Stupid question (probably) about Macro and Micro Ferts in commercial 'all in one' solutions

maj74

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Re-reading about EI after several years away from a serious planted tank.

All the guides say about making a separate Macro and Micro solution because they react when mixed.

If this is the case, how do products such as TNC Complete have 'ALL' the nutrients in them?

I see the ADA products come in separate solutions.

Is there a simple explanation?!
 

PARAGUAY

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It's something to do with how they do them chelated is the word l think. Darrel dw1305 or Zeus will give a better explanation
 

ian_m

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For all in one solutions an acid is added, normally ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to lower the pH. At low pH the chelates (ie micros) stay chelated and won't react with the macros, normally potassium phosphate. Normal worst case reaction is the iron chelate unchelates and the iron reacts to form insoluble iron phosphate which precipitates out and becomes unavailable for plant use.

Many people have had iron issues when they just make up their own mixtures (which is not EI based dosing of course) by just bunging the macro and micro ingredients into a single solution and dosing that. EI is quite specific about alternate day dosing for this very reason.

Also a preservative is added to all in one, potassium sorbate usually, to prevent the mixture going mouldy. Luckily potassium sorbate works best at low pH so works well with the ascorbic acid.

Also chelates are degraded by light so keep solution in the dark.
 

maj74

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Thanks for the replies!

So a product such as TNC Complete can genuinely claim to be an 'All in One' solution.

That's useful to know
 

Zeus.

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As @ian_m said, which as far as I'm aware came about by the work done by James planted tank, which we are all thankful for and has become the standard way to produce a DIY AIO. I'm not sure if that's the same way the commercial AIO are made, but they will be made in sterile lab conditions and may use other strong Acids (which are not safe to use at home) when making say 1000litre batches at a time. Hard to get sterile in the kitchen and an extractor fan isn't a lab fume cupboard.

If you are making a larger volumes at a time best stored in dark cool (fridge best), I don't make more than 8 weeks of macro/micro volumes at a time as this also helps reduce the chances of mould.

I have an AIO ( TNC complete clone) on the go ATM and it has remained fine but only been a few months.

Obviously once the AIO is dosed in your tank the pH will increase as the acid is diluted so its only a matter of time before the interactions happen.

But as @ceg4048 posts here
Iron is a micronutrient, which means the plant only needs microscopic amounts of iron. About one hour after you have dosed iron, the plant has already taken up it's fill. Of course it's easy to pummel the plant with more iron than it needs without any ill effects, but why bother? Why spend more money and effort for specialized chelation when it is already overkill with the less efficient chelated methods? I really doubt you will see any benefit.

Hence the reason most AIO advise daily dosing, as the plant gets its daily fill and then what isn't used may precipitate out, plants can probably last a few days on the Fe they have stored (light/growth dependant), but dosing daily just keeps there store full
 
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