This is a list of questions that are common among our customers and aquarium enthusiasts.  If these answers do not satisfy, feel free to pose a question via our contact form and we will post your question with an answer.

Are Thrive, Thrive+ and ThriveC safe for shrimp?
Yes, Thrive products are completely safe for shrimp assuming you dose as suggested and keep up with the suggested water changes.
Can you grow plants with an under-gravel filter (UGF)?

Yes you can but the roots from the plants can become entangled in the filter and cause issues down the road.

Does Ferrum contain ferrous or ferric fe?

Ferrum contains both ferric and ferrous iron.

Does injecting CO2 reduce the oxygen content?

No. The level of dissolved CO2 and oxygen are actually independent of each other; high levels of both can exist at the same time.

How do I know how much is too much?

Assuming you are using common sense and following general dosing guidelines you will be just fine. Doing weekly water changes can also ensure you never have nutrients build up to a point where they will cause issues.

How do I know if I need fertilizer?

Poor plant growth, holes in leaves or mis-colored plants are general signs to look for.

How do I know which nutrient is limiting plant growth?

Without testing each nutrient individually it will be tough, there are deficiency charts out there but they can be tough to distinguish. The best way to avoid these issues is to dose an all around aquarium fertilizer to ensure you have enough.

How long do I leave the light on each day?

Generally 6-10 hours is good. Depending on the tank, you may require more or less.

How much light do I need?

This is a hard to answer and depends on the tank. There is low-tech vs. high-tech, the plants in your tank and what kind of algae growth you have.

I have a planted tank, what is the difference between Thrive and Thrive+? Which should I use?

Thrive+ is designed for tanks with a ph of around 7 or below. Thrive can be used at any ph level. Thrive+ contains 60% more iron and two forms of nitrogen(organic and inorganic). If you have a higher tech tank with a ph of around 7 or below then go with Thrive+, if not go with Thrive.

If I am to use Thrive, Thrive+, ThriveS or ThriveC will I need to dose anything else?

All of the Thrive products supply a comprehensive assortment of nutrients with one exception. If you have a soft water tank you are also going to want to add a gh booster(Magnesium and Calcium). Other than that you are good to go.

If Thrive,Thrive+ and ThriveC are safe for shrimp then why do you have a shrimp safe version(ThriveS)?

This comes down to a question of the focus of the tank. If shrimp are the focus of the tank then you want to go with ThriveS. If the focus of the tank are plants then go with Thrive, Thrive+ or ThriveC. If you have ever had a shrimp focused tank before then you know the importance of water stability. Water changes are important, but they are normally small and infrequent.

ThriveS is designed to not increase the necessity of water changes above what would normally be done with good tank maintenance on a shrimp tank. While Thrive, Thrive+ and ThriveC are shrimp safe they are concentrated to provide the plants with all the necessary nutrients, which also increases the need for frequent larger water changes.

Is CO2 injection absolutely necessary?

For low to medium light tanks it isn’t ‘necessary’ but will definitely help. As you increase light levels your plants may require more C02 than what atmospheric levels will supply. In these cases co2 can become a limiting factor and become necessary.

Is fish food enough to fertilize my plants?

In some very low tech tanks it can provide most of what you need. However, fish food and waste are poor supplements of potassium and iron. As light increases so do nutrient demands, in these cases supplementing a good all around fertilizer such as Thrive will ensure your plants have what they need.

May I ask what you used to set up the shrimp tanks?

The tanks are custom made out of PVC sheets. Not sure exactly how they were made as they were originally intended for salt water setups.

Now with the new ThriveC Im really confused on which to use?

ThriveC is designed for lower tech tanks or tanks with a high bio load where nitrates can reach elevated levels. ThriveC has lower levels of nitrate compared to the other nutrients. When dosing ThriveC you are still getting all the other nutrients without adding as much nitrate as you would with Thrive and Thrive+.


Should I also be dosing K2SO4 along with the EI based NPK + CSM+B with GH booster I have?

It is unlikely that you would need more potassium when using the GH booster. K2SO4 is in the mix of the GH booster.

Using your salts, I want to duplicate the following formula. How much of each do I add together to make the following: 10.5% nitrogen, 3.2% potassium, 2.3% calcium, 0.6% phosphorous, 0.09% magnesium, and 0.02% iron

I don’t think you can make a solution of 10.5% N from kno3. You would have to use other fertilizers and I haven’t seen a calculator that can do that. It would acquire a lot of calculations and trial and error to accomplish that.

What is the right substrate depth?

This is truly a personal preference rather than a good or bad amount. If there is enough to secure plants in the substrate and under 5-6” you should be just fine.

What kind of bulb do I need?

Most any light bulb will work. Some spectrum’s will produce better color to our eyes but the plants don’t care.

What should I put in my substrate?

Root tabs such as ThriveCaps are a good option for adding nutrients to the substrate.

What temperature do I keep a planted tank?

This varies from plant-to-plant, but you can keep most aquatic plants from 72-80F (22-27C). For warm-water discus tanks, check a plant book for species that thrive in those special conditions.

Why use ThriveC when I could just reduce the amount of Thrive or Thrive+ that I dose to limit nitrate levels?

You certainly could just dose less Thrive or Thrive+ to help with elevated nitrate levels, however when doing this you are also reducing the levels of all the other nutrients. Nutrients such as iron and potassium as well as a few other micronutrients are not commonly supplied by fish waste so dosing a well rounded fertilizer is important in these tanks. ThriveC does just that, it has lower levels of nitrogen as well as phosphorous (which can also creep high in heavyily stocking tanks), while still providing adequate levels of potassium, iron and other important micronutrients.

Would you suggest maybe a different vessel than a capsule somehow? Perhaps pressing everything into a tablet?

Yes that is one negative of the capsules as it has trapped air in them. The best way to push them into the soil is to push them to the bottom, let them go and pull your fingers or tweezers out at an angle. This should stop them from being able to make their way up as easy. Unfortunately a pressed tab is not going to work at this time. It would quadruple manufacturing costs. I have tried finding alternatives but haven’t had any luck at this point.