Low tech EI dosing question - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-25-2010, 01:12 AM Thread Starter
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Low tech EI dosing question

I have seen every formula for EI dosing that exists over the last two days but have not been able to figure out a starting point for larger low tech tanks. I will be dosing NPK + Plantex CSM+ B dry.

Tank is 125g low tech with "plenty" of infinitely adjustable light.
Planning on weekly dosing following 50% W/C

Can someone help me out please?!?

Thanks ~

Ryan
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-25-2010, 04:02 PM
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What do you mean by low tech? CO2? Excel?

Non CO2 I generally call low tech, but this is a poor definition as well:

http://www.barrreport.com/showthread...on-CO2-methods

A hybrid method using Excel:
http://www.barrreport.com/showthread...l-with-non-CO2

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-25-2010, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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The plan is no CO2 no Excel. I have T5HO (156 watt) lights but they can be raised up as high as I need to. I haven't been able to find a starting point for the actual amount of each component to dry dose with for this size tank. I understand that nothing is set in stone and things will likely need to be adjusted, but I just need a starting point. As I understand your EI method on non CO2 tanks Macros and Micros are dosed on different days once a week with a 50% W/C weekly to limit buildup.

Any help is GREATLY appreciated ~ Thank You

Last edited by rhdedert; 03-25-2010 at 04:41 PM. Reason: clarity
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-25-2010, 06:08 PM
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You'll need to raise that light a foot off of the tank if you want to dose nothing at all, if it was me I wouldn't use a T5-HO light at all any cheap T8 would do the job if you really mean low-light. What it sounds like to me is 'medium-light' and I would dose Excel once a week at the normal dose. What plants are you going with? If your talking about Anubias, Java Fern, Java Moss, etc then dosing everything once a week would work fine enough you would just have to tinker a bit. If your talking about Crypts and Val's then 3x a week at standard doses should work fine.

Most of my tanks run T8's and I dose once a week after my WC and I splash in some excel maybe once every two weeks. Very low light stuff built for breeding (Anubias, Java Fern, Java Moss, Hornwort, duckweed-giant, water sprite) and it grows enough that I have to prune them once a month and I almost never have algae problems, unless I'm going for green water for fry feeding.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-25-2010, 07:32 PM
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start by putting plants in there. You might not need to dose anything on a regular basis at all. Maybe every time you do a water change, add a 1/4 teaspoon of KNO3, PO4, and micronutrients.

The plants will tell you how much to add.


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-25-2010, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhdedert View Post
As I understand your EI method on non CO2 tanks Macros and Micros are dosed on different days once a week with a 50% W/C weekly to limit buildup.

Any help is GREATLY appreciated ~ Thank You
Err.......I did help already, but you did not read the link it seems.

Did you read the link to the non CO2 method?
If so, why would ask these questions?

This is not EI or suggest anything about water changes, they are not part of the method.

Nutrients are still added at greatly reduced rates, but water changes are not done. This is not EI.

Regards,
Tom Barr




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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2010, 02:06 AM Thread Starter
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OK There are some really smart people trying to help me with my tank both in this thread and in this one dealing with my specific somewhat unique? water parameters,

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/fe...ease-help.html

I think my goal with this tank is achievable and I really do appreciate everyone weighing in.

The lights are on the way back up one chain link at a time for the last two days. I actually think I like the way it looks better the higher it gets.

Tom, I have read that article 4 times in the last 3 days including again when you sent it today. As you can imagine while I was researching there were a ton of links to it and many others you have authored. It actually was my original plan until I put the fresh Malaysian driftwood in and have more on the way. I plumbed the tank with a drain off the canister and a fill on top so water changes are easy and somewhat necessary at least for now.

Soooo.... I have been cramming all this information into my head for days now and here is what it has funneled down to:

1. With the levels of light that I had, the extra filtering of my tap and relatively low bio-load for this size tank I an assuming that there is very low nutrient levels and not much hope of adding more with water changes or the lack of them. (<< I think that made sense?)

2. The best way to not be limiting on nutrients is a form of EI dosing. In a non CO2, non Excel tank, the frequency drops to once a week. Change the water 50% weekly and don't dose micro/macro same day or something bad happens that I can't remember.

The plan was to get KNO3 / KH2PO4 / K2SO4 and Plantex CSM + B and dose it all dry. but this is where I run into the proverbial brick wall as I have not been able to figure the weekly dose to start with.

This will not be the first time I didn't have a clue just when I thought I had finally nailed it, so if anyone thinks this is the complete wrong direction please let me know your thoughts. I really do appreciate the help!!
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2010, 02:41 AM
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If you don't use CO2 or Excel you shouldn't be doing weekly water changes. When you do a water change, the incoming water will usually have a lot more CO2 in it than that in the tank. So, the level of CO2 in the tank goes up, then back down again soon after. This fluctuation in CO2 level seems to be a signal to various algae to start growing. In any case people tend to have algae problems, even with low light, if they do weekly big water changes with a non CO2, non Excel tank. You should add water to maintain the water level in the tank, but not drain and refill the tank at all.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2010, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhdedert View Post
The plan was to get KNO3 / KH2PO4 / K2SO4 and Plantex CSM + B and dose it all dry. but this is where I run into the proverbial brick wall as I have not been able to figure the weekly dose to start with.
The problem your running into is that if your not going to use EI or PPS-Pro then your going to have to tinker with your fert dosing. I'd start with the normal EI doses for your tank size once a week and cut it down from there depending on how your plants look. It's going to take some eye-ball work over a few months time to get your fert levels balanced. I had to do the same thing when I first started keeping large amounts of low light tanks it took a little while to get my lighting and ferts in order.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-13-2016, 10:46 PM
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Dry of Liquid ferts

Just read the Non CO2 method and it refers to 1/4 tsp 1/8 tsp etc. Is this dry ferts?

"I will add about 1/4 teaspoon per 20 gal tank once every week or two.
This greatly enhances the growth of the plants.
I also will add about 1/8" and 1/32" teaspoon of KNO3 and KH2PO4 respectively once a week or two."

Refers to 1/4 tsp of Seachem Equilibrium per 20 gal, but is th KNO# and KH2PO4 for every 20 gallons as well?

Sorry for the dumb questions?

Had a planted Hightech high light co2 injected years ago now have 220 gal want it low tech.

Was an established non planted tank, had to move it changed substrate to flourite and put 4-36" Finnex Planted 24/7 lights on it and changed it to planted. Lightly planted and light fish load right now. Want to increase both in the next few weeks but want to start dosing correctly first. No ammonia, Nitrites, around 5ppm Nitrates. Lights are approximately 21 inches above substrate no glass on top except for the cross member.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-14-2016, 03:12 AM
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I suppose I'm going out on a limb with this post. However, I think it's necessary for others to grasp the idea behind fertilizing our tanks.

Plants will be limited by something. There's no way around it. Provide an absolutely perfect environment and the growth will still be limited by the plants themselves. i.e. You can't expect ten feet of growth per day.

So where do we draw the line? Do we limit growth by light, CO2 or fertilizers?

In my opinion the last thing that needs to be limited are nutrients! It's the easiest of all the three three things plants expect. Sure there's more than those three aspects but those are the big three in my opinion. Everything else seems to be geared towards controlling one of those three core concepts.

Which method is best?

That's always been, and probably always will be, a heated debate. The fact is, plants could care less! Provide nutrients, end of story. The problem arises when we want to do little to no water changes. Now we need to rely on testing the nutrient levels to see what is not only being used but produced or added to the tank. The nutrient balancing act now becomes very tedious.

In your original post you say you intend to do a 50% water change per week. That's great! This means you really have no need to worry about water testing. This is essentially the idea behind the EI method as I understand it.

Will the plants need full EI dosing without CO2 and high light? Not at all! In fact maybe 10% of full EI dosing. However, the important question is, how close to nutrient limitation do you want to come?

You can safely dose full EI IF you're doing 50% weekly water changes in a non CO2 tank with low light. Heck, you can dose that to a tank in your dark closet without CO2! The nutrients won't be the issue! The key is the water changes. Those water changes keep all levels within range despite plant uptake. There is no need to tinker with fertilizing provided you do the water changes you said you will be doing. Reduce the dose to say 50% EI? I would say that's a safe assumption. Do you really care about twenty five cents a week in fertilizers if you don't? Seriously, this is very cheap stuff.

Hoppy brought up a good point about water changes and CO2 levels. Tap water typically has high concentrations of CO2. If we have fluctuating CO2 levels plants can have problems and algae can be signaled to grow primarily BBA. Will this happen with a weekly water change? The jury is still out on that one. I've personally never seen a big issue with it. I think the good out weighs the bad in this respect. To avoid the problem entirely aerate the water overnight before adding it to you tank. Now the water is in equilibrium to the tank water.

In a nutshell what I am saying is to dose your tank with maybe half EI and move on. Do you water changes and enjoy the hobby. The fertilizing will take care of itself.

btw, yes I know this was a very old post

Last edited by Zorfox; 04-14-2016 at 03:24 AM. Reason: spelling
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2016, 11:01 PM
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I EI dose my low tech tanks without co2 or excel. What I've done is I stock my tanks with as many plants as I can. The more plant mass the better. I mostly stock crypts anubias water sprite swords and drarf tiger lilly.

I do a 50% water change every week. After the water change I EI dose NPK. The next day I dose Seachem Flourish comprehensive. I only dose once a week and I use half the recommended amount of EI ferts

A large plant mass is key the more plants you have the better. If the tank isn't full stocked with plants I wouldn't dose ferts.

Having a good plant substrate is a good idea also. Too much light and you'll get algae. If your're getting algae use floating plants to shade from the light.

My tank is a 40 gallon but I only dose enough NPK and taces for a 20 gallon. So I dose at half strength. My tank is also stuffed with as many plants as I can fit.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 07:54 PM
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