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Dear Planted Tank Enthusiasts,

I would like to collect all information regarding the shelf life for dry ferts in general!
Sealed, unopened. Do they chemically stay intact say after 5 years of storage?
No visibly noticeable changes to physical form.

Thank you all in advance.

Happy Planted Tank Keeping
KeeperOfASilentWorld
 

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So basically the fridge.

I think it depends on what the ferts in question are. Long story short: if you came across the fertilizer in a high school chemistry test, it's probably shelf stable.

For example, potassium nitrate isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Like, keep it dry and sealed to prevent contamination and water formation, but aside from that, it's not going to decompose into potassium, nitrogen gas and oxygen gas (ok maybe a little but like, we're talking maaaaybe a few molecules and not a noticeable portion).

I'm not too sure about the organic ferts like chelated metals, so you'd have to wait for another person to provide better input than me about those.
 

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Not too sure about chemistry and what not. I still have my dry salts N, P & K from Nilocg. I ordered it on December 11, 2015 ( I kept the receipt in my records ). I still use it to this very day and actually just ordered some more since I'm starting to run "low" on Kno3.
 

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I had a 500 g container of Potassium Nitrate for fifteen years. It did not discolor. The man at the chemical supply bunker. The building looked like a bunker. Creepy old building. The man said Potassium Nitrate is hydroscopic meaning it clumps with moisture. It did do that but I have a heavy bear skinning knife with a convex blade that broke up the Potassium Nitrate nicely. Don't worry, I don't skin bears, I don't even hunt, nor am I suggesting you get a bear skinning knife.

I don't worry about anything with Chloride. I don't know why, it's just a hunch. That stuff seems super stable like it could last forever. Think Sodium Chloride for example. But I do wonder a little about powdery compounds with Sulfate. I mean how stable can powdery stuff be, right?

Having said all that, there is one compound that I have had for a long time that I don't really trust and that's Sodium Bicarbonate. It's notorius [sic] for retaining odors. I mean that's what it does. It absorbs odors. So I think it probably has a useful shelf life of some limited period of time. Nevertheless, I've been using mine for over fifteen years.
 
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