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Dry dosing NPK

MichaelJ

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Looks like your on track now, no need to add any more sulphur compounds as the Epsom salts you are using for remineralisation delivers plenty.

:)
Thanks! I am only waiting for the Potassium Sorbate to arrive (hopefully tomorrow), then I will make my first batch. I'll be all "DIY" on ferts and water prep then - except for the tiny bit of Prime I add to my Tap/RO water mix.

Cheers,
Michael
 
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MichaelJ

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Hi All, I finally got around to mixing this:

10 ml disitlled white vinegar
0.3g Potassium Sorbate
20 ml of the trace element mix
270 ml of distilled water (I bought a US gallon at the grocery store - was 89 cents).

I made 2 bottles so far.

I bought 300 ml dispensers on Amazon that dispenses around 0.625 ml per pump (I verified by averaging 3 times 50 ml - and it came out as 80 pumps per 50 ml ) - so with 12 pumps I should get (12 pumps x 0.625 ml x 20/300 ml) = 0.5g of the trace mix. (my two low-tech tanks are 150 Liter densely planted )
I will dose this twice a week - once right after the weekly WC and then mid-week - I could probably do half the dose mid-week, but it probably wont matter either way... it is trace after all.

My only question is - out of curiosity - why is the color like this ? I suppose it's one of the elements or compounds of the trace mix, I just don't know which... its like a very dark red ( not to sound macabre, but its almost like blood!) - is that due to the chelated iron perhaps?

fertilizer.jpg




I am very excited about finally making my own trace fertilizer (well, not quite my own, but close enough for me :) ). Thanks for all the help and insights!

Cheers,
Michael
 
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X3NiTH

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Iron EDTA usually isn’t this red in colour but Iron EDDHA is so it may be present in the blend even though only Iron EDTA is noted in the analysis (unless they have stated the wrong chelate). If your water goes pink tinged when this is dosed you can be pretty sure it’s Fe EDDHA, it’s not a problem for nutrition (it’s a strong chelate good up to pH9) but can be for aesthetics if you don’t like the pink tint, the reduction in tint though over time can give an indication as to the availability of Iron remaining in the water.

:)
 

MichaelJ

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Iron EDTA usually isn’t this red in colour but Iron EDDHA is so it may be present in the blend even though only Iron EDTA is noted in the analysis (unless they have stated the wrong chelate). If your water goes pink tinged when this is dosed you can be pretty sure it’s Fe EDDHA, it’s not a problem for nutrition (it’s a strong chelate good up to pH9) but can be for aesthetics if you don’t like the pink tint, the reduction in tint though over time can give an indication as to the availability of Iron remaining in the water.

:)
Hi @X3NiTH , Thanks for the reply. Yes, I dosed it yesterday in one tank per my prescription above. During the dosing it did turn slightly red/pink for a brief moment in the areas where I dosed, but it quickly went away when the fertilizer got thoroughly mixed up in the tank water. I will keep an eye out for this.

EDIT: I wrote the company to ask for further details.

Cheers,
Michael
 
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MichaelJ

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Back to the NPK part, I am trying to figure out how much Phosphate (ppm) I get from this in 50 Liters of water if dosing 1g ? My math says ~40 ppm ? does that make sense?

Cheers,
Michael
 

Zeus.

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Back to the NPK part, I am trying to figure out how much Phosphate (ppm) I get from this in 50 Liters of water if dosing 1g ? My math says ~40 ppm ? does that make sense?

Cheers,
Michael
1626372807869.png

Ignore the solubility as dry dosing
 

MichaelJ

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Ok, so this is going to be my NPK and remineralization dosing for my weekly 40-50% WC RO/Tap mix. (Note that my tap-water is softened with potassium salt and GH comes out at "0" and my RO/Tap mix yields around 2-3 KH).

Mg(NO3)2.6H2O (1.315g per 50L)
Elementppm/degree
Mg2.49
NO312.73
N2.88
dGH0.58

MgSO4.7H2O (2.631g per 50L)
Elementppm/degree
Mg5.19
S6.85
dGH1.2

CaCl2.2H2O (4.6g per 50L)
Elementppm/degree
Ca25.11
Cl44.42
dGH3.56

KH2PO4 (1.315g per 50L)
Elementppm/degree
PO418.37
P5.99
K7.56

(I am prepping in 5 US Gallon buckets, hence the weird grams per 50L... for my 5 gallon buckets its more manageable weights for my mg scale: 0.5g Mg(NO3)2.6H2O, 1.0g MgSO4.7H2O, 1.75g CaCl2.2H2O and 0.5g KH2PO4).

I am dialing down my NO3 and PO4 dosing a bit as an experiment (currently my tanks NO3 is about 40ppm and PO4 estimated 30-40ppm - hard to measure), so with my small mid-week NO3/PO4 dosing I should end up around 20ppm for NO3 and 30ppm for PO4. K is going to be sky high due to my Potassium salt softened water, but that should be fine - as its been for the past 5 months now.

Let me know If anything looks strange :)

Again, thanks to all for the help.

Cheers,
Michael
 
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MichaelJ

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Erm, PO4 target for EI is around 2-3ppm?
@Wookii Yes, sure it is - and I will probably be fine reducing the KH2PO4 dosing by 1/10th... However, I have been running my tanks at elevated NPK levels for a long time now and have yet to see an inkling of drawbacks from this approach other than wasting money on expensive commercial aquatic fertilizers... at least until now. In the past, I have been using super elevated PO4 levels to completely get rid of GSA and hair algae outbreaks. And low levels of NO3 seems to encourage BGA and possibly BBA... It appears to be a controversial topic for sure - I am not knowledgeable enough about algae organisms (or plants for that matter...) to explain how or why this thermonuclear approach to NPK dosing works for me, except for my personal experience.

Cheers,
Michael
 
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MichaelJ

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View attachment 171959
Like @Wookii said PO4 a little high, plus K is a little low IMO
View attachment 171960

@Zeus. Thanks for the chart! The K of my Potassium Chloride softened tap-water is probably somewhere around 160 ppm, so after being diluted with the RO water (65% RO / 35% TAP) it's around 60 ppm - that's high.

My two tanks are densely planted and somewhat lightly stocked, but of course, I have to consider how much PO4/NO3 I get from fish/plant waste breakdown, the tap water etc. and what the uptake is... I do not know, but I suppose thats the whole point with EI - to making sure nutritions are plentiful.

Cheers,
Michael
 
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Wookii

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@Wookii Yes, sure it is - and I will probably be fine reducing the KH2PO4 dosing by 1/10th... However, I have been running my tanks at elevated NPK levels for a long time now and have yet to see an inkling of drawbacks from this approach other than wasting money on expensive commercial aquatic fertilizers... at least until now. In the past, I have been using super elevated PO4 levels to completely get rid of GSA and hair algae outbreaks. And low levels of NO3 seems to encourage BGA and possibly BBA... It appears to be a controversial topic for sure - I am not knowledgeable enough about algae organisms (or plants for that matter...) to explain how or why this thermonuclear approach to NPK dosing works for me, except for my personal experience.

Cheers,
Michael

That’s fine, if it’s intentional, test away by all means - I only highlighted it as it looked like a decimal point error initially 👍🏻
 

Zeus.

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@Zeus. Thanks for the chart! The K of my Potassium Chloride softened tap-water is probably somewhere around 160 ppm, so after being diluted with the RO water (65% RO / 35% TAP) it's around 60 ppm - that's high.

My two tanks are densely planted and somewhat lightly stocked, but of course, I have to consider how much PO4/NO3 I get from fish/plant waste breakdown, the tap water etc. and what the uptake is... I do not know, but I suppose thats the whole point with EI - to making sure nutritions are plentiful.

Cheers,
Michael
All that matters is are the livestock/plants heathy. Yes you are correct EI is about having nutrients in abundance and regular water changes plus no testing of parameters. With experience all the calculations are not needed which is why @ceg4048 hates them so much as see them as a waste of time and effort. With time I do find myself agreeing with him on that point and have become a little more slapdash with my weighing of salts. Did enjoy doing the fert calculator all the same, still have plans to develop it some more as I do find it helpful myself being able to compare commercial ferts and clone them as well.
 

MichaelJ

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That’s fine, if it’s intentional, test away by all means - I only highlighted it as it looked like a decimal point error initially 👍🏻

Hi @Wookii , Thanks for checking and the feedback - always appreciated!

btw. I just prepped 3 5 US Gallon buckets and the ppm's totally adds up within about 10 ppm among the 3 buckets, so I think I got the dosing right :)

Cheers,
Michael
 

MichaelJ

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All that matters is are the livestock/plants heathy.
Very true.

Yes you are correct EI is about having nutrients in abundance and regular water changes plus no testing of parameters. With experience all the calculations are not needed which is why @ceg4048 hates them so much as see them as a waste of time and effort. With time I do find myself agreeing with him on that point and have become a little more slapdash with my weighing of salts.
Well, mixing ferts like this myself is all new to me... when I get the sense of what amount to a gram of this and half a gram of that etc. I will be way more cavalier with my dosing and measuring as well I am sure... I just need to get the practice. I'll bet @ceg4048 can probably dry dose ferts from unlabelled containers in his sleep and still get it right anyway :lol:
Did enjoy doing the fert calculator all the same, still have plans to develop it some more as I do find it helpful myself being able to compare commercial ferts and clone them as well.
Yes, that fert calculator is very nice (have you ever considered re-writing it in JavaScript so it can run in a browser?).

Anyway, I have found this simple step very enjoyful - would not have happened without the help from the people on this forum - and I will save some real money as well. Yay!

Cheers,
Michael
 
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ceg4048

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All that matters is are the livestock/plants heathy. Yes you are correct EI is about having nutrients in abundance and regular water changes plus no testing of parameters. With experience all the calculations are not needed which is why @ceg4048 hates them so much as see them as a waste of time and effort. With time I do find myself agreeing with him on that point and have become a little more slapdash with my weighing of salts. Did enjoy doing the fert calculator all the same, still have plans to develop it some more as I do find it helpful myself being able to compare commercial ferts and clone them as well.
Hi Karl,
Yeah, glad you're finally getting around to realizing that all these tedious calculations don't really get you any farther than just being sloppy. I mean, that's what the guy who invented EI was trying to tell people all along. Certainly, you and others such as X3nith deserve massive props for the effort in processing all that data, and for sure many folks will find it useful. I know that many people have trouble getting their heads wrapped around it - but that's because deep down, in their "world view" they see "medicine" when they see nutrients, whereas I see....food. To me, organizing fertilizer dosing methods around spreadsheets is like weighing your hamburger or fish&chips and recording the data every time you have lunch. Who cares if you eat 50 grams of protein versus 75 grams? Does anyone measure the amount of milk in their tea or the number of grams of table salt thrown over their veggies? The basic calculations have already been done years ago. Everything that follows is a simple ratio based on the reference 20G tank. What I especially dislike is that it hypnotizes people to think in terms of target numbers. Entire religions are spawned around these numbers, just like in the religion of test kits.
Well, mixing ferts like this myself is all new to me... when I get the sense of what amount to a gram of this and half a gram of that etc. I will be way more cavalier with my dosing and measuring as well I am sure... I just need to get the practice. I'll bet @ceg4048 can probably dry dose ferts from unlabelled containers in his sleep and still get it right anyway :lol:
Well, I never prepare the nutrient solutions. Once your tank size exceeds 50 gallons or so it's just inefficient, so it's easier to use a teaspoon and throw each powder directly in the tank. Before these products became widely available I'd have to get 25 kilo bags of this stuff, buying at the same suppliers that the farmers get their goods... I know what each looks and smells like and I know more or less how many teaspoons of each are dumped into the tank. It becomes second nature because you're doing it three or five times a week. I never worry about overdoing the dosing - only worry about under dosing, but the plants will tell you if you get it wrong.

Cheers,
 

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