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Is there really such a thing as a All-In-One solution?

1487 Views 14 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  deleted_user_7
I would really like to get a peristaltic pump and autodose, and have heard that it is possible to make your own all-in-one solution if you add certain preservatives/chelators.

Why doesn't anyone do this? I have heard that Tropica used to make a solution like this but they changed the formula or something.

I would just really rather buy one peristaltic pump than two, and I'm really not into diy projects involving air pumps... I just want to add a week's (or a month if possible) worth of fertilizers in one solution, hook it up to a pump and forget about it.

If this is possible, what chemicals do I need to add to make this work?I found tbis link:

http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/allinone.htm

That gives me a recipe and says ascorbic acid and potassium sorbate are all I need in order to keep the iron complexed and everything stable.
Normally the phosphate and iron found in trace mix (CSM+B in my case) react and precipitate, but I have heard there is a way to get around this.

Is there a commercial all-in-one solution?
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I added a dash of KNO3, KH2PO4, and K2SO4o to 10 ml of water and it all dissolved. I then added a pinch of some fruit preserver that I had in the pantry.

I did this because 1 gram (quarter tsp) contains 230% of your RDA of vitamic C (Ascorbic acid) (a total of 207 milligrams if my math is right) and it also contains citric acid which acidifies the solution. If my math is right, I added 51.75 milligrams of ascorbid acid to this solution which was ten mls's. The recipe in the link I posted said to put half a gram (500 mg's) in 500 ml to preserve the solution. That's 1 mg per ml. I have put in five times that amount, I think.

Apparently keeping the solution acidic is also key to making an all in one dosing solution. The bottle of fruit preserver I used also had citric acid in it which helps keep the solution even more acidic.

Then I added a pinch of CSM+B and a pinch of epsom's salt, swirled it around and let it dissolve.

Put it in a test tube to compare color to the following experiments. There was no precipitate. These ten ml's and everything in them would be good for two days of dosing if this is a recipe for an all in one solution.

I was happy until I did the same thing without the ascorbic acid/citric acid. There was no precipitate and the liquid in the test tube looked the same.

I added a pinch of CSM+B and a pinch of KH2PO4 to ten Ml's of water at once, swirled it around until it all dissolved and put it in a test tube. No ascorbid acid was added.

There was no precipitate and all the test tubes are filled with liquid that looks exactly the same.

I did this pretty ghetto with the fruit preserving stuff I found in the pantry (My mother makes jelly and jams etc) and I just took water out of the tank with a 5 ml syringe. The water always has a ph of 6 when the co2 is on, which is was.


Maybe I made an all in one solution the first time, maybe not?

I think I did... Would someone who knows something about chemistry chime in? I suck at it.
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Sounds like you have made a good solution.

I only want to comment about where you got your acidic water.
If your tank water is acidic because of the carbon dioxide, it will not stay acidic over the month or so that you anticipate fertilizing. The CO2 will leave the solution pretty fast.

I would start with RO water for this, not aquarium water.
Then use your acidifying products (Vit C, etc) to make the water acidic.
I know, this was a very impromptu experiment and wasn't really me making solutions... I made like ten ml's of the "all-in-one" solution.

If I were really making it, which I think I will if someone who knows about chemistry can verify that what I did worked (because all of my trials looked the same and had no precipitate) I would use distilled water. The ascorbic acid should make the solution acidic enough according that article, and the additional citric acid should acidify the solution as well.
You can not mix micros and macros. This will cause a precipitate and make it impossible to dose consistently. There is a reason you can't buy it all in one.

Further, reaching high concentration levels for macros is very difficult. At home, you will have a hard time make a solution even as concentrated as mine or pfertz, without significant solids out of solution.
A pinch of this and that does not get anywhere near an effective concentration. Particularly if you want to use a peristaltic pump. I understand the WHY, but think you are better served making two solutions or more. The longevity is the primary problem.

I assure you, if there was a way to make an effective, concentrated all in one solution with adequate nutrient levels that lasted... I'd be doing it.
I have one question though. Why did I not get any precipitate? The test tubes that I put various chemicals in are transparent and there is nothing settled at the bottom?
No, please try! The reason is concentration. The reason you are trying to keep it acidic is to prevent mold in the micro solution. The iron and phosphates will precipitate when mixed. Either you didn't add enough micros or enough phosphate. And if you are at a solution low enough to not form them, you will likely have to dose all day long to get enough of anything, particularly nitrogen and potassium.

I think people underestimate just how much you need to add to a solution. I think a typical micro solution of csm+b has something like 4 tbsp per 500 ml. And that is in its own. You will add 5 times that of the macros to reach reasonable levels.

This is why when people make dosing solutions they plant them out to 1 oz doses in 16 oz bottles. It is relatively difficult(or time consuming) to get high concentration in solution. Potassium has a pretty low solubility level, too.
I added a dash of KNO3, KH2PO4, and K2SO4o to 10 ml of water and it all dissolved. I then added a pinch of some fruit preserver that I had in the pantry.
tion. The bottle of fruit preserver I used also had citric acid in it which helps keep the solution even more acidic.

Then I added a pinch of CSM+B and a pinch of epsom's salt, swirled it around and let it dissolve.

I added a pinch of CSM+B and a pinch of KH2PO4 to ten Ml's of water at once, swirled it around until it all dissolved and put it in a test tube. No ascorbid acid was added.

There was no precipitate and all the test tubes are filled with liquid that looks exactly the same.
I have one question though. Why did I not get any precipitate? The test tubes that I put various chemicals in are transparent and there is nothing settled at the bottom?
No, please try! The reason is concentration. The reason you are trying to keep it acidic is to prevent mold in the micro solution. The iron and phosphates will precipitate when mixed. Either you didn't add enough micros or enough phosphate. And if you are at a solution low enough to not form them, you will likely have to dose all day long to get enough of anything, particularly nitrogen and potassium.

I think people underestimate just how much you need to add to a solution. I think a typical micro solution of csm+b has something like 4 tbsp per 500 ml. And that is in its own. You will add 5 times that of the macros to reach reasonable levels.

This is why when people make dosing solutions they plant them out to 1 oz doses in 16 oz bottles. It is relatively difficult(or time consuming) to get high concentration in solution. Potassium has a pretty low solubility level, too.
Precipitate forms when you're dosing to optimal levels of your trace elements, not micro amounts.
Precipitation is probably happening in microscopic form with your weak solution. Take an eye dropper and take some liquid from the bottom and check it out under a microscope.
Buy yourself an Imed Gemini PC-2TX. It is a medical infusion pump that has 2 channels (one for micro one for macro). I picked on up on ebay for about $60. Been running for about a year flawlessly.
Precipitate forms when you're dosing to optimal levels of your trace elements, not micro amounts.
I have never seen precipitate in any of my tanks and I know im dosing the proper levels of trace. I have even tried putting way too much Fe in (from tropica and flourish) and still it never precipitated. I just wanted to know what it looked like!
It's important to note that James is adding Citric Acid to get pH closer to 6 and therefore keep iron chelated as long as possible regardless of quality of chelator. So, if you've already got nice soft acidic-ish tap, you won't have the same concerns about percip. as those of us with moderate/high KH (alkaline) tap. Regardless, it's not until Fe becomes free of its chelator to react with PO4 that we'll see percipitate.
Cheman, That sounds just right! Cheap!
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