What ferts can I stack and which ones need to be separate - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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What ferts can I stack and which ones need to be separate

Currently I have a good number of the Seachem line of liquid ferts, but honestly I feel like a bumbling baboon trying to figure out this dosing schedule.

I know some ferts can be stacked on top of others and some need to be dosed on completely separate days. The problem is I am not sure which is which.

Currently I have Flourish, Trace, Iron, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. I have calculated how much of each one I need per dose and how often to dose but I cannot seem to find out which ones I can dose together and which ones need to stay separate.

I really would appreciate some advice.

Thanks
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 04:31 PM
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Currently I have a good number of the Seachem line of liquid ferts, but honestly I feel like a bumbling baboon trying to figure out this dosing schedule.

I know some ferts can be stacked on top of others and some need to be dosed on completely separate days. The problem is I am not sure which is which.

Currently I have Flourish, Trace, Iron, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. I have calculated how much of each one I need per dose and how often to dose but I cannot seem to find out which ones I can dose together and which ones need to stay separate.

I really would appreciate some advice.

Thanks
This is a good question.

I have been dosing Seachem NPK after a water change and Flourish, Trace, Advance, Iron the following day. Seems like I read somewhere that this is the best way. But, now that you pose this question- Im not so sure.


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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 11:14 PM
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In theory, iron will more readily form precipitates with phosphate containing compounds, so they are generally advised to be dosed separately. You can dose the rest (macronutrients) together with no problem.

In practice, you are diluting both macros and trace nutrients in a much larger volume of water, so the chance of precipitation is reduced. I would only caution against making large mixed stock solutions.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 11:35 PM
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Seachem has a recommended dosing schedule for their products here.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 11:37 PM
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Seachem has a recommended dosing schedule for their products here.
Thanks Ken!
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-20-2018, 12:32 AM
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Plants like a steady supply of things. I generally base my macro (N-P-K) dosing quantities and frequency around NO3 and PO4, mainly because those are the only two fertilizers we can actually measure, from the water, and it helps that they are so important (two of the three macros). So, you have fish that turn your fish food, indirectly, into NO3 and PO4. Then you have water changes and plants that remove all of your ferts to some degree. I would try to get a read on how much your fish contribute to NO3 and PO4 by testing those. As an example, by comparing the buildup of these two macros during the week, without adding them, I know that my fish add about 5 ppm NO3 and .5-1 ppm PO4 daily to my tank. This results in about 25 ppm nitrate and 2 ppm PO4 at the end of the week, just prior to my water change. I do 50% water changes, so that cuts everything in half. So, after the water change, I dose all of the N-P-K for the week and I dose to try to bring the NO3 and PO4 to the level they were before the water change. This allows plant consumption and fish contribution to come into balance with the dwindling front-end macro dosing by about midweek. This creates a somewhat steady stream of macros. So, to answer your question, I dose all of my macros once per week right after the water change. Many of us do this.

Micros are different. While it may be ok to dose them heavily at the beginning of the week, for several reasons it's better to do little doses throughout the week, and missing a dose is not a big deal. In the case of Seachem's Iron, because of the gluconate form they use, it disappears fast, so you definitely want to put that in every other day or daily. Seachem's Flourish is actually a micro mix (the small amount of non-micros in it are inconsequential), so think of that as your trace mix. You don't need Flourish Trace. It is a duplicate of many of the ingredients found in Flourish and your fish food likely provides the few missing elements. You can dose both the Flourish and Iron on the same day. If you decide to dose the macros throughout the week, try to dose the Phosphorus on a different day than the Iron. The rest can be dosed together.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-20-2018, 12:45 AM
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I would like to save this page for my future reference. Is there a way I can do this.


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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-20-2018, 01:11 AM
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I would like to save this page for my future reference. Is there a way I can do this.
Do you mean other than bookmarking it?
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No, that is exactly what I would like to do- bookmark it- but, I dont see how to do that.


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-20-2018, 03:00 AM Thread Starter
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I do not think there is a way to bookmark the thread on the forum directly. However if you are wanting to bookmark the page using either your smartphone or computer then you should be able to google instructions for the specific device and browser you are using


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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-20-2018, 03:25 AM
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I just printed it. Good enough.


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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-20-2018, 04:25 AM Thread Starter
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Plants like a steady supply of things. I generally base my macro (N-P-K) dosing quantities and frequency around NO3 and PO4, mainly because those are the only two fertilizers we can actually measure, from the water, and it helps that they are so important (two of the three macros). So, you have fish that turn your fish food, indirectly, into NO3 and PO4. Then you have water changes and plants that remove all of your ferts to some degree. I would try to get a read on how much your fish contribute to NO3 and PO4 by testing those. As an example, by comparing the buildup of these two macros during the week, without adding them, I know that my fish add about 5 ppm NO3 and .5-1 ppm PO4 daily to my tank. This results in about 25 ppm nitrate and 2 ppm PO4 at the end of the week, just prior to my water change. I do 50% water changes, so that cuts everything in half. So, after the water change, I dose all of the N-P-K for the week and I dose to try to bring the NO3 and PO4 to the level they were before the water change. This allows plant consumption and fish contribution to come into balance with the dwindling front-end macro dosing by about midweek. This creates a somewhat steady stream of macros. So, to answer your question, I dose all of my macros once per week right after the water change. Many of us do this.

Micros are different. While it may be ok to dose them heavily at the beginning of the week, for several reasons it's better to do little doses throughout the week, and missing a dose is not a big deal. In the case of Seachem's Iron, because of the gluconate form they use, it disappears fast, so you definitely want to put that in every other day or daily. Seachem's Flourish is actually a micro mix (the small amount of non-micros in it are inconsequential), so think of that as your trace mix. You don't need Flourish Trace. It is a duplicate of many of the ingredients found in Flourish and your fish food likely provides the few missing elements. You can dose both the Flourish and Iron on the same day. If you decide to dose the macros throughout the week, try to dose the Phosphorus on a different day than the Iron. The rest can be dosed together.

This was super helpful I cannot begin to thank you enough for such a detailed and well explained answer

I do have two questions:

First, I do not have any livestock in the tank currently and will not for the next few weeks. So what type of routine would you suggest with just ferts and weekly water changes.

Second question is once I do stock the tank it will only be with RCS and Amano shrimp, given that they do not create much of a bio-load, what would I adjust from your original explanation?


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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-20-2018, 01:05 PM
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This was super helpful I cannot begin to thank you enough for such a detailed and well explained answer

I do have two questions:

First, I do not have any livestock in the tank currently and will not for the next few weeks. So what type of routine would you suggest with just ferts and weekly water changes.

Second question is once I do stock the tank it will only be with RCS and Amano shrimp, given that they do not create much of a bio-load, what would I adjust from your original explanation?
With the absence of a heavy contribution from fauna, it actually makes it easier to do. The change throughout the week will be predominantly the result of plant uptake. With a high-tech tank (high light and pressurized CO2) and a heavy plant load, the maximum daily plant uptake of NO3 is about 3ppm. Initially, you will be nowhere near that.

So, decide how much N-P-K you want to consistently have in your tank (I target 25-3-25). Then, just before your water change, take a measurement to see how much remains at the end of the week, calculate how much will be lost with the water change, then add the necessary amount of NO3 and PO4 needed to hit the target after the water change, matching the amount of K to whatever you dose in NO3. Of course, algebraically, you can just take a reading after the water change, but reading it before the water change gives a little better picture of your tank activity.

There are two on-line calculators that can help you see this very clearly (after you spend some time playing with them). These are on Rotala Butterfly | Planted Aquarium Calculators & Information. You use the “Nutrient Dosing Calculator” to determine your dosing regimen for the individual ferts and the “Fertilizer Accumulation” calculator to determine what the effect of adding your ferts will have on your tank longer term, given your water change levels.

Also, be aware that Flourish Nitrogen is only 50% NO3. So, when you dose, your initial tests will only reflect half of the actual NO3 reading in terms of total nitrogen added. The above calculator will show this.

I want to add one thing about water changes: when you calculate your water changes, be aware that your tank does not contain the amount of water that it is rated to contain. It is usually about 75-80% of the tank size. For example; my 29 gallon tank has only about 22 gallons in it. So, a 50% water change means that I change about 11 gallons. When using the calculators, try to put in the actual water volume for your tank.
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Last edited by Deanna; 11-20-2018 at 01:43 PM. Reason: add
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-20-2018, 11:07 PM
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I would like to save this page for my future reference. Is there a way I can do this.
If you go to File > Save, you can save the page as an offline HTML file.
There will also be a folder created that has most of the elements on the page (such as static images, etc).

However, do note that links will not work, unless you save those pages as well
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-20-2018, 11:09 PM
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Plants like a steady supply of things.
Very nice post Deanna.

And I agree, I have come to believe that steady is better.

Funny when I got started I must have read the EI dosing schedule 100 times. Macros/micros opposite days, water change, day of rest. Figured if I veered from that, the sky might fall.

But I decided to try dosing micros daily, and then when completely nuts and started front end loading macros.

Now here's the thing, when I decided to go that route, I wasn't sure what to expect. Well, turns out the sky didn't fall, the sun rose the next day, world kept spinning, plants kept growing, and IMO even better than before.

So it turns out there are no hard and fast rules. The trick is finding out what works best in YOUR tank.
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