dosing a low tech tank on a 'Thames Water' supply with an allinone solution

Andrew Butler

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I'm just wondering if I could use the aquarium plant food EI recipe/instructions but put it all in one container then add in ascorbic acid and potassium sorbate?
Then dose that every day in a high tech aquarium.
I don't understand the science behind the different chemicals so hopefully someone who does can check it over for me. :sorry:
 

a1Matt

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Yes, that will work fine.

Just be sure to add the ascorbic acid and potassium sorbate and let it dissolve before you mix together the micros and macros.
 

Cheltster

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I've got probably half the ferts required for this. I live in a Thames Water area as well so I might get the rest and give it a try.

What results have people had using this?
 

Mihai Varban

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Oh look at all the Thames Water people here! We should seriously grab a pint and discuss this. I have so many questions that might not benefit the community. But still:
1. Dosed potassium and all my amanos stopped eating. Why?
2. Can't get rid of GSA?
3. Nitrates out of the tap are around 50. What to do?
4. Can someone help interpret the water analysis to tell if it already contains certain elements we might be dosing?
5. How do we calculate to see what elements come from substrate systems, from root tabs, from regular tap water and from ferts to decide what is a waste of time to dose?
6. In a war between hairgrass and s repens who wins?
7. Where do I source some dry ferts?
8. Last but not least: How the hell does liquid co2 actually work?
Hell I got more questions! Pub?
 

ian_m

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2. Can't get rid of GSA?
http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/algae.htm

3. Nitrates out of the tap are around 50. What to do?
According to drinking water inspectorate Thames water is average 20ppm nitrate, a low of 7ppm and maximum recorded of 41ppm depending on your area. The EU maximum is 50ppm. Nitrates are good anyway for plants, though you should always ignore your water report and dose sufficient nitrate fertiliser anyway, as the water companies report is for their test point on a particular day and not your tap water today.

4. Can someone help interpret the water analysis to tell if it already contains certain elements we might be dosing?
Ignore your water report, that is for the companies test point on a particular day, not your tap water today. There generally, in UK, is nothing harmful in tap water to fish or plants OTHER than chlorine or chloramine so you must use a good dechlorinator eg Prime. No need to read or understand a water analysis.

5. How do we calculate to see what elements come from substrate systems, from root tabs, from regular tap water and from ferts to decide what is a waste of time to dose?
You don't calculate at all. You just dose EI dosing amounts (if using CO2 and high light) and that guarantees your plants will have enough nutrients, regardless of whatever else is dumped in the water from your substrate. Excess fertiliser in the amounts we are dosing is no issue to fish health. You need to be in 1000's ppm (factor of x100 greater than EI) before it becomes a problem.

7. Where do I source some dry ferts?
I find this thing called Google really handy when I want to find out where to buy things. :D
http://www.aquariumplantfood.co.uk/fertilisers/dry-chemicals/starter-kits/ei-starter-kit.html

8. Last but not least: How the hell does liquid co2 actually work?
Liquid carbon is based around glutaraldehyde and variations of. It certainly provides a carbon source to plants and is a very effective algaecide as well. It works by being absorbed by the plants and glutaraldehyde as being similar to intermediates in the plants CO2 to sugar cycle, being used in this process. It is however far a less concentrated source of carbon than CO2 gas injection, thus is not really a full replacement for CO2 gas. At the levels required, of liquid carbon, to be equivalent to CO2 gas it will be toxic to fish and plants.
 

Cheltster

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Oh look at all the Thames Water people here! We should seriously grab a pint and discuss this. I have so many questions that might not benefit the community.
Hell I got more questions! Pub?
I'd be totally up to meet up and discuss our tanks. I've really got back into this hobby recently. I could even bring some emersed growth rotala and ludwigia.
 

Mihai Varban

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I'd be totally up to meet up and discuss our tanks. I've really got back into this hobby recently. I could even bring some emersed growth rotala and ludwigia.
Sweet! I'll bring a bag of frogbit and bladder snails. Message me or something.
 

Akmaliano

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I find this thing called Google really handy when I want to find out where to buy things. :D
http://www.aquariumplantfood.co.uk/fertilisers/dry-chemicals/starter-kits/ei-starter-kit.html
Ian - I also started off with the APF dry ferts and am still using them, particulalry the macros. However as we can see from threads like this one, their chelated micros turn out to be pretty much useless for most of customers in the SE England (not sure about other parts of UK) given all these problems with the hard/alcaline water since their chelate is EDTA. It often takes months if not years for hobbyists to realise - through proactive research! - that the chelates that they've been dosing was for nothing. Same happened to me and now I'm having to dose extra Fe DTPA as well as Mg due to its lack in our water (and in APF ferts for that matter).
 

ian_m

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I am in South of England (22' Clark rock/water) and not had any issues with the micros in last 6 years. You would of thought lack of iron would show with my plants by now.

Below is the "standard" chelating vs pH.
grafik2-300x275.jpg

I know the mixed micro solution is acidic, I pH tested a mixed micro solution and it was around 5 pH.

As for tank water, never measured pH but most people, even with hard water, who inject CO2 will find tank pH about 7-8 dropping to 6-7 with 30ppm CO2, so still perfectly fine for EDTA.

Yes creating your own dosing (non EI) without magnesium is a very common failure seen here, especially as most of UK water does not contain Mg in water and even more especially as Magnesium Sulphate is the cheapest ingredient in EI dosing.
 

Andrew Butler

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Does someone with the knowledge fancy putting some info down on how to create an all in one I can dose daily for a high tech tank with Thames water also exactly what to source and from where.
I've been using APF EI micro/macro but would like an all in one that can be dosed daily so I can just let my doses get on with things.
 

ian_m

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This is the definitive page for making your own all in one ferts.
http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/allinone.htm

All ingredients are required they are not optional, many people have nutrient issues because they skimp on distilled (or RO) water or decide to leave out the ascorbic acid and/or potassium sorbate.

Some people do report seeing cloudiness when dosing large amounts of all in one into hard water (they have a large tank). This is thought to be the iron reacting with potassium phosphate and precipitating out as insoluble iron phosphate, which is then unavailable to plants. They either increase the dose or revert to dosing macros and micros on alternate days as per standard EI.

I dose micro into very hard water and have never seen any precipitate or suffer any plant iron deficiencies.
 

a1Matt

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Thanks Ian. Especially for your comments on Magnesium, I bet a Magnesium shortage trips a lot of people up.

I just want to clarify a couple of points.
Some people do report seeing cloudiness when dosing large amounts of all in one into hard water (they have a large tank). This is thought to be the iron reacting with potassium phosphate and precipitating out as insoluble iron phosphate, which is then unavailable to plants. They either increase the dose or revert to dosing macros and micros on alternate days as per standard EI.
I have seen this cloudiness in my own tank (180litre low tech) and it was resolved by reducing phosphate levels, as detailed in the first post of the thread.

As for tank water, never measured pH but most people, even with hard water, who inject CO2 will find tank pH about 7-8 dropping to 6-7 with 30ppm CO2, so still perfectly fine for EDTA.
Agreed. That's why this thread is titled 'dosing a low tech tank', where in my experience iron shortages with EDTA are more likely.

Having said that, even if everything is growing well, there is no harm IMO in spending a fiver on some iron chelated with DTPA and seeing if you get an improvement regardless of low/high tech or dosing strategy. Like a nice cherry on top of the cake.

Does someone with the knowledge fancy putting some info down on how to create an all in one I can dose daily for a high tech tank with Thames water also exactly what to source and from where.
I've been using APF EI micro/macro but would like an all in one that can be dosed daily so I can just let my doses get on with things.
Allinone recipes for high tech are the same, the only change is you are likely to be dosing more.

As myself and Ian have said JamesC's site is the definitive guide. Think of this thread as just my opinion on the addition of extra Mg and FeDTPA for low tech hard water tanks.

I just get my ferts from ebay or sponsors. If your unsure, post up what you find and someone will comment on its suitability. JamesC site has sources too.

If you have any more specific questions post them up and I'll help if I can.
 

Andrew Butler

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I dose micro into very hard water and have never seen any precipitate or suffer any plant iron deficiencies
Hi Ian,
Do you run high tech/dose higher amounts than in James' info?

I recall @a1Matt saying he was unable to source one of the products which is partly what made me put the question out.

I guess I should try and tidy things up in one and get an answer for the uneducated (me!)
which mix is the best and for what reason?

The differences I see between mix 1, 2 and 3 are:
mix 1 has more Sulphur in than 2 and 3
mix 3 has more Potassium in than 1 and 2

I'm unsure of the values of James' PMDD+PO4 formula, quite how they relate to the Tropica mix and whether this would be better for us with hard water.

Which mix is the best out of these and what is it advisable to add in our water area?
Do these mixes relate to EI calculations in any way?

If I am to use APF EI micro/macro combined with the addition of ascorbic acid and potassium sorbate should I add some DTPA Iron as APF use EDTA Iron.

I'm just a little lost and wonder which is the best mix for our area; if and how it should be adjusted also.
 

a1Matt

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Your choice as to what mix to use.

If I was in your shoes I'd stick with the APF mix. That's assuming it is working for you.
Just add the ro, vit c, pot. Sorbate, micros and macros to water. Observe mixing instructions given earlier to avoid precipitation in the bottle.

You could add DTPA and extra Mg or not. Entirely up to you.

In a high tech I would try 3 weeks emulating your current APF dosage. Then make a tweak every three weeks and document how it goes.

If you go with one of JamesC recipes then I recommend diy tpn 3. Ingredients for that are easily available.

I would avoid any JamesC recipes with ammonia unless you have specifically researched it and understand the implications to livestock (there is a wealth of info on UKAPS already about it if you want to read up).
 
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ian_m

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Do you run high tech/dose higher amounts than in James' info?
I dose about 1 1/2 EI dosing levels as my tank is rather full of plants. I dose automatically (3pm) macro and micro on alternate days.

I wouldn't worry about DPTA etc, just wasting worries as far as I am concerned. Never seen any reports of lack of iron when dosing DPTA. Though if it will cure your worries, just add EDTA iron (or other chelates), shouldn't be an issue, apart from wallet thinning. The chelates are really only there to allow a solution to be made, as often the micronutrient salts are not that soluble. In the tank most chelated micronutrients will quickly break down and the micronutrient salts stay in solution and available to plants anyway. Iron is the only exception reacting with phosphate in higher pH solutions, though some people have dosed for years just straight mixing macros and micros in same container not realising they might react and their plants grow fine and can't understand what all the fuss about alternate dosing is all about.

Concentrate your worries on the biggest issues high tech people have, which is CO2 levels and distribution. Poor levels and poor flow (for your light levels and ferts) and probably responsible for 99% of plant (and algae) issues we see here.

Plant deficiencies are only really seen here by people who roll their own ferts (and normally under dose as well) and don't dose EI. Most common plant deficiency seen here is "mechanical issues" with plants due to lack of carbon source, followed by lack of magnesium, "cos I read my water report" and don't need to dose magnesium :banghead: and finally, very rarely,lack of iron, usually as generally not dosing any iron at all.
 

Andrew Butler

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Thanks @a1Matt and @ian_m I just wanted to have half an understanding of what I'm doing so will look over things.
I'm re-scaping soon and changing spraybars for lily pipes; risky I know but really want built in skimmer so flow could then become an issue but it works for many so maybe it will for me! :crazy:
 
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