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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-17-2014, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Question Homade ferts?

I was doing some research on dry ferts and I cam across an interesting idea. A mix of kelp powder, Epson salt, and an old rusty iron nail apparently contain all the necessary macro and micro nutrients? Has any one herd of this?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-17-2014, 02:29 PM
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There is a foundry in Canada which still makes iron.
Sometimes at the county fair there will be a blacksmith who may use it
and they may have some. But nails aren't made of iron any longer.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-17-2014, 02:31 PM
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Hi fishyfishy101,

Kelp (and kelp powder and liquid) do not seem to be a viable source of nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium. Per an organic growing website:
Quote:
kelp extracts do contain small amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, <however> their value is not as a fertilizer
Epson salt is certainly a good source of Mg, I use it myself.

A rusty nail as a source for iron would require some research; I would question whether the iron in rust would be the proper ion for plants to absorb readily.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-17-2014, 02:34 PM
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Rust (iron III oxide) is not a valid source of iron for plants.. it isn't water soluble, thus isn't usable in your average tank. Rust is soluble in acids, so if your pH is very low (ie <6) you should be able to use it as a fertilizer. However, not many of us are running at pH's in the 5's, as not many fish/plants like it quite that acidic.

As for the kelp powder... well, it would have to decompose first, increasing bio-load... but it would theoretically contain a wide variety of plant nutrients. It would be a slow-availability fertilizer.

Why the epsom salt (magnesium sulfate)? The kelp should contain plenty of magnesium and sulfur, assuming you are using enough of it to provide enough nitrogen...
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-17-2014, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post

Epson salt is certainly a good source of Mg, I use it myself.
how much do u use per gal? Mine is a 46gal
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-17-2014, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
There is a foundry in Canada which still makes iron.
Sometimes at the county fair there will be a blacksmith who may use it
and they may have some. But nails aren't made of iron any longer.
Yes, nails are made of steel, not iron. However, steel is made mostly of iron and carbon... when it rusts the end product is still iron (III) oxide (and some CO2 is liberated in the case of steel).


Quote:
Kelp (and kelp powder and liquid) do not seem to be a viable source of nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium. Per an organic growing website:
Quote:
kelp extracts do contain small amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, <however> their value is not as a fertilizer
Kelp powders/meals do have a much higher NPK content than liquid extracts do.

All that said, they're still something around 1-0-2..

One particular kelp meal fertilizer:

http://agr.wa.gov/pestfert/fertilize...spx?pname=4609
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-17-2014, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishyfishy101 View Post
how much do u use per gal? Mine is a 46gal
That is a harder question.. or at least a hardness question...

How hard is your water? How hard do your tank inhabitants like?

Magnesium and calcium both contribute to water hardness. Adding either one raises the hardness.

Thus, if your water is already almost too hard for your fish, adding epsom salt at all would be foolish.

If your water is very soft, and you have hardwater fish, adding epsom salt (and calcium) is a very good idea.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-17-2014, 04:11 PM
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Hi fishyfishy101,

+1 for mattinmd's comment; adding chemicals to my water if I do not know what the current analysis is would be foolish. I have very soft water, from the tap it is typically 1.0 dKH and 3-4 dGH. Along with my macro and micro nutrients I have to add some Mg and Ca to my water or I have deficiencies show up in my plants. If you do not know what your current water hardness is I would not suggest that you add Mg.


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Last edited by Seattle_Aquarist; 11-18-2014 at 12:40 AM. Reason: ..
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-17-2014, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post

If you do not know what your current water hardness is I would not suggest that you add Mg.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattinmd View Post

How hard is your water? How hard do your tank inhabitants?


Well I don't know what my hardness is, but all my fish need soft water and they are doing fine. No deaths in months

Last edited by fishyfishy101; 11-17-2014 at 04:50 PM. Reason: cuz
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-17-2014, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by fishyfishy101 View Post
Well I don't know what my hardness is, but all my fish need soft water and they are doing fine. No deaths in months
Ok, then don't add any magnesium sulfate, unless you:

1) have clear signs of magnesium deficiency in your plants
-or-
2) you do a hardness test and find out that you can afford to raise the hardness.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-17-2014, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattinmd View Post
Ok, then don't add any magnesium sulfate, unless you:

1) have clear signs of magnesium deficiency in your plants
-or-
2) you do a hardness test and find out that you can afford to raise the hardness.
I'll check my LFS for a hardness test.
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