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The Custom Micro Mix Thread

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plant Fertilization' started by Greggz, Dec 16, 2017.

  1. Sepp0207

    Sepp0207 New Member

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    I have a test-kit for Mn. I was dosing burr-mix every morning. In the evening I tested Mn for a week or so. There was no more Mn in my tank. My tank has kh 4.
     
  2. Allwissend

    Allwissend Article Editor
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    Nine weeks ago I reported the outcome of high dosing of chelated traces :

    I would like to post the results of unchelated traces. The aquarium parameters were the same, plants changed a little bit, more diversity now as I got a big pack. Nevertheless, no difference in Althernathera mini, still growing straight with no problems.

    Here is the weekly total, plants exposed to this for 9 weeks.
    unchelated.JPG
    Not quite the same levels as the chelated fertilizers but still a lot, a lot more than they need actually. Last I tested the Fe residual was around 1. Keep in mind this aquarium has high KH and GH, but still can detect abundant iron levels.

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]

    So as you can see no deformation with abundant traces chelated and unchelated. Previously this plant was said to be very sensitive to high trace levels and new leaf deformation blamed on micronutrient toxicity, does not seem so. For what it's worth I have this plant in soft water as well, also with decent traces and also with no deformation.

    I think for this tank I will now go to lower traces and see how it runs. It is likely I will not see anything for a long time as the substrate, though sand already has a lot of precipitates in it.
     
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  3. easternlethal

    easternlethal Lifetime Members
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    Regarding urea

    Burr you mentioned that purigen may be reacting to urea. Do you still think that's the case?

    Why do you dose urea everyday?

    Do you recommend just using urea w/o kno3? I sometimes have problems getting kno3...
     
  4. easternlethal

    easternlethal Lifetime Members
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    A week ago I went from:
    - half EI to full EI
    - more light (around 30 to 50 par on the substrate)
    - Started daily dosing unchelated micros and urea (burr mix)
    - Upped co2
    - Upped photoperiod from 6 to 7 hours.

    Total fert regime: Full EI + Burr's micro mix. No GH Booster.

    Probably too many sudden changes. But I got:

    The Bad
    - more gsa on my glass (not really an explosion but a sudden increase - nothing I can't handle)
    - more bba on my buces and anubias and on lower parts of my hygrophilia (again, nothing too uncontrollable)
    - pogostemmon helferi shedding old leaves (new leaves still seem to be appearing) - I did accidentally double dose mgso4 when switching to full EI and am wondering whether this might be the cause.
    - shrimps seem to have disappeared (although this could be due to the livestock)
    - a big bush of stauraugyne repens developing holes and yellowing leaves in certain parts of the bush with other areas seemingly unaffected

    The Good
    - previously dying syngonanthus belem perking up (shorter leaves but nice colour and stem growing. no browning around the edges)
    - toninas planted 1 week ago seem to be maintaining old leaves and thick stem (early days yet)
    - rotala macandra (I think) (newly planted 1 week) doing well, losing a little color around the new growth but not crinkling or anything
    - sunset rotala developing much nicer and redder new growth and keeping old leaves (very very happy with this)

    On the whole I am happier than before because belems, toninas and rotalas are my main focus and have always been challenging for me to grow well.

    how would you suggest I tweak my system to address the Bad?
    1. Increase flow (poor flow is my main diagnosis);
    2. Increase co2;
    3. Decrease total ferts;
    4. Tweak ferts (e.g. decrease FE and Urea? Increase Zn / Mn?)?

    As mentioned above, I'm running out of KNO3 and also planning to switch entirely to Urea. do you think that's advisable?

    CaNo3 is an option but I'm worried it will affect my belems.
     
    #64 easternlethal, Jun 21, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
  5. burr740

    burr740 ~~ Lover of Micros ~~
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    I stopped dosing urea because it wasnt doing anything positive that I could tell

    It's generally good to dose urea every day because it doesnt stick around very long. it is either quickly absorbed by plants, which is the usual goal, or its converted to NO3 by the bio filter.

    Ive never relied solely on urea, or even heavily on it, so cant advise on that

    I stopped using Purigen after plants "sprung to life" when I had it out for a few days. I suspect it was screwing with micros. Seachem's official position is it "should have minimal impact" on micros. Most folks dismiss the idea that it's counterproductive in a planted tank. But if you google the question you'll find various forum discussions and they all have a few folks saying their plants do better without it. Although this opinion seems to be the minority.

    I just know what happened in my own tanks. Plants do better without it so I dont use it. The water is plenty clear already. ;)

    As for your current issues, there's so much going on I wouldnt know where to start.

    I suspect you were low on macros at half EI. Main reason why raising everything helped.

    You really shouldnt be larding on the Mg unless there is Ca present to go with it.

    At this point dont waste your time trying to tweak specific micro elements. That is not the issue if you're using anything close to one of the listed recipes. Total Fe is the main thing

    Optimize CO2, goes without saying
     
  6. easternlethal

    easternlethal Lifetime Members
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    This is my tank pre-mix. Notice the straggly tonina on the right and full helferis.

    2018-05-26 15.56.48.jpg

    Close ups (pre-mix)
    2018-05-26 15.57.10.jpg

    After 6 days of micro mix. 2 dead nerites dead (on the left) due to.. too much Cu? Toninas have improved and now the helferis look straggly.
    2018-06-23 11.42.31.jpg

    Hard to see but I'm getting much nicer reds. Also there's crinkling on the rotala sunsets. Co2 or micro-tox? Or lack of Ca? I'm saying this because: I don't use GH Booster and we have really soft water and my pond snail population is starting to get white shells. So I plan to raise GH by 1 by adding CaCl (+ Burr says I need Ca to balance out my MgS04)
    2018-06-23 11.43.31.jpg

    Helferi losing leaves
    2018-06-23 11.42.58.jpg

    Leaves adopting a curling formation which I like but is there a deficiency?
    2018-06-23 11.42.45.jpg
     
    #66 easternlethal, Jun 22, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
  7. easternlethal

    easternlethal Lifetime Members
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    I created this video so you can see the flow.. I stopped using Purigen too. (No problem with water clarity)

    side shot
     
    #67 easternlethal, Jun 23, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
  8. burr740

    burr740 ~~ Lover of Micros ~~
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    When you all of a sudden unlimit micros - or anything else - other nutrients and co2 can quickly run short. You were already borderline short on macros at half EI, even though you just recently raised them.

    Not sure why the Nerite died.

    Pogo dropping lower leaves is a mobile nutrient issue, or possibly co2.

    Curling Sunsets is from general unhappiness, could be anything. Doubt its micros because they arent particularly sensitive to micros.

    The biggest thing your tank needs is a good cleaning and pruning session. This alone will resolve a multitude of issues.

    Pinch off all those older crappy algae-covered leaves. Stem plants, replant the nice top portions and toss the ratty bottoms.

    All that decaying old growth matter is contributing bigly to the BBA problem.

    Clean the filter. Clean the glass. Vacuum the surface of the substrate to remove all that BBA, even if you lose a few pebbles of Aquasoil in the process.

    Do all this in one setting, immediately followed by a 70-80% water change. Double dose macros after the water change, then proceed as normal

    Stop larding on the Mg unless you have a good reason. Shoot for around of 5 ppm Mg in the water column and 10-15 ppm Ca. More wont hurt but that should be adequate. Pick a GH and stay there for a while. Plants like Downoi and Sunsets appreciate a little more GH than Syns and Tonina. You may not be able to please both. Some folks can and some folks cant.

    Flow looks adequate. A little more surface agitation would help the entire system. its important to have good O2 and gaseous exchange.

    Check your co2 by measuring the PH of degassed tank water, compare to tank water with the co2 running. Ideally you want a full 1 point drop by the time the lights come on, or very shortly thereafter. Adjust the start time vs the rate of injection so that you can achieve a good level of CO2 by the time the lights come on but it doesnt become too much for the livestock later in the day.

    Do all this....and then be patient. :)
     
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  9. easternlethal

    easternlethal Lifetime Members
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    Thanks! Yea I knew that I'd get picked for not keeping things clean... It doesn't really look all that bad outside the photo.

    Yes I read your previous posts about how unlimiting one nutrient can cause another deficiency. So I will keep tinkering. The funny thing about the sunsets is it's only affecting a few of the stems (not all of them) and they were fine before when I was on csmb (they just weren't as red). I believe that going red is causing them to miss something. Another thing I noticed the crinkling seems to only be affecting the side shoots which have grown where I have pinched off the top to replant. I will pinch them off and replant them to see whether they improve.

    On the whole I'm still feeling a lot better about using unchelated micros as opposed to csmb.

    The one thing I forgot to mention is that I am not dosing Mn because I don't have any (waiting for delivery). I don't have a water report but the water is extremely soft. But as you say, maybe it doesn't need it.

    I don't think bba is such a problem for the plants because I use a trickle filter with a micron filter which I change almost every other day. Algae is getting worse at the moment because I also extended my photoperiod from 6 - 7 hrs and increased light intensity but water is still crystal and I'm sure I'll be able to lick it with patience and more cleaning as you advise. Most of the algae you see in the photos are actually on the glass and not on the plants or substrate (except for the helferi).

    Here's my filtration - an open top with easily replaceable filter mat. Above a certain flow rate it removes pretty much every bit of visible matter from the water:
    2018-06-23 19.44.39.jpg

    Not too worried about surface agitation because of this (sorry for the poor quality).. I do worry whether it converts urea too quickly but having this amount of bio filtration makes me comfortable going fully urea.
    2018-06-23 19.45.33.jpg
     
    #69 easternlethal, Jun 23, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
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  10. burr740

    burr740 ~~ Lover of Micros ~~
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    Well you definitely need Mn! Plants use more of that than any other micro besides Fe. The aquasoil may be providing a little but sooner or later things will go south without any.

    What is your micro recipe exactly, in ppms per dose and how often?
     
  11. easternlethal

    easternlethal Lifetime Members
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    This is my proposed formula. I'm still getting to grips with it.

    - I decided to use CaNO3 to add a bit of GH;
    - I'm using your formula am not really sure about MgS04 levels because i think it was created for your water which has 40 Ca but mine is probably much lower;
    - Can I lard K2S04? Does it matter if I add it only once or daily?
    - You mentioned double dosing macros, but that does that mean that if I've prepared 3 doses a week, I'm dosing 2X at water change and then only 1X during the week? I do believe that I was low on macros.
    - Do I half dose micros also? I saw you mentioning half dosing on macro days before, but is that mean dosing 0.5X on macro day then dosing 1.5X on micro day?

    upload_2018-6-24_8-29-54.png
     
    #71 easternlethal, Jun 23, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
  12. burr740

    burr740 ~~ Lover of Micros ~~
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    Doubt you need .25 ppm Fe daily but it may or may not hurt anything.

    .15 daily is probably plenty, or .2 ppm 4-5x week

    Keep Mn within a 3:1 to 2.5;1 Fe:Mn ratio. Other micros look fine, you can drop Zn to .04 or .045

    I said double dose macros after the water charge because you will have just did an 80% according to the plan. This is to prevent having a big low for a few days.

    You'll most likely need more than 15 ppm NO3 per week. Maybe not, but I'd shoot for 25 or 30, same for K.

    When I was doing 5 ppm doses it was 5x per week, not 3. 15 ppm after a water change and two more 5 ppm doses throughout the week

    Are you using RO water? if so that's less than 5 ppm Ca. Might be enough, 10-15 would probably do better.
     
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  13. X3NiTH

    X3NiTH New Member

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    I posted this on TPT but it's stuck in a moderators inbox, probably until someone rolls the server out of the ditch it's currently in.

    Thought I would document the process of building a new mixture for reference purposes.

    500ml Micro Mix @ 1ml/10L -

    Fe 0.15
    Mn 0.05
    Zn 0.04
    B 0.03
    Cu 0.002
    Mo 0.0015
    Ni 0.0005

    This mix includes a liquid Fe Gluconate component, 'Grow Microbe-Lift Plants Fe' (bottle instructions 1ml/100L - 0.1 mg/L and the solution in the bottle is pH 3.05).

    The preparation water is RO/DI (Tap TDS 35, post treat TDS <1ppm, it really should be 0ppm but I think my DI resin is exhausted as the gauge flickers between 0 and 1 ppm when drawing water (TMC RO/DI unit).

    I acidified the water beforehand using Ascorbic acid (I had this already and should have used it with the previous 5L preparation noted in my last post) and checked the pH of the solution before adding the salts. At the addition of each salt there was vigorous mixing to achieve near full dissolution (salt crystals disappearing on visual inspection after each shake of the bottle) then the pH probe was put in the resultant mixture and the reading was allowed to stabilise for 5 mins before it was noted down. The following list shows the respective weights of the salts addition and the resultant pH of the mixture, the Mo, Cu and Ni component is derived from individual pre prepared solutions (100ml containers dosing at 10ml/5L for Mo 0.0015, Cu 0.002, Ni 0.0005).

    500ml Micro dosed @ 1ml/10L, Preparation as follows -

    450ml RO/DI + 0.25g Ascorbic Acid - pH 3.2

    + 0.77g MnSO4.H2O (Mn 0.05 mg/L) - pH 3.42

    + 0.9g ZnSO4.7H2O (Zn 0.04 mg/L) - pH 3.5

    + 0.86g H3BO3 (B 0.03 mg/L) - pH 3.5

    + 0.019g Na2MoO4.2H2O (Mo 0.0015 mg/L) - pH 3.6

    + 0.04g CuSO4.5H2O (Cu 0.002 mg/L) - pH 3.68

    + 0.0113g NiSO4.6H2O (Ni 0.0005 mg/L) - pH 3.74

    At this point the resulting mixture is clear with zero precipitation. The addition of the Fe increases the opacity of the mixture.

    + 50ml Fe Gluconate (pH 3.05 - Fe 0.1 mg/L) - pH 3.35 (Green tint to the mix)

    + 2.275g FeDTPA 11% (Fe 0.05mg/L) - pH 3.19 (Brown Green tint to the mix)

    The mixture was allowed to stabilise overnight and on visual inspection the next day there was no sedimented precipitation detected, however there is a wispy milkiness on the interior surface wall of the bottle that dissipates fully when the bottle is shaken, I have seen this before with the FeDTPA at this same concentration when added to a mixture of Flourish Trace and Flourish Comprehensive (50ml Trace, 6ml Comp, 4ml RO/D1, this mixture gives Mn 0.02, B 0.007, Zn 0.04 and 0.1 Fe when dosed at 3ml/10L, the addition of 0.09g FeDTPA 11% and 0.02g MnSO4.H2O fortified it to Mn 0.05 and Fe 0.15 @ 3ml/10L (considering FTrace should be dosed @ 0.625ml/L that got expensive fast). This mixture still worked really well although the FeDTPA is slightly out of its range in the bottle and should be nearer pH4. With this in mind the next new mix I make I will target pH4 for the resultant solution and record what happens to the ingredients when mixed together at this pH.

    It's now in the dosing pump bottle, first full dose should reach the tank day after tomorrow (when line from dosing pump to tank clears of previous mix), will be interesting to see what my Buce think of the extra B, Ni, Mo, 4x reduction in Cu and zero Cobalt.

    I have a couple of questions.

    Is it worth adding any Cobalt? I have the chloride to hand and could add it to the mix at a very low concentration if need be. (Trace and Comprehensive both have it listed).

    Also has anyone put any thought to why Seachem are adding into Flourish Trace Vanadium Sulfate and Rubidium Chloride (even stating on the label 'NON-PLANT FOOD'), is it a ubiquitous contaminant in one of their base ingredients? or is it added to differentiate their mix from other similar products? As a point of note they are not listed as ingredients in Flourish Comprehensive and neither is Nickel. I am wondering if they are being added intentionally due to the higher concentration of Zinc and additional use of Nickel in the Flourish Trace, maybe to somehow keep the resultant mixture stabilised and available in the bottle for longer shelf life (not looked it up so pure speculation), hopefully it's not akin to adding Gold Leaf flakes to Vodka to make it more 'Special'.

    :)
     
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  14. burr740

    burr740 ~~ Lover of Micros ~~
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    That is very interesting.

    I used to spike a Fe and micro mix with Flourish Iron (gluconate) and never saw a change as you described. Never tried it the other way around by adding micros to Flourish.

    My knowledge of Co is limited but it does have a function in N2 fixation by the roots. Not sure if it's beneficial or worth adding for aquatic plants or not. Ive never experimented with it

    My money is on vanadium and rubidium being more gold leaf flakes than anything, but that's just a guess. It may have a purpose
     
  15. X3NiTH

    X3NiTH New Member

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    No I never see an interaction between FTrace and FComp when mixed, it's only when adding the FeDTPA. I did make a concentrate solution of FeDTPA on its own in its own bottle to fortify other mixtures, the mixture at this concentration was fully soluble when first made but over time a waxy yellow precipitate formed on the bottom, when vigorously remixed over a few days this precipitate has broken up and to a large degree gone back into solution, but some large yellow flakes remain in the bottle. It might just be the characteristic of the FeDTPA 11% powder I have. Never checked the pH of this solution, I might go have a look and see if it's in range for the chelate.

    At one point I was all for the elimination of Co in the water when it was being discussed on UKAPS in relation to BBA and how it is rich in Vitamin B12 (Cobalamine, Cobalt being central to this molecule), I might add Co at low dose in the next batch (unless my BBA disappears), give time for things to settle into the new regime. I use Remineralsied RO/DI for water change so if there's any in the tap it's getting stripped out by the DI resin (not so much now as its needing replaced).

    I'm gonna go have a trawl through some papers and see what Rubidium and Vanadium do in solution with Zinc and Nickel, see what that brings up, I'm hoping it's more than just fairy dust and Seachem really know their chemistry more than their bottom line.
     
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  16. easternlethal

    easternlethal Lifetime Members
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    week 4 of custom dosing and everything is going great except that all my crs and nerites have disappeared and the existing pond snails have developed white shells. My tank is two years old and I've never had issues like this so I'm pretty sure it's the micro mix - I'm suspecting it's actually the copper because I incorrectly estimated my dose and ended adding more like 0.1ppm. I've going to stop dosing for a few water changes and try again. I couldn't be happier with my plants though. My syngonanthus actually propagated for the first time in my life and toninas, rotala sunsets, buces all doing fantastic. And best of all, algae is disappearing.
    photos coming soon!
     
    #76 easternlethal, Aug 4, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
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  17. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Have you increased the Co2 as well? High Co2 in my tank gives me similar effects on snails.
     
  18. easternlethal

    easternlethal Lifetime Members
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    Come to think of it you may be right because this all started around the same time I bumped up my Co2 also. I guess I'll just have to reduce levels and hope the plants don't suffer..

    Sent from my SM-T820 using Tapatalk
     
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