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Aquarium Fertilizer Logo

Marc Lao, 55g, April 2006

Why give my aquatic plants nutrients?
Premixed fertilizer ingredients
Mixing and dosing instructions
Role of Calcium in Plant Culture
Role of Magnesium in Plant Culture
Role of Sulfur in Plant Culture
Shipping methods and costs
Do you offer any discounts?
Legal disclaimer
Privacy statement




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Why give my aquatic plants nutrients?

What do these nutrients do for my aquatic plants? 
Calcium is important for cell wall strength and thickness of stems. 
Chloride is important for photosynthesis.
Magnesium helps improve blooming; enhances the green color; and can even help plants grow bushier. 
Nitrates are a key ingredient in protein synthesis. Calcium nitrate is an alternative source of nitrates.
Phosphates help convert other nutrients into usable building blocks for growth. They are a component of the complex nucleic acid structure of plants which regulates protein synthesis; cell division and development of new tissue.
Potassium is an essential plant nutrient and is required in large amounts for proper growth and reproduction. Potassium sulfate is an excellent source of potassium.


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Premixed fertilizer ingredients: All products are made from naturally occurring ground minerals. No organic matter is sold. 

Macro Mix is an equal parts mix by weight of potassium nitrate, potassium sulfate, magnesium sulfate and mono potassium phosphates.

Macro Micro Nutrient Mix is an equal parts mix by weight of potassium nitrate, potassium sulfate, Nutritrace CSM + boron, and magnesium sulfate.

Nutritrace CSM + B is composed of 1.50% magnesium, 0.10% chelated copper, 7.0% chelated iron, 2.0% manganese, 0.06% molybdenum, 0.40% zinc, 3.8% boron, EDTA 65.4%.

Barrs GH Booster is composed of 1 part magnesium sulfate, 3 parts potassium sulfate and 3 parts calcium sulfate. One Tablespoon or 16 grams will raise the GH of 20 gallons of water by 3 degrees or 1meq/liter.

What is the chemical formula of magnesium sulfate? Magnesium sulfate, also known as epsom salts, is MgSO4*7H2O.

Substrate Root Zone Tabs contain 20 trace elements. Content analysis: 1.0-.17-3.0; total nitrogen 1.00%; phosphate 0.17%; soluble potash 3.00%;calcium 2.00%; magnesium 2.50% (1.80%water soluble); boron 0.02%; iron 0.45% water soluble and 0.05% chelated iron; manganese 0.15% (0.08% water soluble); molybdenum 0.0005%; zinc (soluble) 0.001%. Derived from blood meal, calcium phosphate, potassium-magnesiun sulfate, calcium sulfate, magnesium sucrate, socium borate, iron sucrate, ferrous sulfate, iron chelate EDTA, maganese sulfate, sodium molybdate, and zinc sulfate.

Substrate Root Zone Tabs are a time release formula of micro or trace nutrients. Place one or two tabs under the root of a large plant; one tablet under the roots of a medium plant or the roots of 2 - 3 small plants in a cluster. These will last about 4 months. 

Iron chelate: What is used to chelate the iron 13%? EDTA is the chelator. 

Ferrous gluconate is chelated with gluconate. Mix and dose iron compounds separately from other nutrients to avoid tank cloudiness. 




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Mixing and dosing instructions:

Nutritrace CSM + B: Mix with a ratio of 1/4 cup of CSM + B to 2 cups water (or 60g to 500 ml). Dose 1-4 drops per gallon per day. One gallon is equal to 3.758 liters. Start with the lowest dose of 1 drop per gallon per day and stay with that dose for 2-3 weeks before deciding to increase the dose. Increase the dose based on the needs of your plants. There are 76 drops in a teaspoon. The 16 ounce (500 ml) graduated dispenser bottles we sell make mixing and dosing easier. These are sold individually and with one lb. of Nutritrace CSM as a bonus buy.

Macro Micro Nutrient Mix instructions: Mix with a ratio of 1/4 cup of Macro Micro Nutrient Mix to 2 cups water (or 60g to 500 ml). Dose 1-4 drops per gallon per day. One gallon is equal to 3.785 liters. Start with the lowest dose of 1 drop per gallon per day and stay with that dose for 2-3 weeks before deciding to increase the dose. Increase the dose based on the needs of your plants. There are 75 drops in a teaspoon. The 16 ounce (500 ml) graduated dispenser bottles we sell make mixing and dosing easier. These are sold individually and with one lb. of Macro Micro Nutrient Mix as a bonus buy.

Ferrous gluconate: Mix 1/8 cup (20 g) ferrous gluconate in 1/4 cup water (62.5 ml) water to make 10,000 ppm solution. Add 1/8 teaspoon (1.25 ml) of this stock solution to 12.5 gallons (47.3 L) water for an initial concentration of 0.26 ppm. Periodically add stock solution at this dosage or as required to maintain about 0.10 ppm iron in solution. Mix and dose iron compounds separately from other fertilizers to avoid tank cloudiness. 

Iron chelate 10% with EDTA: Mix 1/8 cup (20 g) in 1/4 cup (62.5 ml) water to make 10,000 ppm solution. Add 1/8 teaspoon (1.25 ml) of this stock solution to 12.5 gallons (47.3 L) for an initial concentration of 0.26 ppm. Periodically add stock solution at this dosage or as required to maintain about 0.10 ppm iron in solution. Mix and dose iron compounds separately from other fertilizers to avoid tank cloudiness. 

Iron chelate 13% with DTPA: Mix 1/8 cup (20 g) in 1/4 cup (62.5 ml) water to make 10,000 ppm solution. Add 1/8 teaspoon (1.25 ml) of this stock solution to 12.5 gallons (47.3 L) water for an initial concentration of 0.26 ppm. Periodically add stock solution at this dosage or as required to maintain about 0.10 ppm iron in solution. Mix and dose iron compounds separately from other fertilizers to avoid tank cloudiness. 

Adding a small amount (1 tsp or 5 ml) vinegar to your iron solution will help it go into solution easier and make it more bio available. 




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Role of Calcium in Plant Culture      Troy Buechel

Along with magnesium and sulfur, calcium is one of the three secondary nutrients. Like primary nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium), those elements are essential for healthy plant growth. However, they are needed in lesser amounts. 

Function of Calcium:  Calcium, in the form of calcium pectate, is responsible for holding together the cell walls of plants. When calcium is deficient, new tissue such as root tips, young leaves, and shoot tips often exhibit distorted growth from improper cell wall formation. Calcium is also used in activating certain enzymes and to send signals that coordinate certain cellular activities. 

Calcium Deficiency:  Calcium is not mobile within the plant. So the plant relies on the process of transpiration in which the plant roots take up the soil solution (which contains the needed calcium), transports it to new growth where the calcium is used and the excess water vapor escapes out through holes in the leaves called stomata. Anything that slows transpiration, such as high humidity or cold temperatures, can induce calcium deficiency even if the calcium levels are normal in the growing medium. Parts of the plant that transpire little water, i.e. young leaves and fruit, will display calcium deficiencies first. Blossom end rot of tomatoes is a classic case of calcium deficiency. Calcium deficiency can arise if levels in the fertilizer solution are less than 40-60 ppm and/or potassium, magnesium, or sodium levels are too high.

Calcium Toxicity:  Calcium toxicity rarely occurs. High levels of calcium can compete with magnesium and potassium uptake, causing their deficiencies. 

Calcium Source – Fertilizer:  Not all fertilizers contain calcium, such as those with a significant percentage of phosphorus, so it is important to read the label. Some fertilizers list the percentage of calcium and magnesium in the fertilizer analysis, i.e. 15-7-14-3Ca-1Mg. Those that are identified as a “Cal-Mag” such as 15-5-15, 17-5-17, etc., will contain calcium. If you are not certain that a fertilizer contains calcium, check the percentage list of ingredients in the fertilizer.

Most calcium-containing fertilizers are formulated with calcium nitrate. Keep in mind that calcium nitrate is potentially basic, meaning it will cause the pH of the growing medium to rise unless acid is injected or potentially acidic fertilizers are used in rotation. 

Calcium Source – Water:  All water sources supply some calcium. As a general rule, water coming from deep wells or most non-coastal regions of North America has sufficient calcium for normal crop growth, while water from a shallow well, coastal region, rain, lake, river or pond generally has insufficient calcium levels. Regardless, it is best to have your water tested to verify if your water is supplying sufficient calcium. If the calcium level in your water is 40-60 ppm or more, then there is little need to use a fertilizer that provides calcium.



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Role of Magnesium in Plant Culture

Magnesium is a macronutrient that is necessary to both plant growth and health. It is involved in several different processes, including photosynthesis, which nearly all living organisms are dependent on.

Magnesium (Mg), along with calcium and sulfur, is one of the three secondary nutrients required by plants for normal, healthy growth. Don’t be confused by the term "secondary" as it refers to the quantity and not the importance of a nutrient. A lack of a secondary nutrient is just as detrimental to plant growth as a deficiency of any one of the three primary nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) or a deficiency of micronutrients (iron, manganese, boron, zinc, copper and molybdenum). Furthermore, in some plants, the tissue concentration of magnesium is comparable to that of phosphorus, a primary nutrient.

Function of magnesium: Many enzymes in plant cells require magnesium in order to perform properly. However, the most important role of magnesium is as the central atom in the chlorophyll molecule. Chlorophyll is the pigment that gives plants their green color and carries out the process of photosynthesis. It also aids in the activation of many plant enzymes needed for growth and contributes to protein synthesis. 

Deficiency: Magnesium is mobile within the plant so deficiency symptoms appear first in older leaves. The symptoms show up as yellow leaves with green veins (i.e. interveinal chlorosis). Magnesium availability is not significantly affected by the pH of a soilless growing medium. However, it does become more available for plant uptake as the pH of the growing medium increases. Magnesium deficiency often is caused by lack of application, but it can be induced if there are high levels of calcium, potassium or sodium in the growing medium.

Toxicity: Magnesium toxicity is very rare in greenhouse and nursery crops. High levels of magnesium can compete with plant uptake of calcium or potassium and can cause their deficiencies in plant tissue.

Where to Find magnesium: Magnesium can be found in the dolomitic limestone used in most soilless growing media, but it is usually not in sufficient supply to meet the needs of plants. Water can be a source of an appreciable level of magnesium; therefore, have it tested before choosing a fertilizer. If your water does not provide at least 25 ppm magnesium, then it will need to be provided by fertilizer. Check the labels of the fertilizers you currently use, to see if they supply magnesium. If they do not, supplement with Epsom salts, chemically known as magnesium sulfate heptahydrate (MgSO4.7H2O). Another option is to use a cal-mag (calcium-magnesium containing) fertilizer, but unlike Epsom salts, cal-mag fertilizers are potentially basic and will cause the growing medium's pH to rise over time.



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Role of Sulfur in Plant Culture

Sulfur (S), along with calcium and magnesium, is one of the three secondary nutrients required by plants for normal, healthy growth. As mentioned in a previous article “Role of Calcium in Plant Culture”, the term secondary only refers to the quantity and not the importance of a nutrient. A deficiency in a secondary nutrient is just as detrimental as a deficiency in nitrogen, phosphorus or potassium. Sulfur is often overlooked and underappreciated in importance. There is a significant balance between nitrogen and sulfur. Without enough sulfur, plants cannot efficiently use nitrogen and other nutrients to reach their full potential. 

Function of Sulfur: Plants acquire sulfur from the growing medium as sulfate (SO4=). Sulfate is readily soluble and subject to loss by leaching. Plant metabolism reduces sulfate and sulfur dioxide to forms that can be used to build organic molecules. Sulfur is a vital part of all plant proteins, and certain plant hormones. It is also used in the formation of certain oils and volatile compounds found in the onion and garlic family. 

Sulfur Deficiency:  Since sulfur is associated with the formation of proteins and chlorophyll, its deficiency symptoms resemble those of nitrogen. Sulfur is moderately mobile within the plant, therefore deficiency symptoms usually start on the younger leaves and progress over time to the older leaves, resulting in plants becoming uniformly chlorotic. While sulfur deficiency symptoms on an individual leaf look like those of nitrogen, nitrogen deficiency begins in the lowest leaves, not the newest.  

Sulfur Toxicity: Sulfur toxicity is very rare and will most likely not occur even if excessive sulfuric acid is injected to neutralize water alkalinity. High sulfur levels in the growing medium can compete with and induce nitrogen deficiency. 

Sulfur Sources: Most water sources do not provide adequate sulfur for normal plant growth. Furthermore, most commercial water soluble fertilizers do not provide adequate amounts of sulfur either. Check the complete analysis of the fertilizer to confirm how much sulfur it supplies. The minimum level of sulfur coming from the fertilizer solution should be 25 ppm sulfur or 75 ppm sulfate. If the fertilizer solution provides inadequate levels of sulfur, consider mixing Epsom salts into the fertilizer stock solution to provide missing sulfur. Consider the application of Epsom salts at a rate of 2-4 ounces/100 gallons of water as a constant feed with your water soluble fertilizer program. Never blend sulfur-containing fertilizers with calcium-containing fertilizers in a stock tank as precipitates will form.

If water alkalinity is high and sulfur levels are low in your fertilizer program, consider using sulfuric acid as it will address both concerns.



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Shipping methods and costs:

What carrier do you use?  We use USPS flat rate priority mail for domestic delivery and USPS Priority Mail International for international delivery. Domestic tracking has greatly improved. Tracking  is now available for international customers. You will be sent an email with a tracking number when your order has shipped. 
Please double check to make sure PayPal.com has your correct address on file especially if you have moved within the past 6 months. Orders are processed within a day of being received. If you have special address, shipping, or handling requests, please contact us by email before placing your order. 

What are the shipping and handling charges?

Shipping charges are based on weight as follows:

Domestic rates:

First Class Parcel 2-5 days with 1 lb                                   $6

Flat rate envelope with up to 4 lbs of fertilizers               $ 9

Medium flat rate box with up to 18 lbs of fertilizers        $16

Large flat rate box with up to 26 lbs of fertilizers           $20

Canadian rates:

Flat rate envelopes with up to 4 lbs of fertilizers            $26

Medium flat rate boxes with up to 20 lbs of fertilizers   $48

International rates:

Padded flat rate envelopes with up to 4 lbs of fertilizers            $35

Medium flat rate boxes with up to 20 lbs of fertilizers   $74

If you order more than 4 lbs but less than or up to 8 lbs your order will be divided in two parts and will be shipped in two flat rate envelopes for $70.  




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Do you offer any discounts?




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Legal disclaimer

We at aquariumfertilizer.com are willing to share our knowledge about fertilizers we sell, but we are not experts.  We recommend that you join an online aquatic plant blog or forum such as the Barr Report at www.barrreport.com.  We do not take any responsibility for the care, handling and use or misuse of our products or any results of their use. 



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Privacy statement:

AquariumFertilizer.com does not sell or rent contact information provided by a customers or potential customers. No customer payment information is available to us. All payments are processed through PayPal.com.  

 
 
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