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</DIV><H1>DIY fertilisers</H1><DIV id=Qtextbox><P><STRONG>Author: hungsta</STRONG><BR><BR>I have got light, co2 and heaps of plants.

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i want to know how to make my own fertiliser.

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a bottle from the LFS for 7 bucks goes very quick.

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PLease help.

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Recipes anyone, is there a chemist in the house????

</P></DIV><H2>Replies »</H2><DIV id=Atextbox><P><STRONG>Author: chorrylan</STRONG><BR><BR>

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hi,

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Try contacting Craig Thompson, CThompson here.

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He makes PMDD's (Poor Mans Dosing Drops... aka homebrew daily fertilizer) that he uses on a planted and CO2-fed tank.

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Laurie

</P></DIV><DIV id=Atextbox><P><STRONG>Author: TheCichlidTank</STRONG><BR><BR>PMDD

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" 1 Tbsp (~9g) Chelated Trace Element Mix

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(7% Fe, 1.3% B, 2% Mn, 0.06% Mo, 0.4% Zn, 0.1% Cu, EDTA, DTPA)

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2 Tsp (~14g) K2SO4 (potassium sulfate)

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1 Tsp (~6g) KNO3 (potassium nitrate)

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2.5 Tbsp (~33g) MgSO4.7H2O (fully hydrated magnesium sulfate, aka epsom

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salts; omit if already present in trace element mix)

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300mL distilled H2O

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0.5mL 9M HCl (optional)"

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ref.

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Control of Algae in Planted Aquaria

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warning:

I don't know what your knowledge level of chemistry is but the 9M HCl = strong hydrochloric acid and it will burn you quite seriously and may require medical attention if you get it on your skin. It is optional and is only used if the mix is to be stored for any length of time so is probably best left out. If you are have 'heaps of plants' then they will be feeding copiously and you will need to dose daily with PMDD. I also suggest getting some reliable test kits (forget aquasonic), and measure your nitrate levels and your phosphate levels. You want phosphate to be limiting and so equal 0ppm (or close to it). There is no point adding fertiliser if your other factors are out of whack. Read the article in that link as it will explain everything in detail. If you don't understand any of it just add to this thread and we'll see what we can do to help explain it as the articel can get heavy going.

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Alternatively you can also get away with just getting one chemical, potassium nitrate, and dose with that for your nitrate source.

</P></DIV><DIV id=Atextbox><P><STRONG>Author: chorrylan</STRONG><BR><BR>

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Alternatively you can also get away with just getting one chemical, potassium nitrate, and dose with that for your nitrate source

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interesting... I found by a rather adhoc and imprecise process of experimentation that iron/Fe (and carbon dioxide but a $-deficiency prevented me from fiddling with that variable) seemed to be the limiting factor on my planted tank. It's a 6x2 with trickle filter and a fair fishload (tropicals at the time... cichlids are the limiting factor nowadays he he) so there was a fair bit of nitrate production going on.

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Unless it's a purely plant tank (no fish) I can't imagine a need to add nitrogen.

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ps: I was using (and continue to use) Gonna-Turn-Me-Into-A-Poor Man Dosing Drops and other fertilizers bought from aquamail.com.au at the time. When that lot runs out I'll be looking to make some PMDD but finding the ingredients cheaply is much harder than finding a recipe.

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My 2 cents.

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Laurie

</P></DIV><DIV id=Atextbox><P><STRONG>Author: hungsta</STRONG><BR><BR>hey cichlid tank

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are u in sydney?

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and may i ask where u get ur ingredients from???

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Thanx for the recipe.

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</P></DIV><DIV id=Atextbox><P><STRONG>Author: mtchye</STRONG><BR><BR>Hi guys,

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This is where I get this stuff from in Perth..

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Potassium sulfate.. sulfate of potash in the garden section of your hardware house or bunnings.. pick up a box of chelated trace nutrients there too.. and maybe some chelated iron in the same section again if the trace nutrients dont contain enough iron..

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Magnesium sulfate the cheapest place is garden section of bigW of all places.. 1kg $5.. havent been able to find it in much larger quantities as yet.

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and potassium nitrate is the hardest to find.. But make sure that your tank is really nitrate limited before you add this.. Some places think you're like a kid playing with bomb recipes off the net when you ask them for it.. chemists sell it really expensive.. Best bet is a hydroponics place or a farm supply store..

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HTH

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</P></DIV><DIV id=Atextbox><P><STRONG>Author: TheCichlidTank</STRONG><BR><BR>With plants, iron certainly can be a limiting factor but it is not generally the case. Nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus are the three main elements needed by plants. That's why they put an N:P:K ratio on plant fertilizers. As it turns out if phosphorus is at high concentrations iron will be converted into a form that is not useable by plants and so would seem to be absent from the tank. Symptoms of iron deficiency would result, such as yellowing-transparency of new leaves in fast growing plants. However, it is algae that we want to control in a planted tank and it seems that when phosphorus is present in concentrations higher than nitrogen then the algae will outcompete the higher plants and an algae bloom will result. If the phosphorus concentrations can be brought down to near zero the higher plants are more effective competitors for nitrate than algae is and so algae densities will decline. You can then dose with a nitrate source to maintain this balance. Higher plants still need some phosphorus for growth but there is generally enough in the food we feed to take care of that. The added benefit of this is that as the plants begin to grow they consume the nitrate and because the algae density has be reduced the higher plants also consume the phosphates that enter the tank via feeding etc and you can maintain these low algae denisties. You will never completely get rid of the algae from your tank but it can be reduced to non-visible levels if you follow the principles outlined in that article.

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Hungsta. I work in a lab so I have a ready supply of chemcials. I have the tanks set up at work and just ask the lab assistant to make me up two batches instead of one.

</P></DIV><DIV id=Atextbox><P><STRONG>Author: chorrylan</STRONG><BR><BR>

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hmm I probably should get a phosphorous test kit but I expect I'm adding phosphorous in my water changes as at least part of the water catchment around here is farming country nicely laden with superphosphate.

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Laurie

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