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post #1 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-19-2005, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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First Ferts

Hi,

I'm just getting into the hobby and need some suggestions of the "first ferts" I should purchase. Currently, I only have TE Flourish.

Should I purchase from GregWatson.com? If so, which chemicals should I purchase?

Thanks,
BC
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post #2 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-19-2005, 08:46 PM
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Start off with 3lb of KNO3 and 1lb each of KH2PO4 and K2SO4. The latter you may never need, but it's not expensive and you'll have if you do ever need it.

You might also order 1lb of CSM+B if you want to get away from buying bottles of Flourish.

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post #3 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-19-2005, 08:48 PM
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Oh, and depending on the hardness of your water you may want to order some Calcium Chloride (CaCl3).

You might also be able to find this at places like Lowes or HomeDepot where they sell supplies for dehumidifiers, but it's usually more expensive per pound at those places.

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post #4 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-20-2005, 01:13 AM
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Actually if you are doing to suggested levels you will go though a LOT more K2SO4 than KNO3.

I recommend that you buy about 2-3x as much K2SO4 than KNO3. If you need phosphates then you will need KH2PO4, and a pound will last a very long time.

If you also want traces you can order the Plantex CSM+B. A pound will last a very long time with this one also.

If you have very low gH get some calcium chloride. You can get Epsom Salts anywhere for the other half of the gH. Baking soda works just fine if you have low kH.
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post #5 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-22-2005, 08:20 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies...

I forgot to mention, that I'm going to be staring a 29 gallon tank. So are the specified weights still appropriate?

How about:

KNO3 (2 lb)
K2SO4 (3 lb)
CaCl2 (1 lb)
KH2PO4 (1 lb)


Aloha
BC
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post #6 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-22-2005, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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WOW... I just went through a "mock-checkout" and found to my dismay that shipping will be $46.64 for the above listed fert. order....

How much are you guys charged for shipping from gregwatson.com? Looks like I need an alternative...
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post #7 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-22-2005, 01:29 PM
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If you *are* just getting into the hobby, then maybe playing with chemistry and costly shipping are discouraging. Try looking for the KENT line of plant ferts, or Dupla.
The reason for such costly shipping, besides the weight, is because they're chemicals.

You can also see if any of your local fish club members have any PMDD supplies they're willing to sell/trade you.

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post #8 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-22-2005, 02:52 PM
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Dont worry about the costly shipping. You will still save a lot of money in the long run with Greg's ferts. vs seachem or any in store bought fert.

BigFoot

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post #9 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-22-2005, 04:26 PM
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BC,
A couple of things. First, email Greg and ask if he can ship using a USPS Flat Rate Priority Mail box. Then your shipping would be only $7.70.

Second, you may want to try and find out where the local golf courses get their fertilizers from. You may be able to get them in bulk for way cheaper using that route.

In the mean time go to Lowes or Home Depot and look for either Grants or Greenlight stump remover (it'll be in the section where they sell weed killers and stuff). Both are pure (as far as everyone can tell) KNO3. Here in CA it's about $5/lb so it's not a cheap source but it'll do in a pinch, or when you only need a small amount anyway.

For PO4 you can use Fleet Enema which Wal-Mart sells for cheap. Just make sure you get the plain enema with no perfumes or other additives. If you go this route I can give you general dosing guides.

Finally, I just purchased a 50# bag of K2SO4 from a lawn maintenance supplier so I can ship you several pounds of that in a USPS flat rate box for $7.70 if Greg will not use USPS as a shipper.

—Bill

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post #10 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-22-2005, 11:54 PM
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It's actually illegal to ship KNO3 via the USPS.
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post #11 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-23-2005, 01:13 AM
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i got my order from greg by USPS and it had potassium nitrate in the order???? maybe uncle sam just dont know whats going in the box?

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post #12 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-23-2005, 01:30 AM Thread Starter
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Alright... Just sent a email requesting the flat rate box to Greg, we'll see what you says! Crossing my fingers...

Also, one of you said buying the Seachem liquid ferts. would be more exspensive. Is this really true? And when you say, "the long run" how long is this time period?
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post #13 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-23-2005, 01:38 AM
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yeah, only 20-50 times more expensive


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post #14 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-23-2005, 01:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bc_hawaii
Also, one of you said buying the Seachem liquid ferts. would be more exspensive. Is this really true? And when you say, "the long run" how long is this time period?
One set of Seachem N, P, and K 250ml bottles runs about $12 at Big Al's. You can get 2 lbs each of KNO3 and K2SO4, plus a pound of KH2PO4 for the same amount, which should make several gallons (at least) of comparable concentration N, P and K solutions.

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post #15 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-23-2005, 02:59 AM
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Here is the skinny on Seachem products.


If you are dosing 60gallons of water with Flourish Potassium you would need 100 ml to get to 20 ppm.

If you are dosing 60 gallons of water with Flourish Phosphorus you would need to dose 48 ml to get to 1 ppm.

If you are dosing 60 gallons of water with Flourish Nitrogen you would need to dose 30 ml to get to 10 ppm.

Flourish Potassium is $6 mail order for 500 ml. So if you dose once a week that bottle will last you 5 weeks. Cost would $1.25 a week to dose potassium.

Flourish Phosphorus is $7.50 mail order for 500 ml. So if you dose once a week that bottle would last you 10 weeks. Cost would be 75¢ a week to dose Phosphorus.

Seachem Nitrogen is $7.50 mail order for 500 ml. So if you dose once a week that bottle will last you 16 weeks. Cost would be 47¢ a week to dose nitrates.

Total cost for one dose a week with Seachem $~2.75. Note there is no shipping factored in here and there are some rounding errors.

To dose the same tank with bulk nutrients from Greg......

Nitrates 2¢ a dose.
Phosphates .2¢ a dose. Note that 5 doses for a penny.
Potassium 4¢ a dose.

Total cost for one dose a week with Greg Watson 6.2¢

That's 44X the cost to use Seachem products.

Note these prices do not include shipping charges and there are some rounding errors.


So that pretty much settles that one.
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