Kent Marine Iron and Manganese ok for trace? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-03-2014, 01:57 AM Thread Starter
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Kent Marine Iron and Manganese ok for trace?

I don't know how much background info is needed for this question but just in case.

The tank is a 20H with sand capped soil, dosing excel and diy co2. I have about 40 par at the substrate. I had been dosing kents pro-plant and kents iron and manganese. Now I got some dry phosphates and nitrates and thought I'd try ei dosing.

I made a macro solution using Ei calculations: 10ml of the solution gives 7.5 ppm KNO3 and 1.3ppm KH2PO4. To account for no pressurized co2, I am planning on dosing 1/3, 3 ml, and follow the ei schedule.

My question is what to use for traces.

I have almost a full bottle of kents iron and manganese which has:
3% Soluble potash (potassium)
.24% chelated iron
.01% Manganese
tiny bits of Molybdenum and Zinc


I was given some micro/macro mix which

"Macro Micro Nutrient Mix is composed of equal parts by weight of potassium nitrate, potassium sulfate, Plantex CSM + Boron, and magnesium sulfate.

Plantex CSM + B is composed of 1.50% magnesium, 0.10% chelated copper, 7.0% chelated iron, 2.0% manganese, 0.06% molybdenum, 0.40% zinc, 0.04% boron."

(See more at:

I am not sure which would be best.

The Kents doesn't have all of the traces (missing boron and copper). I am not sure if tap water will have enough of those to compensate. Are those essential?

The Macro/micro mix has all of the traces but since it isn't independent of the nitrates, I can't really modify the dose too much.

Fertilizing experts, of these options, which would be the best for an EI dosing noob?

Thanks for your advice!

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-03-2014, 02:52 AM
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I would use up the Kent if that is your goal, but half the time dose micros with the Kent, and half the time with the CSM+B. Since you have this last product blended with macros, you will have to carefully figure out how much macros to use when you are dosing the Kent product so the levels of each element stays as consistent as possible.

Yes, boron and copper are essential, but at such low levels that I would see no problem in trying to work out a system where you could use up the materials on hand.

Use the combined product carefully.
CSM+B is micros, and includes iron, but at a low levels. Some people supplement it with chelated iron at the rate of about 3 parts CSM+B to 1 part chelated iron.
KNO3 provides N and K. But some tanks do not need much N, so by using less KNO3, the K is also in short supply.
K2SO4 is a source of K, so if you are using less KNO3 then this makes up for the low K.
Magnesium sulfate is the material I have serious concerns about. Plants need a balance of Calcium and Magnesium. Taken together, these minerals are measured as GH. If you supplement one and not the other then the GH will still rise, but is that really what the plants need? It depends on what the tap water is giving you. If your tap water is already adequate for Ca and Mg, then you are upsetting the balance by adding more Mg. If your tap water has too much Mg and not enough Ca then you are certainly doing the plants and fish no good by adding more Mg. Only in the specific case of water that is low in Mg and high in Ca would you want to supplement with Mg.
OK, I'll get off my soap box.

I think the materials you have are a good start, but you will find you want each material separate so you can customize the dosing for your tank.
Use up what you have, get to know how things work, then buy the materials separately.

GH booster only if needed, or component parts such as calcium chloride or magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) if the Ca:Mg ratio is skewed so far out that you need to do something about it.
Chelated iron if needed to supplement the CSM+B
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-03-2014, 06:31 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you Diana! Especially for providing the reasoning behind the advice, it is very useful. I hadn't even thought to consider the magnesium. I am so glad I asked. My tap GH is around 200ppm (11-12). I checked the water company report and the CaCo3 is between 120 and 150ppm. Is this a valid test of the proportions of mg and ca in my water? If so is this something I need to balance, or are they close enough that I should be wary of adding the magnesium?

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