All you needs to know about potassium in aquascaping

All you needs to know about potassium in aquascaping

Previously we have already gone through nitrogen and phosphorus. So now as the final chapter of this NPK series we will talk about K, potassium.

What does potassium do?

Potassium has two main functions for plants. To help plants activate basic enzymes for the production of food aka proteins and sugars and to help plants maintain healthy leaves for efficient photosynthesis. Potassium deficiency will cause plants to have leaves that look as if they've melted or burned.

Can I have too much potassium?

That being said, too much potassium will prevent plants from absorbing other nutrients efficiently namely calcium and magnesium. From our experience, 15-40 mg/l of potassium will give the best result. Potassium can be measured with the Salifert Freshwater Potassium tester. Potassium can be dose at one shot without ill effect therefore making it easier to maintain then nitrogen and phosphorus.

How to maintain potassium in aquascape?

One can easily maintain an optimum potassium level with products that we have in our store; Seachem, Aquavitro or Continuum Aquatic.

Here’s how you use them:

Seachem Flourish

The Seachem Flourish system actually has it’s potassium comes from two places. Equilibrium and Flourish Potassium. Ironically, even when it’s named Flourish Potassium it only supplies a small amount of potassium. Where else although not written, Equilibrium will supply 15 mg/l of potassium while adding 3dH with the dose of 16g/80L. In Conjunction use with Seachem Flourish Potassium 5ml/125L 2-3 times a week, this will get you to around 20mg/l of potassium. 

Aquavitro Carbonate

Aquavitro which is the premium line of Seachem is made out of potassium bicarbonate. This mean it raises both potassium and carbonate in the same time. 10ml/20L of water will raise your potassium to 20mg/l along with 2.8dKH. Having 2-4dKH in aquascape will prevent too much pH fluctuation when switching on and off CO2 injection. Plants can also utilize bicarbonate as carbon source.

Continuum Aquatics Flora VIV K

Continuum Aquatics have an easy to use formula printed on the label for you to calculate the dosage that you need as long as you’re using a gallon. For the flora VIV K, you just need to multiply the volume of your aquarium water in gallons by the mg/l(ppm) of potassium that you wish to raise and multiply with 0.083 to get the dose that you’ll need in ml. For instant, if I have a 90p tank that is around 40 gallons and I wish to raise 10 mg/l of potassium:
40gallon x 10mg/l x 0.083 = 33ml
Although potassium needs to be keep in a rather high concentration but the plants doesn't us much of it. Meaning during regular weekly water change, you'll just need to add the require concentration into your new water to maintain the concentration.