What exactly is wrong with Miracle Gro? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-23-2012, 05:07 AM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb What exactly is wrong with Miracle Gro?

Before I begin, I've been reading on this for ages.

I've been using some Wal-Mart Jungle brand test kits, treated water and some Miracle Gro specialty formula 20-20-20. The indoor recommendation (1/2tea spoon) in ten gallons reads under 20 ppm by this kit. Ph at this concentration sunk from nearly 8.5 to around 7 in two trials. TDS reading seemed affected by something in the ferts, read lower than normal tap. I'd keep working, but I'm out of test strips currently cannot acquire more.

Contents read: (N) 5.9% ammoniacal nitrogen, 6.0% nitrate and 8.1% urea; (P2O5) 20%; (K2O) 20%; (B) 0.02%; (Cu) water soluble copper 0.05%; (Fe) chelated iron 0.10%; (Mn) water soluble manganese 0.05%; (Mo) 0.0005%; (Zn) water soluble zinc 0.05%

Derived from urea, ammonium phosphate, potassium nitrate, boric acid, copper sulfate, iron EDTA, manganese sulfate, sodium molybdate and zinc sulfate.

Nutrient balance aside, is there really anything that bad about the stuff? I have dropped small amounts of the stuff in a couple tanks before and no evident ill effects in fish/shrimp(ghost/rcs.) In small doses would nitrate from fish and maybe API's Leaf Zone (0-0-3+iron), along with regular maybe 35% pre-dose water changes in a planted tank that is using all available nutrients (testing 0's across the board) all balance out?
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-23-2012, 05:59 AM
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Can't put that aside, there is a lot P in that. The ammoniacal nitrogen and urea will/can release ammonia into the water, so you should limit the size of the doses. Do a bunch of small ones instead one big dose.

And i think there is some micros missing. or maybe it's just Mg.

Please ignore any spelling/grammatical errors. I'm swedish and sometimes I'm also drunk.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-23-2012, 07:36 AM Thread Starter
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Well the city claims the tap is at 270mg/l gh, but it usually tests higher... lord really knows the mineral content, they fiddle with it...

If I mixed some MiracleGro 20-20-20 up in some Nebraska topsoil fertcicles, with some added trace, would I be asking for trouble? Should I just try to work out a regular light dosing regimen and watch for signs of deficiency?

Also, how exactly can the ammonia from ammonium be released? Same with urea? I know it can be dangerous at high levels, but it is present in lots of pond and aquarium fertilizer tablets.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-23-2012, 07:35 PM
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it contain too much phosphate, ammonium or urea might not cause any problem unless dosed in high amounts. if you have high Ph 7> then you are asking for trouble with ammonium/Urea turning into ammonia, it will kill plants and fish.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-23-2012, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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the ph is always high, buffered by the city.. and dont mistake that i want to use this as a primary fertilizer for occupied tanks, but its seeming to provide accelerated growth vs osmocote in & outdoor and topsoil alone. I have some plants thriving, all locally gathered, arrowhead sag and the stem plants are putting out lots of runners and side shoots. Native anarchis and duckweed dont seem to care either way... I had a small tree for a while in standing water, overtrimmed the roots during a replant and she died.. green algae on the glass walls of the tank, but not really anything on the plants but hard water/alkaline spots from growth and evaporation... I know that lilaeopsis plants are distantly related to carrots, and bacopa to peas. Could they be implemented as a nutrient vacuum? Or are there and fruiting plants that we could use?
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-02-2012, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Well.. i have been using a diluted dose here and there on two tanks. So far so good. Stem plants look happier, brighter colors. Had to yank a water sprite from a ten gallon tank. It blocked out too much light. No algae out of the ordinary. A little less in the ten gallon than normal, although the oto's could just be hungrier than normal, the tank's a bit warm.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 07:11 AM
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I'm currently experimenting with a 15-3-13+micro slow release fert, a 8-3-5+micro liquid fert and a K+micro fert. With the first two i can get a NO3:PO4-ratio anywhere between 8.8:1 and 16.5:1. Aquatic plants use around 10 times more N then P(= 14.4:1 for NO3/PO4). This is also a good ratio to have in the water.

It's numbers like these you should look for if you want it to balance out.

Please ignore any spelling/grammatical errors. I'm swedish and sometimes I'm also drunk.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 10:10 PM
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Don't use those test strips. Buy a liquid test kit. The test strips will tell me all day long that my ammonia levels are toxic for my fish when I know my tank is cycled, well filtered, and heavily understocked. They aren't worthwhile, and you end up spending more money in the long run.

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-06-2012, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calmia22 View Post
Don't use those test strips. Buy a liquid test kit. The test strips will tell me all day long that my ammonia levels are toxic for my fish when I know my tank is cycled, well filtered, and heavily understocked. They aren't worthwhile, and you end up spending more money in the long run.
Ammo test strips are worthless, I agree. However, an API master freshwater kit is $40 at the lfs, forget that. The strips were on hand. The ph and nitrite/ate reading are within tolerance for my needs.

Also, I have a court date soon, so my usual bulk order of supplies(metricide, prime, etc..) from Amazon has been post-poned.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-06-2012, 01:47 PM
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Using Miracle Gro

Hello steve...

Other than the stuff is messy to use, it's great stuff for your aquatic plants. I use it in my potted tanks and it nourishes my plants for several months. (See attached pic). I don't advise using it in large amounts as a substrate, because of the mess. I suppose it would work in a very small tank to keep plants, but not good for larger tanks.

B

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-06-2012, 02:40 PM
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Hello steve...

Other than the stuff is messy to use, it's great stuff for your aquatic plants. I use it in my potted tanks and it nourishes my plants for several months. (See attached pic). I don't advise using it in large amounts as a substrate, because of the mess. I suppose it would work in a very small tank to keep plants, but not good for larger tanks.

B
READING 1st HELPS!
This thread is about liquid and granulated plant foods!

While I don't prefer any number of tanking methods that's my opinion and for the most part I keep that to myself. (hint)

To the advice regarding soil usage.
MGOCPM and any number of other soil mixes are used by more than a few members without any drama and to much better results than you achieved based on the repeated comments made. As I've posted before this system is now over 3yrs old without change, without dosing, the foot print is 55g.
Potting soil, Flourite, 4xT8 and a sponge equipped power head.



Growing a tad testy reading your posts about how this 'method' doesn't work, creates a mess, doesn't last, won't grow plants yada yada.
I alone have >10 systems active using soil enriched substrates.

Maybe if you did more water changes that would help.


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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-06-2012, 02:52 PM
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once again bbradbury dosnt know what he's talking about.

MGOC and a large-ish tank (125g)






the key to avoiding mess is setting it up correctly and having patience while uprooting.

The MGOC began to loose its momentum around a year, but is constantly being replenished by fish waste and would still support root feeders no problem.


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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-06-2012, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkndracer View Post
READING 1st HELPS!
This thread is about liquid and granulated plant foods!

While I don't prefer any number of tanking methods that's my opinion and for the most part I keep that to myself. (hint)

To the advice regarding soil usage.
MGOCPM and any number of other soil mixes are used by more than a few members without any drama and to much better results than you achieved based on the repeated comments made. As I've posted before this system is now over 3yrs old without change, without dosing, the foot print is 55g.
Potting soil, Flourite, 4xT8 and a sponge equipped power head.



Growing a tad testy reading your posts about how this 'method' doesn't work, creates a mess, doesn't last, won't grow plants yada yada.
I alone have >10 systems active using soil enriched substrates.

Maybe if you did more water changes that would help.
Nice angles
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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Silly gooses. I was talking about the blue crystal fert, not potting soil.

I live in the grain belt... Awesome topsoil here, plus its free...
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 01:15 PM
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only one goose


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