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Fertilizer Testing Questions

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plant Fertilization' started by over_stocked, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. over_stocked

    over_stocked Junior Poster

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    Some of you may have seen my discussion of fertilizer testing on TPT. I am currently attempting to develop a substrate fertilizer. Primarily I am working on a delivery that seems to be similar to the FERKA capsules. I am not sure if anyone has experience with them here.

    I have tried, and adjusted them 7 times now, and am ready to start with some more significant quantitative testing. This is why I have come to you fine folks.


    I want to use plant tissue testing and biomass weighing to test this, as Tom has suggested. I will quote him for good measure:

    What i am interested in primarily is tissue analysis for P, K, Ca, Mg, S, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, B, Mo, Pb, Cd, Ni, and Cr and N. This test is economical enough for me to do on my scale. I will include biomass weight because it is simple enough.

    My first questions:

    What plants/cuttings should I use in my preliminary testing. What method of growing would you recommend? How many? I will use separate containers for each, have not decided on which yet.

    Because I have little interest in making money off of this I will explain. The fertilizer is placed into the substrate using a gel capsule(I am testing vegetable caps right now too, for solubility, but they are more expensive) just like FERKA caps. I am trying to make this a comprehensive fert, but am open to suggestions for what to use.

    I am open to any thoughts and suggestions. This is more an attempt to offer a really cheap, yet effective fertilizer that is superior to the common ones out there. I know there are many DIY options, but this is intended to be cheap enough for those who do not want to take the time( I know that is not most of the people here) to DIY a solution for themselves.


    I intend to use a lab for some of the testing, but for a more economical testing could one of these tests work http://www.biconet.com/testing/pt.html or one of these http://www.google.com/products?rlz=1C1_____enUS356US356&sourceid=chrome&q=plant+tissue+test+kit&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=QYR7S5ebFJXUlAepgNGoBQ&sa=X&oi=product_result_group&ct=title&resnum=3&ved=0CBwQrQQwAg

    Thoughts, concerns, criticisms, etc are appreciated.
     
    #1 over_stocked, Feb 16, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2010
  2. over_stocked

    over_stocked Junior Poster

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    I intend to purchase the micro and macro test kits, if someone thinks they are worth while.
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You might read the paper I did for a class search under "Phytometer", I think dry weight, leaf count, stem length etc, will be enough if you run say 5-10 common aquarium plants. The tissue analsysi is a bit much, but would be nice, that's additional confirmation.

    If you cannot find the paper, let me via PM.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. yashaswibs

    yashaswibs Prolific Poster

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    Is this more of a hobbyist attempt at finding a good substrate fertilizer or are you attempting to write a proposal and grant followed by a paper?

    If this former then is it any help to try to find individual analysis of different elements, especially if you are trying to just trying to grow plants?

    If the bottom line is growth then dry weight comparison would be enough. Weeds of some sort would be a good start- some root feeders with rapid growth will allow you quick turn over of experiments.
    Could you use three plants in each arm to provide some statistical significance?

    Just a few thoughts from my angle.
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You can view the paper I did in the advanced fertilization section subforum.
    I agree with you Yashaswibs, dry weights, stem elongation, leaf counts, root and shoot weight is more than enough for justifications, comparisons.
    They could send out a few samples for say Fe, N, P to an ag service that test crops.
    That would show a lot went in to the product and some baseline evidence to show it works.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. over_stocked

    over_stocked Junior Poster

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    So you wouldn't waste money on the plant tissue test kits? I get comprehensive sampling done for about 22 bucks a test, from other sources. If I did more than 5... that would pay for the NPK test. I'd have to have 10 tests done to pay for the micro test kit too.

    Looking for a local testing option as well, since I live in the heartland!

    I have always been interested in tissue testing, to see just how successful some of our dosing is, but am not really sure what I would have to use it as a benchmark. I think it would be handy to use in diagnosing a deficiency.
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well you could get them done, 22$ a smaple is not bad and it's an independent verified method outsourced.
    I'd do N, P, Fe for 2 samples and then compoare them to sand and water only and maybe hoagland's modified.
    That would give a lower and upper bound.

    It should not take long, say 3-4 weeks of grow out. Chose a good plant.
    Something like hoagland's you make etc, much like EI, but 5X more concentrated, then you delet what ever nutrient of interest and look at the differences.
    That's how ag services do it and how Liebig, Hoagland etc did it for crops.

    We can do this for nutrients, but not for CO2 using the flask, but you can do it ina sealed chamber and remove the CO2 to various levels to induce limitations.
    Or try it in water.




    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. CL_

    CL_ Guest

    This does sound interesting. I didn't know that you were doing this. I have used the ferka capsules for rosette plants, and they seem to work very well.
     
  9. over_stocked

    over_stocked Junior Poster

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    Sorry I missed replies. CL, if interested in trying this out, please shoot me an email at medicthree@gmail.com

    I am running some controlled tests now, but we are not even to the point of adding the fertilizer. Doing 2 weeks of no ferts to show comparison.
     
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