Question about Fert mixing

Discussion in 'Aquarium Fert Dosing' started by jcgoobee, 30 Jun 2009.

  1. jcgoobee

    jcgoobee Member

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Sunnyvale, CA
    I got my ferts from the aquariumfertilizer.com today... yay!!!

    These are what I got

    1 pound CSM+B Plantex
    2 pounds Magnesium Sulfate
    1 pound: Mono Potassium Phosphate
    2 Potassium Nitrate

    I can't wait to mix them all up and start dosing tonight. :)

    Question. Can I use tap water to mix those ferts? or I should use distilled, or bottled water to mix them up? Also, should I warm the water up a little bit by putting it into microwave oven before mixing? or the powder can be mixed in cold water without issue?

    Thanks guys.. I'm so excited.
     
  2. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    tap water is fine.
    If you struggle mixing the powders then you can warm the water, however if you follow the guidelines then you shouldnt have a problem.
    here are some figures for solubility in water from James' website
    Potassium Nitrate 36g per 100ml
    Potassium Phosphate 22g per 100ml
    Potassium Sulphate 11.1g per 100ml
    Magnesium Sulphate heptahydrate 25.5g per 100ml
     
  3. jcgoobee

    jcgoobee Member

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Sunnyvale, CA
    Thanks Aaron... looks like those 1-pounder fertilizer will last for a very long, long time. I paid just a little over U.S. $42 for them and it's much more economical than ADA's products.

    Follow up question... I didn't order the Potassium Sulphate but Magnesium Sulfate. I would guess that is what you meant? Thanks!
     
  4. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    i copied the whole list, MgSO4 is on the bottom ;) KH2SO4 is only needed for extra Potassium, but enough is dosed with the KNO3 & KH2PO4.

    Potassium Nitrate 36g per 100ml
    Potassium Phosphate 22g per 100ml
    Potassium Sulphate 11.1g per 100ml
    Magnesium Sulphate heptahydrate 25.5g per 100ml
     
  5. jcgoobee

    jcgoobee Member

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Sunnyvale, CA
    :) thanks for the clarification Aaron. This is very helpful. I'm about to roll up my sleeves and get started tonight when I get home. I haven't touched this sort of chemical stuff since high school... it'll be fun.
     
  6. chris1004

    chris1004 Member

    Messages:
    565
    Best do it slowly then to avoid disapointment. :lol: :lol:



    RO or distilled water is used in preferance as it has a TDS (total disolved solids) of zero. Therefore allowing the user a known baseline from which to start. If you wish to use tapwater then it shouldn't be a problem but you can't expect to know the exact make-up of the finished fert as you don't know what was in the tapwater to begin with (no3/po4 etc). It It won't make any real difference if your also using tapwater in your tank, IMO.

    I don't heat up the water at all just put the required ammounts in the known quantity of water and shake vigourasly. If left overnight on top of somthing warm like a radiator or fishtank any larger sediments will dissolve easily if some remain after your initial mixing/shaking.

    I always give mine a shake before dosing aswell just to keep it well mixed up not sure wether this is necessary though.

    Regards, Chris.
     
  7. jcgoobee

    jcgoobee Member

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Sunnyvale, CA

    Hi Chris,

    Yeah.. I take it as it will involve some trial and error when I first mix this up. My situation is a bit different. I have a 32-litre tank while the examples given by Clive was noted as 20 gallon. I'm figuring out how I should proportionally mix up the fert powder with water correctly.... hopefully I won't make it too dense and mess things up.... haha...

    Thanks buddy. :)
     
  8. jcgoobee

    jcgoobee Member

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Sunnyvale, CA
    Using Chuck's Planted Aquarium Calculator

    I'm doing some calculations for proper mixture of the fert powders I just received today, by using Chuck's planted aquarium calculator.

    As mentioned earlier, I have a 32-litre tank, and I have plugged in this value accordingly. I looked at the Suggested Tank Target Level, and it doesn't say if that's the level should be kept at all time. I wonder if I should treat it as the recommended constant value.

    For instance... I selected Potassium in Potassium Nitrate (KNO3) from the drop down menu, put 36 grams, mix with 500ml water, at a 32-litre tank, so the returned value is 0.87ppm Potassium level per ML. If I adjust it to 41 grams, it will return 1ppm Potassium per ML, for easy rounded-up calculation.

    So, if the suggested Tank Target Level is 20ppm. Does it mean that I should dose 20ML of mixed KNO3 per day? or spread it up to 7 days? such as dosing 3ML per day? or should do all 20ML in one day? This is the part that I don't get.

    Any clarification will be greatly appreciated.
     
  9. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    The target ppm levels are for the week. That's why the dosages for NPK are shown for 3 doses per week and the traces are given for twice a week. If you check the Tutorial if gives you the exact dosing quantities and scheme for a 20G tank.

    Cheers,
     
  10. jcgoobee

    jcgoobee Member

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Sunnyvale, CA
    Ah... got it, Clive. That's easy enough. Thanks again. :)
     
  11. chris1004

    chris1004 Member

    Messages:
    565
    Don't worry about grams of this and grams of that its not necessary just use teaspoons instead but be consistant with the size of teaspoon. Lets face it when you make a cup[p of tea you wouldn't worry about how many grams of sugar you put in would you? just 1 spoon full or two if at all usually. Remember there is a big margin for error with ferts with EI dosing.

    Regards, Chris.
     
  12. jcgoobee

    jcgoobee Member

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Sunnyvale, CA
    Yeah... I thought about using teaspoon to scale from now on too... You're right, just a little bit over or short shouldn't make a difference. If it does, something's really wrong with the sensitivity of my water.
     
  13. jcgoobee

    jcgoobee Member

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Sunnyvale, CA
    putting my first dose of DIY fert tonight

    Okay, after all the work on scaling, and mixing last night, I dose the first 25ml of the DIY fert in the tank tonight. It's been 3 hours since I applied it.. no fish died... the water didn't boil... I feel better now... haha..

    Jokes aside.. I wonder how soon will I start seeing the plants to bloom? 2 weeks? any idea?
     
  14. chris1004

    chris1004 Member

    Messages:
    565
    I would guess that it would depend on what plants you have and how severe any difficientcies were as to how quickly a noticable differance will be seen. I certainly saw a marked improvement within 3 weeks when I started EI dosing.

    How did you find the mixing overall?

    Now that you have the ingredients you can play around with the recipe to suit your requirements.

    Regards, Chris.
     
  15. jcgoobee

    jcgoobee Member

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Sunnyvale, CA
    Hi Chris,

    I only have some giant glass on the background, a bit of hair glass in the middle and glosso on the foreground. I'm still growing.... :)

    The mixing wasn't too bad... It does require some good understanding of how to come up with the right ratio as the 20 gallon was the sample size from EI. To me, I just use the approximation, divided everything by half, since I have a 32-litre (or 8.5 gallon) tank. After all, it's not as bad as I thought.

    Yes, I will observe and make some necessary adjustment when needed, but not until I exhaust my first month of fert supply.... hopefully I can master this skill and share my insights in this forum some day.

    Have a good day, Chris.
     
  16. chris1004

    chris1004 Member

    Messages:
    565
    The 4 week interval comes in handy as it gives you a chance to assess the situation and see what happens if you make any changes then change the next mix as a response to what you see.

    I read somewhere on this site (not sure who said it), "good things happen slowly but bad things happen quickly". So be patient and stick with it. Good luck.

    Regards, Chris.
     
  17. jcgoobee

    jcgoobee Member

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Sunnyvale, CA
    "Good things happen slowly but bad things happen quickly"... wow.. I like that phrase and it does make sense in life. I will certainly be very patient. I will probably buy a book to read about how to identify health issues on plants. That might give me a good idea how to troubleshoot upcoming issues.

    Thanks.
     
  18. CeeJay

    CeeJay Member

    Messages:
    945
    Location:
    Surrey UK
    Hi jcgoobee
    I don't know how others have fared but I am only in my second month of EI but I can safely say I saw significant improvements in growth rates and colour within 2 weeks. :D
    That has got to be our motto, surely. :lol:
    After that, you could always come back here if your stuck. ;) Everyone around here has helped me out loads with my queries (and I've had a few).
    Also, the tutorials sections and stickies are stuffed full of good info too.
    Good luck.

    Chris.
     
  19. jcgoobee

    jcgoobee Member

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Sunnyvale, CA
    Simply amazing!!!

    it's been a good 5 days since I started dosing the fert by EI method, and guys... Let me tell you, I can't be any happier ever since I setup my tank on early April.

    I'm not sure if it was just the new Eheim filter that has been helping? the EI, the increase CO2, or the combination of all, but miracle has happened. The algae has completely stopped growing (at least, from what I have observed in the past couple of days), the plants (E. Vivapara, Glosso, and hair grass) seem healthy and sparkingly in bright green color.. it's just amazingly beautiful... What a joy to have a somewhat sucessful tank. It's quite a rewarding experience.

    Thanks Aaron, Chris, Clive, among with so many others who have put up with my stupidity and non-stop questions. I owe you all my gratitude. The EI is great way to save money, and yields great result! Granted I was a bit intimidated by taking the first glance of it, but after I followed the formula and mixed them all up, it wasn't too bad at all, nor it would take a rocket scientist to figure out the ratio. :)

    The next thing I will do, is to trim the leggy Glosso but I will probably wait another week first, so it will spread the runner. Anyway, just want to share my joy with the folks here.. Thank you all...!
     
  20. chris1004

    chris1004 Member

    Messages:
    565
    As they say mate. "you ain't seen nothing yet". Give it a couple of months and then you will see just how beautifull plants can really be. I'm glad your happy and reckon that you will see further improvements week on week.

    The algae can be completely eradicated in time with a little patience/work on your part.

    There is a great deal of advice on managing algae in the algae section of this forum. The first step is to identify what type/s of algae you have as each have differing causes and remedies.

    Steer clear of algacides no matter how desperate you get or how tempting a quick fix becomes (and believe me it can become very tempting with stubborn algae issues), concentrate on remedying the cause as opposed to eradicating the effect.

    There is a very good algae guide on James's planted tank website (sorry can't post a link at the moment some problem with pc since updating my software yesterday AAAARRRRRHHHHH!!!! :twisted: ).

    http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/algae.htm

    Ok seems to be just firefox thats giving me problems then as the above link was added using Internet explorer instead. Anyone got any ideas??


    Regards, Chris.
     

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