Certain minerals play critical roles in plant growth. Nitrogen for example is one of the central building blocks of plant proteins. Perhaps more importantly, plant growth is hugely tied to the most limiting available nutrient.
This is Justus von Liebig’s (1803-1873) famous Law of the Minimum. Our fertilisers work because Liebig’s Law lies in the heart of our proprietary Capstone Formula.
Painstakingly and perhaps uniquely comprehensive in nutrition, our fertilisers ensure that you no longer have to worry about ’nutrient deficiency’. APT Complete and EI are 100% comprehensive while APT Zero factors in the nitrates & phosphates already present in aquasoil and livestock waste.
Just as important as what plants need is how much they need. APT Complete was crafted based on the study of 2 of the industry’ most respected (and divergent) approaches- Tom Barr’s Estimative Index (EI) and Takashi Amano’s Nature-Style/ADA system. While EI focuses on providing nutrients in excess (and resetting through large weekly water changes), ADA focuses on quality growth at a more moderated pace.
APT Complete takes a middle path. It is a lot more concentrated than ADA to compensate for the ‘everyday / average / normal’ substrate used by most hobbyists, but less aggressive than EI. You get everything that EI offers- but just slightly more safely / slowly.
APT Zero allows you to enjoy all the benefits of the ADA approach- unparalleled algae control and the ability to unlock the richest reds in popular plants through nitrate limitation. It should be paired with the use of aquasoil and/or a higher fishload environment.
Each 5ml per 100L dose adds 3.8ppm Potassium (K), 0.05ppm Iron (Fe), 0.5ppm Magnesium (Mg) and additional amounts of Boron (B), Copper (Cu), Manganese (Mn), Molybdenum (Mo) and Zinc (Zn).
The above dosage is designed to be dosed 4 times a week. So the total per week adds up to: 15.2ppm Potassium (K), 0.2ppm Iron (Fe), 1.6ppm Magnesium (Mg) and additional amounts of Boron (B), Copper (Cu), Manganese (Mn), Molybdenum (Mo) and Zinc (Zn).
The default dosing rate for APT Complete/APT Zero is 5ml per 100L, 4 times a week. Alternatively you can dose 3ml per 100L every day. Both routines should be combined with a 30% water change every week. This dosing rate has been tested to work well for most tanks, however, if you have a very sparsely planted tank or a very densely planted one, you should adjust the dosage based on observations on plant growth.
What about 3 times per week or even less frequently?
With APT Complete/ Zero, the 3ml per 100L per day equals approximately 20ml per 100L per week. You can divide that ~20ml per 100L per week across 3 days (7ml per 100L each time) or 2 days (10ml per 100L each time) or even just 20ml per 100L each week.
In general, plants do better with a more consistent level of nutrition. However hardy plants (Swords, Java Fern, Anubias, common Crypts…etc.) can generally accept more flux and still be OK.
In low light, slow-growth environments (<30 umols of PAR), sudden spikes in nutrition (if you dose only once or twice weekly) may still not invite algae problems if there is sufficient mass of hardy slow growers (vis a vis fishload).
But in general, dosing more times a week (consistently!) is better.
For EI, dose 5ml per 100L, 3 times a week. Alternatively you can dose 2ml per 100L daily.
EI routines should be combined with a 50% water change every week.