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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!
First time poster, long time follower. Aquascaping became my covid hobby and it's super fun, though I probably don't need to declare that here. Anyway, my question is regarding your personal interested in organic nutrients vs naturally derived vs "I already add so many chemicals to my tank that this doesn't matter at all"... I formulate fertilizers professionally and make my own tank nutrients. Right now they are all traditional fertilizers but I am able to source many organic inputs that serve the same purpose. Would you be interested in something like this? I'm not selling anything now, just thinking about a small side hustle to fund my aquarium addiction.
Have you tried organic nutrients?
Would you?
What are your concerns?
What if it was a mix between natural and synthetic materials?

(sorry in advance if this violates rules. I'm not selling anything, just gathering intel. And, you'll probably see me on other threads asking for advice. Thanks!)
 

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When you say "organic" do you mean derived from organic material (vs. inorganic salts) or do you mean OMRI certified? I don't think anyone wants to add anything to their tank that would increase the amount of organic waste products we already have to deal with and people who are running dedicated Walstad tanks (i.e. a system that is high in organics) rely on their livestock to provide those and generally eschew additives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cool. Thanks. I was a little ambiguous because that's part of my question. Is OMRI important? Is derived from organic material important?
From a science standpoint, there's good reason to use a blend of organic and inorganic salts, but in the terrestrial gardening world lots of folks are purists. Meaning only omri or "don't give me that hippy crap". Ok, maybe that's just two ends of a spectrum. Unfortunately, a lot of the OMRI nutrients produce ammonia-N and the nitrate versions have sodium. But I am thinking more of a bottled compost tea that is balanced with traditional (inorganic) salts to keep the chemistry balanced.
 

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I think maybe for those that are newer to the hobby or are super experimental you might get a few people. If it's biologically balanced and works it could open up a niche market for you. Most old timers are going to see "organic matter" and run the opposite direction, though. As was stated- most of us use everything possible in our filtration process to get rid of excess organics... "Organics" is just about a four letter word to a lot of us 😆
 

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"Organic compost tea" sounds like it would be adding back in a lot of the stuff we intentionally remove every week when we water change. I'd be extremely concerned about algae. I am also not sure which advantages of using organic materials as fertilizer apply to planted tanks. In the garden a lot of people talk about soil building, but that's just not relevant here.

And as you've mentioned, adding ammonia and sodium is basically a nonstarter.

I know what you mean about people being purists in gardening, but I have not seen that the particular issues that are hot topics in terrestrial horticulture come up here much at all. There are so, so much handwringing about fertilizer in this hobby though, if not about this particular topic. I mean, just go down the topics in the fertilizer subforum and you'll probably get a good picture of what people are worried about.
 

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I understand completely where you're coming from now. I've worked hydro and aquaponics and this as a completely different ballgame. You'd have to market similarly to aquasoils, even then compounds used in typical compost teas are the exact compounds most of us are trying to remove. I used to peddle my black water to a guy that used it in this compost teas because of how it broke the leaf compounds down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, everyone! I appreciate you all taking the time to respond. The logic you've presented has me thinking. Even if it works great as a compost tea blend, then maybe that's not a selling feature. My background is traditional horticulture though, so that's why I'm coming at it from the other side. And, maybe compost tea is the wrong idea altogether.
Nothing wrong with traditional fertilizers; that's what I do myself. As I mentioned, this was just to pressure test an idea. I may still try selling my own inorganic version since my home test has been great so far. Thanks again for the feedback.
 

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Personally, my concern would be in accuracy and repeatability. When we dose our tanks with know components, we know exactly what we're putting in, down to the .001ppm. I would be hesitant to add anything to the tank that raised organics by an unknown, unreliable, or unrepeatable amount.
 

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Would organics add to TDS? I'm trying to reduce TDS. Also would organics use up a significant amount of Oxygen? Or does organic just mean it was grown without pesticides? Some if us are completely clueless about this subject.
 
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