Help me switch from PPS-PRO to EI - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-23-2016, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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Help me switch from PPS-PRO to EI

After doing a lot of reading and finding that my aquarium often tests zero for Nitrates and Phosphates, I am going to switch over from PPS-PRO to EI. i bought all my ferts at GLA. Would they all e the same for EI. It appears I have an extra bottle called MgSO4. Should I continue to use this? Are all of the other bottles the same for EI as they are for PPS-PRO?

It may be my OCD but I'm having a hard time wrapping myself around the idea of using measuring spoons instead of a scale. a scale seems so much more precise. If using measuring spoons, are they assumed to be level spoonfuls? Not packed down or anything?

i guess I feel like if I'm doing the same weekly 50% W/C for PPS-PRO as I would for EI, then what's the difference really?
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-23-2016, 06:15 PM
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Depending on your water conditions, you may or may not need the magnesium sulfate. In EI, there is a remineralizer consisting of magnesium, potassium and calcium sulfates that is added once a week, again, depending on your water conditions.

EI was originally designed to be easy to follow, without a need for a scale. However, if you want, you can always use a scale. I believe Tom Barr has an article outlining the weights. If you want to use measuring spoons, it is assumed that each chemical is a level spoonful, and not packed down.

The main difference between EI and PPS-Pro is that EI relies on an excess of nutrients in the water column, which is prevented from accumulating to dangerous levels through the 50% weekly water changes. PPS-Pro relies on a 'just enough' principle, where you only dose what is needed.

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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-23-2016, 08:10 PM
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Depending on your water conditions, you may or may not need the magnesium sulfate. In EI, there is a remineralizer consisting of magnesium, potassium and calcium sulfates that is added once a week, again, depending on your water conditions.

EI was originally designed to be easy to follow, without a need for a scale. However, if you want, you can always use a scale. I believe Tom Barr has an article outlining the weights. If you want to use measuring spoons, it is assumed that each chemical is a level spoonful, and not packed down.

The main difference between EI and PPS-Pro is that EI relies on an excess of nutrients in the water column, which is prevented from accumulating to dangerous levels through the 50% weekly water changes. PPS-Pro relies on a 'just enough' principle, where you only dose what is needed.


I'm going through the exact same thing you are. I've been racking my brain reading and reading and reading trying to figure this out, plus I'm trying to figure out mixes and doses for and auto doser. I have a thread going that has a lot of good info on it.


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Ei dosing question

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 12-24-2016 at 03:15 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-23-2016, 08:29 PM
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I'm going through the exact same thing you are. I've been racking my brain reading and reading and reading trying to figure this out, plus I'm trying to figure out mixes and doses for and auto doser. I have a thread going that has a lot of good info on it.


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This should help you.

Rotala Butterfly | Planted Aquarium Nutrient Dosing Calculator

Just a noob


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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-23-2016, 08:37 PM
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That's what I tried using, what's the difference between ei and ei daily?


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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-24-2016, 02:13 AM
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That's what I tried using, what's the difference between ei and ei daily?


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Just use the EI and choose solution and enter in the container and dosing size

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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-24-2016, 03:24 AM
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FWIW, I just put together a spreadsheet for my dosing. The calculators will tell you what to dose (assuming you will dose 3 times per week). I wanted to compare the weekly totals of each fert using PPS-Pro and EI so the spreadsheet helped my do that. Really opened my eyes to how little PPS-Pro was giving (weekly) compared to full EI. What I also did was figure out how to mix full EI into a solution that works. For those of you who are former PPS Pro guys, you will not be able to dose 1ml per 10 gallons any more (can't dissolve that much fert into that small amount of water. I went from 7ml for my 75 gallon tank (pps pro) to 15ml per dose with EI


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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-24-2016, 03:48 AM
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FWIW, I just put together a spreadsheet for my dosing. The calculators will tell you what to dose (assuming you will dose 3 times per week). I wanted to compare the weekly totals of each fert using PPS-Pro and EI so the spreadsheet helped my do that. Really opened my eyes to how little PPS-Pro was giving (weekly) compared to full EI. What I also did was figure out how to mix full EI into a solution that works. For those of you who are former PPS Pro guys, you will not be able to dose 1ml per 10 gallons any more (can't dissolve that much fert into that small amount of water. I went from 7ml for my 75 gallon tank (pps pro) to 15ml per dose with EI


That's exactly what I came up with also, is 15 ml doses.


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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-24-2016, 04:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Immortal1 View Post
FWIW, I just put together a spreadsheet for my dosing. The calculators will tell you what to dose (assuming you will dose 3 times per week). I wanted to compare the weekly totals of each fert using PPS-Pro and EI so the spreadsheet helped my do that. Really opened my eyes to how little PPS-Pro was giving (weekly) compared to full EI. What I also did was figure out how to mix full EI into a solution that works. For those of you who are former PPS Pro guys, you will not be able to dose 1ml per 10 gallons any more (can't dissolve that much fert into that small amount of water. I went from 7ml for my 75 gallon tank (pps pro) to 15ml per dose with EI
I have created a dosing calculator on a spreadsheet that does a side by side comparison between PPS-Pro, EI and a custom dose you create yourself. I also have a lot of other information in regards to the different commercial fertilizers on the market and additional calculators that you may find useful. Below is a pic of the main calculator. The blue fields can be changed and the corresponding dose will appear in the green fields. Although I have verified my results with the pre-existing calculators on the net I cannot say it is 100% accurate as there is a lot of information and calculations on the sheet. I am willing to give it out to anyone who would like a copy but I don't have a means to have it readily available for your use except through an attachment in an email. If there is a way to do it on TPT please let me know. I also should mention the spreadsheet was created using Libre Office (free software) and while I can save it in an Excel format I have not verified if it converts with 100% accuracy.
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-24-2016, 08:31 PM
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I just got my c02 set up for my 17.6 gallon which I think is a high light tank with 2x 24 watt T5 HO. I'm wondering how much to dose. I'm using aquavitro liquid fertz. I tried to follow the EI instructions on the bottle for dosing weeks before I got the c02 system and it caused a nitrate spike of to 40ppm by the end of the week. How much of a difference in nutrient consumption will the c02 have? I don't want it to spike to 40ppm again.
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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-25-2016, 01:21 AM Thread Starter
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EI Mixing Utterly Confused

I'm so completely confused now. I sat down in front of a computer with the 5 bottles of ferts I received from GLA along with the two 500ML dosing bottles. Then I tried to figure out how much of each fert to add to the 500ML bottles for EI. That is where things got confusing. Some of what I read indicates that people dose dry ferts directly to their tanks? Others are mixing in 50L quantities? This sounds like so much.

Let me illustrate with a program called Zorfox's Planted Tank Calculator. I chose "Solution" and a container Size of 500ML. Then I selected KNO3 from the drop down. I then selected "The Estimative Index" as the dosing method. I used the default of 7.5ppm concentration because I really didn't know what the concentration was supposed to be. I initially selected a dose of 5ML but when I clicked on "Calculate" it gave an error with a note about insolubility so I changed the dose to 15ML and after hitting "Calculate" again, it told me I needed to add 69.5 gm of KNO3 to my 500ML bottle.

So a few questions. First, do most people dose EI with dry ferts or liquid? Secondly, Can I add the KNO3, KH2PO4, K2SO4 and MGSO4 into one 500ML bottle? I think I had read that maybe the KH2PO4 should me mixed and dosed separately to fine tune for each acquarium? Next question. How do I determine what concentration I should be using for all of these ferts?

I'm trying to make this as simple as possible but as I said, this is a 45g, LIGHTLY PLANTED tank. Any help or advice would be appreciated.
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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-25-2016, 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnsTank View Post
I'm so completely confused now. I sat down in front of a computer with the 5 bottles of ferts I received from GLA along with the two 500ML dosing bottles. Then I tried to figure out how much of each fert to add to the 500ML bottles for EI. That is where things got confusing. Some of what I read indicates that people dose dry ferts directly to their tanks? Others are mixing in 50L quantities? This sounds like so much.

Let me illustrate with a program called Zorfox's Planted Tank Calculator. I chose "Solution" and a container Size of 500ML. Then I selected KNO3 from the drop down. I then selected "The Estimative Index" as the dosing method. I used the default of 7.5ppm concentration because I really didn't know what the concentration was supposed to be. I initially selected a dose of 5ML but when I clicked on "Calculate" it gave an error with a note about insolubility so I changed the dose to 15ML and after hitting "Calculate" again, it told me I needed to add 69.5 gm of KNO3 to my 500ML bottle.

So a few questions. First, do most people dose EI with dry ferts or liquid? Secondly, Can I add the KNO3, KH2PO4, K2SO4 and MGSO4 into one 500ML bottle? I think I had read that maybe the KH2PO4 should me mixed and dosed separately to fine tune for each acquarium? Next question. How do I determine what concentration I should be using for all of these ferts?

I'm trying to make this as simple as possible but as I said, this is a 45g, LIGHTLY PLANTED tank. Any help or advice would be appreciated.
IMO you are better served making the solutions individually as it make it easier to adjust your dosing overtime. I understand how confusing this can be because I felt the same way about 8 months ago. When I made my first macro solution I tried to put them in one bottle and it just didn't work, mostly due to size container I used used. Now I have them separated using mason jars.

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Last edited by Nlewis; 12-25-2016 at 03:58 AM. Reason: Edit
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-25-2016, 02:11 AM
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@JohnsTank here is a link for solutions Dosing Instructions

Read and follow to this one!
Lightly planted maybe 1/3 of this for dosing.
Instead of 10ml dose 3ml
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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-26-2016, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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@JohnsTank here is a link for solutions Dosing Instructions

Read and follow to this one!
Lightly planted maybe 1/3 of this for dosing.
Instead of 10ml dose 3ml
Attachment 702938
Thank you so much. This will make it much easier. Just one problem. I have an EXTRA bottle called MGSO4. I think it might have something to do with my RO. I use 75% RO/25%TAP. My KH runs around 3 and my GH is about 5. Suggestions? Do I add it in when mixing the rest? How much?

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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-26-2016, 11:52 PM
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Is the GH/KH :: 5/3 after you mix R/O?

MgSO4 is but 1 component of a GH booster recipe.
If you are @ 5/3 after adding R/O mix you really won't need it.


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