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What is the best trace mix? What about Iron?

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by Myka, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. Myka

    Myka Prolific Poster

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    So, I am a bit confused. I have been using Flourish Trace and Flourish Iron as my "supplements" or "traces" only because I have been unable to find Plantex CSM+B in my area. However, I read that most hydroponic designed "microchelated trace nutrients" are essentially almost identical to CSM+B with these people citing nutrient analysis. Interesting.

    Well, even more interesting is a chart I just came across (I have no idea who made it up) that compares many different "traces". This chart was linked to me when I was asking for a source for CSM+B. This person suggested that Flourish (not Flourish Trace) is actually better than any of the others because it has more nutrients in it. However, I wonder what sources the different nutrients are gathered from...maybe the quality of the nutrients (and therefore uptake) is better in one brand over the other.

    So...my question is, what is the best "trace" to use? Do you supplement Fe with your choice of trace? If so, what iron supplement do you use? What are the REAL differences between these trace mixes?

    I am concerned about this because Flourish is available locally, where anything else I may try I will have to order in. So, is it worth it?

    Sorry I have to link to the chart because it is an ".asp" not a ".jpg": Fertilizer Comparison. Also here is a standardized version to better compare the numbers (since CSM+B is dry where the others are a solution, so the CSM+B numbers are high): Fertilizer Comparison - Standardized on FE
     
  2. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Fine Products

    There are many fine products out there.:)

    CSM+B tends to be a favorite, I'll speak for myself, because it is cheap and readily available and I have ample supplies of water, which I get at commodity prices.

    I use and have used Flourish products, they are fine products. ;)

    I will take a close look at the charts, but in a cursory look I notice some elements in small doses that I dose as macros, therefore don't need as trace (N, P, K and Ca off the top). Some ingredients I don't recognize and a couple I suspect are used principally as preservatives.

    I am always interested in who makes the charts.

    I also find it 'interesting' when anyone uses 'interesting' without explaining the 'interest'.;)

    Biollante
     
  3. Myka

    Myka Prolific Poster

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    Hahahahaha!! Yet again you make me snicker. :D

    I don't know who made the chart, but apparently the numbers were taken off the labels, and the Kent product numbers came from Kent's email reply to the question. ...Or so the chart says!

    I wish CSM+B was readily available here since it does seem like a favourite. I wonder why it is a favourite though? Obviously it is a quality product, but is it different enough from other products, and better enough that I should bother paying 2-3x retail value for it by the time it arrives in the mail from Florida?

    However, the Flourish products here are only available at Petland...and well Petland has gregarious prices. So...maybe in the end it is worth ordering the CSM+B...??

    Oh, and my "interest" was in the fact that so many "things" in our world are advertised as different products, often with a wide range of prices, but are essentially or identically the same thing. That is interesting. Interesting as in "curious". ;)
     
  4. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Always Happy to Amuse!

    Always happy to amuse!

    I buy my fertilizers almost exclusively from Planted Aquarium Fertilizer - Home I know they ship all over so I assume they ship to Canada. I have found them to be cheap, I mean good prices (which always could be lower:D ), efficient, I honestly cannot believe the response time, shipping has to be the lowest I have ever seen and honest, you get what you pay for.

    I like CSM+B, to be honest, in part because it is what I know; I had been a PMDD plant for a long time. It is likely why EI makes so much sense to me for my situation. Beyond that, I have tried a lot of stuff and as I said, there are many great products out there. I just hate paying for water; I get water here at commodity prices. I like the sense of control I get, maybe it is an illusion, so be it, and I mix up what I want.;)

    I have a bottle of Flourish here and I don’t see an ingredient list as extensive as the purported list referenced. My bottle has an expiration date 9/10, I have had it for a while.

    My seven-year-old great grandniece misuses ‘interesting’, the way you do, it is interesting.:rolleyes:

    Biollante
     
  5. Myka

    Myka Prolific Poster

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    Yes, Aquarium Fertilizers dot com does ship to Canada. They are the vendor I will use if I decide to buy the CSM+B. I was thinking of ordering the 10% Iron chelate while I was at it. However, the shipping is the same price as the CSM+B. Argh. I am trying to find some locals who would like to tag along on the order to split shipping. $12 isn't really much in the world of money, but is the CSM+B really worth the US$24 I will end up paying? But then I think Flourish is like $20 for a 500 mL jug, and I use 5 mL every second day...so maybe the CSM+B really is a better buy regardless. Hmmm...
     
  6. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    No More Iron Needed

    Hi Myka,

    Any of the trace should include all the iron, in a form your plants can use, with the other nutrients that allow the iron to be effective. At least that is the case with CSM+B, Flourish (the bottle I have lists different, fewer, ingredients at different concentrations then your tables) TMG (TPN), the expensive Japanese stuff, Kent’s (which I have used) and so on, adding more iron simply won’t improve your results.

    This is a good read on the subject http://www.barrreport.com/barr-report-newsletter/1847-barr-report-newsletter-iron-manganese.html.

    Liebig's Law of the Minimum kicks in Law of the Minimum - Liebig's Law is a cute illustration.

    Whatever thing you do, you need to get CO2 into the tank, for all practical purposes CO2 is a big limiting nutrient. There is nothing wrong with diy options especially for 20 gallon tanks. Remember you can always change things out as you move along.

    Flourish is a fine product and for a 20 gallon tank, fine.:)

    The CSM+B will produce dozens of times more, like maybe 96 of those 500 ml bottles, Hmmm, interesting! :rolleyes:

    Of course, the downside is you have to provide the water, for this I do recommend DI or distilled.:(

    Biollante
     
  7. Myka

    Myka Prolific Poster

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    Hmm...here I thought all the trace mixes were low in usable iron. I will read that link.

    I know the bubble ladder is hardly doing a thing, but wow what a difference in the plants! I got 1 1/2" of growth on my Rotalas today, and greener than yesterday too.

    When I fertilize the tank wil dry macros I just measure out each one, dump it in a cup, add tap water, stir until disolved, add to tank. Can I not do that with CSM+B? Do I have to mix up a solution? Not a big deal if I have to. I have RO/DI water on hand at all times. :D

    I also need to get a drop checker from somewhere...maybe ebay. It would be nice if I could order ferts and a drop checker from the same place, but that would be too easy!! ;)

    Would I be better off to put the CO2 tube into the end of my powerhead or Eheim? I have some fine airstones I could use too. I will order one of those Atomizers (they look like they would work well), but in the meantime would the powerhead or Eheim or airstone be an improvement over the bubble ladder?
     
  8. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    I haven't noticed any real difference between CSM+B and Flourish with a little extra Fe DPTA on the side. CSM+B is cheaper though, and it takes care of the iron; dose for .6ppm and the rest takes care of its self.

    -Philosophos
     
  9. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Power Curve

    Hi Myka,

    Your plants are really getting ready to take off and they are going to need good supplies of carbon, macros and trace like, fast. It is exciting but this is where things get unstable and as much fun as the next ten or twelve days are going to be, the misery index for failing to meet those need is going to be much higher. You have ramped, these plants, this system up and it will take-off, with or without you. Staying ahead of the power curve is incredibly important and this is the point of success or failure.:eek:

    Yes, absolutely CSM+B are like the other dry fertilizers, you can mix them up day-to-day, a week, or month’s worth.

    I was simply comparing the cost of 500 ml of Flourish to equivalent units of CSM+B. I think that the 96 500 ml of CSM+B solutions, would be higher iron concentration then the 500 ml of Flourish, though lacking a coordinated central nervous system and therefore a brain, while doing the arithmetic on the fly, I may have been off, but the principle applies.;)

    If you are dosing day-to-day, you really don’t even need anything beyond tap water. Anything that is likely to sit around for a week or more is better with DI or distilled water. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and worse yet, if you have them, particulate organic carbon (POC) in tap water can become a real problem in fertilizer solutions that sit around. Some folks add a couple hundred milligrams of vitamin C as a preservative.

    I mix mine up in four-week batches, separated into functional groups; I have yet to run into any nasties in the solutions. Since I have to depend on others for much of the dosing, I prepare each pair, labeled “Macros” and “Trace” so that it is always one milliliter per gallon of aquarium water, three times a week.

    I know there are many who dose directly to the tank, I am with Greg Watson on this, I cannot bear seeing my fish gobbling up salts, just can’t.

    Speaking of Greg Watson I really do recommend you purchase his Dosing Strategies pamphlet, it really is the best simple explanation of the major dosing regimens. Aquarium Plants and Aquatic Plants - Greg Watson's Guide to Dosing Strateges for Live and Freshwater Aquarium Plants, yeah it is US $4.95, but hey, have you seen the price of jet fuel these days. It is a good investment, I think.

    Where you stick the… ooops!

    I think the CO2 output into the powerhead intake is likely best, either way, canister or powerhead is fine. Unless the airstone is wood or glass, that produces extremely fine bubbles, I would not bother.;)

    Have fun,:cool:

    Biollante
     
  10. Myka

    Myka Prolific Poster

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    Thanks Philosophos, I think I will buy the CSM+B, it will just take a couple weeks to get here I think. I will order it on Monday.

    Biollante...I will stick the thing in the thing! ;) My airstones aren't extremely fine, just standard decent quality stones. I will see how I can get the CO2 tube hooked into the powerhead.

    So, by taking off and me having to keep up, basically you mean I need to keep the balance while the jet propels? In other words get that dang CO2 higher?! :D
     
  11. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Yes!

    Yes!!!

    Biollante
     
  12. Myka

    Myka Prolific Poster

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    Well I put the CO2 tube into the Eheim intake. Holy microbubbles everywhere!!! Looks horrible, but for now I think it is the best option for the tank. It seems to build up in the canister then sprew for a while, then build up again. I am getting almost 2 bps right now.
     
  13. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi Myka,

    You really should be getting more than 2 bps. :confused:

    Is the canister rigid?

    Biollante
     
  14. Myka

    Myka Prolific Poster

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    Yes, the canisters are rigid, they are the Hagen ones.

    I'm getting some really nice new growth tips on my Rotalas. Except my macrandra, which is in horrible shape. The Cladophora is gone, the BBA is diminished, but BGA has increased.
     
  15. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    CO2 Likely Problem

    Hi Myka,

    BGA is most likely continued low CO2 problem.

    Please be kind enough to humor me and go through exactly how you are mixing your yeast solution.

    Make sure your filter are clean, cleaning up algae and so forth can also put a strain on filters, pretty good correlation with cyanobacteria along with low CO2.

    It is not likely in your case and very controversial with some; so please don’t let anyone know that I told you that BGA can also (apparently) be triggered by low NO3. :eek:

    Just in case, increase the KNO3 (or whatever you are using for NO3), dose just a bit.;)

    Biollante
     
  16. Myka

    Myka Prolific Poster

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    Since this has gone back to chat about my tank instead of trace and iron mixes, I answered there. :)
     
  17. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Oops, Sorry!

    Sorry my fault.:eek:

    For the record I really do think all of the major Trace mixes are good, it comes down to price and convenience.

    I think there is a very real tendency to confuse the issue of 'Trace/Micros' with iron.

    Iron is the 'major micro' or trace element, it is the easiest to measure, it just doesn't work or play well on its own. Most of the time it is a waste to dose 'just' iron, I don't care how it is complexed.

    Oh well, sorry Myka.

    Biollante
     
  18. Myka

    Myka Prolific Poster

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    Sorry for what? The question was answered. :) I just wanted to continue the "log" of my tanks' progress in that other thread. I am ordering CSM+B on Monday. :)
     
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