EI doesn't work and is killing my plants - Page 6 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #76 of 198 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 02:51 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cl3537 View Post
Sounds like a decent plan. If you could get your hands on a PAR meter(Seneye?) I would want to check PAR in the corners and at the back of your tank just to be sure you really do have 60 par at substrate as you beleive from extrapolation.

If you can keep up with water changes 2X per week that will help you keep Calcium levels in check (just in case that is a problem). While not definitive or conclusive look what excess Calcium could inhibit (K, Fe, Mg, P, Mn, Zn, B).
I actually own a PAR meter but I can double check what the PAR is on the very edges. I'm not sure I measured anywhere but the middle but I thought I did.

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Originally Posted by Xiaozhuang View Post
OP;

The other unlikely, but possible scenario is that you hit a bad batch of aquasoil. Recent batches have been more inconsistent - enough that I stopped using ADA soil myself.
If plants are rotting at the roots even as the tips are growing well, this may be it.
Easy way to test this is have a cup of another substrate in the same tank and see how plants grow in it.

Bump: OP;

The other unlikely, but possible scenario is that you hit a bad batch of aquasoil. Recent batches have been more inconsistent - enough that I stopped using ADA soil myself.
If plants are rotting at the roots even as the tips are growing well, this may be it.
Easy way to test this is have a cup of another substrate in the same tank and see how plants grow in it.
Ok, why not. I've tried everything else. BTW I've had BGA an inch into my substrate but not on the surface of it since I was dry starting. My Baby's Tears never grew during dry start as much as they should have either.


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Originally Posted by Desert Pupfish View Post
Didn't realize there was another DesertPupfish out there. Sorry if I inadvertently plagiarized your handle.

If it's any consolation, the tank in your vid looks way better than mine does right now.....
Oh man, that's hilarious! What are the chances a random name generator would pick that?

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Originally Posted by ipkiss View Post
Sounds like something to go forward with.

Just remember like @Seattle_Aquarist always says, look for new plant growth and how well they stay healthy. Changes take a couple weeks sometimes to show themselves. They ARE plants. Speed is relative

I would also not take co2 for granted -- all the way from the cylinder to the plant. Injection, reaction, diffusion, flow, absorption. I would inspect and reinspect the entire process. There's just so many places to go wrong here. Unlike ferts, short of gassing fish, I dont recall anyone ever arguing about too much co2. So, if you think you have enough, you probably dont have enough. and as always if you're going to make co2 changes, watch your fish. That change can show itself real quick.
The main problem was that my plants would look GREAT after dosing new ferts, but then the bottom would consistently rot. I'm talking three months of waiting. This was over three months already INTO the tank too.

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Originally Posted by cl3537 View Post
One more thing I noticed:

The large primary Seiryu stone breaking the water surface does concern me a little bit, and how it might be blocking flow, would you consider lowering the substrate below it so that you have at least a couple inches of water above it to the surface? That would dramatically increase natural flow and may help with CO2 and fert circulation. It looks like you put a powerhead behind it which is a good idea but I would be more comfortable if it was a little lower considering the algae problems you are having.
I have a Vortech MP10 powerhead on the right, back side to increase flow there. It stopped any BGA or hair algae from growing on or near the rock/java moss, but BBA still stuck around. Interestingly enough, the rotala directly under and a few inches away from the powerhead grew at 1/4 the rate of the others farther away.

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Originally Posted by Quesenek View Post
I'm curious, I know you believe the calcium is coming from the stone, but could the calcium be coming from your tap?

I ask because if you hop on youtube and look at a ton of aquascapes from members such as George Farmer and others they use Seiryu stone in quite a few scapes. Their tanks at least through recordings look fine and the leached calcium doesn't seem to have much of an impact on the system.
Good question but I'm using RO and tested it already. I'm not 100% sure it's even seiryu, but the rock has definitely disappeared a bit and cracks have widened since it being in the tank.
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post #77 of 198 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 03:17 AM
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Good question but I'm using RO and tested it already. I'm not 100% sure it's even seiryu, but the rock has definitely disappeared a bit and cracks have widened since it being in the tank.
I'm not a rock expert, but that doesn't sound like it should be happening if it truly is seiryu.
I know seiryu stone deteriorates when in water, but I always thought that would have been over a period of many many years.
Maybe someone who knows more can chime in.
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post #78 of 198 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 03:31 AM
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Sounds like something to go forward with.

Just remember like @Seattle_Aquarist always says, look for new plant growth and how well they stay healthy. Changes take a couple weeks sometimes to show themselves. They ARE plants. Speed is relative

I would also not take co2 for granted -- all the way from the cylinder to the plant. Injection, reaction, diffusion, flow, absorption. I would inspect and reinspect the entire process. There's just so many places to go wrong here. Unlike ferts, short of gassing fish, I dont recall anyone ever arguing about too much co2. So, if you think you have enough, you probably dont have enough. and as always if you're going to make co2 changes, watch your fish. That change can show itself real quick.
Hi All,

As ipkiss stated we have to give plants time to adjust. Below is a picture of Pogostemon erectus. It was suffering in my 45 gallon with CO2 and EI dosing. It had stunted leaves and extremely slow growth. The tank parameters were: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]

So I moved it to my low tech, low light, high no CO2 tank with tank parameters of: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected] (20 ppm Ca & 9.6 ppm Mg); dose Excel 3X per week. I dose low EI with [email protected] however I have added six (6) Osmocote Plus tabs to the substrate.

Can you see the difference in growth over the last four (4) weeks? Notice how the leaves on the lower half of the stems are stunted and curled downward? What changed? I have also seen similar results with my Rotala 'Vietnam' which was in the same 45 gallon tank as the Pogostemon erectus. Is it the low dKH coupled with root feeding as suggested by Vin Kutty in his presentation at the AGA Convention last month? Obviously something improved!

Pogostemon erectus


Rotala 'Vietnam'

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post #79 of 198 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 03:32 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Quesenek View Post
I'm not a rock expert, but that doesn't sound like it should be happening if it truly is seiryu.
I know seiryu stone deteriorates when in water, but I always thought that would have been over a period of many many years.
Maybe someone who knows more can chime in.



I guess I could ask the guy at Nature Aquarium in Santa Monica what they were. I blindly trusted his stock since he seemed like the best shop in that area.

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Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi All,

As ipkiss stated we have to give plants time to adjust. Below is a picture of Pogostemon erectus. It was suffering in my 45 gallon with CO2 and EI dosing. It had stunted leaves and extremely slow growth. The tank parameters were: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]

So I moved it to my low tech, low light, high no CO2 tank with tank parameters of: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected] (20 ppm Ca & 9.6 ppm Mg); dose Excel 3X per week. I dose low EI with [email protected] however I have added six (6) Osmocote Plus tabs to the substrate.

Can you see the difference in growth over the last four (4) weeks? Notice how the leaves on the lower half of the stems are stunted and curled downward? What changed? I have also seen similar results with my Rotala 'Vietnam' which was in the same 45 gallon tank as the Pogostemon erectus. Is it the low dKH coupled with root feeding as suggested by Vin Kutty in his presentation at the AGA Convention last month? Obviously something improved!

Pogostemon erectus


Rotala 'Vietnam'
This is exactly what my issue is/was. Would love to hear a response! My main problem is that the leaves would come out looking great but then would deteriorate when the next generation appeared. And I mean it looks EXACTLY like your pics. Are you seeing pinholes and yellowing with algae growing on the old ones if you look closely?
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post #80 of 198 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 04:14 AM
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Hi @Ddrizzle,

With Pogostemon erectus and Rotala 'Vietnam' it is not possible to see any pinholes in the leaves with my old eyes. I can tell you that most of the other plants in the 45 gallon are doing fine with the exception of my Hygrophila which does show good new leaves but leaf deterioration as the leaves mature.....likely potassium in my case.

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post #81 of 198 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 04:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
As ipkiss stated we have to give plants time to adjust. Below is a picture of Pogostemon erectus. It was suffering in my 45 gallon with CO2 and EI dosing. It had stunted leaves and extremely slow growth.

So I moved it to my low tech, low light, high no CO2 tank..... I dose low EI with [email protected] however I have added six (6) Osmocote Plus tabs to the substrate.
All you needed to do was move it to leaner water column ferts, CO2 would have helped and hardness doesn't matter much either. You don't need root tabs for rotalas or pogostemon erectus, they will grow like weeds in 5 ppm of Nitrates in the water column or even less and of course lower micros as well.

My old tank had higher ferts, not as high as yours or full classic EI but still high and I saw slow growth, hair algae, and branching from P. Erectus. First before tearing down the scape I tried dosing just about once or twice a week very lean, but the buildup in Tropica CEC Aquasoil kept these plants unhappy for weeks before I tore down the scape.

Moved RR and PE to lean ferts and inert substrate (same light, same CO2, even the same lean ferts I was dosing in the old scape at the end) and within two weeks I saw major improvements.

You can see corroboration for what I am saying from Vin's Rotala Kill Tank thread https://barrreport.com/threads/rotal....13975/page-25
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post #82 of 198 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by cl3537 View Post
All you needed to do was move it to leaner water column ferts, CO2 would have helped and hardness doesn't matter much either. You don't need root tabs for rotalas or pogostemon erectus, they will grow like weeds in 5 ppm of Nitrates in the water column or even less and of course lower micros as well.

My old tank had higher ferts, not as high as yours or full classic EI but still high and I saw slow growth, hair algae, and branching from P. Erectus. First before tearing down the scape I tried dosing just about once or twice a week very lean, but the buildup in Tropica CEC Aquasoil kept these plants unhappy for weeks before I tore down the scape.

Moved RR and PE to lean ferts and inert substrate (same light, same CO2, even the same lean ferts I was dosing in the old scape at the end) and within two weeks I saw major improvements.

You can see corroboration for what I am saying from Vin's Rotala Kill Tank thread https://barrreport.com/threads/rotal....13975/page-25
The rotala kill tank thread is a treasure, so much information to be found.

BTW if anyone has issues with images not showing in the thread click on the broken image and in the URL replace postimg.org with postimg.cc and it will show the image.
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post #83 of 198 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 05:33 AM
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@Ddrizzle,

create a clickbait title, get a clickbait discussion. As always, discussions go on all sorts of tangents with no real resolution. What about YOUR tank? Don't really know for sure. Take all the guesses that came before me. However, I will impart upon you something I live my planted tank by.

"Think of light as a gas pedal of a car. The harder you press down on the gas pedal (the more light you have), the faster your car will go (the faster your plants will grow). However, the car will require more regular maintenance (your plants will require more maintenance, i.e. fertilizers, CO2, etc)."

Quoted from Darkblade's primer : https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/s...php?t=107303#2

The phrase has been rephrased. quoted. paraphrased. but it holds true.

Whatever ails your tank right now, be it fertilizers, co2, etc, the easiest solution is also the simplest solution right now, but probably one of the hardest to do because we're mentally blocked from doing it. You have no business going fast on a car that doesn't have all its cylinders humming or wheels balanced. So, I echo the posts earlier to reduce your lighting levels and/or amounts. A Satellite Plus Pro at 8 hours full intensity sounds like a little too much. Too much gas.

If you have algae at the level you're having within 5 days, cutting light levels can only help you. A plant in the darkness can't even die in 5 days or else how would we ship plants? Try it for the next 5 days. Something significant. Like half the lighting period or half the intensity.

What do you do if it makes a difference? Try to run at that reduced level for a while as you figure out all the other issues. Flow, co2 injection, saturation, everything mentioned before me. All good ideas in their way. Pick a method of fertilization and stick with it for a while. Shouldn't matter in the short term. Less light lets you run slower and buys you more time to think about your problems. Can't think about issues if you're scrubbing down a tank every 5 days.

Who am I? Probably a noone. I can't claim any famous publications or fancy award winning tanks. I can only claim that I'm some regular hobbyist that went through what you are going through many years ago. Ecoxotic E-60 (Current Satellite Plus Pro's predecessor) at full power for 8 hours. and before that some T5HO Coralifes at full power. Just trying all sorts of stuff but always algae farming. Finally got smart and cut that light down.

When you get things right, I promise, you CAN run high light to your hearts content without triggering significant amounts of algae. I now can push 2X Satellite plus pros at their full power. But even then, I only do it for 4 hours and drop it to 30% or less for the rest of the time (the other 4 hours). You give plants that short burst and they can be happy enough. Back then, I was baffled myself when I saw tanks running lights way higher than me and not getting algae. To the point of disbelief. But you know what? At the time, my tank just wasn't running properly. Except, the hard part here is not knowing what the problem is. So what do you do when your car is acting weird on the highway and it doesn't match up with what you understand is wrong with it? You drive slow, pull off, stop and take a look. Either way, you let off the gas.

Good luck and I hope you find your way!

Sorry hijacking this with a satellite pro plus question. How do you run it for 4h at 100% and then the rest at lower "speed?" All I can do is set a % and then do the 15 minutes warm up/sundown thing with the controller that came with it.
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post #84 of 198 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 05:49 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry hijacking this with a satellite pro plus question. How do you run it for 4h at 100% and then the rest at lower "speed?" All I can do is set a % and then do the 15 minutes warm up/sundown thing with the controller that came with it.
There is only two modes for this light. Daylight and night time. You set both of those levels first and then simply set the timer for when you want the light to come on (to daylight) and then off (to night time).
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post #85 of 198 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
It was suffering in my 45 gallon with CO2 and EI dosing. It had stunted leaves and extremely slow growth. The tank parameters were: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]

.. I dose low EI with [email protected]
So it's not really about EI, it's about going full blast EI under the wrong water conditions. Several of your parameters in the 1st setup are out of EI target ranges. Your describing dosing low EI at no3 10ppm. That is still within the range of EI. As has been repeated ad nauseum as one gains experience they know how to adjust not just dosing but maintenance, light, co2.

EI target ranges
CO2 range 25-30 ppm
NO3 range 5-30 ppm
K+ range 10-30 ppm
PO4 range 1.0-2.0 ppm
Fe 0.2-0.5ppm or higher
GH range 3-5 degrees
KH range 3-5


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post #86 of 198 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 05:24 PM
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So it's not really about EI, it's about going full blast EI under the wrong water conditions. Several of your parameters in the 1st setup are out of EI target ranges. Your describing dosing low EI at no3 10ppm. That is still within the range of EI. As has been repeated ad nauseum as one gains experience they know how to adjust not just dosing but maintenance, light, co2.

EI target ranges
CO2 range 25-30 ppm
NO3 range 5-30 ppm
K+ range 10-30 ppm
PO4 range 1.0-2.0 ppm
Fe 0.2-0.5ppm or higher
GH range 3-5 degrees
KH range 3-5
Hi @Asteroid,

I did not say the issues were caused by EI dosing, actually according to the AGA Convention presentation it was suggested that high dKH may contribute of the issues I was experiencing as well as nitrogen in the water column in the two species I referenced above. I am neither "pro-EI" nor "anti-EI"; I am only concerned with healthy plant growth.

Although the suggested parameters for EI dosing are well known, and likely accommodate the needs of many plant species, it would be foolish of me to assume that those parameters are ideal for all plant species since all these species evolved in different habitats with different water parameters around the world.
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post #87 of 198 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Ddrizzle View Post
Thank you everyone.

As for inert substrate - what are people using?
Are you talking for replacing all the soil or something to use as proper underlay for doing a build up under soil?

For a underlay .25-.5” black lava made for fire pits is perfect.

https://www.amazon.com/American-Fire...F04X2MK3RPFWK8
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post #88 of 198 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 08:23 PM
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There is only two modes for this light. Daylight and night time. You set both of those levels first and then simply set the timer for when you want the light to come on (to daylight) and then off (to night time).
Sorry to seek clarification. So you set your daytime to 100%, night time to 30% and then you use an external timer to completely shut the light off for the real rest period? Maybe I should take a look again at the manual huh.
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post #89 of 198 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 08:59 PM
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This is exactly what my issue is/was. Would love to hear a response! My main problem is that the leaves would come out looking great but then would deteriorate when the next generation appeared. And I mean it looks EXACTLY like your pics. Are you seeing pinholes and yellowing with algae growing on the old ones if you look closely?
I think you may have misinterpreted @Seattle_Aquarist's post .. or maybe I did. His new growth was much better AFTER he moved it to a different tank. The old stunted growth was that way BEFORE he moved it. In contrast, as I read it, your old growth is just not surviving long enough for whatever reason.

Not saying this is your case, but I went through something similar back in 2014. New growth seemingly ok, but roots would rot, the melt would chase upwards to the new growth, and the plant would float free. I even suspected my substrate was bad and was mulling a replacement. It's really hard to say what resolved it. As I did not scientifically pursue it, I can only say (you're gonna kill me ) CO2, CO2, CO2... flow, flow flow, CO2 *cough* too much light *cough* Well, something like that anyway.. and maybe a few more things happened. According to what I wrote in the journal, I got a skimmer so that I could enhance my surface agitation and gas exchange and thus, push the CO2 harder. I thought I read about lack of oxygen down in the substrate causing this melt. Like you, I was just chasing anything at that point. I think @DaveKS pointed out possible flow issues and thickness of your substrate. Then, I read that happy plants are supposed to push oxygen out in the substrate via their roots too, so it's almost a vicious cycle once things go downhill. I also replaced my filtration with a canister. Was running a HOB and the flow patterns were just not optimal. Got different plants, finally cut down light and spent the next year slowly re-optimizing everything. Bigger reactors, lighting schedule changes (including adopting that timing I mentioned previously), and so on. You know what you might need to try? Get something real tough, like lobelia cardinalis was for me. See if it grows and just fill the tank with it. Get a taste of that success just to convince you that your tank CAN grow plants. It also sort of teaches you how to manage planting over time too. I'm rambling now. As @Discusluv said, the more I learn, the less I know.. Well, in this case, the less I'm sure about anything. But anyway, I DID manage to stumble out of it without replacing my substrate ...

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Originally Posted by TheLordOfTheFish View Post
Sorry hijacking this with a satellite pro plus question. How do you run it for 4h at 100% and then the rest at lower "speed?" All I can do is set a % and then do the 15 minutes warm up/sundown thing with the controller that came with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ddrizzle View Post
There is only two modes for this light. Daylight and night time. You set both of those levels first and then simply set the timer for when you want the light to come on (to daylight) and then off (to night time).
Very observant of you, @TheLordOfTheFish, to notice that wrinkle and @Ddrizzle is right, as it comes from the factory, that's all you can do. I suppose you can try to get a second unit and set it at a different light level and time it on a different cycle. Much like how the T5HO guys do it. However, because we live in the 21st century, people come up with projects like this: iAqua Lite Ecoxotic E-Series cross fading controller Of course, you may probably have trouble finding the parts that this thread refers to nowadays, but if you're savvy with this sort of stuff, it'd be no sweat to substitute what you need or even come up with something yourself based on the idea. In a nutshell, someone created an IR blaster type controller out of an arduino. Found the proper IR codes to send to the ecoxotic/satellites (minor code difference) and programmed whatever timing they want. Guys are creating new ones with raspberry pis and what not. Web driven too nowadays! I am not that savvy. I don't know what I'll do when my controller gives up. Maybe I'll have to find a new fixture that does do all that. Or bite the bullet and chase down a new project.
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post #90 of 198 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 09:19 PM
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Yea, some long standing crown plants like swords, especially if you get ones tall enough that tips emerge from water or even a Anubis lancefolia mounted to rock and give the roots time to work their way down into deep depths of that substrate would bring co2 down via roots and release oxygen as part of uptake of nutrients.

There’s a fine line between desirable anaerobic activity and a sour, putrid, stagnant lower layer of organics leeching sulfide and other noxious substances back into your water.
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