Cheap dry ferts

mindscape100

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21 Mar 2008
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Hi Guys,

Just want to ask if anyone knows of cheap suppliers of dry ferts as Im stepping up to the EI method very soon. (im currently just using seachem flourish and am beginning to suffer with some algae!).
Ill be adding the dry ferts directly to the tank so what would I need to get, Kno3 etc including the trace.

Any help apprecieated.

John
 

ulster exile

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6 Jul 2007
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Birmingham, UK
Just to go back to your initial question, AE is great but you cna get cheaper from other sources.

Aquaessentials
Potassium Nitrate (250g) - £4.99

Mono Potassium Phosphate (250g) £4.99

Trace elements Mix (250g) - £9.99

Postage = £3.95
Total = £23.92

Garden Direct
Potassium Nitrate (500g) - £5.25
Nitrogen (N) 13% Potassium Oxide (K2O) Soluble in water 46% (K38.2%)

Potassium Phosphate (500g) - £4.25
Phosphorus Pentoxide (P2O5) 52% (P 22.7%) Soluble in water Potassium Oxide (K2O) 34% (k28.2%)

Chelated Trace Elements Mix(500g) - £10.50
Contains Iron, Manganese, Zinc, Copper plus unchelated Boron and Molybdenum
Iron 3.35% Copper 1.7% Manganese 1.7% Boron 0.88% Zinc 0.88% Molybdenum 0.023%

Postage = £4.95
Total = £24.95

I think magnesium sulphate and potassium sulphate is also added depending on your water conditions, but tbh I'd wait for someone else to answer your question as to what else is needed!
 

Martin

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28 Dec 2007
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North Wales
ulster exile said:
Just to go back to your initial question, AE is great but you cna get cheaper from other sources.

Aquaessentials
Potassium Nitrate (250g) - £4.99

Mono Potassium Phosphate (250g) £4.99

Trace elements Mix (250g) - £9.99

Postage = £3.95
Total = £23.92

Garden Direct
Potassium Nitrate (500g) - £5.25
Nitrogen (N) 13% Potassium Oxide (K2O) Soluble in water 46% (K38.2%)

Potassium Phosphate (500g) - £4.25
Phosphorus Pentoxide (P2O5) 52% (P 22.7%) Soluble in water Potassium Oxide (K2O) 34% (k28.2%)

Chelated Trace Elements Mix(500g) - £10.50
Contains Iron, Manganese, Zinc, Copper plus unchelated Boron and Molybdenum
Iron 3.35% Copper 1.7% Manganese 1.7% Boron 0.88% Zinc 0.88% Molybdenum 0.023%

Postage = £4.95
Total = £24.95

I think magnesium sulphate and potassium sulphate is also added depending on your water conditions, but tbh I'd wait for someone else to answer your question as to what else is needed!
Another excellent find Chrisi for us tightwads!
 

mindscape100

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ulster exile said:
My hubby is a Yorkshireman - sometimes if I listen carefully enough, I can hear a little squeek as he walks ;)

Technically I am still a student....yes I get paid now but Im still tight with the pennies :lol:

Ive heard of the other traces added depending on the tap water. I dont think Ive seen them used in the EI method for dry dosing...I could be wrong though if anyone knows where its been mentioned let me know.

Thanks guys
 

ceg4048

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mindscape100 said:
...Ive heard of the other traces added depending on the tap water. I dont think Ive seen them used in the EI method for dry dosing...I could be wrong though if anyone knows where its been mentioned let me know.

You can use whatever trace element you desire, be it powder or commercial liquid. This is like choosing the brand of vitamin tablets. Name brands cost more than the trace powders but have the same ingredients more or less. There is no problem using TPN or Seachem Flourish for example, it's just that they are more expensive than using the powdered form which you can get by the kilo. Plants use very small quantities of trace elements when compared to NPK. Some people use the commercial trace liquids because they are supposedly more convenient. Either way it's not a big deal.

Cheers,

EDIT: Just notice the question regarding additional powders. There is only one other powder you would possibly need and that is MgSO4, commonly known as Magnesium Sulphate, or Epsom Salts. Since we do not know the Mg content of anyones tap it's advisable to start off with the standard dosing of 1/2 teaspoon 3X per week for a 20 USgallon. Scale up or down depending on your tank size. The cheapest place to find this powder is Boots or any pharmacy. The next cheapest place is Garden Direct. No other powders are required unless you are using pure RO water, or large quantities of it.
 

Themuleous

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6 Jul 2007
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Aston, Oxfordshire
ulster exile said:
Just to go back to your initial question, AE is great but you cna get cheaper from other sources.

Aquaessentials
Potassium Nitrate (250g) - £4.99

Mono Potassium Phosphate (250g) £4.99

Trace elements Mix (250g) - £9.99

Postage = £3.95
Total = £23.92

Garden Direct
Potassium Nitrate (500g) - £5.25
Nitrogen (N) 13% Potassium Oxide (K2O) Soluble in water 46% (K38.2%)

Potassium Phosphate (500g) - £4.25
Phosphorus Pentoxide (P2O5) 52% (P 22.7%) Soluble in water Potassium Oxide (K2O) 34% (k28.2%)

Chelated Trace Elements Mix(500g) - £10.50
Contains Iron, Manganese, Zinc, Copper plus unchelated Boron and Molybdenum
Iron 3.35% Copper 1.7% Manganese 1.7% Boron 0.88% Zinc 0.88% Molybdenum 0.023%

Postage = £4.95
Total = £24.95

I think magnesium sulphate and potassium sulphate is also added depending on your water conditions, but tbh I'd wait for someone else to answer your question as to what else is needed!

Is there no difference in the soluble quantities of N and P for AE compared to the garden direct stuff? I would always been hesitant to get garden stuff in case it was not as 'strong' as the AE stuff or am I being daft?

Sam
 

Voo

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I've been using the Garden direct ferts for maybe a year now. It does give the %ages of N and P in each chemical, i can get these tonight after work if you want.

My only worry has been that the trace mix contains copper. Is this in all trace ferts? The other thing is i have no idea how much trace fert i should be adding to my tank :lol:
 

mindscape100

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Hey Sam,
If the product is sold as Potassium nitrate etc powder then it would be the same. The concentration would only be altered when you make up the solutions. The label would show the powder to have a certain weight...this is its molecular weight that is used to make up molar/ppm concentrations...if that makes sence?? Although this all depends on whether there are other "goodies" added to the powder!
John
 

johnny70

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Bakewell, Derbsyhire
I have been using the stuff from garden direct, no problems here. as for copper in the Trace, I have only seen trace with copper in, I have inverts in many of my tanks that I dose with in and haven't had any problems with it

JOHNNY
 

JamesC

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3 Jul 2007
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Bexley, Kent
The dry ferts are pretty much exactly the same wherever you get them from. The only exception being the chelated trace mixes which can vary a bit. I used the Garden Direct traces some time ago but then started keeping shrimp so changed as the Copper levels are approx 10x higher than the Aqua Essentials traces. It may or may not be a problem. Interestingly Tropica also has relatively high Copper levels as well and I've seen this suggested somewhere is one of the reasons why it is so good. TBH if you are doing 50% plus water changes a week then you should have no worries with the copper levels.

Dosing levels are the same with the Garden Direct Traces as they are with the Aqua Essential traces.
From the Aqua Essentials web site:
For preparing a stock solution add 1 tablespoon of trace mix to 500ml of water. Then add 10ml per 100 litres as required.

James
 

Lisa_Perry75

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See I was thinking about the difference between AE and garden ones.

Look at the label, it says Potassium phosphate. Look at the ingredients and its Potassium oxide and phosphorus oxide. This is not the same as potassium phosphate and I do wonder if plants are able to utilise it as such. I don't know though...

AE trace mix has a much higher percentage Iron concentration.
 

mindscape100

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The chemical formulae for this is KH2PO4(monobasic). Which basically is potassium and phosphorus mixed together (balanced equation).
So the ingredients I guess is just showing the potassium phosphate broken down to its raw ingredients. I think anyway. Anyone correct me if Im wrong.

John
 

mindscape100

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West Yorkshire (huddersfield)
I was also wondering with regards to calculating how much water is in the aquarium.... Do you work out the volume of the tank from the basic dimentions or do you subtract the amout due to the substrate. With my tank that could accound for about 30-40 litres Id imagine. Any thoughts.

Thanks guys
John
 

Lisa_Perry75

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Well John thats the thing. Chemical formulae are just that. Its not just this and that "mixed together" they should be chemically covalently bonded together.

From what the ingredients say I would have thought the phosphorus is covalently bonded with oxygen and the potassium the same. If KH2PO4 was in there surely the only ingredient is KH2PO4? Its a bit like a cake is made with sugar, butter, eggs and flour. Once its cooked it has chemically bonded together and you couldn't call it the same as sugar, butter, eggs and flour it is now chemically different.
 

Lisa_Perry75

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I may be wrong, but then again I'm in the lab all the time and if I pick up a bottle of say epsom salts (MgSO4) I wouldn't expect it to be a mix of dry powders magnesium oxide and dry powder of sulphate.
 

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