Solutions From Dry Ferts - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-24-2010, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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Solutions From Dry Ferts

Alright, I've got my dry ferts, and am going to use them to to dose EI in my 29 gallon high tech tank. I've decided to mix them into solutions, too, instead of dosing dry, mostly for convenience and simplicity for when I need to rely on others to take care of the tank while I'm away. Anyway, my question is if I can mix KNO3 and KH2PO4 into the same solution, since I'll be dosing them at the same time anyway.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-24-2010, 07:26 PM
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You can mix all of the fertilizers together except that iron and phosphate should be kept separate. They will combine to form an insoluble precipitate if mixed together. I use two bottles for premixed ferts, one with CSM+B plus an equal amount of magnesium sulfate, and the other with the KNO3 and KH2PO4. If you are adding a GH booster you probably can't add that to either of the bottles because it takes so much of it to do any good in the tank you can't get that much to dissolve in a small bottle of water.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-24-2010, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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Fantastic, thanks Hoppy. That's what I figured, but my chemistry teacher might tell you that perhaps I'm not the best person to be asking about these chemicals. If I'm being completely honest, I had already made a solution containing these two chemicals, as well as one with CSM+B. I decided it would be best to double check my assumptions before putting it to use, though, in case what I did could cause some crazy chemistry catastrophe, or what have you.

And I suppose my searching didn't turn up an answer because not many people are paranoid enough to even worry about this.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-24-2010, 08:38 PM
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Could anyone point in the right direction, or if they have the recipe on hand to make liquid ferts via EI for a 29 as well?


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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-24-2010, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I'll let you know what I did, though I'm not positive it's the right direction. It made sense to me anyway.

I spent a while on google, this site, and others researching EI. I found the baseline recommendations of dry dosing 20g-40g tanks, which stated that I should start by adding:
1/4 tsp KNO3 3 times a week
1/16 tsp KH2PO4 3 times a week, and
1/16 tsp CSM+B 2 times a week.

With that knowledge, I went about preparing the solutions. I took 3 tsp of KNO3, and mixed it with 72 tsp, or 24 tbsp, of water. This meant that in every 8 tbsp of water, I had 1 tsp of KNO3. So I plan on dosing 2 tbsp at a time. I used the same reasoning with KH2PO4, but used 3 1/4 tsp instead of 3 tsp, and I added it to the KNO3 batch. Same with CSM+B, I just made it it's own solution. You could use this recipe to make however much you want.

So, macro solution, 2 tbsp dose 3 times per week:
3 tsp KNO3
3/4 tsp KH2PO4
72 tsp (24 tbsp) water

Micro Solution, 2tbsp dose 2 times per week:
3/4 tsp CSM+B
72 tsp (24 tbsp) water

Then a rest day on day 6, and a 50% WC on day 7.

That's what I worked out. Perhaps some experienced aquarist, well versed in fertilizing, could comment. I know what I did isn't terribly precise, but I didn't think that would be a huge problem, since EI isn't by nature anyway.

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Last edited by Dr. Acula; 01-25-2010 at 12:49 AM.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 04:02 AM
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Easy way to mix:

Figure out how much you need to dose. Start with the EI charts. Put 1 week's worth in a bottle.
As noted above, do not mix phosphate with iron, other than that you can mix any of the commonly used items. However, I do what many others do: 1 bottle has macros (N, P, K) and the other has micros (CSM+B, Fe) dose alternate days.

Add ANY amount of water, that is divisible by 3.
Dose 1/3 of the bottle every other day.

example:
1/4 teaspoon of this
1/8 teaspoon of that
1 teaspoon of something else.
3/4 cup of water.

Dose 1/4 cup each on Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

Test the tank(s) to see how things are going. I happen to have more fish in some of my tanks and the NO3 stays up pretty well with less dosing than the Ei charts suggest.
My tap water has really good GH, and the plants are not using it through the week (or else fish food is replacing it as fast as they are using it) so I do not add any Ca or Mg.
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