Dry fertilizers causing water to turn yellow? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-31-2015, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
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Dry fertilizers causing water to turn yellow?

Hear me out.

For years I had low tech dirted tanks that I didn't fertilize and never had any issues with yellow water (I never used carbon or anything else that would remove discoloration).

3 years ago I started up my first high tech tank (also dirted) and began using the EI method to dose dry fertilizers that I got from aquariumfertilizers.com.

I began to notice that the tank was turning noticeably yellow within a week or so after water changes. If I went 2-3 weeks without a change it was quite dark yellow.

I figured it was just tannins leaching out of the dirt and that it would eventually go away. I ran this tank for 2 years and the yellowing never left. It was consistent as well, it never "lightened" over time as you would expect if the yellow causing stuff was coming from the dirt.

1 year ago, I "reset" this tank. I removed all the substrate, washed out all the dirt, and set it back up the same as it was before minus the dirt. Even a year later, the water turns yellow at the exact same rate that it did before.

My dry micro fertilizers are brown and if you take a small amount and mix with a small amount of water from the tap, the water turns significantly yellow. So, is this the culprit? Do all dry fertilizers do this?

I've never heard anyone discuss this before and was wondering if anyone had any thoughts regarding this.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-31-2015, 01:51 AM
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The iron in the ferts maybe?

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-31-2015, 05:21 AM
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A question comes to mind that is..are you close enough towards being finished/w the ferts you have to get some from another supplier at this point so you will know for sure if the ferts are to blame ? Seems as though you have already tested that part, but not it's not being mixed/w everything else that is in the water in the tank.
I get mine from someone on here and they don't do that in my tank.
Perhaps you can just buy a 1G bottle of spring water in a clear container and after you use it up you can then add some of the water from your tank in there and fert the gallon jug to see if it does this/w the tank water in there. I'd use the full one dose size in this test in that one gallon jug. Should make it obvious from that.
Sorry you didn't say which size tank you have. Should be understood that I wouldn't use the full amount if you have a tank over 20g.

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