PMDD ingredient sources

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 1997 12:45:22 -0500 (EST)
From: Tim Mullins <tmullins at telerama_lm.com>
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To: Aquatic Plants <Aquatic-Plants at ActWin_com>
Subject: PMDD: Sources & Doses
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I've noticed numerous posts inquiring as
to where to buy PMDD (poor man's dosing
drops) and how to use them. Hope this helps

<<<   I'd be sure to keep these chemicals clear  >>>
<<<   of the kiddies !   Some are quite nasty.   >>>

Tim - Pittsburgh

A)  Sources for a chelated trace mix:

1)  Plantex's "CSM"   1-905-793-7000   $26 US for 2 Kilos
    314 Orenda Ave, Brampton, Ontario
    L6T1G1 Canada
    For breakdown, see part E
    (Thanks to Kevin Conlin)

2)  Miller Chemical & Fertilizer's "Microplex"
    Hanover, PA
    Distributor: NitroPhos 1-713-530-5558
    I've never tried Microplex, but it has;
         Mg-5.4%         Bo-0.5%
         Co-0.05%        Cu-1.5%
         Fe-4.0%         Mn-4.0%
         Mb-0.1%         Zn-1.5%
         (Thanks to Doug Skokna)

3)  Home Grown Hydroponics
    I've not checked them out
    (Thanks to Suwat Phruksawan)

B)  Sources for MgSO4 and H3BO3

1)  MgSO4 is available from just about any drug
    store as Epsom Salts. $2 buys a lot. Note it's
    hydrated (the form PMDD calls for) so it's
    formula is MgSO4 + 7H2O.
    (Thanks to Karen Randall)

2)  H3BO3 is Boric Acid, a source of Boron. Also
    available from drug stores, a couple buck buys
    around 250mG, a lot.
    (Thanks to Paul Sears)

C)   Sources for KNO3 and K2SO4

1)  ECO Enterprises  1-800-426-6937
    1240 N.E. 175th Street, Seattle WA
          KNO3   $5.98/ 5 lbs   Agro grade
          K2SO4  $5.98/ 5 lbs   Agro grade
          (Thanks to Doug Skokna)

2)  PCI Scientific Supply
         KNO3   $16.75/500mG  Lab grade
         K2SO4  $15.50/500mG  Lab grade
         I've never tried this outfit.
         (Thanks to Tom Polk)

D)  Source for complete pre-mixed PMDD per original
    Conlin-Sears formulation (This is an attractive
    option because if you gather your own ingredients,
    you'll find you'll have enough to make barrels of PMDD).

1)    Neil Schneider, Poway CA, PacNeil at aol_com
      $30 for dry ingredients to make 5 litres of PMDD
      plus labels and instructions.
      (Thanks to Neil for making it easy)

E)  How to roll your own PMDD with Plantex CSM:

1)   As noted by Tom Polk, Plantex's CSM now has no B (boron)
     and therefore needs to have some added.

     For a ratio of 7Fe to 1.26B (5.5 to 1)
       - mix 14 parts CSM to 1 part H3BO3 (Boric Acid) by wieght
         (about 10.5 tspns of CSM to 1 tspn H3BO3).

     Here's the breakdown of CSM before and after adding Boron.
       Regular CSM            CSM+B
       Fe    7.0%             6.53%
       Mn    2.0%             1.87%
       Mg    1.5%             1.40%
       Zn    0.4%             0.37%
       Cu    0.1%             0.09%
       Mo    0.05%            0.05%
       B     0%               1.18%
       Co    0%               0%

2)  Using Sears and Conlin's latest PMDD formula, mix with water
    to make a 500mg solution:
      1 tspn trace  mix "CSM+B"
      1 tspn MgSO4+7H2O (9 times Mg in trace so I added it)
      1 tspn KNO3  (I need the nitrate)
      2 tspn K2SO4 (remove that gummy black stuff when mixing)

F)  How to dose with PMDD

    Track Fe and NO3 with test kits. It takes
    awhile (weeks) to build and stabilize
    concentrations in the aquarium. With PMDD,
    more is not necessarily better and, although
    somewhat fault tolerant, too much can
    be distressing or even deadly to both plant
    and fish.

    Everyone seems to recommend dosing PMDD for
    reaching 0.1mG/ltr (0.1 ppm) of Fe (Iron) in the
    aquarium and letting the other element
    concentrations fall where they may. Consensus
    is it is best to stay under 0.2mG/ltr of Fe.
    Again, it will take awhile to reach 0.1 mG/ltr
    target, go slow.

    The target for NO3 (nitrates) said to be about
    5mG/ltr (5 ppm). If your aquarium NO3 exceeds
    about 5mG/ltr, you ought to reduce or eliminate
    the KNO3 from the PMDD formulation accordingly

    Based on my experience, for each ten gallons of a heavily
    planted tank with 25% of water changed each week, use
    around 1/4 ml of PMDD a day. So, for a 29 galllon tank,
    use 3/4 ml PMDD a day. If you don't change as much
    water as I do, I'd use less as indicated by part 3 below.

    Oh, I'd try to be sure to stir the PMDD in slowly so fish
    don't get hit with a "chemical cloud".

2)  More of my experience. . .

    So, did I follow my own advice and go slow ... no. <g>
    I initially overdosed with 5ml PMDD a day in my
    45 gallon tank (40 gallon water column) not knowing
    better. I changed 25% of my tank's water each week.
    Assuming no Fe depletion (a poor assumption since
    the whole idea is to have plants use it, but still
    useful for establishing a worst case upper bound) my
    Fe concentration might have eventually leveled
    off at 0.4mG/ltr. _Too high_ ! So, once I reached
    0.1 mG/ltr (took about 2 weeks at the 5ml dose), I
    reduced my PMDD dose to a little over 1 ml a day.

    My plant growth has improved considerably.    :-)

3)  Now, some nerd stuff on dosing that most
    can live without (If you spot an error, please
    let me know):

a)  CSM+B based PMDD's breakdown by element:

     appox G/Ltr  % of total  Ratio to Fe
N       1.41    6.41%        3.06
K      13.80   62.53%       29.84
S       5.19   23.50%       11.21
Mg      0.95    4.32%        2.06
Fe      0.46    2.10%        1.00
Mn      0.13    0.60%        0.29
Zn      0.03    0.12%        0.06
Cu      0.01    0.03%        0.01
Mo      0.00    0.01%        0.01
B       0.08    0.38%        0.18
Co      0.00    0.00%        0.00
And two important quanities
NO3     6.26    --          13.54
SO4     15.56   --          33.63

b)  Figuring the aquarium concentration of Fe
    (or any element) after a single PMDD dose:

(PMDD concentration of Fe)*(Dose)/(water column)
      in mG/ltr or PPM     in ltr       in ltr

my case: 5ml PMDD, 40 gallon (160 litre) water column

[(0.46G/ltr)*(1000mG/G)]*[(5ml)*(ltr/1000ml)]/(160ltr) =

_0.0144 mG/ltr Fe_  increase in aquarium as a result of dose.

c)  Figuring the upper bound for concentration of Fe
    after doing daily doses and weekly water changes
    for awhile (this is a geometric series).

(daily increase from dose)*(days till change)/(% water change)
    in mG/ltr or PPM             in days          in decimal
                                          only valid if % change >> dose

my case: 5 ml PMDD dose daily, 25% weekly water changes;

 (0.0144 mG/ltr Fe)*(7)/(0.25) =

 _0.4mG/ltr Fe_  final aquarium concentration, 4 times too high!

So, I leveled off at a lower PMDD dose, about 1 ml a day.

Again, this all assumes no depletion, a lousy assumption,
so I'd measure Fe as you go. This calculation will at least
give you an "upper bound".