Dry fert amounts and measuring questions - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 05:23 AM Thread Starter
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Dry fert amounts and measuring questions

My first question is can 463mg be measures with tsp or 1/4 tsp increments?

My second question I guess is, when figuring the amount of ferts for a low light, non-CO2 tank isn't the amount caculated on the EI scale half of what the nutriant caculators figure at?

I'm getting ready to go to dry dosing ferts on my low light, non-CO2 40gal tank. I have measuring spoons for my tank that are as small as 1/4tsp. But with the caculations I get for dry dosing being in the mg weight format does this mean I need a scale?

My roommate is on supervised probation and the P.O. could come by at any time and if they take the fancy to they can search the house. A mg scale could be view as drug paraphernalia if the P.O. wants to be an a** about it. I don't think they could make it stick if I keep it with the dry ferts and all, BUT it would have to go before a judge and all that hassle while inconvient to me, would be MUCH MORE inconvient for my roommate when they cart him off in handcuffs to spend at lest one night in jail.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 12:53 PM
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I used the amounts in this thread:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=647697


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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 01:23 PM
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463mg of KNO3 is about 1/16 teaspoon. The dose for KH2PO4 will be far smaller than that. You can get teaspoons as small as 1/32. However, for the doses you need that's still not adequate.

Rather than trying EI why not use a non CO2 method such as this, Non CO2 methods.

The dose for these tanks is closer to 1/10 of the EI dose. That is still more than enough btw. You could calculate for a 10 gallon tank and dose that amount once a week or break the dose up and dose 2-3 times a week.

Here is a link that lists solution recipes for common sized tanks. However, I would suggest you look into non CO2 methods instead.

There is another option to your scale problem. Simply call the P.O. and explain. You may be surprised how well communication works. If all else fails you will know for sure you cannot posses a scale. Either way, it will prevent a boatload of trouble for both of you.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 01:39 PM
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I dose 1/2 EI on my Excel-only medium light tanks and it works out fine. They are heavily planted though and I dose 2x recommended dose of excel daily.
Just for a reference that EI-style can work with low-tech setups.


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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zorfox View Post
463mg of KNO3 is about 1/16 teaspoon. The dose for KH2PO4 will be far smaller than that. You can get teaspoons as small as 1/32. However, for the doses you need that's still not adequate.

Rather than trying EI why not use a non CO2 method such as this, Non CO2 methods.
Thanks for that link. I've seen here and there reference to Diana Walstad and her work, and I would like to do a tank such as she discusses but not this one. I actually looked at a 10gal this morning with that in mind but I want to get her book and read it before I take that on as a new project.

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The dose for these tanks is closer to 1/10 of the EI dose. That is still more than enough btw. You could calculate for a 10 gallon tank and dose that amount once a week or break the dose up and dose 2-3 times a week.
I don't have a problem dosing daily, like feeding, I just can't do my tank maintenance on a schedule due to work. The every other day macro-micro regime is doable and I'd like to see what my tank looks like under such a plan. Last time I had this tank set up I dosed only Excel and the Comprehensive strictly according to the bottle, the growth rate was slow and it seemed to me that the plants struggled, though I will say that algae growth was minimal. I'm just now seeing GSA algae in my tank within the last couple of days and that is most likely due to me dropping the amount of Excel I dose, it's the only change I've made.

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Here is a link that lists solution recipes for common sized tanks. However, I would suggest you look into non CO2 methods instead.
I do dose with Excel ATM, I know it's only a substitute for a true CO2 setup but with my current budget constraints it's the best I can do. I also have the other Flourish line of products and while I've been happy with the results at even half the dosing (as calculated by rota.la) the cost reduction benefit with going to dry ferts will help move me closer (hopefully) to being able to afford a CO2 system.

Many would advocate a DIY CO2 route, and I would but between the mess, the high maintenance and monitoring coupled with the amount I would need for a 40gallon tank just seems to me that bidding my time until I can afford a true CO2 setup and dosing 2X the daily Excel would be my best route?

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There is another option to your scale problem. Simply call the P.O. and explain. You may be surprised how well communication works. If all else fails you will know for sure you cannot posses a scale. Either way, it will prevent a boatload of trouble for both of you.
I talked it over with my roommate and it's his conclusion that nothing would be said about it if the house was searched. They've not done so thus far, the last time the PO came by he just looked around and left, he was here maybe 3 minutes.

The whole issue stems from the fact that my roommates charges are drug related AND we both work for a recovery center here in Kentucky. I'm a recovered addict/alcoholic myself.

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I dose 1/2 EI on my Excel-only medium light tanks and it works out fine. They are heavily planted though and I dose 2x recommended dose of excel daily.
Just for a reference that EI-style can work with low-tech setups.
Thanks for the reference klibs, I've heard it works that way and want to give it a try as I move towards a full high tech set up. I just need a new light along with the other equipment to set up CO2. I have a plan in mind so it's probably going to be a while and by then I'll most likely get a new tank to jump start that whole endeavor so I can start from scratch. Sounds like the start of MTS

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 07:14 PM
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Zorfox is definitely a better resource than myself (I am probably overdosing but it is working so I'm not gonna mess with it).

Good luck and try to battle your MTS! I have 3 and sometimes think I am in over my head with my high-tech alone. Still need to find the balance... High tech is so much harder so be prepared to get frustrated lol


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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 07:25 PM
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Okay. I see you want to try a non-limiting nutrient method. There's nothing wrong with that. I just wanted to show you there are other viable options. Not everyone wants to deal with dosing and water changes frequently.

Since you dose Excel you can dose 1/4 full EI twice a week and do monthly 50% water changes. You can do more water changes if your schedule permits. If you do weekly water changes you can use 1/3 of EI. In fact, with weekly water changes you can dose full EI without problems but it's simply not necessary.

Flourish comprehensive is not comprehensive. It's more of a trace mix. This may have been why the plants were struggling.

I agree with you about DIY CO2. My opinion is that it's more trouble than it's worth. However, others have been successful with it.

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...it's his conclusion that nothing would be said about it if the house was searched. They've not done so thus far, the last time the PO came by he just looked around and left, he was here maybe 3 minutes.
No offense but it's not his opinion that matters. You have to put yourself in the P.O.'s shoes. An offender on probation for a drug offense with scales (for whatever reason) would raise a red flag. It's just not worth risking it without the P.O. having prior knowledge. Just because they have not been more invasive with their home visits does not mean they won't be in the future. You can always mix solutions with standard teaspoon measures.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Zorfox is definitely a better resource than myself (I am probably overdosing but it is working so I'm not gonna mess with it).

Good luck and try to battle your MTS! I have 3 and sometimes think I am in over my head with my high-tech alone. Still need to find the balance... High tech is so much harder so be prepared to get frustrated lol
I work in drug rehab..... I stay frustrated My tank (soon tanks) are a means of relaxation

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Okay. I see you want to try a non-limiting nutrient method. There's nothing wrong with that. I just wanted to show you there are other viable options. Not everyone wants to deal with dosing and water changes frequently.

Since you dose Excel you can dose 1/4 full EI twice a week and do monthly 50% water changes. You can do more water changes if your schedule permits. If you do weekly water changes you can use 1/3 of EI. In fact, with weekly water changes you can dose full EI without problems but it's simply not necessary.
Yea I've gone the low/no maintenance route, it was OK. My tank looked better that others who used plastic plants, but I knew that mine could have still done better than they were.

I don't mind doing W/C at all. My tank is a source of meditation for me, it helps me unwind from a otherwise frustrating and some times depressing job. I find a lot of serenity in not only observation, but maintaining my tank, trimming the plants.... It really is a great way for me to relax even if I'm lugging water or what have you. I just can't do it on the exact same day every week, my scheduled doesn't allow it.

I can, and was planning on getting some weekly pill cases (suggestion I read here) and measuring out a couple of weeks worth at a time, then it's just open the relevant day and dump. I feed my plants in the morning when the light is off, and my fish in the evening when it's on, that much of a daily scheduled I can keep

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Flourish comprehensive is not comprehensive. It's more of a trace mix. This may have been why the plants were struggling.
Yea their labels are confusing. They also have a Trace bottle that has some stuff that is in Comprehensive and some stuff that is not. Another reason I want to go with a modified EI regime and dry ferts. It also allows me to hit the target levels more accurately and get the tank balanced out as far as ferts are concerned. I know what the nutrient calculators say, but I don't know if the worker who made my batch of Flourish which ever was having a bad day and got their measurements off to much or to little.

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I agree with you about DIY CO2. My opinion is that it's more trouble than it's worth. However, others have been successful with it.
I might try it if I had a 10 gallon I didn't mind experimenting with but at this stage of my return to the hobby I just don't have it like that. I do however see a future were friends questions about the amount of tanks I have and wonder if an intervention is needed


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No offense but it's not his opinion that matters. You have to put yourself in the P.O.'s shoes. An offender on probation for a drug offense with scales (for whatever reason) would raise a red flag. It's just not worth risking it without the P.O. having prior knowledge. Just because they have not been more invasive with their home visits does not mean they won't be in the future. You can always mix solutions with standard teaspoon measures.
He was suppose to call his PO today. I talked with him after your post this morning. Your right communication could save a lot of grief in the future
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 09:14 PM
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Like Zorfox said just use TSP measuring kits. All you really need is a set that goes down to 1/16th to do dry ferts. Better than screwing up with the PO lol

Skip the liquid crap IMO and jump straight to dry ferts. It's worth it in the long run for sure. Just go to GLA and get some KNO3, KH2PO4 and Plantex CSM+B and you're ready to roll. Definitely talk to the PO or else it will look like you have suspicious bags of powdered chemicals for no reason lol. Not sure what is/is not legit in that situation... I just know my co-workers questioned me (jokingly) when I got bags of white powder delivered to the office lol


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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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Like Zorfox said just use TSP measuring kits. All you really need is a set that goes down to 1/16th to do dry ferts. Better than screwing up with the PO lol

Skip the liquid crap IMO and jump straight to dry ferts. It's worth it in the long run for sure. Just go to GLA and get some KNO3, KH2PO4 and Plantex CSM+B and you're ready to roll. Definitely talk to the PO or else it will look like you have suspicious bags of powdered chemicals for no reason lol. Not sure what is/is not legit in that situation... I just know my co-workers questioned me (jokingly) when I got bags of white powder delivered to the office lol
The bags don't have labels? That could cause even more issues.... At lest until the lab results get back. Then I still have to replace the ferts they confiscate to test
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 09:22 PM
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No lol they have labels


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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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No lol they have labels

Thank goodness Get this far into the planning stage and have that kind of a wrench thrown into the works

Just got a call from the roommate, good to go on a scale. Wallymart has a digital one for $18.

Then there's this 2 gallon glass jar with lid for $10.......
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-19-2014, 01:15 AM
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Just got a call from the roommate, good to go on a scale.
Knowing feels a lot better than wondering doesn't it. Part of their job is to listen to offenders. Give advise and help as much as they can. They really aren't the bad guys if you communicate. It works better for both parties to be open and honest. I'm sure his P.O. appreciated his honesty.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-19-2014, 01:44 AM Thread Starter
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Knowing feels a lot better than wondering doesn't it. Part of their job is to listen to offenders. Give advise and help as much as they can. They really aren't the bad guys if you communicate. It works better for both parties to be open and honest. I'm sure his P.O. appreciated his honesty.
We actually have a really good relationship with the POs in this town. Most of the clientele at the center we work for are on probation/parole so by default both POs in this town know us and we know them, their really pretty good guys... Well to me they are, but I'm not, nor have I ever been, on parole/probation.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-19-2014, 02:28 AM
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Nothing wrong with being on probation or parole if the offender can learn and take advantage of the programs out there. I admire people like you who have substance abuse problems and choose to use that experience to help others. It's bound to trigger things hearing about it day in and day out. If I were ever in need of help I would certainly respond better talking to someone who has walked a mile in my shoes. My hat off to you sir. That's an admirable thing to do.

Sorry to the OP for getting off topic. Something tells me he won't mind though.
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