New to dry ferts - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-21-2012, 02:05 AM Thread Starter
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New to dry ferts

I'm converting my 10g to a high tech tank, with AquaSoil Amazonia as the substrate, paintball CO2, and a custom made fixture of several CFL bulbs (I can use quite a few bulbs if necessary). I intend to use dry ferts for the tank, but I have no idea how to do so. I have the following:

Plantex CSM+B 1/2 pound
Potassium Nitrate KNO3 1 pound
Potassium Sulfate K2SO4 1 Pound
Mono Potassium Phosphate KH2PO4 1/2 pound
Iron Chelate 11% 1/4 Pound

I understand that there are the EI and PPS dosing systems, yet I don't fully understand the differences between the two. From what I can gather PPS is less strict in regards to water changes and testing. My goal with the tank is to grow various Rotala species and a carpet of DHG Belem. Which of these systems would be better for such a goal? (including getting the best red color out of the Rotalas)

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-21-2012, 04:51 PM
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I would start with the EI method, get a feel for how much fertilizer you plants are using. Then you can alter the dosing, perhaps reduce it, but let the plants tell you.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-21-2012, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Since I hope to get a good red color out of the Rotalas I'll be growing, would limiting the nitrates and providing more iron be a good course of action?

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-23-2012, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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I have decided to go with EI dosing. How does one actually introduce the ferts into the tank? Should I mix them with water or just add the powder to the tank?

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-23-2012, 12:37 AM
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You will find a mix of opinions about that. Pre-mixing is easy, and doesn't result in granules of chems floating around the tank. However, there is no evidence to suggest that dumping a 1/4 or 1/16 tsp of granules of ferts into the tank is actually bad.

Basically, do it however it best works for you. You'll end up using about 4x the amount of KNO3, if used according to standard EI dosing, as all of each of the other ferts. And KSO4 may or may not be necessary, depending on your tap water parameters (K is supplied by KNO3 and KH2PO4). So, KNO3, KH2PO4, and micros (Miller Microplex or CSM+B) may be sufficient.

There's also an argument surrounding "red". Plenty of people will tell you that extra iron equals extra red. Plenty of others will tell you that the red has nothing to do with iron, despite common myth. As for me, I'm of the opinion that high light equals red, so long as there's plenty of ferts of all shapes and sizes.

KSO4 and Iron won't hurt anything, but they may not be at all necessary.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-23-2012, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
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How does one go about pre-mixing dry ferts? Would I put all the nutrients into one mixture or would I make a separate one for each compound? Would such mixtures need to be refrigerated or anything?

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-23-2012, 02:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Axelrodi202 View Post
How does one go about pre-mixing dry ferts? Would I put all the nutrients into one mixture or would I make a separate one for each compound? Would such mixtures need to be refrigerated or anything?
You can mix all your macronutrients into one bottle and then keep your micronutrients in another bottle.

The micronutrients tends to grow mold with time, so you can refrigerate it to slow down its growth. Alternatively, some people put in a few drops of Excel (glutaraldehyde) or hydochloric acid to retard bacterial growth.

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-23-2012, 02:40 AM
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Check the basic recommendations for EI dosing. In my experience, the whites for the 20-40g single dose are about the most that will dissolve into 1oz of distilled water.

So, you're fine with a 10g. I'd recommend getting 1oz dosing bottles, maybe 30oz total capacity, and mixing one or two doses per 1oz for a 10g. So, you'd do 30 (or 60) times the recommended 10g dose for each of the ferts per 30oz of distilled water.

I bought my bottles (and a bunch of other stuff) from USPlastic.

*edit* yeah, you need to split micros from ...I think it's KH2PO4. Phosphates. Easy rule is keep the whites together - I do a macro mix and a micro mix.

Last edited by kevmo911; 12-23-2012 at 02:41 AM. Reason: macro/micro
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Should I use distilled or tap water for the mixtures? If I use tap, should I dechlorinate it first? How much excel should I add to the micro mixture?

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axelrodi202 View Post
Should I use distilled or tap water for the mixtures? If I use tap, should I dechlorinate it first? How much excel should I add to the micro mixture?
Distilled water is preferred.
If you use tap water you can let it gas off first.
At one time I mixed with tap and did not dechlorinate.
I experiencedno problems. I use distilled now.

Remember your tap has other stuff in it, if you are going to continue to use tap get the breakdown of what is in the water from your local water department
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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For a micro mix, I've calculated that if I wish to make a mix for 4 weeks' worth of ferts I'll need to use 3/8 of CSM+B according to the guidelines presented in this thread. But the thread doesn't state an amount of dry iron to add. How much iron would I add to a micro mix to last for 4 weeks for a 10g tank?

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axelrodi202 View Post
For a micro mix, I've calculated that if I wish to make a mix for 4 weeks' worth of ferts I'll need to use 3/8 of CSM+B according to the guidelines presented in this thread. But the thread doesn't state an amount of dry iron to add. How much iron would I add to a micro mix to last for 4 weeks for a 10g tank?
I would start off with just dosing CSM+B. If you following EI, I don't think you will be noticing iron deficiencies.

If you are, however, you can then decide to dose extra iron.

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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The tank will have mainly red plants, so I was thinking that the extra iron might be necessary.
Just remembered that 5ml approximately equals 1 tsp. The thread I linked to above says to dose 1ml of Fe 3x each week. Is that referring to powdered iron or a premade mixture?

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 04:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axelrodi202 View Post
Just remembered that 5ml approximately equals 1 tsp.
This is true only for water.

From the same thread you linked above:

Quote:
Mixing Trace Element and Iron, Plantex CSM+B,
Fe/Iron Chelate 10%- mix 1Tbsp per 250ml water-
one cap full=5ml

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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So do I mix in 1 Tbsp of each?

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