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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-28-2011, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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This fertilizer?

So I have some urea free fertilizer I'd like to try using in my tanks. It has macro and some micro.

My question are, are the amounts of nutrients good?

Does it lack any nessicary nutrients? (I'm guessing calcium is pretty important.)

Should I bother using this or should I look for a more complete fertilizer?

If I should use this, how much do I use? I have various size tanks. No CO2 system right now but will have it soon so I guess I need dosing amounts for no CO2 and with CO2.

Tank sizes:
45, 15, 10, 5, 5 with shrimp, 3, and 2 1/2.

Thanks for advice.

Urea Free 20-10-20

Nitrogen:
8.0% Ammoniacal Nitrogen
12.0% Nitrate Nitrogen

Micro:
Copper .05%
chelated
Iron .10%
chelated
MN .05%
chelated Manganese
Molybdenum .0005%
Zinc .05%
chelated
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-28-2011, 02:27 PM
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Ammonia based fertilizers are not good either, sorry.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-28-2011, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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You mean because it has Ammoniacal, right?

Ugh! Are there any complete fertilizers (containing macro, micro and trace) that aren't ammonia based?

I really don't want to use multiple bottles of things. That's just more work.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-28-2011, 03:11 PM
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What's wrong with dry ferts from say GLA and a little digital ebay scale, I end up with a bottle of macro and a bottle of micro and use a 10ml baby medicine sirynge, but the best part is I know its safe and free from any fillers or unwanted additives. I also have 00 gel caps coming from ebay to make some Osmocote fert caplets for my substrate, so for $60 bucks I'll have 2 or 3 years worth of ferts, that's pretty cheap.


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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-28-2011, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captmicha View Post
You mean because it has Ammoniacal, right?

Ugh! Are there any complete fertilizers (containing macro, micro and trace) that aren't ammonia based?

I really don't want to use multiple bottles of things. That's just more work.
Then do a low tech tank. I'm not sure how adding a 1/2 tsp of 4 different powders every other day is "work". It takes me 5 minutes and I enjoy it. I like having the ferts separate so I can tweak them.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-28-2011, 05:18 PM
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When you first start fertilizing with basic chemicals it seems intimidating, but after a few days it is just routine. If you follow the dosing scheme described in the sticky you can relax and know you aren't doing any harm, but are providing all that the plants need. The "work" in fertilizing is the opening of the cabinet, the picking up of the bottle or bottles, and reversing that order to put them back. The actual dosing is about the same with 4 jars of powders, or 2 bottles of liquid mixes, or one bottle of a mix. The amounts to be dosed are only approximate, so if you mess up and dose 2X what you should, it isn't something to worry about.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-28-2011, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
What's wrong with dry ferts from say GLA and a little digital ebay scale, I end up with a bottle of macro and a bottle of micro and use a 10ml baby medicine sirynge, but the best part is I know its safe and free from any fillers or unwanted additives.
I don't know what GLA stands for and I don't see how a scale comes into play.

I don't think you guys get it. It is a lot of work for me to have to dose from multiple bottles. I don't want to have to measure out multiple doses of this and that and tweak it for certain plants.

I want an all-in-one user friendly thing that requires little to no thought or work. This is what I want. Multiple things may be fun for you guys but I don't share your pleasure in it.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-28-2011, 09:17 PM
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Unfortunately, all in one solutions have to be very dilute or the iron precipitates out in the bottle. A mix of with both iron and phosphates won't work unless it is very dilute. And, that means the bottle won't last very long. It is easy to do it with 2 bottles - one with the NPK and the other with the trace elements. I don't know of any aquatic plant fertilizers that are like that, unless it it Pfertz and/or Root Medic stuff.

An easy solution would be to use only low light, where you don't need to add fertilizers, or need them only every couple of weeks. Then you could just use root tabs, and add more of them maybe once a month.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-28-2011, 11:27 PM
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Places to buy ferts
http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com/
http://www.greenleafaquariums.com/
http://rootmedic.net/
http://pfertz.com/


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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-28-2011, 11:40 PM
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Bob's Tropical Plants too.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-29-2011, 01:08 AM Thread Starter
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It is easy to do it with 2 bottles - one with the NPK and the other with the trace elements. I don't know of any aquatic plant fertilizers that are like that, unless it it Pfertz and/or Root Medic stuff.
I guess I could do two bottles. So Pfertz and Root Medic are the only ones that have the two bottle system?

Dyna-Gro Foliage Pro managed to get all-in-one fertilizers in one bottle... I wonder how they did it. Too bad it has ammonia and nitrogen though or I'd use that.

I'm not trying to be difficult. I'm not trying to share my life story either but I have really bad sleep problems and I don't have the concentration or energy to do anything more complex than 1 to 2 bottles.

And I'm not a big fan of low light level plants. I like hair grasses, high light mosses, etc.

I looked at those two fertilizer companies and it's more than just 2 bottles if I want macro, micro and trace...
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-29-2011, 01:57 AM
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Ammonium based ferts aren't the same as free ammonia.
Quote:
Flourish Nitrogen™ is a concentrated (15,000 mg/L) blend of nitrogen sources. It provides nitrogen in both the nitrate form and the plant-preferred ammonium form. However, no free ammonia is released because the ammonium in Flourish Nitrogen™ is complexed and unavailable until utilized by the plants. Flourish Nitrogen™ also provides nitrate for those plants that can readily utilize nitrate as well.
http://www.seachem.com/Products/prod...hNitrogen.html

Ammonia exists in two forms in the water
NH3 un-ionized ammonia
NH4+ ionized ammonia

Steve


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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-29-2011, 02:40 AM
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I use 4 powders and a pill minder with a couple of dedicated measuring spoons.

Odd days get nitrate and phosphate. Even days get micros and potassium.

Once a week I fill it up, keeping a bit of paper with the amounts of each nutrient listed with the fertilizer containers. Open one section and dump every day. I dump into the sump, you could keep a little cup to mix water with the dry stuff before dumping it in if you like.

I feed when I feed the fish when the lights go on. So far I haven't messed up too badly. It is just fine to forget to feed the fish or the plants for a day.

Thought about buying those nifty dosing bottles and making up liquid but that is too much trouble. I am going to stick to the pill minder for now.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-29-2011, 03:26 AM
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That pill minder fert doser is a great idea.

Steve


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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-29-2011, 04:28 PM
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If your tanks are not already set up, using a nutrient rich substrate would help a lot. Fluval Stratum, for example, is one that doesn't leach ammonia out to make you do extra water changes for a few weeks. If you used that, fertilizing the water is less important. Perhaps then you could use two bottles, one being a trace element mix, and the other a potassium source - Leaf Zone, for example. The substrate would eventually become depleted of some of its nutrients, but for a year or more you should do ok.

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