Very slow DSM emmersed DHG growth - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-01-2015, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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Very slow DSM emmersed DHG growth

I started a new tank a WHILE back using the DSM with emmersed DHG in eco-complete substrate. The DHG is growing and spreading but it is doing so INCREDIBLY slowly. It's a 30g hex tank with 99 watts of light shining in it. I can add more light if necessary. I mist it daily with a H2O2/water solution to combat mold and other gross things. My main question is: Can I add some ferts to the misting solution to help the DHG grow faster? If so, what would I add to my misting solution (I have most of the Seachem ferts) and how much?
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-01-2015, 06:31 PM
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The thing I see that is most glaring about your setup is your lack of ferts in your substrate. Someone else correct me if I'm wrong but, don't plants get most of their nutrients from their roots when grown emersed? Most people will use more nutrient rich substrates like Miracle Grow or ADA Amazonia.

I have heard some people see success with adding ferts to the water they are misting but, most also use a decent base for the plants to root in.

Please also note that I am not ripping on Ecocomplete. It is a good substrate for planted tanks but not for DSM. It does not provide any nutrients on its own.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-01-2015, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by natebuchholz View Post
The thing I see that is most glaring about your setup is your lack of ferts in your substrate. Someone else correct me if I'm wrong but, don't plants get most of their nutrients from their roots when grown emersed? Most people will use more nutrient rich substrates like Miracle Grow or ADA Amazonia.

I have heard some people see success with adding ferts to the water they are misting but, most also use a decent base for the plants to root in.

Please also note that I am not ripping on Ecocomplete. It is a good substrate for planted tanks but not for DSM. It does not provide any nutrients on its own.
I agree with you on this, which is why i was inquiring about adding ferts. (That sentence sounds harsh, believe me it is not.)

I will say that the eco-complete was previously used for a couple years in a lightly planted tank, so there should be some residual nutrients in it...
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-02-2015, 02:13 AM
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How wet are you keeping it? If you've got standing water drain it out and then add ferts to any new water you put in. I'd tend to just water rather than spray. I'm growing DHG on my window sill in slightly damp soil (with a lid) but no misting. It doesn't need to be that damp.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-02-2015, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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When I started it, there was standing water, but now there isn't any, and I don't spray enough for standing water to form. As for adding the ferts to what I spray in, how much of what should I add to the bottle?
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-04-2015, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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Bump... anyone have any idea how much of which fertilizers to add to a spray bottle that's about 30 oz?
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-05-2015, 03:51 PM
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In my experience with the 2 DSM I started and 2 emersed grow boxes. Hair grass is just a slow emersed grower. I used soil and Aqua soil. And I mean really slow, I have tried about 20+ different plants emersed, and hair grass is by far the slowest grower. Submersed with Co2 though is a different story, then all of a sudden its a really fast grower.

So my guess is some plants just don't like emersed to much.


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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-05-2015, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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In my experience with the 2 DSM I started and 2 emersed grow boxes. Hair grass is just a slow emersed grower. I used soil and Aqua soil. And I mean really slow, I have tried about 20+ different plants emersed, and hair grass is by far the slowest grower. Submersed with Co2 though is a different story, then all of a sudden its a really fast grower.

So my guess is some plants just don't like emersed to much.
Good to know!

I tried mixing some Seachem Flourish into my H2O/H2O2 solution. Sprayed a little bit in and set the bottle down. A few minutes later I hear squirting water. Apparently H2O2 and Seachem Flourish react with each other and pressure built up in the bottle...

There goes that idea.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-05-2015, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by ovenmit331 View Post
Good to know!

I tried mixing some Seachem Flourish into my H2O/H2O2 solution. Sprayed a little bit in and set the bottle down. A few minutes later I hear squirting water. Apparently H2O2 and Seachem Flourish react with each other and pressure built up in the bottle...

There goes that idea.
I got a chuckle off of the Peroxide and flourish concoction. No, it's definitely not a good idea to mix peroxide with fertilizers. Especially trace mixes.

I like the idea of foliar feeding with DSM. Not so much for the foliar uptake but for the constant supply of nutrients that drips down. The water we spray on the plants typically runs off decreasing the contact time for foliar uptake. Most commercial solutions employ surfactants to extend that contact time which clearly is not advisable for the DSM. Never the less, nutrients are still available near the roots which is clearly a good thing.

The strength of commercial sprays are usually about what we would see for a hydroponic solution. Since this is precisely what we're doing in an aquarium it would make sense to use the levels we typically aim for in our tanks. Albeit the high end of that scale. I would also use the additional potassium rather than relying on KNO3 to provide this. We want vigorous root development and we need potassium to accomplish that.

Do you have a scale? The quantities of fertilizer for foliar solutions is quite small so teaspoon measures don't work. If you don't you could always create a larger volume say 10 gallons and use teaspoon measures.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-05-2015, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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I got a chuckle off of the Peroxide and flourish concoction. No, it's definitely not a good idea to mix peroxide with fertilizers. Especially trace mixes.

I like the idea of foliar feeding with DSM. Not so much for the foliar uptake but for the constant supply of nutrients that drips down. The water we spray on the plants typically runs off decreasing the contact time for foliar uptake. Most commercial solutions employ surfactants to extend that contact time which clearly is not advisable for the DSM. Never the less, nutrients are still available near the roots which is clearly a good thing.

The strength of commercial sprays are usually about what we would see for a hydroponic solution. Since this is precisely what we're doing in an aquarium it would make sense to use the levels we typically aim for in our tanks. Albeit the high end of that scale. I would also use the additional potassium rather than relying on KNO3 to provide this. We want vigorous root development and we need potassium to accomplish that.

Do you have a scale? The quantities of fertilizer for foliar solutions is quite small so teaspoon measures don't work. If you don't you could always create a larger volume say 10 gallons and use teaspoon measures.
Glad I could provide some humor.

I do have a food scale that measures grams...

I think I'm confused... Did you make a recommendation on fert dosing my DSM in your reply? You linked to an explanation of the EI concept, so does that mean I should just add the same amount of fertilizer to the DSM as if it was already full of water? I.E. if I am going to be dosing 2ml of a certain fert every day when I fill the tank, I should be doing that now?
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-05-2015, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by ovenmit331 View Post
Glad I could provide some humor.

I do have a food scale that measures grams...

I think I'm confused... Did you make a recommendation on fert dosing my DSM in your reply? You linked to an explanation of the EI concept, so does that mean I should just add the same amount of fertilizer to the DSM as if it was already full of water? I.E. if I am going to be dosing 2ml of a certain fert every day when I fill the tank, I should be doing that now?
The link was for the levels below. We want our foliar spray nutrient levels to be on the high end of those numbers.

NO3 range 5-30ppm (KNO3)
K+ range 10-30ppm (K2SO4 or GH booster)
PO4 range 1.0-3.0 ppm (KH2PO4)
Fe 0.2-0.5ppm or higher (?) (Plantex CSM +B)
GH range 3 degrees ~ 50ppm or higher (GH Booster)

An easy way would be to mix standard EI solutions. Then dose a gallon of water with four times the normal dose. That would be your foliar spray. Make sense?
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-05-2015, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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The link was for the levels below. We want our foliar spray nutrient levels to be on the high end of those numbers.

NO3 range 5-30ppm (KNO3)
K+ range 10-30ppm (K2SO4 or GH booster)
PO4 range 1.0-3.0 ppm (KH2PO4)
Fe 0.2-0.5ppm or higher (?) (Plantex CSM +B)
GH range 3 degrees ~ 50ppm or higher (GH Booster)

An easy way would be to mix standard EI solutions. Then dose a gallon of water with four times the normal dose. That would be your foliar spray. Make sense?
Not completely...

So I want my spray to have the ppm of each of the elements listed above, but on the high side of the range?

To be specific, do I want the spray solution to have the following:
NO3: 30 ppm
K: 30 ppm
PO4: 3.0 ppm
Iron: 0.5 ppm

And does GH really matter for this spray solution?

(Thanks for all your help!)
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-05-2015, 09:21 PM
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Not completely...

So I want my spray to have the ppm of each of the elements listed above, but on the high side of the range?

To be specific, do I want the spray solution to have the following:
NO3: 30 ppm
K: 30 ppm
PO4: 3.0 ppm
Iron: 0.5 ppm

And does GH really matter for this spray solution?

(Thanks for all your help!)
You got it!

We simply want water with those nutrient levels.

Yes, GH does make a difference.

When we hear GH in this hobby, most people refer to magnesium and calcium. Many boosters also have potassium. So why do they use it?

We all seem to forget that GH is a measure of divalent metal ions. Yes it includes magnesium and calcium to a large degree. However, potassium, iron, sodium and manganese are also divalent metal ions. Each one being an essential nutrient.

The only reason I pointed this out, is to demonstrate importance to know the constituents that actually alter GH.

"My tap has a GH of 6. is that enough?" Answer is usually yes. However, in reality GH alone is a poor indicator of elemental components.

What's the answer to ensure we have adequate minerals that make up GH?... Dose them! Many forget that the EI method includes GH booster.

Sorry for the long explanation. Sometimes my fingers get on a roll with the keyboard lol.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-05-2015, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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You got it!

We simply want water with those nutrient levels.

Yes, GH does make a difference.

When we hear GH in this hobby, most people refer to magnesium and calcium. Many boosters also have potassium. So why do they use it?

We all seem to forget that GH is a measure of divalent metal ions. Yes it includes magnesium and calcium to a large degree. However, potassium, iron, sodium and manganese are also divalent metal ions. Each one being an essential nutrient.

The only reason I pointed this out, is to demonstrate importance to know the constituents that actually alter GH.

"My tap has a GH of 6. is that enough?" Answer is usually yes. However, in reality GH alone is a poor indicator of elemental components.

What's the answer to ensure we have adequate minerals that make up GH?... Dose them! Many forget that the EI method includes GH booster.

Sorry for the long explanation. Sometimes my fingers get on a roll with the keyboard lol.
Don't apologize for the long explanation... All the info helps!

So I think I've got it... I have a 32oz spray bottle and I've got Seachem liquid fertilizers (that I've had for a while) and will use those for this spray solution until I can eventually get some dry ferts to make my own.

It looks like I need to add the following to my spray solution (minus the H2O2!!!):
Flourish Nitrogen: 0.57 mL
Flourish Potassium: 0.59 mL
Flourish Phosphorus: 0.95 mL
Flourish Iron: 0.07 mL

That would give me a solution that has the following:
K: 41.66 ppm
NO3: 40 ppm
PO4: 4 ppm
Fe: 0.7 ppm

Does that all look about right? Is there any problem with mixing at all in the same bottle/solution?

I also have Flourish Comprehensive and Flourish Trace. Should I put any of that in as well?
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-05-2015, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ovenmit331 View Post
Don't apologize for the long explanation... All the info helps!

So I think I've got it... I have a 32oz spray bottle and I've got Seachem liquid fertilizers (that I've had for a while) and will use those for this spray solution until I can eventually get some dry ferts to make my own.

It looks like I need to add the following to my spray solution (minus the H2O2!!!):
Flourish Nitrogen: 0.57 mL
Flourish Potassium: 0.59 mL
Flourish Phosphorus: 0.95 mL
Flourish Iron: 0.07 mL

That would give me a solution that has the following:
K: 41.66 ppm
NO3: 40 ppm
PO4: 4 ppm
Fe: 0.7 ppm

Does that all look about right? Is there any problem with mixing at all in the same bottle/solution?

I also have Flourish Comprehensive and Flourish Trace. Should I put any of that in as well?
Those numbers look good to me. Definitely use the comprehensive or trace. They are still nutrients plants need. I would personally use the comprehensive since it also has Ca and Mg. Maybe 0.08 ml of Flourish comprehensive per 32 oz.

Btw, you may be the first person to suggest a real use for the diluted commercial solutions .
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