Nutrient dosing is a big expense for anyone involved in the planted tank hobby, especially if those nutrients are branded. Many people dose with branded nutrients, as this is an easy way to dose, with little chance of accidentally overdosing if you follow the instructions on the bottle. However, constantly dosing nutrients can leave a substantial hole in your pocket.
That is why some people have chosen to use commercial nutrient supplements, intended for terrestrial plants, instead. The gardener-come-aquarist, upon reading the back of an ‘aquarium nutrient’ bottle, would realise that the contents are identical to those found in terrestrial plant supplements albeit in liquid form.
While not all nutrients found in branded aquarium plant supplements can be easily obtained, due to various restrictions which may or may not be present in the country where you live, there are a few, such as potassium, which can be easily obtained. In Australia, the most common form of potassium found at any garden or hardware store is Potassium sulphate. Unfortunately for those ‘down-under’, other forms of potassium, such as Potassium nitrate, are less common. A one-kilogram bag of Potassium sulphate can be bought at any local hardware store for about $7.
Depending on the country that you live in, you may be able to purchase all the nutrients that you would normally dose in the form of branded aquarium products in a garden or hardware store. So do your research and you may just find that you could be saving a lot of money in the years to come.