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Thread: Dosing with Grubs - My DIY Fert Regime.

  1. #16
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    Hi, PM sent Blah. It's easier than it seems once you have the chemicals in front of you.

  2. #17
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    Question Flourish Excel alternative wanted

    Hi Grubs & Others,

    given your experience with fertilising I thought I would ask you this.
    I have been buying Flourish Excel for a year. I must have spent in access of $300 on it so far, and I am about to quit the hobby if I can not find a better alternative. (okay won't quit I love it too much)

    Have you got a fertiliser that could do what Flourish Excel does? It is the only thing that helps me combat BBA. I only get BBA nothing else.

    Please send me a PM or email to damientoth atGMAIL.com

    Regards,
    Damien

  3. #18
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    Damien Grubs no longer participate in this forum anymore.

    FYI the main (probably only) chemical that is in flourish excel is glutaraldehyde. Your not going to be able to buy this chemial as its quite toxic. and i have a feeling this chemical wont be cheap either if you do find a supplier. Daves Dino spit is pretty much the same as excel, hes product ends up a bit cheaper than seachems. Ffcourse you can always ask him where he gets hes glutaraldehyde from.

  4. #19
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    Hey guys, I know this might sound stupid but I have a question regarding DTPA Iron. Isn't that more suited for a alkali or hard water tank (designed for pH > 7)?

    Nevermind, a good member (G_T) has just helped clarified that.

    But in case anyone is wondering too: DTPA is stable in pH of up to 7.5 while EDTA is only up to 6.0, thus in planted aquaria where we tend to stick to pH around 6.5-7.0. DTPA is the reccommended choice.

    http://www.algone.com/fertilizer.php
    Last edited by greenfinger; 30-05-09 at 09:25 PM.
    All I need is the air I breathe, and a place to rest my head.

    | Synchronicity | Symphony | Symposia | Synthesis | Serenity

  5. #20

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    I use a mix, ETDA is cheap and suited for low KH's, say less than 3.
    Do not use pH, we use CO2 and that changes many things(like pH).
    KH is the main factor controlling pH without CO2 enrichment or other acids/tannins.

    ETDA/Gluconate is very "easy" and rapid for plant uptake, however.....the trade off is that it does not last long in the water column solution.

    DTPA is the other.
    It takes a bit more energy, but last several days, so the Fe is available to the plant longer.

    For higher KH's, it's preferred.

    So a mix of both will give you a nice result.
    The relative energy to the overall allocation in the plant to a tiny trace element % wise is minute, so any difference in chelation is really not significant.

    Better to focus more on light(reducing it) and measuring that parameter, and focus strongly on CO2/O2/current than nutrients.

    Nutrients by and large are easy and none of the folks claiming to know much have even bothered to do a simple test with respect to limitations and provide any independence(A strong limiting example and a non limiting example).

    All other nutrient routines fall in between those two extremes.
    This assumes that light is measured(how else can you compare it?) and that CO2 is non limiting.

    That is how you do simple growth test with nutrients, this is very basic stuff, sadly for every post I make, there are 1001 post by folks claiming that limiting this or that cures all their issues, yet have troubles explaining why my tanks and folks who do not limit have such good results.

    If you use a non limiting method, then slowly reducing it down to get what the plants need, till you see a negative growth response, then bump it back up to the next highest level can be done with any concoction of ferts.

    Then you can get away with less water changes.
    If the toilet or house plants, car wash, landscaping irrigation is needs, great, then you can still do it.

    Less light= less CO2 demand-= less nutrient demand.
    Using the sediments = less demand from the water column dosing also, so both work better than one or the other alone.

    A good fish load also helps.

    It's not all about dosing ferts.
    There's a lot more to it, and those issues are very often overlooked.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr

  6. #21
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    Tom,

    What are your experiences with CO2/ferts and shrimps (especially the more sensitive shrimps like CRS/CBS) ?

    And... do you use Osmocote as a substrate fert ?

  7. #22

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    I've used Osmocoat extensively, at the lab particularly.
    More a lazy way to add some ferts.

    I would not use it for shrimps.
    ADA AS, Aqua Aqua soil, Mineralized soil works good, inert sand etc, bare bottom etc.

    I've used standard full EI with CRS without issue, but that was at 79-80F.
    Rather high temps, but they did breed and I went from 12 to 45 CRS's over 6 months with some Botia even in the same tank.

    Cherry's are even tougher.

    I have not done extensive testing on CRS's. I have some out in the garage, but I know they are fine at a fairly wide range of dosing. As long as your methods are consistent, you should be fine with them.

    If you do not do water changes for months,m then do a large one, you can wipe them out, however, if you do 50% weekly or 2x a week etc, they are fine. A little peat/Leaf litter might help also.

    20-30ppm NO3 and traces at .5ppm of Fe as a proxy with ADA As did not pose any issues over several months for the CRS's at 79-80F.

    I suspect they would have done even better without the other fish and at 72-74F temps.

    Those seem much more relevant than ferts.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plantbrain View Post
    I've used Osmocoat extensively, at the lab particularly.
    More a lazy way to add some ferts.
    How much do you use ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Plantbrain View Post
    I've used standard full EI with CRS without issue, but that was at 79-80F.
    Rather high temps, but they did breed and I went from 12 to 45 CRS's over 6 months with some Botia even in the same tank.
    Were they high grade CRS and are you using CO2 as well ?

  9. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by n30 View Post
    How much do you use ?



    Were they high grade CRS and are you using CO2 as well ?
    I use about 5 grams per sq ft or so, you can add/more less, no set rule there.
    Yes, I've had SS grades. Does not matter though.

    The risk is higher since they are worth more $$$, but they are inbred and have very little genetic differences between grades and colors/pigmentation does not mean/imply they are more sensntive, no one has ever shown that and unless they do a serious study, that will be the fall back for the myth machine. All you need a are few examples of high grades in an EI dosed tank to make that argument fall apart.

    I am breeding RCS as I'm more willing to lose a few to predation in multiple tanks and I make good $ off them. I think warmer temps, particularly where I live, are detrimental to CRS, without buying a chiller, the tanks go too warm for good brood production.

    I could be wrong, someone may show they can breed them well at higher temps, but the nutrients are not the issue, that much I do know.

    Only a success will let you know, non success, low brood production etc, deaths etc, are always inconclusive, you can guess but that's it, you can not know.

    If you have high brood production, nice health and vigor, when adding the nutrients, then you can be assured they have no or very little impact(eg non significant).

    I think some folks do not like being out debated on the merits of logic alone and of itself, so they hedge and fall back to high grades when the original premise has been falsified. Could they be right? I have strong doubts when their logic failed already that they really did their homework again on this one.
    Adding to that, the genetic variations are extremely small.

    Could there be a pigment/color grade link to physiological reduced tolerances to some environmental parameters?

    Well hell........now this is a question no one is ever gonna answer........so there's not going to be any resolve and they can just keep promoting the damn myth, which is what they wanted to do in the first place, not really learn anything. Few folks are willing to risk to learn. That's understandable to some extent. But then they cannot say much either, but many like to take that liberty.

    They might be able to breed high grades too.
    But that does not mean they have evidence that supports what they say about NO3 ppms ranges, or Fe, or Cu, or water changes or CO2.

    Culls are fine for testing, since they are culls, but rain- has some nice CRS using EI:

    http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...-peace-11.html

    Pulled out some S grades from the tank, culling it part of the breeding process, artificial selection. This encourages more inbreeding and weaker genes. Without good breeding and starting stock, from several sources, it becomes tough.

    Why have a pretty shrimp you like aesthetically, that's hyper sensitive and hard to keep? If anything, folks should select for critters that are easier to care for.

    Poor inbreeding might be much more at play than anything with high grades.
    Few do a lot here and the cost of the higher grades and bring in new stock is often not done.

    I do this with RCS, so I have 5 lines, and super reds are selected for.
    RCS are far more tolerant and breed like flies at 27-32C, so no chiller is ever required for them and more people can keep them.

    You folks have the nice black and white shrimp there, breed and keep those!!

    Regards,
    Tom Barr

  10. #25
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    Aug 2009
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    North Sydney
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    Thanks for this great post Grubs!

    I have had an assortment of bags of dry fertiliser ingredients sitting in my cupboard for months and was thinking about making up a PMDD style recipe but not quite sure what recipe to try.

    I'll give it a go...

  11. #26
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    Great post !!!

    Thanks for the infomation
    ---------------------------------------------------

    AKA Thinkin Reef

  12. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grubs View Post
    I keep my water column dosing lean in order to grow some tricky Australian native Rotalas (R. mexicana, R. occultiflora)...but it seems to work for most other things. Tonina still rots for me though!
    I've kept those species at highe relvels and with a sediment rich nutrient source on top of that without issue for all these species.
    Lower nutrients are not better for plants, that's like asking a farmer to beleieve adding less than optimal KNO3 will increase yields.
    Unlike us, there's no CO2 dependencies, light etc........they get the same light and CO2 regardless.

    If CO2 and/or light is not independent, then you runa high risk or blaing nutrients for something that has nothing to with them directly, in otherwords, the effect is indirect.



    Consistent, but low concentrations is my goal.
    My question, and one that was never answered by Edward from PPS, was is there any risk with dosing more?
    Why shoulod we spend the time to carefully manage nutrients............when CO2/light play much larger roles, are more difficult to measure, and CO2 kills 99% of the fish in CO2 enriched planted tanks?

    I've never seen or known anyone to kill a fish due to over doing ferts, let alone a plant.
    Typical Hoalgland's reference solutioins used in Hydroponics growth(including Pisces there in OZ, as well as FAN here and Tropica in Denmark):
    200-240ppm for N
    210 ppm for K+
    50-55ppm for PO4 etc.
    Fe: 2-6ppm depending(optimal growth for Hydrilla was 6ppm for culture-see Haller et al)

    Plants do fine there........so how is it that they do poorly in systems that are 5-10x less?
    Maybe it's not ppm's and manybe it's the luight and more likely the CO2.??

    What referenc gas solution do you use for cO2???
    Aquarist do not use reference gases near as I've ever once seen or heard of....
    I do, but I'm a nut. I want to be sure.

    1) When I measure them with test kits I'm getting NO3 = 1-5 mg/l and PO4 = 1.0mg/l.
    And do you make standard reference solutions to make sure the tested ppm's are correct?


    I was convinced that low NO3 in particular was better in soft water and that a little extra Mg made all the difference in soft water.
    And my tap water is soft as your if not more so.
    So where my issues?

    I sold 600$ worth of plants last month, tanks are loaded with fish/shrimp, well fed, ADA AS, etc.........
    So where is the risk adding more?

    Are you doing too many water changes?
    In otherwords, could you not get away with fewer water changes?

    Some tweaks can still yet be done to the method and less effort required.
    This is an on going process.

    What types of things would you prefer not to do?

    Clearly dosing frequently would be better, but you feed fish daily, same can be done for the plants.
    If you dose leaner, then you have less reason to do a large water changes, the plants are the test, but you need a good CO2 independent reference to know what optimal plant health/growth looks like.

    I do large water changes for one main reason, to get in and clean the tank, my tanks are deep and it's easier.
    I also have done for fish in the past, it also adds fresh CO2, you can see the difference after the water change vs the other days.
    If CO2/current is lower, could be tweaked more, this water change day effect is more noticeable.

    I think aquarist are served well to focus on CO2 and chose lower light, rich sediments, then dosing is much less critical, mangement much eaiser.
    EI BTW is 90% PMDD, I added PO4 and used dry powder vs liquid dosing. The dilution series is still in the PMDD article, I just applied to all the ferts.

    My goal was to make nutrient independent/non limiting, then I can focus more on CO2, and I have a nice light meter, so I have control over that, later, I got some nice CO2 equipment to measure critically.
    ADA also uses low light(if you measure the nice tanks as references with the light meter).

    If you want to reduce the frequency and/or % of WC's, then starting at an independent non limiting levels, then reduce it down slow and progressively till there is a negative plant response will dail in just enough for any tank.
    The CO2 is much more problematic.

    Every method for dosing leads to algae in some cases, and success in others.
    This suggest that there is some other confounding factor other than nutrients that is involved.

    Light and CO2 etc........
    http://www.tropica.com/advising/tech...and-light.aspx

    Regards,
    Tom Barr

  13. #28
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    Hello all i've only just started to use dry ferts myself and have used Nutri-Calc to work out how much to use. WC day + Macros, Micros on 2nd day, but 3rd day macros again the water has gone very cloudy. I am dry dosing with measureing spoons. Maybe on Macro day i should dose each seperately over a couple hours to see what one is making the cloudiness maybe.
    anyhow would someone take a looky and confirm if dose is correct please? I've rounded out a little bit ( if 7/8 tsp i will just do 1 tsp) Should be close enough?
    200 Gallon - Heavely planted and light Using EI:
    MACROS- 2.5 tsp N, 0.5 tsp P, 1 tsp K
    MICROS- 1 tsp Micromix, 1 tsp Iron.

  14. #29
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    what exactly is N P and K?
    and what is your iron?

    I've heard that MKP and Fe Sulphate will cause cloudiness but not for chelated iron.

  15. #30
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    I dont know the strengths of them just labelled as:
    KNO3 (Nitrates?)
    KH2PO4 (Phosphorous?)
    K2So4 (Pottasium?)

    Traces is just labelled as 'MicroMix'
    and Iron labelled as 'Chelated Iron'

    KNO3 bought of ebay, everything else from aquagreen.com.au

    According to the Nutr-Calc Im not supposed to add extra Iron, only what comes from traces, so maybe I should shouldnt dose the extra iron, but i'd still need to increase micromix dose to get iron up to correct levels from what i've read. so as far as i can tell it's not overdosed iron thats causing cloudiness?

    I dont know it's always some new problem

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