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Thread: Cost of Nitrate fertilisers

  1. #1
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    Cost of Nitrate fertilisers

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    Recently did a comparison of Nitrate fertilisers and the cost per dose. Just sharing my findings:
    • Seachem Nitrogen $15.50 per 500ml ($0.11 per 10ml)
    • AquaVitro Synthesis $20 per 350ml ($0.57 per 10ml)
    • KNO3 5% Solution $63 per 5000ml ($0.13 per 10ml)
    • Ca(NO3)2.4H2 dry $9.80 per 500g ($0.20 per 10g)


    Calculations based on my tank water volume (600l) to reach approximately 7.5ppm NO3. Doses are rounded to human-doable doses.

    (For those viewing via Tapatalk, below is a table. You will need to use browser to view it properly.)

    Fert Dose Results Cost
    Seachem Nitrogen 70ml 7.7ppm NO3, 1.94pm K $2.17
    AquaVitro Synthesis 35ml 8.21ppm NO3 $2.00
    KNO3 5% Solution 150ml 7.67 ppm NO3, 4.83ppm K $1.89
    Ca(NO3)2.4H2 Dry 1.5tsp (~9.4g) 8.23ppm NO3, 2.66ppm Ca (+0.37 dGH) $0.18

    Of course, dosing with dry is always very much cheaper. My concern with Calcium Nitrate was with raising dGH with the Ca, but never did the calculations. At this dose, 3 x a week, that's raising by ~1dGH a week, should be ok with weekly water change.

    KNO3 is a pain to buy, and is only slightly cheaper than dosing with Seachem and AquaVitro.
    Ca(NO3)2.4H2 is still a pain to buy, but at least it's really affordable.

    For reference:
    600l is a 6'x2'x2' tank (accounting for sump, soil, hardscape, etc)
    A standard off-the-shelf 3' tank would be roughly 160l.
    Last edited by vinz; 27th Jul 2016 at 17:13.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Cost of Nitrate fertilisers

    Thats a useful comparison chart for reference! Thanks for posting it.

    Yeah, for larger planted tanks (> 3ft size) it definitely makes alot more sense to go with dry ferts, saves alot over the long run.
    :: Urban Aquaria ::
    www.urbanaquaria.com

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    Re: Cost of Nitrate fertilisers

    Just added the cost per 10ml/10g for others to easily estimate their doses.
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    Re: Cost of Nitrate fertilisers

    Quote Originally Posted by Urban Aquaria View Post
    Thats a useful comparison chart for reference! Thanks for posting it.
    No worries, since I already did the homework, decided to share.
    Quote Originally Posted by Urban Aquaria View Post
    Yeah, for larger planted tanks (> 3ft size) it definitely makes alot more sense to go with dry ferts, saves alot over the long run.
    Less questions from the Home & Finance Minister too.
    Vincent - AQ is for everyone, but not for 'u' and 'mi'.
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    Re: Cost of Nitrate fertilisers

    Urea is super efficient/cheaper, and I use it instead of Calcium nitrate.. but requires a little more care when dosing

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    Re: Cost of Nitrate fertilisers

    I don't mind having more calcium in the tank; some plants/shrimp prefer it. It's the carbonates/KH that softwater plants dislike, having a higher GH otherwise is fine.

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    Re: Cost of Nitrate fertilisers

    Quote Originally Posted by Xiaozhuang View Post
    I don't mind having more calcium in the tank; some plants/shrimp prefer it. It's the carbonates/KH that softwater plants dislike, having a higher GH otherwise is fine.
    Hmmm... does Calcium Nitrate react with other in-tank fertilisers to produce carbonates?
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    Re: Cost of Nitrate fertilisers

    Hmm I don't think so, there isn't a CO3- component to the ferts above. The main reaction we may see is that CaNO3 can bind with sulphate salts to form a precipitate => Calcium sulphate. So if you mix K2SO4 and CaNO3 in high concentration, you get KNO3 in solution with a white precipitate of CaSO4. However in normal dosing in our tanks we don't see this due to the dilution.

    The main way we get carbonates in the tank is through using limestone (grey rocks/seiryu), coral chips/sand. Some commercial ferts contain carbonates; i.e. ADA, which uses potassium carbonate as a potassium source.

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    Re: Cost of Nitrate fertilisers

    Ah ok. I figured there shouldn't be since there's no carbonate in any of the stuff we put in. Misunderstood your statement.

    Was wondering about the K2SO4 and CaNO3 interaction as I came across that when I was reading up on CaNO3. Thanks for clarifying. I hadn't gone on to check on that yet.
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    Re: Cost of Nitrate fertilisers

    Quote Originally Posted by Xiaozhuang View Post
    Hmm I don't think so, there isn't a CO3- component to the ferts above. The main reaction we may see is that CaNO3 can bind with sulphate salts to form a precipitate => Calcium sulphate. So if you mix K2SO4 and CaNO3 in high concentration, you get KNO3 in solution with a white precipitate of CaSO4. However in normal dosing in our tanks we don't see this due to the dilution.

    The main way we get carbonates in the tank is through using limestone (grey rocks/seiryu), coral chips/sand. Some commercial ferts contain carbonates; i.e. ADA, which uses potassium carbonate as a potassium source.

    if its possible, why don't everyone just synthesise their own KNO3 by combining high concentrations of CaNO3 and K2SO4, filtering the CaSO4 ppt and using the KNO3 neat.

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    Re: Cost of Nitrate fertilisers

    Quote Originally Posted by peiho View Post
    if its possible, why don't everyone just synthesise their own KNO3 by combining high concentrations of CaNO3 and K2SO4, filtering the CaSO4 ppt and using the KNO3 neat.
    I dose my EI without KNO3 but I use Mg(SO4)2 instead in 1:3 ratio with CaNO3. The rest is supplemented with KHPO4 and PMDDs solution from Lushgro Aqua and Micros (on separate days cos Lushgro solutions contain Fe which could percitate the PO4).
    Last edited by aza; 15th Jan 2017 at 18:04. Reason: Spelling

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    Re: Cost of Nitrate fertilisers

    Quote Originally Posted by peiho View Post
    if its possible, why don't everyone just synthesise their own KNO3 by combining high concentrations of CaNO3 and K2SO4, filtering the CaSO4 ppt and using the KNO3 neat.
    Sure you can do it. But I can't legally recommend it.

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    Re: Cost of Nitrate fertilisers

    Those who do, don't tell us about it.

    ~ Sent from Moto X Style via Tapatalk ~
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    Re: Cost of Nitrate fertilisers

    Quote Originally Posted by vinz View Post

    Of course, dosing with dry is always very much cheaper. My concern with Calcium Nitrate was with raising dGH with the Ca, but never did the calculations. At this dose, 3 x a week, that's raising by ~1dGH a week, should be ok with weekly water change.

    For reference:
    600l is a 6'x2'x2' tank (accounting for sump, soil, hardscape, etc)
    A standard off-the-shelf 3' tank would be roughly 160l.
    Hi,

    Just wanted to share my own experience as an added reference.

    I have a 5ft tank with sump. Total volume approximately 520 litre. I dose 1 teaspoon of dry calcium nitrate three times a week and had been doing that since Jun 2016. I changed water once at week at 50%.

    I measure my gH once awhile. Usually before water change and after water change.

    The gH from my tap is around 8 to 9. When I measured the water in my tank recently in Jan 2017 - it is also 8 to 9. So my conclusion is that the amount of calcium nitrate that I add did not change the gH.

    As you mentioned, I think if the water change is large enough it should be ok.



    Sent from my SM-N910G using Tapatalk

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    Re: Cost of Nitrate fertilisers

    ^that's right....

    oh ya forgot to add... the most cost effective nitrate fertilizer is actually Urea, as it contains ton of nitrogen by weight and ammonia form nitrogen is more easily absorbed by plants. But use with care

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    Re: Cost of Nitrate fertilisers

    Quote Originally Posted by Xiaozhuang View Post
    I don't mind having more calcium in the tank; some plants/shrimp prefer it. It's the carbonates/KH that softwater plants dislike, having a higher GH otherwise is fine.
    Is it true that carbonates are disliked by soft water plants? So the Ca and Mg in water are not important?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Re: Cost of Nitrate fertilisers

    Carbonates (KH / CO3 / HCO3 ions) are different from Ca/Mg. The former refers to alkalinity, the later contributes to general hardness (GH). Soft water plants (blood vomit, toninas) are sensitive to alkalinity, not hardness for the most part. While most plants don't fancy very alkaline water... (14dKH +) below that, most do fine except for select soft water species.

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    Re: Cost of Nitrate fertilisers

    Quote Originally Posted by Xiaozhuang View Post
    ^that's right....

    oh ya forgot to add... the most cost effective nitrate fertilizer is actually Urea, as it contains ton of nitrogen by weight and ammonia form nitrogen is more easily absorbed by plants. But use with care
    why use with care? while you suggest using urea, you must at least tell people the danger instead of making innocent people guess. anyway i googled and found out it is more potent than calcium nitrate or kno3 and it is more suitable for heavily planted mass

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