Favourite trace fert

Discussion in 'Aquarium Fert Dosing' started by oscarlloydjohn, 27 Dec 2018.

  1. oscarlloydjohn

    oscarlloydjohn Member

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    I'm interested to know your chosen trace fertiliser. I'm considering switching as I don't like the one I am currently using (APFuk trace mix). I'd assume most of you are dosing EI levels?

    Tropica, ProFito, Flourish? Chelated trace powders?

    Oscar
     
    Last edited: 27 Dec 2018
  2. Edvet

    Edvet Forum Moderator Staff Member

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    CSM-B powder:)
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Nigel95

    Nigel95 Member

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    I think Csmb quality varies a lot between batches and is not really made for small tanks. Lots of people do use it with succes. But there have been issues with it. Not only noobs.

    I did saw an improvement switching to seachem flourish (from csmb) . But still I don't think seachem flourish is perfect. I don't think any commercial micros on the market are perfect.

    Best way would be to have a lot of experience in this field and make factory custom mix. How ever this is not possible for hobbyists due costs.

    I use seachem flourish mostly for micros not Fe. My ph is quite high from tap 7-8 and I use easy life ferro with 4 different chelates. Why do I not use seachem trace? Because several gurus told me it's not very good. No personal experience with it though. I guess the gluconate fe from flourish doesn't last long but maybe my plants do pick a little from it. The easy life ferro will keep the fe longer available in the water column.

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    Last edited: 28 Dec 2018
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  4. oscarlloydjohn

    oscarlloydjohn Member

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    Are you dosing flourish to EI levels?
     
  5. Nigel95

    Nigel95 Member

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    First I dosed 2x recommendation of seachem. Then after a talk with Tom Barr it still was pretty lean. He recommended 4x my curent dose for most tanks (current dose is 2 x recommendation of seachem).

    I tried the suggestion of Barr almost but it was a to big change. So if you want to do this levels I would consider it upping it more slowly. For now I am dosing 9 ml a week on 100 litres. Can't say yet if this is going to work well. Changed it recently after dosing 20ml a week. Planted tanks with especially high light will always be tweaking. So you can't really copy my dosing. Your tank is completely different. Flow. Co2 levels. Light. Water parameters. So umm start with anything and keep tweaking and use your eyes. Not easy to figure out what element is lacking.

    In general I don't like EI levels. I don't like super lean like Ada either. My tap is pretty hard with 8 kh and somehow it feels that a very lean dosing regime even with rich substrate my plants have a hard time with no3 levels below 6 ppm a week. I think plants in softer water can easier suck up nutrients. I like a mix between two like 10 ppm no3. So let's say half EI or so but keep P and K high. My vision is with a nutrient soup in the water doesn't work well if something is not in balance. Gives more instability.

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  6. X3NiTH

    X3NiTH Member

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    Your last statement is incorrect (unless of course you include start up business costs then yeah Its expensive). I did that back of the envelope calculation and it was sobering.

    As an example since you mention using it lets replicate Flourish Trace using the same ingredients (within a few parts per billion to the actual percentage recipe on the label) and only sourcing the essential plant nutrients (omitting Vanadium, Rubidium and Cobalt) then it's about £38 from eBay. Some elements you'll end up with a lifetime supply but the element in greatest use per volume in the recipe is Zinc Sulphate and that's 500g for £10 (that's Retail prices, I imagine as a company specialising in this trade the bulk price is orders of magnitude cheaper). If you use all of the 500g of Zinc Sulphate in one go this will give 700L of made up product (total ingredients cost per recipe weight is about £15 Retail) which commercially is 2,800x250ml bottles of Flourish Trace at £10 per bottle, this is exactly why every aquatic plant forum always has a post somewhere saying your paying for mostly water which again is a statement still far from reality.

    :)
     
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  7. Nigel95

    Nigel95 Member

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    Hmm yes OK you can try to copy seachem trace. What I meant for me personally that it is going to be hard to make a better DIY micro mix. I think it's a lot of steps to do and even if I did try I think I still couldn't make it better. For me the cost of seachem flourish is acceptable I do NPK my self to save some money. I like to focus more on scaping than going to deep into this stuff.

    Let's say its not so expensive to copy seachem traces but you need to invest time to analyze and tweak to make your own maybe better mix. For that hassle I would rather buy some commercial product. I also think it's more consistent less error.

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  8. X3NiTH

    X3NiTH Member

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    You can see the common theme here (Edvet excluded) is Chelationism, (yeah it's a mashup of Chelation and the suffix -ism). They are all beneficial when used correctly, the reasons to prefer one over the other may be ease of use, cost, or the belts and braces approach of getting as many different ones in the mix just to be sure to be sure. If you know what a chelate is and when to prefer one over the other or their use in combination then you have already gone custom, whether you're using commercial products or DIY it doesn't matter you're already down that path. I picked on Flourish Trace specifically because it's unchelated and a thin gruel that when you dose it at EI levels it becomes eyewateringly expensive. Flourish Comprehensive is not much better when it comes to the traces which is why Tom said to dose it at 4x the rate of the dosing instructions, now I'm not sure he knows how much is too much but I'm fairly confident that he's pretty sure how much is too little. I have dosed both Trace and Comp at EI levels daily and it is not detrimental. Nigel please don't take this as a confrontational post, I'm in complete agreement with you about going DIY, you need to know what you're doing and you need to be exacting in measuring, so it's not for everyone, but it's the eventual path if water chemistry and optimum plant health and nutrition becomes obsessional (cost is always a consideration but if I were a true cheapskate I'd be eating bananas and peeing in the tank for the NPK).

    In answer to the topic.

    Microbe Lift Plants Fe (Gluconated Iron, Humic and Fulvic acids also)
    DIY Trace
    DIY Macro
    DIY Water

    My next trick will be working out a custom mix that I can balance out what's in my tap water source (Glencorse D). Hopefully I'll eventually get back to Aquascaping to the point where I can chuck a rainbow of ferts into Tap water with abandon and not be worrying about it!

    If anyone is intrigued to know more about custom micro dosing then go have a look at the Custom Micro Mix Thread on PlantedTank or Barr Report.

    :)
     
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  9. Nigel95

    Nigel95 Member

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    Thanks for your reply man.

    I wonder for me if it would be better to switch to easy life profito. Bevause I also use easy life ferro. Maybe the products are better in combination? Profito is basically fe, Micros and potassium. Easy life suits better on my harder tap water I think. But there are no values on their site so its guess work..

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  10. Nigel95

    Nigel95 Member

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    Edit. I see easy life is also on rotala butterfly. Nice

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  11. oscarlloydjohn

    oscarlloydjohn Member

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    I'm thinking the same too. I've just emailed Easy Life asking about the iron in their Profito.

    I think Profito is potentially even better than Flourish.
     
  12. Nigel95

    Nigel95 Member

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    Tropica is also targeted on our tap water levels I believe. Denmark has harder water and maybe better chelates for us. Tropica is 10x more expensive than easy life though. Rotala butterfly will give you an idea of the values of profito.

    Maybe you can start dosing like 0,2 or 0,3 ppm fe per week based on profito. Maybe I will try 0,2 profito and 0,1 ferro.

    I wonder if the fe in profito and ferro is 100% the same. Ferro just fe no micros?

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  13. Matt @ ScapeEasy

    Matt @ ScapeEasy Member

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    I'd be interested in people's views on JBL Ferropol which I am currently using... it is advertised as:

    "provides the plants with iron, potassium, sulphur and the trace elements of manganese, molybdenum, zinc, boron, cobalt, and copper in a form easily absorbed by plants"
    "1.00 % water-soluble K2O; micro nutrients as a complex of EDTA: 0,0003 % B; 0,0002 % Co; 0,001 % Cu; 0,1 % Fe; 0,0024 % Mn; 0,00021 % Mo; 0,001 % Zn.

    I started using this as it was available locally and seemed to be a reasonably complete product (containing potassium), with decent iron, yet excluding nitrate (which as I am well stocked I do not wish to add more based on test results). I appreciate that phosphorus is missing but understand that this is added with fish food?

    I actually use a double daily dose of the aquascaper complete liquid plant food too after a water change (twice the daily dose rate just once a week after the water change) to replace some of the nitrates I remove... my tap water is essentially zero nitrates. BUT whilst I know this keeps nitrates in check as far as the fish are concerned (without opening another debate, for me this means less than 20ppm). I don't know if this is 'optimal' for the plants. Presumably I don't need to dose the aquascaper complete liquid plant food PROVIDING that the phosphorus is being added with the fish food? Surely plants only require nitrates at quite a low level, just so they are not a limiting factor... so as long as there is 'some' there?

    Sorry for the long post!...
     
  14. oscarlloydjohn

    oscarlloydjohn Member

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    I suppose if you are concerned about nitrates and phosphates lacking, you might as well just use the AS plant food completely. I wouldn't say there's any harm in higher nitrates and phosphates. I've run 80ppm Nitrate and 10ppm Phosphate in the past without problems. Lower levels of these will just mean slower growth overall unless they become absent to the point of causing deficiencies. It's basically up to you, both will work.

    You can still grow plants in very low nitrate environments. Some people do this "nitrate limiting" to get very red colouration on plants. It can take a toll on other plants so it is a very fine line. A good nutrient substrate will also allow you to run lower water column levels.

    Here is some info I found on Dennis Wong's site: https://www.advancedplantedtank.com/plant-guide-rotala_rotundifolia.html
    Oscar :)
     
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  15. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

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    Hi all,
    It is going to depend on the plant, but plants need about x10 more nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) than they do phosphorus (P), and about x3 times more phosphorus than they do any of the other <"essential mineral nutrients">.

    Nitrogen, P & K are thenthree "macro-nutrients".

    Some plants are adapted to <"rapid growth in high nutrient"> (<"eutrophic">) conditions, if you like <"everything is turned up to eleven">, others aren't. The leaf colour of a non-CO2 limited plant is usually <"a good indicator of nitrogen content">. I just look at the plants, they never lie.

    Deficiencies of macro-nutrients usually show up in restricted plant growth and relate to actual amounts, deficiencies of the other nutrients may be due to a total absence, but more usually relate to ratios and interference in uptake. Nitrate and potassium compounds are all soluble, so you don't have problems with the NO3- and K+ ions coming out of solution, but some phosphorus compounds are insoluble, and PO4---- ions readily form calcium/iron etc phosphates, particularly in alkaline conditions.

    Analytical techniques can find deficiency symptoms, but because you are looking for very small amounts, and ratios may be more important, it is fairly problematic.

    If you have time have a read through all the linked threads (like <"How much carbon in ..">) in this post, they have a lot of useful posts in them, and links to scientific journal articles etc.

    cheers Darrel
     
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  16. oscarlloydjohn

    oscarlloydjohn Member

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    Darrel what do you use for micros? :)

    Oscar
     
  17. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

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    Hi all,
    I don't add any regularly.

    I occasionally add some FeEDTA and MgSO4.7H2O, but other than that I just add a complete fertiliser mix (at the moment still <"YaraPG mix">) when the floating plants growth slows.

    I used to have a micro-element solution made up for use in hydroponics, details are in <"Hoagland solution as an.....">.

    cheers Darrel
     
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  18. oscarlloydjohn

    oscarlloydjohn Member

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    @Nigel95

    Just got this email back from Easy Life :)

     
    Last edited: 31 Dec 2018
  19. Nigel95

    Nigel95 Member

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    Thanks for updating :)

    I wonder if it's worth to add a small amount of 0,1 fe ppm from easy life ferro beside 0,2 fe profito.

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  20. oscarlloydjohn

    oscarlloydjohn Member

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    I don't think it would be necessary, since there would already be plenty of iron available from the Profito. Presumably they use all the same chelating agents.
     

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