that the recommended dosage for most tanks is pretty lean, especially if you don’t want to stress over the reddest red. Note that the Tropica aquascapes example uses relatively little red; When we look at the dosage, we regularly see them taking an overdose by a factor of two to five above their own recommendation. This also shows how lean the recommended dose is.
They may have feared that a high recommended dose would lead to nitrate and micronutrient accumulation and health problems in the fish. Such a result would be possible if a customer wanted to use this fertilizer in a lush tank, but without additional carbon dioxide, a situation that could lead to less absorption. Therefore, the recommended dosage may be a compromise between high and low nutrient demand tanks.

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10. NilocG Thrive

Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer

The NilocG Thrive website tells us exactly what we need to know: “1 pump (2 ml) per 10 g adds 6 ppm NO3, 1.11 ppm PO4, 4.3 ppm K and 0.23 ppm Fe.” This is almost the exact 100:20:4 ratio needed for a limitless approximation of the Estimation Index (IE), and this is indeed an IE based fertilizer. It also adds extra magnesium. That is why it is a perfect fertilizer for a limitless fertilization approach. But of course it should be mentioned that this approach means keeping up with the water changes as nutrients can build up very easily.

However, there are hidden assumptions in this product: non-limiting means that it exceeds the maximum possible plant intake, which in turn assumes you have a lush tank full of more or less average plants under lots of light and extra carbon dioxide. . For example, if you want to grow a tank full of K-hungry Hygrophila under plenty of light and with extra carbon dioxide, this fertilizer may yield less than the recommended dose of K needed to not be restrictive.

A handy rule of thumb: If you want unlimited fertilization in a tank with no additional carbon dioxide, a quarter to a third of the corresponding dose for tanks with CO2 is enough so as not to be restrictive.

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How to Fertilize Aquarium Plants Naturally?

If you are looking for a natural way to fertilize your aquarium plants, consider what kind of soil you are using. You can find a special dirt that is ideal for aquarium plants. However, you can use regular potting soil with a lot of NPK or use pond plant compost.

Soil is a great way to give plants a nutritional boost. They get everything they need and it’s already in.

Still, dirt is a bit outdated. Many aquarists think it’s hard when you get upset. Moreover, you do unnecessary work if you have ready-made products for sale.

It is also possible to make a natural fertilizer using the ecology already present in the aquarium. A biologically active filter is the heart of any planted aquarium. If the filter is properly designed, it should contain colonies of good bacteria and activated carbon.

These things work with fish and plants to help purify the water. If you have biologically active filtration systems, the fertilizer will develop naturally. Also, living invertebrates and fish will fertilize plants through their waste and respiration.


Is the Aquarium Plant Fertilizer Safe for Fish?

Many people are rightly concerned about whether plant fertilizers are safe for the fish in the aquarium. Of course, most planted aquariums have fish inhabitants. Therefore, it is essential that you choose a fertilizer that will not harm other living things.

Fortunately, most fertilizers are designed for a wide variety of fish and invertebrates. So you don’t have to worry about your fish.

However, you must read the container as manufacturers must state whether the fertilizer is not safe for fish and what type. Still, it’s not common to find commercially available fertilizers that aren’t safe.



We believe that these 10 products are suitable for your planted aquarium. Still, some of them were designed for specific things, like Marimo or shrimp. It is ideal to read the product description before making a final decision.

When it comes to the Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer, we think the Seachem brand is for you. Since we liked the Flourish and Flourish tabs, we get a tie winner. These products are essentially the same, although one is in liquid form and the other is a tablet.

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