Yamato Green Fe
Yamato Green Technical Specifications
Terms & Conditions
Starting a Planted Tank
Plant Nutrients 101
Phophates in the Planted Tank
Fertilizer & the Planted Aquarium
CO2 & the Planted Tank
Safety Around the Aquarium
Cleaning Aquarium Glass
Mysterious Fish Deaths Explained!
New Tank Syndrome
Choosing an Aquatic Heater
Tips for Beginning Fishkeepers
Salt in the Aquarium
Outdoor Patio Tubbing
Malaysian Trumpet Snails
Aquatic Plant Nutrients
(Or, why you should be using Yamato Green!)
There are 13 mineral nutrients
needed for plants to grow. The mineral nutrients are divided into two
groups: macronutrients and micronutrients. You also sometimes see these
nutrients divided as primary and secondary nutrients.
Macronutrients are so named because plants use quite a lot of them.
The macronutrients are: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K),
calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and sulfur (S). Most of these nutrients
must usually be added to the aquarium water because plants use so much
of them for growth. Some (like magnesium, sulfur and calcium) are usually
present in large amounts in hard water. If you live in a soft water area,
you may need to add magnesium, sulfur and calcium to increase the hardness
levels of the water and provide these essential nutrients to the plants.
Micronutrients are so named because, while necessary for growth, plants
usually require only small amounts of them. The micronutrients are: boron
(B), copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), chloride (Cl), manganese (Mn), molybdenum
(Mo), and zinc (Zn).
There are also three non-mineral nutrients required by plants. These
are hydrogen (H), oxygen (O), and carbon (C).
While some of these nutrients may be present in tapwater, not all are
present. Indeed, some municipalities reduce or remove important nutrients
at the water processing plant. As an example, most municipal water supplies
are very deficient in iron. Soft water areas are deficient in calcium,
magnesium and sulfur.
Let's briefly discuss these nutrients and their roles in plant growth.
Nitrogen (N): An essential part of all living cells. Must be present
for protein synthesis. Nitrogen is an important part of chlorophyll (the
green pigment in plants). Nitrogen is usually provided to plants in the
form of nitrate, and is usually deficient in tapwater, where it is considered
a contaminant. Aquarium plants require about 5-10 ppm nitrate for adequate
Phosphorus (P): helps convert light into sugars that the plants use to
feed, and is an essential component of photosynthesis. Excess phosphorus
without adequate light levels can contribute to algae growth. Usually
present in adequate amounts in tapwater, and by the addition of fish
food to the tank.
Potassium (K): plants require huge amounts of potassium for growth.
Important in protein synthesis, and helps plants to metabolize iron.
Usually deficient in aquariums. Ideal level varies, but is around 5-10
Calcium (Ca): a component of cell wall structure. Helps provide strength
to the plant, and helps transport other nutrients throughout the plant.
Usually present in adequate quantities in most municipal water areas,
where it is responsible for "hard" water.
Magnesium (Mg): A component of chlorophyll. Essential to the transport
of iron in the plant. May be present in adequate quantities in hard water
areas; is probably deficient in softer water areas.
Sulfur (S): Helps in chlorophyll production. Essential for healthy root
growth. Stimulates rapid plant growth. Usually deficient in all but the
hardest water areas.
Boron (B): Essential for the regulation of other nutrients. Helps the
plant produce sugars and starches. Very small amounts required.
Copper (Cu): Essential for the plant to reproduce. Helps stimulate the
production of proteins.
Chloride (Cl): Plays a role in plant metabolization of other nutrients.
Usually present in chlorinated water (dechlorinators convert Chlorine
into a salt of chloride). May be deficient in well water or deionized
Iron (Fe): absolutely essential for plant growth, and usually deficient
in all municipal water. Must be present for the manufacture of chlorophyll.
Without adequate iron (about 0.1 to 0.5 ppm), plants will yellow and
fail to produce dark green growth.
Manganese (Mn): important nutrient that helps the plant digest starches
and nitrogen, thus helps the plant to use other minerals. A deficiency
may actually show up as a deficiency in one of the other nutrients, such
as iron (yellowing leaves).
Molybdenum (Mo): assists the plant to metabolize nitrogen. Very tiny
amounts required to maintain plant health.
Zinc (Zn): Essential for carbohydrate metabolization. Helps regulate
Yamato Green is an important source of all of these nutrients (except
phosphorus and nitrates). Yamato Green-N provides the same nutrients
as Yamato Green, plus it contains adequate nitrates to maintain a healthy
5 ppm nitrate level. Phosphorus is deliberately omitted because excess
phosphates may stimulate unwanted algae growth.
The nutrients in Yamato Green and Yamato Green-N are adjusted to be present
in approximately the same amounts as required by plants. Regular dosing
of Yamato Green and Yamato Green-N will feed the plants their essential
nutrients as they need them, and in the proper amounts. This helps prevent
buildup of excess nutrients, which can contribute to algae growth.
It is important to perform regular water changes every week, just prior
to adding Yamato nutrients. This helps prevent the unwanted buildup of
any leftover nutrients that the plants may not have used up. This helps
prevent unwanted algae growth.
It is important to note that all the nutrients in Yamato Green and Yamato
Green-N are provided in forms most readily consumable by plants. Iron,
for example, is provided in chelated form using the more expensive HEDTA
chelation process. This helps the plants to consume iron very rapidly.
In fact, it is not unusual for plants to consume all the nutrients overnight.
If you add Yamato Green one day, and then measure iron levels the next
day and discover unmeasurable levels of iron, that is because the plants
quickly took up the iron and stored it away for a time in the future
when there may not be adequate iron present. If you initially add Yamato
nutrients on a daily basis, keep track of the iron levels and try to
maintain them at a therapeutic level of 0.1 ppm - 0.5 ppm. Don't be surprised
if the plants consume huge amounts of iron in the beginning, but then
taper off to a slower rate of consumption after a few weeks. That is
just the plants storing away nutrients for future use. Eventually they
will saturate with nutrients, and consumption will drop off to actual
daily consumption. In the beginning, you may need to add Yamato nutrients
on a daily basis. After a few weeks, semi weekly or weekly dosages may
Remember, Yamato Green and Yamato Green-N provide every essential nutrient
required by your aquatic plants. This is why plants grow at a rapid,
healthy rate when fed Yamato, and why they flower and reproduce so easily.
If you've been dissatisfied with using a plant supplement that requires
you to add other elements in addition to those provided by the plant
supplement, then you are using a supplement that is incomplete. Yamato
Green and Yamato Green-N require no other supplementation to provide
everything required by your plants.