How closly must a fert dosing schedule be followed? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-14-2007, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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How closly must a fert dosing schedule be followed?

This question may have been discussed in another thread. If so feel free to direct me to it. I have a feeling that this question will get a range of answers but I was curious to see what you all had to say.

I am currently dosing EI on my 55gallon aquarium. I very often end up sleeping at a friend's house which means that my aquarium sometimes gets neglected. So here are my questions relating to how rigid a dosing schedule should be. (Automated dosing is not an option right now)

1. How much trouble will missing an occasional dosing cause my aquarium?

2.If I miss a dosing in the morning should I dose when I get home that evening or just skip that days dose?

3. If I miss two days of dosing should I try and make up for both days? I know phosphorus and traces shouldn't be put in at the same time. Is there a time period I could wait to dose phosphorus after dosing traces?

4. If I am unable to do my usual 50% water change on Sunday would it hurt to do it on Saturday or Monday and stick to the same dosing schedule or should the dosing schedule be shifted to match the day on which I changed the water?

Thanks in advance for your advice.

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-14-2007, 05:38 PM
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Here is my opinion:

You should follow the dosing schedule as close as possible. Sudden changes in the levels in the tank of what is needed by the plants can lead to algae problems.
"missing an occasional dosing" will not "cause" your aquarium any problems, but if it happens often you might.

If you miss the dose in the morning, just dose in the afternoon/evening, just try and dose on schedule. It is not the time that matter as much as the day for EI.
3 days a week for Macros, 3 days a week for Micros, and water changes.

If you miss two days, just dose what ever you should have dose in the first day and start the schedule again from there.

IE:
M - Trace
T - Macro
W - Trace
Th - Macro
Fr-Trace
Sat- Macro
Sun - water change and Trace

If you missed Thursday and Friday, then Saturday just dose Macro as usually and continue on.


If unable to do my usual 50% water change on Sunday just do on Saturday or Monday. What is important is doing the water changes to balance thing back to a base level and get rid of the bad.
From the above example if my water changes are on Sunday and I do it on Saturday instead, I just do the water change then dose the Macro as I would usually dose on Saturday and then the Trace on Sunday.

EI method is an easy one. Give the plants what they need in excess so they never run out, and then do water changes to bring back to base level.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-14-2007, 06:05 PM
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You should be okay with some variation, still, the closer, the better.
You can tweak things(and should) to get closer as you gain experience.

Some folks do EI daily and divide by 7 instead of 3.
Up to you.

I like Tropica master grow vs CMS+B.
The chelator last longer in Tropica, CMS+B uses ETRA, which does not last long, especially in harder(KH) water.

So dosing a trace daily might help a subtle effect.
But it does not make/break a tank either.
Main thing is to find a routine that you can do that's stable, and consistent.



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Tom Barr

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-14-2007, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks tcampbell and Tom. When I am home I stick to my schedule but its not always possible to be home. Hence my concern. I like the idea of dosing daily. That way if I miss a day of dosing it wont be as dramatic as missing a day when only dosing three times a week. Is this correct or am I misunderstanding something ?
I thought that you wern't suposed to dose micros and macros on the same day because you risk forming iron phosphate. Is this not much of a risk or is there a proper way to dose them at the same time?

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-14-2007, 06:48 PM
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I don't follow a strict EI schedule. Sometimes I dose a lot, maybe sometimes not so much. It's really hit and miss. However, I make up for this by doing biweekly 50% water changes and using lots of fast growing floating plants to help balance things out.

Also, I use AS/PS, so it would also help to balance things out should I miss a dose.

In college....so no aquariums for a while.....
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-14-2007, 09:39 PM
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I too might miss a day here or there but never miss the weekly 50% water change to help balance everything out.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-14-2007, 10:29 PM
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I've been using EI since day1 of my 40g. My schedule is 50%WC on sunday, and ferts on sun-wed-fri. Several times I've missed dosing ferts, and I just do it the next day -- never saw any problems with this.

One time I missed out on my sunday 50%WC, and decided to do a test -- I didn't dose on sun like I normally would after WC, and waited until wed to dose again. Hair algae started growing by tuesday, and gsa on the glass got stronger as well. Plant growth was noticeable less (as almost all are stem plants); the rotala colarata growth were quite pinkish and very reddish as it got nearer to the lights.

After I dosed again on wednesday, the growth suddenly increased and the new rotala colorata growth were yellowish (and eventually yellow-green). It took manual removal and scraping and 2 weeks of strictly following my schedule to get rid of the hair algae and most of the GSA.

....I still have GSA growth on the glass (more noticeable when you scrape just one portion), but that's a different thread

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-16-2007, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Well I think my tank has answered my question. I have been out of my house a lot this last week and when I went home yesterday evening to check on things. My tank had exploded with algae. My tank is now full of staghorn algae. Jeez that stuff makes a tank look ugly. Obviously I cant say for sure that its because of my schedule being a little off. My DIY CO2 dropped off a little for a few days so this is likely the main cause of the algae but it is likely that my lack of dosing on schedule (or not at all) contributed to the staghorn outbreak.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-25-2007, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
I like Tropica master grow vs CMS+B.
The chelator last longer in Tropica, CMS+B uses ETRA, which does not last long, especially in harder(KH) water.
Tom,
What does this actually mean, I've always wondered what chelated compounds are- sorry not a chemist?
does this mean that if the mineral isn't used by the plant in time it becomes unbound or otherwise changes state to be useless to the plants?

I was using CSM+B for a while, and though it probably wasn't my only issue, I had a sneaking suspicion about it all awhile.

-Nate

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