PhytaGen S1 Planta
Mineral salt mix for the remineralization of deionized water in planted aquaria
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PhytaGen S1 Planta is a mineral salt mix for the optimization of the water mineral content in planted aquaria.
Starting from deionized water (obtained either by reverse osmosis or ion exchange resins), PhytaGen S1 Planta allows to obtain a water which is perfectly suited for the cultivation of aquatic plants in a very simple way.
PhytaGen S1 Planta simultaneously restores Total/General Hardness (usually measured in dGH) and Alkalinity (usually measured in dKH), bringing both of them up to ideal values.
It also provides a dose of Potassium that does not need further additions (not recommended).
Main features of PhytaGen S1 Planta
Using PhytaGen S1 Planta at the recommended doses (3 grams evry 10 liters) gives the certainty that all the indispensable Cations and Anions are present in amounts and reciprocal ratios which are ideal for planted aquaria.
Obtaining in particular the following advantages:
stabilizes on a very low value (around 380 µSiemens/cm).
Which is a very important thing in planted aquaria (see details below).
is brought to 4 dKH.
This value, in conjunction to the correct CO2 concentration (that in planted aquaria should be kept between 15 and 30 mg/l), allows to buffer pH in the range 6,6 -7,0 (because of the relationship linking pH, Alkalinity and dissolved CO2).
This is important, because a pH value of 6,6 to 7,0 is in turn ideal for maintaining the correct activity of the chelants and trace elements introduced.
Potassium concentration is brought to a base value (39 mg/l) high enough for preventing deficiencies even on the most demanding plant species with no need, with regular water changes and in the full observance of the protocol, of subsequent specific supplementation (thus not recommended).
is kept at a low value (6,2 mg/l).
This at the same time prevents deficiencies of this trace element and stimulate plants to balance internal cations not through the anion Chloride but instead through the synthesis of organic acids and the use of their anions; playing an important role in the absorption, translocation and use of trace elements.
• Calcium and Magnesium
are supplied in ideal amounts (35.2 mg/l and 9.3 mg/l respectively) and reciprocal ratio (around 3.8:1).
is maintained at a quite high value (30,6 mg/l as Sulfur or 91,8 mg/l as Sulfate), due to the great importance of this element in plant nutrition (often considered as the forth macro-element).
Sodium is kept at ZERO (due to the uselessness of this element in a planted aquarium).
PhytaGen S1 Planta is not hygroscopic and does not pose problems for its storage.
Anyway it is always advisable to keep it with the lid well closed and in a dry environment.
Should it become wet for any reason, it may be returned to its original consistency by keeping it for a few days in its open can inside a ventilated refrigerator.
Ottimi sali mantenendo un conducibilità ottimale con un unico Dosaggio il potassio resta sufficente per tutta la settimana. Che dire ottimo prodotto
I sali che fanno la differenza
La migliore miscela di sali per la remineralizzazione dell'acqua d'osmosi. Non necessita integrare il Potassio perchè già contenuto. Equilibrato il rapporto contenuto di Ca/Mg. La conducibilità scaturente è fenomenale
La prima sensazione con questi sali è stata ottima. Con vasca nuova in soli 5 giorni ho notato una immediata colorazione degli apici di una Rotala sunset che veniva da un'altra vasca e questo con il solo utilizzo di S1 !!
Need for the use of a remineralizing salt mix
The success in maintaining demanding animal and plant species in aquaria is understandably related to the full satisfaction of their vital needs in the tank.
The first and fundamental step in this direction is the ability of the hobbyst to guarantee water with ideal characteristics (ion balance, pH, conductivity).
In this regard it should be noted that the use of tap water is, except in very rare cases, not optimal or even not suitable for a number of possible reasons:
• Non-optimal values of the main indicators (Alkalinity, Hardness, pH, Conductivity, etc.)
• Not optimal / incorrect mineral balance (not optimal / incorrect relations between the single ions)
• Presence of unwanted ions or contaminants (Silicates, Vanadium, Fluorides, Phosphates, Nitrates etc.)
• Variability of the composition (in particular during certain periods of the year and / or according to the maintenance carried out by the aqueduct and its management of water supply sources).
Although all animal and plant organisms have a certain adaptability (species-specific), it should be noted that anyone who approaches today aquarium keeping in a serious or professional manner cannot do without using deionized water (usually by means of reverse osmosis) with very low conductivity (ideally below 10 microSiemens/cm).
The need therefore arises to reintegrate this pure water with mineral salts in such a way as to reach a water with a stable chemical composition and perfectly suitable for the needs of the organisms bred.
Important parameters for the evaluation of a remineralizing salt mix
The design of a salt mix for the mineral rebalancing of deionized water is subject to various constraints and restrictions, mainly inherent to:
• Ion Balance - Conductivity
The resulting conductivity after the water replenishment assumes a very important character for the absorption and use of the single ions present.
At the same concentration of nutrients the mix of reintegration salts will be much better the lower its conductivity.
This is because in conditions of lower conductivity, the use of water by the plants will be better, the absorption of nutrients will be more efficient, the possibility of interaction and antagonism of the ions will be lower, there will be greater possibility of dosing further nutrients (eg Nitrates and Phosphates) as well as greater time availability before conductivity reaches sufficiently high values to require a water change.
The growth of aquatic plants will be affected as a result.
The level of conductivity achieved (always with the same concentration of nutrients) is therefore the main yardstick in the evaluation of a mixture of salts, or in the comparison between two or more of them.
A good product must have a hygroscopicity that is as low as possible (ideally nothing). This is an extremely important parameter, because the absorption of moisture by the salts makes them difficult to manage because of the compaction and makes the dosage inaccurate due to the alteration of the specific weight.
It can also cause unwanted chemical reactions among the constituents of the mix.
It is correct to state that solubility, in general, arises on a conflictual plane with respect to the correct ionic balance.
Generally in fact a greater (or immediate) solubility can be obtained only by introducing or increasing the use in the mixture of salts with greater hygroscopicity or increasing (beyond their real needs) the share of some useful anions (eg Chlorides) or introducing not necessary (eg Sodium).
Each of these strategies (separately or jointly) inevitably affects the stability of the preparation and, what is worse, its ionic balance and the resulting conductivity (increasing it), consequently, on its nutritional capacities and the results obtainable. A good mixture of salts must therefore represent a good compromise between solubility and good ion balance.
Essential Macro e Meso elements and their role in plant physiology
PhytaGen S1 Planta provides all the meso-essentials for plants.
Furthermore the Potassium macro-element is present; that it is good to always be present in water with balanced concentrations compared to calcium and magnesium.
More In detail, the functions in plant biology of the elements present in S1 Planta can be summarized as follows:
Enzyme function; production of ATP for energy purposes; synthesis of proteins and starches; absorption of trace elements.
Cell structure and membranes; enzymatic and hormonal functioning; regulation of the absorption of other essential ions.
The chlorophyll is constituent; synthesis of amino acids and proteins; absorption and translocation of phosphorus; enzymatic function; use of ATP for energy purposes;
Functioning of enzymes essential for the production of chlorophyll. Necessary for the metabolism of nitrogen and the synthesis of amino acids and proteins; constituent of various amino acids. Because of its presence and importance it is now often considered as the fourth macronutrient along with Potassium, Nitrogen and Phosphorus.
Photosynthesis and osmoregulation.
Deficiency symptoms and unbalances
The problems related to the constituent elements of S1 Planta can be summarized as follows:
Given the ease of translating this element between the various districts of the plant (mobile element) the plant in deficiency can remove it from the older leaves to provide it to young people.
Its deficiency manifests itself first in mature leaves.
These occur with more or less large yellowish areas that evolve into holes surrounded by necrotic areas. Typical of the Hygrophyla is the presence of round holes on the mature leaves.
If the deficiency continues, the plant loses its leaves starting from the oldest.
If the deficiency is not corrected, the young leaves are ultimately affected, presenting themselves as small and chlorotic.
Since calcium is an element that is accumulated predominantly in cell walls (structural role) it can not be removed and re-located within the plant (immobile element).
Consequently its deficiency manifests itself first on the young leaves.
These are small and weak, often with a damaged (contorted) structure and generally starting from the tip.
If the deficiency continues the vegetative apices die.
Given the ease of translocating this element within the plant's tissues, its deficiency manifests itself first on mature leaves (mobile element).
These occur with extended chlorotic areas; in particular in the fabric between the veins.
If the deficiency continues, the leaves become thinner and flake in the veins, presenting jagged tears (typical in broad and thin leaf plants such as Rotala macrandra).
The protracted deficiency then comes to affect even the young leaves that appear small and pale by incorrect photosynthesis (in which magnesium plays a key role).
Sulfur can be moderately retranslated within the plant.
The plant has difficulty producing proteins from Nitrogen (key role of sulfur).
Its deficiency manifests itself with a loss of vigor and a generalized yellowing.
Chlorine can easily be translocated inside the plant. Its deficiency is manifested by chlorosis and necrosis starting from mature leaves and more evident along the edges and the tips.
We recommend the use of PhytaGen S1 Planta at the dosage of 6 grams (one measuring spoon, included in the package) for every 20 liters of deionized water.
With this dosage, the remineralized water has the following values:
Total hardness = 7 dGH (German degrees of total hardness)
Alkalinity = 4 dKH (German degrees of carbonate hardness)
Conductivity = 380 μS/cm (Siemens micro on centimeter)
Potassium = 39.2 mg/l
Calcium = 35.2 mg/l
Magnesium = 9.3 mg/l
Sodium = 0 mg / l
Bicarbonates = 87.8 mg/l
Sulfur = 30.6 mg/l (Sulfates = 91.8 mg/l)
Chlorides = 6.2 mg/l
These dosage and the values of GH, KH, Conductivity, quantity and ion ratios that derive from them are, based on the experience of Alxyon, ideal for a planted aquarium.
In order to achieve the expected results, however, it is necessary, after the first intake, to maintain these values by balancing the consumption of ions by the plants.
To do this it is necessary to carry out regular water changes.
In particular, it is recommended to change 20-25% of aquarium water weekly.
During water changes, it is advisable to introduce new water into the aquarium only after it has been remineralized in a separate container.
For this purpose, the desired amount of S1 Planta is introduced into the container containing the water in the gearbox and the water is moved until a complete dissolution or a homogeneous suspension is obtained.
The water obtained in the aquarium can then be poured into a strongly moving area (eg at the filter outlet).
A slight residual turbidity should be considered normal and, at the recommended dosages, the aquarium water returns limpid in short (depending on the amount of dissolved CO2).
For animal hosts that want water with higher pH, hardness or conductivity, the dosage of S1 Planta can be increased.
For example, at a dosage of 5 grams, every 10 liters of deionized water are obtained:
Total hardness = 11.7 dGH (German degrees of total hardness)
Alkalinity = 6.7 dKH (German degrees of carbonate hardness)
Conductivity = 633 μS / cm (Siemens micro on centimeter)
With the same amount of dissolved CO2 in water, the pH will also rise due to the increased level of Alkalinity.
Alxyon, anyhow, formulates various types of remineralizing salts, specific for animal guests with special needs.
In these cases it is therefore good to check whether there are dedicated Alxyon salts and to use the most suitable.
S2 Amazonas: Specific salts for Discus and other oligotrophic water fishes
S3 Malawi: Specific salts for the cichlids of Lake Malawi
S4 Tanganyika: Specific salts for cichlids of Lake Tanganyika
Please find hereafter a dosage calculator to be used on mobile phones.
Just select the relevant product (M1, M2, N1, P1, S1) from the top tabs, insert the data requested and the program will calculate the amount of product to be dosed.
Are two salt mixes, restoring separately GH and Alcalinity, better than one salt mix restoring both of them at once?
Salts or solutions for the separate reintegration of GH and Alkalinity, by their very nature, can not be optimized with regard to the ionic ratio and consequently to the conductivity.
That is, inevitably, a reconstructed water with mixtures of salts that separately raise the GH and the Alkalinity will always have, in parity 'of fundamental cations (Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium), a worse ion balance and a conductivity greater than a reconstructed water with a mixture of salts which simultaneously raises the two parameters under examination.
Since PhytaGen S1 Planta has been designed for being used in a very specific field (planted aquaria) and for being used by demanding or professional users, it was decided to provide a product with the composition that, from our experience, simultaneously brings all the parameters to ideal values for this area.
This simplifies the task of the enthusiast and reduces the chances of error or removal from the suggested optimal protocol.
This product should therefore be used as it is, as well as diligently following the instructions provided.
Under these conditions there is no need to (indeed, you should not) modify the method of use (or the composition) for any reason (for example to raise or lower the KH separately).
There may be cases in which we may feel we need to act separately on GH and Alkalinity.
For example to compensate for a destabilizing behavior of the tank.
Which may happen if the substrate or the rocks used adsorb or release some cations with a consequent decrease or increase of the GH untied by Alkalinity; Or if they lower alkalinity in a way unrelated to GH; or, on the contrary, if the alkalinity is increased due to the release of carbonates by the substrate or rocks.
In all these cases it is strongly recommended to solve these problems rather than trying to change the ratio between the parameters of the salt mix in order to balance the problem present in the tank.
Cases such as those listed above by way of example can be considered correctly addressed only by following one of the methods listed below:
- Removal of the cause of the problem from the tub (substrate, rocks, etc.)
- Increase (in frequency and quantity) of the routine of water changes to stem the problem.
Of the two, the first represents the optimal and definitive solution, while the second is a sub-optimal situation with regard to the results and the expenditure of time and effort inherent in its implementation.
For this reason, Alxyon's PhytaGen protocol provides for the use of funds that do not alter the chemical composition and the correct mineral balance of the water obtainable through the Sali S1 Planta mix.
The better the solubility, the better the salt mix?
We have already answered this question, considering the considerations that, with regard to solubility, we have expressed above.
For S1 Planta we have deliberately decided instead to privilege above all the search for the perfect balance between ions and the minimization of conductivity.
Secondly we favored the shelf life and durability of the product through the use of very low hygroscopic salts.
Only after obtaining the two results above we have made sure to further optimize the composition to obtain the best possible solubility, without however risking that this would be to the detriment of the fundamental parameters mentioned above.