is easy green low on anything? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2018, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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is easy green low on anything?

I'm currently using easy green twice a week, as the label states for medium light.

N 1.34%
P 0.10%
K 3.89%
Mg 0.39%
S 0.45%
B 0.01%
Cu 0.00%
Fe 0.08%
Mn 0.02%
Mo 0.00%
Zn 0.01%

with all the other products and schedules on the market, I have a little trouble believing that easy green really has everything needed in just a couple pumps. Makes - what seems to be a rather complex and involved thing, so simple.....just seems too good to be true, I suppose? If it really were completely effective....why would the individual products and complex schedules even exist? I just feel like my knowledge must be lacking in this area.

Do any of you use other products with easy green? Is there something important I should not be missing?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2018, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
N 1.34%
P 0.10%
K 3.89%
Mg 0.39%
S 0.45%
B 0.01%
Cu 0.00%
Fe 0.08%
Mn 0.02%
Mo 0.00%
Zn 0.01%
I have not used the fertilizer but just by looking at the list no calcium, chlorine (chloride). Also Copper and Mo lybdenum should not be zero. but it appears they just don't list anything below 0.00%. Mo is typically only needed at about 1PPB (part per billion) and copper about 6ppb. So both might be present but a level lower than shown. That said copper pipes generally do leach some copper into drinking water, chlorine is typically used to sterilize drinking water, and Molybdenum is typically present in surface drinking water. Calcium and chlorine are typically needed at much higher levels than Cu or Mo and therefore would be the most likely cause of any deficiency you might experience.. but again tap water typically has some. However if you are using RO or distilled water or your utility is using RO or distilled water there would be no Ca, Cl, Mo, and maybe copper. You could add some calcium chloride to your aquarium to address a calcium or chlorine deficency. Most fertilizers that I have seen don't have calcium or chlorine.

Does it list the ingredients used to make it? The ingredients list might disagree with the analysis (I have seen that once).

Last edited by Surf; 02-04-2018 at 08:40 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2018, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Surf View Post
Does it list the ingredients used to make it? The ingredients list might disagree with the analysis (I have seen that once).
It doesn't list the ingredients unfortunately.

And I am using RO water.

Would you say it's a safe bet that even Though Mo and Cu are listed as 0.00 it's probably just less than that, otherwise they wouldn't list two random things (of all the other possible things) that just aren't in there, right?

As far as a source of CaCl... Would be be an aquarium specific brand? Or just any CaCl?
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 02:17 AM
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Cory specifically developed Easy Green to create a one-bottle solution where one didn't exist. The multi-bottle products need specific schedules because the compounds they use to carry the nutrients will interact with and neutralize each other. The even more complex schedules like EI are intended to push plant growth to the absolute limit and the people who use them really aren't in Easy Green's target market IMO.

If you have red plants you want to look really red, you could add Easy Iron to the mix but AFAIK Easy Green is a complete product for most situations.

I figure there's no calcium in Easy Green because it would mess with your KH and/or GH. Are you using a hardness supplement with your RO water? If so it probably has Calcium in it. If not there are various products and/or substrates that will do the job, though many will mess with your pH.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 06:39 AM
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Would you say it's a safe bet that even Though Mo and Cu are listed as 0.00 it's probably just less than that, otherwise they wouldn't list two random things (of all the other possible things) that just aren't in there, right?
Without the ingredient list I would assume Cu or Mo are not there or are there at an extremely low level that plants may not be able to use. However if it is listed with a non zero number I would assume it is there.

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As far as a source of CaCl... Would be be an aquarium specific brand? Or just any CaCl?
No specific brand just look for 99% pure CaCl2. it is a common chemical and is readily available on line. I got mine at loud wolf.com Calcium chloride will increase GH but will not effect KH. I use a GH booster I made from Calcium sulfate, calcium chloride, and magnesium sulfate to insure I have enough Ca, Mg, S, and CL I dose that dry to a about 2 degrees GH and it is perfectly safe.

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And I am using RO water.
Cu, Mo, Ca, Cl are all essential and plants will not grow without them. From my own experience with a fertilizer without copper and RO water, plants will not grow. Copper sulfate works well for that. Again look for a pure chemical. You could also add sodium Molybdate for Mo.

However you might want to just try mixing some regular tap water with your RO water. If you have copper pipes in your home and the utility collects surface water or well water that is a good chance that would resolve the copper molybdenum and nickel deficiencies in your fertilizer. Sorry I forgot to mention nickel but the amount of nickel needed is small and many people have plants that do well without it. I am not sure how much tap water you would have to mix with your water to hopefully correct for these issues. You might want to try say 20% tap and see what happens. And if your tap water is hard it might also supply enough calcium and chlorine. A lot of ifs but it might be the easiest solution to the problem.



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Cory specifically developed Easy Green to create a one-bottle solution where one didn't exist. The multi-bottle products need specific schedules because the compounds they use to carry the nutrients will interact with and neutralize each other.
To some extent that is true Calcium can react with potassium and phosphate resulting in an insoluble Calcium phosphate. However if you dose a GH booster in excess of plant needs the problem should be minimal. . Also the problem is at its worst in highly concentrated solution in the bottle. Once the nutrients are in the aquarium they are so dilute that the problem is greatly minimized. I have not seen anything in my aquarium indicating that is a problem and I have a very accurate Phosphate meter.

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If you have red plants you want to look really red, you could add Easy Iron to the mix
The red color in red plants ins not due to iron. While most iron oxide is red there are many other chemicals and organic molecules that are red even though they don't have iron in them. Also terse are some forms of iron that are black, green, and yellow. In many cases a lack of red color could be due to a nutrient deficiency that is not related to iron.

Last edited by Surf; 02-05-2018 at 06:47 AM. Reason: spelling
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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I messaged aquarium co-op to ask whether or not there's any Mo or Cu in easy green, I'll share the info when I hear back.

My house is pretty new and we have all PEX and PVC water pipes... So I've got no copper coming in that way. But you mentioned that with a complete lack of Cu, plants won't grow, and my plants are growing really well right now.

I do have equilibrium, and I have used it here and there to reminereralize my RO, but I don't use it MOST of the time, because my KH stays at about 4, GH at about 5-6 and TDS at about 250-300 without using it.... And I'm trying not to go much higher on any of those numbers. If I do a 25% water change, those numbers usually just drop by a degree or so, and slowly rise again within a week. A 50% change, and I might throw in some equilibrium, but I usually don't do 50% changes.

Aquarium co-op got back to me and let me know that there is no Cu or Mo in easy green.

Last edited by Darkblade48; 02-05-2018 at 11:15 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 08:04 PM
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I wouldn't worry about Cu or Mo, if there is livestock in the tank then there's a good chance that the food you put into the tank has sufficient trace amounts of the stuff for the plants to use. Also plants are very good at recycling nutrients as well so you'd have to actually try to induce a copper or molybdenum deficiency.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 08:23 PM
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Hi @jaz419,

I wish that JusticeBeaver was correct but unfortunately neither livestock or foods will add sufficient Cu or Mo for for healthy growth although some foods do contain a little iron, zinc, and manganese. The more important nutrients that are missing are calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) as @Surf mentioned above and unfortunately the source of iron is not listed on Easy Green which if the iron is in an EDTA chelated form will be unavailable if the pH of the tank is above 7.5. ETDA iron is 100% available at [email protected] but 2.5% available at [email protected]

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 11:50 PM
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I'd compare it to Thrive which is another well known and widely used all-in-one. Thrive also has a version for tanks that has pH <7 as well as a copper free "shrimp safe" version. The regular version does have Cu 0.009% and Mo 0.0018%.


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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-06-2018, 12:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaz419 View Post
with all the other products and schedules on the market, I have a little trouble believing that easy green really has everything needed in just a couple pumps. Makes - what seems to be a rather complex and involved thing, so simple.....just seems too good to be true, I suppose? If it really were completely effective....why would the individual products and complex schedules even exist? I just feel like my knowledge must be lacking in this area.

It's not too good to be true but it's not perfect. I can't use it because I have high nitrates in my tap water. All in one products don't give you the ability to adjust individual ferts. The other thing is you're paying a premium price for packaging, convenience and water. Individual bulk fertilizers are much cheaper. With large tanks the premixed stuff gets ridiculous.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-06-2018, 01:08 AM
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I wouldn't worry about Cu or Mo, if there is livestock in the tank then there's a good chance that the food you put into the tank has sufficient trace amounts of the stuff for the plants to use.
And yet my aquarium filled with RO water still ran out of copper. I had no obvious symptoms so to determine if I had a copper deficiency I tried adding a small amount of orchid fertilizer which had copper. My plants doubled in size within a week. I then stopped applying the orchide fertilizer and growth slowed and then stopped. I Add it a second time and again a growth surge followed.

The orchide fertilizer was probably not safe for long term aquarium use (very high levels of micros,and it doesn't have boron) so I switched to a aquarium fertilizer with copper. However it had other problems I wasn't aware of and that resulted in my tank crashing last year and that kill most of my fish and shrimp.I now know that I had multiple micro deficiencies that caused the crash. Today I make my own micro fertilzier and maintain 0.1ppb Fe, 0.02ppb B, 0.05 ppb Mn, 0.02ppb Zn, 0.006ppb Cu, and 1ppb Ni and Mo (I currently don't have shrimp in my aquarium).

Just to let everyone know I have copper plumbing in my home and I tested the water for copper. I had a reading of 58ppb of copper. That is about 10 times what plants need. The maximum upper limit allowed in tap water is 1.3ppm which is about 4 times the recommened upper limit for shrimp of 35ppb (some sites say shrimp can tolerate more while others a lot less). Another thing to keep in mind is that the aquarium substrate might have naturally occurring copper in it.

So if your substrate is inert and you are using copper free fertilizer you plants could grow with tap water but would not with RO. However with copper free fertilizer, inert substrate, and RO water they would not but again would with tap water. How long that takes for a substrate to loose nutrients depends on a lot of things and it could take one year or many years for it to run out. When that happens you either have to replace the substrate or change the fertilizer. Another thing to keep in mind is that the mineral content of tap water may change with the changing seasons or due to changes in how the utility manages its water supply and pipelines.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-06-2018, 01:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surf View Post
And yet my aquarium filled with RO water still ran out of copper. I had no obvious symptoms so to determine if I had a copper deficiency I tried adding a small amount of orchid fertilizer which had copper. My plants doubled in size within a week. I then stopped applying the orchide fertilizer and growth slowed and then stopped. I Add it a second time and again a growth surge followed.

The orchide fertilizer was probably not safe for long term aquarium use (very high levels of micros,and it doesn't have boron) so I switched to a aquarium fertilizer with copper. However it had other problems I wasn't aware of and that resulted in my tank crashing last year and that kill most of my fish and shrimp.I now know that I had multiple micro deficiencies that caused the crash. Today I make my own micro fertilzier and maintain 0.1ppb Fe, 0.02ppb B, 0.05 ppb Mn, 0.02ppb Zn, 0.006ppb Cu, and 1ppb Ni and Mo (I currently don't have shrimp in my aquarium).

Just to let everyone know I have copper plumbing in my home and I tested the water for copper. I had a reading of 58ppb of copper. That is about 10 times what plants need. The maximum upper limit allowed in tap water is 1.3ppm which is about 4 times the recommened upper limit for shrimp of 35ppb (some sites say shrimp can tolerate more while others a lot less). Another thing to keep in mind is that the aquarium substrate might have naturally occurring copper in it.

So if your substrate is inert and you are using copper free fertilizer you plants could grow with tap water but would not with RO. However with copper free fertilizer, inert substrate, and RO water they would not but again would with tap water. How long that takes for a substrate to loose nutrients depends on a lot of things and it could take one year or many years for it to run out. When that happens you either have to replace the substrate or change the fertilizer. Another thing to keep in mind is that the mineral content of tap water may change with the changing seasons or due to changes in how the utility manages its water supply and pipelines.
What were you feeding your tank at the time though? Orchid fertilizer contains many other components as well so the only real way to say that you had a copper deficiency would be to have only dosed copper. If your food has copper sulfate listed as one of the ingredients then any excess food should easily provide the trace copper needed for your plants. Copper defficiencies in plants tends to only manifest at 10^-14 to 10^-16 M of copper (Copper in plants). That's well below parts per billion. Also pure RO itself can cause issues because it's not osmotically balanced. The addition of orchid fertilizer could have rectified that issue resulting in better growth.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-06-2018, 03:15 AM
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What were you feeding your tank at the time though? Orchid fertilizer contains many other components as well so the only real way to say that you had a copper deficiency would be to have only dosed copper.
At the time I was using aqueous fertilizer and it specifically says it has no copper and is shrimp safe. And that was the biggest difference I could see. The orchid fertilizer had a lot while the Aqueon didn't. If was a few months after I setup the tank. Switching to a copper containing fertilizer's did make a obvious improvement.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-06-2018, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi @jaz419,

I wish that JusticeBeaver was correct but unfortunately neither livestock or foods will add sufficient Cu or Mo for for healthy growth although some foods do contain a little iron, zinc, and manganese. The more important nutrients that are missing are calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) as @Surf mentioned above and unfortunately the source of iron is not listed on Easy Green which if the iron is in an EDTA chelated form will be unavailable if the pH of the tank is above 7.5. ETDA iron is 100% available at [email protected] but 2.5% available at [email protected]
Some of the charts differ a little for this, the one I have always used shows it at around a ph of 8 before most of the iron is unchelated. But that doesnt mean that its unavailable. Ferrous gluconate is very effective at mid ph's yet dissociates almost immediately in water. A mixture of EDTA and DTPA would definitely be better in higher ph tanks, but EDTA is certainly not unavailable immediately at a ph of 7.5.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-06-2018, 02:51 PM
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Hi @nilocg,

Colin I believe I stated that 2.5% of EDTA chelated iron available at pH = 7.5 - this was based upon University of Florida studies.

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At 6.0, the ratios for all of the three chelated Fe fertilizers are 1.0 (stable), but at pH 7.5, only the ratio of EDDTA chelated Fe is 1.0. That of DTPA chelated Fe is only 0.5, and that of EDTA chelated Fe is only 0.025.

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