Continued from page 5
- Case Study 1
- Case Study 2
- Appendix A - Fertilizer Recipe
- Comments on this Paper
- Later comments on this Paper
The authors would like to thank Ed Tomlinson for running various experiments on his tanks on our behalf. Various participants in the Aquatic Plants internet mailing list (too numerous to list here) have contributed many useful observations and insights. Finally, the efforts of the reviewers, Dave Huebert and Karen Randall, are greatly appreciated.
 Baensch, H. and Riehl, R. Aquarium Atlas, Tetra Press, 1987.
 Horst, K., and Kipper, H. The Optimum Aquarium, AD aquadocumenta Verlag GmbH, 1986.
 Booth, George "[F][plant] CARBON as a SUBSTRATE", rec.aquaria newsgroup, 8 Aug. 1994 (also available on the Web here).
 Frank, Neil "Nutrient Deficiency Symptoms"
 Baensch, H. and Riehl, R. Aquarium Atlas Volume 2, Tetra Press, 1993.
 Christensen, Claus "Re: Tropica Fertilizer", Aquatic Plants Digest V1 #165, 5 July 1995.
 Frank, Neil "Chemicals to Control Algae - The Use of Simazine", The Aquatic Gardener, Vol. 4 no. 6, 1991 (also available on the Web here).
 Gargas, Joe "Chemical Treatment of Ectoparasites Afflicting Fish Part I", Freshwater and Marine Aquarium, Oct. 1993.
Appendix A - Fertilizer Recipe (Poor Man's Dupla Drops)
- 1 Tbsp (~9g) Chelated Trace Element Mix (7% Fe, 1.3% B, 2% Mn, 0.06% Mo, 0.4% Zn, 0.1% Cu, EDTA, DTPA)
- 2 Tsp (~14g) K2SO4 (potassium sulfate)
- 2 Tsp (~6g) KNO3 (potassium nitrate)
- 1 Tbsp (~33g) MgSO4.7H2O (fully hydrated magnesium sulfate, aka epsom salts; omit if already present in trace element mix)
- 500mL distilled H2O
(Most of the ingredients can be purchased at hydroponics shops or garden supply stores. Epsom salts are available inexpensively at pharmacies)
Dissolve the trace element mix in 150mL distilled water, then add the remaining ingredients. Pour in additional water to make 300mL solution. The HCl helps prevent the growth of fungus and may be omitted if the mix is kept in the refrigerator. Add enough mix to the tank every day to keep the Fe level at about 0.1ppm (the exact amount will have to be determined by experimentation, but 3mL per 100L tank water is about right for a tank with rapidly growing plants). Measure nitrate levels regularly, and adjust the amount of KNO3 in the mix to maintain 3-5ppm (this step is fairly important). Those concerned about adding nitrates to their aquarium can dose the KNO3 separately, omitting it initially and adding it later as required to obtain the desired concentration.
The shelf life of the solution is unknown. Make small batches, or store only dry powders (but mix them with water before adding them to the aquarium).
If test kits are not available, satisfactory results can be obtained by adding 1mL mix to 10L replacement water during water changes.
Paul L. Sears, Ottawa, Canada
Kevin C. Conlin, Montreal, Canada
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