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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-01-2008, 05:23 AM Thread Starter
 
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ferts and chemicals questions

im not sure this is in the right place but it seemed the best place for it.

ok i have been reading about dry ferts and nutrients and all the rest all afternoon. I also spent the morning re-doing recipes for soaps (the old fashoined kind from scratch) and lotions to account for increased pricing in some ingredients so I am chemical and math and formulas overloaded right now. But I might as well sit and read and learn while I have an excuse to be sitting. stupid shoulder!!!!
I failed chemistry in college with flying colors, so how is it that i chose a career and a hobby that require so much of it?!?!
there are pipettes and the digi scales and about 50 tiny bottles of various samples all over my desk right now

after reading and reading about dry ferts and recipes and dosing im not sure i really understand any of it, i also dont want to order all the ingredients because i would have enough to make a bucket full by the end.

Is there a premixed dry fert available, or a way to buy smaller amounts locally from alternative sources?
Im basically looking for a ferts for dummies until I get a better grasp on it.

regarding buffers.... primarily for returning Purigen to a nuetral state after regenerating.
Would a baking soda or food/cosmetic grade citric acid solution (I have many others too ranging from sodium hydroxide to vinegar) in the proper amounts and well rinsed be a viable choice or must I use some sort of aquarium buffer?

And is pure medical/cosmetic/pharmacuetical grade alcohol, the kind used for making perfumes and diluting essential oils,( its basically everclear without the water content) safe for disenfecting things like nets/cleaning sponges if they are allowed to dry out totally before reusing causing the alcohol to be totally evaporated off?

Thanks...I know im full of questions but hopefully i will be able to help out when i am more experienced!
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-01-2008, 05:26 AM
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lol- friend- I am right there with you with the fert stuff.

OMG. There is so much to consider. I have a 10 gallon tank. Some of the dry ferts are sold in POUNDS. lol.... that's a whooollle lotta dosing

I've been reading and reading and reading.. and then reading some more. It seems like everyone has an opinion and they all seem valid! I feel like I'm chasing my tail in a circle.

lol- I just need to take a deep breath!

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-01-2008, 05:38 AM Thread Starter
 
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At least with soaps there is a straightforward basic place to start, you must have an exact amount of certain things to end up with soap that wont burn your skin off but will still get you clean, and there are calculators that already have the various ingredients entered that do the hard part of the math for you.

Right now i feel like i just read my nephews chemistry and algebra textbooks for fun!
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-01-2008, 06:14 AM
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lol no one tells you to keep fish you need to do calculations and do all this stuff. Shoot, when I was a kid....all there was to it was gravel, filter, plastic plant or 2, and fish!

Now it seems like it's all about balancing the light, CO2, ferts....

I've been stressing about these ferts so much I forgot to feed my puffers today!

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-01-2008, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Justbeginningfish View Post
Is there a premixed dry fert available, or a way to buy smaller amounts locally from alternative sources?
Im basically looking for a ferts for dummies until I get a better grasp on it.
There are pre-mixed dry fertilizers available, but I think most people will agree that they are a waste of money, because it cannot be tailored to suit an individual tank's needs.

If you can find someone locally, you can try asking them to spare you some 100's of grams of fertilizers. Otherwise, you might as well buy them (by the pound) Let's hope you stay in this hobby for a long time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justbeginningfish View Post
regarding buffers.... primarily for returning Purigen to a nuetral state after regenerating.
Would a baking soda or food/cosmetic grade citric acid solution (I have many others too ranging from sodium hydroxide to vinegar) in the proper amounts and well rinsed be a viable choice or must I use some sort of aquarium buffer?
I have not used Purigen before, but I was under the impression that to regenerate it, you put it into bleach, and then neutralize with Prime?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justbeginningfish View Post
And is pure medical/cosmetic/pharmacuetical grade alcohol, the kind used for making perfumes and diluting essential oils,( its basically everclear without the water content) safe for disenfecting things like nets/cleaning sponges if they are allowed to dry out totally before reusing causing the alcohol to be totally evaporated off?
Are we talking USP grade, or ACS reagent grade ethanol? An ethanol/water azeotrope forms at around 96%, so I'm not sure how "pure" your ethanol is. In order to further distill off ethanol, most methods nowadays use benzene to help the process along; assuming that this is the case, you wouldn't want to use it for disinfection purposes. However, I don't think you would want to use ACS reagent grade things to disinfect anyways

Edit: Yay, 100th post.

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-01-2008, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
 
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lol no one tells you to keep fish you need to do calculations and do all this stuff. Shoot, when I was a kid....all there was to it was gravel, filter, plastic plant or 2, and fish!
Now it seems like it's all about balancing the light, CO2, ferts....
I've been stressing about these ferts so much I forgot to feed my puffers today!
well if i wasnt trying to make it so much more complicated by planting it and all the rest it would be much more simple, but im more excited about the planting and design aspects then the fish some days...or rather the balance between plants, fish and water parameters is challenging and fun to me.
I am a total nerd though lol.

The problem with ferts is that i am so lost by the entire process that i wouldnt have a clue how to customize it at this point lol.
Looks like im gonna have to figure it out though!
Purigen is soaked in bleach, then in prime and then in a buffer to nuetralize the PH

the alcohol is either SDA40B, with isopropyl myristate, or SDA40B with propylene glycol both 200 proof, no added water
or just good ole everclear,

I got bulk rate shipping with the first two and ordered way too much, and the third was a special order from the liquor store
not exactly stable stuff to have laying around in bulk and i will never use it all.

So it gets used as utensil, equipment and container disenfectant when making cosmetics, that way I dont have to worry about bleach residue.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-01-2008, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Darkblade48 View Post
TI have not used Purigen before, but I was under the impression that to regenerate it, you put it into bleach, and then neutralize with Prime?
I have been using Purigen for yrs and to regenerate it I soak it in a 50/50 solution of bleech and water for 24 hours, rinse well then soak it for another 24hrs in water and 20 20ML of prime.

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-01-2008, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
 
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hmm so you skip the buffer stage...good to know!
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-01-2008, 09:32 AM
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hmm so you skip the buffer stage...good to know!
Yup that is all I do. I have a huge (seachem "the bag" packed full) that has been serving me well for close to 17 months in my 180. I regenerate it every two weeks.

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-01-2008, 11:24 AM
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I dont have purigen, but isnt there a regeneration limit? And from what I remember 34 seems to be way beyond that.

As for simple ferts do a search for EI dosing or Estimative Index dosing. Seems very simple to me. They list what you put in everyday according to tank size. Now there will be some adjustments base on lights, CO2, and plant mass and type. If you put out a list of everything I am sure you can get some added advice on how to adjust. Then at the end of your week, you do a 50% water change and start the cycle over.

http://www.barrreport.com/estimative...test-kits.html An excellent read.

http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com/Store.php Fertilizers by the pound, so much cheaper than the liquid way.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-01-2008, 02:10 PM
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Ok, believe it or not--this is all much simpler than it seems! But it does seem complicated up front and can be very intimidating going in....

From a quick search of your posts--I assuming that you are dealing with a 55gal. tank and not sure if you have any others....

So, based on that--let me give this a whirl.......



Quote:
Originally Posted by Justbeginningfish View Post
after reading and reading about dry ferts and recipes and dosing im not sure i really understand any of it, i also dont want to order all the ingredients because i would have enough to make a bucket full by the end.
It will cost you $21.05 shipped to get everything you need to last a few months from Rex: Support those who support Us! Just pick up the "Combo Pack"--its all you need to get things covered and buy some time to understand things better.

Right now, you really just need a solid dosing regime--regardless of whether you understand all the inner workings or not.






Quote:
Originally Posted by Justbeginningfish View Post

Is there a premixed dry fert available, or a way to buy smaller amounts locally from alternative sources?
Im basically looking for a ferts for dummies until I get a better grasp on it.
You don't want a "pre-mix". It takes away all control over dosing. EI is a "ferts for Dummies" dosing regime. Yes, it has long term value, but Tom set it up so that folks that know little or nothing can use it successfully--without having to do a bunch of testing.

Ferts for Dummies aka _Dosing Regime's_


I don't know what the specs of your tank are, so I am going to assume "average"......According to EI you would need to dose:

40~60gal---Aquarium:
50%H20 change-weekly
+/-1/2Tsp-KN03 3x a week
+/-1/8Tsp-KH2P04 3x a week
+/-1/8Tsp-K2S04 3x a week
+/-10ml or 1/8Tsp-Trace 3x a week
+/-2-4ml-Fe/Iron 3x a week

The "Trace" (aka micros) are pre-mixed with water:

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

Quote:
+/-2-4ml-Fe/Iron 3x a week
Its really that simple. Mix 1Tbsp of CSM+B with 250ml of water. Then add the above quantities of the above ingredients at the above frequencies. Then on the 7th day--do a 50% water change. Lather, rinse, repeat. No sweat.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Justbeginningfish View Post
regarding buffers.... primarily for returning Purigen to a nuetral state after regenerating.
Would a baking soda or food/cosmetic grade citric acid solution (I have many others too ranging from sodium hydroxide to vinegar) in the proper amounts and well rinsed be a viable choice or must I use some sort of aquarium buffer?
"Household vinegar" will work. The rest--I don't know. But I did start a thread asking about household vinegar on the Seachem forums. Feel free to add to that if you want definite asnwers on this:

Purigen Regeneration.....?

Not sure why I asked about "Household vinegar", I was refering to "White vinegar", but technically, that's not what I asked. I assume they are the same, but--who knows?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Justbeginningfish View Post
And is pure medical/cosmetic/pharmacuetical grade alcohol, the kind used for making perfumes and diluting essential oils,( its basically everclear without the water content) safe for disenfecting things like nets/cleaning sponges if they are allowed to dry out totally before reusing causing the alcohol to be totally evaporated off?
I don't know, but unless you are going from tank to tank, or are/have medicated a single tank--I don't think its worth worrying about. I've no doubt that there's already a standard product that the industry uses--methylene blue, maybe?........ Hopefully someone else can help you out with this one....


HTH


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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-01-2008, 04:55 PM
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I dont have purigen, but isnt there a regeneration limit? And from what I remember 34 seems to be way beyond that.
There may be, however I have not seen it but only once. I had a pouch that didnt want to regenerate. I bought 2 of the 250ml bottles of lose Purigen and placed them in "the bag". I have been using these same ones for over a yr and just finished regenerating them yesterday. They still come back snow white.

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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-01-2008, 06:47 PM
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They still come back snow white.
You're going to have to give us your secret on that part......!!!.....???




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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-01-2008, 06:52 PM
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All I do is place the bag of goods in a large plastic cup, will it 1/2 with bleech and then enough water to completely cover the bag. Every once and awhile I pull the bag out of the water and dip it back in like a tea bag. this makes the Purigen move around in the bag.

24 hours later I rinse it real well and then soak in tap water with about 20ml of prime.

Thats it.

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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-01-2008, 06:56 PM
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I was just getting ready to ask what size tanks you'll be dosing, and how many...Dry ferts are the way to go, especially because of their low cost (dosing 100g+ with pre-mixed liquid ferts would cost a fortune, and as mentioned are not as easily tailored to meet specific needs of your individual tanks). I think you've got more than one tank, but I can't remember. HAve you read up on EI dosing? It took me a few reads to really understand it, but now it's pretty clear.

Try this for a brief overview of EI: http://www.aquascapingworld.com/maga...on-Method.html

Or look here (if you haven't already) for a lengthy, more in depth discussion
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/wa...-regimes_.html

There are a lot of places that sell dry ferts; I ordered mine from greenleafaquariums - for $23 (plus shipping) you can get enough trace and macros to last you a very, very long time...a very long time...you'll want plantex CSM+B, KNO3, K2SO4 and KH2PO4; if you need iron or any other particular supplement, you can order those as well, though I think the macros/trace mentioned will suit your needs just fine...
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