Macros vs Micros - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-02-2005, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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Macros vs Micros

I am trying to get my hands around the purpose of dosing them on different days. I am doing so, but have never liked the idea of accepting anything on blind faith. Can anyone help me to understand the chemical reaction with the chelates and PO4? Does it make the PO4, Iron, and other micros inaccessible? Does it form a precipitate? Could this precipitate be used by the roots? My thought is it probably forms a bond stronger than the chelate, but a bond, which reaches an equilibrium in the water column so as the PO4 and or the micros are used by the plants, some of the PO4-Micro bonds break, making more of the nutrients available to the plants, though probably not at optimum levels. The reason this comes up is all of these nutrients are available in nature, and to my knowledge no one is dosing then every other day. So there is a natural way for the plants to utilize Micros after they have likely come in contact with PO4.

Thanks for your help. Chemistry wasn't my forte', which is one reason I went into Econ.


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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-03-2005, 03:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Safado
The reason this comes up is all of these nutrients are available in nature, and to my knowledge no one is dosing then every other day. So there is a natural way for the plants to utilize Micros after they have likely come in contact with PO4.
I probably don't have a good answer for you, but some thoughts...

You can't compare our tanks, especially the "high" flavor, to nature. It isn't easy to find a conglomeration of lush growth like in our tanks. Obviously, nobody doses in nature every other day...

The amounts some of us dose into tanks are much higher than in nature. (How's that for a general statement?) Unless there is agricultural runoff, phosphate levels will be low, while in planted tanks some aim for 2+ ppm. The concentration of those things is what leads to unwanted reactions and precipitates. I think this is where the "every other day" recommendation comes from.

(I dose both macros and micros on the same day, and haven't found any problem with that. But I aim for ~0.5ppm of phosphates, maybe that is low enough to avoid reactions with iron).


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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-03-2005, 03:32 PM
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My comments on traces: most trace mixes contain some iron. Not enough, but some. So on day 1 I dose my trace mix, and on day 2, I'd dose iron and macros. I've never had precipitate form when dosing iron and phosphate into the water column. As long as you don't pre-mix the two together and then dose you should be ok.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-04-2005, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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My comments on traces: most trace mixes contain some iron. Not enough, but some. So on day 1 I dose my trace mix, and on day 2, I'd dose iron and macros. I've never had precipitate form when dosing iron and phosphate into the water column. As long as you don't pre-mix the two together and then dose you should be ok.

I can definitely see the problem of premixing and then dosing, as the precipitate would possibly not be added to the tank, but what if both Macros and Micros are dosed together, and a precipitate forms. I am not sure of the bond strength of the precipitate, or even if one forms, but would it be strong enough to make the nutrients inaccessible to the plants? If it doesn't precipitate out completely, would a UV filter change the equation any, possible giving it the needed energy to break the bond?

Does anyone know the chemistry behind chelates? I think the concensus is the PO4 reacts with them. Could one dose Macros (Minus PO4) with the micros, and then dose PO4 on the odd days and get the same results? Does anyone have experience of dosing them together?


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