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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
let me begin by saying i have put the last few years into the hobby by studying the plant health, nutrients, fish/shrimp health, i have obtained quite impressive results, i will try my best to post them here much as i could, i been busy with life and might not be posting much anymore, so hopefully i could post much as i can today and i promise to post more whenever am free.

I am here to help based on my own research and observation, along with input from our friends who have contributed in this journey. I don’t want full credit, and want to give credit to others as well but anonymously, just for their privacy, unless you feel there is an need for it to be mentioned.

My vision for this thread is that we will post recipes, help others with questions, and discuss opinions. I want everyone to post with full freedom to be honest and blunt, but without personally disrespecting anyone, just as I and some others have been doing in private group chats.

I want to remind everyone that there is no magical recipe that will always work and solve any problem. This thread is simply for people to share what has worked for them, and to share recipes based on scientific data. There will always be some margin of error and room for improvement. But we will start from here, and hopefully I can help some people.

We are not doing this to earn money or run a business. Everything you need regarding recipes and chemicals will be posted here. We just ask for your help and contributions in fostering a positive discussion environment.

some of those who think everything about me is related to Trace Toxicity is completely wrong or misunderstand my posts or maybe am not best at describing it, my English isn't that great, so you can except some grammar and other mistakes from me.

Before i post some recipes for our plants, lets start with some testing on fish and shrimps that i did, believe it or not Co2 isn't the solution to everything, it is important but, if your plants are suffering, its not only due to low co2, this is where you are most likely to kill your live stock while plant still struggle to grow. next one is going to sound like what i have mentioned earlier, but higher traces have a negative affect on live stock which is not visible immediately, but it will eventually lead to death to live stock and plants. one good example is Staurogyne repens where it would randomly melt for some people, but there are many other plant Sp. that will do the same under same condition. these were repeated tests over the last few years.

also Use these numbers for reference for later on
N 1
K 0.6666
Ca 0.3332
Mg 0.1332
P 0.1332
S 0.066666
Cl 0.006666
Fe 0.006666
B 0.001332
Mn 0.003332
Zn 0.001332
Cu 0.0004
Mo 0.0000066
Ni 0.0000066

Next one is about the above numbers, this would be what plant would use if one have to follow the exact numbers, i have tested it and it does work very well, but it would become almost impossible for one to maintain the above ratio especially if their water parameter aren't stable to begin with, in most cases you will fail with the above numbers due to this reason, any change to these above number results in negative results, for example, raising the B and Zn alone resulted in death to leaves and there was heavy outbreak of BBA, this is why i have always said try not the break the ratio, we can only break it under certain conditions, for example, we can add more of the above numbers if our GH/KH is high to begin with and if there is precipitating/oxidizing event taking place in our tanks, since we cannot successfully use the above numbers i will consider the reasons and we will go from there far as the recipe goes.

next one i want to talk about is many people are confused with what fish really produce, is it NH4 or Urea or something else? the fact is they only Produce NH4, for those who have heavy fish load, they can expect very good plant growth.

next one, which one is superior, chelated or Non chleated recipe? i have used both and i have obtained better growth with Non cheleated, but you will need to add Non cheleated more often vs the cheleated one, i dosed once a week with cheleated one and also had great results. the reason it works better is simply because these metals are now fully free in the water and more available to plants where on the other hand plant have to put much more energy to extract nutrients from the cheleated form.

next one, Fulvic acid, i have used this in some of my mixes, i believe it strongly enhance the existing solution or recipe if you add little bit of it, it will prevent the precipitating and other reaction from happening and it is also helpful to the plants, it kind of act like steroids/booster for the plants. overdosing it will results in GDA, so be careful not to overdose it, i use 0.2-0.5 gram in my solutions.

next one, which source of N is superior for plants? some might argue NO3 is enough, this isn't simply true, i had a chance to try all kind of N sources and NH4 was the most superior one, next one that comes close is Urea, but Urea can sometime fail to work if your water lack nickel enzymes, process of urea degradation was also slow, NH4 can skip certain steps and directly used by plants making it superior to others. Monte carlo was an good example of this test, where it obtained very small leaves when NO3 was the only source of N, soon as NH4 was added, leave size was doubled or tripled.

next one is Potassium, we should never add so much potassium, those who add so much potassium are likely to see pale looking plants and plant don't really use much as what most people has been adding for many years now, plant use almost 3-4x less potassium than NO3, however extra potassium will enhance the plant growth by increasing the uptake of other nutrients.

next one is PO4, this one is tricky one, those who add tons of Po4, are most probably precipitating Iron and other important trace minerals, no need to add so much PO4 in water column, however plant like ludwigia pantanal seems to like little bit extra PO4, so you need to look for the right dose

Next one is Traces/Fe, we will discus as we go, but for now, all i can share is that plant did not use more than 0.1 ppm Fe weekly from DTPA even in high light, rich co2 tank, plant actually had very rich colors, those who are adding tons of Fe from DTPA and still having issue, there issue isn't low Fe, they need to look into other cause such as precipitation and oxidizing. traces also need to stay much lower compare to Ca/Mg and NPK otherwise you will end up with twisted weird growth.

my personal thought based on my own experience: try to stay in ratio whenever you can, breaking the law of ratio will results in buildup of nutrients and also lead toward death to fish/shrimps, plants in the long term, if we cannot keep the ratio and really want to break this law, then make sure we use the protection such as high CEC soil, more water changes, high Ca/Mg NPK to counter this, the only problem with this would be that certain plant will respond in a negative way, while other will not mind at all, long story short, try not to overdose on Micros, its better to dose smaller dose of micro more often than dosing a weekly dose in one single dose. it is best to stock your tank with lots of plants and lots of fish, try not to add so much Bio media or sponge media, good flow is only what you really need, let the fish produce the NH4/PO4 and you only need to add is Traces/Fe/K, no need to add Po4 or No3 in this case, they are not necessary in this case.

Above is based on my own observation and many tests over the many years, they might work for you or not, i cannot promise, but i am quite certain if you did everything right as i have mentioned, you will see good results, now lets get to some of the recipes.

500 ml, 20 ml per 50 gallon Recipe#1

Add 0.54126599918399998 Gram of H3BO3
Add 0.283905 Gram Cu EDTA 15%
Add 4.301 Gram of Fe DTPA 11%
Add 1.819904 Gram Mn EDTA 13%
Add 0.6309 Gram Zn EDTA 15%
Add 0.017897 Gram Na2MoO4*2H2O 39.658%
Add 0.031785785082 Gram of NiSO4.6H2O
Add 36.370216151 Gram of MgSO4.7H2O
Add 6.428728726 Gram of KCl
Add 0.25 Gram Fulvic Acid


B 0.02
Cu 0.009
Fe 0.1
Mn 0.05
Zn 0.02
Mo 0.0015
Ni 0.0015
S 1
Cl 0.25
K 0.712
Mg 0.757

use the above recipe if your water is hard and already have too much Ca/Mg NPK in the water. use the reference to understand how much NPK you should dose with this.


Recipe #2
500ml solution, 20ml per 50 gallon
Add 4.301 Gram of Fe DTPA 11%
Add 0.379 Gram H3BO3 17.48%
Add 2.438 Gram Mn EDTA 13%
Add 0.441 Gram Zn EDTA 15%
Add 0.441 Gram Cu EDTA 15%
Add 3.075 gram Ca EDTA 10%
Add 2.00 gram Mg EDTA 6%
Add 0.0357 gram Na2MoO4*2H2O 39.658%
Add 0.25 Gram Fulvic Acid

Fe 0.1
B 0.014
Mn 0.067
Mo 0.003
Zn 0.014
Cu 0.014
Ca 0.065
Mg 0.025
Ni

this recipe will work for both kind of water, soft or hard, but under softer water, cut the dose in smaller dose and dose based on that, use the reference to understand how much NPK you should dose with this.


Recipe #3
MnSO4.H2O: 27.95 Grams
CuSO4.5H2O: 4.462 Grams
H3BO3 (Boric Acid): 4.330 Grams
Zn Sulfate monohydrate: 1.066 Grams
MoO3 85.5%: 1.328 grams
NiSO4.6H2O: 0.2543 Grams


Concentrate recipes, each 500ml solution need to be made seperate and follow the rest very carefully.

MnSO4.H2O:

Add 27.95071989 Grams to 500ml
Mn 18170.117729462 ppm (1.82 %)
S 10605.464252665 ppm (1.06 %)
50ml will contain 2.8 gm of MnSO4.H2O


Copper Sulfate, CuSO4.5H2O:

Add 4,462.1 mg to 500ml (4.4621 gram)
This solution will contain,
Cu 2271.264715901 ppm (0.23 %)
S 1146.069261293 ppm (0.11 %)
50ml will contain 446.2 mg of CuSO4.5H2O

Boric Acid, H3BO3:

Add 4,330.1 mg to 500ml (4.330 gram)
This solution will contain,
B 1514.176477269 (0.15 %)
50ml will contain 433.012799347 mg of Boric acid

Zn Sulfate monohydrate:

Add 1,066.3 mg to 500ml (1.0663 gram)
This solution will contain,
S 351.886082747 (0.035 %)
Zn 757.088238638 (0.076 %)
50ml will contain 106.6 mg of Zinc Sulfate Monohydrate 35.5%

MoO3 85.5%:

Add 1328.39368606 mg to 500ml (1.328 gram)

This solution will contain,
Cl 0.053135747 (0.0000053 %)
Mo 1514.176477271 (0.15 %)
NH4O3 0.132839369 (0.000013 %)
Pb 0.026567874 (0.0000.027 %)
PO4 0.007970362 (0.0000008 %)
SO4 0.531357474 (0.000053 %)
50ml will contain 132.8 mg of MoO3 85.5%


NiSO4.6H2O:

Add 254.3 mg to 500ml (0.2543 gram)
This solution will contain,
Ni 113.5632355 ppm (0.011 %)
S 62.041275165 ppm (0.0062 %)
One ml will contain 0.508572561 mg of NiSO4.6H2O


Trace mix solution recipe:
Add 249 ml of distilled water to a 500 ml container
Add the concentrates listed below,

50 ml of MnSO4.H2O concentrate
50 ml of CuSO4.5H2O concetrate
50 ml of H3BO3 concentrate
50 ml of Zn Sulfate monohydrate concentrate
50 ml of MoO3 85.5% concentrate
1 ml of NiSO4.6H2O concentrate


The 500 ml of trace mix that will be created by adding the concentrate amounts is,

Analysis:

B 0.015 %
Cl 0.00000053 %
Cu 0.023 %
Mn 0.18 %
Mo 0.015 %
NH4O3 0.0000013 %
Pb 0.00000027 %
PO4 0.00000008 %
S 0.12 %
Zn 0.0076 %
Ni 0.000023 %


A 5 ml dose in 50 gallons of water will result in the following,

B 0.004 ppm
Cl 0.00000014 ppm
Cu 0.006 ppm
Mn 0.048 ppm
Mo 0.004 ppm
NH4O3 0.000000351 ppm
Ni 0.000006 ppm
Pb 0.00000007 ppm
PO4 0.000000021 ppm
S 0.031975849 ppm
Zn 0.002 ppm


this one was one of the best recipe i ever used, this one works best when you have heavy stock of fish and all you need to do is add some Ca/Mg/K along with this micro and leaves the rest to fish, works best for softer water.

Recipe #4
500 ML SOLUTION, 25 ML PER 50 GALLON

12.211598 GRAM POTASSIUM GLUCONATE
0.5 PPM K

6.076083 GRAM FE GLUCONATE
0.2 PPM FE

for those who are trying to give their plant quickly available source of Fe and K

Recipe #5
500 ML SOLUTION, 25 ML PER 50 GALLON

1.445642 GRAM NH4CL
1.05694 GRAM NH4H2PO4 (monoammonium phosphate)
5 GRAM UREA

TOTAL N = 0.75
TOTAL P = 0.075
TOTAL CL = 0.25

for those who are looking to enhance the plant growth, this one should be used with caution, for expert user Only, it will add NH4 as a main source of N.

KHCO3 Recipe, this one works better than K2co3. K2CO3 melted certain plant sp. so i have decided to move forward with KHCO3 which worked like charm.
Add 36.348401 gram KHCO3 to 500 ml solution, 20 ml per 50 gallon;
K 3 ppm
DKH 0.2

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/...1233202-custom-edta-dtpa-trace-fe-recipe.html

for those who are interested in this recipe, please follow the link above and you can make the recipe based on just traces only and keep the NPK separate or All in one as you wish, dont forget to add 0.25 gram Fulvic acid to each solution. i have explained everything in this linked thread, possibly everything that you need to know. increase 0.5g Ascorbic Acid to 1 gram, 0.2g Potassium Sorbate to 0.4 gram if you are seeing precipitation, usually Fulvic acid will take care of this though.


tank with some of these above recipes:




feel free to use the above recipes, not for sale as i have mentioned earlier and hopefully you will keep it that way as well, i will post more updates in free time, i will be posting more recipe on NPK as well, i have few based on NH4NO3. please remember try to be very accurate with your calculation, otherwise you will get mixed results, accuracy is extremely important


where to buy EDTA/DTPA? i buy from these guys: https://www.mbferts.com/
 

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Looking good and yummy.
 
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Why is it necessary to make separate solutions of each unchelated trace? I was under the impression everyone mixing their own unchelated micro mix were just putting all the dry micros into one solution bottle.
 

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Hi happi,

thank you for re-posting your recipe and fertilization suggestions in this thread. I think it's great to have more methods of fertilization to choose from according to our goals and needs. I quickly skimmed over the post as I don't have a lot of time, there may be more points to discuss but I feel some were addressed over the years and will continue to be ad infinitum in the absence thorough examination.

More examples of aquariums with greater plant diversity (15+ species) would also make a great case for your fertilizer.

these were repeated tests over the last few years.
It would have been nice to see the methodology and results /raw data of these experiments. This may help inspire others to run their tests and be able to try and duplicate your results. In addition it would allow the hobbyist to make his own interpretation of the data. Not just the experiment from the quote, but all the ones you mentioned. I for one would be interested how you ran the N source experiment. How did you inhibit the conversion and how did you test that conversion did not occur ? How did you prevent NH3 to escape as gas ?

You might say this is an undue burden for suggesting a fertilization recipe. Yes it is, but I think this hobby would benefit from actual data instead of dreamed up stuff. We had/have plenty of that, even from official companies.

next one i want to talk about is many people are confused with what fish really produce, is it NH4 or Urea or something else? the fact is they only Produce NH4, for those who have heavy fish load, they can expect very good plant growth.
emphasis added by me

This statement is false. It is part of basic ichthyology courses and has been known for a very long time that fish also excrete urea not only ammonia (NH3). Some only excrete urea.:surprise:

See Randall et al. (Nature, 1989). Don't have to read very far, just the abstract :" Freshwater fish mostly excrete ammonia2,3 with only a small quantity of urea4,5". I find this slideshow from York University, Canada a very nice and basic introduction to the topic : http://www.yorku.ca/spk/fishbiol09/FB09lecture11.pdf . You will see there that NH3 is the actual molecule which crosses the gills and is then protonated (depending on the water characteristics).

I had the above references at hand, but I think a basic search would reveal that fish also excrete urea. Like I said don't have a lot of time to go line by line, but this kind of statements make me be more skeptical regarding the rest of the post.

Wish your approach to fertilizing helps us all learn more about growing plants.
 

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More examples of aquariums with greater plant diversity (15+ species) would also make a great case for your fertilizer.
This has been my thought for quite some time.

Many tanks like mine have more like 20 to 30 species. Seems difficult to correlate anything to experiments performed on a single species or two in a bare tank? And a blend that one species loves......another may hate.

And that is where the "art" part of the equation comes in. Figuring out the right mix of plants and ferts (and everything else) that keeps them all happy. I haven't seen ANY recipe that would do that for every tank, and frankly I don't think it exists. Too many other variables can have causal effects.
 

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emphasis added by me

This statement is false. It is part of basic ichthyology courses and has been known for a very long time that fish also excrete urea not only ammonia (NH3). Some only excrete urea.:surprise:
Ammonia and urea transporters in gills of fish and aquatic crustaceans, http://jeb.biologists.org/content/jexbio/212/11/1716.full.pdf
Sharks, rays, skates, sawfish, coelacanth, Lake Magadi tilapia, gulf toadfish, amphibious fish, lungfish, lamprey eels, marine elasmobranch, …

Let’s see what urea producing fish is dukydaf having in his exceptional planted aquariums:
 

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Let’s see what urea producing fish is dukydaf having in his exceptional planted aquariums:
Edward, I and many other members (I think) of this community would thank you if you keep the sarcasm and inflammatory rhetoric out of this thread.

Feel free to bring some interesting or constructive piece of literature or data (possibly not trademarked ™).

If you think that fish only produce NH4 after reading the article you yourself quoted, there is BIG problem in basic logic and reality distortion.:help:

I'll try and stay short and on the point as there are plenty of other aspects to be covered.

For reference, the original statement was

next one i want to talk about is many people are confused with what fish really produce, is it NH4 or Urea or something else? the fact is they only Produce NH4, for those who have heavy fish load, they can expect very good plant growth.
emphasis added

The statement quoted is false just like these are:
All mushrooms are poisonous to humans.
Kittens are only scratching people.

Nevertheless, thank you for bringing this reference in as well. I think it provides just another piece of evidence that the above statement is false.
From the paper (Weihrauch et al. 2009) you have referenced:
“As mentioned earlier, there are now several exceptions to the older dogma that fish do not excrete substantial quantities of urea … The involvement of specific urea transporters is now heavily implicated in many species,…”
“Although it is clear that the ‘default’ condition for organisms immersed in water is certainly ammonia excretion, the capacity to detoxify ammonia to urea and subsequent buildup/storage and excretion of urea has clearly been retained within the fish genome.”
Sharks, rays, skates, sawfish, coelacanth, Lake Magadi tilapia, gulf toadfish, amphibious fish, lungfish, lamprey eels, marine elasmobranch, …

The fish you list are good examples of fish excreting high % of urea. But there are many other fish that excrete urea and ammonia.

Also from Weihrauch et al. 2009, in freshwater fish:
“and confirmed the dominance of ammonia as the main nitrogenous waste over urea in freshwater.”
“excreted predominately ammonia (>90%)”
The words “main nitrogenous waste”, and “predominately” are specifically used here to show that other N-containing products are excreted (including urea). So Weihrauch et al. (2009) clearly states that ammonia is not the only excreted product. Though not the main product (as in some fish), they are also present, wouldn’t you say?


Still struggle accepting that fish excrete urea ?

Olson et al, 1971 speaks of urea excretion from trout and goldfish. Goldfish is quite a common in aquariums, seen a couple planted aquariums with goldfish in them.

Goldstein et al, 1965 mentions that an enzyme used in formation of urea was found in 18 teleosts and it may be quite widespread

Cvancara, 1969 mentions urea production in freshwater teleosts

Saha and Ratha, 1989 – urea excreted under normal conditions about 15% of total nitrogen excreted by Heteropneustes fossilis , another fish seen in the aquarium hobby:fish:

Again, this is a very basic concept, long known, well documented but it seems that the hobby still struggles with them:eek5:. The same for dissociation of ions in water, where basic chemistry says that once dissociated in water Ca2+ from CaCl2 will behave the same as Ca2+ from CaSO4 or from Ca(NO3)2 or... or... But some people struggle with this, bad for the hobby that they pose as experts.

Read actual research. Better than personal attacks :thumbsup: :x
 

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Can you please answer why the unchelated traces have to be mixed in separate solutions when everyone making their own micro blend don’t do this?
 

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Can you please answer why the unchelated traces have to be mixed in separate solutions when everyone making their own micro blend don’t do this?
Compare the ppm traces of the chelated vs non chelated recipe, example chelated Ni 0.0015ppm vs Ni 0.000006 ppm. Notice how the ppm for the non chelated is much much lower? He basically made the separate solution so that he could cut it down to much smaller ppm for the final recipe. does this make sense?
 

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Compare the ppm traces of the chelated vs non chelated recipe, example chelated Ni 0.0015ppm vs Ni 0.000006 ppm. Notice how the ppm for the non chelated is much much lower? He basically made the separate solution so that he could cut it down to much smaller ppm for the final recipe. does this make sense?
understood, so as long as i am making a large enough solution to accurately measure the minute amounts of traces then i can skip the seperate solutions. I thought that maybe he found some precipitation occuring without mixing them seperately first
 

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Discussion Starter #17
due to accuracy, i have trying measuring very low amount on my gram scale and it would be impossible to measure such a small amount, the solution was to simply make a stronger solution and then use say 20 ml from 500 ml solution, adding say 20ml to another 480ml solution give you 0.0001 ppm etc, i hope that make sense.
 

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The ppm mentioned with each recipe.Are those daily doses or weekly doses?
Has anyone tried the above formulas for trace elements in their tanks?If yes.I would love to see some :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Update: am bit late to respond as i had put Amino Acid Glycine to test as traces, it have many issues such as precipitation and formation of SO4 in the solution, only some of them were very soluble without issue.

i hope to see other members try to make their own ferts, feel free to ask question
 

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Hi happi,
How does the ppm specially for macros given in the first post translate to someone having a high light and fully planted tank?Had problem with plants stunting in my tank(with high light) with full RO water(KH:3-5,Gh:3-5) remineralised with Barr's GH booster(didn't use any K2CO3).My dosing included NO3:7 ppm,Po4:0.7 ppm,K:15ppm.GSA and GDA also followed stunting.Co2 was at par(had no fishes so dosed about 4-5 bps,above 1 ph drop from 6.6 to 5.5 or so through JBL inline diffuser)
Was it due to lack of metals and other micro elements stripped away from water by RO?Or was it due to less dosing of macros?I was following your recipe no. 3 for micros.
Don't have any pics with me atm since I have dismantled my tank due to mentioned issues but I intend to plant it again after sorting out these issues.TIA
 
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