This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. We are after as many aquarium plant images that we can get, doing so will assist us in completing the aquarium plant database.

    https://barrreport.com/threads/aquatic-plant-images-wanted.14374/
    Dismiss Notice

Poor Man's Pfertz Dosing (PMPD)

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Philosophos, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    1,346
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:12 AM
    Poor Man's Pfertz Dosing (PMPD)
    By Dan Enright​



    Preface:

    This piece of writing is intended as an interactive thread as much as it is an article. It is intended to be an examination of the pfertz line from top to bottom, with an emphasis on accurate reproduction and the cost of nutrients. I intend to update it for accuracy, correct any technical issues as they arise, and partake in any dialogue on the subject. I hope this to be the first of a series of discussions deconstructing various fertilizer brands, and their implications within the planted tank.

    As a brief disclaimer of sorts, I can definitely say that this is all being written for the DIY inclined. Whether pfertz, ADA, Seachem, etc. every company understands that there will be those, both hobbyist and competitor, looking to deconstruct and recreate their products themselves. Their products are for those who do not feel comfortable or are otherwise not inclined to mix their own fertilizers. I encourage those who do not feel that they can work responsibly with any of the compounds mentioned within this article to continue buying premixed fertilizers.


    The Short Version:

    This section is for anyone who wants Pfertz fast, no questions asked. What follows after is the longer explanation that allows for some of the technical details. Any of these numbers can be halved, quartered, doubled etc. to meet your needs.

    The ingredients for each bottle are listed below; simply add the listed weight to half the volume of distilled deionized water, then top off to 1L and stir. It may take some time stirring (or some gentle heat; warm not boiling) to get things right. For pfertz [N] it may be advisable to get the urea and potassium nitrate as a solution in separate volumes of water, then combine and top off.

    Pfertz [N]:
    KNO3 (Potassium Nitrate): 61.27523782g/L
    CH4N2O (Urea): 19.3193426g/L

    Pfertz [P]
    KH2PO4: 19.17446678g/L

    Pfertz [K]
    K2SO4: 43.97633951g/L

    Pfertz [M] is not covered here as it is far more difficult to reproduce. The reasons for this are covered later on.


    On Pfertz and its Content Labeling:

    Pfertz outlines its nutrient concentrations as a guaranteed analysis. By law these numbers have to be accurate. The derivatives for each of these nutrients are not required listing as far as I have been able to determine. At a glance, the analysis does not contradict the ingredients listed. This lack of contradiction does not negate the possible use of other compounds to achieve the same guaranteed analysis. I suspect as discussion develops, better insight as to regulations and labeling will surface.

    At this time, everything I am writing is based on the assertions pfertz makes about its own product, from its own site. In the future there may be some sort of analysis done, but for now the scope is restricted to statements made by the company. None of what I am posting is more than information derived from what pfertz has been required, or chosen, to release about its own products.

    The math behind this project was very interesting. I started with the presumption that all measurements had been given with correction for specific gravity. It turns out that the pfertz site did not make this consideration, and simply calculated the presence of their nutrients as if everything being added was the same density as water. Other deviations from the possibility of actually achieving the analysis given with the listed compounds are noted in the respective sections. For any of my own calculations, I am more than happy to share them. I would include all of them here, but it would result in an article several times this length.

    Macro Analysis:

    I am starting here with the macronutrient analysis for the [N] [P] and [K] bottles. These will be the products most easily examined and reproduced. Mixing comparable micronutrients is a task far more difficult and expensive, one being on the scale of more commercial than private aspirations. This being an article for the hobbyist, I will leave micros as a topic of brand comparison and dosing.

    It should also be noted that there was incongruence between the listed K+ on the site and the K+ that is forcibly added through the above levels. This issue with K+ shows up in every product involving potassium as its base, aside from pfertz [K]. These contradictions sometimes blatantly violate what is possible given the atomic weight of the compounds listed. As such, the topic of K+ is a bit hit and miss. It should not effect any other outcomes outside of the KNO3:urea ratio in pfertz [N], however it does leave a good number of questions unanswered. Hopefully some of it can be answered in the following thread discussion.

    For all of the information on the contents of pfertz, the ingredient labels can be found at: http://www.pfertz.com/analysis.html


    Pfertz [N]:

    Pfertz [N] has a label for its product listed as follows:

    Nitrogen [n] (500 mL and refills): 1.75 - 0 - 5.0

    Total Nitrogen (N): 1.75%
    Available Phosphate (P2O5): 0.00%
    Soluble Potash (K2O): 5.00%

    Derived from: Potassium Nitrate, Urea


    While the nitrogen is most accurately given as N, by the time the product is broken down, a more accurate and hobbyist friendly analysis would be:

    Total Nitrogen: 1.75%
    (N) KNO3: 0.848899026%
    (N) CH4N2O: 0.901100974%
    Total N Expressed As NO3: 7.746907734
    PO4: 0.00%
    K: 4.150563694%

    From the above, these numbers were derived as concentrations for:

    KNO3 (Potassium Nitrate): 61.27523782g/L
    CH4N2O (Urea): 41.50563694g/L

    Mixing up a batch of your own may be a little tricky on this one. I am not sure as to the compatibility of KNO3 and urea in stock solutions. A good method would be to dissolve both thoroughly in separate measures of DI H2O, and then combine them. Hearing from someone with urea around that can test the stability of this compound would be helpful. Alternatively, the same dosing level of N can be reached through a weight of 126.3185171g/L KNO3.


    Pfertz [P]

    The phosphate portion of pfertz dosing was significantly easier to figure out than the [N] product. While the derived K+ from necessary KH2PO4 was off according to both my own and APC’s Fertilator calculations, it will not effect the conclusions I have reached about the required KH2PO4.

    The given analysis on the pfertz site for this product is:

    Phosphorus [p] (500 mL and refills) 0 - 0.35 - 0.25

    Total Nitrogen (N): 0.00%
    Available Phosphate (P2O5): 0.35%
    Soluble Potash (K2O): 0.25%

    Derived from: Monopotassium Phosphate


    In a more helpful format, it would be listed as:

    Total Nitrogen (N): 0.00%
    PO4: 1.338147875%
    K+: 0.207528185%

    The necessary KH2PO4 to achieve the given level of PO4 would be 19.17446678g/L. Mixing this product would be as simple as adding the compound to a little DI H2O and topping off to 1L. Naturally this level can be adjusted for batch sizes and rounded as scale accuracy permits.


    Pfertz [K]:

    This product was by far the easiest to work with of the pfertz line. Plain K2SO4, and a K2O listing of 5.1% (4.233752% K+) made it all straight forward. After dealing with the last two, it really made me wonder whether the K+ was listed correctly, but the given information is all we have to work with. The necessary level of K2SO4 works out to 42.337523/L, and mixing it can be done precisely the same way as mentioned in the phosphate section.


    Macro Dosing:

    So what sort of nutrients does this mean for your tank? The pfertz site doesn’t really tell you what sort of nutrient levels are achieved through their method of dosing. Their analysis also leaves confusion as to what levels of K+ are achieved. As such, both implied levels (DIY and true pfertz) of potassium will be shown, as well as the rest of the results of dosing the pfertz line.

    Given the instructions for the product, we will be looking at a high tech dosing routine at 7x a week, 1 pump per 10 gallons per product at 1.2ml/pump. The extra pump per day will be presumed to be as part of the 7 day a week schedule as the 7th day, allowing for a 6 day dosing plan with the typical resting day before water change.

    In accordance with the above schedule, and nutrients based off both the site and my own calculations:

    NO3: 17.19074ppm
    PO4: 2.969411ppm
    Pfertz Line K+: 16.34168352ppm
    PMPD K+: 17.79787ppm

    So despite some small deviations in K+ and N source ratios, the PMPD macro solutions should be very reasonably close to the brand version.

    Nutrient-wise, these levels of dosing aren’t too bad. These levels are comparable to a lot of current dosing recommendations, and are not likely to become limiting too quickly. Pfertz macronutrients have shown to work in a number of planted tanks, and the nutrients reflect as such.

    Continued...
     
    #1 Philosophos, Nov 29, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2010
  2. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    1,346
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:12 AM
    ...Continued

    Micros:

    I’ve put micros on their own for the reasons mentioned earlier. There will be no breakdown on how to mix up a batch of micros, since it would require making about 100 bottles with a rather expensive scale to get any accuracy. Besides that, the issue of keeping 100 bottles stable for the years it would take a hobbyist to dose this solution is something that inclines me to purely deal with the result of dosing their product within the column. The site lists elemental properties in a convenient form; as such I will keep this section to pure dosing results. Here are those numbers, presuming the same dosing routine as in the macro section:

    B: 0.011317131ppm
    Co: 0.000443809ppm
    Cu: 0.000110952ppm
    Fe: 0.119828443ppm
    Mn: 0.015089508ppm
    Mo: 0.001775236ppm
    Ni: 0.000110952ppm
    S: 0.009541895ppm
    Zn: 0.00097638ppm

    While micronutrients aren’t my specialty, nothing here seems too far out of line. The iron could be higher, but it’s definitely not insufficient. I think the cost analysis up next will be a bit more telling in terms of criticism.


    Pfertz and Cost:

    The current running price for a complete refill of pfertz ([N], [P], [K], [M]) runs $107.99 right now. On their own, each of these jugs are priced evenly, so this cost can be evenly divided for the NPK line. One jug being about 1892ml, the cost is effectively $14.27/L.

    By comparison, one can pick up the same quantity of compounds for 1L each of N, P and K of PMPD for about $0.975 plus $0.280 if you want the equivalent sort of micro dosing from CSM+B, and something like $0.210 for DI H2O. End cost is about $1.47/L ; a hair more than 1/10th the price. Add the fact that you’re not paying to ship water weight, and you’ll be saving even more.

    If you want something other than CSM+B for micros, Seachem’s Flourish is a comparable price at $27/2L, usually around $30-$35 in stores, but without the cost of shipping. Flourish also tends to show higher nutrient concentrations: http://www.aquarticles.com/articles/plants/Podio_Fertilizer_Comparison_Chart.html

    All pure cost criticisms aside, Pfertz doesn’t do too bad in bulk considering costs. Having mixed my own stock solutions, and knowing the time it takes, the markup isn’t completely unreasonable. Packaging probably runs around $5 each for the big ½ gal jugs, total nutrients and water we’ll say $1 given their bulk volume, leaving somewhere around $10/unit for covering the rest of costs and wages.

    The small bottles, on the other hand, don’t seem to be worth the price. Costs there are about $27/L and you can bet a good chunk of it is in the fancy little bottles. For those prices, it’s probably worth it to measure the stuff out, or alternatively find cheaper pump bottles and buy bulk off the start.


    What Now?

    Examine, discuss, rant, plan ahead. This is to be the first of a few large posts and articles examining various brands of fertilizers, the nutrient parameters they achieve, and their costs. At the end I’d like to culminate everything with a comparison of multiple brands. I’d like to see this one discussed for a while, corrections made, and the pfertz line figured out a little better. Once things quiet down and I feel like doing this all over again, I will work on the next post. If you would like to reproduce this article somewhere, let me know and I will edit it into something that looks more like a stand-alone piece.

    - Dan (Philosophos)
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,662
    Likes Received:
    607
    Local Time:
    2:12 AM
    I want to pay 10-20X more.

    It's my choice and an "alternative".

    :cool:

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    1,346
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:12 AM
    Damn you and your trolling, Tom ;)

    Since you suddenly can't handle CaCl2 without wondering why it burns later, we'll remove all the sharp objects from your home :D

    Seriously though, I've tried telling people how to dose standard EI; zero interest when there's brand loyalty. The same people perk up if you tell them how knock off their favorite brands. Once you've got a couple lb's of all the necessary ferts sitting around, tinkering is far too easy. I was thinking maybe TPN+ and Seachem next, with ADA knockoffs in the subscriber section based off of your analysis.

    Here's hoping this helps the DIY interest. Even if I want to start my own brand, I hope that those hobbyists with real interest deconstruct it.

    -Philosophos
     
  5. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    18
    Local Time:
    2:12 AM
    Dan,

    Thanks for posting this info....

    I am still waiting for Tom's micro fert to be available retail??????????
     
  6. JDowns

    JDowns Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    355
    Likes Received:
    22
    Local Time:
    2:12 AM
    It is interesting to see the comparisions and exactly what you are dosing, more importantly in ppm's. Great stuff Dan.

    For the TPN ...James has done a great breakdown and given recipe's for an all in one TPN style liquid.
     
  7. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    1,346
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:12 AM
    I've read James's work; it's nicely done. My one point of concern with it is the issue of getting KH2PO4 to play nice with all the micros. I end up with some very instant, nasty precipitates from even the slightest contamination between KH2PO4 and micros. Part of the TPN article would be trying James's method and exploring the interaction.

    Gerry, I think we're all waiting for that roll of micros with baited breath. I'm on the verge of just mixing a big batch of my own micros once I run out of flourish to supplement CSM+B with.

    -Dan
     
  8. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,210
    Likes Received:
    1
    Local Time:
    2:12 AM
    Dan/Philosophos - Schizophrenia

    Hi Dan/Philosophos,

    Nice work, thank you. :)

    Are you the game show guy?

    What I think you are missing is that EI or do-it-yourself in general is 'commodity' the companies Pfertz or for that matter SeaChem, sells solutions, magic, absolve the user of personal responsibility.

    Have you noticed how folks will ask all kinds of questions, act as though they are interested, argue over details, minutiae? All the while dumping commercial products with no analysis, no clue whatever as to what is in the bottle.

    Also I suspect you are seriously underestimating the profits, the economics of scale. As much as I personally think the prices are ridiculous, I understand this is at best a niche hobby and I really do not begrudge anyone their profit.

    For many, “the more you pay, the more it is worth.” If people did not perceive the value, solution, magic, whatever, they would not pay the price. The fact that people continue to purchase these products, time and again, even after learning there are lower cost alternatives, indicates the products are meeting a perceived need.

    In my view it is everybody’s God given right to overpay for anything they wish.

    While I think it is fine to figure how to make knock-offs of the products, personally I think finding the best way to create the best conditions for keeping our aquariums, keeping the fish healthy, growing are plants and making our aquariums enjoyable is what is important. :)

    As Tom Barr points out it is an alternative, in fact some of the folks, given what they are spending anyway would be just as well to hire someone to set it up and maintain the thing, since what they really want is the outcome and there is nothing wrong with that. :cool:

    Biollante
     
  9. JDowns

    JDowns Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    355
    Likes Received:
    22
    Local Time:
    2:12 AM
    If you search on the UKAPS site I recall reading a thread discussing this and the methods to mix without the precip happening.

    I think we are all waiting for Tom's trace mix....:D For now I'll just live with CSM+B with extra DTPA Fe on the side.
     
  10. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    1,346
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:12 AM
    No... but I found out about him after Ben Stein once stared directly at the camera and swore on my immortal soul that he had no foreknowledge of the answers to the questions he was given. Do you know how much that messes a guy up? :(

    Yes, I've noticed. If you hand them your own bottle they're often very willing to give it a try, if you give them their own brand at 1/10th the price then they're a little easier too. This is how I've gotten good responses with my own efforts.

    I do when it hurts the hobby. I begrudge ADA for selling its near-useless liquid product, and I said something when Tetra was selling 10mg/M^3 of KNO3 at $5/500ml. In this case, I don't decry the producer but I support the freedom of knowledge for those willing to try making it with a little help.

    Ya, and the worst of them are almost like Nigerian 419 scams or Scientology. I could think of some harder hitting, closer to home examples but I'll leave it at the obvious. I support flushing this sort of thing out of people's head when I can; all of us do it, and I think the first step is accepting when we are victims of it.

    We'll have fun with this part some time on an off-topic post... I'll see you the rights and raise you a Russel's teapot. :)

    I agree, and I think that the actual effort to do DIY doesn't take very long if you follow canned instructions. Some of us like taking it a step farther and developing the hobby. This article is geared for both.

    Most definitely, there are people who want this. There are artists and connoisseurs that exist separately from one another. I appreciate a good boreaux, but I haven't bothered making my own wine. I believe Tom was supporting his right to buy a bottle of thunder bird as a reputable vintner in this case ;)

    In any case, your criticism is appreciated. I'd like to see more posts like yours made about this thread. I appreciate everyone's kind words so far, but the next step so often starts with contradiction. Serious peer review and the work of contemporaries is so vital to improving any new concept.

    -Dan
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,662
    Likes Received:
    607
    Local Time:
    2:12 AM
    May as well do it on up if you want to.
    ADA already has the analysis.
    Tropica as well
    Seachem and Pfertz seem easy too.

    Yes, brand loyalty is big on the newbies, if they are skilled at scaping/photo's, they will get a lot more cred and then more will hop on their train.

    Brand loyalty is MUCH less an issue for old timers.

    So if you post up some more like articles, make them simple, easy to follow like the instructions on those DAMN BOTTLES OF MOSTLY WATER WITH A LITTLE BIT OF FERTS ADDED, then I think you will be good to go.

    EI became popular because it is simple and easy to explain.
    Likewise, these newbies that use liquid pre made brands.........they are too scared and do not wanna bother with chemistry and ppm's of this or that.
    They will be able to add a few teaspoons of KNO3 to a the 500mls bottle and dose to save 70$ however.

    Make it simple.
    Make a table also of "how to".

    LeftC has distilled the calibration standards, CO2 regulator systems, Hoppy did an EI version of that also, several ADA DIY light bar examples, ADA knock off stands, DIY sediments, DIY driftwood, DIY CO2 diffusion methods etc.

    These articles work best over time when they are simple.
    Write up the "how to do" part to mimic the product. In the second part, justify with the theory of how to do it etc, they will not be interested in it, however, many will be and it's there when they decide(if ever) to look further into it, and it will answer the larger questions others might have, but keep that 1st part simple, and the reasoning to do it clear.




    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  12. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    1,346
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:12 AM
    I'll keep that outline method in mind Tom. This first time around does seem a little intermingled with things that a new hobbyist probably wouldn't care about. If the whole of the US hasn't heard of specific gravity while drinking so much beer, there clearly isn't an interest in it.

    -Philo...Da... you know, I really need to just get a signature.
     
  13. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,662
    Likes Received:
    607
    Local Time:
    2:12 AM
    Well, you need to see what is really important in getting the message conveyed to the audience.

    We might be able to help folks along, but many lurk and may never do it due to being intimidated by the chem.

    I've had O chem, I use math lots, I'm fairly familiar with this stuff today, but there was a time when I looked at this KNO3 dosing as some sort complex thing, advance, I just wanted something I was more familiar with to add to the tank.

    Not much more.

    I also errored on the less is better idea, many/most do, but end up under dosing.
    I later went the other way due to that.

    So conservative dosing and watching is what I did, most newbies do this.

    I'd just have a how to for Pfertz, ADA liquids, Tropica N+P, SeaChem and I think should cover most brands.

    Simple:
    An example(not anything more than an example, this is not the forumla!)
    Add to 1 liter of water:

    25.8 grams of KNO3
    6.4 grams of KH2PO4

    etc

    For pfertz

    Then for Tropica etc........

    Then offer the rational farther down.

    Give them to simple how to, with some teaspoons equivalents for the grams also.

    Not much more.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  14. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,150
    Likes Received:
    9
    Local Time:
    2:12 AM
    A great disemboweled bird swayed

    There seams to be an interesting balance on most product labels. Just enough information to appease our need to comprehend a result (add 1 cap full of magic to...) and a lot of incomprehensible math that keeps some from really trying to understand more. It's all done to create brand loyalty through reliance. All you need to do is reveal the man behind the curtain and people will find their own way home.

    It's great thread. Maybe for a signature something Baconian or perhaps a cross with a white rose. ;)
     
  15. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    1,346
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:12 AM
    The incomprehensible math will hopefully become more common place with time. I think there's some formulas that can be dumbed down for the average person, with expanded versions for them as they grow. Things like basic nutrient:compound ratios need to be more common place.

    Hmm... maybe a cross wrapped in bacon :D
     
  16. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,662
    Likes Received:
    607
    Local Time:
    2:12 AM
    "Baconaise", part bacon and part mayo, hummm............

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  17. roybot73

    roybot73 Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:12 AM
  18. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    1,346
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:12 AM
    That baconaise is making me a bit queasy just looking at it. Something makes me think that it's mostly from that weird bacon-like taste that soybean oil gives to cream dressing.

    Oh, I did a little breakdown work detailing what individual pumps and other levels of spec dosing will do. All measurements are in ppm:

    Single Pump:

    1 pump N:
    Total NO3: 2.455819821
    Total PO4: 0
    Total K: 0.871653328

    1 pump P:
    Total NO3: 0
    Total PO4: 0.353501271
    Total K: 0.025554445

    1 pump K:
    Total NO3: 0
    Total PO4: 0
    Total K: 1.616732962

    Based off of that, here's what the various dosing instructions found here will result in:

    "The Simple Solution"
    Dose nitrogen [n] 2x per week @ 1 pump per 10 gallons.
    Total NO3: 4.911639642
    Total PO4: 0
    Total K: 1.743306656

    "The Medium-Tech Solution"
    Dose nitrogen [n] and [m] 2-4 times per week @ 1 pump per 10 gallons.
    Same as above for 2x, 4x would be:
    Total NO3: 9.823279285
    Total PO4: 0
    Total K: 3.486613312

    "The High-Tech Solution"
    Dose all liquid fertilizers 5-7 times per week @ 1 pump per 10 gallons.
    5x a week:
    Total NO3: 12.27909911
    Total PO4: 2.121007625
    Total K: 12.59525812

    7x a week:
    Total NO3: 17.19073875
    Total PO4: 2.969410675
    Total K: 17.63336137

    And then of course there's the water change double dosing that'll add 1 pump extra of each respective nutrient that you dose on to the total.

    Obviously recommending N but no K+ is a bit backwards. Has anyone used pfertz lower spec dosing and had K+ issues?
     
  19. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    Messages:
    665
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:12 AM
    As Tom said, keep it simple.

    After a while of reading EI, I was too nutrients (and numbers) centric.
    But then nutrients didn't dispel algae (for me). And I read Tom said nutrients
    didn't play very big roles as some might think. Light and CO2 was.

    I think most aquarists are more receptive when talking about light and CO2 levels.
    But they probably turn away when you start talking about many nutrients levels
    with too long numbers (and too much precision).

    Well, this guy affirms me that nutrient issue is very easy.
    http://www.pantown.com/board.php?id=6922&area=4&name=board4&topic=22&action=view

    The thread started with too little Tetra's Initial Stick in the plain gravel substrate
    and brand-name aquarium fertilizers were too expensive. So he opted for cheap
    standard fertilizers such as Osmocote and some traces for terrestrial plants.
    The pictures were the results. A funny guy, he mocked that we all must be fooled
    by that Japanese aquarium company (EDIT: Actually it's another person in the thread
    who said that, but he's still a funny guy). Anyway, I think he was already experienced
    in this hobby before doing it this way.

    I have seen some comments about NH4 in Osmocote that could cause problems.
    And I don't like Osmocote in the substrate...

    OK, then let's see his another project (same tank). This time he put 3 handfuls
    of Osmocote into his (canister) filter (so no more Osmocote pellets in the substrate).
    I'm not saying that NH4 causing algae is mooted, just pointing that some people do
    strange things and still get good result.

    The results? I wouldn't dare to talk about PPMs of KNO3, KH2PO4, etc, with this guy.
    (Or even in teaspoon, because, for him, it's like "3 handfuls and be there" :p ).
    The micros he used also had very low iron (1.5%). But then look at the pictures.

    There was only a single stem of Glosso there.
    [​IMG]

    About 2 months later.
    [​IMG]

    Pearl Weed was removed (grew too big).
    [​IMG]

    Some Emperor tetras bred there and got a few fries.
    [​IMG]

    Hmmm, nutrient thingies must be easy. :rolleyes:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I think a key to his success was lighting. His tank size was 60x20x24 inch
    but the light was just two 36-watt bulbs most of the time, and those are
    T8's, not T5's.

    Philosophos, I think your breakdown guide is still too complicated. ;)
     
    #19 nipat, Dec 2, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2012
  20. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,662
    Likes Received:
    607
    Local Time:
    2:12 AM
    The light is very low, I can tell form the photo alone.
    Many lack patience and add too much light.
    I also few if any fish in there, so the CO2 can be cranked without issue.

    If you have ever seen my tanks, they have lots of fish in them.

    Still, the poor man's dosing works well if you maker it as simple as the labeled products.

    Try that approach Philosophos

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
Loading...

Share This Page