Quick questions about EI dosing from a newbie - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quick questions about EI dosing from a newbie

Hi Everyone,

I’ve just purchased an EI kit from NiloCG, and have a quick questions RE: the dosing amount. I have a heavily stocked tank, and probably feed a little more than I should (or should I say, my wife feeds more than she should). I’ve been dosing NPK individually based on testing, and find that I hover around 5ppm Nitrate and .5ppm Phosphate before dosing due to feeding and waste. When I switch to EI, should I lower the recommended dose of Macros to still hit a target ppm, or should I just follow the instructions and keep up with my water changes? I just don’t want to run into an issue where my nitrates and phosphates run out of control. I can agree in principal with everything in the EI system, it just seems that the whole concept is assuming no Macros from livestock.

Thank you for your help!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 01:51 PM
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Since you are dosing dry, its always easy to experiment. Finding a balance for your tank can be achieved only by trial and error.

EI mainly meant for tanks which have a CO2 level around 30ppm. Else its just equivalent to dumbing stuff to the tank and draining.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Crayfish. I do dose pressurized CO2, and have fairly consistent levels around 25-30 ppm.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 02:40 PM
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I had the same question back when I started doing EI. I asked about it here: EI dosing should I skip the nitrates and got a pretty thorough answer. Basically I was told if you are dosing less KN03 because of the levels already in the tank, you can increase the K2S04 to replace that, and use less of Kh2p04.... so that's what I do.


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 12:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Watercrayfish View Post
Since you are dosing dry, its always easy to experiment. Finding a balance for your tank can be achieved only by trial and error.

EI mainly meant for tanks which have a CO2 level around 30ppm. Else its just equivalent to dumbing stuff to the tank and draining.
How do I test my Co2 lvl

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 12:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mageikman32 View Post
How do I test my Co2 lvl

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Refer this thread.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/26...co2-chart.html
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 01:02 AM
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If you've only got a background concentration of 5 and 0.5 ppm for NO3 and PO4, respectively you'll be fine dosing regular EI. Your ambient concentrations won't make a significant difference; especially as you're in the desired 10:1 ratio of NO3 to PO4.

EI is only one method of many, but it's a good one for folks to cut their fertilizing teeth with, so to speak. Once you can read your plants more and get a handle on your specific tank's needs you can change things up as needed.

Cheers,
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 02:04 AM Thread Starter
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Well, things turned sour nearly right away. I did a massive water change last Wednesday, and started dosing with the EI method with product from NiloCG on Thursday. I went with the pre-portioned ferts to avoid making any rookie mistakes, and added pure RO water to the solution. 6 days later, and 3 doses of each macros and micros, and I have an outbreak of some algae I've never encountered before.

My question, is should I continue dosing as recommended, hoping that it's just a transition and the plants will take over? I haven't tested the Nitrates or Phosphates, but will check them after my water change tomorrow.

Tank specs:
90G tank (48" x 18" x 24")
Pressurized CO2 @ 25-30ppm
River Sand substrate (this is a very old setup, only converted to a planted tank about 3 years ago. The substrate is well over 8 years old)
Filtration: 2 x Cascade 700
Lighting: 2 x 48" Fluval Fresh & Plant @ 8hr light period

P.S. I know my tank is very unlevel. My area of CT had an issue with bad foundation concrete (class action lawsuit), and the corner of my house has been sinking. I'm moving into my new house in about 2 months, so I'm holding out until then when I can change to my new 125 =). Crossing my fingers the stand doesn't break and sent 90 gallons of water onto the floor.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Updates: Nitrate tested out at about 30ppm and Phosphates at about 3ppm. I still don't know if I should just continue to dose as recommended or if I should dose some lower amount. I know things take time to adjust, but if this isn't something that will correct itself, I'd rather not let it get out of control.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 07:36 PM
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All part of the game!!

Its staghorn algae, the first algae outbreak I got after introducing CO2 to my peaceful tank. Weak plants will get affected quickly.

With CO2 and high light you need to feed the plants.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 11:29 PM
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In short, keep dosing but DON'T forget to do your weekly water changes. The new algae wasn't caused by dosing EI. It did however reveal an issue that needs to be addressed.

I usually see staghorn algae in dirty tanks whether it be poorly maintained filters, mulm, over feeding, unknown death, or anything that can basically increase organic content. I see your substrate is essentially eight years old. I would assume it's pretty loaded with "stuff". If you disturb the substrate enough it can increase ammonia content (too small for out kits to measure) and other organic compounds. That will be like ringing the dinner bell for many types of algae. Add nutrients to the mix and we have an outbreak. Maybe you did a little house keeping when you changed dosing methods?
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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So, I plucked off most of the affected leaves, and found that the Wisteria in the back center was completely dead underneath and only being held at the substrate because it was tangled with the Bacopa. That could be the reason for constantly having nitrates present lol. I pulled all of that out, cut the front of the Bacops back and transplanted to the back wall, and bought some A. Reineckii mini for the midground.

I also reduced the lighting to 7 hours. I'll dose for another week to see how it all goes.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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@Zorfox, it looks like we were typing at the same time. I wish I had waited to make my changes, because rearranging as much as I have is pretty much to opposite of your suggestion. I will do another big water change tomorrow, because I definitely disturbed the substrate again today. Water changes don't take too much time, and I would rather nip it in the arse now than deal with a really serious outbreak by this time next week.

Will Excel do anything to help with Staghorn?

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quick update, followed by pictures later today. Iíve been dosing this week as recommended, and have added Easycarbo daily per the recommended dose. I havenít seen any improvement in the staghorn algae at all; in fact, I think itís gotten worse. Iíll be doing my water change tonight, and Iím wondering if I should continue to pluck off affected leaves. Iím worried that if I continue to take leaves off that have been taken over by algae, that Iím going to be lowering the plant biomass and will end up exacerbating the problem. If a leaf has substantial algae on it, is it continuing to absorb nutrients, or is it effectively dead? Lastly, one of the worst hit plants has been my dwarf hairgrass. Iím at the point that I feel it would be better to prune it almost all the way to the substrate. How far can I prune hairgrass before it just dies?

P.S. Mods, should this be moved to the algae section, should I be starting a new thread, or should it stay here?
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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Any ideas about the Hairgrass trimming, or taking out too many leaves? Not trying to be a bother, but I'm headed home to start my weekly maintenance, and I could use some advise for sure.

Thanks in advance!
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