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Thread: Can over-feeding a heliamphora cause the pitchers to develop brown spots?

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    War. War never changes. Est's Avatar
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    As a general rule, regular monthly feedings with fish pellets (I prefer medium cichlid pellets) is all you need for good sustained growth.
    Do you have a rule of thumb for dilution/quantity? What brand pellet do you use? It would be interesting to get it into mass N per pitcher terms to give people an idea. Plus I'm just curious how much Nitrogen we're talking, here. If they don't report the quantity N (though that sounds unlikely) I would be happy to analyze some.
    Last edited by Est; 01-02-2016 at 12:00 AM. Reason: spelling
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    I use Maxsea 16-16-16, with the ratio being slightly over 1/2 tsp per gallon. The pitcher holds approximately the same amount of fluid as an eye dropper, perhaps a bit less (this pitcher got spat out right after I recieved the plant).

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also, I just gave a few little drops from the spray bottle into the pitcher, but I can't remember exactly how much.

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    War. War never changes. Est's Avatar
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    Alright, numbers I like! Any guess as to the volume of the eye dropper? I'll guess a mL here. This'll be a rough calculation, but I'm interested in ranges that people are using.

    16-16-16 fertilizer is 16% (0.16) N by mass. I can't find percentages (they may be on the back of the container though!) but the fertilizer contains urea, nitrate, and ammonium; we'll calculate by bulk N.

    We also don't know the weight of a 1/2 tsp of fertilizer, but we can estimate bulk density to get us a rough number. According to google/amazon the size of a 1.5lb container of this fertilizer comes in a 6.5"x3.5"x3.3 (75.075 in^3) container. Let's convert that to something reasonable: 680g comes in a 1230 cm^3 container. Assuming a full container (which is a bit of a fudge factor, but we're going back-of-the-envelope at the moment!) that gives us a bulk density of 0.553 g/cm^3. This is the same as 0.553g/mL. Now we're getting somewhere!

    A 1/2tsp = 2.46mL. Volume used times bulk density (mass over volume) gives us the mass used: 1.36g in this case!

    A gallon of water is ~3785mL. So let's put it all together.

    (mass used) X (%N total) / (volume water to dilute) = Concentration of N in solution (g/mL)
    (1.36g fert ) X (0.16 ) / (3785mL water) = 5.75e^-5 gN/mL

    At 1e^6ug / 1g we can convert that to 57.5ugN/mL

    At our assumed added volume of 1mL that is, of course, 57.5ugN added per pitcher.

    I'd love to hear what some of the rest of you are doing and compile a working list. And as always, feel free to double check my math -- it is getting late. If anyone is interested I can calculate out some points of reference like agricultural N addition rates, N content of a few types of plants tissues and soils.

    Really what I've learned from this experience is that I've been on vacation too long.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Est View Post
    Do you have a rule of thumb for dilution/quantity? What brand pellet do you use? It would be interesting to get it into mass N per pitcher terms to give people an idea. Plus I'm just curious how much Nitrogen we're talking, here. If they don't report the quantity N (though that sounds unlikely) I would be happy to analyze some.
    I prefer Hikari Cichlid Staple (green bag)
    The amount is very dynamic, depends greatly on pitcher size, growth rate, feeding schedule, temperature, species etc.

    7 or 8 pellets for a full sized, actively growing pitcher is not uncommon.
    Most times I don't count, just sprinkle

    There is no one right answer of course

    With the fish pellets there is going to be some delay from feeding to result, keep the faith.

    I've used maxsea 16:16:16 many times, 1 tsp per gallon.
    I'll use a turkey baster on larger pitchers... but again, very dynamic depending on conditions

    IMHO, the pellets are better in the long term.... but its not really an either/or, Ill use both on occasion

    Only speaking for myself, YMMV

    Av
    Last edited by Av8tor1; 01-02-2016 at 05:47 AM. Reason: add link

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    Seems that there are actually three new pitchers forming. Looks like I'm due for a growth spurt!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also, where do you get your trichoderma?
    Last edited by Benurmanii; 01-05-2016 at 12:09 AM.

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    I prefer ampacbiotech.com's products

    ask for Kelly... she is familiar with the needs of cp'ers

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    Quote Originally Posted by Benurmanii View Post
    I use Maxsea 16-16-16, with the ratio being slightly over 1/2 tsp per gallon. The pitcher holds approximately the same amount of fluid as an eye dropper, perhaps a bit less (this pitcher got spat out right after I recieved the plant).

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also, I just gave a few little drops from the spray bottle into the pitcher, but I can't remember exactly how much.
    I cannot imagine that rate causing any damage whatsoever. I would be on the lookout for another potential cause of the problem, such as root rot, too high of temp, or low humidity.

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    When I was taking the plant out to inspect it, my basement was pretty dry at the time, so I was likely doing more damage than preventing it. Since it was the pitcher that held the smallest amount of water, I suppose it could have just gotten stressed from going from humid to dry a lot. Either way, the problem doesn't seem to be spreading, or really affecting the plant at all. And like I said, I see three new pitchers coming

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also, thank you Av8tor1

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