Question about mixing fertilizers - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-25-2009, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Question about mixing fertilizers

I think a while back I read a thread where someone asked why people don't do a single wet fertilizer mixure that they could dose, an all in one solution.

The reason as bein explained that this would not happen was because certain chemicals in the fertilizers would interact and change their chemistry.

I am wondering if this only applies to liquid fertilizers being mixed together?

The reason I am asking is becasue I am thinking about combing the KN03, KH2P04, and K2S04 together. And also Fe and Plantex CSM+B together.

I am hoping every week to refill a weekly pill box and have my ferts ready to dump into the tank, just by flipping open a tab.

So my main question is, is KN03, KH2P04, and K2S04 safe to mix together in dry form?

and is Fe and Plantex CSM+B safe to mix together in dry form? (I know it is)
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-25-2009, 08:02 PM
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Yes, you can mix the macros together, dry or in solution. The issue is mixing the KH2PO4 with Fe, they will bond in solution. Your proposed mixing is fine, macros together, and separate from that, micros with extra Fe together.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-25-2009, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imeridian View Post
Yes, you can mix the macros together, dry or in solution. The issue is mixing the KH2PO4 with Fe, they will bond in solution. Your proposed mixing is fine, macros together, and separate from that, micros with extra Fe together.
Thank you. That sparks another question, If I were to dose the KH2PO4 and Fe into the water colum seconds apart, would they still have the negitive reaction to each other?

Is that why people dose micros and macros on different days??


If the answer to the last question is no, why do people dose them on alternating days?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-25-2009, 08:18 PM
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Yes, that's why some alternate days for micros and macros.

I dose both, at the same time, and I don't have any issues. Some have reported clouding when they've done it though.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-26-2009, 12:56 AM
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at water change ( Saturdays or Sundays) I add macros and that night the micros !!
but its a few hours apart then during the weekdays the normal EI routine.


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-26-2009, 01:08 AM
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I think iron is taken up by plants very quickly, so when you dose CSM+B the iron won't still be in the water after an hour or so. This is based on reading in the Krib about 4 years ago, so I could be wrong. If that is true, you could dose the micros and macros an hour or so apart with no problems at all. Even if you dose them at the same time, the worst thing that happens is that the iron precipitates out and ends up on the substrate, where it is eventually taken up by the plants. The big problem is mixing the iron with phosphate in a pre-mix. The high concentration of both of them would leave a deposit on the bottom of the bottle containing all or almost all of the iron, and a significant part of the phosphates. Then when you dose the pre-mix, you aren't dosing any iron at all.

I dose one seventh of the EI dosage of all of the ferts every day, with a premix of the macros and one of the micros. I just dose them one after the other, within a minute of each other. As far as I can see it works fine. That is two weak mixes in small doses into a lot of water, so any chemical reactions are far less likely to occur.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-26-2009, 01:15 AM
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I mix all my ferts together except KH2PO4, an use the test tube method for this. It works good, but takes time to get dialed in. Basically I put KH2PO4 in a test tube stuck it in in the substrate, an watch it to see how fast it dissolves. Depending on how fast it dissolves you may have to use a cap with holes or move it around to spots with more or less water movement. You can find this method in the poor mans auto doser sticky in the equipment forum.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-26-2009, 01:56 AM
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If you are making up stock solutions that are fairly concentrated, which is the whole point, or course, you may find that the solubility of some compounds is limiting, e.g. K2SO4 only disolves to 11.1g per 100 ml and perhaps less if mixed with other compounds. I found this limitation when I tried to add K2SO4 to my KNO3 and KH2PO4 stock mixes. Don't even think about CaSO4 which has a solubility of 0.24g per 100 ml.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-30-2010, 02:36 PM
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So can't you just add more K2S04? or are you saying that there could only be a maximum concentration in a specific amount of water. I'm confused because I my Kn03 and K2so4 are together. How do you figure out the solubility?

Well the snail trap is not working. Maybe wrong bait. I did not have cucumber or cabbage at home so I put some banana instead but they all climb to the wall of the tank. Maybe they know it is a trap. Will try one more night and observe. This time with cucumber which is recommended. ~ CHUNTC
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-01-2010, 02:11 AM
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Unfortunately, the solubility of chemicals are limited to a certain extent. In addition, when trying to dissolve a chemical into a solution that already contains other chemicals, it is possible that the common ion effect will actually lower the solubility of the second chemical you are trying to add.

Any additional K2SO4 not that you are trying to add would simply not dissolve. If you have your KNO3 and K2SO4 (note they are O's, not zeros) mixed together and they remain in solution, then you should be fine.

In terms of solubility, a good place to start is the MSDS.

Anthony


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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-01-2010, 04:34 PM
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Solubility is an issue and another issue is dosing certain ferts only as needed. I dose each fert separately and measure the concentrations in water weely before I decide on that week's dosage. So if Fe or PO4 is high enough, I let it deplete to before I dose them again but dose K and micros in between (just an example). An all-in-one solution limits that flexibility.

Patience is the name of the game.

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