Urea CO(NH2)2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-05-2016, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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Urea CO(NH2)2

Urea based aquatic plant fertilizing is becoming more popular lately while not having enough supporting information. I have added this page describing urea recipes, calculations, ratios and other necessities.

Please feel free to add any comments you have about using urea fertilizers.

Thank you
Edward


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post #2 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-06-2016, 02:17 AM
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Thanks Edward, it will help people understand about Urea dosing, am sure people will also like the results and benefits of using it.
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post #3 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-06-2016, 07:24 AM
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Nice write up!

One thing though, algae can use urea through the urease enzyme, some even use ATP-urea amidolyase.
Adding small quantity's of nickel could also be beneficial because it is needed for urease. Be VERY careful with nickel, it is highly toxic! Safest way is to buy or let a specialist make a 1M solution.
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post #4 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-06-2016, 09:49 AM
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Nice Ed!

Any sources to get Urea (powder form?)? CO(NH2)2

I am a complete newbie to plant fertilization/chemistry, so please bear with me.
I just had a brief look over the linked site, and if I am understanding it correctly, Urea only provides Carbon and Nitrogen for the plants. Correct?
Is that form of Carbon in a usable form for the plants? (looks like the formula shows it as CO2 - Carbon Dioxide, but just want to verify)

Now, how about the urea in our urine? No? Pretty sure there are plenty of toxins in there that would kill fish and potentially harm plants (can fishless cycle a tank though).
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post #5 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-06-2016, 01:05 PM
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People use to pee in their tanks to help it cycle faster...

Cape Town, South Africa.

Hi. I'm back.
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post #6 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-06-2016, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citrusvrucht View Post
Nice write up!

One thing though, algae can use urea through the urease enzyme, some even use ATP-urea amidolyase.
Adding small quantity's of nickel could also be beneficial because it is needed for urease. Be VERY careful with nickel, it is highly toxic! Safest way is to buy or let a specialist make a 1M solution.
yeh i use Nickel in my Urea solution, i dose anywhere between 0.00001 to 0.0001 ppm Ni daily, not sure what are the safe doses for Ni.

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post #7 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-06-2016, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happi View Post
yeh i use Nickel in my Urea solution, i dose anywhere between 0.00001 to 0.0001 ppm Ni daily, not sure what are the safe doses for Ni.
Thank you happi,
Do you see a difference when dosing nickel? Why the range, makes a difference too?

Thank you WaterLife,
Urea provides fast nitrogen and some carbon to plants. It is available in farmers supply stores.

Thank you citrusvrucht,
I fixed the algae info.
We need to supply nickel so plants can make Urease enzyme? One reason why trace element mixes donít have nickel is that there is plenty of it naturally in tap waters, they say. And, yes some literature has nickel listed as essential micronutrient.


Ok, so plants need nickel to make enzyme Urease to catalyze the hydrolysis of urea into carbon dioxide and ammonia. I was looking for a fast solution and Ö I dosed one coin per 25 gallon or 100L. What do you think?
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post #8 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 02:35 AM
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You can buy a bag of urea on amazon or e bay.

I have a feeling a nickel coin isn't going to do much in adding nickel into the water column. You'd need soluble nickel ions like iron ions for plants. Check your microferts for nickel.
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post #9 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 03:48 AM
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By the way, US nickels are actually composed of 75% copper and only 25% nickel. I don't know about European or Canadian coins.
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post #10 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterLife View Post
By the way, US nickels are actually composed of 75% copper and only 25% nickel. I don't know about European or Canadian coins.
It's more expensive to make coins these days than their worth
Soon, it'll be all zinc and tin.


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post #11 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward View Post
Thank you happi,
Do you see a difference when dosing nickel? Why the range, makes a difference too?

its one of those nutrients which are present in our tap water, but i use 100% RO water, so adding little Ni should help, but there is no way to tell if its working or not, its not like NPK, Fe deficiency which can be spotted easily.

i have read Kekon post on nickel and i love this guys posts, his posts have some good info, here are some quotes from his posts regarding nickel and cobalt, i did not add cobalt in my mix for this same reason.

Kekon: I've just purchased some NiCl2 and begun to dose. I dose 0.00074 ppm Ni daily. As far as i know in natural waters (freshwaters) nickel levels are in range 0.002..0.010 ppm. In rivers of Western Europe it is 0.075 ppm. As far as i know colbalt is needed only by one aquatic plant - Azolla. I also have some CoCl2 * 6H2O (as a source of cobalt) and KI (as a source of iodine). If adding nickel doesn't give any positive results i will try with iodine and cobalt.

another thread by him:
How my own micro & macro ferts work - General Aquarium Plants Discussions - Aquatic Plant Central

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post #12 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 02:55 PM
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I just did some reading around and most all commercial liquid fertilizer companies who sell a nitrogen supplement meant for freshwater plants use urea.

Seachem says the following about their flourish nitrogen product in the FAQ section:


Q: It says on your label that Flourish Nitrogen provides nitrogen in both the nitrate form and the ammonium form. Isn't ammonia bad?

A: Ammonium and ammonia are not the same thing. No free ammonia is released because the ammonium in Flourish Nitrogen is complexed and unavailable until utilized by the plants.


While my chemistry background isnt as good as some of yours here, isnt this statement a little of a half truth? Clearly there are a lot of people out there that have used one of the commercial products with urea in a tank with a higher ph. How big of a deal is this?
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post #13 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 05:04 PM
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I don't have anything to add to the discussion but I have a question. Would it be feasible to dose urea exclusively as the nitrogen source?

I know this is a loaded question that pertains to ambient water column nitrogen concentration, among others. But assuming that I have chronic 0-5 ppm NO3 water column level (which I do...for shrimps and too lazy for test kits or whatnot), is it ok to rely on dosing urea for the plants at a rate of 1 ppm Urea (2.0649 ppm NO3 equivalent) every two days or whatever? My pH is in the low 6.

I figure, at worst, if no urea is consumed by the plants, then I will end up with no more than ~25 ppm NO3 over time, assuming 3x/week 1 ppm Urea dosages and 25% weekly water changes.

Will you offer some feedback?
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post #14 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nilocg View Post
I just did some reading around and most all commercial liquid fertilizer companies who sell a nitrogen supplement meant for freshwater plants use urea.

Seachem says the following about their flourish nitrogen product in the FAQ section:


Q: It says on your label that Flourish Nitrogen provides nitrogen in both the nitrate form and the ammonium form. Isn't ammonia bad?

A: Ammonium and ammonia are not the same thing. No free ammonia is released because the ammonium in Flourish Nitrogen is complexed and unavailable until utilized by the plants.


While my chemistry background isnt as good as some of yours here, isnt this statement a little of a half truth? Clearly there are a lot of people out there that have used one of the commercial products with urea in a tank with a higher ph. How big of a deal is this?
i used seachem nitrogen in my hard water tank before without any issue, the NH4 is very little in seachem which plant will uptake very quickly, while urea release NH4 into the plant directly and very slowly, while some of it convert into NO3 if you are overdosing it. NO3 content is very low in seachem and aqua vitro compare to Urea, in aqua vitro line 25% is NO3, 25% Nh4 and 50% is Urea.

there is nothing new about why most of the top brand use NH4 and Urea in there nitrogen, they been around forever now.

i would stick with Urea and NO3 mix just to be safe.

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post #15 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happi View Post
i used seachem nitrogen in my hard water tank before without any issue, the NH4 is very little in seachem which plant will uptake very quickly, while urea release NH4 into the plant directly and very slowly, while some of it convert into NO3 if you are overdosing it. NO3 content is very low in seachem and aqua vitro compare to Urea, in aqua vitro line 25% is NO3, 25% Nh4 and 50% is Urea.

there is nothing new about why most of the top brand use NH4 and Urea in there nitrogen, they been around forever now.

i would stick with Urea and NO3 mix just to be safe.
So how many ppm urea do you feel safe dosing in higher ph tanks?
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