should i mix my own ferts?

Ben M

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hi, i have a 4ft, 216l moderately planted tank. for the last few months i have been using 5mls of TPN+ daily, but i would like to have a go at mixing my own ferts. but i have a few questions... well, quite a lot really. :lol:

1.i am assuming that it is cheaper to mix my own dry ferts, but about how much difference would there be from the TPN+?

2.do i need any special equipment to measure out ingredients? if so, what would i need, and where can i buy them?

3.do i have to mix the dry ferts daily, or could i mix them weekly, and then dose daily?

4.what chemicals/ingredients do i need, and where can i buy them, (preferably cheaply)?

5.what mix/recipe should i use as a guide?

6.will mixing my own ferts allow the plants to grow better because i can alter amounts of each ingredients to prevent deficiencies?

i think that's all. sorry for waffling on a bit lol.

cheers :thumbup:
 
Joined
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Hi

i have answered your questions in blue text.

pest control said:
hi, i have a 4ft, 216l moderately planted tank. for the last few months i have been using 5mls of TPN+ daily, but i would like to have a go at mixing my own ferts. but i have a few questions... well, quite a lot really. :lol:

1.i am assuming that it is cheaper to mix my own dry ferts, but about how much difference would there be from the TPN+?
Yes mixing your own fertz would be cheaper than buying off the shelf fertz eg. Tropica fertz or Easylife fertz. Once you have mixed your own fertz the concentration of fertz will be greater than the others. Off the shelf fertz usually state a weekly dosage - but you usually end up dosing daily.

2.do i need any special equipment to measure out ingredients? if so, what would i need, and where can i buy them?
The choice is your's - either measuring scales or measuring spoons.

3.do i have to mix the dry ferts daily, or could i mix them weekly, and then dose daily?
No - the link attached will provide info to allow you to mix enough for 2 weeks or more week depending on how much you add. Yes - you need to dose daily.

4.what chemicals/ingredients do i need, and where can i buy them, (preferably cheaply)?
The attached link will give you details on what ingredients required + where to buy them from.
http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/dry-fer ... 5_146.html


5.what mix/recipe should i use as a guide?
Have a read at the attached; http://www.ukaps.org/EI.htm

6.will mixing my own ferts allow the plants to grow better because i can alter amounts of each ingredients to prevent deficiencies?
Yes mixing your own fertz will be better as some off the shelf fertz do not contain or there concentration of fertz is lacking in some of the ingredients.
i think that's all. sorry for waffling on a bit lol.

cheers :thumbup:

Regards
Paul
 

Ben M

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663
cheers for the answers, i'll have a look at the links as well :D

cheers :thumbup:
 

Ben M

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hi, just looked at the links, but the aqua essentials was a bit confusing. there are so many to choose from :crazy:
will using the EI method make my plants grow faster, or do i need to add co2? my parents won't let me have a pressurised system as the tank is in my room, and i have heard that the yeast way is unreliable, and i don't want to spend loads on liquid carbon. are the pressurised systems available in shops 100% safe, and what is the cheapest one for my tank?

sorry for getting a bit off topic

cheers :D
 
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pest control said:
hi, just looked at the links, but the aqua essentials was a bit confusing. there are so many to choose from :crazy:
will using the EI method make my plants grow faster, or do i need to add co2? my parents won't let me have a pressurised system as the tank is in my room, and i have heard that the yeast way is unreliable, and i don't want to spend loads on liquid carbon. are the pressurised systems available in shops 100% safe, and what is the cheapest one for my tank?

sorry for getting a bit off topic

cheers :D

E.I will not make your plants grow faster but will give them all the nutrients required to sustain good growth. The main ingredients required for E.I are as follows:

Nitrate (NO3) 20ppm per week
Potassium (K) 30ppm per week
Phosphate (PO4) 3ppm per week
Magnesium (Mg) 10ppm per week
Iron (Fe) 0.5ppm per week

The above fertz
KNo3
http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/potassi ... p-522.html
KH2Po4
http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/mono-po ... p-521.html
MgSo4
http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/magnesi ... p-554.html or Epsom Salts

As for Co2 the yeast set up its unreliable, you would be better trying convince your parents to allow you to have a proper system - there are system available like the attached http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/tmc-aqu ... -3416.html or http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/dd-comp ... p-649.html - people have boughts these, then found out that it would have been better to have purchased this http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/jbl-pro ... -3257.html or they have bought seperate items: regulator with solenoid valve, FE bottle, co2 tubing etc, if you do you homework items required to make up a co2 system can be bought cheaper than buying a ready make system like the one above.

Have a read at the attached viewtopic.php?f=37&t=10024&start=0 and trawl through the Co2 / carbon dioxide threads to give you a better idea.

Plants in the garden have plenty of Co2 around them but when they are within the tank there is a shortage as they are surrounded by H2o (water) there is some co2 within the water column - fish emit co2, the co2 is convert back to o2 back the plants and the fish use the o2 and emit co2, but to sustain good growth which will reduce the risk of algae growth its recommended that co2 is injected into the tank purely for plant growth.

Regards
Paul.
 

Ben M

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thanks all, i'll read through all of the links, and get back to you :geek:

cheers :D
 

Ben M

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hi, i think i get the gist now. but i'm not really sure how to work out how to dose each different ingredient. and how much do the scales cost, and where can i buy them?

cheers :D
 
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pest control said:
hi, i think i get the gist now. but i'm not really sure how to work out how to dose each different ingredient. and how much do the scales cost, and where can i buy them?

cheers :D
instead of adding grams per day - why not knock up a 1 week supply or a 2 week supply

E.g. KNo3 - 1/4 (0.25) of a teaspoon per day, so for a weeks solutions 7 x 0.25 = 1.75 teaspoons or for a 2 week solution = 3.0 teaspoons and add to 500 mls of water.

if you want send me your tank stats and I will work it out for you.

Regards
paul
 
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The item below show the E.I dosing regime for a 20 US gallon tank - courtsey of Ceg (Clive)

Sunday – 50% or more Water Change then dose [3/16 teaspoon KNO3] + [1/16 teaspoon KH2PO4] + [½ teaspoon MgSO4]
Monday – 1/16 teaspoon CSM+B
Tuesday - [3/16 teaspoon KNO3] + [1/16 teaspoon KH2PO4] + [½ teaspoon MgSO4]
Wednesday - 1/16 teaspoon CSM+B
Thursday - [3/16 teaspoon KNO3] + [1/16 teaspoon KH2PO4] + [½ teaspoon MgSO4]
Friday – Rest
Saturday - Rest

Here is your quantity of fertz required for your tank.

So lets make this easy:
Overall the following powder ingredients are required for a 20 us gallon tank.
KNo3 - 3/16 of a tps is required and dosed 3 times during the week
KH2Po4 - 1/16 of a tps is required and dosed 3 times during the week
MgSo4 - 1/2 a tps is required and dosed 3 times during the week
CSM-B (Trace Mix) 1/16 of a tps is required and dosed 2 times during the week

Therefore for a one week dosage for a 20 US gallon tank
KNo3 = 9/16 tsp - so round it down to 8/16 or 1/2 tps
KH2Po4 = 3/16 tps - so round it up to 1/4 of a tps
MgSo4 = 1.5 tps - leave this as it is
CSM-B = 1/8 tps - leave this as it is.

Now your tank is 216 litre which when converted is a 57 US gallon tank which is approx 3 x bigger than the above, so 3 x times the powderd ingredients - dont get that this a for a 1 week dosage.
KNo3 - 1/2 tps x 3 = 1.5 tps
KH2Po4 - 1/4 x 3 = 3/4 tps
MgSo4 - 1.5 x 3 = 4.5 tps
CSM-B - 1/8 x 3 = 3/8 tps

So for a 4 week dosage multiply everthing by 4:
KNo3 - 1.5 x 4 = 6tps
KH2Po4 - 3/4 x 4 = 3 tps
MgSo4 - 4.5 x 4 = 18 tps
All of the above to be mixed with 600 mls of warm tap water and add to tank 3 x per week on Mon, Tues and Wed at a dose rate of 50 mls per dose

CSM-B - 3/8 tps - round this up to 1/4 x 4 = 1 tps
the above to be mixed with 200 mls of tap water and to tank on add to tank 2 x per Tues and Thurs at a dose rate of 25 mls per dose.

Hope this helps
regards
Paul.
 

Ben M

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1 Sep 2009
Messages
663
thanks, so do i mix:
[6tsp (or 28.5g) of KNO3(Potassium Nitrate)]
with [3tsp (or 14.25g) of KH2PO4 (Mono Potassium Phosphate)]
with [18tsp(or 85.4g) of MGSO4(Magnesium Sulphate)]
with 600 mls of warm water?

1. must the water be kept warm? it will be in the tank cabinet, in my room. will that be ok?
2. must the 600mls of water be distilled water, or can i use tap water?
3. do i mix all three chemicals together in the same 600mls of water, or do they need 600mls each?
4. should i start at the full dose, or should i build it up? and if so, how should i build it up? (ATM i use TPN+, so will it be necessary to build it up?

and then do i mix 1tsp CSM-B (4.75g) with 200 mls of water?

1. where can i buy the scales from to weigh out the chemicals.
2. should i dose the above over 4wks in the regime that flyfisherman advised?
3. what is CSM-B?
4. do i need to add iron, as i have a couple of amazon swords?

cheers for the help :D
 

CeeJay

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Location
Surrey UK
Hi pest control

Flyfisherman offers good advice :D

pest control said:
thanks, so do i mix:
[6tsp (or 28.5g) of KNO3(Potassium Nitrate)]
with [3tsp (or 14.25g) of KH2PO4 (Mono Potassium Phosphate)]
with [18tsp(or 85.4g) of MGSO4(Magnesium Sulphate)]
with 600 mls of warm water?
Yes, but cold water will do.
pest control said:
1. must the water be kept warm?
No
pest control said:
it will be in the tank cabinet, in my room. will that be ok?
Yes, that's where I keep mine.
pest control said:
2. must the 600mls of water be distilled water, or can i use tap water?
Tap water will be fine.
pest control said:
3. do i mix all three chemicals together in the same 600mls of water, or do they need 600mls each?
All mixed together in the one 600mls of water.
pest control said:
4. should i start at the full dose,
Most definitely, yes.
pest control said:
and then do i mix 1tsp CSM-B (4.75g) with 200 mls of water?
Yes
pest control said:
1. where can i buy the scales from to weigh out the chemicals.
Use teaspoons, it's much quicker. Asda, 99p for a set that go down to 1/8th.
pest control said:
2. should i dose the above over 4wks in the regime that flyfisherman advised?
I certainly would. In fact that's what I'm doing right now.
pest control said:
3. what is CSM-B?
Trace elements.
pest control said:
4. do i need to add iron, as i have a couple of amazon swords?
Iron should already be in the Trace in sufficient quantities. If you see Iron deficiencies in your plants, just up the dose of Trace elements.
 

Ben M

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1 Sep 2009
Messages
663
thanks, it all seems clearer now. :lol: flyfisherman has been really helpful. :thumbup: just one more question ATM, is the copper in the trace elements harmful to inverts such as cherry shrimp, and if so, is there an invert safe alternative?

cheers :D
 

CeeJay

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3 May 2009
Messages
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Location
Surrey UK
Hi pest control

The copper in the Trace is so small it will not harm your shrimp.
I have shrimp in my hi tech and I'm using these Trace Elements , and my shrimp are fine.
In fact they are breeding like crazy :D .
 

Ben M

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1 Sep 2009
Messages
663
hi, on the link it says that they are for high tech tanks. so should i use the normal trace instead of the plus version?

cheers :D
 
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