I want to start dosing ferts but have a few questions. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-22-2017, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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I want to start dosing ferts but have a few questions.

I want to start dosing ferts in my tank. Today I picked up Seachem flourish since it's what's readily available nearby. I eventually want to switch to CSM+B. I also picked up a lb each of KNO3 (which is apparently restricted in Canada...) and MKP. I am not really sure what sort of dosing regime I should use. I have a low/med light tank with no co2. Should I just start off with EI dosing? Looking at the calculators it mentions GH booster. I just tested the GH in my tank and I'm somewhere between 60-80 for GH (mg/L CaCO3). Do I require the use of a GH booster? If so, what exactly should I be looking for?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-22-2017, 11:37 PM
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IF you plan on using CO2 I would go for full EI. If not you could start at 1/2 EI and try what he describes here:
Hate water changes? EI can get you there with a small modification - Aquarium Plants - Barr Report

For the GH booster you need CaSO4, MgSO4 and I think there is some K2SO4 ( K has no effect on GH). These are readily available. I think the GH is a little bit low but depending on the plants you have you might get by without increasing the GH. If you can increase it to ~107ppm CaCO3 equiv.

More on EI
The Estimative Index of Dosing, or No Need for Test Kits - Aquarium Plants - Barr Report

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-23-2017, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dukydaf View Post
IF you plan on using CO2 I would go for full EI. If not you could start at 1/2 EI and try what he describes here:
Hate water changes? EI can get you there with a small modification - Aquarium Plants - Barr Report

For the GH booster you need CaSO4, MgSO4 and I think there is some K2SO4 ( K has no effect on GH). These are readily available. I think the GH is a little bit low but depending on the plants you have you might get by without increasing the GH. If you can increase it to ~107ppm CaCO3 equiv.

More on EI
The Estimative Index of Dosing, or No Need for Test Kits - Aquarium Plants - Barr Report
I do want to try DIY co2 sometime in the future but it probably won't be for a couple months. Should I still just go for full EI?

Are there any premade GH boosters?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-23-2017, 08:49 PM
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how much you need to dose 100% relies on your plant selection, how densely planted your tank is, and how much light you are running. i will also say that IMO MOST people should not dose full EI. your tank needs to be heavily planted (as in almost no bare space not covered in plants) with somewhat demanding plants (not anubias/crypts/moss/etc...) to warrant dosing as much as EI suggests.

if you say you run low/med light without CO2 I would dose 1/4 - 1/3 EI levels and see what happens

also just because you run CO2 does not mean your plants will magically all grow twice as fast and require a ton more fertilizer. your plants under low-med light will need marginally more ferts with CO2. I would still stick to like 1/3 EI and see what happens if you go that route.


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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-23-2017, 10:22 PM
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klibs is pointing out some important aspects. We need to understand that the main idea behind the Estimative Index is that we provide plants with more than enough ( non-limiting) nutrients, controlling growth from light and plant metabolism rate. The sugested mass concentrations ( ppms) are assumed to be non-limiting even at very high light. At lower light levels and with plants with lower metabolism rate, non-limiting nutrient levels could very well be 1/4 of EI , as klibs suggests. For example, there is no need to know precisely that your aquarium uses 5ppm NO3 /week. If you dose 6ppm NO3/week you are walking the line, but if you dose 10ppm NO3 then you are covered with room to spare.

Think of it this way, how large is a non-liming food supply for a baby, for a teenager, for an athlete or for a static old man. I would only go full EI when you are starting dosing CO2. If after a month you feel you are dosing too much of something you can start cutting down on things. But now you have seen how plants grow in unlimited nutrients ( see first link).

There are premade GH boosters such as GLA Ultimate GH Booster or Nilocg GH Booster. The ppm in each vary, I have seen 3.2 K; 0.55ppm Ca and 0.66ppm Mg suggested per day. Hope you can come up with the ratios for the chemical from this, if not PM me.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dukydaf View Post
klibs is pointing out some important aspects. We need to understand that the main idea behind the Estimative Index is that we provide plants with more than enough ( non-limiting) nutrients, controlling growth from light and plant metabolism rate. The sugested mass concentrations ( ppms) are assumed to be non-limiting even at very high light. At lower light levels and with plants with lower metabolism rate, non-limiting nutrient levels could very well be 1/4 of EI , as klibs suggests. For example, there is no need to know precisely that your aquarium uses 5ppm NO3 /week. If you dose 6ppm NO3/week you are walking the line, but if you dose 10ppm NO3 then you are covered with room to spare.

Think of it this way, how large is a non-liming food supply for a baby, for a teenager, for an athlete or for a static old man. I would only go full EI when you are starting dosing CO2. If after a month you feel you are dosing too much of something you can start cutting down on things. But now you have seen how plants grow in unlimited nutrients ( see first link).

There are premade GH boosters such as GLA Ultimate GH Booster or Nilocg GH Booster. The ppm in each vary, I have seen 3.2 K; 0.55ppm Ca and 0.66ppm Mg suggested per day. Hope you can come up with the ratios for the chemical from this, if not PM me.
I have started dosing EI and have modified it to be 1/3rd of the suggested dosage as you guys suggested. I'm building my DIY Co2 today and I'm just trying to figure out a few things about the system. I have the design pretty much down but I'm wondering about:

1. I have a sponge filter running in my tank and from what I understand, the surface agitation from the bubbles rising to the top of the tank will offgas the co2 I put into the tank which will waste some of the co2 I put into the tank. Should I turn off or take out of the sponge filter? Is there a way to run the sponge filter without creating much surface agitation?

2. How do I prevent my co2 setup from gassing my fish. Is it a better idea to manually turn the co2 on and off every day to conserve the mix or should I just keep it running and have an airstone on a timer to offgas the co2 when my lights are off?
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