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

Andrew Butler

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So @a1Matt & @ian_m I have had a read through what you have said and tried to take it in, I don't fully understand it but I'm not scientifically minded.

If I have both micro and macro APF solutions made up how would you go about combining them?
I believe I need to keep the solution underneath a PH of 6.
I'm unsure quite how the solutions compare in strength to the advice on James' planted tank as APF give you the dosing in tsp not grams and I'm unable to find the conversions for all of the chemicals which voids the advice:
'If you wish to change the amounts of ingredients then as long as the levels aren't changed too much you can leave the amounts of Ascorbic Acid and Potassium Sorbate the same.'

Any advice to make this easy for me would be appreciated and I will try and get things understood a bit better along the way.

After having a chat with Nigel from TNC he says I shouldn't have any problems making an all in one with the Iron being EDTA in the trace elements and I'm unable to find DPTA iron chelate with ease, TNC now only sell it in a ready made formula due to legalities I believe.
 

a1Matt

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If I have both micro and macro APF solutions made up how would you go about combining them?
I believe I need to keep the solution underneath a PH of 6.
I'm unsure quite how the solutions compare in strength

Post #19 of the thread gives details of how I mix it up.

If I was combining existing macro and micro solutions I would do the following:

add the acid and potassium sorbate to the existing micro solution.

Wait for it to dissolve.

Add the macro solution.

Dilute with RO to get to your desired concentration.

Is this enough for you or do you need specific measurements of everything?
If you need more specifics please let us know how many ml you dose of each solution over a week (e.g. 10ml apf macro 3x a week and 10ml apf micro 3 x a week)
 

Andrew Butler

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I will base all of this as if I was using a total of 500ml solution made up by 250ml of both ready mixed APF micro and macro:
Firstly I would take my 250ml Micro and add 0.5g Ascorbic Acid and 0.2g Potassium Sorbate which should be enough and let it dissolve, I could then add the 250ml of Macro and providing my PH doesn't rise above 6 then my mix should be stable.
I assume the quantities of Ascorbic Acid and Potassium Sorbate would be adequate given the micro mix on theplantedtank uses the same amount; 6g.
I can check the PH along the way anyway.

Is this enough for you or do you need specific measurements of everything?
I know I'm coming across as very stupid but I'm unable to find volume to weight conversions for all of the ingredients in APF and as it also uses different ingredients I've no idea if they have a higher PH etc.:facepalm:
APF also recommend using 60ml per 50L over a week (3x 10ml micro & 3x 10ml macro) yet the recipe on theplanted tank says tropica recommend 5ml per 50L once per week so now I'm also unsure of quantities to dose.

I'm beginning to think it would just be easier to buy the ingredients for the recipe on theplantedtank but even then I'm unsure what quantity would bring me inline with EI dosing. :sorry:

Am I just being stupid or are these questions founded? :crazy::crazy::crazy::crazy:
 

Andrew Butler

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Assuming a 50 litre aquarium I add both macros and micros as below:
M 10ml Micro
T 10ml Macro
W 10ml Micro
T 10ml Macro
F 10ml Micro
S 10ml Macro

APF instructions.jpg
 

a1Matt

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We're talking at cross purposes. I am asking how much do you dose in your tank each week. (Not the recommended dosing levels.)
 

Andrew Butler

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I dose the recommended levels so for my 100 litre I dose
M 20ml Micro
T 20ml Macro
W 20ml Micro
T 20ml Macro
F 20ml Micro
S 20ml Macro

Am I doing something wrong by following the recommended dosing?

I can see I'm starting to frustrate you @a1Matt and I'm feeling like quite a fool but unsure why, I'm using different chemicals to what it says in theplantedtank recipe so just unsure how mine compare in concentration and how they might affect PH differently.
 

a1Matt

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I don't think your coming across as stupid at all. I am genuinely sorry if the tone or content of my posts give that impression. If I'm honest I had got frustrated a while back (since then I've reminded myself not to post when in a bad mood), but not at all today.

I have enough specifics from you now that I feel I can give a comprehensive reply.

First off...

I will base all of this as if I was using a total of 500ml solution made up by 250ml of both ready mixed APF micro and macro:
Firstly I would take my 250ml Micro and add 0.5g Ascorbic Acid and 0.2g Potassium Sorbate which should be enough and let it dissolve, I could then add the 250ml of Macro and providing my PH doesn't rise above 6 then my mix should be stable.
I assume the quantities of Ascorbic Acid and Potassium Sorbate would be adequate given the micro mix on theplantedtank uses the same amount; 6g.
I can check the PH along the way anyway.
This sounds perfect. Same as you, I assume the amounts of acid and preservative are good. (More on this further on in this post.) If your APF powders are not yet mixed I recommend using RO to mix them with (not tap).

I dose the recommended levels so for my 100 litre I dose
M 20ml Micro
T 20ml Macro
W 20ml Micro
T 20ml Macro
F 20ml Micro
S 20ml Macro

Am I doing something wrong by following the recommended dosing?

I would keep dosing the recommended levels. 'If it ain't broke dont try to fix it.'

As you dose equal amounts of micro and macro it's easy to calculate allinone dosing amounts.

You could stick with Mon-Sat dosing of 20ml allinone each day.

But, I'd be inclined to spread it out over 7 days. At the same levels that would be 17ml a day.

I'm using different chemicals to what it says in theplantedtank recipe so just unsure how mine compare in concentration and how they might affect PH differently.

I don't know how the concentrations compare between AI / JamesC / APF either.

For the purposes of making an allinone solution I don't see this as anything to worry about though.

I think it is a safe enough bet that the composition and concentrations are not going to be far enough apart to pose any significant difference to the ph

There would be no harm in adding more vitc and potassium sorbate. I often measure in a hurry and have added double of these ingredients before with no issues.

The are cheap enough that you could add double on purpose for peace of mind. I'm not a chemist though... so would be interested for input on this from someone with an education in this area.
 

Andrew Butler

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I don't think your coming across as stupid at all.
I think I am just trying to understand how APF, TNC and James' recipes all compare to themselves and to EI which is probably just a bit too much!
APF giving measurements in tsp instead of grams is making this harder too.

I recommend using RO to mix them
I always use RO/DI when mixing ferts.

But, I'd be inclined to spread it out over 7 days. At the same levels that would be 17ml a day.
That's what I had planned but didn't want to publish that after thinking I was doing something wrong! ;)

I think it is a safe enough bet that the composition and concentrations are not going to be far enough apart to make a major difference.

There would be no harm in adding more vitc and potassium sorbate
I've just learnt not to assume these things so I will probably just do it bit by bit and keep an eye on the PH.

Thanks for your help @a1Matt and sorry for frustrating you! :woot:
 

a1Matt

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I think I am just trying to understand how APF, TNC and James' recipes all compare to themselves and to EI which is probably just a bit too much!
APF giving measurements in tsp instead of grams is making this harder too.

I'm sure your not alone in wanting to compare them.

You probably know this already, but the rotala butterfly calculators include conversions to teaspoons.

Or you could email apf and ask them what the ppms are for their recmended doses (just in case they use a different conversion).
 

Andrew Butler

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you could email apf and ask them what the ppms are for their recmended doses
I've tried that 3 times over the past months now and not had an answer. :rage:

the rotala butterfly calculators include conversions to teaspoons
I did have a look earlier and I could only find Magnesium Sulphate Heptahydrate (MgSO4.7H2O) and I'm still unsure if, or more how it differs from Magnesium Sulphate (MgSO4)
After having another look at things I don't really understand I've found although the molar masses are vastly different with MgSO4 having roughly half that of MgSO4.7H2O, the density seems to be the same but I'm unsure if either of these are meaningful to what I want to know; how much a teaspoon of MgSO4 weighs in grams.

Is there an easy way to look at the rotala butterfly calculator where it would simply show what 1 tsp of Potassium Nitrate (KNO3) weighed in grams or do I need to calculate from the below?
81.96721 litre tank = 1 tsp of KNO3
1 gram = 9/64 tsp (1/8 + 1/64) or 0.140625 as a decimal
64 ÷ 9 = 7.11111111111111
1 ÷ 0.140625 = 7.11111111111111 which would equate to the grams per tsp, I think?!? :crazy::crazy::crazy:

BUT I found the weight of a tsp of KNO3 elsewhere (link below) to be 10.5g which is making me question my maths.
https://www.aqua-calc.com/calculate/volume-to-weight
 

a1Matt

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My understanding is that it is best to use the calculator for mgso4.7h2o because that is the form mgso4 takes as soon as it is exposed to air.

You can get rotala butterfly to tell you what 1tsp of anything is. It's a bit of a fudge though. Ask it to tell you the results of a dry dose and fiddle with the amount of grams your dosing until the result shows 1tsp.

There could well be a better way. Fhey have a shpport forum over on barr report, so you could ask there.
 
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dw1305

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Hi all,
Magnesium Sulphate Heptahydrate (MgSO4.7H2O) and I'm still unsure if, or more how it differs from Magnesium Sulphate (MgSO4)
After having another look at things I don't really understand I've found although the molar masses are vastly different with MgSO4 having roughly half that of MgSO4.7H2O, the density seems to be the same but I'm unsure if either of these are meaningful to what I want to know; how much a teaspoon of MgSO4 weighs in grams.
The reason it gives the heptahydrate on the Rotala butterfly calculator is that it is always MgSO4.7H2O when you use it, whatever you bought it as. (Apologies @a1Matt, I started writing this before I read your post).

There is an explanation of why in <"Dark land...">. The heptahydrate bit is the ".7H2O", the <"water of crystallization">. The density won't change that much, it is only really the <"salts of heavier elements"> that are much denser, but the RMM (Relative Molecular Mass) is important. You have to add the weight of the water 7H2O to the RMM, workings are in the linked thread.

I wouldn't worry to much about the exact amounts, just say a teaspoon volume = 5.5 g weight.

cheers Darrel
 
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I've tried that 3 times over the past months now and not had an answer. :rage:


I did have a look earlier and I could only find Magnesium Sulphate Heptahydrate (MgSO4.7H2O) and I'm still unsure if, or more how it differs from Magnesium Sulphate (MgSO4)
After having another look at things I don't really understand I've found although the molar masses are vastly different with MgSO4 having roughly half that of MgSO4.7H2O, the density seems to be the same but I'm unsure if either of these are meaningful to what I want to know; how much a teaspoon of MgSO4 weighs in grams.

Is there an easy way to look at the rotala butterfly calculator where it would simply show what 1 tsp of Potassium Nitrate (KNO3) weighed in grams or do I need to calculate from the below?
81.96721 litre tank = 1 tsp of KNO3
1 gram = 9/64 tsp (1/8 + 1/64) or 0.140625 as a decimal
64 ÷ 9 = 7.11111111111111
1 ÷ 0.140625 = 7.11111111111111 which would equate to the grams per tsp, I think?!? :crazy::crazy::crazy:

BUT I found the weight of a tsp of KNO3 elsewhere (link below) to be 10.5g which is making me question my maths.
https://www.aqua-calc.com/calculate/volume-to-weight

APF UK's magnesium sulfate is MgSO4.7H2O, not anhydrous MgSO4. I don't think they would bother selling the anhydrous form as it is harder to make (loves to pick up water).

According to rotalabutterfly, 1 TSP of MgSO4.7H2O weighs approximately 5.1g

Hope this helps :)
 

Andrew Butler

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My understanding is that it is best to use the calculator for mgso4.7h2o because that is the form mgso4 takes as soon as it is exposed to air.
it gives the heptahydrate on the Rotala butterfly calculator is that it is always MgSO4.7H2O when you use it, whatever you bought it as
Taken in, thanks for the info. :bookworm:

You can get rotala butterfly to tell you what 1tsp of anything is. It's a bit of a fudge though. Ask it to tell you the results of a dry dose and fiddle with the amount of grams your dosing until the result shows 1tsp
For some reason I went about trying to match the volume to 1g and not per teaspoon :banghead: I did go over my maths and although it is the right formulation the margin for error is caused with fractions of a teaspoon when you multiply them I'm guessing
My maths showed 1 tsp of Potassium Nitrate (KNO3) to weigh 7.11111111111111 yet when I got found the magic number (560L) with the rotala calculator told me it weighed 6.85g.

I wouldn't worry to much about the exact amounts, just say a teaspoon volume = 5.5 g weight.
Hey Darrel,
I tend to make up 5L in one go; with Potassium nitrate weighing 6.85g per teaspoon that would throw my weight out by 54g which I think is quite a bit.
(40tsp @ 6.85g = 274g, 40tsp @ 5.5g = 220g)
Now I know the answers to what each chemical weighs per teaspoon it's easy to calculate. ;)

If anyone else is looking for the answers then:
KNO3 = 6.85g per tsp
KH2PO4 = 5.84g per tsp
MgSO4.7H2O = 5.17g per teaspoon
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Hey Darrel,
I tend to make up 5L in one go; with Potassium nitrate weighing 6.85g per teaspoon that would throw my weight out by 54g which I think is quite a bit.
(40tsp @ 6.85g = 274g, 40tsp @ 5.5g = 220g)
Now I know the answers to what each chemical weighs per teaspoon it's easy to calculate.
You can get the specific densities for the salts from wikipedia, I'd always assume that the salts are in their most hydrated state, but I'l be honest <"I'm a pretty shoddy aquarist">, and I don't tend to weigh out any of the chemicals that I use in the fish-tank. Because I don't use EI (I use the <"Duckweed Index">) exact amounts aren't as important to me.

When I'm at work I use the scientific balances, <"volumetric flasks"> and <"pipettes">, but even then I prefer to work with larger weights and volumes, and use <"serial dilution"> when I need very dilute solutions.

cheers Darrel
 

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Because I don't use EI (I use the <"Duckweed Index">) exact amounts aren't as important to me.
Because EI was designed to not need test kits or need accurate weights to get nutrient dosing sufficient for plants under maximum lighting, the teaspoon is the approved measuring device. Not grams.

Just plonk teaspoons of salts into RO/boiled water, maybe even maximally heaped teaspoons, if you have large plant mass and just dose the required volume of solution. Use either the dosing bottles or medicine cups to measure your dosing solution, doesn't have to be that accurate.
 

X3NiTH

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For powdered Iron DTPA 11% you can get it from PlantedBox for €5.

Is it normal for the mix to give the water a bit of a blurry 'haze' when adding it or is this reacting? There are no white dots appearing.

The haze is an optical effect in the differences of the refractive index of the water and the brine you are adding, which happens at the interface where the two meet, it's a halocline or chemicline depending on how you want to perceive the terminology, it quickly dissipates though as the brine diffuses into the water (which overall will minutely change the refractive index of the water which is why Salty tank owners can use a refractometer to determine salinity).

If it is milky in appearance and not refracting then it is precipitation which again will quickly diffuse into the water.

:)
 

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