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Issues with dry salts?

Regent

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29 May 2019
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Kenilworth
I really need to start a journal as I need other advice, but for now, I think need some help with EI salts! This has taken a bit of time to post as I work in ITU and I've been a bit busy and miserable! This tank is my relaxation and I really need to get it back on track for my own sanity!

So I started my first big tank about 18months ago. It is a very deep 400l tank.
Dimensions are 36inch long x 24deep x 30high from aquariums for life setup as a peninsular with custom stand and cabinet.
Flow is provided by 2x 2000l per hour aquael ultra max and a 1400-4000lph programmable flow pump to deal with the depth and dead spots.
Lighting is provided by a custom made led unit (post in itself), though was initially a T5 tube when first started.
When I first set it up, I was dosing premade fertilizer (neutro plus) and glut with no CO2. The substrate is Tropica aqua soil powder topped with sand with dennerle root tabs.
Over the first 8-10 months, the tank grew in very well and I was really chuffed with what I was achieving low tech. Photos below are at this mark.
WhatsApp Image 2019-11-29 at 19.57.06.jpeg
WhatsApp Image 2019-11-29 at 20.00.51.jpeg


Everything was going great until the heatwave in the summer where the tank was getting up to 32 deg. The sun hits one side of the tank so in spite of having a towel over it I had some algae growth. I had the lights off just to try and keep the tank cool as my livestock really don’t like it that hot and I sadly lost a few of my Odessa barbs. I also added a venturi in part because I wanted to boost the dissolved O2 and I figured as it’s a deep tank it would at least equalise atmospheric CO2 to deep down.

Plant growth went to pot and I had a lot of die back. What I didn’t think about at the time was that this happened to be a couple of months after switching to homemade fertilizers. The ones from aquarium plant food made to the recipe on the card they send dosed at ⅕-1/10th dose for low tech.

I didn’t put two and two together at the time and the tank has slowly suffered a lot of plant loss. I had tried making up a new bottle of fertilizer as thing deteriorated but it made little difference.
This is the tank now:
IMG_20201228_201931-min.jpg

IMG_20201228_201923-min.jpg


Side by side now and then:
PhotoGrid_Plus_1609188373407.jpg

I added floaters as I thought it was Co2 limitation and they'd prove this. I now realise I was wrong.

I recently got two new 2 foot tanks to move livestock into for a rescape and got some dennerle all in one fertilizer free with the tanks. I’ve been using this for the last two weeks I've used the bottle! The general plant health has improved and the floaters have gone green and grown nice healthy roots, though the leaves are still small. Thanks, Darrel for your duckweed index!

This suggests to me that the fertilizers are probably, at least in part, to blame.

The micros have definitely precipitated in the bottle but I think there are macro deficiencies as well.

Dosing with pre-made liquid isn’t economical due to the size of the tank.
My tap water is moderately hard (water report attached!) and I wonder if the salts are just precipitating in the bottle and not really doing much (water report attached). I think initially this deficiency was masked as nutrients were leaching from the substrate keeping the plants going.

Before I buy a load of new plants I want to try and get the ones I have going so I know I’m giving the new ones a good start.

Do I need to just make the fertilizers up with distilled water, need a buffer or need different salts? Or is this something else entirely!
 

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Zeus.

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When I first set it up, I was dosing premade fertilizer (neutroT) and glut with no CO2. The substrate is Tropica aqua soil powder topped with sand with dennerle root tabs.
NeutroT contains only trace elements
Dennerle root tabs does contain macro elements however thay wont last long if your not dosing N-P-K via the water column
Tropica aqua soil - not sure what nutrients this AS has but sounds like its exhausted to me.
Your water does contain approx. 20ppm NO3 so dependant on you WC% depends how much you add weekly and your tap water will also have PO4 and K even if they are not reported. So basically your plants are staving. You will also have some NPK from fish waste but it doesnt look enough

Whats your weekly Water Change (WC) liters or % approx ?

So basically IMO you need to start using a complete fertilizer and for a 400l tank going down the DIY will save you a small fortune that you can spend on new plants. Doing an All In One (AIO) clone of TNC is a good starting place IMO - although we could easily advise a low EI dose as well for a low tech tank- thay use the same salts
I would get your starter salts from APFUK and pick up some KSO4 from ebay and some E300 and E202
1609197833955.png

1609197887276.png
 

Regent

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Hi @Zeus. Thanks for the reply.
Sorry it was neutro plus not T, just double checked the site. The bottle got thrown out ages ago when I switched to dry salts.. hence the confusion.

I've been using dry salts from aquarium plant food for at least 8 months now. Do you think it's just the lack of ascorbic acid and e300 allowing precipitation then? The only other things that look especially different in the mix Vs shop brought is the iron chelate in the all in one is different..

Water change is 40-50% once a week. Thanks for the tables, they're very handy!
 
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All in one solutions will use some type of acidifier to keep the iron from precipitating out, so without it yes it will do that if in the same solution as your phosphate. I personally have two bottles, one for macros and one for micros.
 

Hanuman

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Thanks for the tables, they're very handy!
Not sure if you meant the pictures alone or the calculator. Just in case, you can download the calculator here:
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I’ve been using this for the last two weeks I've used the bottle! The general plant health has improved and the floaters have gone green and grown nice healthy roots, though the leaves are still small. Thanks, Darrel for your duckweed index!
I'm pleased it was useful. Have a look at <"Duckweed Index says Nitrogen">, that thread has pictures that show the effects of iron (Fe) deficiency and plant recovery. If the new leaves on the plants are dark green? It isn't an iron issue and adding a bit more of everything should <"improve growth pretty quickly">.
My tap water is moderately hard (water report attached!) and I wonder if the salts are just precipitating in the bottle and not really doing much
If you have a precipitate, then <"those elements"> (a cation (+) and an anion (-)) have become unavailable as <"a non-soluble salt">. This is much more <"common in hard water">.
Thanks for the tables, they're very handy!
Just in case, you can download the calculator here:
@Zeus. and @Hanuman have taken all the fun out of this, by providing a spreadsheet that provides all the answers at the click of the button. They have removed all the mystery and totally deskilled potion making, it is an absolute disgrace and they should be very pleased with themselves.
Do I need to just make the fertilizers up with distilled water,
Make them up with DI water (or rainwater) and add the potassium sorbate and ascorbic acid (white vinegar will do).
All in one solutions will use some type of acidifier to keep the iron from precipitating out, so without it yes it will do that if in the same solution as your phosphate. I personally have two bottles, one for macros and one for micros.
Good advice.

cheers Darrel
 

Zeus.

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Sorry it was neutro plus not T
and plants was good, so its most likely down to your salts/potion making IMO, esp if you was making an AIO mix, its easy to miss a critical step
 

Regent

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All in one solutions will use some type of acidifier to keep the iron from precipitating out, so without it yes it will do that if in the same solution as your phosphate. I personally have two bottles, one for macros and one for micros.
Two separate bottles one for trace and one for nkp.

The only think I can assume is it's hard water causing the precipitate as the phosphate and iron went in alternate days...
 

Regent

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Hi all,

I'm pleased it was useful. Have a look at <"Duckweed Index says Nitrogen">, that thread has pictures that show the effects of iron (Fe) deficiency and plant recovery. If the new leaves on the plants are dark green? It isn't an iron issue and adding a bit more of everything should <"improve growth pretty quickly">.

If you have a precipitate, then <"those elements"> (a cation (+) and an anion (-)) have become unavailable as <"a non-soluble salt">. This is much more <"common in hard water">.


@Zeus. and @Hanuman have taken all the fun out of this, by providing a spreadsheet that provides all the answers at the click of the button. They have removed all the mystery and totally deskilled potion making, it is an absolute disgrace and they should be very pleased with themselves.

Make them up with DI water (or rainwater) and add the potassium sorbate and ascorbic acid (white vinegar will do).

Good advice.

cheers Darrel
Thanks.
New leaves have been yellow with green veins. But they have greened up (or dropped off) with the shop bottle of all in one so I assume it's a mobile nutrient deficiency.
I think I've lost most of the nkp and trace mixs (two different bottles) to precipitation likely with hardish water.
I'll make up new batches with Di water and buffers. The precipitate forms rapidly so will it not just precipitate when the salts hit tank water?
 

Regent

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and plants was good, so its most likely down to your salts/potion making IMO, esp if you was making an AIO mix, its easy to miss a critical step
Thanks, I'm thinking it's down to making them with tap water and no buffer.. my only worry then is how long they're available in tank water.
Not sure if you meant the pictures alone or the calculator. Just in case, you can download the calculator here:
Brilliant I'll have a proper play when I get home from work.
 

Zeus.

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There will be phosphate in the tap water, water company's just don't report the phosphate levels as no legal limit. Hence RO its the better choice IMO
my only worry then is how long they're available in tank water

@ceg4048 did a post about this some time back and plants take their fill pretty quick when the nutrients are available - if I remember correct 😬
 

Regent

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Perfect. I'll get some spotless/ro water and some buffers and see if I can salvage anything from the starvation diet. Poor plants!

Thanks so much for your help, will let you know how it goes, the floaters show changes pretty rapidly...
 

Hanuman

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@Zeus. and @Hanuman have taken all the fun out of this, by providing a spreadsheet that provides all the answers at the click of the button. They have removed all the mystery and totally deskilled potion making, it is an absolute disgrace and they should be very pleased with themselves.
🙏 We did what we could with what we had.
 

X3NiTH

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Welcome to Potion Club!

I’d start shopping for some FeDTPA 11% or FeEDDHA (if you don’t mind a pink tint) to fortify the APFUK Micro mix as your tank pH is likely out of range most of the time for the FeEDTA chelate, alternatively you could source some Ferrous Gluconate from an Aquatics retailer on your way home, Seachem Iron or Microbe-Lift Plant Fe would do (I use the latter in the same dKH as you).

:)
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
New leaves have been yellow with green veins. But they have greened up (or dropped off) with the shop bottle of all in one so I assume it's a mobile nutrient deficiency.
That <"sounds like it might be a magnesium (Mg)"> deficiency. Our tap water doesn't contain <"much magnesium for geological reasons"> when compared to the USA. Because there are a lot of <"different options for nutrient deficiency">, particularly for mobile nutrients, I just add everything when the plants look a bit pale.

cheers Darrel
 

Regent

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Well I just finished getting all my new ferts.
Then realised that the IFC calculator doesn't open in libra office or drive!
How much potassium sorbate and ascorbic acid to people add to the mix? (using DI water)
I'll update again when I can get it open calculate what potions to mix 🤣
IMG-20210108-WA0014.jpg
 

Regent

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Thanks that's perfect, answers the amounts of polysorbate and ascorbic acid.
I'll get on excel after work to do separate macro micro mix's.
 

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