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As some of you may know, our resident mad scientist @burr740 has been forging a new frontier in micro dosing. He’s been “rolling his own” micro mix, and it’s been quite an interesting journey. Probably the most surprising thing is that he has gone from very, very low micro dosing, to seemingly larding it on.

Burr has been kind enough to provide a supply to myself and a few others, to see the effects on different tanks. And I know at least a few who are blending their own mix as well. @slipfinger and I have had a couple of conversations about this, and agreed it might be time to start a thread devoted this topic. The idea is to have a place to post tank parameters, dosing schedules, lighting, etc. to make it easier to learn what others are doing, and the effect it is having. And really, anyone who wants to share their parameters, regardless of micro dosing, is welcome.

So I will get things started, and I hope others will share as well.

For some time, like many others here, I was testing the lower limits of micro dosing with CSM+B. At one point I was down to .015 from Fe. To make a long story short, I am now dosing the Burr Micro Mix at .15 DAILY (yes seven days a week!). That’s almost 20 times as much!

In general, the tank has been doing better than ever (all relative of course, I’m still a piker compared to some here!). Makes me wonder if I have been starving them of some needed elements for a long time? I plan to follow up this post with pictures and descriptions of individual plants, as there have been noticeable changes to many.

So here are the general specs of my tank. I thought it would be interesting to share this information, and hope others will as well. If anyone would like to use this spreadsheet to keep track of their own dosing, here is a link where you can download it. I take a screenshot, then crop it for posting.

Hopefully we can get a few to participate, as personally I always like to see what others are doing, and then consider how I might apply it to my own tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If that's the tank of a piker, I hate to imagine what I'm classed as! Subscribed.
Thanks.......but there are some here who really are a cut above. They just seem to be able to bring out the best in plants. I'm glad they are around as they give me and others something to aspire to, and provide a valuable source of information. I don't mind telling you I pretty much try to copy what they do...........demonstrating that imitation IS the sincerest form of flattery!:wink2::wink2:
 

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This looks like a very good idea Gregg. I believe I am on the Burr 5.1 mix at 0.1ppm so the micro dosing numbers will likely be a bit different than what you have listed but I did update all the rest of the information.

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am really feeling rejected here. :crying:

Heck my biggest issue is macro dosing.
Even my new tank is NO3 deficient in a week with 4 doses KNO3!
I for one would really like to see what your dosing is. Like I said, I just like seeing what others are doing, and you have been known to grow some stems like weeds.

I think all the information available, the better.

Bump:
This looks like a very good idea Gregg. I believe I am on the Burr 5.1 mix at 0.1ppm so the micro dosing numbers will likely be a bit different than what you have listed but I did update all the rest of the information.
Linn thanks for contributing. And your FTS is looking great!
 

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I for one would really like to see what your dosing is. Like I said, I just like seeing what others are doing, and you have been known to grow some stems like weeds.
I even trim and plant the Buce as if it were a stem.
It looks good too!

I would surely post my dosing schedule but with the capped soil it is quite different.
Macro dosing can be quite large, micro dosing not needed as much and can cloud water really quick.
You are all experimenting with micros and me not so much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I am now on my third week of much higher micro dosing. I haven’t made any other changes, so lighting, CO2, and macros have all been stable. I’ve kept them that way so that I can see what changes the new dosing might bring.

So I’ve been observing, and it’s funny how things just catch your eye sometimes. Every week during my regular water change, I take the opportunity to wipe the front glass. I can always find some green spots here and there that need cleaned up. So what caught my eye this week is that I had to really search to find any at all. The glass was cleaner than ever. I discussed this with Burr, and he said that is a good sign, and in his tank algae on his glass tells him that something is off. Well I guess I learned something has been “off” in my tank for years!!:grin2:

The next thing I noticed is a significant increase in late day global pearling. The tank has always been pearling, but lately about 7:00 or so the bubbles are just streaming up from everywhere. Upside down rain of bubbles. Once again, Burr said he thinks that is a good sign.

One of the plants that really seems to like the new dosing is my Helferi. I’ve had it for some time, and it been doing fine, but grew very, very slowly. It’s on a growth spurt right now, getting larger than ever, and throwing out lots of new crowns. Makes me think I was depriving it of something it needed.

Interesting stuff indeed......and as usual learning something new all the time.
 

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Thanks for spearheading this @Greggz.

Below you will see my current dosing. I am not too sure which version I am currently on as I mix my own based on @burr740 recommendations. I am currently dosing .325 DTPA Fe 4x a week.

One big difference between my tank and that of @Greggz and @burr740 is I am using ADA Amazonia Aquasoil. The soil itself is about a year and a half old at this point.

I also dose .25ppm Urea 4x a week with my macro dosing.

I added my Ca and Mg levels but it has been almost 3 weeks now with out adding any to the tank.


For those interested below is a list of the individual elements and what I and I think most are using.

DTPA Fe
Mn as Manganese Sulphate = MgSO4.7H2O
Cu as Copper Sulphate = CuSO4.5H2O
Zn as Zinc Sulphate = ZnSO4.7H2O
Mo as Sodium Molybdate = Na2MoO4*2H2O
Bo as Borax = Na2B4O7·10H2O



 

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Your discussion regarding the front glass is very interesting @Greggz. The wifes 40g seems to get a fare amount of thin dusty green algae on the glass. My tank has less of the dusty green algae and more of the harder green spots (takes a bit of scrubbing with the float). So, Burr thinks its a good sign when there is almost no algae on the glass. Heres hoping the increased lighting and micros makes a difference on my end.

As for the pearling, have never really had much pearling in either tank. Maybe it's time I lower the cut off level on the ph controller.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Y

As for the pearling, have never really had much pearling in either tank. Maybe it's time I lower the cut off level on the ph controller.
Keep a close eye on things. I think with the extra light you will be seeing some soon.

I noticed a big difference in my tank when I increased my lighting a while back.
 

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I'm too lazy to post my exact recipe. But from talking to Burr I know we are basing off ours the same ratio.

I will say several things:

  • Higher micro doses are safer with nonchelated forms. You will notice that all those who get away with extremely low doses are using chelates.
  • Something I do to increase safety is split the daily dose into multiple smaller doses throughout the day (via autodoser). This keeps the acute concentration at any one time low, while still delivering enough nutrients to meet plant demands.
  • If changing or increasing micros, watch your macros. Uptake may improve and your previous dose may become limiting.
 

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I'm too lazy to post my exact recipe. But from talking to Burr I know we are basing off ours the same ratio.

I will say several things:

  • Higher micro doses are safer with nonchelated forms. You will notice that all those who get away with extremely low doses are using chelates.
  • Something I do to increase safety is split the daily dose into multiple smaller doses throughout the day (via autodoser). This keeps the acute concentration at any one time low, while still delivering enough nutrients to meet plant demands.
  • If changing or increasing micros, watch your macros. Uptake may improve and your previous dose may become limiting.
The point of this thread is not only to find out what recipe you are using but just as important your tank parameters. Burr and Greggz are using BDBS, I'm using AS. Would be interesting to see if people using inert vs high cec soils see a difference. The more info we can gather the easier this will be.

A comment on 'higher micros are safer with nonchelated forms.' The chelates are only part of the equation here. We also have to remember that commercially available CSM+B was designed for the agriculture industry where they mix lbs and lbs of this stuff in 1000gal sprayers and spraying it on field crops. We in the planted tank hobby take this same product and scoop out a couple of grams, throw it in our tanks and hope we are getting the right ratio of each ingredient in the mix. Hope being the key word here. By mixing our own we are sure we are getting the right ratios.

Down the road it would be interesting for someone to 'cook' their own mix using the individual chelated ingredients and see what happens when they start dosing. By doing this we take the ratio issue out of the mix, leaving the chelate as the key issue to focus on. As we all know and what started all this was the fact @burr740 had to dose super low levels of CSM+B in his tank or he would see issues. If burr was to start dosing a homemade mixture using the individual chelated elements at his current micro dosing levels, he should see instant issues. If not then we have to go back to the drawing board on chelates being the issue and focus on ratios. For the record I am a believer that chelates are the major issue here. We have no clue what they are bonding with once they enter our water column.

@burr740 you up to the challenge :grin2:

Just some food for thought.
 

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Burr is doing a great thing for this hobby. i have few recipe as well but they are rather trial version and could be improved further, we have had a great success with Marchner Ratio, Non chelated recipe however did had better results just like in Burr's experiment. we have few member in this same field already trying this stuff, but they don't post as much. i will share something soon
 

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Burr is doing a great thing for this hobby. i have few recipe as well but they are rather trial version and could be improved further, we have had a great success with Marchner Ratio, Non chelated recipe however did had better results just like in Burr's experiment. we have few member in this same field already trying this stuff, but they don't post as much. i will share something soon
Lets get them posting, again the more info the better.

One thing that stands out so far and is becoming a common theme is the inert substrate bunch being able to dose a lot more micros without negative effects, along with improved plant health and growth.
 

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Greggz

Fe 1
Mn 0.5
B 0.27
Zn 0.19
Mo 0.0013
Cu 0.014

No3 32
Po4 15
K 65

are these really your weekly numbers? in my experiment we never had to use such a high dose of PO4. anyway the reason why this recipe works better is because of Non chelated are more available to plants than the chelated version. IMO there is always a room for error even if you feel like your plants are doing better now. i have worked with so many recipe, from non chelated to chelated, all kind of ratios that i could think of and we couldn't make a single recipe that is best for plants, but we came very close every time, non chleated recipe will precipitate and oxidize fairly quickly compare to chleated one, that mean you must dose it daily to keep it going well. like i said we have tried several recipes but there is always some kind of issue that occured after a while. the other reason people wont try such a recipe is due to the cost and hassle, they prefer premixed stuff, this stuff is only good for those who want to play around with the chemicals, like we do. the other reason i dont post much is due to the fear of people using the recipe to make money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Greggz

Fe 1
Mn 0.5
B 0.27
Zn 0.19
Mo 0.0013
Cu 0.014

No3 32
Po4 15
K 65

are these really your weekly numbers?
Happi yes those are my real numbers. I know the P04 seems high, but it is what works better for me. I have a very highly stocked tank, which produces lots of N & P. I suspect it may have something to do with my measured N & P ratio. My tank seems to like about 10:1. I've tested it enough times to know that in my tank more P is better than less.

And I know that seemingly I shouldn't have to dose macros at all, as fish waste/food should supply plenty. But every single time I try low to no macro dosing, my plants rebel. I have mentioned this before, but I am beginning to believe that there is a difference between the uptake of N & P generated by fish waste and N & P dosed from ferts. I have no scientific reason to believe that, just based on the observations in my tank.

And FYI, my weekly K level is also quite high, mostly based on adding K2C03 to my RO water to raise KH. I don't worry about it too much, as I don't think there are any negative effects from those levels.

And good to hear your thoughts on this topic, and look forward to hearing more from you.
 

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Happi yes those are my real numbers. I know the P04 seems high, but it is what works better for me. I have a very highly stocked tank, which produces lots of N & P. I suspect it may have something to do with my measured N & P ratio. My tank seems to like about 10:1. I've tested it enough times to know that in my tank more P is better than less.

And I know that seemingly I shouldn't have to dose macros at all, as fish waste/food should supply plenty. But every single time I try low to no macro dosing, my plants rebel. I have mentioned this before, but I am beginning to believe that there is a difference between the uptake of N & P generated by fish waste and N & P dosed from ferts. I have no scientific reason to believe that, just based on the observations in my tank.

And FYI, my weekly K level is also quite high, mostly based on adding K2C03 to my RO water to raise KH. I don't worry about it too much, as I don't think there are any negative effects from those levels.

And good to hear your thoughts on this topic, and look forward to hearing more from you.
we actually do have an answer to your question on why things works better when you dose N and P when your fish already provide lot of it, the answer is within Cations and anions. now lets get to my honest opinions, i normally don't like to make people feel bad about their tanks, but i have to judge the tank based on how the plant health looks, first thing i notice is certain plant leaves are twisted and burnt looking, i also notice the lack of colors on certain plants, please do share more close up pics if you are not offended by my post. now let me share few more things with you, in our experiment there was no need to add so Much Fe, po4, K+, people are actually overdosing it in such a high amount that they don't realize that they are just precipitating some of them. if you are really interested in this kind of topic, do let me know, maybe we can share more data with you.
 
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