Aquarium Plant Fertilizers for Healthy Tank PlantsFinding the best aquarium plant fertilizer can be an important factor in keeping your tank plants healthy. These fertilizers provide various important nutrients that benefit plant growth as well as their color and appeal.

That being said, it is not always easy to find a good plant fertilizer with the plethora of options available on the market.

Well, to make this tedious task easier, we have done the hard work for you. After purchasing and testing many of the best fertilizer options, we’ve prepared a detailed list that will tell you everything about these options and help you find the best aquatic plant fertilizers for your tank!

Comparison Chart

Name Weight (in ounces) Fertilizer Form
Thrive+ All in One Liquid Aquarium Fertilizer

16 Liquid
API ROOT TABS Freshwater Aquarium Fertilizer

One Tablets
Seachem Flourish Freshwater Plant Supplement

16 Liquid
Aquarium Plant Root Fertilizer Tabs

1.2 Tablets
Aquatic Arts Marimo Moss Ball Food

0.5 Liquid
Aqueon Aquarium Plant Food

16 Liquid

Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizers: Product Reviews

Let’s get straight into our list of the best:

1. Thrive+ All in One Liquid Aquarium Fertilizer

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Multiple size options
  • Nutrient-dense
  • Ideal for low PH tanks

Cons

  • Slightly expensive

As the name suggests, the Thrive+ All in One Liquid Aquarium Fertilizer for aquarium plants is a great all-rounder option that has everything you’ll need to keep your plants healthy and happy.

It is filled with various essential nutrients, such as two forms of nitrogen that are highly beneficial for plant growth. Combined with various other constituents like iron, phosphate, etc., this fertilizer is an excellent option for most plant species.

It also comes in a very conveniently sized 500-milliliter pump bottle that is perfect for most tanks and will last you for a long time. As per Thrive+, this bottle has enough fertilizer for 2500 gallons of water, so even if you have a large tank, you won’t need to replace this fertilizer for a long time.

However, if you feel like the 500-milliliter bottle is too small, this plant fertilizer is also available in multiple sizes, going up to 4000 milliliters in size!

Adding to the convenient size, the container itself is also very easy to use and great for beginners. This is primarily due to the pump head, so you can easily pump it once and get the amount of fertilizer you need. Also, it comes with easy-to-follow instructions that will guide you through how to use it and make this easy for anyone to use.

Before buying this product, you should look into it because it is designed to have high-tech tanks with a pH level under 7. While it will still work well with higher pH tanks or low-tech setups, it will probably not provide the same level of benefit to your plants.

Also, with a slightly expensive price tag, this might not be suitable if you are on a tight budget. But, if you can afford it, this is one of the best products on the market.

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Overview

If you are looking for an effective and all-around product for your plants, the Thrive+ All in One Liquid Fertilizer is a great option you can look into. It is filled with essential nutrients that promote plant growth immensely.

Also, with a large container and convenient pump head, this fertilizer is easy to use even if you are a beginner aquarist. That being said, the high quality comes at a price, and this fertilizer is slightly expensive but definitely worth the price.

2. API ROOT TABS Freshwater Aquarium Fertilizer

Pros

  • Solid form is cleaner to use
  • Great for plant roots
  • Safe for use with most fish
  • Contains essential nutrients

Cons

  • Monthly replacement is needed

If you are looking for a mess-free and easy option to keep your plants healthy, the API ROOT TABS Freshwater Aquarium Fertilizer is one you should consider. Unlike many of the other options on the market, this product comes in tablet form, which makes it much more convenient and removes the chances of spillage.

The tablets are not just easy to use but also provide your plants with a variety of nutrients necessary for their development. In particular, with potassium and carbon, these tablets are amazing at developing plant root growth and will keep your plants strong and healthy for many years.

A common concern you might have with fish food is if it is safe for use with both saltwater and freshwater fish. Thankfully, the API ROOT TABS Freshwater Aquarium Fertilizer has been designed with nutrients and substances that will aid in the growth of most kinds of plants. So, you can use it in both freshwater and tropical aquariums without having to worry about anything.

When it comes to usage, all you have to do is place the tablets into your tank’s substrate, and it will start gradually filling your water with fertilizer. The packet itself comes with 10 tablets, and since they need to be changed monthly, you won’t have to worry about buying new ones for almost a year!

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Overview

The API ROOT TABS Freshwater Aquarium Fertilizer is a great option if you want a clean and easy fertilizing experience. With these, all you have to do is place the dry tabs into your tank once a month, and they will keep your tank fertilized.

Also, with a plethora of important nutrients, these tablets are sure to keep your plants happy and promote their overall root health.

3. Seachem Flourish Freshwater Plant Supplement

Pros

  • Reasonably priced
  • Non-toxic
  • Advanced formula for mineral absorption
  • Easy use instructions

Cons

  • Lacks nozzle or pump head

The Seachem Flourish Freshwater Plant Supplement is a great option, especially if you are on a tight budget. This reasonably priced liquid fertilizer for aquarium plants has everything you’ll need for a healthy aquatic environment and still manages to be one of the lowest-priced options on the list. 

One of our favorite things about this product was the advanced formula used by Seachem, which makes it amazing for overall plant development. Starting from the moment you put it into your tank, this fertilizer begins working to build your plant’s root growth as well as its mineral absorption.

After the first two weeks, the fertilizer utilizes phytohormones and works towards developing plant growth in the stems and leaves. The unique formula then works to build disease resistance so you won’t have to worry when using this fertilizer.

Also, as the Seachem Flourish is non-toxic, you won’t have to worry about it damaging any of your plant species or fish in your tank.

Even using it with smaller animals like shrimp or bottom feeders on your tank should be safe and one look through the ingredient list will help you be sure of this. 

As for the container itself, this fertilizer comes in a normal liquid-sized container with a bottle-type cap. So, while using it is easy in most cases, the larger opening makes it slightly prone to spills.

However, if you manage to avoid any mishaps, the product comes with clear instructions that will guide you through how to use it.

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Overview

If you are looking for an efficient product without breaking your budget, the Seachem Flourish Freshwater Plant Supplement is surely one to look at.

It comes with an advanced liquid formula that works to smartly provide your plants with growth and nutrients from root to leaf. Using it is also quite easy and worry-free thanks to the clear instructions and non-toxic formula.

4. Aquarium Plant Root Fertilizer Tabs

Pros

  • Slow-release design
  • Rich with nutrients
  • Easy to store

Cons

  • Sometimes dissolve quickly

The Aquarium Plant Root Fertilizer Tabs are unique slow-release tablets that will keep your tank fertilized for weeks without hassle. Filled with 40 tablets per pack, all you need to do is put them into the gravel bed of your tank, and it will keep the water fertilized for up to three months at a time.

So, if you are someone who doesn’t like regular maintenance and wants something to reduce your burden, this is a great option to choose.

The tablets themselves are formulated with a balanced composition of substances and minerals such as nitrogen, potassium, zinc, iron, etc., in a balanced blend for optimal effectiveness. So, these nutrient tabs are highly efficient at improving overall plant health, resilience, as well as their growth rate and longevity.

Also, these tablets are designed to dissolve into your tank’s environment slowly. This is highly beneficial as it increases the life of each tablet and lets nutrients disperse in a much more controlled manner. Thanks to this, nutrient levels will stay in optimal amounts as long as the tablet is in your aquarium.

As far as placing it is concerned, root tabs are quite simple and require minimal effort. All you have to do is place it under your substrate in a circular region near your plants. This will help them dissolve across your aquarium and near plant roots. However, keep in mind that these tabs work best with inert substrates such as gravel or sand.

Apart from this, we like how easy the Aquarium Plant Root Fertilizer Tabs is to store and use. Just keep the bag sealed with the inbuilt Ziploc function and store it at room temperature in any drawer or cupboard, and it will stay fresh for a long time!

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Overview

If you are looking for an easy-to-use option, the Aquarium Plant Root Fertilizer Tabs are a perfect option to look into. These slow-release tablets only need to be placed into your tank once every three months, so you won’t have to worry about regular effort.

Also, the tablets are filled with nutrients that promote plant growth and health!

5. Aquatic Arts Marimo Moss Ball Food

Pros

  • Designed for Marimo Moss Balls
  • Highly concentrated solution
  • Lasts for over a year
  • Promotes moss color

Cons

  • It may not work as well with other plants

If your tank setup is filled with Marimo Moss Ball plants, the Aquatic Arts Marimo Moss Ball Food is the perfect planted aquarium fertilizer for you. It is designed and formulated specifically for Marimo Moss Balls and is great at encouraging growth in them. Also, throughout our tests, we noticed that it also brought out a spectacular bright green color to the plants.

This specialized formula is made with a proprietary blend of various minerals and substances such as phosphates and salts that make it extremely beneficial for Marimo growth. According to Aquatic Arts, this fertilizer can improve Marimo’s growth speed by up to two times as long as you follow instructions properly.

The instructions are also very clear and explain how to use the fertilizer perfectly. The instructions explain how much you need to use and how to put it in. The primary guideline is to add four drops to your moss tank every two days per Marimo Moss Ball.

Making this even more convenient, the bottle has a dropper head, so dispensing single drops was very simple and fun. 

Also, if you are on a tight budget, this fertilizer will definitely be easy on your wallet. Due to its potent formula, which requires only a few drops for fertilization, each bottle of this fertilizer lasts for more than one year. So, as long as you use it properly, you won’t have to worry about buying new fertilizer every few months as with other options.

Similarly, the Aquatic Arts Marimo Moss Ball Food is also much more reasonably priced than many of its counterparts. Especially in terms of Marimo food, this is definitely a great option to consider for effective growth on a tight budget.

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Overview

The Aquatic Arts Marimo Moss Ball Food is a great option if you have Marimo Moss Balls in your aquarium setup. This fertilizer is designed and formulated specifically for Marimo Moss balls and works amazingly for their growth and coloration.

In some cases, it is also known to increase growth by up to two times, making it the perfect option for these plants.

6. Aqueon Aquarium Plant Food

Pros

  • Great for root growth
  • Convenient dosage cap
  • Reasonably priced
  • Great for beginners

Cons

  • Requires regular use

A great product for beginners, the Aqueon Aquarium Plant Food offers great fertilization for most freshwater aquarium plants. This is thanks to the unique composition, which focuses on the growth, health, and sustainability of plants in your tank.

The liquid fertilizer itself is made up of various macro and micronutrients along with added kelp extract. This extract adds to the overall fertilization and is especially beneficial for promoting root growth in plants.

Combined with the various other minerals and nutrients, this option provides a well-rounded supplementation for your plants.

Along with it containing a wide range of essential nutrients, this plant food is also a great option for all types of plants. With a universal formula that promotes growth in both tropical and freshwater plants, this multi-system plant supplement is sure to save you a lot of time and effort when it comes to managing your aquarium setup.

Along with great fertilization, the Aqueon Aquarium Plant Food is also very easy to use. With an added dosage cap for simple measurement, all you have to do is pour 1 milliliter per gallon of water into your tank once every week. So, even if you are a beginner, this fertilizer won’t be confusing to use.

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Overview

The Aqueon Aquarium Plant Food is a great all-around aquarium plant food that is great if you are a beginner. It offers everything you will need ranging from vital nutrients to an easy use container to make it easy and effective. Also, with simple instructions, you won’t have to worry about getting confused or putting in the wrong amount.

Things To Consider While Choosing an Aquarium Plant Fertilizer

Here’s a list of some things you should consider when looking for a new aquarium plant fertilizer:

– Fertilizer Form

Out of the many options available in the market, most common fertilizers come in either liquid or tablet form. Each of these has distinctive characteristics and is better suited for different kinds of aquarium setups and plant types.

Liquid fertilizers are known to provide more concentrated forms of nutrients but also require regular work. This is because these plant fertilizers need to be used once every week or two in precise quantities. Also, while they are quick to use, you will have to handle these fertilizers with caution as spillage is a common issue.

On the other hand, tablet fertilizers are much easier to use thanks to their mess-free design. All you have to do is place the tablets into the substrate of your tank, and you can relax for months at a time while your plants are fertilized. However, these tablets sometimes lack the rate of mineral absorption compared to liquid ones.

– Nutrients

One of the most important factors to look at when it comes to aquarium plant fertilizers is the amount and type of nutrients that they provide. This is because these nutrients are absorbed by your plants and, in the correct constitution, end up leading to improved growth and health.

That being said, you should also keep in mind that too many nutrients can sometimes lead to harm to your tank. For example, some fertilizers can cause a slight increase in nitrate levels which is not suitable for most tanks. So, when buying a new fertilizer, make sure to look for essential nutrients like zinc, potassium, iron, etc., and make sure they are in safe quantities.

– Ease of Use

As a beginner, the worst thing can be trying to pour liquid fertilizer into your tank and spilling too much in by mistake. Thankfully, many companies have come up with smart ways in the form of solid tablets and nozzle heads to make mishaps less likely.

The solid tablets are very convenient as there is no chance of spillage, and you will have to place individual tablets into your tank. Similarly, nozzle and pump heads on liquid fertilizer make it much easier to limit the amount of liquid you drop so you won’t have to worry about any spills.

That being said, this is totally up to preference, and you might be someone who prefers open cap fertilizers to get the job done quickly.

– Compatibility

Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizers for a Beautifully Planted TankNot every fertilizer is designed to work with all plants. For example, various companies produce fertilizers for specific species of plants such as Marimo moss, while others are better suited for freshwater species.

This is done due to the vast array of requirements of different plants, which makes designing an effective and all-round fertilizer quite tricky.

So, when looking for a fertilizer for your tank setup, try finding one designed for your plants. This will make sure you get the most out of the product and reduce the chances of it not working.

FAQ

Let’s discuss a few frequently asked questions related to aquarium plant fertilizers:

– Should I Fertilize My Aquarium Plants?

Yes, fertilizing aquarium plants is very important for their overall health and growth. This is because aquarium plants require various nutrients and minerals to properly grow, and all of these are not available in a natural aquarium ecosystem. Thus, using a liquid or tablet fertilizer can be very beneficial for plant growth.

– Does Plant Fertilizer Raise Nitrates?

Yes, aquarium plant fertilizers do raise the nitrate levels in the water. While this is not a cause for concern if you use the fertilizer correctly, if you don’t feel the need for it or notice any tank deterioration it might be best to avoid fertilizers.

– Can Aquarium Plants Grow Without Fertilizer?

Yes, many plants can grow without added plant fertilizer and just through the nutrients in fish waste. That being said, this is not true for all situations, and some plant species, especially in sparsely populated tanks, will benefit highly from added fertilizer.

– Is Plant Fertilizer Bad for Fish?

No, in most cases, plant fertilizers will not cause any harm to your fish. Although, you still have to keep in mind that most fertilizers contain chemicals and can harm you if you misuse them. For example, pouring in too much fertilizer will lead to increased nitrate and mineral quantities that can be fatal for your fish.

– What Nutrients Do Aquarium Plants Need?

Aquatic plants need an assortment of nutrients for proper growth. Some of the most important are potassium, iron, magnesium, nitrogen, and phosphorus, among others. Most of these are available in fish waste, but some require the addition of external fertilizers.

– When Should I Fertilize My Aquarium Plants?

While the exact time depends on the type of fertilizer you plan on using and the species of plants you’re growing, it is best to start early. Preferably as soon as your plants enter your aquarium, fertilizing early can help you maintain the growth and health of your plant in the long run without much hassle.

– Is Too Much Fertilizer Bad for Aquarium Plants?

Yes, in some cases, too much fertilizer can be problematic for certain aquatic plants. This is because fertilizers contain substances that can lead to the growth of algae or even harm your plants after a certain point. The best way to make sure you keep your tank safe is to change the water weekly and follow fertilizer instructions.

– Does Fertilizer Increase Algae?

Yes. In some cases, Algae can grow due to the usage of fertilizers in your tank. This is primarily caused due to the nitrogen and phosphorus compounds in some fertilizers which can lead to pollution and subsequently the growth of bacteria and Algae.

– How Often Can I Put Fertilizer in My Planted Fish Tank?

It depends on the size of your tank. If your aquarium is small or medium-sized with 55 gallons of capacity, one bottle of fertilizer will last you for a year. However, if you own a larger tank with a lot of plants, you should add two to three doses every year. Doing this will keep your plants safe and healthy for a long time.

Conclusion

The Thrive+ All in One Liquid Aquarium Fertilizer is our favorite pick for the best fish tank plant fertilizer for your plants! This fertilizer is jam-packed with multiple aquarium plant nutrients vital for keeping your plants growing and healthy. In particular, the All in One comes with two unique forms of nitrogen that work together to increase plant growth exponentially.

Apart from this, what sets it apart from the competition is the convenience and ease of use. With a 500-milliliter pump head bottle, you won’t have to worry about any unwanted spills with this option. Just press the pump head until you get as much fertilizer as you want, and the job is done.

That being said, you might be wondering how to know when to stop? Well, Thrive+ has added a set of straightforward instructions that will guide you through the whole process. They are easy to read and make this fertilizer perfect for even beginner aquarists.

To summarise, we hope this list helped you find the perfect aquarium plant fertilizer for your tank!

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