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How to make DIY Tropica Plant Nutrition (or, how to make the Good Shit)

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by Wet, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. Wet

    Wet Lifetime Members
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    So I got turned onto this James guy's sweet page recently. Great tank, site and calculator: http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/allinone.htm

    But I'm not too into an all in one solution. I am into traces at the moment and had been thinking about Neil's comparison of Fe vs Mn in Tropica, Plantex CSM+B, Flourish, and Miller MicroPlex (a trace I liked when I used it). Check it out:

    Code:
    			Fe	Mn	Ratio
    Miller Microplex        4%      4%      1.0
    Plantex CSM+B        6.53%    1.87%     3.5
    Tropica TPN          0.07%    0.04%     1.75
    Seachem Flourish     0.39%    0.01%    39.0
    
    Interesting when you take into account the reputation of each, right? So, I picked up some MnSO4 on the Internet the other week -- shipped fast and 5lbs for ~$17.50 from Alpha Chemicals on eCrater. The label says it is 32% Mn, so I believe it is MnSO4.H2O, which is 32.5% Mn. I didn't find EDTA chelated Mn anywhere that didn't require some permit, but also didn't look too hard.

    I am assuming anyone looking to DIY this type of mix already has DTPA chelated Fe and is looking to make some enhanced trace mix. So, like Tropica, this mix has two chelators for Fe. It increases the percentage of Mn in ratio to Fe. It reduces all the other stuff in Plantex. I'm calling it Good Shit. Measurements are to the mg, adjust your scale as necessary, of course. We might be off by 10% or so because of hydrations on some stuff, but whatevs.

    500mL opaque container
    3063mg Plantex CSM+B (~ 3/4 tsp)
    438mg MnSO4.H2O (~ 1/16 tsp)
    1500mg FeDTPA 10% (~3/8 tsp)
    Fill the rest with DI water. Leave some space for some acid or glutaraldehyde if you want
    Shake it up!

    Makes
    Code:
    	         Good Shit    Tropica Plant Nutrition
    Fe	 	   0.07%	0.07%
    Mn 		   0.04%	0.04%
    B 		   0.007%	0.004%
    Cu 		   0.0005%	0.006%
    Mo 		   0.0003%	0.002%
    Zn 		   0.002%	0.002%
    
    Sweet.
     
    #1 Wet, Apr 2, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 7, 2010
  2. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    Hi Wet,

    I just pmed you about this new "Tropica". Looks like a good idea.
     
  3. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    Hey Wet,

    Do you happen to know how many grams of MnSO4*H2O are in a teaspoon? I do not have a scale.

    Also, can you convert the recipe in teaspoons, please.:) Thanks.
     
    #3 barbarossa4122, Apr 3, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2010
  4. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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  5. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    HI Wet,

    Q about the MnSO4*H2O: Is 438mg
    (0.438 gr) the correct amount to be added ?
     
    #5 barbarossa4122, Apr 3, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2010
  6. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    9 grams of MnSO4*H2O in a teaspoon according to the e-mail sent to me by Alpha Chemicals.

     
  7. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    And what this CSM+B + DTPA + Mn will add to just CSM+B + DTPA?
    Plants will do just fine without the added Mn, it's a trace, so really needed in traces

    I personally add CSM+B + DTPA and I can dose 60% less CSM+B
     
  8. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    Hi,

    I think Wet wanted to make a micros solution as close as possible as TPN. I'll try it and see what happens. Why not ? Something new to do and try.
     
  9. Wet

    Wet Lifetime Members
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    barbarossa4122,

    I can't find my teaspoon set right now. But later and I'll make a calculator for it, too. I triple checked my math when messing with it but did I miss something? All I'm really doing there is first making CSM+B 1:1 like Microplex, then adding DTPA to make it like Tropica. :D This works well for me because, as you know, I like less CSM+B than many, but did not know I was dosing it closer to Tropica proportions than I thought.

    Tips: personally I had been dosing more Fe from DTPA than EDTA. I am not sure this and the above is enough for me to tell any difference. You can still use your EDDHA if your want in those old ratios -- plus here is it's heavier than water and out of a syringe gives a neat effect while spot dosing. Just looks cool, basically.

    Alpha Chemicals / Justin Prince is the same person I ordered from. He ships fast Priority Mail. It was heavier than 5lbs per our shipping scale at work! It is slightly pink, but does not color the water this way. The mix in the first post makes a light yellow that seems to dissipate faster than CSM+B alone (this also happens to me when using different chelators -- do they interact that fast?).

    jonny_ftm,

    Well, why did you start dosing additional Fe from DTPA instead of just CSM+B? Probably started because many folks stated their anecdotal experience doing the same with plus plants and then some folks did some research that justified different chelators to you, right?

    So, why do many folks with plus plants who can make any mix they want still speak highly of Tropica Master Grow and Plant Nutrition as a trace mix? This group of folks includes Plantbrain, by the way.

    What's different about Tropica than other stuff?
     
    #9 Wet, Apr 3, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2010
  10. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    Thanks Wet. I just bought a scale from Ebay. I was wondering if the 9grams/teaspoon of MnSo4 is correct.
     
  11. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    I still have 1L of TPN but, I would love to try your "new TPN" Wet. And , I will.:)
     
  12. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    Hi Wet,

    I checked the site http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/allinone.htm and it looks like James does not add any MnSO4*H2O to his DIY TPN. I wonder why. Do you have any idea why? I still like yours better and I'll start doing it as soon as I get the MnSO4*H2O.
     
    #12 barbarossa4122, Apr 4, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 4, 2010
  13. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Don't take my remarq as just a criticism, I didn't mean it, just trying to debate and understand the value of this product to maybe decide to try it also.

    I switched from TPN to CSM+B because of price. Then, was concerned about the Fe chelator, and thus added DTPA to be near TPN.
    The major issue with TPN is low Fe and the need of big quantities even in non high tech tanks.
    CSM on the other hand, lacks DTPA to be near TPN composition.

    Adding DTPA to CSM+B makes them roughly the same, except minor differences in concentrations. Now if we accept that extra dosing of nutrients won't cause issues with 50% weekly WC, these differences become less important.

    If we want to push it extreme and state that TPN is the best micro available, then we still have to rule out HEEDTA. Even your mix won't contain HEEDTA which is still different from the EDTA contained in CSM+B.

    Anyway, I find your mix receipt a great addition that I'll also eventually use when my TPN stock is ended. I'll just make it 2-5x more concentrated so that the container lasts longer :)
     
  14. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    Maybe I'll add some EDDHA I have instead of HEEDTA. Say, maybe 2tsp to Wet's recipe. What do you think Wet ?
     
  15. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    EDDHA has nothing to do with HEEDTA. Based on PH stability, I think they could be arranged this way, from acid to alkaline stability:

    gluconate/vitamins --> EDTA --> HEEDTA --> DTPA --> EDDHA

    EDDHA at 0.05ppm will tint your water in an unatural red
    EDTA, in my estimation, tints water much yellowish than DTPA
    No way to compare to HEEDTA as I don't know of any source for it

    There are other unclear concerns about differences between chelates. One of the most important is instability at light of EDTA. DTPA is also unstable in light, but supposed to last longer. But I never read a study about other chelates and light stability.
     
    #15 jonny_ftm, Apr 4, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 5, 2010
  16. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    Yep, EDDHA does tint my water just a little for a couple of hrs. I only dose about 0.02ppm 3 times/week. Hey, I am looking to get some HEEDTA to no avail. Maybe Tom knows where we can get it . Btw, my Ph is 7 to 7.2, Kh -4 and Gh -8.

    Got to run out for dinner:)
     
    #16 barbarossa4122, Apr 4, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 4, 2010
  17. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    Double post, sorry.
     
  18. Wet

    Wet Lifetime Members
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    barbarossa4122,

    When James did his DIY 'Tropica Plant Nutrition Plus' mix he used any generic trace mix as a substitute for Tropica Plant Nutrition's mix of traces, which I do not think is fair to Tropica. So, such a mix with, say, CSM+B would have the same differences we are trying to address here.

    (Adding MnSO4 and DTPA Fe to the TPN+ mix at James's site would be a good idea.)

    Easter was long and I still have not searched for my teaspoon sets by the way. Tonight probably.

    jonny_ftm,

    Hey man, we're two guys who can grow plants talking about fertilizers -- no hurt or personal feelings at all. I am happy for your posts and wish more folks who can grow plants like you can would post with specifics of what they're doing or participate in threads :)
    Yes! Except this is only true when there is an excess of nutrients. As we can see from the table above or from concentrations in each product, CSM+B has less Mn than Tropica. This is even more true when you dilute all the other stuff with CSM+B when mixed with DTPA for some common Fe target. This is, again, even more true with folks who dose more than recommended levels of Tropica. Mn is the only nutrient dosed at significant quantities (almost to Fe concentrations) this is true of.

    (The above tables omit Mg and K on the assumption anyone addressing these is already doing so at some dosing unrelated to their other traces, be it via GH Booster or otherwise.)

    I do not believe Tropica has ever published their ratio of HEEDTA to DTPA, but I would bet the mix I posted has more DTPA, the better chelator, minimizing the marginal difference between EDTA and HEEDTA in the pH graphs we know. But this is a good point.

    barbarossa's point may have been that his diversifying chelators minimizes the difference between those two chelators as well.

    Old Tropica Master Grow was a pinkish purple, so I think we can infer that is the color of HEEDTA. Also unsure and never seen that isolated chelator myself.

    Thanks for the kind words! HTH
     
  19. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    Hi Wet,

    I'll just like to do TPN, not TPN+. I guess, I am more interested in micros and Fe. Don't ask me why but, to me micros are more interesting to full around with
     
  20. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    I see your point now. Looking at it closer I realize what you mean with Mn concentrations. In deed, when diluting CSM+B and mixing with DTPA to reduce the micro dosing, Mn falls too low compared to TPN. Now, if that's important or not is another story. But I agree that the more is the best here, so why not adding Mn.

    I'll keep dosing my mix of CSM+B and DTPA in an RO tank. If I see issues, I'll try the Mn tip you gave to see if it makes a difference. In my next preparation for a stock solution, I'll for sure add some Mn, can't hurt :)

    Thank you for clarifying it
     
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