EI - Pre mixing

nwfishinfool

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Jun 22, 2007
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I just wanted to make sure the way I pre-mix my ferts that I'm not making anything unusable to the plants or causing any chemical reactions I am not aware of.

I follow the EI method (plus a few additions) for my 26gal tank. I alternate days with the Macros (NPK) and Micros (CSM+B).

I dose early in the morning so I pre-mix the days ferts the night before in water from my tank.

Am I causing any problems by mixing the following ferts and letting it sit overnight?

Macros (NPK) + Excel:
I mix the N, P and K with water and add a couple ml's of excel. From what I understand, there is no problem pre-mixing the NPK but am I causing any issues adding Excel to the mixture. I use a container that holds about 2 cups water and add the ferts to that.

Micros:
I mix the CSM+B, Excel (2ml's), Flourish (2ml's) and Flourish Iron (1ml) in 2 cups aquarium water the night before I dose. Anybody see any issues here? I understand that I am dosing additional Iron and Micros beyond the EI recommendations but my plants are doing so well and I have no algae issues so I am hesitant to stop adding the small amount of the Seachem products I have been adding.

I am running two 2L Bottles DIY CO2. My drop checker stays nice and green with 5dkh water so I'm not sure the Excel is even necessary, but as I mentioned, it is working very well. Just want to make sure my pre-mixes are not doing something chemically that I am not aware of.

Any thoughts??
 

VaughnH

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Jan 24, 2005
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Excel may be degrading as a result of being premixed with water that long before using it. Other than that I don't see a problem with what you are doing. You are dosing more trace elements than you need, but you were aware of that.

You could save some time by premixing a whole bottle of each of those mixtures, minus the Excel, and dosing 15 ml or so of the mixture each time. You would have to figure out how much to mix in the bottle to make the dosage come out right. Then each day you just dose a fixed amount of the pre-mix, and dose the required amount of Excel separately. There is no reason to use aquarium water for this. Ordinary tap water would work just as well.
 

nwfishinfool

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Jun 22, 2007
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Thanks for the info Hoppy.

I had concerns pre-mixing the Excel may be having an effect on it. Probably sounds weird, but I kind of enjoy mixing the chemicals every day. Makes me feel like a Jr. Chemist or something.

I'm getting ready to set-up my 75 gallon, so I'll probably do the larger pre-mixes and start dosing ml's soon.

Regarding the additional traces I have been dosing, I have been thinking I should probably phase those out. Things are working so well, I hate to mess it up! I'm very consistent with my water changes so the tank parameters get reset as they should.

The concern with extra traces are mainly too much Iron right?
 

VaughnH

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I don't think having too much trace mix will do any harm. There is some copper in CSM, and possibly in the others. A buildup of copper would harm shrimp and possibly some fish. I doubt that you are close to that point though. Excessive iron isn't a problem as far as I know.