• You are viewing the forum as a Guest, please login (you can use your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Microsoft account to login) or register using this link: Log in or Sign Up
  • You can now follow UKAPS on Instagram.

EI dosing; all in one - why not?

Andrew Butler

Member
Joined
1 Feb 2016
Messages
1,782
Location
Banbury, Oxfordshire
I know questions and answers around this are out there but I've been unable to have things explained to me in simple terms or found an answer as to why people don't combine EI dosing into one solution if it's possible.

I thought it best to start a separate thread to try and understand it instead of clog more of @a1Matt thread which is only part relevant but thanks for your help and patience so far matt.
https://ukaps.org/forum/threads/dos...water-supply-with-an-allinone-solution.52972/

My question is simple as the thread says EI dosing; all in one and if not why not?

I understand Phosphate (PO4) reacts with iron (Fe) and this is the main reason for not having an all in one EI solution but if we can overcome this problem by simply reducing the PH of the fertiliser then why not use an all in one solution?

If I am to use pre mixed trace elements such as the ones from APF that contains EDTA Fe, will this react with the PO4 regardless of the PH when I add it to the aquarium?

Does the PO4:Fe reaction make just the Fe or both the Fe and PO4 unavailable if it does react?

If I am to use a stronger Fe such as DTPA along with the pre mixed trace containing EDTA Fe will this overcome the problem alone or would I need to make my own mix of chelate trace elements? - I understand part of this depends on the above question.

Why can companies such as Tropica, TMC etc make an all in one fertiliser if I can't?

Lots of questions I know but hopefully someone can give me some answers in a way that I will understand; the second part probably the hardest here! :what:

You may question why do I want an all in one mix and the answer is simple in my opinion; I need to leave myself a little flexible so if I'm unable to do a water change every 7 days then it isn't so critical. With an all in one solution I can leave my doser on a daily dose without too much worry and if I want to do a water change on day 6 or day 9 then it's not the end of the world so much.

James' planted tank link which I know many look to but doesn't explain things to me.
http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/allinone.htm
 

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
11,935
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
Does the PO4:Fe reaction make just the Fe or both the Fe and PO4 unavailable if it does react?
Both Fe+++ and PO4---, you get insoluble iron III phosphate complexes formed.
If I am to use a stronger Fe such as DTPA along with the pre mixed trace containing EDTA Fe will this overcome the problem alone or would I need to make my own mix of chelate trace elements?
If you want to make your own trace element chelate mix you need to start with di-sodium EDTA etc. ((HOOCCH₂)₂NCH=₂CH₂N(CH₂COONa)₂•2H₂O)), iron is the most strongly bound element, so once you have FeEDTA/DTPA etc. they won't swap that iron for any other cation, it is the most strongly bound element.
if we can overcome this problem by simply reducing the PH of the fertiliser then why not use an all in one solution?
You can. You need to keep the "All in one" solution in the dark (or in a brown glass bottle) to avoid photo-degradation of the chelate.
If I am to use pre mixed trace elements such as the ones from APF that contains EDTA Fe, will this react with the PO4 regardless of the PH when I add it to the aquarium?
The water hardness (pH) issue in the tank has more to do with the calcium (Ca++), hydroxide (OH-) and bicarbonate (HCO3-) ions. These form a variety of insoluble compounds with both Fe+++ and PO4--- ions.

cheers Darrel
 

Andrew Butler

Member
Thread starter
Joined
1 Feb 2016
Messages
1,782
Location
Banbury, Oxfordshire
Thanks for the input but I'll be honest with you Darrel not a lot of that was simple terms in my book; I'm more looking for yes/no answers to be truthful and I'm sure I can't be alone in this.

Both Fe+++ and PO4---, you get insoluble iron III phosphate complexes formed
From what I understand you are saying here both the iron and phosphate join to become iron phosphate so both become essentially useless.

If you want to make your own trace element chelate mix you need to start with di-sodium EDTA etc. ((HOOCCH₂)₂NCH=₂CH₂N(CH₂COONa)₂•2H₂O)), iron is the most strongly bound element, so once you have FeEDTA/DTPA etc. they won't swap that iron for any other cation, it is the most strongly bound element.
Are you saying even if I reduce the PH of my all in one that my pre mixed chelate elements containing EDTA Fe will be of no use and I would need to either create my own or source one containing DTPA Fe or maybe even neither are any good?

You can. You need to keep the "All in one" solution in the dark (or in a brown glass bottle) to avoid photo-degradation of the chelate
Are you saying here that using an all in one EI mix that combines both my macro and micro (made from pre mixed containing EDTA Fe) along with ascorbic acid and Potassium sorbate is without it's problems providing it is kept in a dark place and the PH is below 6?

The water hardness (pH) issue in the tank has more to do with the calcium (Ca++), hydroxide (OH-) and bicarbonate (HCO3-) ions. These form a variety of insoluble compounds with both Fe+++ and PO4--- ions.
Is this something that can be controlled or I can do anything about?

I'm not too proud to say I don't understand. :(
 

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
11,935
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
both the iron and phosphate join to become iron phosphate so both become essentially useless.
Yes.
Are you saying even if I reduce the PH of my all in one that my pre mixed chelate elements containing EDTA Fe will be of no use and I would need to either create my own or source one containing DTPA Fe or maybe even neither are any good?
No. It will be fine. You can mix FeDTPA and FeEDTA.
Are you saying here that using an all in one EI mix that combines both my macro and micro (made from pre mixed containing EDTA Fe) along with ascorbic acid and Potassium sorbate is without it's problems providing it is kept in a dark place and the PH is below 6?
Yes.
Is this something that can be controlled or I can do anything about?
You can't really so anything about it. If use <"another chelator">, rather than FeEDTA, iron will be plant available at higher pH levels.

However plants don't need much iron, so a little is normally enough. I'd start with FeEDTA and then use the <"Duckweed Index"> to tell you whether you are supplying sufficient iron. It is much easier looking at the plant response, rather than trying to guess what is going to happen or using test kits etc. The plants don't lie. A floating plant just takes CO2 deficiency out of the equation.

Have a look at the pictures in <"Duckweed Index says ...">. This is iron deficient Amazon Frogbit. It is the new leaves that are pale, all the other deficiencies that cause chlorosis effect older leaves first.

dad12186cb152cccee11028dc11c34f4.jpg


cheers Darrel
 
Joined
27 Oct 2009
Messages
2,925
Location
Cumbria
Why can companies such as Tropica, TMC etc make an all in one fertiliser if I can't?

I'm wondering if the reason might be that in most if not all all-in-one solutions the N and P are far lower than the solutions we tend to mix up when doing EI premixed. I also notice that in TNC Complete they use FeEDTA. The fluid is green in TNC and brown in Tropica Premium and Green in Tropica Specialised. Says on James planted tank "Most chelated trace mixes on the market contain Fe-EDTA and are brown in colour. This is because the type of iron used is ferric iron. Ferrous iron compounds tend to be green in colour. When making up the 'All In One' solution you may see that the solution turns green in colour over a period of a few hours. This is because ascorbic acid is able to reduce the ferric Fe-EDTA to ferrous Fe-EDTA. This is quite normal and nothing to worry about. In fact it might be of benefit as plants prefer ferrous iron to ferric iron."

So can the iron convert in the aquarium @dw1305 ? In so far as if the iron is in the water column and the water turns acidic it becomes accessible again or once it reacts with the phosphate that's it done? Just wondering of Andy's water drops below PH through injecting. To be fair though, my experience of EI dosing the values are way higher then needed so maybe PO4 could be reduced by a fair amount to prevent hitting excess levels that will react.
 

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
11,935
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
"Most chelated trace mixes on the market contain Fe-EDTA and are brown in colour. This is because the type of iron used is ferric iron. Ferrous iron compounds tend to be green in colour. When making up the 'All In One' solution you may see that the solution turns green in colour over a period of a few hours. This is because ascorbic acid is able to reduce the ferric Fe-EDTA to ferrous Fe-EDTA. This is quite normal and nothing to worry about.....
I think that is right.
So can the iron convert in the aquarium @dw1305 ? In so far as if the iron is in the water column and the water turns acidic it becomes accessible again or once it reacts with the phosphate that's it done?
It is a bit of both. In oxygenated conditions it will form iron oxides/iron III hydroxides, these are insoluble, whatever the pH is. This is how you get <"lateritic"> and <"podzol"> soils formed over millenia.

In the substrate you can get reducing conditions, under which the iron will become available again as ferrous (Fe++) ions. For this iron to be plant available we really need the Fe++ ions to be in the fluctuating zones of REDOX around the root rhizosphere, where uptake may be dependent on the interaction between the plant and the substrate microbiota.

The iron chelating compounds secreted by microbes (and some plants) are called <"siderophores">.

This is from <"Chapter 4 Iron Dynamics in the Rhizosphere">
.......In cultivated soils, soil solution iron is mostly oxidized [Fe(III) species] unless local anoxic conditions develop. The concentration of these Fe(III) species is small in soil solution due to the low solubility of ferric oxides, oxyhydroxides, and hydroxides, which is minimal at neutral and alkaline pH. In the rhizosphere, iron concentration in the soil solution is even lower because of its uptake by aerobic organisms (plants and microorganisms), leading to a high level of competition for Fe(III). In order to face iron competition, these organisms have evolved active uptake strategies based on acidification, chelation, and/or reduction processes. Iron competition plays a major role in microbial and plant–microbe interactions in the rhizosphere...."
cheers Darrel
 

Konsa

Member
Joined
20 Nov 2010
Messages
775
Location
Lostock Hall
Hi all
Great thread which I follow with interest as my water is moderately hard with PH arround 7.8 and between batches of mixed solutions I tend to do a crap one that is clearly showing Fe and PO4 deficiencies in my plants.Using cooled ,boiled tap water to do mixes.This is both with all in one and separate macro micro solutions.Most of the time even using
ascorbic acid and Potassium sorbate and kept in the dark the green colour of the all in one reverts to brown with time (few weeks)
What is that telling me?
Regards Konsa
 

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
11,935
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
kept in the dark the green colour of the all in one reverts to brown with time (few weeks)
The iron is changing from ferrous (Fe++) to ferric (Fe+++), possibly because the storage bottle isn't air tight?

cheers Darrel
 

Konsa

Member
Joined
20 Nov 2010
Messages
775
Location
Lostock Hall
Hi
Thanks Darrel.I thought that is what is happening.What I was meant to ask was if that reverting is occurring does that mean that the the effect of the acid lowering the PH to keep the solution stable is done and the elements have started or may start to react with each other
Regards Konsa
 

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
11,935
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
What I was meant to ask was if that reverting is occurring does that mean that the the effect of the acid lowering the PH to keep the solution stable is done and the elements have started or may start to react with each other
I really don't know, I'd try adding some more acid and see what happens, the "White Vinegar" they sell for cleaning would do (as the acid).

cheers Darrel
 

a1Matt

Member
Joined
10 Mar 2008
Messages
2,489
Location
Bromley
Hi all
Great thread which I follow with interest as my water is moderately hard with PH arround 7.8 and between batches of mixed solutions I tend to do a crap one that is clearly showing Fe and PO4 deficiencies in my plants.Using cooled ,boiled tap water to do mixes.This is both with all in one and separate macro micro solutions.Most of the time even using
ascorbic acid and Potassium sorbate and kept in the dark the green colour of the all in one reverts to brown with time (few weeks)
What is that telling me?
Regards Konsa
I find I have better results if I use RO instead of tap. (It's very cheap to buy just a litre or two from the LFS.)
 
Joined
27 Oct 2009
Messages
2,925
Location
Cumbria
Thanks Darrel.I thought that is what is happening.What I was meant to ask was if that reverting is occurring does that mean that the the effect of the acid lowering the PH to keep the solution stable is done and the elements have started or may start to react with each other

Hi Konsa, I tend to mix my traces with rainwater. My tapwater is extremely soft but if I'm to believe my tapwater report and test kits it's also quite heavy in PO4 so I use rain so the PO4 doesn't react with the Iron. I do get a little bit something floating about in the bottle like a fungus now and again so could be worth while still adding the potassium sorbate and citric acid even to a rainwater mix. Perhaps your water is that hard that the citric acid is gassing off every time you open the bottle until eventually the PH has risen above 7 and your mix is converting back to Ferrous maybe?

Maybe that's why Tropica spec is brown as it has no N and P so no need to acidify it?

Coming back to Andrews Dilemma, Have you just got a single output auto doser?

I'm unable to do a water change every 7 days then it isn't so critical. With an all in one solution I can leave my doser on a daily dose without too much worry and if I want to do a water change on day 6 or day 9 then it's not the end of the world so much.

I don't think it would be the end of the world anyway mate. Even at Full EI mixes, if you were to set the doser up to dose every day aiming for say 3ppm of nitrate per day all you’re going to throw in is an extra 6ppm. You could either negate this by changing a bit more water when you have time or set the autodoser to run a bit leaner. Just keep another bottle separately so if you think you need a boost because your on top of your ritual chuck a bit more in. The 50% once a week isn't cast in stone anyway, its just like the 30ppm co2 and 30ppm per week Nitrate, would be nice but I don't think the plants care that much. EI based on plants using up a max of 2/3 ppm per day, they won't care how that's served up I guess. Like I said, I find EI is probably a bit much for most tanks anyway.
 

Daveslaney

Member
Joined
21 May 2016
Messages
824
Location
Nottinghamshire
If you are dosing both micro and macro daily instead of every other day you would need to half your EI mix anyways?.
I dose micro and macros daily but mix in separate bottles. Dose micro first thing in the morning then macro at lights on when PH is lowest. Never have problems with participation in the tank.
If you dose EI levels every other day to be quite honest I would very much doubt that there would not be some micro or macro left in the tank water the day after anyways? So both are still mixed in your tank.
 
Joined
27 Oct 2009
Messages
2,925
Location
Cumbria
I really don't know, I'd try adding some more acid and see what happens, the "White Vinegar" they sell for cleaning would do (as the acid).

Out of curiosity is Distilled Malt Vinegar any good, the type you put on food. I have some of that but no Citric.
 
Joined
27 Oct 2009
Messages
2,925
Location
Cumbria
You can find citric acid in the home baking section of most supermarkets as well as places like Boots.

Yeah thanks Ian, was just being lazy if I'm honest as I add some white vinegar sitting here. Going to pop into Wilkos later and grab some, they have some in their homebrew dept. Was looking at their Wine stabiliser also as it's potassium sorbate but apparently it also contains sodium metabisulphite which doesn't sound good? Annoying thing is I had all these things from my home brewing days but threw them all out. Just fancying knocking an all-in-one up for my low tech stuff and daily dosing after reading this post.
 

Andrew Butler

Member
Thread starter
Joined
1 Feb 2016
Messages
1,782
Location
Banbury, Oxfordshire
Yeah thanks Ian, was just being lazy if I'm honest as I add some white vinegar sitting here. Going to pop into Wilkos later and grab some, they have some in their homebrew dept. Was looking at their Wine stabiliser also as it's potassium sorbate but apparently it also contains sodium metabisulphite which doesn't sound good? Annoying thing is I had all these things from my home brewing days but threw them all out. Just fancying knocking an all-in-one up for my low tech stuff and daily dosing after reading this post.
you will find both on ebay cheap enough.
 
Joined
27 Oct 2009
Messages
2,925
Location
Cumbria
@Andrew Butler why don't you give the recipe of James planted tank a shot based on the Tropica TPN+ Recipe number 3

DIY TPN+ (3)
48g Potassium Nitrate
2.2g Monopotassium Phosphate
17g Magnesium Sulphate Heptahydrate (Epsom Salts)
0.5g E300 Ascorbic Acid
0.2g E202 Potassium Sorbate
5g EDTA Chelated Trace Elements Mix (TNC Trace, CSM+B)
500ml distilled water

Tropica recommend to dose 5ml per 50 litres of tank water per week.
Following this each dose will add:

DIY TPN+ (3)
5.9ppm NO3
0.31ppm PO4
3.9ppm K
0.39ppm Mg

You would have to adjust the recipe to what realistically you could get your auto doser to pump out daily and try and aim for maybe 2/3rds of what EI values are divvied up between 7 days so if you run on without a water change you should still be good and if not keep a separate bottle handy maybe with DTPA Iron. See how you get on with daily dosing and look for signs of iron deficiency in the new leaves maybe? Maybe suit your lifestyle better.
 

ian_m

Global Moderator
UKAPS Team
Joined
25 Jan 2012
Messages
5,222
Location
Eastleigh
also contains sodium metabisulphite which doesn't sound good
Sodium metabisulphite is used as an anti-oxidant, to stop the potassium sorbate mould/fungal inhibitor oxidising in storage. Will probably be fine, but as sodium compounds have no place in aquatic tanks, probably steer clear.
 
Joined
27 Oct 2009
Messages
2,925
Location
Cumbria
Will do cheers
 

Similar threads

Top