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ferts

This is a discussion on ferts within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> I used EI so no need to be super precise. I know some people get scales to measure things out when they make solutions. ...

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Old 03-22-2013, 11:30 PM   #11
BWG
 
I used EI so no need to be super precise. I know some people get scales to measure things out when they make solutions. I bought
smidgen measuring spoons smidgen measuring spoons
to be able to measure 1/8, 1/16, and 1/32 teaspoon. Not sure if they have those at Walmart, but wouldn't hurt to look.

I used fert calculator to give me the ppm I needed to dose. Then I used conversion caculator to convert the ppm to teaspoons and then did the math to get as close to that number as I could with my measuring spoons.

I have soft water so I use GH booster, if you have harder water you could use KH2PO4 instead. I also use KNO3, K2SO4, Plantex CM+B, and iron chelate.

This is just an example using my 29 gallon when it was low tech.
Monday-50% water change (important if you dose according to EI. You could use PPS Pro, but I prefer this way). 1 tablespoon GH booster, 9/32 KNO3, 1/32 K2SO4
Tuesday- 3/8 Plantex, 1/32 iron chelate (when/if you calculate iron chelate keep in mind the Plantex has iron. Probably has enough iron, I just used a tiny bit more for my red plants to no ill affect)
Wednesday-9/32 KNO3, 1/32 K2SO4
Thursday-3/8 Plantex, 1/32 iron chelate
Friday, Saturday, Sunday in low tech I added nothing. When I went high tech I just added an extra day of macros on Friday and micros on Saturday while still resting on Sunday.

If you're doing low light and not lots of fast growers you could probably get by with just dose macros one day and micros another and letting it go the rest of the week.
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:54 PM   #12
 
I agree with the dry fertilizers. I use them on all my tanks from high tech to low tech. They are far far cheaper then anything else. You can make a 500ml bottle of flourish for less then a dollar using dry fertilizers. Mixing dry fertilizers is very easy and even if you overdose you will not screw up your tank or harm your fish.

I also dry dose cuz like the rest of you I am lazy.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:07 AM   #13
 
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looks like this will be worth a shot once my bottle of flourish is gone, thanks for the info.
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Old 03-23-2013, 07:17 AM   #14
JDM
 
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I'm not knocking the dry fert idea.... so don't take this the wrong way. It sounds like it will work fine and provide a better level of customization if you know what needs to be changed.

I think I bought a 250ml bottle of flourish comp for about $7 and, based on usage so far, it will last me the year... say even 6 months if I started double dosing in my 37 gallon tank. It's dead simple, covers the bases, not expensive... cost is slightly more than a single bunch of plants... and doesn't go bad. A bag of tabs will last about the same and cost about the same. So $14 for a year's worth of fertilization, hard to use cost as a factor.

I would wonder what the real justification is to switch from that to measuring little tiny portions of the various nutrients, various containers, mixing solutions (dry dump gets around that I suppose), sourcing everything.

I like a little complication as much as the next anal retentive detail freak... but some things, if not really necessary, are hard to justify. Particularly when simple works just fine.

Jeff.
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Old 03-23-2013, 07:37 AM   #15
 
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And then if you start seeing nitrogen deficiency you need to purchase Flourish Nitrogen, then when you have potassium deficiency you need to purchase Flourish Potassium, etc. I like to have control over what I'm putting in my tank, and with dry ferts I can add the various components at concentrations and intervals for what works for me, not a "one-size-fits-all" (which it clearly isn't because you need their other supplemental solutions too) generic solution. I add the dry ferts directly to my tank, as much as a teaspoon at a time. So if they're recommending a teaspoon per 60g, I would have to add 1.5 tsp to my 90g. Nearly all of that is water, so how much nitrogen do you really think would be getting into the tank with that 1.5 tsp compared to a teaspoon of dry potassium nitrate? I would go through that entire bottle in weeks and probably still be deficient.
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Old 03-23-2013, 07:57 AM   #16
JDM
 
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Yup, if you know what you need. I dont even use a less than a capful but i dont seem to need the other stuff. Perhaps my water is just more loaded than some, with a dGH of 23, there are tons of micros in there already. As long as I keep up with the water changes I replenish most things.... I'm not 100% certain a that I even need to fertilize, I just do it to be sure. Perhaps my situation is more unique than I think.

I'm going to pull my water analysis again this week and see exactly what was in it again.

Jeff.
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:05 AM   #17
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDM View Post
Perhaps my situation is more unique than I think.
I would consider every planted tank to be a unique situation. Whether it be the tap water, types of plants, density of plants, substrate type, amount of fish, lighting, light schedule, CO2 dosing, etc., all of these may affect if dosing ferts is needed or not. The best anyone can do is watch the plants for deficiencies and adjust from there.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:17 PM   #18
 
Agreed! Also no way a bottle of flourish would last even a month for me. Everyone keeps tanks differently. I always push plant growth best I can and doing so requires considerable fertilizers and a good control over them. I have moved twice in the last two years and every time I do I have to rework my fertilizer dosing. I'm still having issues with most of my stem plants being unhappy. My last order of fertilizers came from greenleafaquariums.com it was 5 pounds of dry and will last me at least 3 years on roughly 120 gallons. Total cost was $37 for those fertilizers. My plants pay me back much more then that every year.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:39 PM   #19
ao
 
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EI dosing is "estimative" so precision isn't really part of the formula. If I remember correctly actually usually an overdose, but my tanks are so stuffed full of hungry plants I think I'm underdosing~ havent done a water change in forever. XD
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:45 PM   #20
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aokashi View Post
EI dosing is "estimative" so precision isn't really part of the formula. If I remember correctly actually usually an overdose, but my tanks are so stuffed full of hungry plants I think I'm underdosing~ havent done a water change in forever. XD
Yes and no. EI does overdose but it also allows you to be precise. You don't have to dose EI values anyway. There are a number of ways to use dry fertilizers and all work. I use to live and keep my tanks in a location with 25ppm nitrate out of the tap. With dry fertilizers its easy enough to cut out dosing any more nitrogen to the tank, which you can't do with something like flourish.
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