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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Questions about EI dosing

Good afternoon. I am switching form PPS-PRO to EI daily dosing and I have a couple of questions to make sure that all of my ducks are in a row. I have followed one of the dosing calculators online, Rotala Butterfly dosing calculator . These are the chemicals that I have and what they call for:
KNO3-29.63 g
KH2PO4-4.88 g
K2SO4-40.49 g
MgSO4-115.16 g
Plantex CSM+B 17.39 g
1) Do I need to add K2SO4 or will I obtain enough potassium from the KNO3 and KH2PO4?
2) Should I add the MgSO4 to the Macro Bottle or have a separate bottle for GH boosting properties? Will I need to add it daily or should I add it weekly after water change?
3) I want to add Seachem Excel to both bottles, how much should I add? I used to add 10 mL to the bottles but I am wondering if I should add more or less?
4) Will I need to do 50% water changes weekly?
Thank you so much for your help!
Edit 1: I have a high tech setup with pressurized CO2 and medium-medium High light (Finnex Fugeray Planted Plus).


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Last edited by JuanSan; 09-21-2016 at 08:53 PM. Reason: Further clarification
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 11:01 PM
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1) No if you use some form of GH Booster or if you are following the recommended EI dose.
2) No need to be dosing MgSO4 if you used some form of GH Booster. It is needed if you water is very soft.
3) 10 ml for a 500ml bottle. I use 20 ml for my 1400 ml Nalgene water bottles that I use as liquid fert reservoir.
4) Water changes are required if you are following the recommended EI dose. The PO4 and NO3 levels are usually higher or elevated at the end of the week which prevents any deficiencies but may cause too high levels if the water changes are not done. The water changes basically resets the nutrient levels to safer levels at the start of the week allowing you to dose a generous amount of ferts during the week.

Based on my experience, MgSO4 and K2SO4 can be dosed right after the water change or to seed a tank during setup.

The amount you are aiming for can be around 5-15 ppm Mg and 10-15 ppm K from these ferts. The K will also increase once you start dosing KNO3 and KH2PO4.

If you have soft water then you might want to dose CaSO4 too to make sure you have good amount of calcium in the water. Like MgSO4 and K2SO4, CaSO4 can be dosed after a water change or during tank setup and dose not require regular dosing in the tank. FYI all these ferts are what make up the GH Booster. So they are not needed if you are using GH Booster.


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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-22-2016, 04:49 AM
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By the numbers:

1. Based on personal experience I think you do need to add K2SO4. I get holes in leaves when I don't. But if your using the recommended EI dose of KNO3 they say you shouldn't have to.

2. Your GH is good and you probably don't need MgSO4. I have not been adding it and find I don't have to with 8 dGH. In fact, and this is a little heretical, I don't think you need GH booster.

3. 10 ml Excell added to 500 ml dosing solution is what I use. It smells a little medicinal. I wonder how well it really works?

4. I do the 50% water change once a week. I like the feeling of getting to start over.

Your tank looks good. Like the rocks. They go well with the substrate. A six hour photoperiod with 4 hour siesta really rations the light. You are very methodical. Liked your future plans list. I wonder if being methodical just goes with this hobby? I think it would be easier going from PPS-PRO to EI than the other way around. I think EI people have too much faith. I like to check things.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-22-2016, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by PortalMasteryRy View Post
1) No if you use some form of GH Booster or if you are following the recommended EI dose.
2) No need to be dosing MgSO4 if you used some form of GH Booster. It is needed if you water is very soft.
3) 10 ml for a 500ml bottle. I use 20 ml for my 1400 ml Nalgene water bottles that I use as liquid fert reservoir.
4) Water changes are required if you are following the recommended EI dose. The PO4 and NO3 levels are usually higher or elevated at the end of the week which prevents any deficiencies but may cause too high levels if the water changes are not done. The water changes basically resets the nutrient levels to safer levels at the start of the week allowing you to dose a generous amount of ferts during the week.

Based on my experience, MgSO4 and K2SO4 can be dosed right after the water change or to seed a tank during setup.

The amount you are aiming for can be around 5-15 ppm Mg and 10-15 ppm K from these ferts. The K will also increase once you start dosing KNO3 and KH2PO4.

If you have soft water then you might want to dose CaSO4 too to make sure you have good amount of calcium in the water. Like MgSO4 and K2SO4, CaSO4 can be dosed after a water change or during tank setup and dose not require regular dosing in the tank. FYI all these ferts are what make up the GH Booster. So they are not needed if you are using GH Booster.

Thanks for taking time to respond. For clarification I was considering the MgSO4 a GH booster since based on my research, thats its intended purpose. I do not have a brand name GH booster. I change my water with 100% RODI as I have Seiryu Stone in the tank and it is is notorius for raising my TDS, GH, KH substantially without water changes. I do not have a water softening substrate like ADA amazonia in my tank which is the last time that i will make that mistake. Thank you for confirming that the amount of Excel that I put into my bottles was adequate. Thank you for emphasizing the importance of weekly water changes with this dosing regimen.

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Originally Posted by Savetheplants View Post
By the numbers:

1. Based on personal experience I think you do need to add K2SO4. I get holes in leaves when I don't. But if your using the recommended EI dose of KNO3 they say you shouldn't have to.

2. Your GH is good and you probably don't need MgSO4. I have not been adding it and find I don't have to with 8 dGH. In fact, and this is a little heretical, I don't think you need GH booster.

3. 10 ml Excell added to 500 ml dosing solution is what I use. It smells a little medicinal. I wonder how well it really works?

4. I do the 50% water change once a week. I like the feeling of getting to start over.

Your tank looks good. Like the rocks. They go well with the substrate. A six hour photoperiod with 4 hour siesta really rations the light. You are very methodical. Liked your future plans list. I wonder if being methodical just goes with this hobby? I think it would be easier going from PPS-PRO to EI than the other way around. I think EI people have too much faith. I like to check things.
Hi there thanks for taking time to reply. I did end up putting in K2SO4 since I paid for it I might as well. I will take your recommendation of no GH booster into consideration after I do my first major water change. If the GH crashes then I will reconsider its use. Thank you for affirming that I put the appropriate amount in. I appreciate the kind words about my tank. This was my first venture into high tech aquaria and I have learned so much in past five months. I would invite you to check out my recent update and also the newest picture because there were some major changes with the last plant additions. I cannot wait for my back ground to grow in!!! I think that precision and documenting both your successes and mistakes is crucial for this hobby as one would be a fool to consistently repeat their mistakes. I also like to pour out my thoughts and insights into my Journal so that I the next time I get to writing an entry, I can either affirm what I did was successful or go back to the drawing board. I feel that with every mistake that I make, I learn something new, and the next time that I build a tank, it will be much easier to hit the ground running. Hope is all with you and yours. Till next time.


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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-22-2016, 10:33 PM
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The beauty of EI type dosing is that you don't have to 'micro' (pun intended) manage your tank.

Your putting enough in to make sure you don't run short. There is a very wide range for dosing without harmful effects. You would have to go bat crazy to test the limits. In 10 years of EI dosing with substrates ranging from Pool Filter Sand to Eco Complete to Aquasoil I've never had a problem with dosing too much and I usually dose toward the high end of the recommended ranges just to be sure you don't run out.

Although there is K in the KNO3 I still dose the SO4 just to make sure it doesn't run out. Some extra K never hurt anyone.

Water changes are important. Just do them. It's good for the fish and it's good for the tank especially if you have good light. Any organics left in the tank will develop into algae problems that much quicker with good light. You could get away with less in dimmer tanks, but as long as your dosing the water changes benefit all tanks.

I haven't tested my tanks water in over 5 years. If I have fish I just make sure the co2 isn't too much. The EI dosing is very compatible with most lifestyles if you don't want to waste your time checking every parameter. If you enjoy that stuff, then go right ahead, but it isn't necessary. IMO of course.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 04:06 AM Thread Starter
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My only concern with this dosing are the shrimp inhabitants that I have. I will be dripping the water in slowly but nonetheless I don't want to shock them either. One user recommended that I do 5 10% water changes before I dose every single day but that seems like too much work. Any suggestions? They are fire reds and amanos
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 04:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuanSan View Post
My only concern with this dosing are the shrimp inhabitants that I have. I will be dripping the water in slowly but nonetheless I don't want to shock them either. One user recommended that I do 5 10% water changes before I dose every single day but that seems like too much work. Any suggestions? They are fire reds and amanos
I think they'll be fine with the standard regimen. I can't really speak for the fire reds buts imo amanos are really hardy. I have about 8 in my 40b that gets full EI and a 50% wc every Sunday.

Just a noob


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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 04:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuanSan View Post
My only concern with this dosing are the shrimp inhabitants that I have. I will be dripping the water in slowly but nonetheless I don't want to shock them either. One user recommended that I do 5 10% water changes before I dose every single day but that seems like too much work. Any suggestions? They are fire reds and amanos
Five 10% water changes equal 41%. Five 13% water changes equal 50%. I'm doing three 21% water changes to get my 50% because I don't like going over 25% at a time. All this only matters if you believe in the 50%. Fifty percent weekly water changes change 95% of your water in a month.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by houseofcards View Post
The beauty of EI type dosing is that you don't have to 'micro' (pun intended) manage your tank.

Your putting enough in to make sure you don't run short. There is a very wide range for dosing without harmful effects. You would have to go bat crazy to test the limits. In 10 years of EI dosing with substrates ranging from Pool Filter Sand to Eco Complete to Aquasoil I've never had a problem with dosing too much and I usually dose toward the high end of the recommended ranges just to be sure you don't run out.

Although there is K in the KNO3 I still dose the SO4 just to make sure it doesn't run out. Some extra K never hurt anyone.

Water changes are important. Just do them. It's good for the fish and it's good for the tank especially if you have good light. Any organics left in the tank will develop into algae problems that much quicker with good light. You could get away with less in dimmer tanks, but as long as your dosing the water changes benefit all tanks.

I haven't tested my tanks water in over 5 years. If I have fish I just make sure the co2 isn't too much. The EI dosing is very compatible with most lifestyles if you don't want to waste your time checking every parameter. If you enjoy that stuff, then go right ahead, but it isn't necessary. IMO of course.
My only concern with this dosing are the shrimp inhabitants that I have. I will be dripping the water in slowly but nonetheless I don't want to shock them either. One user recommended that I do 5 10% water changes before I dose every single day but that seems like too much work. Any suggestions? They are fire reds and amanos



Quote:
Originally Posted by Nlewis View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuanSan View Post
My only concern with this dosing are the shrimp inhabitants that I have. I will be dripping the water in slowly but nonetheless I don't want to shock them either. One user recommended that I do 5 10% water changes before I dose every single day but that seems like too much work. Any suggestions? They are fire reds and amanos
I think they'll be fine with the standard regimen. I can't really speak for the fire reds buts imo amanos are really hardy. I have about 8 in my 40b that gets full EI and a 50% wc every Sunday.
This is good to know. I know im asking for a lot wanting both but we'll see what happens. Ill take things nice and slow the first time around so that it doesnt blow up in my face.

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Originally Posted by Savetheplants View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuanSan View Post
My only concern with this dosing are the shrimp inhabitants that I have. I will be dripping the water in slowly but nonetheless I don't want to shock them either. One user recommended that I do 5 10% water changes before I dose every single day but that seems like too much work. Any suggestions? They are fire reds and amanos
Five 10% water changes equal 41%. Five 13% water changes equal 50%. I'm doing three 21% water changes to get my 50% because I don't like going over 25% at a time. All this only matters if you believe in the 50%. Fifty percent weekly water changes change 95% of your water in a month.

How are you doing your math? Forgive my ignorance but i was just adding straight across the percentages?
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Savetheplants View Post
Five 10% water changes equal 41%. Five 13% water changes equal 50%. I'm doing three 21% water changes to get my 50% because I don't like going over 25% at a time. All this only matters if you believe in the 50%. Fifty percent weekly water changes change 95% of your water in a month.
I have no idea what your doing, but in either case water changes are not that precise that you need to do these kind of calculations.

Last edited by houseofcards; 09-23-2016 at 11:37 AM. Reason: cor
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuanSan View Post
My only concern with this dosing are the shrimp inhabitants that I have. I will be dripping the water in slowly but nonetheless I don't want to shock them either. One user recommended that I do 5 10% water changes before I dose every single day but that seems like too much work. Any suggestions? They are fire reds and amanos





This is good to know. I know im asking for a lot wanting both but we'll see what happens. Ill take things nice and slow the first time around so that it doesnt blow up in my face.




How are you doing your math? Forgive my ignorance but i was just adding straight across the percentages?
Of course you can't just add it. First you are changing 10% of "pure" tank water. Next change will be 10% of 90% tank water and 10% fresh water. So it will be really 9% water change. Next one will be 10% of 81% tank water - 8.1% water change. Next - 7.29%, last - 6.56%. So five 10% water changes give you ~41% water change. Simple middle school math :-P
For real - it doesn't matter so much. If you do 40% or 50% per week, it's not a big deal.


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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 10:37 PM
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I have no idea what your doing, but in either case water changes are not that precise that you need to do these kind of calculations.
What I am doing are three smaller water changes to reduce the stress on my fish while still changing 50% of the water. The OP mentioned somebody suggested doing five small water changes in a week to reduce the stress on his shrimp.

50% ^ 1/5 = 87.055%
100% - 87.055% = ~13% water change

All you have to do after that is draw a line on your tank or your bucket to do the water changes. I think this does matter. Fish can die in a big water change if the temperature or GH of the replacement water are too low. It's safer to do smaller water changes to give the fish time to adjust.

Last edited by Savetheplants; 09-23-2016 at 11:04 PM. Reason: conjugation
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-24-2016, 12:12 AM
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Five 10% water changes equal 41%. Five 13% water changes equal 50%. I'm doing three 21% water changes to get my 50% because I don't like going over 25% at a time. All this only matters if you believe in the 50%. Fifty percent weekly water changes change 95% of your water in a month.
How do you know the water changes are 21%. When someone they do a 25% WC OR 50% WC it's an estimate not a precise number, but your saying you 21%.

Many here do average 50%, the fish don't have a problem, I've done them for years and have fish 7 years old. Many Discus owners do much larger water changes then that as well.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-24-2016, 04:29 AM
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I don't know they're 21% because of displacement and evaporation. The 21% is a target and an estimate and it's the math. Books say to do small water changes. There are plenty of references in the literature about this. Osmotic and temperature shock are real things. We acclimate fish slowly when we bring them home from the fish store for a reason. You don't just throw them in the tank. This is not something I'm just making up. Sorry if it harshes your mellow.

I find it reassuring that you and the others are able to do 50% water changes all at once. You are the experts. I wouldn't touch a Discus with a ten foot pool. I try to select easy to grow plants and hardy easy to take care of fish. Then I practice safe fish keeping by doing small water changes. I've been doing this for a long time with a lot of failures to my discredit. But hopefully I've learned some things along the way and have improved my practice. Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.

Also, this is the OP's thread and he mentioned something about not shocking some shrimp by making smaller water changes. I concur with the opinion that small water changes are safer.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-24-2016, 02:21 PM
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I don't know they're 21% because of displacement and evaporation. The 21% is a target and an estimate and it's the math. Books say to do small water changes. There are plenty of references in the literature about this. Osmotic and temperature shock are real things. We acclimate fish slowly when we bring them home from the fish store for a reason. You don't just throw them in the tank. This is not something I'm just making up. Sorry if it harshes your mellow.

I find it reassuring that you and the others are able to do 50% water changes all at once. You are the experts. I wouldn't touch a Discus with a ten foot pool. I try to select easy to grow plants and hardy easy to take care of fish. Then I practice safe fish keeping by doing small water changes. I've been doing this for a long time with a lot of failures to my discredit. But hopefully I've learned some things along the way and have improved my practice. Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.

Also, this is the OP's thread and he mentioned something about not shocking some shrimp by making smaller water changes. I concur with the opinion that small water changes are safer.

When you're bringing in livestock from somewhere else they have been in a completely different water source that can have wildly different parameters. When you're filling the same tank from the same tap every week you're not going to see those types of differences. If you own a decent $10 digital thermometer temperature shock should be totally out of the picture.
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