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Earthworm castings with no phosphorous in the GA?

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plant Fertilization' started by longhornxtreme, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. longhornxtreme

    longhornxtreme Lifetime Members
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    Hi all,

    I recently had a local hydroponics shop order me a bag of earthworm castings since I was having a lot of trouble sourcing them locally.

    Well, I picked up the bag today, and when I got home, I noticed that the guaranteed analysis was nitrogen, calcium, and iron, but no phosphorous. I was aware that it was not a big potassium source.

    Is this going to be an issue? Or is it simply that the guaranteed analysis of the earthworm castings is just off?

    I.e. are earthworm castings simply earthworm castings? Or can they be manipulated?
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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  3. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    The Best Soil On Earth Has Passed Through A Worm

    Hi,

    I am just curious as to the guaranteed analysis.

    The other question is whether it is 100% worm poop?

    The best soil on earth has all passed through a worm, generally the thing in will influence the things out. But generally we amend the worm poop, which is just high quality soil when you get right down to cases.

    Biollante



    Biollante
     
  4. longhornxtreme

    longhornxtreme Lifetime Members
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    What I have is: Wiggle Worm Soil Builder, Non-toxic earthworm castings, all natural organic fertilizer, 1-0-0. The guaranteed analysis is: Total Nitrogen 1% as .1% water soluble N and .9% Water INsoluble N, 1% Calcium and 0.2% Iron.

    It's distributed by Unco Industries in Wisconsin.

    Lol... I just clicked on your link Tom, I have a 15lb bag of exactly what you linked to!

    I didn't expect there to be much phosphorous... I just expected that there'd be 'some.' Many people who do wormstrate tanks don't dose hardly at all. Maybe some trace elements and some potassium here and there.

    I was just making sure there wasn't earthworm castings for sale that significantly differed in their NPK ratios.
     
  5. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Really!

    Hi,

    I use worm poop all over the place and I dose all the time.

    Just me I guess. :)

    Biollante
     
  6. longhornxtreme

    longhornxtreme Lifetime Members
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    I was thinking that I'd dose a modified EI, maybe with less N... Still haven't decided exactly what I'm going to do.
     
  7. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Nutrient Guy Alert

    Hi,

    Nutrient Type Alert! :D

    I does (Edit: dose), high side EI in most cases and use highly enriched substrates (most of the time), Some plants prefer root uptake, some foliar, many will do both.

    Also, particularly in the early going, the substrate can provide a real boost to the nutrients in the water.

    The fact is I boost the worm poop, peat, clay, soil, whatever mixture. I add Osmocote Plus and Bone Meal for long term release, Vitamin B-1 and Alaska Fish Fertilizer (5-1-1) for short term, early help. If I am introducing critters immediately, I reduce or omit the Alaska Fish Fertilizer, as a a small amount is Ammonlacal Nitrogen (.5%). I doubt it would be enough ammonia to worry about, but I prefer to err on the side of caution. :)

    Biollante
     
    #7 Biollante, Feb 3, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2010
  8. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    I got this one

    NPK 2-1.4-1.1


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I think they want to avoid dosing for some reason, but if you dose K+ and Traces..then it really does not save anyone dosign labor or hassles, might as well add the KNO3/KH2PO4 along with.

    So dose as well.
    You can get away with little or no dosing of ferts if you use a rich sediment type like soil or WC etc.

    But that is NOT the point, the point is good easier managment.

    If you have trouble adding some KNO3/KH2PO4, it's likely you are not adding enough.
    People get all weird about adding KNO3/KH2PO4, but not CO2/Excel to the same degree.

    No one has even shown that KNO3/KH2Po4 causes algae, or harms fish if you over dose say 2-3x the normal ranges suggested in EI.

    No one.

    Plenty kill their fish and fry plants using CO2 and Excel.
    Nearly one a week on the few boards I read.

    I reason the fert issue: water column additions are good, sediment additions are also good, together they are even better.
    Long term sources and short term shources, labor is the same, and the sediment last logner and will have fewer defieicent nutrients over time.

    So not adding but a little K+/traces offers you no good trade offs it seems.
    No one has given me any idea/rational why not doing this is better/preferred other than "because they can" do it.

    Some seem to start with a conclusion about ferts, then go about trying to fit the facts. When someone questions their method and suggest to add more, they take it personally.
    I guess some folks do this when the merits of their argument and reasoning cannot stand on their own?

    Would not be the first time, will not be the last either.

    I think being more careful about the asusmptions and what is best, merely copying what others are doign rather than understanding it is a source of many myths and issues.
    That frees you from following into such traps.

    Then you can have a much better management plan for the aquarium.
    Simply because you can get away without issues does not imply it's best or preferred even.

    The same is true for dosing NO3 at 100ppm.
    Low risk, but no need either.

    Does not really help.

    Etc, this works both ways.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. longhornxtreme

    longhornxtreme Lifetime Members
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    Thanks for the reply Tom.

    I'm not trying to imply that I think nutrients in the water column cause algae. (I think ammonia + too much light + not enough CO2 + lack of some other nutrient causes algae)

    What I'm trying to do with a richer substrate is to try to get the tank more 'robust.' I frequently forget to dose daily whereas I am diligent about water changes and trimmings. My idea was to have the substrate provide the nitrogen and iron (i'm going to bind the castings in natural clay) and then supply K and P through a once or twice a week water column dose.

    I've had great success with an eco complete substrate plus EI dosing; I just want to try a richer substrate.
     
  11. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Chopped Liver

    Hi,

    Sorry if I not as interesting as Tom Barr. :p

    That is why I enrich the substrate and water column. :p

    Peat, clay, worm poop, all the stuff enrich the system and if you have to take off for a bit a well established aquarium is very forgiving. :cool:

    Chopped liver out,
    Biollante
     
  12. longhornxtreme

    longhornxtreme Lifetime Members
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    Sorry Biollante...

    Wasn't trying to ignore you.

    I have some natural clay in powder form to emulsify and use as a binder for the earthworm castings.

    How do you do the peat in your substrate?

    I just got finished rinsing and boiling my worm castings... that took more effort than I thought it would. I've got 'em moderately drying in the oven at 200 degrees F because the tanks aren't ready to go till next week.
     
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