Dry fertilizers - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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Dry fertilizers

Hello!

Has anyone ever used our dry fertilizers for terrestrial plants? I'm about to dirt and plant the planters on my deck. I was wondering if I could just mix in some dry ferts with the dirt. I mean I'm sure I can, just wondering if anyone has any experience with it. If so, any "recipe" so to speak?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 02:10 PM
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Well, I dose the dry fertilizer's in my tanks and drain the water during water changes out the door and onto some tiger lilies that grow along the side of the house.
Judging from their growth,,they must like the water with residual fertz .
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 02:55 PM
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I cant speak to the ratio but, the macro and micro nutrients are universal amongst terrestrial and submersed species. Obviously there are some outliers but, for the most part their needs are the same.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by natebuchholz View Post
I cant speak to the ratio but, the macro and micro nutrients are universal amongst terrestrial and submersed species. Obviously there are some outliers but, for the most part their needs are the same.
Yeah I kind of figured as much. Just no clue how much to use.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 04:33 PM
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Personally, I'd start by looking at a "miracle gro" label, and working out how much N/P/K per gallon that ends up being, then compute the amount of dry fertilizers to add to get the same concentrations and try using that.

You use 1 TBSP per gallon.

Scotts says a 1.25lb box is about 50 TBSP:
http://answers.scotts.com/answers/48...?sort=helpfula

So there's 11.34 grams of miracle-gro going into each gallon.

Ordinary Miracle-gro is 24-8-16, so we are adding:

2.721552 g of nitrogen (N)
0.907184 g of phosphate (PO4)
1.8g of potash (K2O)

in 1 gallon or 3.78L of water.

So that's :
719.98 ppm of nitrogen (N)
239.99 ppm of phosphate (PO4)
479.99 ppm of potash (K2O)

The potash method of measuring potassium is a bit abnormal to us, as we use straight K, and we usually measure Nitrogen in NO3, not N, but that's all conversion ratios..

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattinmd View Post
Personally, I'd start by looking at a "miracle gro" label, and working out how much N/P/K per gallon that ends up being, then compute the amount of dry fertilizers to add to get the same concentrations and try using that.

You use 1 TBSP per gallon.

Scotts says a 1.25lb box is about 50 TBSP:
http://answers.scotts.com/answers/48...?sort=helpfula

So there's 11.34 grams of miracle-gro going into each gallon.

Ordinary Miracle-gro is 24-8-16, so we are adding:

2.721552 g of nitrogen (N)
0.907184 g of phosphate (PO4)
1.8g of potash (K2O)

in 1 gallon or 3.78L of water.

So that's :
719.98 ppm of nitrogen (N)
239.99 ppm of phosphate (PO4)
479.99 ppm of potash (K2O)

The potash method of measuring potassium is a bit abnormal to us, as we use straight K, and we usually measure Nitrogen in NO3, not N, but that's all conversion ratios..
I'll just take your word for the fact that those numbers are correct(mainly because that is over my head), but you stopped one step too early. How would we mix 1g worth with kno3, k2so4 and kh2po4? I have been wanting to use my dry ferts in my garden for a long time but could never figure it out.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 09:49 PM
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I intentionally stopped early to give myself a chance to re-review the numbers before giving everyone an easy-to-use recipe...

edit:
Ok, so I re-worked the numbers a few times.. it looks like our fertilizers will be woefully short of NO3, unless we massively over-dose K relative to common terestrial fertilizers..

Scotts says a 1.25lb box is about 50 TBSP:
http://answers.scotts.com/answers/48...?sort=helpfula

1.25lbs = 566.99grams / 50 TBSP
So there's 11.34 grams of miracle-gro in 1 TBSP, which they put into each gallon.

Ordinary Miracle-gro is 24-8-16, so we are adding:

11.34 * .24 = 2.7216 g of nitrogen (N)
11.34 + .08 = 0.9072 g of phosphate (PO4)
11.34 * .16 = 1.8144g of potash (K2O)


in 1 gallon or 3.78L of water.

ppm is mg/L, so multiply the above by 1000 and divide by 3.78...

So that's :
720 ppm of nitrogen (N) * 4.43 = 3189.6 ppm of NO3
240 ppm of phosphate (PO4)
480 ppm of potash (K2O) * 0.83 = 398.4ppm of K

In final, with some rounding to match miracle-gro, you'd need a gallon of water with:
3190 ppm of NO3
240 ppm of phosphate (PO4)
398 ppm of K

Well, the almost 8:1 ratio of NO3 to K isn't really possible with KNO3, which isn't even 2:1.

Using K2HPO4 as a phosphate source doesn't really help the nitrate-to-potassium ratio issue.

240ppm of phosphate in 1 gallon is 1.66 grams of K2HPO4
This also gives us 197ppm of K
Adding 1.975 g of KNO3 will give us the remaining 201ppm of K we need
But, we only have 320ppm of NO3, about 1/10th of what we'd need to match miracle-gro's ratio

From there you'd need urea and/or ammonium nitrate to pick up the rest of the nitrogen you'd need.


Miracle Gro is als 0.15% Fe..

11.34 *.0015 = 0.01701 g of Fe added
That works to 4.5ppm of Fe
That's 260mg of CSM+B

So my starter recipie is:
1.66grams of K2HPO4
1.975G of KNO3
260mg of CSM+B
+ a good bit of nitrogen from something else.

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Last edited by mattinmd; 05-12-2015 at 01:19 AM. Reason: recalculated it all
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 07:58 AM
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Well,I am lazy when permitted, and being as how I already measured the fertz once when I dumped em in my tank, I just use the old water from my aquariums from water changes, to water plant's indoor's or out.
Would expect the residual nitrogenous waste and % of fertz still left in old water by week's end to be close enough for me with respect to what the terrestrial plant's need.
Has worked out for me with both aquarium plant's and outdoor/indoor plant's as well.
Killin two bird's with one stone.
Too much measuring and cypherin to figure out % of this and that for terrestrial plant's alone, that I would just purchase plant fertilizer in a bag at lawn and garden store if only gonna be usin it for indoor /outdoor plants.
Don't believe it would be too much $$ for store bought considering I wouldn't be using the fertilizer much as I do in my aquariums which in itself,aint much.
Lot's of already mixed brand's out there.
Must also consider what nutrient's may be present in the soil being used with or without additional fertz.

Last edited by roadmaster; 05-12-2015 at 08:45 AM. Reason: afterthought (alway's dangerous)
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 04:15 PM
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I plugged the Miracle gro numbers into a nutrient calculator I had written. Below is a side by side comparison of Miracle gro and a DIY version (don't forget to scroll down in the code window).

As Matt had pointed out the potassium levels are quite different. Remember, terrestrial fertilizers use ammonical chemicals to provide nitrogen. Since we want to avoid ammonia in an aquatic environment we use potassium and calcium forms primarily. In the case of KNO3 we have more potassium.

So why did I point this out?

Don't use Miracle grow in your tanks!!!

Besides enough ammonia to kill your critters and make pea soup overnight the copper levels are far too high.

Use DIY Miracle gro for terrestrials?

Absolutely!

Code:
Miracle Gro. 

3 tsp (1tbsp) per gallon

Element		PPM
N		719
NO3		3,185
P2O5		239.65
PO4		311.55
K2O		479.31
K		397.82
B		0.6
Cu		2.1
Fe		4.49
Mn		1.5
Mo		0.01
Zinc		179.74
 


DIY Miracle Gro

KNO3 19.6586 gm (approximately 3 3/4 teaspoons)
KH2PO4 1.6899 gm (approximately 1/4 teaspoons)
Plantex CSM+B 260.4882 mg (approximately 1/16 teaspoons)

Element		PPM
N		719
NO3		3,185
PO4		311.5515
P		101.6058
K		2,136
Fe		4.4935
Mg		0.9634
Cu		0.0619
B		0.5505
Mn		1.2868
Mo		0.0344
Zn		0.2546

Last edited by Zorfox; 05-12-2015 at 04:28 PM. Reason: formatting
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 04:41 PM
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Zorofox,

Your numbers seem to be based on Miracle-gro being 24% NO3... AFAIK it is 24% N, which is quite different.

That's why I got 3189.6 ppm of NO3 for 1 TBSP of Miracle-gro in a gallon of water, because I had to multiply up by 4.43.

Is the fertilizer label lying a bit, and they say N when they mean NO3? (despite the fact that they spell out the P is measured as phosphate and the K is measured as Potash)

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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 05:10 PM
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Those numbers are based on 24% nitrogen not NO3.

N 719
NO3 3,185

719 * 4.43 = 3,185

Beyond that I don't follow...
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 05:13 PM
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Nevermind, my brain slipped a few cogs there....

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by mattinmd View Post
Nevermind, my brain slipped a few cogs there....
Welcome to my world! lol
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 05:24 PM
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Aquarium water has always been great for terrestrial plants.

Cheers!

-PhilipS ><>

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-13-2015, 03:04 AM
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YES you can use the dry ingredients on land plants. That is where they came from: Agriculture.
As for how much to use, the formulas above seem to give you a starting point.
If you want to raise the nitrogen without raising the potassium you could look into sulfate of ammonia (21-0-0), one of the cheapest fertilizers sold on store shelves. NOT FOR AQUARIUMS!


From Wiki:
The first number represents the percentage of nitrogen in the product; the second number, P2O5; the third, K2O. Fertilizers do not actually contain P2O5 or K2O, but the system is a conventional shorthand for the amount of the phosphorus (P) or potassium (K) in a fertilizer. A 50-pound bag of fertilizer labeled 16-4-8 contains 8 pounds of nitrogen (16% of the 50 pounds) an amount of phosphorus and potassium equivalent to that in 2 pounds of P2O5 (4% of 50 pounds) and 4 pounds of K2O (8% of 50 pounds). Most fertilizers are labeled according to this N-P-K convention.


The materials we use for aquariums are written this way in 'fertilizer-eze'
KNO3 is 13-0-44
KH2PO4 is 0-52-34
K2SO4 is 0-0-50
Sulfate of ammonia (Not aquarium) is 21-0-0
You could decide what sort of formula you want and try to add up these by weight to get there.

I like the other comments:
Do water changes and use this water for the plants. It is already dissolved, has extras, and is ready to use.
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