Orchid Food can be a good Nitrogen (Nitrate) Source? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-18-2006, 05:06 AM Thread Starter
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Orchid Food can be a good Nitrogen (Nitrate) Source?

My girlfriend and i live together. while im a fanatic about tanks, she is crazy about orchids so for valentines day i bought her an orchid! anyways, to make a long story short.... as time went by the orchid started to die. i followed all the directions but it just kept losing its new buds and it did not look healthy. i took it to the nursery and they said that i needed to give it a supplement that would supply it with a higher dose of nitrogen. So the lady gave me a small ziplock bag full of this blue salt crystal-like stuff she called orchid food and told me that the food would give it a high dose of nitrogen and that i only needed to feed the orchids every 10 days. she also warned me that the food had a super HIGH concentration and that i only needed 1/2 a teaspoon per gallon of water i diluted it with.

Same thing happened to my java fern. It started to turn black and after testing my nitrates, i noticed that my nitrate levels were at 0ppm. due to my frequent water changes insufficient bio-load the nitrate just never had a chance to accumulate. I got curious. i diluted a pinch of it in a small water bottle using the aquarium water and poured 5ml into a test tube. in the other test tube i put 5ml of regular tank water. the tube with the orchid food read off the charts! and the tank water was, of course, 0ppm.

Do you guys think its safe to use this, orchid food, to feed my java ferns?

Im going to start off with a very small dosage and see how much the nitrate levels go up over time. in the meantime, if anyone is familiar with orchid food, please let me know if this is all right. im experimenting this on a tank without fish.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-18-2006, 12:30 PM
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While I'm not familiar with orchid food, the description sounds just like Miracle Grow.
I would be hesitant due to not knowing the other ingredients. Why not just use a Greg Watson fert?

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-18-2006, 12:52 PM
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Many times the source of nitrogen in commercial plant foods is from urea. Might as well pour ammonia into the tank.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-18-2006, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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i'll test for amonia.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-18-2006, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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i am using the greg watson ferts. i just wanted to test out this stuff because it might have been a cheaper alternative. but i should have known that people have already tried it. It tested positive for amonia!! Aye Caramba! hahahahaha but not a very high level... under 0.25 ppm.... it raised the nitrate to 10ppm.

Conclusion:

ill stick with the greg watson ferts.
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