New to EI dosing and have dumb questions! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
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New to EI dosing and have dumb questions!

As the title says I am brand new to the EI concept; I have always used the various Seachem products to fertilize and done so in a very random, let’s-try-this-combo-this-week sort of way. The fact that my plants in my 29g have done fairly well (with the exception of a few red plants that have turned beige) is purely a miracle. The tank has pressurized Co2 and Evil-Complete as the substrate...oh, sorry, I meant to say Eco-Complete, ha ha. I really hate that stuff.
Anyway, I recently ordered the beginner EI ferts package from GLA. The instructions are fairly straightforward and I understand the basic concepts.
So here is dumb question number 1:
How on earth do I measure out 1/16th of a tsp.? No tiny measuring spoon is included with the package. Math was never my strong suit!
Dumb question number 2:
Since I have been using the no-rhyme-or-reason method until now, should I start the EI method immediately or do a big water change and let the plants “rest” for a while before starting with EI?
Dumb question number 3:
I am also setting up a 75g tank and this time will be using BDBS instead of Evil-Complete. This tank will also have Co2, but unlike the 29g will have good lighting: (2) AI Prime Freshwater lights. Here’s the dumb question: How long after planting/cycling should I wait to begin the EI regimen? I am planning on having lots of Glosso, some S. Repens, Corkscrew Val, Rotala Wallichii, and Rotala Super-Red.
Thanks for reading and any answers are greatly appreciated!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 07:05 PM
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First question you need to ask yourself is why are you using EI, specifically the dosing required. Is your tank volume 50% plants or more? If not, be careful with your dosing amount as full EI isnt even close to required.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 08:49 PM
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Hiya

First of the EI method is supposed to be simple but people tend to overthink things. Give plants more than they need via an estimate then reset tank with large water change. If you want good sound advice tell the forum members what kind of lights you have, mtank size and bio load (fish and plants) but to answer some questions

I have a 1/8th teaspoon so do half of that or you can go here https://rotalabutterfly.com/nutrient-calculator.php and make a solution for the dry chemical you need. I am thinking it is the k2hpo4. I dry dose my kno3 and make a solution for my k2hpo4 that way I avoid the 1/16th or 1/32 teaspoon thing.

Do a water change to reset your tank and no need for a rest period.

Question #3 I will let someone with more experience answer.


Once you understand and use EI it is very easy...and can be adjusted to your tank and tank needs which is usually dictated by your light and co2

Cheers
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 10:11 PM
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They sell sets of really small spoons at places like BB&B and online that measure 1/8, 1/16, etc. The spoons are usually a dash, pinch, smidgen (yes a smidgen) and a nip. I thnk the dash is 1/8 and the pinch is 1/16.

As far as EI it's really simple. It sounds like your going all in with co2 and lights so just dose regular guidelines. VERY IMPORTANT, run a short light cycle in the beginning 4-5 hrs and be consistent with water changes, both of these will increase your chances that algae will be controlled. It's advisable when you start up the tank to use carbon and/or purigen since the bio-filter is first developing and this will help rid the tank of excess organics. The in-organic salts you dose via EI have really very little bearing on algae, since what you want to do is PREVENT algae before it starts. The algae spores feed off ammonia, etc from decaying plant matter, fish waste, food.

Once you get a feel for the tank you can increase/decrease dosing from there. There are some plants that have been found to not do well with high dosing and high KH, but that's another discussion.


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asteroid View Post
VERY IMPORTANT, run a short light cycle in the beginning 4-5 hrs and be consistent with water changes, both of these will increase your chances that algae will be controlled. It's advisable when you start up the tank to use carbon and/or purigen since the bio-filter is first developing and this will help rid the tank of excess organics. The in-organic salts you dose via EI have really very little bearing on algae, since what you want to do is PREVENT algae before it starts. The algae spores feed off ammonia, etc from decaying plant matter, fish waste, food.
+1 to that.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-21-2019, 05:23 AM
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I geek out over scientific equipment for some reason and managed to find a really really nice Mettler Toledo balance from the early 2000s(?) (PR203) instead of doing the spoon thing. Very repeatable results from it and from what I understand that’s a nice thing if you want to really get dialed in. Not necessary though
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-21-2019, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevewb View Post
I geek out over scientific equipment for some reason and managed to find a really really nice Mettler Toledo balance from the early 2000s(?) (PR203) instead of doing the spoon thing. Very repeatable results from it and from what I understand that’s a nice thing if you want to really get dialed in. Not necessary though
If that's something your into than more power to you, but it's called 'Estimative' for a reason. It's not an exact thing. In fact from day to day the concentrations will change anyway based on uptake, plant mass, growth, water changes, etc. Even the gallons your measuring for are off based on displacement, etc.


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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-21-2019, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asteroid View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevewb View Post
I geek out over scientific equipment for some reason and managed to find a really really nice Mettler Toledo balance from the early 2000s(?) (PR203) instead of doing the spoon thing. Very repeatable results from it and from what I understand that’s a nice thing if you want to really get dialed in. Not necessary though
If that's something your into than more power to you, but it's called 'Estimative' for a reason. It's not an exact thing. In fact from day to day the concentrations will change anyway based on uptake, plant mass, growth, water changes, etc. Even the gallons your measuring for are off based on displacement, etc.
Its not necessary. Thank you for repeating what I said
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-21-2019, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by stevewb View Post
...if you want to really get dialed in...
Just letting OP know there is no "dialing in" it's a moving target and is constantly changing. I realize you said not necessary, but my post was for the benefit of OP to fully understand how things work.


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-21-2019, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asteroid View Post

Just letting OP know there is no "dialing in" it's a moving target and is constantly changing. I realize you said not necessary, but my post was for the benefit of OP to fully understand how things work.
Chasing a moving target is getting dialed in IMO. My post was just saying there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Spoons or balance
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-21-2019, 03:48 PM
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https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0778CTNYP..._t1_B002X9I4RC

drop - 1/64 tsp, smidgen - 1/32 tsp, pinch - 1/16 tsp, dash - 1/8 tsp and tad 1/4 tsp.
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