EI Dosing results (FERT BUILDUP)
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Old 09-15-2012, 04:37 PM   #1
HunterX
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EI Dosing results (FERT BUILDUP)


I think I understand that point of EI dosing. That is to have an acceptable surplus of FERTs so that ferts aren't the limit part of the equation.
My question is this. At what point is there too much FERT in the water. Below is what I start with after the 50%+ weekly water change. (done on Sunday).
I'm concerned that the Nitrates and Phosphates are getting too high prior to the water change.
FISH:
Mollies: 20
Otos: 5
Algea Eater: 2
Pleco: 1
Ghost Shrimp: 10 (going to add 10 more)
Nerite: 4
Assassin Snail: 4
MTS: 20 ish
ALGEA:Minimal at best. Some GSA on my Anubis but thatís it. Had a very small amount of bba show up but I plasted it with H2O2. Hasn't come back.
LIGHT: T5NO: 112W of 6,700K (4 bulbs)
T5NO: 56W of 10,000K (2 bulbs) Total of 168w. I have about 40 PAR at the substrate.
SUBSTRATE: Eco-Complete with osomocote
CO2: pressurized co2 running 24/7 by a REXs style reactor. Keeps drop checker green w/ no bubbles in the tank.
Macro ferts:
P: Phosphate (KH2PO4) -- 1/8 teaspoon
K: Potassium (K2SO4) -- 1/8 teaspoon
N: Nitrogen/Nitrate (KNO3) -- 1/2 teaspoon
micro ferts:
CSM+B -- 1/8 teaspoon
Dosing schedule
Day 1: Macro ferts
Day 2: micro ferts
Day 3: Macro ferts
Day 4: micro ferts
Day 5: Macro ferts
Day 6: micro ferts
Day 7: 50% water change (no ferts)
Tap water has the below ppm.
Nitrate 0ppm
Phosphate 0ppm
55G tank after water change.
Phosphate (PO43): .5-1.0 ppm
Nitrate (NO3): 10 ppm
Ammonia (NH3/NH4): 0 ppm
PH: 7.6
Nitrite (NO2): 0 ppm
GH: 161.1 ppm
KH: (forgot to test)
55G tank at the end of the EI prior to water change.
Phosphate (PO43): 2 ppm
Nitrate (NO3): 40 ppm
Ammonia (NH3/NH3): 0 ppm
PH: 7.4
Nitrite (NO2): 0 ppm
GH: 125.3 ppm
KH: 179 ppm
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:26 PM   #2
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ur pretty much on target. u should have about 10ppm after ur water change of KNO3

40 is a good indicator that your plants aren't using everything ur dosing. or the fish and feeding are adding to the nitrates. so u could drop the dosing a little if u want

BUT 40 ppm of ntirates wont hurt anything nor will 2ppm of phosphates. my po4 hovers around 4.0
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:31 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I'm pretty new at this. You don't think the 40 ppm of KNO3 will hurt the fish?
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:34 PM   #4
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Your numbers are looking good. How long has this been running?
If it is a new set up, then run that out for a month and see if there is a build up over time.

Higher nitrates from fertilizer do not seem to bother the fish like high nitrates from a neglected tank. I think the high nitrates from a neglected tank are indicating other issues that may be the real problem. 50% water changes are removing any possible 'other problem' so that the amount of nitrate that comes from fertilizer and the amount that comes from fish food is not important. The overall conditions in the tank are good.
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Your numbers are looking good. How long has this been running?
If it is a new set up, then run that out for a month and see if there is a build up over time.

Higher nitrates from fertilizer do not seem to bother the fish like high nitrates from a neglected tank. I think the high nitrates from a neglected tank are indicating other issues that may be the real problem. 50% water changes are removing any possible 'other problem' so that the amount of nitrate that comes from fertilizer and the amount that comes from fish food is not important. The overall conditions in the tank are good.
The tank was set up with plants in June. Let it cycle and added fish in late July.
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:23 PM   #6
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Try more CO2 if you can. 160w for a 55g....I think there's a bit a lot of light. Try to get your drop checker to yellowish before mid day. I don't see why you need to run your co2 24/7. Your tank looks a bit underplanted too....
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tetra73 View Post
Try more CO2 if you can. 160w for a 55g....I think there's a bit a lot of light. Try to get your drop checker to yellowish before mid day. I don't see why you need to run your co2 24/7. Your tank looks a bit underplanted too....
Thanks for the reply.

160 watts is only 2.9 WPG. Better yet when measured at the substrate its only 40 par. That puts me on the upper end of MED light. So IMO that light is about right. At least I'm not having an algae issue.

I run co2 24/7 because I don't like the PH swing and I'd rather have too much co2 than not enough. That really helps to keep the algae back. I haven't had an issue with gasing the fish which most would be worried about.

I think it looks under planted because its a young tank. Everything needs time to spread out. I have no footprint left to plant anything besides the spot up front which I'm planting with dwarf hair grass.

Last edited by HunterX; 09-16-2012 at 02:08 AM.. Reason: stuff
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Old 09-16-2012, 12:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HunterX View Post
Thanks for the reply.

160 watts is only 2.9 WPG. Better yet when measured at the substrate its only 40 par. That puts me on the upper end of MED light. So IMO that light is about right. At least I'm not having an algae issue.

I run co2 24/7 because I don't like the phone swing and is rather have too much co2 than not enough. That really helps to keep the algae back. I haven't had an issue with fading the fish which most would be worried about.

I think it looks under planted because its a young tank. Everything needs time to spread out. I have no footprint left to plant anything besides the spot upfront which I'm plating with dwarf hair grass.

Well, I am pretty sure algae do not thrive in the dark. I still see no reasons to have CO2 for 24/7. Your tank is only 2 months old. As your plants begin to grow, your CO2 demand will increase. And you will soon find out that running your CO2 24/7 isn't a good idea. Wasting too much CO2 and with the potential to crash your Ph at night when no photosynthesis is occurring. My tank is more than an year old. My drop checker is always yellowish before mid day. I only run my CO2 8 hours a day. I still get BBA on some not so healthy plants. My tank is so dense that I couldn't see my substrate. I have 78w of T5HO light on a 40g tank. Let's call it medium light.
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Old 09-16-2012, 12:35 AM   #9
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Phosphates are not bad at all, in fact it's just right. Try dosing just a little less nitrates if you're uncomfortable with those levels. Nice tank btw!
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Old 09-16-2012, 12:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatGuyWithTheFish View Post
Phosphates are not bad at all, in fact it's just right. Try dosing just a little less nitrates if you're uncomfortable with those levels. Nice tank btw!
Thank you! Been really working hard on it.
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Old 09-16-2012, 06:04 AM   #11
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Then it has been running long enough for a larger build up to have happened if it was going to. I do not think you have a problem with the nitrate and phosphates cycling like that, but if you want to reduce the dosing just a little that is up to you.
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Old 09-16-2012, 06:04 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HunterX View Post
Thanks for the reply.

160 watts is only 2.9 WPG. Better yet when measured at the substrate its only 40 par. That puts me on the upper end of MED light. So IMO that light is about right. At least I'm not having an algae issue.

I run co2 24/7 because I don't like the PH swing and I'd rather have too much co2 than not enough. That really helps to keep the algae back. I haven't had an issue with gasing the fish which most would be worried about.

I think it looks under planted because its a young tank. Everything needs time to spread out. I have no footprint left to plant anything besides the spot up front which I'm planting with dwarf hair grass.
160 watts is only 2.9 WPG. Better yet when measured at the substrate its only 40 par. That puts me on the upper end of MED light. So IMO that light is about right. At least I'm not having an algae issue.

Watts are energy usage, not light output. Glad to see you measured par. But go ahead and strike WPG from your memory forever.

About the PH swing, and why don't you like it, there is no logical reason to be against it because the ph swing due to co2 is irrelevant. As far as you are concerned, the ph swing is non existent. The only reason to pay attention to it is go get an idea of the co2 levels in the aquarium. A 1ph drop increases the co2 in the water (when the drop is due to co2 injection, not just a ph decrease by other factors) by a factor of 10. So if your co2 is at 2ppm with no co2 injection and you inject enough co2 to drop the ph by 1.0 you will now have 20ppm of co2 in the water. Make sense?

Running co2 24/7 is essentially a waste, but it doesn't really matter much. Just make sure that you don't gas the tank overnight as you keep injecting co2 while the plants aren't using it when the lights are off. It can happen, but you mentioned you are aware of that. Keeping the co2 on 24/7 doesn't keep more co2 in the water though. Well, in a practical sense. Sure there is co2 in the water during lights off, but it is simply just there... it's not doing anything helpful at that point. It doesn't help to keep algae at bay in any way that I've discovered in 10 years or so. Keeping a certain ppm in the water during lights on is keeping more co2 in the water. Keeping it on at night just runs that same concentration (or a bit more) for 12-14 hours it isn't needed. In fact, it's likely easier on the fish if you give them a break with no co2. With higher amounts of co2, usually what is needed with higher light (like you have) the fish will have higher rates of respiration. Nothing to worry about for the photoperiod, but it's nice to give the fish a break.
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Old 09-16-2012, 04:57 PM   #13
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I don't think I would change anything. You have a very nice looking tank, with a good light level, good CO2 level (appropriate for that light level), good fertilizing, and you are happy with the tank. What is not to like?

Running CO2 24 hours a day wastes CO2, but it is cheap anyway, and you aren't at a high enough level to stress out the fish at night.
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Old 09-16-2012, 05:08 PM   #14
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Thanks Hoppy and jcdg.

I do feel like it is pretty balanced right now. I was hopping Hoppy might chime in and confirm how I was feeling.

I do think jcdg has a good point though. I didn't think about turning the co2 off at night for the sake of letting the fish breathe a little easier. I might try turning it off at night and see how fast it takes to get back to 30+ppm of co2.

I'm also happy to hear that, for the most part, everyone concurs that the phosphates and nitrates aren't an issue. With that being said I will just keep monitoring them and continue my current dosing method.

Thanks everyone!

Last edited by HunterX; 09-16-2012 at 05:20 PM.. Reason: details
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