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Kainite as a fertiliser

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by Ian H, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. Ian H

    Ian H Guru Class Expert

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    I am almost certainly overcomplicating the fertiliser regime by introducing yet another chemical, but I think there may be a need for Kainite at times.

    Kainite simply is a compound of Epson salts and Potassium Chloride. Could it be used instead of KNO3 when Potassium needs to be added without the addition of nitrates?

    Has anyone tried/used this compound?

    Ian
     
  2. chubasco

    chubasco Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Kainite as a fertiliser

    Yes, but not in planted tanks (BTW, MI-5 is on their way over to your house
    for a visit) but sounds like a pretty nifty idea. KCl of course can also be had
    by buying salt substitute from the grocer. But combining them....pure genius!
    Are they mixed 50/50?

    Bill
     
  3. Ian H

    Ian H Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Kainite as a fertiliser

    I looked at KCL, it's sold as Muriate of Potash here I think. But Kainite looks a better option. I'm still in the research stage and all I've found so far is that it contains 11% magnesium.

    TBH I was hoping that Greg may be able to help me on this one.

    I'm not worried about the MI5, my tank is protected by 256 bit encryption and a large catfish. :)

    Ian
     
  4. Ian H

    Ian H Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Kainite as a fertiliser

    Here is the composition for Kainite :-

    General Kainite Information
    Chemical Formula: MgSO4·KCl·3(H2O)
    Composition: Molecular Weight = 248.97 gm
    Potassium 15.70 % K 18.92 % K2O
    Magnesium 9.76 % Mg 16.19 % MgO
    Hydrogen 2.43 % H 21.71 % H2O
    Sulfur 12.88 % S 32.16 % SO3
    Chlorine 14.24 % Cl 14.24 % Cl
    - % Cl -3.21 % -O=Cl2
    Oxygen 44.98 % O

    Ian
     
  5. Greg Watson

    Greg Watson Administrator
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    Re: Kainite as a fertiliser

    If it (kainite) is readily available to you at the right price ... there is nothing wrong with that chemical formulation ... ********but*********

    .... if you dose as much Potassium as I do ... you would be adding an awful lot of Magnesium to your tank ... *****more***** than I think is probably wise ...

    Now ... if you want to use it as a source of magnesium, I'd say it was great ...

    Greg
     
  6. Ian H

    Ian H Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Kainite as a fertiliser

    The price from my UK supplier works out to $2 per kilo, trouble is that minimum pack size is 3kg. When I place my tomato food order with them I may get some to add to my quickly growing apothicary.

    I am still very much a novice at this fert dosing challenge. I don't use the chuck it in and hope method by choice but in some areas I am unsure of the optimum ppm levels of certain chemicals. In particular I know of no tests for magnesium or potassium levels, both of which I consider to be very important, other than the wellbeing of the plants.

    Any guidance will be received with grattitude.

    Ian
     
  7. chubasco

    chubasco Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Kainite as a fertiliser

    Ian, do you have a test kit for GH? I'm currently increasing my GH to 9 dGH
    using 4:1 CaCl2/MgSO4.

    Bill
     
  8. Ian H

    Ian H Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Kainite as a fertiliser

    Yes I do have a kit to test GH Bill. My current tank figures are GH 8 KH 6. My tap stats are GH 6 KH 3. The KH I raised with bicarb I assume the GH has been raised by my addition of magnesium in Epson salts. I am currently fighting off the urge to throw some chalk in there.

    I have to confess that I am confused by the term total hardness as to my mind that would be the total of permanent and temporary hardness which by subtraction would make my permanent hardness level 2 degrees. :confused:

    If you can help me get my head around this I will help in your campaign to get more silly smilies. Oh no!..........................................I've said THAT word again.

    Ian
     
  9. chubasco

    chubasco Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Kainite as a fertiliser

    Ian,
    Total Hardness is: your GH + KH which would be 14 and 9, tank and tap
    correspondingly. Don't subtract anything. If you could get someone to test your water (good lab) that would show the breakdown of Ca and Mg, that would be helpful. I'd dose the tank 3-4:1 Ca/Mg and see how it goes.
    Temporary hardness (KH) is the sodium bicarb and is ok at 6.
    Permanent hardness (GH) I'd increase to 9-10 at the ratio above. YMMV,

    Bill
     
  10. Ian H

    Ian H Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Kainite as a fertiliser

    So my gut reaction to throw in chalk wasn't too far off the mark then Bill. I'm off to search for some CACl2 in the UK. I'll leave the Epson Salts dosing out for the time being then I should achieve the magical 4to1 ratio with the addition of the Calcium.

    BTW is there a common name for calcium chloride and is it readily soluble?

    Ian
     
  11. chubasco

    chubasco Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Kainite as a fertiliser

    It's used in de-icing compounds. I got mine from Greg because I didn't want
    any harmful additives that might be in DE-ICE, but undeclared on the package.

    And yes, it readily dissolves in water. It dissolved quite readily within my
    attention span (about 30 seconds).

    Bill
     
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