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Off The Shelf Ferts - non aquatic

Matt Warner

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You can, but you have to be very careful as many terrestrial plant ferts contain ammonia as their nitrogen source, which isn't good in an aquarium.
 

roadmaster

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You would need to check ingredient's or post them up here for other's to be able to answer.
If fishes were/are present, then one should be mindful of product's ingredient's and afftect's it may have when and if leaching into water column happens.
Lot's of folks (me included) have used product .."Osmocote+" mixed into bottom most layer of substrate followed by laterite you mentioned in another thread, or other clay product such as cat litter (un\scented) ,or flourite and then cap this mixture with fine gravel if cheaper alternative to ADA product's is desired.
Can also make fertcicles with Osmocote by freezing a few pellet's in ice cube tray with water and then push these fertcicles into the substrtae deep enough so that they don't become free floating (not pretty).
In any event, I would resist the urge to do a lot of uprooting/replanting if you chooose to create your own mixed substrate. (very messy). :rolleyes:
 
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Baby bio:

Total Nitrogen 10.6% (Ureic 9.8%)
Phosphorous Pentoxide 4.4%
Potassium Oxide 1.7%

The Ureic part doesn't sound good!?
 

roadmaster

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Don't know about Pentoxide, and if nitrogen is from urea,I would not use it with live critter's in the tank.IMHO
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
If you have a large plant load, and dose at low levels you can use any terrestrial fertiliser.I've never had any problems with ammonia toxicity with any of the fertilisers I've used, but I I have very weedy tanks, and I dose all my tanks much more leanly than you would for EI, so I get much slower growth.
The Ureic part doesn't sound good!?
A fertiliser containing urea (CO(NH2)2) would actually be better than one containing NH3, as the urea has to be biologically converted to NH3 by micro-organisms (with the urease enzyme), and urea is less toxic than ammonia.
Don't know about Pentoxide
Just means that the phosphorus (P) content is expressed as P2O5, which means it is about 2% P. K is expressed as the oxide as well, so there is hardly any of that either, about 1% K. So BabyBio probably works out as x100 as expensive as a proper fertiliser.

The feed I've got at the moment is "Gardenline Citrus feed 20:20:20" remaindered from Wilkinsons, (P and K as oxides, so 20:8.8:16.6 as N:p:K) + traces (N as 5NH3:5NO3:15urea). This works OK, but I need to add some Mg as well. "Epsom Salts" are cheap so this isn't much of a problem.

cheers Darrel
 

roadmaster

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dw1305 said:
Hi all,
If you have a large plant load, and dose at low levels you can use any terrestrial fertiliser.I've never had any problems with ammonia toxicity with any of the fertilisers I've used, but I I have very weedy tanks, and I dose all my tanks much more leanly than you would for EI, so I get much slower growth.
The Ureic part doesn't sound good!?
A fertiliser containing urea (CO(NH2)2) would actually be better than one containing NH3, as the urea has to be biologically converted to NH3 by micro-organisms (with the urease enzyme), and urea is less toxic than ammonia.
Don't know about Pentoxide
Just means that the phosphorus (P) content is expressed as P2O5, which means it is about 2% P. K is expressed as the oxide as well, so there is hardly any of that either, about 1% K. So BabyBio probably works out as x100 as expensive as a proper fertiliser.

The feed I've got at the moment is "Gardenline Citrus feed 20:20:20" remaindered from Wilkinsons, (P and K as oxides, so 20:8.8:16.6 as N:p:K) + traces (N as 5NH3:5NO3:15urea). This works OK, but I need to add some Mg as well. "Epsom Salts" are cheap so this isn't much of a problem.

cheers Darrel


Thank you for clarification's, is good to know.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
so any fert will work? is there any ingredients that we should be carefull of?
I'd probably get a liquid Tomato feed with magnesium and traces for preference, and just use it very dilute. You could use an "Orchid feed", but that is really just a much more dilute Tomato feed.

So any fertiliser with say 20:20:20 N:p2O5:K2O + magnesium and traces would be about right (20:8.8:16 as N:p:K).

The "Elephant in the room" is ammonia. Ammonium nitrate (NH3NO3) combines solubility, both nitrate and ammonia nitrogen and 35.5% nitrogen content ((14+3)+(14+48) = 79, N = 28/79N, NH3 = 17/79 and NO3 = 62/79 ~ 35.5% N, 22% NH3, 78%NO3), so it is a "no-brainer" as a nitrogen source.

The problem for us is that ammonia is toxic, at higher levels even to plants. If we use a fertiliser with ammonia as the nitrogen source we have 3 major worries:

1. That when we add the fertiliser the ammonia level may rise high enough to be toxic to sensitive livestock,
2. That the increased microbial activity, caused by the additional ammonia, may utilise more dissolved oxygen than is available and asphyxiate our live-stock and
3. That the pulse of ammonia may stimulate spore growth in many of the "pest" algae.

I don't worry too much about any of these, as I always have very heavily planted "jungles", I don't add CO2, I have a huge amount of biological filtration and I usually have a small amount of a wide variety of algae present all ready, but I don't tend to get algal "outbreaks".

To make maximum use of the ammonia assimilation and dissolved oxygen production of the plants, I tend to add any fertiliser towards the start of the photo-period, when the lights have been on for an hour or so.

cheers Darrel
 
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I bought some fertiliser for the garden a while back as it said fully balanced on the label:


Chempack No 3
20-20-20 + TE

Nitric Nitrogen 5%
Ammoniacal Nitogen 3.5%
Ureic Nitrogen 11.5%

Phosphorus Pentoxide P2O5
Soluble in neutral ammonium citrate and water 20% (P8.7%)
Phosphorus Pentoxide P2O5
Soluble in water 20% (P8.7%)

Potassium Oxide (K2o)
Soluble in water 20% (K16.6%)

Plus trace Elements
Boron .020%
Copper .010%
Iron .200%
Manganese .020%
Molybdenum .002%
Zinc .050%
Also contains Magnesium

If it's suitable how should I mix it for tank use? I should add that the powder is bright blue! :? do you think this is copper sulphate or some other colourant?
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I bought some ferts the other day too, I bought them from a forum sponsor, they where cheap to buy & are absolutely perfect for my tank?!
I wouldn't argue with that, and unless you feel confident you understand what you are doing, it is by far the best option.
Chempack No 3 20-20-20 + TE
Should be absolutely fine. You can ignore the colour, hydrated copper salts are blue, but this is coloured just because it is intended to be used as a liquid feed. Horticultural liquid feeds were traditionally coloured so that you can tell how much you have added (in a rough and ready way) by the tint of the made up feed.

cheers Darrel
 
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