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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been reading the western fertilizer Handbook recently to try and figure out more on fertilizing.

Here is an excerpt:
Balance is import in plant nutrition. An excess of one nutrient can cause reduced uptake of another. An excess of potassium, for example, may compete with magnesium uptake in crops. A heavy application of phosphorus may induce a zinc deficiency in soil that is marginal or low in zinc. Excess Iron may induce a manganese deficiency.

It says nothing of Potassium inhibiting Calcium. I think the problem is Magnesium levels instead of calcium, that is why all these expiriments seem to be irradic and unconclusive. Magnesium is being left out. I have a GH of 8 and Dosed a AG grade Potassium chloride that had a considerable amount of Mg. Over time strange problems occured in Micranthermum micranthemoides(Sp?). Now it has completely melted away. The only think i can think of to solve the problem is starting over from scratch and treat deficiencies as they show up until i get a handle on things.

The book also suggests and i dont want to type it all out so i will abbreviate:
Visual symptoms of nutrient deficiencies can be useful but are not conclusive. Only a trained proffessional can know if it is a deficiency or another problem like root aeration and toxicity.

Also incase you didn't know (Like me) Necrosis is the death of tissue and Chlorosis is the yellowing of tissue.

Please discuss this if your interested i want to know what the experienced people have to say.

Also can anyone tell me how exactly i get a water report. The website for my area is very confusing, would i find a phone number in the yellow pages?
 

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I have looked around and found the info regarding deficiency symptoms to be lacking and inconsistent. They are always too vague, and some so full of misinformation, it's downright misleading. Most of the people looking at them probably have much more basic problems including lighting and CO2.

Lots of people are big to push this or that. Specifically Iron. I have seen so many tables and people citing Iron as "the problem" it's ridiculous.

If Iron was as important as some of these people say, you couldn't get by without it. I have set up dozens of tanks for people and have NEVER dosed Iron in the water column and had plenty of success. This is not to say Iron is not important, but there are so many factors involved I don't think most people are capable of providing enough information for someone to say without a doubt what 'the problem' is. It's more of a likely suspects list at best.

Like you said, it says nothing of potassium inhibiting calcium uptake. However calcium is a HUGE problem without magnesium, and to top it off they should be in proper ratio.

I used to have to add calcium & magnesium and had lots of trouble with the distorted growth Jay mentions in the post below, but once I started with Calcite, I never had the problem again.

That's not to say this will work for everyone, but now I know my Ca & Mg is right, and I don't have to add anything. This might not work if you do large weekly water changes and grow fast growing stem plants in high CO2 and high light, it didn't for me. Now I grow crypts & lilies and it work perfectly!


I think it's more important to make sure you have a bit of everything at least somewhere in the range it should be, then to try and DIY perfect everything. I use many commercial products to make sure I get as varied an amount of nutrients as possible including SeaChem Flourish Tabs, TMG, Mono Potassium phosphate, potassium nitrate, Kents Micro & Grow as well as Vita.

Some people strictly use Plantex CSM+B & DIY Macros and have just as good results. Despite doing things totally opposite the results are the same. No deficiencies and healthy plants. The common thread is both parties know what they are doing. I think that is the most important thing. Knowledge.

I am yet to see a quarter as many people using recommended dosages of commercial ferts have the same problems DIY people do. Sometimes trying to save $ is not worth it.

I have challenged many people having ongoing problems with algae or cyano to try a full dosing regime as recommended by the commercial products, ideally Seachems line (Kent's Botanica's have worked) and never once has it failed.

Just my thoughts.

As far as the water report goes, mine was obtainable directly over the Internet. Not sure why yours wouldn't be. What exact city do you live in, lets see what we can find.
 

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If Iron was as important as some of these people say, you couldn't get by without it. I have set up dozens of tanks for people and have NEVER dosed Iron in the water column and had plenty of success. This is not to say Iron is not important, but there are so many factors involved I don't think most people are capable of providing enough information for someone to say without a doubt what 'the problem' is. It's more of a likely suspects list at best.
Just to play devil's advocate, but the automatic doser for adding the liquid iron into my tank fell during vacation (thankfully, didn't fall inside the tank). A week without iron showed very obvious deficiencies in my plants. My Micranthemum umbrosum turned nearly bone white at the growing tips, and my Rotala sp Green immediately started showing distorted, very pale new growth. :) 4 wpg.

Carlos
 

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Mine did the opposite, I forgot to put the rubber cap back on the doser so the contents was delivered in a single dose. Got some burned edges on many leaves, the anubias still show some darkened edges, plenty of dust algae, nearly got some green water...

Giancarlo Podio
 

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justin, do you use soil substrate? i never have to dose with a soil substrate.
 

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Fertiplant is a product (expensive) coming from Europe. It is composed of laterite and lignite, plus perhaps some other nutrients/ingredients (they aren't too specific).

Plants are growing great in the tank I have it in, though. :) The one with the peat bottom layer also took off pretty quickly, if not more so.

Carlos
 

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Hubba,

No I have never put soil into my aquarium.

Carlos,

One would expect a product like that to be atleast a somewhat decent supply of Iron. All tanks I never doesd have been 100% Flourite, 3"+. I wonder if Flourite is that Iron rich...
 

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I thought that the benefit to Flourite was the high CEC allowing Fe adn other nutrients to be available to plant roots, not necessarily the amount of Fe it actually contains. That is true for peat too though right or am I mistaken?
 

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Its also rather low in Fe too. One of the lowest. I wonder about peat moss and Eco complete. Where are they in respect to that list?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Flourite does not seem to be that helpful with Iron. If i had a choice i would use Onyx or Eco-complete for my 50gallon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Sorry for being off topic but i dont want to start a new thread over this, Would Lignite be like adding activated charcoal to a substrate?
 

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lignite, activated charcoal? do you mean they are the same? you mean diamond black right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Carlos says Fertiplant plus has lignite in it. I looked it up on google and its a source of power like charcoal. So i am guessing its similar to charcoal in a tank. Is black diamond a form of charcoal used in Substrates???
 

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Black diamond is a brand of activated carbon for use in filters. I assume, but do not know, that that they could be used that same. I know that charcoal and carbon can be bought at my local garden center to add to the you potting mix. Would it the be a source of DOC? (dissolved organic carbon) Would peat also have a high DOC?
 

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i know soil has a lot of DOC cuz Ms. Walstad mentions it in her book
 
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