Miller Microplex Toxicity--PLEASE READ - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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Miller Microplex Toxicity--PLEASE READ

So I know micronutrient overdose/toxicity is a controversial topic, but most (if not all) of the posts I've seen on it have been in regards to CSM+B. I want to share my experience with Miller Microplex, which is more concentrated than CSM+B.

Here is an analysis of Miller:
Magnesium (Mg) Total ................................... 5.43%
5.43% Water Soluble Magnesium (Mg)
2.00% Chelated Magnesium (Mg)
Boron (B) ................................................. 0.5 %
Cobalt (Co) .......................................... 0.05%
0.05% Chelated Cobalt (Co)
Copper (Cu) ............................................... 1.5 %
1.5% Chelated Copper (Cu)
Iron (Fe) ............................................. 4.0 %
4.0% Chelated Iron (Fe)
Manganese (Mn) ................................. 4.0 %
4.0% Chelated Manganese (Mn)
Molybdenum (Mo) ................ 0.1 %
Zinc (Zn) ................................. 1.5 %
1.5% Chelated Zinc (Zn)
Derived From: Cobalt EDTA, Copper EDTA, Iron EDTA, Magnesium EDTA, Manganese EDTA,
Zinc EDTA, Magnesium Sulfate, Sodium Borate and Sodium Molybdate.
Chelating agent is EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid).

Total magnesium - water soluble chelated magnesium 1.5%
Copper -chelated 0.1%
Iron - chelated 7.0%
Manganese - chelated 2.0%
Molybdenum 0.06%
Zinc - chelated 0.40%
Boron 3.8%
EDTA - minimum content 65.4%

(as a side note, CSM+B does not contain CObalt, and neither has Nickel or Chloride, which are also micronutrients)

As you can see, Miller generally has at least twice the amount as CSM+B, and most importantly, 15X Copper. I have a 75-g, and I was dosing about 1/8-1/4 tsp. every week based on EI. Looking at this and other fertilizer mixes and doing a lot of research online, I think I was overdoing (and yes, it IS possible). Even though EDTA makes the metals less toxic, as well as harder water/high pH, you can still have too much, as plants can take up too muchof it and inhibit uptake of things like Iron (at least as I understand it). Looking at Seachem Flourish Trace, I figure I was adding the equivalent of 25X the recomended dose for Trace (someone can check my math though, Trace has .003% Cu and recommends 5mL for each 20-gallons). Granted, Trace is unchelated, so it would be much more dangerous overdosing on that than chelated metals, but still, it was way more than needed. My goldfish haven't been doing super great either...they keep darting around, and one has Carp Pox, which I don't get since that's usually something that you only see with lower temperatures, and my water quality isn't terrible (I do pretty frequent water changes).
My plant growth hasn't been good, and they've developed what I thought was a nutrient deficiency, but now I'm thinking is more an overdose (although I still think I was under-dosing Iron and Potassium). They have also seemed to have very little effect on Nitrates, despite me cleaning the tank every day, redusing the number of fish, etc.

Sorry this is so long, but I wanted to tell people and start a discussion. I am trying a bit of an experiment with putting a but of creeping jenny in a container with 100x Microplex and see what happens. I also added Easy Life Fluid Filter Medium, which is supposed to "remove" heavy metals (although it may just chelate them) and of course will stop dosing micros for a while. I will let people know of my progress.

In the future, I'm probably going to mainly rely on Flourish Trace and add Microplex at 1/4 dose every once in a while. If people are using DIY dry micros, especially Microplex, I would say please do not use more than half the dose, and even with that only if you have a high plant density (which I do not). THis is the only time I've been really purposeful in providing my plants with the "right" conditions, and they've faired worse than when I just did my own thing and was doing low-tech. Back then, I either didn't use CO2, or used it in small amounts, just used 6500K household CFLs, and dosed half the recommended Seachem products once a week, if even that. If people are going to go the high-tech route, I would urge you, please know what you are getting into. It is going to make things harder, not easier, and there is smaller room for error.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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I don't know how interested people are in this subject (although you should be), but here are some interesting studies, analyses. Some of them you may not be able to access (I have free access through my university), but you should be able to at least read the abstract. I only trust peer-reviewed studies when it comes to information related to aquarium health/chemistry. There is a lot of misinformation floating around perpetuated by the aquarium industry or just hear-say...
A couple points--Copper toxicity drastically decreases with an increase in carbonate hardness (and actually it seems that the total concentration decreases from what I understand). EDTA also reduces toxicity, as I said earlier. I think this is the main reason some people overdose without ill effects (also the amount and type of plants, lighting, CO2, water change frequency, substrate, and macro dosing will affect it).
And I may not actually be experiencing a toxicity, I'm getting a copper and iron test kit today, and I guess that will show whether there's too much or not. I would advise everyone to purchase these kits, you can get some that are pretty precise and also measure chelated metals. The EPA limit for copper in drinking water is 1.3 ppm I think, which is pretty high. Also, it looks like the water in the nearby city is about .13 ppm (I use well water though, and only use about 1/3-1/2). This would be total copper, so based on this, it would seem that it may not be too toxic to plants, but we'll see. Something else I was thinking about is I live pretty close to Yellowstone, and the river that flows through the park is fed by the surrounding hot springs, which have very high levels of heavy metals and sulphur. I couldn't find a report of the water parameters of the river in this area, but I'm guessing they're pretty high. Anyways, this rive has very high levels of aquatic plant and algae growth. Part of this is most likely due to the increased temperatures and high numbers of large mammals contributing to increased Nitrogen...

"Effect of EDTA on Reduction of Copper Toxicity in Oreochromis mossambicus"

"Aquatic Life Ambient Freshwater Quality Criteria-Copper 2007 Revision"

"Toxicity of soluble copper and other metal ions to Elodea canadensis" (probably the most relevant)

"Copper Hazards to Fish, Wildlife, and Invertebrates:
A Synoptic Review"
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
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Alright, I'm going to just keep adding stuff here if people don't mind...
So it looks like CSM+B has more of a correct ratio than Miller Microplex. Miller has way too much copper, and not enough Boron. Just FYI, Copper is really what you need to be looking at for toxicity, the other ones aren't even close (it's like 20 mg/L for 50% 96-hr. acute toxicity for the other elements, whereas Copper is less than 1 mg/L).
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 06:50 PM
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I'm having this problem as we speak, I've been dosing miller microplex as if it were CSM+B and well.... I agree with you.
thread I think I have super super super toxic water. My plant growth has declined drastically since I've up'd the dose to try and compensate for poor growth.

Last edited by R_Barber001; 01-25-2017 at 06:52 PM. Reason: info
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