should i mix my own ferts?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Fert Dosing' started by Ben M, 26 Feb 2010.

  1. Ben M

    Ben M Member

    Messages:
    663
    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:
     
  2. AdAndrews

    AdAndrews Member

    Messages:
    1,125
    Location:
    Kidderminster, Worcs
    I made my own, following JamesC's guide, i'll find a link..
     
  3. AdAndrews

    AdAndrews Member

    Messages:
    1,125
    Location:
    Kidderminster, Worcs
    here http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/allinone.htm

    and then the best one to use is method 3:

    DIY TPN+ (3)
    48g Potassium Nitrate
    2.2g Potassium Phosphate (monobasic)
    17g Magnesium Sulphate Heptahydrate (Epsom Salts)
    0.5g E300 Ascorbic Acid
    0.2g E202 Potassium Sorbate
    5g EDTA Chelated Trace Elements Mix
    500ml distilled water
     
  4. Ben M

    Ben M Member

    Messages:
    663
    thanks. :D
    any answers to the other Q's?

    cheers :thumbup:
     
  5. Dolly Sprint 16v

    Dolly Sprint 16v Member

    Messages:
    1,611
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Hi

    i have answered your questions in blue text.


    Regards
    Paul
     
  6. Ben M

    Ben M Member

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

    cheers :thumbup:
     
  7. Ben M

    Ben M Member

    Messages:
    663
    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
     
  8. Dolly Sprint 16v

    Dolly Sprint 16v Member

    Messages:
    1,611
    Location:
    Cheshire

    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.
     
  9. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

    Messages:
    4,428
    Location:
    Leamington Spa, UK.
    Fluid Sensor also sell dry ferts, which come in a good container (and are marginally cheaper):

    http://www.fluidsensoronline.com/zen/in ... h=93_65_69

    I've used dry ferts from both and both are equally good quality. I do prefer the plastic screw capped tubs that FluidSensor sell their ferts in though :)
     
  10. Ben M

    Ben M Member

    Messages:
    663
    thanks all, i'll read through all of the links, and get back to you :geek:

    cheers :D
     
  11. Ben M

    Ben M Member

    Messages:
    663
    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
     
  12. Dolly Sprint 16v

    Dolly Sprint 16v Member

    Messages:
    1,611
    Location:
    Cheshire
    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
     
  13. Ben M

    Ben M Member

    Messages:
    663
    cheers, i'll pm you :D
     
  14. Dolly Sprint 16v

    Dolly Sprint 16v Member

    Messages:
    1,611
    Location:
    Cheshire
    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.
     
  15. Ben M

    Ben M Member

    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
     
  16. CeeJay

    CeeJay Member

    Messages:
    945
    Location:
    Surrey UK
    Hi pest control

    Flyfisherman offers good advice :D

    Yes, but cold water will do.
    No
    Yes, that's where I keep mine.
    Tap water will be fine.
    All mixed together in the one 600mls of water.
    Most definitely, yes.
    Yes
    Use teaspoons, it's much quicker. Asda, 99p for a set that go down to 1/8th.
    I certainly would. In fact that's what I'm doing right now.
    Trace elements.
    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.
     
  17. Ben M

    Ben M Member

    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
     
  18. CeeJay

    CeeJay Member

    Messages:
    945
    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 .
     
  19. Ben M

    Ben M Member

    Messages:
    663
    thanks. :D
     
  20. Ben M

    Ben M Member

    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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