DIY Dry Ferts. Auto Dosing. Help with mix. (First Time) - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2018, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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DIY Dry Ferts. Auto Dosing. Help with mix. (First Time)

Hey guys.

I'm getting my ferts sorted and on the advice of AquaGreen, I've purchased:

-1Kg KNO3
-1Kg MgSO4
-450g KH2PO4
-1Kg K2SO4

I've got the micro mix as well, but i dont think I need help with that one.

I'm using the EI method, and i'm trying to use the Rotala Butterfly Calc, but am unsure if I'm doing it right.

My tank is roughly 750L. High Light. CO2.

I'm going to be mixing this into 2L containers and dosing 75ml every 3 days a week.

Now, Im very very new to this, so when using the calculator I've got a few questions.

1) Do I just get the calcs for each compound? Does the fact that K2SO4 and MgSO4 both have SO4 in their name mean I should work it out differently?

2) On the calculator, the MgSO4 is MgSO4.7H2O... is this the same thing?

3) If I use the MgSO4.7H2O and I just punch in my specs for each of those 4 compounds, I end up with:
- KNO3 - 244.58g
- MgSO4(MgSO4.7H2O) - 1,014.09g!!!
- KH2PO4 - 37.25g
- K2SO4 - 334.27g

All mixed into a 2L container and dosed at 75mL 3 times a week, which will last 2 months roughly.

Surely thats too much MgSO4..

any help here would be great.

thanks
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2018, 01:39 PM
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Hello. How much NO3 / PO4 / K you want to add by each dose (or in total)? With that in hands I can help you with the weights in the Rotala Butterfly Nutrient Calculator.

Regarding MgSO4 and MgSO4.7H2O they are different as the later has crystallized waters with it and the former is totally dry. Its better to use those hydrated forms because the totally dry ones will get moisture from the air and will change its weight.

And what is the GH of the water you use? If it has a high GH, do you know if its just Calcium? Because depending on this you also should buy CaSO4.2H2O to add calcium too along with magnesium in specific amounts.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2018, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help however I do struggle with understanding a lot of this..

As far as quantity of each, I'm just hoping off what the calculator recommends for an EI dosing method.

Where I live I don't have much access to any of this stuff and had to order what stuff I did from a place roughly 4,000km away. So the MgSO4 was all I could get.

Can I still use it to make my macro mix? If so how do I work out how much?

I don't know the GH as I don't have a test kit for it, however I know my TDS is about 110 if that helps at all?

Would calcium possibly also be in the micro mix?


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2018, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamandSara View Post
Where I live I don't have much access to any of this stuff and had to order what stuff I did from a place roughly 4,000km away. So the MgSO4 was all I could get.
It's probably the hydrated form, so MgSO4.7H2O. But to make sure you can check the appearance of the salt. The grains are very bright and opaque white or it's kinda transparent?

This is the anhydrous from of MgSO4



This is the heptahydrate form of MgSO4.7H2O




Quote:
Originally Posted by SamandSara View Post
Can I still use it to make my macro mix? If so how do I work out how much?
The EI dosing method puts a lot of nutrients in the water. What I suggest you to do is start dosing less than EI and increasing it after a week or two and see how plants (and algae) will react.

For example, you may start dosing little amounts every 3 days with 1 day not dosing at all in the day before the water change. Like 2,5ppm NO3 (what also add 1,6ppm K); 0,25ppm PO4 and additional 1ppm K (to make it 2,5ppm in total along NO3).

Also, I do suggest you to make separated solutions for NO3, PO4 and K, and dose it separately but in the same day. After some time, you may check for algae grown and adjust the dose accordingly. For example, if you see green spot algae after a week it may suggests that you need more PO4, sou you can dose more PO4 without increasing NO3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SamandSara View Post
I don't know the GH as I don't have a test kit for it, however I know my TDS is about 110 if that helps at all?
TDS measurements are a little bit confusing because each manufacture use different salt solutions to calibrate it and every ion dissolved into the water contributes differently to the conductivity measured by the TDS. You may check for Calcium or Magnesium deficiency symptoms in your plants and add the magnesium salt (or calcium salt) only once after each water change to correct the values and ratios. You should not dose Mg every few days like the macros.

Other important thing, the water change volume will impact directly the amount you need to add of those nutrients, so what is the volume of water change you will do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SamandSara View Post
Would calcium possibly also be in the micro mix?
Usually micro mixes contain Fe, Cl, Mn, B, Zn, Cu, Mo and maybe Va and Ni. If its contain any Ca or Mg, it would be so little in concentration that may has no effect at all. You need large amounts of Mg and Ca in water (10~30 ppm Ca, and around 5~10 ppm Mg) than just the 1 ~ 0,001 ppm micro mix would provide.

---

So, lets see what you could be doing about it all.

You can make the 2L solution of KNO3 and K2SO4 and set it to increase 5ppm NO3 + 5ppm K for each 75ml added.

So you should add 163.05 grams of KNO3 and 82.45 grams of K2SO4 to your 2L dosing container.

Add 75mL of that mix to your 750L aquarium to increase NO3 5ppm and K 5ppm.

---

For the second bottle, you can make 2L solution of KH2PO4 and set it to increase 0,5ppm PO4 for each 75ml added.

So you will need to add 14.33 grams of KH2PO4 to your 2L dosing container. Add 75mL of that mix to your 750L aquarium to yield 0.5ppm PO4 and 0.21ppm K.

---

So your schedule could be something like this

Sat - 50% water change + 5ppm NO3 + 5ppm K + 0.5 ppm PO4 (75ml of each bottle)
Sun - micro mix
Mon - micro mix
Tue - + 2.5ppm NO3 + 2.5ppm K + 0.25 ppm PO4 (37.5ml of each bottle)
Wed - micro mix
Thu - micro mix
Fri - add nothing

Following these values , if you change 50% of your water weekly, and ignoring the uptake of your plants, macros will built a max value of 15ppm NO3, ~15ppm K and 1,5ppm PO4. If you do less volume of water change, those values may increase and you may dose less during the week.

All will depend on your water change volumes and plant needs.

Regarding magnesium, you may add Mg in new water before dip it into the tank.

So you may dissolve 38.03 grams MgSO4.7H2O in 1L and then add it to your 750L aquarium to raise the Mg by 5ppm. You should do it only after the first water change. If you change 50% of your water, then after each water change you may add only 19.0 grams of MgSO4.7H2O in order to keep the water with the 5ppm Mg.

Do you have a balance to weight these salts?

Bump: This is to make you understand a little bit more about the Rotala Calculator:

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-29-2018, 04:18 AM
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I have this in my notes when I was hunting for doing EI dosing.

"This means that one ppm of MgSO4 weights less than one ppm of MgSO4*7H2O, so to extract the same concentration of MgSO4 from both compounds you need to take 60/130=0.46 gramm MgSO4for each[censored]1 gramm of MgSO4*7H2O."

I have an electronics background so when I saw it best I got was that about ratio.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-05-2018, 03:39 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for the help guys.

My dry ferts finally arrived and i'm having a go at this.

I've decided to leave out the MgSO4 for now.

My dose rates i'm looking at will be:

KNO3: 6.12g per dose
KH2PO4: 0.538g per dose
K2SO4: 8.35g per dose
Micro Trace mix: 2g per dose


My method will be :
mixing 159.0g of KNO3 and 217.0g of K2SO4 into a 1950ml container of distilled water, then dosing 75ml 3 times a week
mixing 36.4g of KH2PO4 into a 1950ml container of distilled water, then dosing 75ml 3 times a week (Same days as above)
mixing 52g of Aquagreen Micro Trace mix into a 1950ml container of distilled water, then dosing 75ml 3 times a week (Alternating days with above two)
7th day, 50% water change.


Does this sound acceptable?


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-08-2018, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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Also is there any issues having these in containers? Like will they grow mould or algae while they're sitting there? I was planning on making solutions that should last 1 month or so and are auto dosed.


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-08-2018, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamandSara View Post
My method will be :
mixing 159.0g of KNO3 and 217.0g of K2SO4 into a 1950ml container of distilled water, then dosing 75ml 3 times a week
mixing 36.4g of KH2PO4 into a 1950ml container of distilled water, then dosing 75ml 3 times a week (Same days as above)
mixing 52g of Aquagreen Micro Trace mix into a 1950ml container of distilled water, then dosing 75ml 3 times a week (Alternating days with above two)
You may have solubility issues in the first bottle with KNO3 & K2SO4.
Total K will end up @ 8.68 EI targets are 7.5
Bottle #1 looks like 2250ml @ minimum to dissolve.


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-11-2018, 06:10 AM Thread Starter
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Awesome thanks!

Trying to wing my way through this. lol

Was going to use a few 2L bottles, but have found specific dosing containers. So have got one with 3x 1.5L sections.

Am constantly changing the figures.. but i'm sure i'll just end up having to adjust as time goes on until its all dialled in.

So i think i'm understanding this now:

Thank you for your patience. lol.

By having 4x 1500ml containers and dosing 125ml 3 times per week each, I'd mix in separately:
24g of Micro Trace
73.37g of KNO3
32.89g of K2SO4
6.45g of KH2PO4

That should give me 5ppm of NO3, 5ppm of K and 0.5ppm of PO4 I think... Does that sound like a good starting point?


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