EI Dosing Contradiction using Rotal Butterfly - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-15-2018, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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EI Dosing Contradiction using Rotal Butterfly

Hello all and sorry for this newbie question. I've been setting up a 40 gal breeder and have my 1st shipment of plants arriving this weekend. I have a GLA pressurized CO2 setup and am going with the Fluval 3.0 LED light with an Eheim Pro 4+ 350 plus an Aquaclear 50 HOB. I (possibly mistakenly) have gone with ADA Amazonia AS and wrestling the cloudiness issue but that's a separate concern right now. I have the GLA dry ferts on hand as well and trying to start/learn this process correctly as best I can right off the bat.


I read on the Barr Report forum to dose the following:
KNO3 - 4 tsp
K2SO4 - 1 tsp
MGSO4 - 6 tsp
add these macros to a 500 ml dosing bottle and add 35 ml (based on the 40 gal breeder) to the tank on Mon, Wed, Fri.



CSM+B - 1 tsp and add that to a separate 500 ml bottle and dose 35 ml into the tank Tue, Thu & Sat. Then of course the 50% water change on Sundays.



When I compare those quantities with Rotala Butterfly calculates, I get (from the calculator):
KNO3 - 3 7/8 tsp (very close to what Barr says)
K2SO4 - 5 5/8 tsp (over 5x Barr Report amount)

MGSO4 - 21 1/2 tsp (over 3x Barr Report amount)



Can someone please explain the discrepancy for me? I understand the numbers are intended to be estimates but want to understand what I am missing. I assume what has been published in the Barr Report is still accurate, correct?


Thank you for your help.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-15-2018, 08:19 PM
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Probably what happened is the calculator gave you the full 7.5 ppm from k2so4.

The tsp measurements on the website take into account the K you get from KNO3 and KH2PO4.

If you use the calculator for K, down where it says "calculating for" if you leave that set to EI it's going to give you the full 7.5. So you have to change "EI" to "dose to reach a target" and then enter the exact ppm of K you want.

7.5 ppm KNO3 adds 4.73 ppm K
1.3 KH2PO4 adds .54 ppm of K

So you're getting 5.32 ppm of K from those two.

If you want a total of 7.5 K, you only need to add an additional 2.2 ppm
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-16-2018, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you Burr. I think I understand what the calculator is trying to do now. So what I have come up with for a 25ml dose 3x per week from a 500ml bottle of macro mix is:
5 1/2 tsp of KNO3

1 tsp of KH2PO4
2 1/4 tsp of K2SO4
.75 tsp of MgSO4


With this I come up with:
N 1.71 ppm

P 0.42 ppm

K 7.44 ppm
NO3 7.57 ppm
PO4 1.29 ppm


Does this sound accurate? Thank you again
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-16-2018, 07:25 PM
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For 40 gal yes that is close.

Except for Mg, your dose adds less than .1 ppm. That's not enough to even bother with. If you're trying to duplicate what Barr said add 6 tsp for 1 ppm per dose


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-17-2018, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you again Mr Burr. Could you please direct me to where you are getting your targets? I found the following from the Barr article:

CO2 range 25-35ppm
NO3 range 5-30ppm
K+ range 10-30ppm
PO4 range 1.0-3.0 ppm
Fe 0.2-0.5ppm or higher (?)
GH range 3 degrees ~ 50ppm or higher

where there is clearly no reference to Mg. Also, if I do add the 6 tsp of MgSO4 as you suggest, I get from Rotala Butterfly 3.45 ppm of sulfur with the addition of K2SO4 as well. Is that too much sulfur? Again no guideline I have found for sulfur either.

I appreciate your time and help.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-17-2018, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Mr Burr,

I found the following targets from the Nilocg website:

Target Concentration Levels
Macros
NO3 7.5 ppm
N 1.694 ppm
PO4 1.3 ppm
P 0.424 ppm
K 5.3 ppm (7.5 ppm with additional K2SO4)

Micros
Fe 0.5 ppm
Mg 0.107 ppm
dGH 0.025 ppm
Cu 0.007 ppm
B 0.061 ppm
Mn 0.143 ppm
Mo 0.004 ppm
S (0.917 ppm with additional K2SO4)
Zn 0.028 ppm

This is where I am getting confused as Nilocg says target amount of Mg is .107 ppm. It is from this that I got the original 3/4 tsp of MgSO4. Any clarification on the general consensus of target amounts of nutrients would really be appreciated.

Thank you.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-17-2018, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redagg65 View Post
Thank you again Mr Burr. Could you please direct me to where you are getting your targets? I found the following from the Barr article:

CO2 range 25-35ppm
NO3 range 5-30ppm
K+ range 10-30ppm
PO4 range 1.0-3.0 ppm
Fe 0.2-0.5ppm or higher (?)
GH range 3 degrees ~ 50ppm or higher

where there is clearly no reference to Mg. Also, if I do add the 6 tsp of MgSO4 as you suggest, I get from Rotala Butterfly 3.45 ppm of sulfur with the addition of K2SO4 as well. Is that too much sulfur? Again no guideline I have found for sulfur either.

I appreciate your time and help.
Well, 6 tsp MgSO4 wasnt my suggestion, it was Barr's in the recipe you were trying to duplicate, which adds approximately 1 ppm per dose

There is no clear cut EI recommendation for Ca and Mg. Both combine to make up dGH and are considered somewhat relative to each other. Generally speaking you want to keep a ratio between 5:1-3:1 Ca:Mg.

So for example if you're using RO water and reconstituting with 10-15 ppm Ca, you may only need 3-5 ppm Mg. If your using all tap with 40 ppm Ca (like me) you probably want closer to 10-12 ppm Mg

Mg, along with Ca is generally dosed 1x week right after water changes. In my case I dose 7 ppm in one whack and forget about it (tap contains about 4 ppm)

Barr's inclusion in the macro mix is fine too. His recipe adds 1 ppm per dose, so an additional 3 ppm per week. That's enough to make a difference and should cover the Mg base for most people. Including it in the macro mix is more for convenience than anything

As for how much S is to much, note that these SO4 compounds add sulfate (SO4) not sulfur (S) The calculator shows the S equivalent of SO4. It does the same for N and P when calculating for NO3 and PO4. KNO3 for example doesnt add any actual N, the calculator just shows you the N equivalent for whatever ppm of NO3

The multiplier for S = SO4 is 3.

* None of this is really important to understand just bear with me

What your actually getting from 6 tsp MGSO4 is 10.35 ppm SO4 (3.45 x 3)

To answer your question - Sulfur/Sulfate is an important secondary nutrient that plants need, and actually use a lot of. So it needs to be in the mix. The amounts we get from all these SO4 compounds are nothing to worry about. One of my best tanks ever ran consistently over 100 ppm (SO4)

Role of Sulfur in Plants

If you're using tap water that comes with already high amounts then it may be something to consider, otherwise dont worry about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redagg65 View Post
Mr Burr,

I found the following targets from the Nilocg website:

Target Concentration Levels
Macros
NO3 7.5 ppm
N 1.694 ppm
PO4 1.3 ppm
P 0.424 ppm
K 5.3 ppm (7.5 ppm with additional K2SO4)

Micros
Fe 0.5 ppm
Mg 0.107 ppm
dGH 0.025 ppm
Cu 0.007 ppm
B 0.061 ppm
Mn 0.143 ppm
Mo 0.004 ppm
S (0.917 ppm with additional K2SO4)
Zn 0.028 ppm

This is where I am getting confused as Nilocg says target amount of Mg is .107 ppm. It is from this that I got the original 3/4 tsp of MgSO4. Any clarification on the general consensus of target amounts of nutrients would really be appreciated.

Thank you.
Nilocg's micro breakdown is just quoting the ppm of everything in csm-b if you dose it for .5 ppm of Fe. Those arent "recommended targets" for anything besides Fe.

Classic EI calls for .5 ppm Fe 3x per week. He's selling csmb and telling you what you get from a .5 dose. That's all.

In the grand scheme of things that amount of Mg might as well be nothing. It just happens to be what's in a .5 dose of csmb.

Side note: EI was revised a few years ago to .2 ppm Fe 3x per week, down from .5. You'll notice rotalabutterfly gives values for .2 ppm Fe if you calculate for EI. Many folks still use the .5 routine and most "tsp charts" on the internet list it that way.

Personally I think somewhere in between is probably the sweet spot for most people, around 1 ppm Fe per week
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-17-2018, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Once again, thank you for your time and information. I am going into this project trying to learn as much as I can and its obvious I have a long way to go. I guess my biggest concern is getting to a point where I am reasonably close to starting off on the right foot (fertilizer wise) then tweak and adjust as needed as I go. I suspect I am over thinking this but as mentioned, truly appreciate your help.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-17-2018, 08:03 PM
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No problem. I remember when it was all Greek to me too!
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-17-2018, 10:27 PM
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No problem. I remember when it was all Greek to me too!
Mr. Burr.

Just thought I would let you know that long post left me a bit dizzy and lightheaded.

Had to sit down with a cold compress on my forehead for a moment.

When I come to I am going to try reading it again.

But seriously, lots of good stuff there. Brought back memories of my first few discussions with you. I can remember thinking........boy I am deep in the weeds now! Funny it was only the beginning.
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