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How to prevent nutrients from precipitating in fertilizer tanks?

prevent nutrients
Written by Han van der Kooij | Last update: 23-04-2018

When mixing the fertilizers, the risk of precipitation in the fertilizer tanks is present. This is often caused by incorrect dosing or mixing. When precipitation occurs, fertilizers are no longer available for plants. Besides, it results in blockage of filters, leading to many problems. Therefore, it is important to prevent precipitation while you can. Below, read some tips given by our specialists.

Separating fertilizers

Most fertilizers are based on chemical elements. These chemical nutrients react with each other and form a solution which can be absorbed by the plant. Precipitation is caused when several elements are put together while it should not be.

For successful mixing of diverse elements, the A and B tank are developed. In these tanks, fertilizers are dissolved and mixed appropriately. The most important rule, that should always be followed is to never mix nutrients containing phosphate (e.g. phosphoric acid, potassium phosphate, ammonium phosphate) with nutrients containing calcium (e.g. calcium nitrate, calcium chloride). The same applies to nutrients containing sulphate (e.g. sulphuric acid, bitter salt, potassium suphate), which should not be put together with products containing calcium. 

To get clarity at all times, a general rule is followed. Products containing calcium should always be added to the A-tank, while phosphate and sulphate products must be mixed in the B-tank. The other products can be divided over the two tanks. 

Movement in the water

Fixed fertilizers are best dissolvable when each granule gets into contact with water. Therefore, it is important to keep the water moving when adding the products to the fertilizer tank and to dose the fertilizers gradually. 
For larger fertilizing tanks it is recommended to make use of a stirring installation. 

Water temperature

Consider the temperature of the water when preparing the nutrient mix in the fertilizer tank. Most trace elements should be dissolved in warm water. If you try to dissolve the product in cold water, it will not fully dissolve and will precipitate.

pH in the water

Besides the temperature and movement, the pH is also crucial for a good dissolvability of the nutrients. A high pH level (6 or up) in the fertilizing tank can lead to insufficient dissolvability. It is advised to strive towards a pH of 3 to 5, however depending on the situation.

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Cleaning the tank from precipitation

When you take into consideration the tips mentioned above, the chance of on precipitation will be lower. When this would be the case, it is crucial to clean the tank correctly, to make sure the lowest amount of fertilizers possible remains in the watering system. 

Any questions about precipitation of fertilizer nutrients?

Do you have any questions about crop care, or do you want personal advice? Contact one of our product specialists, or use the form below. When you have a question or request personal advice, we will contact you within 24 hours on working days. 

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Han van der KooijAbout Han van der Kooij

Han van der Kooij, fertiliser product specialist at Royal Brinkman, understands the customer like no one else. After being a grower himself, for 26 years, he knows the ropes and is aware of what is involved in being a grower. Converting his own knowledge and experience into recommendations that are useful to growers, is what he likes best about his job. "Finding that this leads to good results, makes me quite satisfied."

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