dry ferts vs comprehensive or leaf zone - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-30-2017, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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dry ferts vs comprehensive or leaf zone

I would hate to be THAT GUY, but I started to evaluate my tank since my plants have nose dived. Honestly the only thing that REALLY changed was I switched over to dry ferts and dropped using comprehensive (and some leaf zone since I had some left over). Honestly are dry ferts THAT Much better. Im starting to think not. I will be switching back to comprehensive for a while to see.

Im disappointed though do hope my problem is just this so my plants can boom back.

also PSA

REMEMBER TO CLEAN YOUR CANISTER FILTERS LOL!!!!
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-30-2017, 04:24 PM
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It's nice being able to pinpoint what deficiencies your plants have and adjust the dry ferts to your needs. Its definitely more economical too.

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-30-2017, 05:56 PM
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I wonder if some of the problem you're having might be the dirty filter? a dirty filter doesn't flow as well as a clean one.Just an idea,since theoretically,the liquid ferts are just dry ferts and water.

thanks for the reminder on the filter.I usually clean mine while I'm doing water changes.

MTS? no,I just need one more tank...
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-30-2017, 11:48 PM
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Hope this helps. At the recommended dose of 5 ml per 60 gal of Comprehensive you are adding the following ppm concentrations.

ppm
Fe 0.07045
B 0.00198
Ca 0.03082
Cl 0.25317
Co 0.00009
Cu 0.00002
Mg 0.02422
Mn 0.0026
Mo 0.0002
S 0.06105
Zn 0.00015
Na 0.02862
N 0.00154
K2O 0.08145
P2O5 0.0022
Iron Chelator Gluconate
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-31-2017, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhiro View Post
Hope this helps. At the recommended dose of 5 ml per 60 gal of Comprehensive you are adding the following ppm concentrations.

ppm
Fe 0.07045
B 0.00198
Ca 0.03082
Cl 0.25317
Co 0.00009
Cu 0.00002
Mg 0.02422
Mn 0.0026
Mo 0.0002
S 0.06105
Zn 0.00015
Na 0.02862
N 0.00154
K2O 0.08145
P2O5 0.0022
Iron Chelator Gluconate
Looks like rocket science to me lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by MtAnimals View Post
I wonder if some of the problem you're having might be the dirty filter? a dirty filter doesn't flow as well as a clean one.Just an idea,since theoretically,the liquid ferts are just dry ferts and water.

thanks for the reminder on the filter.I usually clean mine while I'm doing water changes.
That was one reason I did it finally. I read that a dirty filter can cause nitrates to overdose your plants with certain macros

Last edited by Darkblade48; 01-31-2017 at 08:05 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-31-2017, 12:30 AM
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I switched from using flourish and flourish excel to PPS pro and excel 2 weeks ago. & Now my plants look terrible. Holes in leaves, brown edges. Since I have changed my cms+b to ei based and I am going to try that. I'm curious if you ran into similar problems? What were you using before and what dry dose method did you change to?
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-31-2017, 12:46 AM
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Not to pick on a guy while he is having a problem but there are a number of things that do change besides the ferts, even when we don't think there are changes.
Some things that may/may not be giving trouble:
Filters get dirty. That slows flow so that CO2 is not moved around the tank as well. Also the can be hiding a ton of debris which is a ton of ammonia to be processed to nitrate. Filters don't clean the tank setup, they only hide it out of sight!
Lights are constantly aging. Tube lights that start out good may not be so good when a few months older. Plants grow and change their needs just as fish do. We can't just set up a schedule and expect it to stay the same long term. It is always changing.
So we also have to be aware and change as needed. Sorry about the trouble but then I don't find it unusual. In my tanks there are almost always some form of struggle going on. If the plants are not growing, that's trouble but when they do grow, some other plant may get shaded so I don't expect it to ever really reach and set and forget situation.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-31-2017, 02:00 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
Not to pick on a guy while he is having a problem but there are a number of things that do change besides the ferts, even when we don't think there are changes.
Some things that may/may not be giving trouble:
Filters get dirty. That slows flow so that CO2 is not moved around the tank as well. Also the can be hiding a ton of debris which is a ton of ammonia to be processed to nitrate. Filters don't clean the tank setup, they only hide it out of sight!
Lights are constantly aging. Tube lights that start out good may not be so good when a few months older. Plants grow and change their needs just as fish do. We can't just set up a schedule and expect it to stay the same long term. It is always changing.
So we also have to be aware and change as needed. Sorry about the trouble but then I don't find it unusual. In my tanks there are almost always some form of struggle going on. If the plants are not growing, that's trouble but when they do grow, some other plant may get shaded so I don't expect it to ever really reach and set and forget situation.
I took some time to evaluate what was in my dry macro\micri mix to my flourish and it does seem each had something the other didn't but flourish definitely had a large variety.

I'm going to alternate a bit with flourish and it to see if something was missing they like.

My light is still new, my co2 if anything is more than less, I've even started root tabbing again.
I'll just have to see what works, I never had these troubles in my 29 but never had a carpet either.

I'm thinking my sag could still just be old die offs, my Ludwigia might not have been planted well enough after I redid it since planting in this thick carpet is tough. I've since pulled it and replanted it much better. I also think some plants are starting to out compete others.

Just frustrating right now.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 01:18 AM
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Evil Nick,

The best advice I can give is to stick with what you perceive as a good value and works for you. For some liquid supplements don't have the same value as dry compounds and vice versa. It's YOUR tank and YOUR hobby so do it the way YOU want. Each tank is a unique system and may not require certain supplementation methods to achieve satisfactory results. As long as YOU'RE happy with the results that's all that matters.

If you're questioning the use of dry ferts vs. liquid supplements here's a brief list of pros/cons

1. Pro- Dry ferts are less expensive per unit of measurement.
2. Pro- Dry ferts are fairly easy to customize as long as you have the proper measuring tools. I found a Pinch, Smidgeon, and Dash measuring spoon kit (1/8, 1/16, and 1/32 tsp) at a kitchen supply store and it was invaluable for dosing small tanks. A gram scale is even more valuable for accuracy and consistency.
3. Con- Dry ferts are a lot easier to mis-dose which can potentially cause a whole host of problems.
4. Con- Dry ferts and supplementation regimens can be hard to understand and effectively use at first which can cause a lot of problems and frustration.

5. Pro- Liquid supplements are less likely to be overdosed.
6. Pro- Liquid supplements are easier for the less technically inclined to understand or use. "Dose two caps every three days" is pretty darn easy.
7. Pro- Most supplement manufacturers have technical support staff to help people understand and properly use their products.
8. Con- Liquid supplements are a lot more expensive per unit measurement than dry ferts.


Root tabs plus some extra bit of water column supplementation with things like Flourish and Leaf Zone is a perfectly legit means of nourishing your plants.

Again, it's your tank so go with what makes you happy.

Oh yeah, clean that damn filter regularly!


Cheers,
Phil
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnick View Post
I switched from using flourish and flourish excel to PPS pro and excel 2 weeks ago. & Now my plants look terrible. Holes in leaves, brown edges. Since I have changed my cms+b to ei based and I am going to try that. I'm curious if you ran into similar problems? What were you using before and what dry dose method did you change to?
sorry I never responded to this.

I was using flourish comprehensive and some leaf zone I had. I also had a ton of micro and macros i got from someone in the gallon jugs from flourish I would use like potas, nit, phos etc.

I would just kind of randomly dose those. It seemed to once I stocked fish they started to degrade, not sure if coincidence.

I switched over to this Planted Aquarium Fertilizer - Home and used their mixing and dosage and it seemed like the tank..... tanked. Im pretty frustrated and dont want to blame this as just like other people said it could be anything but I continued using flourish on my 29 and have had no problems tho the set up is diff and not nearly as carpeted but still the same plants.

I ran out and bought the large flourish and I will go back to that for a while and compare. I really need to figure this out because I was about to finally break down my 29.

Another question. I put a small powerhead in the tank recently. Could that have affected something? its got very low flow and mainly focused on the top column. I even snipped the blade to make it less powerful.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 04:41 PM
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It's unclear to me why you switched to dry ferts in the first place - can you explain why?

I use Seachem's products and am very happy - flourish, iron, and NPK. If you're looking to save $$s you can make your own Seachem NPK batches from your dry ferts per the ratios in this thread (it also includes their dosing chart):

Seachem Dosing Calculator/Chart - Fertilizing - Aquatic Plant Central

If you're injecting CO2 you don't need Excel unless you like the algicide benefit, though I admit I add some Excel at each weekly WC
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhiro View Post
Hope this helps. At the recommended dose of 5 ml per 60 gal of Comprehensive you are adding the following ppm concentrations.

ppm
Fe 0.07045
B 0.00198
Ca 0.03082
Cl 0.25317
Co 0.00009
Cu 0.00002
Mg 0.02422
Mn 0.0026
Mo 0.0002
S 0.06105
Zn 0.00015
Na 0.02862
N 0.00154
K2O 0.08145
P2O5 0.0022
Iron Chelator Gluconate
this

flourish comp is IMO the most useless of all the liquid ferts

you are essentially paying for water w/bottled ferts

you are probably dosing a much greater amount with your dry ferts which is leading you to issues...


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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by klibs View Post
this

flourish comp is IMO the most useless of all the liquid ferts

you are essentially paying for water w/bottled ferts

you are probably dosing a much greater amount with your dry ferts which is leading you to issues...
its 55 gallon highly planted. I honestly thought I was under dosing by the directions. I usually put one 1 liter cap a day or so. I was doing like 2 or 3 before the fish with no effects.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-06-2017, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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I know its only been a bit over a week but since switching back to my old regime of using flourish comp with my stand alone macros/micros my plants already seem to be doing much better. Could be coincidence but who knows. Im not being paid by seachem for this either lol.

It could be quite possible the company sent me a bad mix of ferts that were burning my plants. Im wondering if that is what made my bamboo shrimp and 2 fish (shrimp and 1 fish dead, another sick still) ill?

Sucks because they are not cheap critters.

Im prob going to toss this stuff. It could also be possible that maybe those dry ferts were WAY more powerful than I initially though and was actually over ferting my tank. Maybe Ill try one capfull after WCs (which I need to do tonight or tomorrow), then Ill switch back to my flourish for the rest of the week.

Now I just need to battle this algae that took off on the side of using those dry ferts.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-06-2017, 03:26 PM
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yeah like i said you purchased standard dry ferts i am assuming (KNO3, K2SO4, KH2PO4, etc...) and probably dosed EI levels in your tank (a lot)

that would be like 50x more than you were dosing before with liquid ferts which would obviously make a difference...

you are saying you are dosing 'capfuls' of your dry ferts? what does this mean? did you make your own solution? if so are you sure you made it correctly? even with correct solution dosing EI levels you are still dosing MUCH more than you would be before with liquid fert regimen. messing up solution and dosing beyond those levels could be even larger issue...

IMO you should have just dosed dry... just take measurements of dry ferts and dump right in the tank (this is what i do)... generally coming from dosing very little you will want to do like 1/4 EI or just dose as you see fit. jumping right into EI is IMO never the way to go. calculating all this crap via your solution is just that much more complicated... easier to just throw 1/8 tsp of whatever in your tank every couple days IMO. want to dose less? just measure out a bit less when you dose. easy

company did not send you a 'bad mix of ferts' you just had no clue how much you were really dosing... If you cannot answer question of "how much ppm of nutrients are you dosing before vs after switching" then this needs to be answered to really understand what is going on here... as you can see from above poster liquid regimen provides very low ppm of all nutrients... EI will provide much much more than this... I too have seen problems with dosing too much dry ferts but when you scale back and realize you are dosing too much you can get good results for far less $$

basically for rule of thumb going forward if liquid ferts are working for you and you want to switch to dry ferts to save $$$ do NOT dose full EI levels... start off with much less. EI is FAR more potent vs liquid products... this would be a huge increase... people assume EI is comparable to liquid fert levels and run into problems frequently... this is not the case... EI is MUCH more potent
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