Is my EI dosing method effective/working?
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:48 AM   #1
Jafooli
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Default Is my EI dosing method effective/working?

Amateur question here from someone who likes to keep it simple, as just started out. I am having algae problem on the algea thread, but I have pinholes in one of my stem plants and a crypt.

Can someone look over my dosing for me and see if it should be working/effective or am I wasting my time each morning/doing it wrong.

Tank Size: 20G, 90 Litres.

"These are what I purchased in a starter kit.
2 x 500ml Dosing Bottles
1 x 500g Potassium Nitrate
1 x 250g Potassium Phosphate
1 x 500g Magnesium Sulphate
1 x 250g Chelated Trace Elements

Standard Ei Dosing [This is a guideline only]

Macro Solution
Mix, Shake & Leave to Dissolve Overnight:
4tsp Potassium Nitrate < I avoided this as my Nitrate is always 40ppm does not matter what I do or how many plants I get its always 40ppm :S So wierd.
1tsp Potassium Phosphate
6tsp Magnesium Sulphate
500ml Water

Micro Solution
Mix, Shake & Leave to Dissolve Overnight:
1tsp Chelated Trace Elements
500ml Water

Dosing
Macro 3x a week. (10ml per 50ltr of Aquarium water)
Micro 3x a week. (10ml per 50ltr of Aquarium water)
20-50% weekly water change."

Video "http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=5GgS4jAF9Lk"

This is how I dose it what I was recommended:

Sunday - 50% w/c then dose 18ml Macro
Mon - 18ml Micro
Tue - 18ml Macro
Wed - 18ml Micro
Thu - 18ml Macro
Fri - 18ml Micro
Sat - Rest Day

I did have a look around and I see a lot of people recommend calculators I could not find one that had mine listed as its a kit, and did not understand how to do it all separately. Thanks for any help on this, if I do have to change my dosing, can someone recommend or tell me a good pre mixed liquid solution I can make and how to dose etc, or hopefully touch wood the dosing I use now is good enough for my plants.

Thanks
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:33 PM   #2
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You can use this calculator, http://calc.petalphile.com/. The fertilizers are listed as molecular formulas ie. Potassium Nitrate is listed as KNO3 and Potassium Phosphate as KH2PO4. The magnesium you have is most likely MgSO4.7H20. I watched the video and it did not appear to be anhydrous magnesium which looks more like a powder. What he used appeared to be granular like MgSO4.7H2O, btw that's epsom salt.
 
The doses recommended looks pretty good. When you use the calculator select the solution radio button and it will display a container size and dosing size for mixing. As far as magnesium, remember you may have some in your water supply. It may not be necessary to dose at full strength.
 
Not dosing the potassium nitrate may leave you potassium deficient. Typically with EI dosing, the potassium comes from the KNO3 and KH2PO4. When you use the calculator look on the right side. It breaks down each fertilizer dosed into individual nutrients.
 
Having a nitrate of 40ppm regardless of water changes tells me your test kit is not accurate. If you have a nitrate of 40ppm before a water change it should go down after the change. Check out this thread, http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=83545 for calibrating your test kit. This will tell you if it is your test kit or not. Besides it's a good idea to calibrate them anyway.

Once you determine why you have nitrates so high and eliminate it you can start dosing the KNO3 which will supply the necessary potassium.

As far as the micro mix I have no idea what they are using. From the suggestions they made for the others I would presume the dosage for the micros is accurate.
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Old 04-30-2013, 04:46 PM   #3
Jafooli
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Hey Zorfox I really appreciate your time to answer that for me.

I had to read it a couple of times, to make sure I understood it all, the "molecular formulas" are what always throw me off, where ever I read about fertilizers on here or Google, everyone says the molecular formulas lol, I guess I will just have to learn them to make life easier. But thanks for giving such a good answer that I could understand, I am still confused about the correct dosages etc, but if you reckon it sounds good I will stick to what they said.

I looked at the calculator and found the solution part, I still don't understand 100% what ppm I am aiming for, I presume the calculator has this set to the correct limit, for example KNO3 its telling me how to dose for 7.5ppm, it also lists the measurements of how much to add to a 500ml solution, I presume I just measure them against what the website recommend.

So in this case I would measure 4tsp of Potassium Nitrate and measure to see if it comes to around 30.572g.

Also you said "Not dosing the potassium nitrate may leave you potassium deficiency" thanks for telling me that, at least I now know what could be going on with the pinholes in my plants, I use the API nitrate test kit from the master kit, my pond, tap water, tank, is always 40ppm... I also know my tap water has 40ppm nitrate I believe as I looked at my water report, but like you say it should go down, which is why I always am mind boggled, because they never do! So I will be sure to read that link you posted about calibrating the test kit.

I also have no idea why they would give me epsom salt, is there a way I can test to see if it salt, I don't see why they would give me that lol... are you sure I've been ripped off? if I have I better look at getting the magnesium elsewhere.
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Old 04-30-2013, 05:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jafooli View Post
Hey Zorfox I really appreciate your time to answer that for me.

I had to read it a couple of times, to make sure I understood it all, the "molecular formulas" are what always throw me off, where ever I read about fertilizers on here or Google, everyone says the molecular formulas lol, I guess I will just have to learn them to make life easier. But thanks for giving such a good answer that I could understand, I am still confused about the correct dosages etc, but if you reckon it sounds good I will stick to what they said.

I looked at the calculator and found the solution part, I still don't understand 100% what ppm I am aiming for, I presume the calculator has this set to the correct limit, for example KNO3 its telling me how to dose for 7.5ppm, it also lists the measurements of how much to add to a 500ml solution, I presume I just measure them against what the website recommend.

So in this case I would measure 4tsp of Potassium Nitrate and measure to see if it comes to around 30.572g.

Also you said "Not dosing the potassium nitrate may leave you potassium deficiency" thanks for telling me that, at least I now know what could be going on with the pinholes in my plants, I use the API nitrate test kit from the master kit, my pond, tap water, tank, is always 40ppm... I also know my tap water has 40ppm nitrate I believe as I looked at my water report, but like you say it should go down, which is why I always am mind boggled, because they never do! So I will be sure to read that link you posted about calibrating the test kit.

I also have no idea why they would give me epsom salt, is there a way I can test to see if it salt, I don't see why they would give me that lol... are you sure I've been ripped off? if I have I better look at getting the magnesium elsewhere.
This is a bit more complicated than it should be.

London's tap water tends to be fairly high in NO3, so many opt that out and add some K2SO4 to replace.

So for a 90 liter tank:

2-3x a week:

1/4 tsp K2SO4
1/16th KH2PO4

I'd add the MgSO4 to the trace mix and make a solution using about 4 tsp of CMS+B and 2 tsp of MgSO4, then dose this at about 5mls 3-4x a week.

That is it.

Feed fish, add algae eaters, do water changes and really focus on good CO2.
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Old 04-30-2013, 05:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jafooli View Post
the "molecular formulas" are what always throw me off, where ever I read about fertilizers on here or Google, everyone says the molecular formulas lol, I guess I will just have to learn them to make life easier.
It'll become pretty easy once you see it several times. Google is your friend until then

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jafooli View Post
still don't understand 100% what ppm I am aiming for, I presume the calculator has this set to the correct limit, for example KNO3 its telling me how to dose for 7.5ppm, it also lists the measurements of how much to add to a 500ml solution, I presume I just measure them against what the website recommend.
The calculator does report the correct ppm ranges. Be careful to select the daily EI dose from the drop down list for individual dosing. The other is for an entire week. The EI ranges for each are roughly...

NO3 (nitrate) range 5-30ppm
K+ (potassium) range 10-30ppm
PO4 (phosphate) range 1.0-3.0 ppm
Fe (iron) 0.2-0.1ppm
GH (general hardness) range 3 degrees ~ 50ppm or higher

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jafooli View Post
So in this case I would measure 4tsp of Potassium Nitrate and measure to see if it comes to around 30.572g.
If you have a precision scale measuring is more accurate by far. If not the average weight of each is below. These are from that calculator. They can vary quite a bit from nutrient to nutrient but is a close approximation.

Potassium Nitrate (KNO3) 1 teaspoon = 5,200mg
Potassium Phosphate (KH2PO4) 1 teaspoon = 5,800mg
Magnesium Sulfate (MgSO4.7H2O) 1 teaspoon = 5,100mg
The micro mix can vary a gram or more depending on which one they used.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jafooli View Post
I also have no idea why they would give me epsom salt, is there a way I can test to see if it salt, I don't see why they would give me that lol... are you sure I've been ripped off? if I have I better look at getting the magnesium elsewhere.
You were not ripped off at all. That is a common use for epsom salt. In fact in the calculator the selection is MgSO4.7H2O. Google MgSO4.7H2O and it will show you that's epsom salt. I'm not aware of any easy way to tell if it's epsom salt or not...taste it maybe lol. Don't confuse the term salt with common table salt. Salt is a chemistry term for ionic compounds. The potassium nitrate is salt peter. Many of the nutrients we use have common names and applications. It is surprising to most the techy sounding nutrients when expressed scientifically are common things.

You may want to read this article on EI dosing. It will explain a lot in non technical terms for the most part.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:30 PM   #6
Jafooli
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Thanks Zorfox.

I will have to get memorizing the molecular formulas shouldn't take to long, but yet again there all kind of similar lol.

Thanks for listing the ppm ranges, I presume them ranges are what I need to keep between during the week.

I will spend some time tomorrow morning and get more familiar with the calculator, from what your saying though, it sounds like my EI kit, is pretty close to those measurements, so hopefully what I am dosing is actually working, I was just paranoid I was dosing for no reason, aka the whole regime was inaccurate.

With the Epsom salt, are you saying that can be used as magnesium then? so I don't need to go out and buy anything else, and can keep what they provided even though its not "Magnesium Sulphate" ?

I also think the main concern/worry we found here is my nitrate test kits, and having to calibrate them... if I can get a accurate reading, hopefully a low one, then I can add Potassium Nitrate into my dosing, and hopefully see my pinholes fade away and get healthier leafs
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:45 PM   #7
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You can certainly use the Mag sulfate you have. Epsom salt is another form and may be what you have. As far as your nitrates did you see what plantbrain said? I can count on one hand the people I would blindly follow advise from. He's on that list! He devised the EI system. He happens to be one of the most knowledgeable people on earth when it comes to planted tanks. Did you understand what he meant by using K2SO4 (potassium sulfate)?
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:17 PM   #8
Jafooli
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Thanks Darkblade48,

Now I just need to order some Potassium sulfate

I don't think I will be needing the measuring spoons if I am going to be measuring grams from the calculator to make my own 500ml macro solution, but I will still try to purchase some so I have them on hand if ever I need them, at least then I can work out 1/16 lol.

Most importantly thanks again for confirming that the Macro mix will be fine, puts my mind at rest, cant wait to make a new Macro batch once I get some K2SO4 , and then keep an eye on my stem and crypt plant's, and hopefully solve my potassium deficiency, next hard part will be measuring the correct grams as I don't want to kill any of my fish but if the calculator is correct it should be simple.

Thanks to everyone for your time and patience with me, I've posted in the DIY CO2 section to try and solve my algae problem, as I presume it has to be the route of the cause.

Thanks again.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:36 AM   #9
Jafooli
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Cheers I will try to get my CO2 working better, its stressful when I don't understand something 100% but as Zorfox mentioned about EI giving the plants a limited amount of nutrients, I guess in my mind plants used more nutrients than they actually do, but I will get back to my EI dosing and focus on CO2 and if I notice any deficiency signs i'll be back here lol. Thanks again.
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