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Complete fertilizers?

Posted by ms_minnamouse 7a (My Page) on
Sat, May 28, 11 at 8:46

Can anyone recommend a water soluable complete fertilizer that contains macro, micro and trace nutrients?

A good example would be Dyna-Gro's Foliage-Pro.

Thanks for recommendations.


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RE: Complete fertilizers?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sat, May 28, 11 at 10:28

Technically "complete" just means that it contains NPK, and "balanced" simply means that they contain the primary macro-nutrients in the same %s - not necessarily a good thing. "Micro/trace/minor nutrients" are all terms for the same thing - the micro-nutrients. In between the primary macro-nutrients and the micro-nutrients are the secondary macro-nutrients, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. Iron is the most used of the micro-nutrients.

"Water soluble" is generally used for fertilizers that immediately and easily dissolve in water, but those granular slow-release fertilizers you spread on your gardens (27-3-3, 12-12-12) are also soluble, though they are formulated to dissolve at varying rates and deliver nutrients over a longer period than fertilizers like the soluble Miracle-Gro or Foliage-Pro products.

Most soluble fertilizers do contain the primary macros and the micros likely to be deficient in either bark or peat-based soils, but most lack the secondary macros Calcium and often magnesium. Some contain small amounts of magnesium. Miracle-Gro, Schultz, Jacks, Peter's are examples that lack calcium and possibly magnesium.

Foliage-Pro does contain all the essential elements in the average ratio in which plants use them, including calcium and magnesium. It also provides most of its nitrogen in nitrate form, which helps plants remain sturdy and full. I'm sure there are probably other solubles out there that provide nearly the same formulation, but I don't know what they might be.

AL


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RE: Complete fertilizers?

What Al said. I've been scouring the web the last couple of days, to see if there is anything that compares to Foliage Pro, and I have yet to find anything. Some of the big name hydroponic fertilizers come close, but still don't match up. Like Al said, most are missing the calcium and/or magnesium. It's too bad, because obviously Foliage Pro costs a bit more then your standard run-of-the-mill fertilizers like Miracle Grow, and if you have a lot of plants to fertilize, it can seem expensive. I guess it all depends how good you want your plants to grow. You gotta pay to play, you get what you pay for, spend less get less; those are a few phrases that come to mind concerning this subject. The Miracle grow water soluble blue crystals come close, but are missing calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. Other than buying a bottle of micro nutrients, I don't know how you make up for that. The lime in the 5-1-1 mix takes care of the calcium and magnesium, but the sulfur is still missing. If you have to buy seperate products to make up for deficiencies of another, you might as well just get the Foliage Pro, because it's easier, and the cost offsets after you buy the MG and extra micronutrients. If the cost of Foliage Pro is an issue, here are some numbers, numbers that made me decide it's not too bad.

Let's assume you get a 32oz jug of the Foliage Pro 9-3-6, like I did. I payed a total of $23, including shipping, from Amazon on sale. I water with 1/4tsp per gallon, every time I water; a maintanence fertilizing program.

They recommend 1tsp per gallon, every 2 weeks for regular dose fertilizing.
1oz = 6tsp
32oz = 192tsp
Thus, on a feed every 2 weeks plan, you can make 192 gallons of fertilizer solution.

For maintanence feeding, which I do, they recommend 1/4tsp per gallon of water, every time you water.
1oz = 6tsp
32oz = 192tsp, but at 1/4, you get 4 times that.
192x4= 768 gallons of fertilizer solution.

With the math in mind, to me, $23 dollars is easily worth being able to make 768 gallons of superior fertilizer solution. The time it'll take me to use 768 gallons of fertilizer water can be measured in years. Until something better comes along, Foliage Pro is the winner by a country mile, and well worth the expense.

Joe


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RE: Complete fertilizers?

Well how is the Foliage Pro better than the other Dyna Gro formulas? For instance, the Grow, All Pro, etc.? They all contain the same nutrients, just in different ratios (the All Pro being cheapest in the long run, I think).

I'm primarily looking for a fertilizer that has all the nutrients for aquarium plants and secondarily, for my non-aquarium plants.

I was told that Ammonia based and urea based fertilizers aren't good for aquariums though... Foliage Pro has Ammoniacal.


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RE: Complete fertilizers?

Foliage Pro happens to provide nutrients in the ratio closest to that which plants
actually use the nutrients - 3:1:2. The other Dyna Gro formulas are produced because
people demand them - I think that was the comment from a Dyna Gro representative to one
of the regulars at this Forum.

Josh


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RE: Complete fertilizers?

Adding ammonia to an aquarium is a big no-no. Fish waste is enough ammonia, and adding more would disprupt the nitrogen cycle of your tank. For aquarium plants, you are correct, no ammonia or urea based fertilizers; leave that up to your fish. I'm no expert at aguarium plants, because my only aquarium experience is in the reef tank department, but I'd look to get a special aquarium plant fertilizer, and use the FP 9-3-6 for your regular non-aquatic plants. I doubt you'll find anything that you can use for both. Remember though, if you have fish, you have plenty of nitrogen, so typically you want an aquarium plant fertilizer that has little or no nitrogen, or you'll end up with algae problems.

Joe


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RE: Complete fertilizers?

ms,

Used to have a fish tank. I just scooped out a cupful from the tank and used this to fertilize my household plants whenever they looked like they needed a nitrogen jolt.

Not precise or scientific, but my plants seemed to do quite well on it. Also it cut down on the number of times needed to clean out the fish tank.


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RE: Complete fertilizers?

That's good advice em, but my tanks are in my room and my plants are on another level and most are outside now.

Oh why can't Dyna Gro make a formula for aquarium plants?!


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RE: Complete fertilizers?

ms,

Assuming your aquariums have fish that are fed regularly, the fish food/waste will provide all essential plant nutrients. I have a 75g pond with plants that require regular pruning, and the only thing I add is some pellet and flake food for a couple dozen tetras. Unless you're running a high tech tank with pressurized CO2, high light levels, and frequent water changes, fertilizer is likely to create problems.

I'd stick with Foliage Pro for the plants, and fish food for the aquariums.


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RE: Complete fertilizers?

Well put penfold. I totally agree. Back when I kept a 75g saltwater reeftank, I actually had a 40g tub underneath, referred to as the sump tank. Via syphon, water from the main tank would drain to the sump, where a pump would return it to the main tank. In this sump tank, I had bright lights with the sold purpose of growing and harvesting aquatic vegetation, for the purpose of removing the nutrients that the fish produced. I must have harvested a 5g bucket full every other week, giving you an idea of the massive amount of nutrients that were in the water. This was part of my virtually no water change reef tank. Planned out and set up right, you can make a miniature ecosystem that will clean and maintain itself. Anywho, enough babbling on that; as penfold said, you should be just fine assuming you have fish.

Joe


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RE: Complete fertilizers?

They are high tech tanks though with high light, frequent water changes, and supplemental CO2 soon to be added.

That won't work Joe because the high light and CO2 make the plants use up nutrients fast and in a greater quantity than a low tech aquarium.


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RE: Complete fertilizers?

Joe,

I know what you mean. I used to grow Chaeto and Caulerpa in my reef tanks and that stuff could grow very quickly off of animal waste alone. I like to minimize water changes as well, which is why I keep my pond densely planted.

ms,

In that case you should read some articles on planted tanks. Tom Barr has written a lot about this subject and seems to be at the head of the curve when it comes to this sort of thing. Most people doing this use bulk chemicals or aquarium fertilizers in order to get the right nutrients and avoid urea/ammonia. I prefer more natural, low maintenance tanks, but a high tech tank tank can be very beautiful.


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RE: Complete fertilizers?

I have read up on his mineralized soil method, also on the Diana Walstad method but it won't work for my main tank. I have burrowing catfish and they'd kick the dirt up into the water column and also the roots get very dense and they won't be able to burrow in the soil.

I am thinking about doing it for my shrimp only tank though, with added filtration and aeration and probably light too.


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RE: Complete fertilizers?

I based my pond on Diana Walstad's method after reading her book. The only concession I had to make was the addition of a UV sterilizer since my pond gets a lot of sun which was causing greenwater. It took a few months for things to work themselves out, but now it's doing great. Burrowing fish would be a problem, though.


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