Ei Dosing All In One Solution

aibcarpentry

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I'm far from scientist so hopefully someone who understands these things will help me on this matter?

Looking over the link below I wonder whether I can use the chemicals I have with the addition of ascorbic acid and potassium sorbate and turn my 2 part Macro/Micro solution into one? This could then be dosed daily in a high tech and just adjust dosing levels to suit.
http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/allinone.htm

The chemicals I currently use are as supplied by aquarium plant food: Potassium Nitrate, Potassium Phosphate, Magnesium Sulphate and Chelated Trace Elements (breakdown of ingredients in second link)
http://www.aquariumplantfood.co.uk/fertilisers/dry-chemicals/starter-kits/ei-starter-kit.html
http://www.aquariumplantfood.co.uk/fertilisers/dry-chemicals/chelated-trace.html
 

Allwissend

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Yes you can mix them but the potential for problems is much higher than if kept separate. I would also suggest a stronger chelation for Fe if mixed together.
 

aibcarpentry

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Yes you can mix them but the potential for problems is much higher than if kept separate. I would also suggest a stronger chelation for Fe if mixed together.
Thanks for the reply,
What potential problems are there? - I will be honest and say I don't understand any of it; I just dose EI with a pre brought mix, I think it's about time I at least try and understand it.
I just think an all in one solution like Tropica and now Evolution Aqua have brought to market makes things easier and if they can make it work then why can't other people?
Tom said about adding vinegar in to stabilise it instead, I use RO to mix my dry ferts in - what/if difference this makes I'm unsure when it comes to stabilising things.
He also pointed me toward the thread below but I haven't had a study yet.
https://barrreport.com/threads/edta-chelated-vs-gluconate-ogranic-trace-mix.10504/

Can I also ask why you think the Iron should be increased?

As you can tell I am completely uneducated so please feel free to explain things like I'm an idiotic fool!

Cheers
Andrew
 

Allwissend

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Willingness to learn and test new things is a great thing for yourself the hobby. After all the years there are still so many questions that need answered. So I encourage you to keep doing research, be skeptical and don't jump to conclusions.

The ones you mention above and other companies have created all in one solutions for a long time. Not surprisingly, the methods originate in terrestrial plant fertilizer solutions and hydroponics and are published in scientific peer reviewed journals, so no secret.

There are differences between how large fertilizer companies do things and how a hobbyst would do it. Even if the steps are the same, the scale of the operation will make a difference. Good thing to keep in mind, but that should not stop invidual hobbyst to do their best.

The first problem with mixing macro- and micronutrients in one solution is that PO4 is very reactive with many metals from the micronutrient solution. Once it reacts they form precipitates which are not soluble in common aquarium conditions.

This is a lot more problematic as a solution has times 10000x higher conc than your aquarium (10mL in 100L used as example). Perhaps this is also a reason why many commercial products are so diluted.

In order to prevent their reaction and thus keep them available for plants we chelated the metals and use acidified solutions. So you should first lower the pH of the solution and then start adding salts, all the time monitoring/adjusting the pH.

The second is contamination with microorganisms and their growth. You have a very complete nutrient rich soup which can also support microorganisms . This is why we add preservatives. But improper storage or heavy contamination will still lead to problems.

I was suggesting adding a different, stronger type of chelated iron not necessarily increasing the iron conc. This is to help prevent reaction with PO4. I prefer known chemicals, the term vinegar is used for many things depending on the area, country you are from and is often a mix of various substances beside acetic acid. Ascorbic acid or HCl always worked better for me.

Let me know if you have questions and how your first mix is going.
 
Last edited:

aibcarpentry

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Willingness to learn and test new things is a great thing for yourself the hobby. After all the years there are still so many questions that need answered. So I encourage you to keep doing research, be skeptical and don't jump to conclusions.

The ones you mention above and other companies have created all in one solutions for a long time. Not surprisingly, the methods originate in terrestrial plant fertilizer solutions and hydroponics and are published in scientific peer reviewed journals, so no secret.

There are differences between how large fertilizer companies do things and how a hobbyst would do it. Even if the steps are the same, the scale of the operation will make a difference. Good thing to keep in mind, but that should not stop invidual hobbyst to do their best.

The first problem with mixing macro- and micronutrients in one solution is that PO4 is very reactive with many metals from the micronutrient solution. Once it reacts they form precipitates which are not soluble in common aquarium conditions.

This is a lot more problematic as a solution has times 10000x higher conc than your aquarium (10mL in 100L used as example). Perhaps this is also a reason why many commercial products are so diluted.

In order to prevent their reaction and thus keep them available for plants we chelated the metals and use acidified solutions. So you should first lower the pH of the solution and then start adding salts, all the time monitoring/adjusting the pH.

The second is contamination with microorganisms and their growth. You have a very complete nutrient rich soup which can also support microorganisms . This is why we add preservatives. But improper storage or heavy contamination will still lead to problems.

Let me know if you have questions and how your first mix is going.
Thanks for the info,
I've still quite a bit of 2 part Micro/Macro solution to use up but thought I should try and understand things before they run out and look towards using a 1 part EI solution.

If you were to go down the route of mixing a one part solution how would you go about it?

I would look to possibly use the EI mix from aquariumplantfood then add either ascorbic acid and potassium sorbate or Vinegar.
If I'm to understand things am I right to think the ascorbic acid would adjust the PH and the potassium sorbate would help prevent mold etc?
If I am to monitor the PH whilst I'm mixing what am I looking to keep it at?
Would I be correct to mix the RO water with the ascorbic acid and potassium sorbate then add the macro dry salts followed by the micro dry salts, making sure all have completely dissolved before adding the next?
http://www.aquariumplantfood.co.uk/fertilisers/dry-chemicals/starter-kits/ei-starter-kit.html
 

Tom Barr

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I'd just dose two part, one for macros, one for micros, easy enough.
You can do the all in one, but it works fine with two part and less issues, more Fe chelators can be used etc.
All in one, the DTPA works best.
 

aibcarpentry

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I'd just dose two part, one for macros, one for micros, easy enough.
You can do the all in one, but it works fine with two part and less issues, more Fe chelators can be used etc.
All in one, the DTPA works best.
Hi Tom,

as I understand it chelated Iron can be DTPA or EDTA; the difference I am not sure - maybe someone could educate me here? (I don't even know what they stand for)
The prepackaged chelated trace elements I get from aquariumplantfood contains EDTA Iron.

The reason I wanted to use an all in one is so I can just leave my doser on every day so if I want to do my water change a day earlier or later it is not an issue.
I am able to choose days I want to dose on my doser (Mon, Tues, Weds etc) but not alternate days else that would probably be my choice.
I know this isn't the best idea in the world but I just need to simplify things a little more and not be held to a water change on a particular day.

I hope this makes sense?
Andrew
 

burr740

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Chelators have a PH range where they stay bound to a particular compound or begin to separate. DTPA is a stronger chelate with a higher PH range.

EDTA starts to break loose from Fe around 6.5 (Note; to the other micros it stays bound much higher, Fe is the only issue here). DTPA holds into the upper 7.s.

Once a chelator separates you're left with raw Fe, which will quickly precipitate out of solution or bind with something else, primarily PO4, creating FePO4 in which neither is available to plants.

These PH levels are not absolutes where for example at 6.6 you lose all edta Fe. It's just the level where it begins to happen. There's a graph around somewhere showing iirc at around 7.0 about 50% of edta Fe has separated. Im not sure of the time frame this occurred within or what other relevant factors were involved, that's just to give you an example how it happens

But that's why DTPA is better for all-in-ones, because its stronger

Having said all that, apparently many folks do make an all-in-one using etda based products like what you have. Give this a read - http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/allinone.htm

Ive never tried it but it sounds good in theory
 

aibcarpentry

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Give this a read
This is exactly what pointed me to the idea of using an all in one via a UKAPS thread (below).
I am currently dosing both micros and macros separately but if it works as an all in one I think that would suit me better and I could just adjust my dosing so it was every day.
This way I think I could do water changes on day 6 or 8 quite happily; I sometimes struggle to commit to every 7 days due to illness.
I think I need to understand things better before I go forward with it though and I am admittedly not of a scientific mind.
I have asked about it on UKAPS but would like to hear of other people that have tried it
https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads...an-allinone-solution.52972/page-2#post-537091
 

Koen

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Hi aibcarpentry,

I'm new to the forum, but read quite a few threads and stumbled across this one. I don't know if you have had any succes with the all-in-one ferts by now. But I wanted to let you know that I have succesfully used my own all-in-one solutions for some time now. I'm a chemist for profession, so i like to think I know what I'm doing :)

You are absolutely right on the ascorbate being used as a source of acid to reduce the pH of the stock solution and the sorbate will inhibit mold from growing. As Burr pointed out correctly, the pH of the solution needs to be low enough to prevent the chelated metals from dissociating and reacting to the phosphate (precipitate).
The devil is in the details when making these solutions. This is beacuse many of the salts you add, like the potassium sorbate and potassiumphosphate act as a weak base and thus will increase the pH. The same holds for using tapwater to make the solution, this typically containes calcium/magnesium carbonate which also acts as a weak base. Therefore it is best to make the solution with DI or RO water.

1 g/L of ascorbic acid in combination with 0.4 g/L of potassium sorbate gives you a nice buffered solution with pH ~4, and is a good starting point for adding the rest of the salts.
Use the dosing calculators on this forum to figure out how much of each salt you whish to add. I usually go for 30 mL/100L weekly dose to calculate the required amounts of salts in my 1L dosing container.

My general recipe is:
-Add ~900 mL of DI or RO water to 1.0 g ascorbic acid and 0.4 g potassium sorbate.
-To this you add your micro mix like CSM+B and/or FeDTPA (usually in the 5-10 gram range, depending on your desired dose).
-After this has dissolved you can add your macros (KH2PO4, KNO3, MgSO4, K2SO4, etc). shake untill well disolved.
-Then top up your container with DI/RO water to 1000 mL total volume.
-Solution should be virtually clear and has this typical yellow/green color from the iron complexes.
-Check pH of final solution if you can. Ideally this should be ~5 and will garanty the iron not reacting to the phosphate

I succesfully use a dosing pump to give a daily dose (1/7th of the weekly dose) to my aquarium and do a 50% waterchange at the end of the week.
Hope it helps, let me know if you would like more details!

Koen
 

aibcarpentry

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Hi Koen,

thanks for the reply.

at the moment I'm having a move around and also another go at a DSM so not currently dosing and ferts.

I did give it a whirl but didn't have the time to really see the effect it had I don't think.

Andrew