Organic Fertilizers? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-21-2007, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
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Organic Fertilizers?

I was wondering if there is a source of organic fertilizers for planted tanks. Anybody out there using or know of any sources that could be used as a substitute to the standard crystalized forms that are more commonly available?

Paul

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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-21-2007, 01:07 AM
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rabbit poo for root fertilizer

One month in.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-21-2007, 01:36 AM
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i'd stay away from the poo. I'd be worry about e. coli not for the fish but you.


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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-21-2007, 01:39 AM
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Organic fertilizers are going to have the problem that many of them are going to require an ammonia cycle. This would be the case with most anything that is going to add nitrates.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-21-2007, 01:39 AM
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there is no organic form of potassium, its a metal... only nitrate and phosphate.


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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-21-2007, 01:40 AM
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Actually potassium sulfate is a mineral that is mined naturally in Utah.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-21-2007, 01:44 AM
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"there is no organic form of potassium"

lol... so, none of plants growing in the wild are organic?

we use wood ashes for potassium suplemention in organic terrestrial gardening.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-21-2007, 03:54 AM
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Organic has a lot of meanings. What exactly do you mean? An animal or plant byproduct?

Why organic anyway? Hard to measure, impurities, etc.

Macclellan, perhaps he means a source of once living byproduct that contains mostly K? Not likely, K is highly reactive and is only naturally found bound to another element(s).

In college....so no aquariums for a while.....
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-21-2007, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg View Post
Actually potassium sulfate is a mineral that is mined naturally in Utah.
Ya mean stuff that comes out the ground is naturaal?

Organic aquarium ferts is a bit an odd thing.
It's the organic fractions that harm the aquatic ecosystems in many cases, NH4 and organic loading.......at least our tanks.

We use NO3 in the inorganic forms as well as PO4 to avoid algae blooms and fish toxicity to remove the organic fractions through rapid oxidation by the plant's and rapid uptake of NH4 produce by fish waste.

So yes, the tank is very organic, you might consider certified organic fish food as well if you believe this to be an issue. Organic free range worms Rex?

You know you cain't sez no!

Other methods such as a non CO2 plant tanks uses soil in some cases and fish waste to supply the tank, that might be more your tune.
You can use organic ferts, but you need to mineralize them good, boiling for 10 min or soaking for 2-3 weeks in shallow tray of water will leech the NH4 out.

But if you claim to be doing this for organic reasons, you need to make sure the fish waste/food sources are also organic. Non CO2 also provides non water changes, so you use less water as well.

There are trade offs associated with the various methods, but that's up to you and your goals there.

All in all, it can be done pretty easily, but you will end up using the non CO2 method, not a CO2 enriched method, as that goes directly against the concept................

Regards,
Tom Barr



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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 12:46 PM
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For organic fertilizer I use whole tea leaves that are fed to grindal worms (small white worms). The variety I have are aquatic and live in the substrate so often I will add both the leaves and the worms.
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 05:20 PM
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The principal element in the low tech natural or organic tank is simply high quality fish food. With a sufficient bio-load, uneaten fish food, along with fish and plant waste can sustain plants with little or no chemical additives (although the infrequent addition of trace elements is admittedly beneficial). This is evidenced by the Walstad and Walstad inspired methods.

Now in the absence of CO2 injection, high ferts, and bright light, some plants will either not do well or not grow at all. This seems especially true of many of the 'carpet' plants that typically grow in shallow, nutrient rich waters.

IMO, there are some important factors for low tech natural...

> The substrate must be sand, fine gravel, or capped soil.

> A bio-load that's somewhat proportional to plants to facilitate the BALANCE of light, (organic) nutrients and plant mass.

> Water circulation is important, but mechanical filtration (or filter servicing) is kept to a minimum.

> Substrate cleaning/vacuuming is eliminated allowing fish and plant waste to be processed (decomposed).

> Partial water changes are either kept to a minimum or eliminated altogether as water changes dilute/remove organic nutrients from the water.

> The cleanup crew includes Malaysian Trumpet Snails as they burrow in the substrate keeping it aerated and they deposit organic waste in the root zone. (a function not unlike terrestrial earthworms.)

So (just my $.02 but) the (organic) fertilizer is simply the fish food and the livestock.

Tank On, Mike-
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-17-2016, 05:09 AM
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In terrestrial gardening you rely on the bacteria in the soil to convert organic compounds into the mostly inorganic compounds that are bioavailable to plants. Or, you just dose fertilizers that have most of the nutrients added in inorganic forms. In an aquarium that doesn't work out very well, because the water leaches everything that is in the substrate into the water, where some organic compounds can lead to algae or sickness for the fish. There really isn't any point in using "organic fertilizers" in an aquarium, which is about as unnatural a setting for the plants and animals as you can imagine.

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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-17-2016, 02:22 PM
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@Hoppy - that's just wrong. I fear you may be a victim of a chemical dependency! <hehe>. How do you think nature grows aquatic plants when in the wild, any introduction of man made chemical fertilizers would be considered pollution? The fact is that decomposition bacteria lives in water just as it does on land causing organic waste to break down into among other things, nitrogenous compounds. Ever notice the muck in the bottom of some lakes, ponds, or swamps? A lot of this bacteria lives in the aquarium substrate. As a matter of fact, I was thinking after my previous post that a veggie round or an algae wafer just might make a good organic root tab. This is not unlike when the indians showed us how well planting a fish with the corn did at Plymouth Rock - Remember @Hoppy? - lol
Oh and fish waste is every bit as good a fertilizer as manure on the farmers field.

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10g, 29g, & 37g fry grow out tanks, 110g stock tank.


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Last edited by AbbeysDad; 09-17-2016 at 02:38 PM. Reason: update
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-17-2016, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
@Hoppy - that's just wrong. I fear you may be a victim of a chemical dependency! <hehe>. How do you think nature grows aquatic plants when in the wild, any introduction of man made chemical fertilizers would be considered pollution? The fact is that decomposition bacteria lives in water just as it does on land causing organic waste to break down into among other things, nitrogenous compounds. Ever notice the muck in the bottom of some lakes, ponds, or swamps? A lot of this bacteria lives in the aquarium substrate. As a matter of fact, I was thinking after my previous post that a veggie round or an algae wafer just might make a good organic root tab. This is not unlike when the indians showed us how well planting a fish with the corn did at Plymouth Rock - Remember @Hoppy? - lol
Oh and fish waste is every bit as good a fertilizer as manure on the farmers field.
Before you go dumping algae wafers in your tank, make sure you read the ingredients first. Wheat, soy, and corn meal serve no purpose other than cheap fillers that do nothing more than make a huge mess in a tank environment. Fish do not eat wheat, soy or corn in the wild despite that the indians may have said about it. How did Plymouth Rock and indians even become part of this conversation? Are your fish decked out in Thanksgiving garb?

While it's great that we have good bacteria in a tank, just like with a garden there is also bad bacteria. Heterotrophic Bacteria and Their Practical Application in a Freshwater Aquarium
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-17-2016, 03:37 PM
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I've seen urea discussed lately as an alternative "organic" form of nitrogen to dose, and potash is a source of potassium that its typically derived from wood ash (though what kind I'm not sure on yet). Using some variety of dirt/clay as a substrate will also bring with it a variety of macro and micro nutrients, and if it's derived from compost could be considered "organic", though with this you may have an extended ammonia spike as the tank settles in and the cycle develops. As for phosphates, I would expect that enough is added from fish food, that it shouldn't really need an outside source (same goes for nitrogen)


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