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. 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

Using Urea, Citric acid, MnSO4, etc. in DIY solutions

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by ShadowMac, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,043
    Likes Received:
    12
    Local Time:
    8:18 PM
    So, I've been evaluating my fertilizing approach. EI has worked successfully and I have no complaints, in fact I look to probably scale back the dosing a bit from previous solutions. In reading a few things here and there I've begun to think about additional additives in the process and have a few questions I have been unable to find adequate answers to and hope the folks at the Barr Report could be of some help.


    1)Using acid as a preservative. In the past I have used excel and it works fairly well. Usually a couple months without growth. I've read that an acid can enhance the effectiveness of chelators. I think I see some precipitate in my micro solution after a period of time and wonder if an acid preservative would help with this. a) can I still use excel with HCL or Citric acid? b) Any guidance on how much to add to a volume of micro solution? My autodoser has a 1500 ml reservoir.


    2)Any truth to the idea that creating an acidic enough solution allows someone to create an all in one solution without PO4 and Fe precipitating out? I cannot recall nor find again the resources from where I first read this.


    3) I've noticed some commercials fertilizers use two sources of nitrogen, likely KNO3 we all use, and Urea. Any guidance to using Urea as a secondary source of Nitrogen? Are plants better able to utilize urea or is this just more marketing claims? If it couldn't hurt and I feel like trying any guidance on how much to add to my solution of macros? This is what I found on Amazon and am EXTREMELY rusty on my stoichiometry so wouldn't trust myself calculating it. Any help would be appreciated.


    4)Any benefit to using MnSO4 to beef up the Mn content of Plantex CSM+B? In reading some of the DIY Tropica Mastermix threads and info I came across Wet's analysis of the ratio of iron to manganese in Tropica compared to Plantex and noticed the discrepancy. For what its worth, I can already see Tom showing a big flashy picture that beautiful stem scape he has going and saying....no need for any of this....look standard EI here. But...indulge me a little please.


    I'm planning to shoot for lower end of EI range for dosing this round in terms of nitrogen. I would like to see some color induced by nitrate limitation without some of the drawbacks of too lean of dosing elsewhere (so why the Urea question anyways then...yeah...I know). I'm thinking rich Fe (and maybe additional Mn), rich K, heavier P...and light on the N ( 10 ppm?). I will use the calculator at Rotalabutterfly.com to calculate for my targets. Any comments on this idea at all?


    *UPDATE*


    Used Jame's Planted tank to narrow down the acid I plan to use Ascorbic acid and the preservative Potassium Sorbate. Not sure if I'll make an all in one solution however.
     
  2. rajkm

    rajkm Article Editor
    Staff Member Lifetime Member Article Editor

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    664
    Likes Received:
    216
    Local Time:
    8:18 PM
    I have used the Ascorbicacid and Potassium Sorbate and have not seen any mold build up. Many also use Vinegar to the same effect to remove any KH prior to adding the ferts.


    I do not do All in One solutions but James PLanted tank notes say it works fine.


    I do use Urea in minor levels because its in NH4 and too much can cause algae.


    I have created the Wet's tropica alternate and I have not seen any specific advantages. I am currently doing straight 3:1:1 CSB:DTPA:Gluconate mix and I think I can use some more Mn but I will need to check. I am currently fighting GDA/GSA and once I get over that, I can make a better judgement.
     
    2 people like this.
  3. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 12, 2013
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    1,464
    Local Time:
    8:18 PM
    I've used both vinegar (acetic acid) and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C powder). I don't think exact percentage matters, but I used 10 ml of vinegar to 500 ml of solution. Just helps lower pH below the optimal range of mold - that's all you're doing.


    I have not created an all-in-one, but have used Thrive, so I know it can be done.


    I use 0.8 ppm Urea per day. Don't know if it is doing anything or not. Tom says that's about what most tanks can handle.


    Most commercial liquid ferts have varying Fe:Mn ratios. I don't know if there is an ideal ratio. This could be the ratio debate of 2017. We used to have debates about Ca:Mg and that seems to have blown over. I don't know if there is merit to a specific ratio, but my unsupported opinion is that as long as you are in the 2:1 to 10:1 range for Fe:Mn, you should be fine. I read a decades old paper on soybean plant that showed issues if you went to 100: 1 or reversed that ratio. Most of us operating in the vicinity of commercial liquid ferts should be fine. Trace tox people have strong opinions about this, as they do about most things. But I'd need to see simple, controlled experiments with pictures before I start playing with Fe:Mn ratios in my tanks.
     
  4. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,043
    Likes Received:
    12
    Local Time:
    8:18 PM
    I don't really like the ratio debates, it goes against the basic principles many of us apply in using EI. I think, in Wet's analysis the ratio was more or less used to compare the quantities provided by various micro mixes and Tropica. From what I had read, Mn is needed in quantities similar to Fe...so the ratio becomes relevant when we try to dose say 2 ppm Fe and only have 0.5 ppm Mn from that dose. It suggests a near 1:1 ratio to be better since Mn would then be provided in similar amounts.


    If you dose 0.8 ppm Urea, which I did see Tom said provides about all the N plants would need, what do you use for K? KCl? I'm considering combining KNO3 with a modest amount of Urea. Sometimes I think the effects we chase are so subtle they really don't count for much...but I am curious. I don't really have problems growing plants and I think flow and CO2 control is far more critical than nutrient dosing when using a substrate like aquasoil.


    I'll probably skip the all in one quest for now. Not really that important for me in the scope of things.


    Pikez, do you use distilled or tap for your solutions? Thank you for a volume of vinegar for a volume of solution. That is helpful. Are you certain there is no beneficial effect on the longevity and stability of the chelators? If I use Fe DTPA, which works better in harder water...any problems with using it in lower pHs and distilled water?
     
  5. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 12, 2013
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    1,464
    Local Time:
    8:18 PM
    I know Burr is playing around with Fe:Mn ratios. I am waiting to see if he discovers something. I think virtually all of us fall into 'reasonable' ratio range of these two traces based on that one study I read on soybean plant growth.


    If there is any merit to the 1:1 ratio, I'm all for it. I'd love to be wrong on this!


    I use potassium bicarbonate for KH. I use 100% RO water for my Dutch tank. 4 tsp after each 60-70% water change every 5 days. So K is already addressed. And 6 tsp of KNO3 per week. Plenty K there too.


    For my solutions, I use RO water. Not distilled. I don't think it makes that much of a difference. If at all. I have not seen any issues with RO+vinegar+ Fe DTPA solution. Been using this formula (based on Burr's dosing) for a couple of months. I store solution in the fridge. Everything seems fine. If I notice any deficiencies in the Kill Tank, it is because of too many plants and constant amount of trace input. Once I reduce biomass, problems go away.
     
    #5 Pikez, Nov 29, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 30, 2016
    2 people like this.
  6. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2015
    Messages:
    1,398
    Likes Received:
    1,292
    Local Time:
    2:18 PM
    Yes, and Im starting to think additional Mn is not a good thing.


    Disclaimer: This will ONLY apply to people with inert substrates whose tanks have proven to be sensitive to higher micros. Stop reading now if you are not one of "those" people, or if you are an inexperienced user just wondering why your AR is covered in bba. ShadowMac , I know the latter doesnt apply to you :)


    Long story short Ive been adding additional Mn to Fe dtpa for a 3:1 ratio for a few months now. A couple of long-time reliable species havent done well ever since. However....I also made another change or two around the same time. So the jury is still out whether it even has anything to do with Mn.


    Just a few days ago, I upped the Fe:Mn ratio to 2:1. My thinking is if Mn is a problem, things should get dramatically worse.


    Next step is to eliminate the additional Mn entirely, and see if the problem rectifies.


    My current opinion, albeit purely anecdotal and completely unvalidated, is that additional Mn is somewhere between not needed and downright harmful.


    Pikez "Kill Tank" basically proves that it isnt necessary. We have the exact same ferts minus the additional Mn, and roughly the same water. A few plants that have gone south for me recently are thriving in his tank.


    tifwiw
     
    2 people like this.
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,684
    Likes Received:
    695
    Local Time:
    8:18 PM
    Traces are much tougher to detect and note because well...they are traces.


    Also, most wise folks would do a very high rate and then an absent no added or a scrubbed system that removes any trace in the water.


    This way you KNOW what excess and deficient actually look like, and have a much better chance at knowing what to look for in any range in between those two extremes.


    Now if you do NOT test those extremes, well..................you really do not have much to go on.


    It becomes far far more speculation as to the effects.


    So controls can be both high and low concentrations. Say a Hoagland's solution and say DI water.


    HCL was the 1st anti fungal; agent folks added for DIY mixes. PMDD. 5 mls of pool HCL acid to a container for 500 to 1000mls of water added BEFORE you add the dry powder works well. Like Acetic acid in Vinegar, it will react with the dKH in the water, and drop the dKH to zero and any left over H+ will further acidify the water. This keeps the chelates(Fe is the only one of importance really) chelated.


    NH4/urea. Urea is cheap and easy and ends up being NH4 as soon as you add to water.


    0.8ppm per day is rich, this is about like adding 3-4ppm of NO3 a day, plants will most likely not use this much, but they could in some tanks, say like the 120 Gallon on mind.


    Also, as you add NH4, just like fishless cycling, the bacteria will build up and convert some of the NH4 to NO3. How much?


    Hard to say without labeling the NH4.


    This was done in an artifical 1 meter cubed test chamber in UF at Gainesville in Reddy's Lab.


    They used N(15)H4 labeled ammonium.


    You do several time series samples for each species or group of interest.


    So


    Bacteria(NH4-> NO3)


    Plants (NH4 and NO3)


    Algae (NH4 and NO3)


    You will know which group gets what and if it transforms into NO2 or NO3, you can still follow it till it is assimilated.


    Stable isotopes are awesome.


    https://books.google.com/books?id=9zDLK617zJgC&pg=PA249&lpg=PA249&dq=NH4+labeled+wetland&source=bl&ots=qyZJPiHGqe&sig=YbUhOqjAwCS_jUkUd-MILxTSDzo&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiN97i66s_QAhUB74MKHU1lC68Q6AEIGzAA#v=onepage&q=NH4%20labeled%20wetland&f=false


    This is specific to algae, but plants also likely behave in a similar fashion.


    http://water.usgs.gov/nrp/isotope-tracers/Kendall-etal-2015-san-francisco-bay-estuary-report.html
     
    2 people like this.
  8. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,043
    Likes Received:
    12
    Local Time:
    8:18 PM
    I'd like to double check what I mixed up. After about 24 hours the water looks a little tinted from the micro. This is a much richer micro solution than I think I've ever mixed up in terms of Fe. The calculator on Rotalabutterfly.com was used to calculate dosings and target ppms along with accumulation. My targets were set for the peak accumulation. I need to reduce the trace dose by 30% which I will do by adjusting the volume dosed from 25 mls to 17.5 mls since I had intended a Fe target of 2 ppm and for some reason made a solution for 3 ppm. Here are my notes from the calculator and solutions:


    25 ml dose volume broken into 5 ml, 5 times a day


    Fe target: 2 ppm with dose adjustment from 25 ml to 17.5 ml


    1 ppm from Fe DTPA at 99 g to 1500 ml


    0.5 ppm from Plantex 83.4 g to 1500 ml


    N target: 4 ppm


    KNO3 at 35.5 g to 1500 ml (2 ppm from KNO3)


    Urea as secondary source increasing available N, daily addition of 0.4 ppm (half of suggested max and equivalent to 2 ppm N from KNO3 according to Tom); 9.3 grams Urea


    K added: 1.26 ppm


    P target: 2 ppm


    KH2PO4 at 16.6 g to 1500 ml


    K added: 0.82 ppm


    K target: basically as much as I can get in using K2SO4; roughly daily 3.2 ppm plus other sources for a total of 5.4 ppm reaching a peak accumulation within EI range of 10.4 ppm.


    77.7 g K2SO4


    The tinting of the water makes me nervous. I have some hesitancy trusting the new calculator created from Wet's. I do not know how it has been validated.
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice