EI, what?
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:00 PM   #1
kcoscia
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EI, what?


I'm using calculators and comparing liquid fertilizers (mainly api leaf zone and flourish comp.) and using this calculator http://calc.petalphile.com/, where do i want to be in the "EI zone"

and also, can someone more simply explain what EI is all about and if it even is for me?
I have a ten gallon and I want good growth and healthy plants, very basic, low tech, 3 wpg lighting
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:22 PM   #2
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If you go low tech you'll want to choose: premix fertilizer, api leaf zone, EI low light/weekly. To the right will pop up the weekly dose.

EI is, as I understand it, bascically overdosing your tank with nutrients so as to not limit the plants from getting the nutirents they require. Then you do a large a water change to dilute whats left over at the end of the week and reset the water. Its a system pretty much designed for high-tech, high-light tanks but here are methods to taylor the system concepts to low-light, low-tech tanks.

How are you getting 3wpg on a 10 gallon tank? 3wpg seems pretty high light and you may run into issues with algae without CO2.
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:27 PM   #3
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Estimative Index is for tanks that have adequate levels of CO2, moderate lighting, and good circulation. EI dosing regiment may not be exactly what you want with a lot tech setup, but the principles remain the same. The basic principle is providing all your nutrients in quantities large enough so that your tank never runs out of any particular nutrient.

The problem of course is how to tell how much nutrients your tank needs. Well EI works by estimating a dosing amount (per size of tank) that would result in all nutrients maintaining adequate levels. So you dose this amount on a predetermined time period (usually one week, but you can go for more) and then you do a 50 percent water change.

The benefit of this system is that you never have to worry about providing enough nutrients. You know what your tank's recommended dosage is and then you carry that out. As you learn the system better, you can better zero in on your "estimative levels" and give an even more accurate dosage. It's all about keeping all nutrients available to your plants.

The 50 percent water change ensures that you never have certain nutrients taking off in crazy amounts. To better explain: if I dose 1ppm of Phosphates every week and my plants only needed .5 ppm each week, every week my phosphates levels would be raising since my plants are consuming the "estimative dosage." To prevent this potential rise in levels, you do a 50 percent water change on a set schedule so the levels can never reach a certain point. If I did a 50 percent change every two weeks, then there is no way my ppm could ever pass 4. Even if my plants consumed nothing, I would add 1ppm during week one, another during week 2 (leaving me with 2ppm) and then I would do a 50 percent water change (brings it back down to 1 ppm) and add that weeks 1ppm and add next weeks ppm (brings me to 3) then do a 50 percent change. That leaves me a 1.5 ppm and the system goes on. 1.5 could only reach 3.5 before a 50 percent change which takes it to 1.75, which can only go to 3.75 before the water change. You will get infinitely closer to 4ppm tops, but never reaching it. I realize this is kind of confusing and I'm sorry if this doesn't help, but that is the basic format. Add nutrients in non-limiting quantities and then "reset" the system with a 50 percent water change on a set schedule.

Additionally, no one uses wpg as a helpful guide with lighting. Given the large number of types, intensities, distance between light and substrate, wpg is pretty useless. More specific information should be provided about what kind of lighting you have and how high it is from your substrate.
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:30 PM   #4
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Watts per gallon is meaningless on smaller tanks (arguably, its meaningless on every tank). You can add two 23 watt CFLs to a tank that size but it doesn't mean you are going to be able to grow demanding plants or automatically get algae.

I like EI and it can be tweaked for lower tech tanks although I've never tried myself. Really the best part is just getting dry ferts and not wasting money on bottles of mostly water. With modified doses those will end up lasting you for a long time.

I believe there have been threads over on Barr Report where Tom Barr (essentially the creator of the EI method) has talked about EI fert dosing and low tech tanks without CO2 and/or with Excel or another carbon supplement.
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:47 PM   #5
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i was told since i have 2, 15 watt lights i have 3 wpg which is medium lighting? my lights are probably 11-12 inches from the gravel
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:01 PM   #6
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What type of lighting?

You do have 3 wpg, that much is just math. However the "medium lighting" notion is all subjective.
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Old 08-02-2013, 12:26 AM   #7
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http://www.walmart.com/ip/Aqua-Cultu...em+Description

15 watt 120 volt incandescent

all my plants are low light anacharis, java fern, another mystery fern and cabomba (medium light? not sure) and water wisteria

Last edited by Darkblade48; 08-02-2013 at 08:14 AM.. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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Old 08-02-2013, 12:49 AM   #8
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Yeah I would recommend you don't try to get cra cra(crazy) with it and stick with premixed... you don't have demanding plants what's so ever but I would say if you haven't check out barrreport.com you do so..
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Old 08-02-2013, 02:16 AM   #9
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that's kinda how i want it. low tech, easy, undemanding yet flourishing. If I stick with the liquid route, would api leaf zone be sufficient with the dosing on the directions? I fertilize twice a week with a iron/potassium fert. tetra floral or something
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Old 08-02-2013, 03:46 AM   #10
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Yeah.... check these post out it will answer your question.....

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=121024
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Old 08-02-2013, 05:25 AM   #11
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I'd never consider 30w incandescents to be medium lighting. That's certainly one of many examples where wpg fails.

Depending on the fixture you can easily switch out for some CFLs that fit. Those old bulbs have little use in the hobby anymore.
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Old 08-02-2013, 12:28 PM   #12
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I think once i finish the iron/potash fert i have i'll go seachem flourish. the only plant i'd need more than low light for is my cabomba but they seem to be doing well with what i've got. once these bulbs go maybe i'll upgrade, but if they get the job done for what i want i'll keep them. we will see!
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