Compatibility of organic ferts vs aquarium ferts? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-09-2011, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Compatibility of organic ferts vs aquarium ferts?

Is there any reason I couldn't use my regular cal/mag supplements and weak bat guano teas as fertilizers?

As long as the dosing isn't too high is there any reason this shouldn't work?

Any problems with using superthrive and other vitamin B and rooting hormone supplements in low levels?

My assumption is that aquarium nutrients are just very diluted fully mineralized forms of typical nitrogen dominant fertilizers: Is this wrong?

I'm new to planted tanks so please enlighten me.


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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 03:13 AM
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Aquarium fertilzers are solid ionic salts for the most part and really cheap. Can you explain what you want to acccomplish using bat poop and what not?
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lipadj46 View Post
Aquarium fertilzers are solid ionic salts for the most part and really cheap. Can you explain what you want to acccomplish using bat poop and what not?
I have organic fertilizers available. Oh jeez aquarium ferts are salt based. I was thinking organic ferts would be better as they contain less salts but then seachem uses urea so I guess salt build ups aren't too much of a concern in the aquarium.

Seachem Potassium is just diluted potassium sulfate chemical fertilizer - Why can't I dilute my own potassium sulfate? This is one of the most common types of fertilizer out there - is there a reason to use the most expensive available? Would other forms of potassium sulfate be unsafe for some reason?

I wouldn't consider aquarium ferts cheap either - you can get lbs of both organic and chemical plant fertilizers for $1 whereas aquarium ferts are extremely watered down in tiny bottles for $5+ each. I was just comparing $8 root tabs to my regular vegetable rooting mixture and it seems to be the same stuff for just a whole lot more $.

Is there a difference between the cal/mag I own for garden/hydroponic use versus the 10x more expensive aquarium cal/mg? According to the label the only difference is the price and concentration (garden stuff being more concentrated making the aquarium stuff even more expensive).


I might have to try poisoning my new tank to see if DIY works - I can't imagine the private label stuff is all that different. Heck, people use miracle grow soil in their tanks...


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 04:52 PM
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Yes your assumption about aquarium nutrients being just diluted mineralized ferts is is completely correct.

I wouldn't use organic ferts but I do use garden ferts in my tank, well until the nursery stopped carrying them. Look at the stickied thread at the top of this board. KNO3 is potassium nitrate, that is what many stump killers are. I bought potassium sulfate at the nursery. The trace mix used in EI isn't aquatic specific. Not sure how potassium phosphate is used but it is easily available online anyway.

Bet you can use the cal/mag stuff just fine if your water is soft. Ask your hydroponic store about the others, they may carry them but mine didn't.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 06:14 PM
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For minerals, the ONLY thing I use is mineral salts.

For potassium, I use potassium sulfate like you said. (dry form, premix in water, and dump into filter flow).


For nitrate, I use potassium nitrate.


For phosphate, I use monopotassium phosphate.


For alkalinity/carbonate, I use baking soda.


For iron, I use iron chelate powder.

The only thing I buy commercially is the substrate (Flourite and Eco Complete) which isn't much more costly than regular gravel anyway, so that's a no-brainer.

I also buy "GH Booster" from Green Leaf Aquariums (as well as all my dry powder ferts) since their GH booster is quite affordable and is a good mix.



Regarding using bat poop.

There isn't a reason I'm aware of that you shouldn't use small, controlled doses of bat poo except for the AMMONIA content. Bat turd reeks heavily of ammonia (we have bats everywhere in the buildings I work at that we are eradicating and the smell is hideous).

I'm sure you are aware of that, so in your shoes I'd only dose bat guano in extremely small doses, and check the tank for ammonia afterward.

As long as you can keep the dosing so simple that you show no dangerous levels of ammonia, then I think it's probably a good thing.

I would start this on a fish/invert free tank, and let the test kit tell you when you have the routine established.

Expect daily dosing to be necessary, otherwise you'd have to add too much guano in one big dump (ie, cause a harsh ammonia spike that only slowly is taken up by plants).


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 07:48 PM
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Besides all that how are you going to control any bacteria/desease or more in the bat pooh is it pasturized or something?. BTW women's mascara is made from bat guano so maybe you should just dunk your wife's/girlfiend's face into the tank???? Sorry it just felt right.


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathyy View Post
Yes your assumption about aquarium nutrients being just diluted mineralized ferts is is completely correct.

I wouldn't use organic ferts but I do use garden ferts in my tank, well until the nursery stopped carrying them. Look at the stickied thread at the top of this board. KNO3 is potassium nitrate, that is what many stump killers are. I bought potassium sulfate at the nursery. The trace mix used in EI isn't aquatic specific. Not sure how potassium phosphate is used but it is easily available online anyway.

Bet you can use the cal/mag stuff just fine if your water is soft. Ask your hydroponic store about the others, they may carry them but mine didn't.
Awesome, glad to see others are using regular ferts as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redfishsc View Post
For minerals, the ONLY thing I use is mineral salts.

For potassium, I use potassium sulfate like you said. (dry form, premix in water, and dump into filter flow).


For nitrate, I use potassium nitrate.


For phosphate, I use monopotassium phosphate.


For alkalinity/carbonate, I use baking soda.


For iron, I use iron chelate powder.

The only thing I buy commercially is the substrate (Flourite and Eco Complete) which isn't much more costly than regular gravel anyway, so that's a no-brainer.

I also buy "GH Booster" from Green Leaf Aquariums (as well as all my dry powder ferts) since their GH booster is quite affordable and is a good mix.



Regarding using bat poop.

There isn't a reason I'm aware of that you shouldn't use small, controlled doses of bat poo except for the AMMONIA content. Bat turd reeks heavily of ammonia (we have bats everywhere in the buildings I work at that we are eradicating and the smell is hideous).

I'm sure you are aware of that, so in your shoes I'd only dose bat guano in extremely small doses, and check the tank for ammonia afterward.

As long as you can keep the dosing so simple that you show no dangerous levels of ammonia, then I think it's probably a good thing.

I would start this on a fish/invert free tank, and let the test kit tell you when you have the routine established.

Expect daily dosing to be necessary, otherwise you'd have to add too much guano in one big dump (ie, cause a harsh ammonia spike that only slowly is taken up by plants).
Brilliant. DIY all the way in my opinion. The bat guano I would use is not as hot as fresh bat guano. Most if not all of the ammonia is no longer present. I brew bat guano tea almost continuously so I was just going to dilute some, filter it real well for particulates and then add a few drops daily/every other day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 150EH View Post
Besides all that how are you going to control any bacteria/desease or more in the bat pooh is it pasturized or something?. BTW women's mascara is made from bat guano so maybe you should just dunk your wife's/girlfiend's face into the tank???? Sorry it just felt right.
It is essentially pasteurized...until I make my tea from it which is chalk full of bacteria. Luckily the good kind though Not real worried about fish specific diseases in the bat cave.


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 08:08 PM
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Jack Daniel's water they use to make their whiskey goes through several feet of Bat guano, lots and lots of it.........been in the cave.

Worm castings is often used for sediment enrichment, this is boiled to oxidize the NH4 to NO3.

Same with top soils etc.........they mineralize it in a shallow pan and allow bacteria to do it. Heat, bacteria, both oxidize the NH4 to NO3.

Heat and bacteria are BOTH "organic" methods.
I would suggest using it for a sediment source, not the water column.




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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
Jack Daniel's water they use to make their whiskey goes through several feet of Bat guano, lots and lots of it.........been in the cave.

Worm castings is often used for sediment enrichment, this is boiled to oxidize the NH4 to NO3.

Same with top soils etc.........they mineralize it in a shallow pan and allow bacteria to do it. Heat, bacteria, both oxidize the NH4 to NO3.

Heat and bacteria are BOTH "organic" methods.
I would suggest using it for a sediment source, not the water column.
Crazy about the JD.

This is going into an organic soil bottom tank already amended with worm castings, alfalfa meal, bone meal and a few other organic amendments.

I'm pretty sure heat alone will not convert NH4 to NO3, at least not low temps like 212F - commercial processors use high pressure and temps over 600C. The nice thing about worm castings is that all of the nitrogen has already been mineralized by the bacteria in the worms gut - yeah for vermicomposting! Luckily bat guano is also mineralized, one of the few organic fertilizers like it.


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 03:18 AM
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jack daniels is distilled, not to mention the alcohol. I would not recommend drinking water that is filtered through a mountain of bat crap.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 04:20 AM
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Originally Posted by lipadj46 View Post
jack daniels is distilled, not to mention the alcohol. I would not recommend drinking water that is filtered through a mountain of bat crap.
Any hard liquor is distilled .......True, but the thought of it........I'm not worried about the bacteria etc....just the nasty thought bat butt excrement flavoring

Taste like crap.

Literally........




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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 04:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post

Worm castings is often used for sediment enrichment, this is boiled to oxidize the NH4 to NO3.

Same with top soils etc.........they mineralize it in a shallow pan and allow bacteria to do it. Heat, bacteria, both oxidize the NH4 to NO3.

Heat and bacteria are BOTH "organic" methods.
I would suggest using it for a sediment source, not the water column.
This is really the key point to your question OP. Looking into an organic dirt bottomed tank will take you a lot farther down the road than water column ferts will.

My 65g jungle October rain
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
Any hard liquor is distilled .......True, but the thought of it........I'm not worried about the bacteria etc....just the nasty thought bat butt excrement flavoring

Taste like crap.

Literally........
yeah they didn't mention the bat crap on the history channel whenever they show the distillery. They do mention that the water they use from the stream is a very important part of the recipe. Maybe its the limestone or may its the guano.
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