Noob fertilization questions - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-25-2009, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Noob fertilization questions

So, I've been doing some reading, but I'm still a quite unsure... I have a 5.5 gallon with 27 watts of light and I'll be using excel.

I've read about PMDD. Does that have everything I need in it?

Since I've never done this before, I didn't want things to get super complicated and/or expensive. For a beginner like me, what's my best option? I can either do the PMDD thing or measure out dry ferts separately.

Also... how would I measure out 1/64 of a tsp??

thank you
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-25-2009, 03:24 PM
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tagging along, whats with using regular miracle gro? Good or bad?
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-25-2009, 03:45 PM
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For my 10G I simply multiplied the dosage until I reached a large enough number to work with (1/4 tsp in my case). Each dose was supposed to be 1/32 tsp, so I mixed 1/4 tsp with 8 Tbsp of distilled water in a bottle.

Now each 1 Tbsp has a 1/32 tsp dose.

You could do the same but with 16 Tbsp of water per 1/4 tsp of ferts. This would be 16 doses.

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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-25-2009, 06:50 PM
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http://oregonaquadesign.vstore.ca/pr...ame/containers is a container that is very good for dosing small tanks. The little dose chamber at the top will let you measure out one ounce accurately, so you just put 16 doses of fertilizer in the bottle, fill it to the 16 ounce marking, and dose one ounce at a time. I have been using two of these for about 2 years, and they work great. I print my ingredients list on an address label, stick it to the bottle, cover it with transparent tape, and I can refill the bottle quickly with little thought involved.

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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-25-2009, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Great! That solves one issue. Now for the other bigger issue. What's PMDD, and should I use that or separate dry ferts? I'll be using whatever I get on both my 5.5 gallon and 50 gallon.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 04:22 AM
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You don't have to be super precise with your measurements adding a bit more over time isn't going to be harmful. Ferts alone doesn't cause algae blooms or people like Tom Barr would be in a world of hurt and we know that isn't the case. Plus a water change will take most of the extra ferts out of the tanks for you.

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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 05:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
http://oregonaquadesign.vstore.ca/pr...ame/containers is a container that is very good for dosing small tanks. The little dose chamber at the top will let you measure out one ounce accurately, so you just put 16 doses of fertilizer in the bottle, fill it to the 16 ounce marking, and dose one ounce at a time. I have been using two of these for about 2 years, and they work great. I print my ingredients list on an address label, stick it to the bottle, cover it with transparent tape, and I can refill the bottle quickly with little thought involved.
I have about a dozen of these and use them for almost all of my dosing. I take a sharpie and write the formula on them so they are easy to refill
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 05:37 AM
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I suggest you doing EI dosing method. You would need those mini measuring spoons. http://www.amazon.com/Norpro-Measuri...6535373&sr=1-1

This is the schedule I'm using. It works pretty well for me, plants are happy.

Sunday
1/16 tsp KNO3
1/64 tsp KH2PO4
1/64 tsp K2SO4
Monday
1/64 tsp CSM+B
Tuesday
1/16 tsp KNO3
1/64 tsp KH2PO4
1/64 tsp K2SO4
Wednesday
1/64 tsp CSM+B
Thursday
1/16 tsp KNO3
1/64 tsp KH2PO4
1/64 tsp K2SO4
Friday
1/64 tsp CSM+B
Saturday
Do 50% water change.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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xximanoobxx: you forgot to post the size of your tank!!

Those measuring spoons look like they'd be helpful, but I'd have to figure out how much a "smidge", a "drop", and a "dash" are. I suppose these are standard amounts? I'll google it.

Ok, I thought I was going to take shortcuts by doing the PMDD thing, but EI seems easy enough. Is there a place where I can buy all the dry ferts together for a better price than buying them separately?

Also...why are all the macronutrients complexed with potassium? Seems like a lot of potassium. And that's not bad for the fish at all?
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 01:29 PM
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{ http://www.greenleafaquariums.com/aq...ertilizer.html }
{ http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com/in...ditU=1&Regit=2 }

Are great places to get your dry ferts.

No you would have to add *allot* of ferts before there would be harmful side effects. I don't think double dosing EI would do that much harm since the 50% water change balances it all out every week.

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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amazonfish View Post
xximanoobxx: you forgot to post the size of your tank!!

Those measuring spoons look like they'd be helpful, but I'd have to figure out how much a "smidge", a "drop", and a "dash" are. I suppose these are standard amounts? I'll google it.

Ok, I thought I was going to take shortcuts by doing the PMDD thing, but EI seems easy enough. Is there a place where I can buy all the dry ferts together for a better price than buying them separately?

Also...why are all the macronutrients complexed with potassium? Seems like a lot of potassium. And that's not bad for the fish at all?

Tad (1/4 tsp), Dash (1/8 tsp), Pinch (1/16 tsp), Smidgen (1/32 tsp) and Drop (1/64 tsp).

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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 05:05 PM
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If I plan on using eco-complete, will excel and co2 be necessary? Can I have a successful planted tank without co2? Could I just use excel and eco-complete, and no co2?
Thanks for answering newb Q's!
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 05:36 PM
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Eco only has trace iron so yes you would need to dose ferts and C02 for healthy plants.
Excel is a C02 additive for people that do not want to do diy/pressurized C02 so yes you could use it (I do for my low light tanks).

If you stick to low-light plants Excel and a bit of ferts now and again will do the job nicely.

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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 06:17 PM
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I read people use miracle gro, but that sounds fishy. Any rec'd ferts?
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 06:26 PM
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Miracle Gro is a terrestrial plant fertilizer that will cause algae blooms if it gets into your water column so I'd only recommend it to advanced users. You would have to use a sand like PFS to cap it and even then if you accidentally break the cap while cleaning or planting your looking at a algae bloom.

For big tanks (mainly discus) I use non-fertilized top soil from a landscaping or orchard supply store for about $8 a 50lb bag capped with PFS or SMS/Turface. Unlike the top soil you get at Wal-Mart/Home Depot/Lowes/etc it's actual river dirt instead of pine bark and will work allot better. At least if you break that cap your water might be a little muddy for a few hours instead of an instant algae bloom.

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