EI Dosing Method - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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EI Dosing Method

I have finally decided to try the stock solution EI Method. But have some further questions. I have listed below my water parameters and EI dosing plan.

Tank Specification:-
Juwel Rio 125 (33 US Gallons) with 2 x 28w T5 bulbs (on for 9 hours), CO2 and a nutrient rich substrate.

Tap Water Parameters:-
PH 7.2
KH 13 dKH 232.7 ppm
GH 19 dGH 304.1 ppm
Ammonia 0 ppm
Nitrite 0 ppm
Nitrate 10-20 ppm
Prosphate 2-3 ppm
Copper 0 ppm
Iron 0 ppm

EI Dosing Plan

I have bought Potasium Nitrate, Potassium Phosphate (Monobasic) and Chelated Trace Mix of (Boron 1.06%, Copper 0.23%, Iron 8.2%, Manganese 1.82%, Molybdenum 0.15%, Zinc 1.16%)

Solutions

Macro Solution
33g Potassium Nitrate
7.2g Potassium Phosphate
in 250ml Water

Micro Solution
10g Chelated Trace Mix
in 250 ml Water

Dosage

5ml of Macro solution per 50 litres of water
2.5ml of Trace solution per 50 litres of water

Schedule

Sunday 50% water change. Add Macros (KNO3, KH2PO4)
Monday Add Micro
Tuesday Add Macros (KNO3, KH2PO4)
Wednesday Add Micro
Thursday Add Macros (KNO3, KH2PO4)
Friday Add Micro
Saturday Rest day

After looking at various websites I have learnt that the ideal targets are:-

CO2 range 25-30 ppm
NO3 range Nitrate 5-30 ppm
K+ range potassium 10-30 ppm
PO4 range phosphate 1.0-3.0 ppm
Fe 0.2-0.5ppm or higher

Looking at my water parameters, I already have a high nitrate and phosphate level in my tap water. I was planning to cut by half the dry powders I add to the stock solution. I will also have quite a high fish load so they will produce nitrates and phosphate. Would you suggest not adding the macro solution and just adding Trace elements based on my tap water parameters?

Are phosphates dangerous for fish? I have also been told that my water may have minimal magnesium in it so to add Epsom salts. I have no way of telling the magnesium content in my tap water, my water board do not even seem to know. So would it be dangerous to fish and shrimp to add epsom salts?

I take it its going to be a bit of trial and error, I understand that it is dependant on a number of factors eg lighting, fish load, filter media, plant stocking level.

But if you have any further advice or notice anything I should change please to tell me before I embark on my EI method journey.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-26-2010, 06:18 PM
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Bump - I have the same question. I live in Washington DC and my tap water has 0.8 ppm phosphate and 5-10 ppm nitrate. The phosphate is presumably coming from orthophosphate used to avoid lead problems. I have no idea where the nitrate comes from. But anyway...is normal EI dosing overkill?
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2010, 12:14 AM
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Quote:
Are phosphates dangerous for fish?
NO, some people keep 5ppm or higher

Quote:
So would it be dangerous to fish and shrimp to add epsom salts?
NO, I believe there are test kits for mg.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2010, 12:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sns26 View Post
...is normal EI dosing overkill?
EI is for heavly planted tank with high light and Co2.
The idea is to have an excess of all nutrients then water change to reset the levels so that they dont get to high.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2010, 12:36 AM
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You(feller from the UK) are okay with about 1/2.
Lower light+ sediment + rich tap.

DC: I think you need to offer more details, there's a lot more to growing plants than N and P

Light/CO2, volume etc...........

EI is not just for heavily planted tanks with high light.
I do not have high light etc, but use EI.

You can and likely should modify to suit, the ranges listed are starting points only......in otherwords, ranges you can be fairly safe knowing you are not limiting plant nutrients.

This way, you can focus on light, or CO2 with out any dependencies/interference from dosing issues.
Then slowly reduce the dosing once the light/CO2 are correctly set.
Then you might be able to reduce the water changes etc from there.

Adding rich sediment also makes it easier to dose less.

I think many people seem to have a bias to assume that higher NO3/PO4 are somehow bad and impose "risk", however, no one has yet to kill their fish even with some rather monsterous mistakes in dosing, so such assumed risk claims are exaggerated and some are simply false/lies etc.

CO2?
Nearly every week, someone gasses their fish. There's risk, but no one wants to face up to the real statistics about just where the risk really is

Go figure.

High light?
Have anyone seen me suggest high light before?
I likely have but only in extremely extremely rare cvases where I knew the person was very competent and had a specific goal.

This high light disease(HLD) causes far more issues, risk, less wiggle room/ room for error than anything to do with nutrients as well. Where's the the fear and risk there?

These are general myths and issues many have coming to this hobby, and it is not directed at anyone specifically. I have tried to mitigate this stuff, but dang, a good myth is really hard to kill

Regards,
Tom Barr




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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2010, 02:20 AM
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More info from the DC guy

Hi there - thanks for the thoughtful responses.

The tank in DC is a 20 high, substrate is eco-complete. Equipment is an aquaclear 30 hang-on-back filter, and DIY CO2 achieving, I think, 15-20 ppm. Lighting is a 2x24w Nova Extreme T5HO.

Here's a link to my tank journal with more info: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...h-fingers.html

I'm currently seeing some fuzz algae and green spot algae. My pressurized CO2 setup (or the parts for building it anyway) are on order...the bug has bitten.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2010, 03:40 AM
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DIY CO2, there's your issue.

NEED to really stay on top of that, you went and got a gnarly light, this puts out about 4-5w/gal of old school T12's........

Then your Achilles Heel is the DIY CO2, keep the water up high also, the HOB filter will degas much more if the water evaporates and the level is lower.

I'd really think about a good CO2 system, also, see the internal DIY venturi 3$ reactor design I did, 15 years ago?

Works really well for DIY CO2.

Regards,
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2010, 12:10 PM
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I certainly understand your concerns with insufficient CO2. For what it is worth, my drop checker reads green, and I'm using a modified hagen elite filter for a diffuser, which (I think) does a nice job without looking too darn ugly. Anyway, I have a pressurized rig on the way.

My original question stands--is it worth cutting back on the EI dosing or should I just use the unmodified method?
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2010, 04:09 PM
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Unmodified till you deal with your CO2 issue, which you seem to think and assume you do not have

From there, see the above advice, you can modify it to account for the tap, this is stated in the article I've written about the method.

I also made mention above about modifying and adjusting to suit.
If you have high NO3 in the tap, say 30ppm, then you might not need any KNO3, add K2SO4 etc instead and do the 50-80% water change weekly etc.

Likewise with PO4..........adding more has never caused any issues, but it's way beyond the needs in most cases, so there's little need to add it, and it makes management a bit easier/one less thing to dose if the ppm's are high enough in the tap.

1/2 should be fine, but..........you still need to address the CO2 issue you think you do not have
Never assume that you have good CO2, ever.

Regards,
Tom Barr




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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2010, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
Unmodified till you deal with your CO2 issue, which you seem to think and assume you do not have
A fair point. When my regulator parts arrive and I get a pressurized rig working, I will jack up the CO2 and see what happens. In the meantime, I am substituting some low Excel dosing. Thanks for the advice.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2010, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by sns26 View Post
A fair point. When my regulator parts arrive and I get a pressurized rig working, I will jack up the CO2 and see what happens. In the meantime, I am substituting some low Excel dosing. Thanks for the advice.
Fear not, everyone, including myself has doubted CO2.
DIY is more of an issue since the flow rates are hard to control.
You can control the rate of dissolving however, which the internal reactor does effectively.

You do this by ruling things out step wise, nutrients are easy, if not the easiest thing to rule out.

From there, light(lower is better than higher), then lastly CO2, do by the plants/fish and never rush the slow adjustment, watch carefully, have good circulation etc.

As you will note, little of the advice I'm suggesting has much to do with EI or dosing

Think about that and why that is.

It's mostly balancing light/CO2.

Here's a good article you should read carefully a few times, not just once:

http://www.tropica.com/article.asp?t...aristic&id=142

Regards,
Tom Barr




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