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DIY all in one fertiliser solution going cloudy

Rapayich

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9 Oct 2019
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Australia
I have been messing around with making my own all-in-one fertiliser mix over the past few months but can't seem to get it right. In my solutions I am using:

KNO3
KH2PO4
MgSo4
DTPA Iron 11%
Copper sulphate (Unchelated)
Manganese sulphate (Unchelated)
Boric Acid (Unchelated)
Zinc Sulphate (Unchelated)
Sodium Molybdate (Unchelated)
Potassium Sorbate
Ascorbic Acid
RO Water

Before adding the salts I ensure the water has been acidified to about 2.5pH. I also ensure that the macro and micro solutions are fully dissolved before combining. The solution remains clear for about 2 weeks but then goes cloudy. Note that no precipitate can be seen but it definitely goes cloudy throughout the whole solution. Does anyone have suggestions regarding this issue. Maybe the cloudiness is not a problem and is moreso some sort of bacterial buildup? My RO unit is very old but can still produce water around TDS 5. Solutions are kept at room temp and in a dark container away from sunlight.

Cheers!
 

Courtneybst

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Location
London
I'm glad you posted this, the same thing happens to my solution!

D2B11F11-5F91-4367-B01C-71719E6A32B9.jpeg
(New clear batch)

97545B7B-FF42-441B-8CC1-C840FAEB9094.jpeg
(Cloudy batch)

My plants don't appear to be affected as far as I'm aware but I've noticed this. The mixture doesn't smell bad either, does yours?
 

Rapayich

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Thread starter
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Australia
I'm glad you posted this, the same thing happens to my solution!

View attachment 197310
(New clear batch)

View attachment 197311
(Cloudy batch)

My plants don't appear to be affected as far as I'm aware but I've noticed this. The mixture doesn't smell bad either, does yours?
My plants definitely are affected. Growing in inert gravel which likely amplifies the effect with no backup supply of nutrients. I also start to see GDA very quickly when the cloudiness starts (indicating that the phosphate is no longer useable). Havent noticed a bad smell. My solutions also dont get that cloudy, although maybe they would if i left them long enough.
 
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Location
Dorset
I use the first formula on this site and haven’t had it go cloudy. A very old batch did have some sediment once though.


10g Potassium Nitrate
2.3g Monopotassium Phosphate
4.0g Potassium Sulphate
8.0g Magnesium Sulphate Heptahydrate (Epsom Salts)
0.5g E300 Ascorbic Acid
0.2g E202 Potassium Sorbate
6g EDTA Chelated Trace Elements Mix (TNC Trace, CSM+B)
500ml distilled water
 

Zeus.

Fertz Calc Meister
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Yorkshire,UK
Solutions are kept at room temp and in a dark container away from sunlight.
But what's the room temp ? after all you live in a hot country. In the IFC calculator we advise to only make enough DIY fert to last four to six weeks, even if stored in a cool dark place. The other simple option is to keep the excess premade fert in the fridge or freezer, which will/should prevent the issues you are having. If freezing let it fully defrost/melt to room temp and a good shake before taking your 4 to six weeks worth before refreezing ;)
 

Hanuman

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4 Jan 2019
Messages
1,820
Location
Thailand
I have been messing around with making my own all-in-one fertiliser mix over the past few months but can't seem to get it right. In my solutions I am using:

KNO3
KH2PO4
MgSo4
DTPA Iron 11%
Copper sulphate (Unchelated)
Manganese sulphate (Unchelated)
Boric Acid (Unchelated)
Zinc Sulphate (Unchelated)
Sodium Molybdate (Unchelated)
Potassium Sorbate
Ascorbic Acid
RO Water

Before adding the salts I ensure the water has been acidified to about 2.5pH. I also ensure that the macro and micro solutions are fully dissolved before combining. The solution remains clear for about 2 weeks but then goes cloudy. Note that no precipitate can be seen but it definitely goes cloudy throughout the whole solution. Does anyone have suggestions regarding this issue. Maybe the cloudiness is not a problem and is moreso some sort of bacterial buildup? My RO unit is very old but can still produce water around TDS 5. Solutions are kept at room temp and in a dark container away from sunlight.

Cheers!
What is the concentration of all the salts in your solution?
What you are experiencing could be a reaction or as you stated, bacteria/mold developing. I recommend you look at the IFC calculator and check the recommended order in which salts need to be added. Also, as mentionned by Zeus, don't make solution too concentrated. This is DIY not commercial so we can't keep these solutions stable long term. Finally make sure you disinfect your container and anything you use to make your fert. I usually either use boiling water or do a bleach bath to remove as much as possible pathogens.
 

Rapayich

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9 Oct 2019
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Australia
But what's the room temp ? after all you live in a hot country. In the IFC calculator we advise to only make enough DIY fert to last four to six weeks, even if stored in a cool dark place. The other simple option is to keep the excess premade fert in the fridge or freezer, which will/should prevent the issues you are having. If freezing let it fully defrost/melt to room temp and a good shake before taking your 4 to six weeks worth before refreezing ;)
Hasn’t been too hot recently where I am so I don’t think that’s it. I must be missing something in the process of mixing it together. I will check out the IFC calc, yet to do that :)
 

Rapayich

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Thread starter
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What is the concentration of all the salts in your solution?
What you are experiencing could be a reaction or as you stated, bacteria/mold developing. I recommend you look at the IFC calculator and check the recommended order in which salts need to be added. Also, as mentionned by Zeus, don't make solution too concentrated. This is DIY not commercial so we can't keep these solutions stable long term. Finally make sure you disinfect your container and anything you use to make your fert. I usually either use boiling water or do a bleach bath to remove as much as possible pathogens.
Will definitely do that, did not realise there was a special order for the nutrients. Thank you :)

I am interested to know why it is that we can’t make these solutions stable long term? Is it a certain ingredient we can’t get access to or just our equipment and procedures? I have noticed some commercial ferts use citric acid as opposed to ascorbic and some use both. A quick Google suggests citric acid is quite a good chelator. Could this be key in making the solutions viable for longer?

I will also be disinfecting containers from now on. Hopefully this helps.
 

Hanuman

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4 Jan 2019
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Location
Thailand
I am interested to know why it is that we can’t make these solutions stable long term? Is it a certain ingredient we can’t get access to or just our equipment and procedures?
Because we are using weak acids and our environment is nowhere near sterile or at the very least highly disinfected. Also, the salts that we buy are not always the highest grade and can contain contaminants/impurities.
I have noticed some commercial ferts use citric acid as opposed to ascorbic and some use both. A quick Google suggests citric acid is quite a good chelator. Could this be key in making the solutions viable for longer?
Many also use stronger acids like sulfuric acid or others. Commercial producers also add some stabilizers to allow the solution to be kept long term.
 

Rapayich

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I
Because we are using weak acids and our environment is nowhere near sterile or at the very least highly disinfected. Also, the salts that we buy are not always the highest grade and can contain contaminants/impurities.

Many also use stronger acids like sulfuric acid or others. Commercial producers also add some stabilizers to allow the solution to be kept long term.
I see, that makes sense. Especially if the closing is mostly bacterial growth rather than precipitation. Do we know what these stabilisers are?
 

Happi

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15 Jan 2012
Messages
547
Location
UTAH, USA
Ascorbic Acid
have you guys tried without adding the Ascorbic Acid? DTPA Fe alone lower the PH significantly and PH of 5-6 is overall good when making AIO solution. you almost never have to acidify the solution when using DTPA Fe to make AIO solution.

Edit: please see Post #17 and #19
 
Last edited:

Rapayich

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Thread starter
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9 Oct 2019
Messages
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Location
Australia
have you guys tried without adding the Ascorbic Acid? DTPA Fe alone lower the PH significantly and PH of 5-6 is overall good when making AIO solution. you almost never have to acidify the solution when using DTPA Fe to make AIO solution.
I havent tried this Happi. Would the solution be more stable at this higher pH?
 

Happi

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UTAH, USA
I'm glad you posted this, the same thing happens to my solution!

View attachment 197310
(New clear batch)

View attachment 197311
(Cloudy batch)

My plants don't appear to be affected as far as I'm aware but I've noticed this. The mixture doesn't smell bad either, does yours?
the new Batch kind of look cloudy to begin with and whatever caused that cloudiness is just waiting to settle at the bottom eventually. may i ask what chemicals were used here?
 

Courtneybst

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Location
London
the new Batch kind of look cloudy to begin with and whatever caused that cloudiness is just waiting to settle at the bottom eventually. may i ask what chemicals were used here?
1g Ascorbic Acid
0.4g Potassium Sorbate

36g Potassium Nitrate
20g Potassium Phosphate
64g Potassium Sulphate
48g Magnesium Sulphate

8g Chelated Trace
8g DTPA Iron
 

Hanuman

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Location
Thailand
have you guys tried without adding the Ascorbic Acid? DTPA Fe alone lower the PH significantly and PH of 5-6 is overall good when making AIO solution. you almost never have to acidify the solution when using DTPA Fe to make AIO solution.
That is not my experience with Fe DTPA. Quite the opposite in fact according to the testing I did a few years backs. Fe 7% DTPA pushed PH up a good 1 PH up or more and that is why I advise using 11% or higher to minimize the PH increase.
1667697765222.png
 

Happi

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15 Jan 2012
Messages
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Location
UTAH, USA
That is not my experience with Fe DTPA. Quite the opposite in fact according to the testing I did a few years backs. Fe 7% DTPA pushed PH up a good 1 PH up or more and that is why I advise using 11% or higher to minimize the PH increase.
View attachment 197363
I use the DTPA Fe 11% which seems to lower the PH of the solution, if someone else have DTPA Fe 11% please test this and verify it. I do not have 7% DTPA Fe so I cannot verify that one.

Distilled Water
20221105_194453.jpg


Distilled Water + DTPA Fe 11%
20221105_194657.jpg
 
Last edited:

Hanuman

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Location
Thailand
1g Ascorbic Acid
0.4g Potassium Sorbate

36g Potassium Nitrate
20g Potassium Phosphate
64g Potassium Sulphate
48g Magnesium Sulphate

8g Chelated Trace
8g DTPA Iron
Few questions:
1. Does the chelated trace contain Fe already?
2. What is the container size?
3. What is the brand of the chelated traces and Fe?
4. What is the tank volume?

I'm trying to plug your numbers in the IFC calculator to see if anything is off.
 

Hanuman

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Location
Thailand
I use the DTPA Fe 11% which seems to lower the PH of the solution, if someone else have DTPA Fe 11% please test this and verify it. I do not have 7% DTPA Fe so I cannot verify that one.
You are absolutely right. I just did the experiment for the sake of science. Here are the results in video for both 11% and 7%. One brings it up the other down. Done with RO water.

Fe DTPA 7%


Fe DTPA 11%
 
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