Need someone to double check my planned fertilizers - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-05-2015, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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Need someone to double check my planned fertilizers

All of the fert schedules I've been reading seem like unnecessary work, and being that I'm by nature lazy, I figured I would make things as simple as possible for myself. I'm going to be pumping my tank water from and to the basement from two 55g barrels. This will all be cheaply automated and I'll release the source code and arduino schematics freely when I'm done with the project. Anyways, why not just empty 10% of the water everyday, and fill it back up with water that's already been fertilized/treated ahead of time to a desired level? That way I only have to actually revisit my tank weekly to fill the 55g barrel back with my desired mixture and my normal weekly tank maintenance.

I just want someone to double check my numbers, to make sure I didn't screw up my research somewhere. No CO2, and I'll adjust light accordingly. I'm looking for a slow growth with a nice low level of ferts. I'm not doing phosphorous or nitrogen, because I feel the fish will take care of that. I'm not sure about extra Magnesium right now, as my Amazon fish like low pH, but I'll revisit it if the plants show signs of low Magnesium. I'll have a power-head in the barrel to help mix the water and break it's surface tension while it sits there during the week. Am I missing anything or see a problem with anything I mentioned?

For each weekly 55g batch:
* 55gallon Mixture of RO, carbon filtered tap, and peat to get desired TDS and pH
* 9grams of Potassium Sulfate to achieve 20ppm
* 0.6grams of dry Plantex CSM+B to achieve a 0.2ppm of Iron

My output also will get reused to water all of my house plants, so very little gets wasted. I'll also be sure to empty the holding barrel before filling it back up, so I don't have any slow buildup.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-05-2015, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Blaher View Post
All of the fert schedules I've been reading seem like unnecessary work, and being that I'm by nature lazy, I figured I would make things as simple as possible for myself. I'm going to be pumping my tank water from and to the basement from two 55g barrels. This will all be cheaply automated and I'll release the source code and arduino schematics freely when I'm done with the project. Anyways, why not just empty 10% of the water everyday, and fill it back up with water that's already been fertilized/treated ahead of time to a desired level? That way I only have to actually revisit my tank weekly to fill the 55g barrel back with my desired mixture and my normal weekly tank maintenance.

I just want someone to double check my numbers, to make sure I didn't screw up my research somewhere. No CO2, and I'll adjust light accordingly. I'm looking for a slow growth with a nice low level of ferts. I'm not doing phosphorous or nitrogen, because I feel the fish will take care of that. I'm not sure about extra Magnesium right now, as my Amazon fish like low pH, but I'll revisit it if the plants show signs of low Magnesium. I'll have a power-head in the barrel to help mix the water and break it's surface tension while it sits there during the week. Am I missing anything or see a problem with anything I mentioned?

For each weekly 55g batch:
* 55gallon Mixture of RO, carbon filtered tap, and peat to get desired TDS and pH
* 9grams of Potassium Sulfate to achieve 20ppm
* 0.6grams of dry Plantex CSM+B to achieve a 0.2ppm of Iron

My output also will get reused to water all of my house plants, so very little gets wasted. I'll also be sure to empty the holding barrel before filling it back up, so I don't have any slow buildup.
It sounds like you don't need any of that except maybe some random doses of potassium. If you have low light no co2 and want slow growth, just do a water change whenever you feel is necessary and add a small amount of potassium. I don't see the need for the set up your talking about, sounds like a lot of extra work!


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-06-2015, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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My plants have been looking a little dull, especialy the red ones. While I have been doing 50% water changes, the nitrogen stays at 20ppm. I also found no dedectable amount of iron or potassium. I figure 20ppm of K and 0.2ppm of Fe is a low standard.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-06-2015, 06:43 PM
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I see a few problems with your system.
  1. R/O water will be virtually void of minerals. So you'll need to add them. I would suggest a GH booster such as Seachem since it contains Ca, K, Mg, SO4, Fe, and Mn.

  2. Bringing your storage water to 20 ppm will essentially add 2 ppm to your tank with each 10% water change. 2 ppm every day seems excessive for a non-CO2 tank. In a heavily planted high tech tank plants may use 1-2 ppm per day. Non CO2? Maybe 10% of that.

  3. The trace elements won't remain immediately available to plants when dosed this way. It's better to directly dose traces due to the limited time the elements remain chelated.

  4. Using prepared water will remove the extra CO2 normally added with water changes. This isn't really a big deal though. In some cases can be a benefit.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-06-2015, 10:49 PM
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If you are going to go to the effort of weighing out ferts each week to dose up your water change barrel, you may as well just prepare some fert solutions, then dose the tank at times you decide. They will last longer than a week.....
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorfox View Post
I see a few problems with your system.
  1. R/O water will be virtually void of minerals. So you'll need to add them. I would suggest a GH booster such as Seachem since it contains Ca, K, Mg, SO4, Fe, and Mn.
I mentioned I'll be mixing carbon filter tap with the RO, which is to avoid this. The outcome should still be 100TDS or higher with plenty of minerals you would find in tap. I'm mainly just mixing RO and peat to get my >8.4pH tap and 450TDS down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorfox View Post
  1. Bringing your storage water to 20 ppm will essentially add 2 ppm to your tank with each 10% water change. 2 ppm every day seems excessive for a non-CO2 tank. In a heavily planted high tech tank plants may use 1-2 ppm per day. Non CO2? Maybe 10% of that.
I disagree with this one. Potassium, unless in extreme amounts, causes no harm in access. All the research I've read on low tech tanks is to keep your potassium with your nitrates, around 10-20ppm. Having the stored water at 20ppm, should keep it around this level. Plus, there's the after thought that it doesn't go to waste, as when combined with 10-20ppm of nitrates, my house plants will get to enjoy the meal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorfox View Post
  1. The trace elements won't remain immediately available to plants when dosed this way. It's better to directly dose traces due to the limited time the elements remain chelated.

  2. Using prepared water will remove the extra CO2 normally added with water changes. This isn't really a big deal though. In some cases can be a benefit.
From my knowledge of plants (outside of submerged), they release either chelatins or hydronium to help capture unusable iron and absorb it. Plus with a lower pH (which is what I'm aiming for), there will be less hydroxyl for minerals to bind to. Is this not the same case in the aquarium?

Also, I'm wondering if my opposite light cycled refugium will help me with the CO2. I am also wondering if I should actually add an air stone somewhere and if it would remove more CO2 or add more in? Either way, I'm right now considering an atuomatic daily doser, especially if I want to does excel.
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