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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 02:55 AM Thread Starter
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cost efficient ferts

i really want to do some good ferts on my 10 and 55. id like to replace Co2 with the ferts. im wondering what is the best thing to do? ive been doing 1ml of API Co2 booster, and 1ml of aqueon plant food in my 10 and around 5ml for my 55. im almost out and just started dosing my 55 a week or two ago. so i definently need a cost efficient fert that will do the job. so what would it be and where can i buy it?
thanks


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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 04:10 AM
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you can't really replace CO2 with ferts. The best you can do is get Excel for a carbon replacement, but you could argue that that's not really cost efficient either.

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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 04:33 AM Thread Starter
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theres not like dry ferts or something?


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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 04:38 AM
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Plants need a source of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous, various trace elements, and carbon to grow. CO2 supplies the carbon. Nitrogen can come cheaply from potassium nitrate (KNO3), which also supplies potassium. Phosphorous can come cheaply from mono potassium phosphate (KH2PO4). The trace elements can come from Flourish Comprehensive, or other liquid fertilizers from the LFS, or from CSM+B, which is a dry mix of trace elements, and is the cheapest. You can order those chemicals from several places, including GreenLeaf Aquarium.

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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 05:02 AM
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Plants need a source of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous, various trace elements, and carbon to grow. CO2 supplies the carbon. Nitrogen can come cheaply from potassium nitrate (KNO3), which also supplies potassium. Phosphorous can come cheaply from mono potassium phosphate (KH2PO4). The trace elements can come from Flourish Comprehensive, or other liquid fertilizers from the LFS, or from CSM+B, which is a dry mix of trace elements, and is the cheapest. You can order those chemicals from several places, including GreenLeaf Aquarium.

I like you Hoppy : ) +1

Check out Green Leaf Aquariums website http://greenleafaquariums.com/aquari...rtilizers.html and look at their combo package. For ~$30 (including shipping), you can get nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and the CSM+B

I use 2 Tablespoons KNO3 in a 250ml solution for N and K, 2 Tsp of KH2PO4 for Phosphorus, and 1/4 tsp per week CSM+B for micros. When you see how much dry fert you get for that cost, the savings are incredible.

As Hoppy mentioned, you cannot swap NPK and micros for co2, but you can always run a diy on your 10g and a paintball co2 on your 55 if you have good diffusion on top of the dry ferts.

BTW I stumbled upon the API co2 today and will see how it performs against Excel. Either way though, neither of these can compare to "actual" co2.
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 05:11 AM Thread Starter
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is that combo package all id need? and how long would it last between the two tanks?


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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 05:57 AM
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It would last a long time. $30 worth would probably last you more than a year on your 55G and 10G. But it does not cover CO2 at all. If you are doing a non-CO2 injected tank (and have the proper amount of lighting for that, aka low lighting), then your fert dosing rate should decrease dramatically. If you don't want to deal with CO2, the ferts will probably last you 3 years or so. This is if you only dose once every one to two weeks as needed for a non-CO2 tank.

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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 12:53 PM
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Cost Effective Ferts

Good morning all...

If you'd care to research hydroponics liquids, these ferts may be an option. Briefly, they're organic liquids used to grow plants without the use of soil. Since the ferts are organic, I used them in my tanks.

Before my large, planted tanks weren't so heavily stocked, I used liquids from a company called "Earth Juice". They market several different ferts and I used to cycle them. About every six months or so, I'd dose a different fert. Got the cycling idea from a friend who'd been into tanks for decades and said that plants, like fish need a variety of nutrients to grow. He said people don't eat the same thing all the time, so it made sense that fish and plants too need a change.

Anyway, my low light plants really grew with the "Earth Juice" liquids. Price is very good. A $13.00 bottle lasted about three months, and I was dosing six tanks, from 30 to 55 Gs. I just dosed a little every week when I did my water changes.

Anyway, liquids can be very inexpensive if you do your research.

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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 04:36 PM
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With low light, non CO2 tanks, fertilizing isn't at all critical. You could just add excess fish food and very likely not need any other fertilizing. Or you could buy whatever looks good and use it in very small amounts, and still get plant growth. Or, you could take the time to find out what it takes to grow plants, what the needed elements are, and buy just those, then dose about the amounts you find that the plants can use, and still get plant growth.

When you move to higher light, and faster plant growth, needing CO2 to support that growth, then you need to be more careful about supplying what the plants need and in adequate amounts, plus making sure you aren't building up excessive amounts in the water over time.

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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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my 10 gallon isnt low light i dont think. its got 2 20 watt CFL's the only reason i havent done Co2 bc its a dirt tank. the 55 has 34 watts on the left side (T8) and 48 on the right side(T5HO). i plan on switching to 160watts of cfl on the 55.


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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-04-2011, 01:20 AM
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BTW I stumbled upon the API co2 today and will see how it performs against Excel. Either way though, neither of these can compare to "actual" co2.
API has a test shown on their website, http://cms.marsfishcare.com/files/sc...ce%20sheet.pdf This indicates that CO2 Booster is twice as effective as Excel, which is curious, since they are very nearly the same thing. My explanation is that API did their test with Vals, and they followed the dosing instructions on the bottles. The Excel bottle says to start with a dose of 5 ml per 10 gallons of water, while the API CO2 Booster appears to just call for the same 1 ml per 10 gallons that is the continuing dosage for Excel. And the Excel bottle calls for dosing every other day, as I recall, but CO2 Booster bottle calls for daily dosing. And, Excel is hard on Vals, causing them to die back or stall in growing, when dosed in high dosages (like 5 ml per 10 gallons), so of course the Vals did better with CO2 Booster.

This would just be amusing, except that CO2 Booster costs more than Excel. Since CO2 booster is nothing but glutaraldehyde in water- 1.6% glut - the obvious better product is Metricide or similar glut products, since those are much cheaper.

Perhaps we should all read the MSDS for these products http://cms.marsfishcare.com/files/ms...ter_081810.pdf

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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-04-2011, 04:22 AM
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API has a test shown on their website, http://cms.marsfishcare.com/files/sc...ce%20sheet.pdf This indicates that CO2 Booster is twice as effective as Excel, which is curious, since they are very nearly the same thing. My explanation is that API did their test with Vals, and they followed the dosing instructions on the bottles. The Excel bottle says to start with a dose of 5 ml per 10 gallons of water, while the API CO2 Booster appears to just call for the same 1 ml per 10 gallons that is the continuing dosage for Excel. And the Excel bottle calls for dosing every other day, as I recall, but CO2 Booster bottle calls for daily dosing. And, Excel is hard on Vals, causing them to die back or stall in growing, when dosed in high dosages (like 5 ml per 10 gallons), so of course the Vals did better with CO2 Booster.

This would just be amusing, except that CO2 Booster costs more than Excel. Since CO2 booster is nothing but glutaraldehyde in water- 1.6% glut - the obvious better product is Metricide or similar glut products, since those are much cheaper.

Perhaps we should all read the MSDS for these products http://cms.marsfishcare.com/files/ms...ter_081810.pdf

Interesting.

I did notice the difference in dosing and have seen what excel can do to vals.

Surprisingly, the co2 booster was at least $5 cheaper than excel locally, but as you mention, using something like metricide or another glutaraldehyde is a much less expensive way to dose. In time I might consider it, but hey, if I'm going to spend money on something for co2, I might as well put it towards pressurized ; )
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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-04-2011, 04:38 AM Thread Starter
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soooo.., what should i do on my 10 and 55? Co2 isnt an option on the 55, but is a possibility for my 10. i could pribably do that pack of ferts and then Co2 booster on my 55 and the pack of ferts with DIY Co2 on my 10 right?


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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-04-2011, 05:01 AM
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soooo.., what should i do on my 10 and 55? Co2 isnt an option on the 55, but is a possibility for my 10. i could pribably do that pack of ferts and then Co2 booster on my 55 and the pack of ferts with DIY Co2 on my 10 right?
I definitely recommend the ferts . As far as co2, I would say that adding the booster to both won't hurt, but it will never match the power of co2.

On the 10g, I would say you could get away with diy and glut suplementation. On the 55g, I REALLY suggest pressurized.
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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-04-2011, 05:04 AM
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Sounds good. I had a 10 gallon tank lit with a couple of the spiral screw in compact fluorescents I dosed with Excel and a very scientific pinch of the dry fertilizers once a week and that tank was pristine with happy plants. It may not need much but just a bit really helped out. The pack lasts a really long time and if you decide it isn't worth it you can easily sell it here.


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