What Fertilizers? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-29-2009, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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What Fertilizers?

First, fertilizers are pretty new to me and I did my best to search around but just couldn't find the info though I'm sure its out there.

So I have a 180 gal planted tank. It has 2 in. bottom of flourite and 2 in. top layer of amazonia, 9x55 PC (lol, the fixtures are what I had from years ago, one of next things to be replaced with more efficient bulbs), and pressurized CO2.

I have flourish and that's it. I would like to get a good fert regimen going and saw the sticky. I know I should at least add KNO3, how much should I buy to last several months?

Anything else you would suggest adding?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-29-2009, 06:29 PM
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You've probably already done this; multiply the amounts for a 60 to 80 gal by 3.
60~80gal
50% H20 change-weekly
3/4 Tsp-KN03 3x a week
3/16 Tsp-KH2P04 3x a week
1 Tsp-GH booster once a week
15ml 3/16Tsp-Trace 3x a week
Optional
4-8ml-Fe/Iron 3x a week

Or, you can multiply the one for 40 to 60 gal by either 3 or 4.
40~60gal
50% H20 change-weekly
1/2 Tsp-KN03 3x a week
1/8 Tsp-KH2P04 3x a week
3/4 Tsp-GH booster once a week
10ml or 1/8Tsp-Trace 3x a week
Optional
2-4ml-Fe/Iron 3x a week

Chuck's fert calculator article has the approximate weight of each one except for the GH Booster so that you can calculate how much you need. You could probably use 6 grams per teaspoon for the GH Booster to "guesstimate" how much that you need. You may also want to get some Potassium Sulfate (K2SO4) to dose potassium and sulfate.
The dry ferts usually come in 1 pound bags. 1/2 pound bags are available too, but you probably won't need them.
http://atlas.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art...osage_calc.htm
Compound grams per teaspoon
Potassium Sulfate 6g (estimated)
Potassium Nitrate 5.6g
Potassium Chloride 6g
Magnesium Sulfate 5.4g
KH2PO4 4.8g

Another calculator is the fertilator. Its fourth screen has weight conversion from teaspoons to grams. I like it better that Chuck's calculator. Its first screen works somewhat like Chuck's.
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...fertilator.php

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-30-2009, 05:52 PM
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I was hoping that you would of already done the math and posted it.

Well ... here goes:
Let's say that you use 3 times the 60~80 gal dosing. This is the upper end of the dosing.
60~80 gal
50% H20 change-weekly
3/4 Tsp-KN03 3x a week
3/16 Tsp-KH2P04 3x a week
1 Tsp-GH booster once a week
15ml 3/16Tsp-Trace 3x a week
Optional
4-8 ml-Fe/Iron 3x a week

This is:
180~240 gal
50% H20 change-weekly
2 1/4 Tsp-KN03 3x a week
9/16 Tsp-KH2P04 3x a week
3 Tsp-GH booster once a week
45 ml 3/16Tsp-Trace 3x a week
Optional
12-24 mL Fe/Iron 3x a week

180~240 gal
50% H20 change-weekly
2 1/4 Tsp-KN03 3x a week = 6.75 tsp/wk = 37.8 g/wk
9/16 Tsp-KH2P04 3x a week = 1 11/16 tsp3 t/wk = 8.1 g/wk
3 Tsp-GH booster once a week = 3 tsp/wk = 18 g/wk
45 mL 3/16Tsp-Trace 3x a week = 135 mL/wk = 0.135 L/wk
Optional
12-24 mL-Fe/Iron 3x a week = 36 to 72 mL/wk = 0.036 L/wk to 0.072 L/wk

This is the conversion from grams per week to weeks per pound or (g/wk to wk/lbs) and milliliters per week to weeks per liter (mL/wk to wk/L):
KNO3 = 12.0 wk/lbs
KH2PO4 = 56.0 wk/lbs
GH Booster = 25.2 wk/lbs
Trace = 7.4 wk/L
Optional:
Fe = 27.8 wk/L to 13.9 wk/L




If you wanted to purchase approximately one years worth of dry ferts, you may want to order the following:
KNO3 - 4 lbs
KH2PO4 - 1 lbs
GH Booster (or Equilibrium) - 2 lbs
Trace (Flourish, TMG, etc.) - 7 liters or 1 lbs of CSM+B
Optional:
Fe (Flourish Iron, etc.) - 1 liter or 1/2 lbs Iron Chelate
K2SO4 - 1 lbs

Vendors:
http://www.greenleafaquariums.com/aq...ertilizer.html
http://aquariumfertilizer.com/
http://www.bestaquariumregulator.com/ferts.html

I hope this helps.

Left C

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Last edited by Left C; 07-01-2009 at 06:16 AM.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-30-2009, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Left C View Post
If you wanted to purchase approximately one years worth of dry ferts, you may want to order the following:
KNO3 - 4 lbs
KH2PO4 - 1 lbs
GH Booster (or Equilibrium) - 2 lbs
Trace (Flourish, TMG, etc.) - 7 liters or 1 lbs of CSM+B
Optional:
Fe (Flourish Iron, etc.) - 500 mL to 1 liter or 1/2 lbs Iron Chelate
K2SO4 - 1 lbs

Vendors:
http://www.greenleafaquariums.com/aq...ertilizer.html
http://aquariumfertilizer.com/
http://www.bestaquariumregulator.com/ferts.html

I hope this helps.

Left C
Nice list!
The only thing I'd add is that TMG or the new name Tropica Plant Nutrition is bloody expensive now so I'd recomend pfertz.com's poduct over it.

- Brad

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-30-2009, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vosstc View Post
First, fertilizers are pretty new to me and I did my best to search around but just couldn't find the info though I'm sure its out there.

So I have a 180 gal planted tank. It has 2 in. bottom of flourite and 2 in. top layer of amazonia, 9x55 PC (lol, the fixtures are what I had from years ago, one of next things to be replaced with more efficient bulbs), and pressurized CO2.

I have flourish and that's it. I would like to get a good fert regimen going and saw the sticky. I know I should at least add KNO3, how much should I buy to last several months?

Anything else you would suggest adding?

Thanks!
Just remember this was all pretty strange to most of use initially too, it's very easy once you do it a couple of times.

2 W/gal of PC lighting is plenty. You might think about 8 x 39 T5 bulb fixture, I use 4 x 96 and do not use the 3x 150 MH's in the middle at all on my 180.

Plenty of light.

You ought to be able to use the lights you have now.
Try some 6700K/9325K(more a reddish color bulb, straight pin only)/8800K(CSL still has a few off ebay etc) etc.

Regards,
Tom Barr




Regards,
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-30-2009, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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WOW, thank you everyone! Especially LeftC! I've been busy but had been looking at the ferts and doing some of the math myself and was looking at where the flourish fit into since I'd like to use it up. I'll be buying pretty much what you recommended:
Quote:
KNO3 - 4 lbs
KH2PO4 - 1 lbs
GH Booster (or Equilibrium) - 2 lbs
Trace (Flourish, TMG, etc.) - 7 liters or 1 lbs of CSM+B
Optional:
Fe (Flourish Iron, etc.) - 500 mL to 1 liter or 1/2 lbs Iron Chelate
K2SO4 - 1 lbs
Also, thanks for the lighting suggestion Tom. I'd like to replace the lights for energy purposes but that will be off a while. I actually use 3x6700K, 3x7800k, and 3x10000k/Deep Blue.

I've been trying to get a handle on my CO2. Currently using an aquamedic 1000 inline through an Ehiem 2217 with the flow output right below that of a 2260. If I can't get enough CO2 in the water I'm going to look into a needle wheel or a misting system of some kind in addition to the inline.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-30-2009, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradac56 View Post
Nice list!
The only thing I'd add is that TMG or the new name Tropica Plant Nutrition is bloody expensive now so I'd recommend pfertz.com's product over it.

- Brad
I've tried Flourish, TMG, TPN liquid and CSM+B, but I haven't tried the Pfertz micro.

Pfertz micros
Boron (B)...................0.0051%
Cobalt (Co)................0.0002%
Copper (Cu)...............0.00005%
Iron (Fe)...................0.054%
Manganese (Mn).........0.0068%
Molybdenum (Mo).......0.0008%
Nickel (N)..................0.00005%
Sulfur (S)..................0.0043%
Zinc (Zn)..................0.00044%

Have you used the fertfriend calculator? You can compare Pfertz Micros to TMG and Flourish with it. This calculator uses the metric system, so that figuring percentages is easy. Your findings may be a bit surprising.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vosstc View Post
WOW, thank you everyone! Especially Left C! I've been busy but had been looking at the ferts and doing some of the math myself and was looking at where the flourish fit into since I'd like to use it up. I'll be buying pretty much what you recommended: ...
You are very welcome. Sometimes doing little math problems are fun.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 05:14 AM Thread Starter
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Did a little math myself after all! So, I ordered a 16 oz container while getting the ferts in hopes to make a ~5 week supply at once (assuming growth in the batch isn't an issue ). So I took the following (thanks C Left!):

Quote:
Originally Posted by Left C View Post
180~240 gal
50% H20 change-weekly
2 1/4 Tsp-KN03 3x a week = 6.75 tsp/wk = 37.8 g/wk
9/16 Tsp-KH2P04 3x a week = 1 11/16 tsp/wk = 8.1 g/wk
3 Tsp-GH booster once a week = 18 tsp/wk = 18 g/wk
45 mL 3/16Tsp-Trace 3x a week = 135 mL/wk = 0.135 L/wk
Optional
4-8 mL-Fe/Iron 3x a week = 12 to 24 mL/wk = 0.012 to 0.024 L/wk
K2SO4 3/4 Tsp 3x a week = 2.25 tsp/wk
First I assumed that bold bit was a typo and I added in the other optional fertilizer you mentioned. I put all the values back into fractions and multiplied by 5:

2 1/4 Tsp-KN03 3xwk = 6.75 tsp/wk = 27/4 Tsp/wk x5 = 135/4 or 33+3/4 Tsp
9/16 Tsp-KH2P04 3xwk = 1 11/16 tsp/wk = 27/16 Tsp/wk x5 = 135/16 or 8+7/16 Tsp
3 Tsp GH booster 1xwk = 3 tsp/wk = 3 Tsp/wk x5 = 15 Tsp
3/16 Tsp Trace 3xwk = 9/16 tsp/wk = 9/16 Tsp/wk x5 = 45/16 Tsp or 2+13/16 Tsp
3/4 Tsp K2SO4 3xwk = 2.25 tsp/wk = 9/4 Tsp/wk x5 = 45/4 Tsp or 11+1/4 Tsp


*Taken from above, each time I mix the 16 oz container of fertilizer I need to add the following to allow for a 1 oz dose 3x a week:

KNO3: 33+3/4 Tsp
KH2PO4: 8+7/16 Tsp
GH: 15 Tsp
Trace: 2+3/16 Tsp
K2SO4: 11+1/4 Tsp
Iron: To be dosed separate (Because of phosphate right?)
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vosstc View Post
First I assumed that bold bit was a typo and I added in the other optional fertilizer you mentioned. I put all the values back into fractions and multiplied by 5:

2 1/4 Tsp-KN03 3xwk = 6.75 tsp/wk = 27/4 Tsp/wk x5 = 135/4 or 33+3/4 Tsp
9/16 Tsp-KH2P04 3xwk = 1 11/16 tsp/wk = 27/16 Tsp/wk x5 = 135/16 or 8+7/16 Tsp
3 Tsp GH booster 1xwk = 3 tsp/wk = 3 Tsp/wk x5 = 15 Tsp
3/16 Tsp Trace 3xwk = 9/16 tsp/wk = 9/16 Tsp/wk x5 = 45/16 Tsp or 2+13/16 Tsp
3/4 Tsp K2SO4 3xwk = 2.25 tsp/wk = 9/4 Tsp/wk x5 = 45/4 Tsp or 11+1/4 Tsp
You might not need to dose any K2SO4 because you get K from the KNO3 and GH Booster. I wouldn't dose it right away, but rather look for signs of K deficiency such as pinholes in the older leaves and dose as needed. I have to dose K every once in a while when following this version of EI. I add one dose of K2SO4 in the middle of the week to keep pinholes away. I dose the same amount of K2SO4 as I dose KH2PO4 on that day. I could probably increase the GH Booster and/or KNO3 some and not have to dose any K2SO4.

A earlier version of EI (see the chart below) didn't have GH Booster in it. K2SO4 was dosed. Then it was found that many water supplies were low in either or both magnesium and calcium. So, instead of dosing all three separately, they were combined together to form a GH Booster somewhat like Seachem's Equilibrium. Some versions of GH Booster contain manganese and iron too.



Quote:
Originally Posted by vosstc View Post
First I assumed that bold bit was a typo and I added in the other optional fertilizer you mentioned. I put all the values back into fractions and multiplied by 5:

2 1/4 Tsp-KN03 3xwk = 6.75 tsp/wk = 27/4 Tsp/wk x5 = 135/4 or 33+3/4 Tsp
9/16 Tsp-KH2P04 3xwk = 1 11/16 tsp/wk = 27/16 Tsp/wk x5 = 135/16 or 8+7/16 Tsp
3 Tsp GH booster 1xwk = 3 tsp/wk = 3 Tsp/wk x5 = 15 Tsp
3/16 Tsp Trace 3xwk = 9/16 tsp/wk = 9/16 Tsp/wk x5 = 45/16 Tsp or 2+13/16 Tsp
3/4 Tsp K2SO4 3xwk = 2.25 tsp/wk = 9/4 Tsp/wk x5 = 45/4 Tsp or 11+1/4 Tsp

*Taken from above, each time I mix the 16 oz container of fertilizer I need to add the following to allow for a 1 oz dose 3x a week:

KNO3: 33+3/4 Tsp
KH2PO4: 8+7/16 Tsp
GH: 15 Tsp
Trace: 2+3/16 Tsp
K2SO4: 11+1/4 Tsp
Iron: To be dosed separate (Because of phosphate right?)
Trace has Iron in it too, so you shouldn't mix it with phosphate either.

You might not want to mix a big batch because you might have to tweak it a bit. These EI dosing guidelines are an excellent starting point, so watch your plants and aquarium to see what needs "tweaking." It could be a nutrient or light or CO2 or any combination there of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vosstc View Post
*Taken from above, each time I mix the 16 oz container of fertilizer I need to add the following to allow for a 1 oz dose 3x a week:
I'm confused here. What determines a 1 oz dose? Your total amount of spoonfuls above including the trace is 70 5/8 tsp. How is that broken down into 1 oz doses? (The total is 68 7/16 tsp minus the trace.)



Thanks for finding my typo. I found another when I went over the charts. I made an error when I calculated the Fe. I didn't multiply by 3. Since the Fe is optional, it shouldn't cause any problems

I went ahead and corrected the above post. Below is the same post, but I put the errors in bold so that you could find them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Left C View Post
I was hoping that you would of already done the math and posted it.

Well ... here goes:
Let's say that you use 3 times the 60~80 gal dosing. This is the upper end of the dosing.
60~80 gal
50% H20 change-weekly
3/4 Tsp-KN03 3x a week
3/16 Tsp-KH2P04 3x a week
1 Tsp-GH booster once a week
15ml 3/16Tsp-Trace 3x a week
Optional
4-8 ml-Fe/Iron 3x a week

This is:
180~240 gal
50% H20 change-weekly
2 1/4 Tsp-KN03 3x a week
9/16 Tsp-KH2P04 3x a week
3 Tsp-GH booster once a week
45 ml 3/16Tsp-Trace 3x a week
Optional
12-24 mL Fe/Iron 3x a week

180~240 gal
50% H20 change-weekly
2 1/4 Tsp-KN03 3x a week = 6.75 tsp/wk = 37.8 g/wk
9/16 Tsp-KH2P04 3x a week = 1 11/16 tsp3 t/wk = 8.1 g/wk
3 Tsp-GH booster once a week = 3 tsp/wk = 18 g/wk
45 mL 3/16Tsp-Trace 3x a week = 135 mL/wk = 0.135 L/wk
Optional
12-24 mL-Fe/Iron 3x a week = 36 to 72 mL/wk = 0.036 L/wk to 0.072 L/wk

This is the conversion from grams per week to weeks per pound or (g/wk to wk/lbs) and milliliters per week to weeks per liter (mL/wk to wk/L):
KNO3 = 12.0 wk/lbs
KH2PO4 = 56.0 wk/lbs
GH Booster = 25.2 wk/lbs
Trace = 7.4 wk/L
Optional:
Fe = 27.8 wk/L to 13.9 wk/L




If you wanted to purchase approximately one years worth of dry ferts, you may want to order the following:
KNO3 - 4 lbs
KH2PO4 - 1 lbs
GH Booster (or Equilibrium) - 2 lbs
Trace (Flourish, TMG, etc.) - 7 liters or 1 lbs of CSM+B
Optional:
Fe (Flourish Iron, etc.) - 1 liter or 1/2 lbs Iron Chelate
K2SO4 - 1 lbs

Vendors:
http://www.greenleafaquariums.com/aq...ertilizer.html
http://aquariumfertilizer.com/
http://www.bestaquariumregulator.com/ferts.html

I hope this helps.

Left C

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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Gotcha about the trace, didn't realize it contained iron too. Would it be enough to actually cause the reaction? Think I read that it is a bonding issue...

Here is how I came to the 1 oz doses:
The most frequent dosing is 3x a week. If I wanted to make a mix I would need whatever goes in it to be dosed the same frequency. So for GH booster I would do 1 Tsp 3x week rather than 3 Tsp 1x a week. 1 week would require 3 doses.

The fertilizer container ordered holds 16 oz and can measure out 1 oz volumes, or up to 16 doses. For ease of calculations I just multiplied my week requirements (remember 3 doses in a week) by 5 for the requirements for a total of 15 doses. Now mixed in that container to 16 oz it will be slightly under the dosage needs, which is fine because we were using the high side. So basically there would be 15 doses in 16 oz (assuming I can get it all to go into solution).

I suppose if I wanted I could just add another dose worth to the 15 dose amount for a clean 16 in 16 oz.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 01:17 PM
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Gotcha about the trace, didn't realize it contained iron too. Would it be enough to actually cause the reaction? Think I read that it is a bonding issue...
I've mixed different traces (CSM+B, Flourish and TMG) with KH2PO4 and F. Phosphorus. I didn't get a precipitant formed. A while back fordtrannyman and I messed around with it and neither of us got a precipitant from what I mentioned.

Even though I didn't get a precipitant, I still dose them on different days or hours apart.

I'd like the Myth Busters to debunk it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vosstc View Post
Here is how I came to the 1 oz doses:
The most frequent dosing is 3x a week. If I wanted to make a mix I would need whatever goes in it to be dosed the same frequency. So for GH booster I would do 1 Tsp 3x week rather than 3 Tsp 1x a week. 1 week would require 3 doses.

The fertilizer container ordered holds 16 oz and can measure out 1 oz volumes, or up to 16 doses. For ease of calculations I just multiplied my week requirements (remember 3 doses in a week) by 5 for the requirements for a total of 15 doses. Now mixed in that container to 16 oz it will be slightly under the dosage needs, which is fine because we were using the high side. So basically there would be 15 doses in 16 oz (assuming I can get it all to go into solution).

I suppose if I wanted I could just add another dose worth to the 15 dose amount for a clean 16 in 16 oz.
How is the volume of one dose going to equal 1 oz worth of volume? I don't see any calculators where you have figured that volume and converted into teaspoons or grams. There is "something rotten in Denmark" here, I think.

Here's something else. Those ferts don't all have the same density and grain size. They will probably separate out like our substrate does. You won't have a homogeneous mixture then.

I just don't see how mixing them is going to make it easier to dose.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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I have never mixed them so I can't say that they will

I assumed you could mix them and eventually they would dissolve into solution, if that is not the case then that obviously wont work. If it ALL goes into the 16 oz of liquid... then the 1 oz dose would work. But, if I'm understanding you it wont... (I have no clue never seen the stuff)
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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P.S. the myth busters thing would be cool.

Almost forgot where I was... the following statement is true for an Intravenous infusion, don't know if it matters to plants

Also, fyi did you know calcium and phosphate are incompatible? The whole phosphate/iron thing reminded me of an experiment I did at work one time to see if the (mMol Phos)x(meq Ca)>360 equation I was given really caused precipitation
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 05:35 PM
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How are calcium and phosphate incompatible? I haven't heard that before. I do know that mixing a strong solution of various fertilizers, with both iron and phosphate in the mix, will cause precipitation. And, dosing phosphate and iron in the aquarium within a few seconds of each other doesn't cause any precipitation that I can see. But, I do get some precipitation in the aquarium any time I dose my trace elements. It forms a slight cloudiness in the water, and quickly disappears.

The problem with premixing fertilizers in water, for easy dosing, is trying to get all of those chemicals to dissolve in a small amount of water. I use a 16 ounce bottle for my premix, and dose one ounce per dose, but my dosing is every day, not 3 days a week, so my solution doesn't require as much fertilizer as you are talking about. And, my tank has about 40 gallons of water in it, not 180 gallons - very big difference.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Hehe, well looks like the premix might be outta the question then...

The calcium phosphate was just a totally random piece of information with nothing to do about aquarium. Because they precipitate at higher concentrations (than I'm guessing you would ever see in ferts) you have to be careful about giving them to patients via an I.V. line (precipitation in your vein is bad).

Sorry if that caused any confusion.
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