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What do I do with dry fertilizers?

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plant Fertilization' started by Tug, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    I've ordered it, (KNO3, KH2PO4, CMS+B trace and GH booster) and it is all just waiting on me. It could be sitting around for a long time. Just the question is work. So, I have appreciated everyones support. I hope the questions are not too dry. How do I say this? Help mix this into a 20 gallon (mid to high light with 20 ppm CO2) and a 10 gallon I would like to become a brackish water tank (mid light) with enriched CO2. Other target ranges are/were (Ca 14-30 ppm, Mg 4 ppm, Fe 0.2 ppm; K+, 20 ppm; PO4, 2-4 ppm; NO3, 10 ppm).

    Here is what I am using with a 60% water change (until I run out of seachem).
    What do I do with dry fertilizers? I have two 1 litter bottles. If I can pre mix any of them ahead of time into distilled water I could put those two bottles to work. AquariumFertilizer.com labels are not very helpful,
    Is this right. What happened to the K and where did the SO4 come from? Anyway, the labels on the other bags are not much more help. I think they want me to spend $4.95 on Greg Watson's Guide to Dosing Strategies. ;)

    How much potassium nitrate (13.5-0-46.2) added to 1 liter H2O will give me the percentage 1-0-2?

    Same question for Mono potassium phosphate (0-51-34) added to 1 liter H20 will give me the percentage of 0-0.3-0.2? Just a guess, 3/4 tsp?

    I could also use some help trying to find equivalents for flourish comprehensive and equilibrium using Barr's GH booster and Plantex CSM+B. Keep in mind the ten gallon tank is slowly becoming more brackish with the addition of marine salt. KELP!
     
    #1 Tug, Sep 29, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2009
  2. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Personally I'd scrap following other people's instructions just for the sake of it. First find out where you want your parameters, then work backwards. Create a solution that will dose the ppm's you want to maintain the target level of nutrients that you think will work best. Compensate for tap water params if you can.

    If you go this route, it's usually best to work from the molar mass of each compound; for instance the molar mass of K2SO4 divided by the quantity of K will give you a number that you can multiply by to figure out how much more K you'll need besides that contributed by other compounds.

    Speaking of K, you'll probably want some K2SO4 by the time this is all done; I see you haven't ordered any.

    The main thing to keep in mind here is to keep your cluster of K+ together; they'll stay stable. The rest can go other places; Mg in the trace works well, calcium depends on how you're putting it together.

    Barr's GH booster is something I've forgotten how to mix. If you could remind me what it's made up of, I can give you a hand on working with it.

    -Philosophos
     
  3. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    The contents in the bag of KNO3 is stated as a percentage (13.5 - 0 - 46.2). What is the formula used to determine how much is added to 1 liter to get a percentage closer to 1 - 0 - 2 for dosing?
    Could I get an example using KNO3 (13.5-0-46.2) for a 20 gallon tank to reach 5 ppm of NO3 (10 ppm K+)? I'm waiting on the Guide to Dosing Strategies but if I could see an example formula I could recreate it for the other nutrients like K2SO4. I hope while using a teaspoon.
    Good call. I seams that down the road I might need to boost the K+ a little. For now I was hoping any K+ I need would come from the KNO3, (1.2mL Flourish Nitroge); Flourish comprehensive (2.5 mL) and Equilibrium (5 mL) I'm using until they run out.
    3 parts KSO4(I think they mean K2SO4), 3 parts CaSO4 AND 1 part MgSO4. I think Tom recommends adding enough to raise the dKH by one degree.
     
  4. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    I'm not much of a dry doser, so you'll have to figure out the weight conversions depending on who's density conversion you want to use.

    Here's how I do 5ppm NO3 by weight in a 20 gal with 65L:

    First I add up the total mass of KNO3; everything below is in g/mol:

    KNO3:

    Potassium: 39.09831 x1 = 39.09831
    ...Nitrogen: 14.00672 x1 = 14.00672
    .....Oxygen: 15.99943 x3 = 47.99829
    ..........................................------------
    ..........................................101.10332

    Then I add up the mass for NO3:

    NO3:

    ...Nitrogen: 14.00672 x1 = 14.00672
    .....Oxygen: 15.99943 x3 = 47.99829
    ............................................------------
    ............................................62.00501

    Now I divide KNO3 by NO3, but for the sake of space I'll keep it like this:

    (101.10332/62.00501)

    From there I multiply by the number of mg/L desired:

    (101.10332/62.00501)*5

    followed by the number of liters I want to establish that parameter within. In this case it's the water column, and we'll say 65L of the approximately 75L capacity of your tank is water column:

    (101.10332/62.00501)*5*65 = 529.93425853814070830728033105712

    Naturally I round the number down at the very final stages. For dry dosing, 530mg is probably closer than you'll be able to manage with most measuring spoons.

    This gives us a formula something like:

    (Compound)
    ---------------- *(Target Concentration)*(Capacity) = (Required Amount)
    (Nutrient)

    For K+, it gets a bit trickier; you have to account for the K+ found in other compounds, subtract that from the target, then make up the rest with K2SO4. Let me know if you need a hand figuring this part of things out.

    -Philosophos
     
  5. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    K.i.s.s.

    Oh, I got it. Oops, lost it again.
    I think I'll split the difference and say 1/8 tsp = 5 ppm.
     
  6. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    This is why I'm working on my own line of liquid ferts that will satisfy EI dosing; the math is more than most people want to do.

    Oh, that previous post should've said 65L up top, not 95. I'll edit it.

    -Philosophos
     
  7. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    Ouch.

    Thanks for your help. The brain is a muscle and mine has atrophied to the point basic math causes soreness. It's not because I don't want a good math workout or due to a lack of trying. I'll let you know what I come up with after some more reading. I did find this by G.W,
    Thats math I can understand.
    Anyone else with some experience using CSM+B and/or Barr's GH Booster please chime in. :D
     
    #7 Tug, Sep 30, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2009
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    For most initially at least, they dose dry.

    It's simpler and easier than any chem.

    So for a 20 Gal:

    1/4 tsp of KNO3-2-3x a week
    1/16th of the KH2PO4 2-3x a week(divide a 1/4tsp into 4 equal parts, you can get pretty good at this)
    GH booster: 1/4 tsp after water change

    Trace mix, add 2 table spoons to 1 liter, add about 10-20mls of Excel also.

    Dose 5mls of this 2-3 x a week

    That's it.

    Learn chem later when you have the urge.
    Then learn how to calibrate and test correctly.
    Hopefully by then, you will have mastered most horticulture and prunign and can produce a nice looking aquarium.

    Now you can use this as a reference.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  9. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I do not go to APC, so it's been a long time. (several years now I suppose)
    1 table spoon per 500mls is what it should be, or 2 tablespoons per liter.

    This is pretty much what Paul suggested years ago,m nothing to do with me.
    Just repeating what he said years ago.

    Practical PMDD Information

    1/2 liter = 1 table spoon of CMS

    1 liter = 2 tablespoons and so on.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  11. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    Science?

    Without the help from everyone who has answered my questions I would never have gotten this far. This forum is by far the most referenced reading on this hobby out there. Making science easy for simpletons like myself.

    For dosing, this is what works for me. The stock solution allows me to adjust the amounts of NO3, KH2PO4 and K2SO4 (when it gets here).

    GH booster: 1/4 tsp after water change (1/8 tsp for 10 gallon tank)

    How much K2SO4 & CaSO4 am I adding with only 1/4 tsp of GH booster to 20 gallons?
    Can anyone tell me the levels of trace I will be adding using the amount of CSM+B as shown?
     
    #11 Tug, Oct 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2009
  12. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    You may want to open up the gap between your P compared to your N and K. Your target N dose should be somewhere around 10-25ppm, and right now that'd put your P up around the same levels, which is roughly 10x what they need to be. K should generally be around N levels or higher, but as always non-limiting is the main point.

    CSM+B is something I've had success with dosing to .4-.6ppm Fe; CSM+B is 6.53% Fe. Some people just do 10g/L, dose 1-2ml:1L column and call it a day.

    CaSO4 isn't my first choice personally, but it can work well depending on your water hardness. What does your tap water look like? Do you have a local water quality report by chance?

    -Philosophos
     
  13. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    They would sell a lot more of this stuff if they could provide better labels.

    As always you make me work for the answer to my questions.
    I should of mentioned my target range minimums
    Ca 14ppm, Mg 4ppm, Fe 0.4 - 0.6ppm; K+, 20 ppm; PO4, 1(2 ppm). Because of the fish I often don't need to add the extra N or P. When NO3 reaches 20ppm I change the water (maybe every 10 days) and my tap water seams to have 2ppm of PO4 anyway. Link to D.C. w.a.s.a.

    Ok, back to the store for another test kit.

    With the seachem products I am using it is easy to figure my K+ levels are high but as I move towards dry fertilizers K+ is more of an option to be added as needed. I am mostly concerned about the levels of K+ in Barr's GH Booster, but because it also has CaSO4 I was hoping to find out it's levels (ppm) per suggested dose. I left out MgSO4, but am also concerned about that as well - although CSM+B looks as if it will add what I should need to reach 4ppm.


    [​IMG]
    A little heavy on the substrate in the 20 and both tanks still need more plants, but here are my ten and twenty. Now that I'm starting to get the hang of this lets just call these the before pictures.
     
    #13 Tug, Oct 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2009
  14. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Most definitely. When I just give people answers, they come back to me later with the same sort of problems. When they have to work for the answer, they learn to solve it them selves, then teach the method to others.

    N:
    I'm not sure why you're targeting 10ppm range, given that some tanks can clear 20ppm in a week, but you may have a low light/density system, so I won't bother to argue about it. Your water analysis indicates .4-2.9ppm NO3, so I'd shave off .4ppm, that or 1.25ppm: (2.9-.4)/2 off of your target dosing quantity.

    PO4:
    Your PO4 levels appear to be taken care of by the city. A max range of something like 1.8-3ppm should work without the need to add K2SO4. Double check with Tom if you like, but it seems good to me.

    K+:
    20ppm is more than enough for your N target, you could go down to 15 but 20 won't hurt.

    Why? I don't bother testing iron; I find test kit accuracy is pretty horrible. What I mentioned previously should work.

     
  15. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    Thank you Philosophos for filling in the gaps. I was glad to have my unaccomplished understanding of the tap water reaffirmed as to the amounts of N and PO4. All the same, it would be nice, if there is a way of knowing how much K+ (PPM) is added to the tank with Barr's GH Booster (per Tom's instructions) and though CSM+B may not need explaining in greater detail it would be nice to know what 2TBSP of CSM+B added to 1 liter of water will give me. I could work with that.
    When/if I get some K2SO4, do I even need the GH booster?
     
  16. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    GH booster is 2:1:1
    K2SO4: CaSO4 : MgSO4

    So 1/2 of GH booster is K2SO4 anyway.

    I'm with Philosophos on this,. more KNO3 mneeds added to thr stock solution, I'd go 3:1-4:1 by weight KNO3:KH2PO4

    Plenty.

    I run my own tanks juicy.
    NO3 at 15ppm and PO4 at 4-5ppm 3x a week.

    The lower light tanks(well under 2w/gal), about 1/2 this.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  17. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    BTW, not many like to read the references/look at the support, heresay and gut feel is all they need:cool:



    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  18. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    I need to pay closer attention to the NO3 now that my CO2 seems to be at 20ppm, (6.4pH down from 7.4) green drop checker, etc. My Nitrates have dropped 5ppm in two days for the first time since I've had this tank.

    I try to keep NO3 at 15ppm and PO4 at 4-5ppm, its just until I started adding CO2 (15Sep09) my nitrate would reach 20 ppm within 48 hours. The plants didn't use what they had because they were dying. Go figure.

    Peace, love and understanding.
     
  19. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Looks like Tom covered most of your issues there Tug. As for 2 Tbsp CSM+B, I don't keep weight to volume conversions around for most of this stuff. Despite my dislike for calculators, Fertilator says 1684.74ppm Fe for 6tsp (2tbsp), which given 6.53% Fe means 25.8g:

    1684.74*(100/6.53) = 25800ppm or 25.8g

    Sounds about right for what about 25g of this stuff looks like on the scale.

    If you don't have the analysis for CSM+B, here it is along with other common micros:
    Fertilizer Comparison Chart, by Giancarlo Podio

    Just multiply for the rest of your concentrations.

    -Philosophos
     
  20. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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    I'm not sure if the percentage of ingredients in CSM+B is correct (the % of
    Mo stays the same while it should not)

    Regular CSM CSM+B Mix
    Fe 7.0% 6.53%
    Mn 2.0% 1.87%
    Mg 1.5% 1.40%
    Zn 0.4% 0.37%
    Cu 0.1% 0.09%
    Mo 0.05% 0.05%
    B 0.0% 1.18%
    Co 0.0% 0.00%


    I don't remember where I got this info.

    PS. Ah, I see, it's probably limited to 2-digit decimal.
     
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