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Hey Tom... NPK solution...

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by TexasRock, Jun 3, 2006.

  1. TexasRock

    TexasRock Prolific Poster

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    I know you can make a CSM+B solution by placing 1 Teaspoon in 500ml of water.

    Is there a way to make a similar solution using the dry ferts I bought from Greg?

    I have N, P, and K. I know Tom doesn't really dose extra K ... so any ideas would be appreciated.

    By the way...

    My tank is 100 gallons. For the CSM+B solution you dose 1ml per gallon per week. So.. .that would be 16.66666667 mls or 17mls per day of the trace mix. I calculated that out by dividing 100 by 6 since on the 7th day (Sunday theoretically) is your water change day.

    Also, what is a good dosing regime for this size tank? Total water volume is probably closer to 115 with my sump.

    I have 3 wpg, pressurized CO2, DIY reactor...

    THanks!

    Keith
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Hey Tom... NPK solution...

    Assuming you want to mix up 500 ml of NPK solution, and that you want it to last 20 doses, for example. You want 20 times the dose of each fertilizer mixed in with the 500 ml of water. Then you dose 1/20th of the 500 ml each time you dose. You do have to be sure that you can dissolve that much in that little water. Unless you are using an auto-doser, which doses liquids only, it is a lot easier to just dip a tiny measuring spoon into the fert and dump it in the tank.
     
  3. TexasRock

    TexasRock Prolific Poster

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    Re: Hey Tom... NPK solution...

    Can I just dump it in the tank or mix it in water first? Dump it in my sump?

    Keith
     
  4. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Hey Tom... NPK solution...

    Most of us just dump the ferts in the tank. We are only talking about a tsp or less of any one of them, for most sizes of tanks. And they all dissolve pretty quickly. CSM+B, a trace mix, dissolves slower, but can still be dosed that way.
     
  5. quenton

    quenton Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Hey Tom... NPK solution...

    I mix it in water immediately prior to dosing. However, the main reason I do this is because I have 2 tanks, and one is 29g -- so the amounts are small and hard to measure. So I mix the amounts for both (65 and 29g) at once, and I have carefully marked my bottle in 1/3rd's, so I take 1/3 for th3 29g and 2/3 for the 65g. However, I find it easy to disolve the ferts, so even if I was dosing one tank I would probably mix it in tank water first -- it seems pretty simple.
     
  6. Wet

    Wet Lifetime Members
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    Re: Hey Tom... NPK solution...

    May as well dry dose into the sump. If you don't have any criters in there it won't make a difference, and is the perfect place to dissolve ferts. Even if you do have criters in the sump, you probably will not have a problem (I do not).

    FWIW, when I dose from solution I just target a nice easy dose (say, 5mL/1tsp) to reach my targets. Your plan of dividing the trace mix volume works of course, its just a pain in the ass to measure that several times a week. Also, its okay to round up under EI unless you want to be more exact about ppm. Use Chuck's calc or the Fertilator or such if that is important: http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_dosage_calc.htm

    You can go up and down on CSM+B depending on your target Fe ppm. Here is my calculator if you want to calculate to ppm or play with that recommended dosing: http://justanothertank.com/calcs.php . (Greg's 1tsp in 500mL, 5mL doses/20gals is ~.12 Fe ppm. I like .3ppm Fe. If I remember correctly, Tom Barr and Greg have both dosed to 1.0ppm Fe with no reported issues. Experiment.)

    Do not forget to include the sump's water to the total volume when calculating your ppm.

    Good luck,
    Joe
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Hey Tom... NPK solution...

    All good advice.

    Fro small tanks, it can be tougher to accurately measure, some do, this is a personal preference.

    I tend to change the water more in smaller tanks, generally 60-80%, so there's less issue if I muck things up/add more etc.

    This works very well also.

    Larger tanks=> more water to change per %, so then the accuracy is better and the volume of water to change is not as easy in some cases.

    Keith, your biggest challenge and most folks biggest issue: CO2

    DIY is very rough on any tank over 50-60 gals.
    I can be done, but seriously consider a gas tank and regulator.

    You'll need at least 4 x 2liter bottles going and dual reactors on each side of the tank.

    The ferts will not do much for you if the CO2 is off.
    That's the biggest fert there is.
    Carbon from CO2 is 40-45% of the plant's biomass.
    The next smallest? Nitrogen is only 1.5- 1 % of a plant's biomass....

    Both are essential, but the CO2 is pretty important and you can get a lot out 3w/gal with good CO2/Dosing.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. quenton

    quenton Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Hey Tom... NPK solution...

    I agree (from experience) with the above. I have a 65g (figure 55g actual) tank. I have 5 2L bottles on it, with two reactors. I figure, from results, that my CO2 is barely adequate. I have slight algae compared to my 29g tank which has 3 2L bottles and one reactor and has no algae. Actually I figure both are marginal, the 29g being less marginal :)

    My plan is to move to pressurized CO2 on the 65g and move a bottle to the 29g.

    Changing 8 2L bottles is a pain, even though mine seem to last for 14 days.
     
  9. TexasRock

    TexasRock Prolific Poster

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    Re: Hey Tom... NPK solution...

    Yeah, I have pressurized CO2, JBJ regulator, SMS122 pH controller (not really needed) and a DIY external reactor that I'm going to ditch as soon as I get one like Tom's built. I may just make a larger version of Tom's design and have it powered by its own Mag 3 pump...
     
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