planning a first try at EI dry dosing - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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planning a first try at EI dry dosing

Hello all -

I'm thinking it's time to switch from liquid ferts to dry dosing using EI. I want to start off with the basic 3 NPK + Plantex.

I was looking at this product at aquariumfertilizer.com which seems to offer an easy way to get started. But, I'm trying to make sure that's it's what I need to get started.

It has:

Potassium Nitrate
Potassium Sulfate
Magnesium Sulfate
Plantex CSM+B

I understand that the Plantex provides the micros, so that's simple enough. But based on the idea that you need all three of N, P, and K - do the above ingredients match that?

I think potassium nitrate would be the N, but what about the others? It looks like there are different ways to get each of those macros like KH2P04 for phosphate is referenced on some websites for the P - is one of the above ingredients a match for that?

I'm no chemist, as you can tell

thanks, Dave



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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 04:59 PM
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I'm no fert specialist, but at least I've got a little chemistry background...

Nitrogen is N
Potassium is K
Phosphorus is P
Nitrate is NO3
Sulfate is SO4

Potassium Nitrate - KNO3
Potassium Sulfate - K2SO4
Magnesium Sulfate - MgSO4

You're missing phosphorus in there (P)
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 05:11 PM
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I'm not sure what the deal with the MgSO4 (magnesium sulfate) is. That's generally included in GH Booster, and will help increase water hardness. It can also be bought as epsom salt, by the way. You're missing the "P", which is what you noted - the KH2PO4 (monopotassium phosphate). If anything, you might be able to do without the K2SO4 (potassium sulfate), because potassium is included in the KH2PO4 ("P") and KNO3 (potassium nitrate, "N"). GLA has a package that includes the basic NPK+Trace, or you can buy separately. If you want a basic package, just make sure it includes:

KNO3
KH2PO4
K2SO4
CSM+B

When you buy it, be aware that basic EI dosing calls for using pretty much equal amounts of the last 3 on the list, but 4 times as much KNO3 as each of the others. Keep that in mind when deciding what ratios to buy them in. You will likely tweak the quantities over time, but that's the basic starting point.

Side note: Sometimes GH Booster is substituted for K2SO4. GH Booster has some K2SO4 in it along with other water hardeners (calcium, magnesium, manganese).
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 05:12 PM
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I wouldn't do the mgSO4. I would get some KH2P04 instead. Dave if you want a sample bag of all the EI fertz you would need i can give you a months worth on wed when we measure the par on my LED fixture. You can try it out and see if you like it before you buy it if you like.


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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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I'm hoping to first identify what ferts I need to buy by taking advantage of the excellent advice on this forum. Then, ask a few questions about how much to dose for starters based on my tank size/parameters, then order everything and give it a go for a few weeks.

So, this information is really helpful. Based on the above, I how about ordering the following 4 items for starters?

1. Potassium Nitrate - KNO3

2. Potassium Sulfate - K2SO4

3. Mono Potassium Phosphate - KH2PO4

4. Plantex CSM + Boron



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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 05:25 PM
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yup that's the list i got. You might want to check mgamer he has a site called http://www.bobstropicalplants.com/ he's a vender on this site. I believe his prices are the best. Even better than Aquarium fertz.


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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 05:56 PM
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Sean is a powder pusher lol, he is the one that talked me into starting EI dosing too! lol Dave, once you start EI, and get in a rythem you will not turn back. I was using PPS for a long time before switching, and it is a much easier, and in my opinion much better system than PPS

I have four small glass bottles and various measuring spoons that I purchased at Bed Bath and beyond, the smaller spoons IE 1/16 and 1/32 are also called "Pinch"(1/16) and "smidgen"(1/32) I just pop the top off, take the correct spoon (which is written in erasable marker on the bottle) and drop it in the tank. If you need to, since you travel often, Grab the medicine separators that list the days, drop the ferts in there and leave them for whomever is going to take care of your tank. They just pick the day, and dump the mix in.


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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 05:59 PM
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Welcome to the Dark Side, Dave.

You may wish to supplement iron along with the other micros.

Snail Glades,
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noahma View Post
Sean is a powder pusher lol, he is the one that talked me into starting EI dosing too! lol Dave, once you start EI, and get in a rythem you will not turn back. I was using PPS for a long time before switching, and it is a much easier, and in my opinion much better system than PPS

I have four small glass bottles and various measuring spoons that I purchased at Bed Bath and beyond, the smaller spoons IE 1/16 and 1/32 are also called "Pinch"(1/16) and "smidgen"(1/32) I just pop the top off, take the correct spoon (which is written in erasable marker on the bottle) and drop it in the tank. If you need to, since you travel often, Grab the medicine separators that list the days, drop the ferts in there and leave them for whomever is going to take care of your tank. They just pick the day, and dump the mix in.

HAHAHAhahahaah...................gotta love that powder. I think i convinced dave to try it out to the first time he came over to measure the par of my tank.


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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 06:12 PM
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KNO3 is also both N & K

Steve


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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainer View Post
Welcome to the Dark Side, Dave.

You may wish to supplement iron along with the other micros.
I've seen references to this all around. How do I decide if I should add iron to this dosing regimen from the get-go or wait and see how things go?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockhoe14er View Post
HAHAHAhahahaah...................gotta love that powder. I think i convinced dave to try it out to the first time he came over to measure the par of my tank.
Yea I was pretty impressed with your HC carpet! The HC you gave me, by the way , has tripled in size (area covered) and is slowly but surely growing along the driftwood - awesome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioaficionado View Post
KNO3 is also both N & P
This is also something I'm seeing a lot - that there are overlaps in the different parts. It is worth discussing this kind of thing, or would it be best to just stick with the plan and not be concerned?

It seems like with EI, I am more concerned with making sure that there isn't a deficiency or limited factor as opposed to worrying about if there is a bit more of something than I need.



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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioaficionado View Post
KNO3 is also both N & P
Don't you mean N and K?

Snail Glades,
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioaficionado View Post
KNO3 is also both N & P
KNO3 is K (potassium) and N or nitrate (nitrogen). P is phosphate and is not included in KNO3.

Hope this helps

Dave

Wishing I had a pithy quote
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave-H View Post
I've seen references to this all around. How do I decide if I should add iron to this dosing regimen from the get-go or wait and see how things go?
There's a calculator mentioned in one of the stickies here or on the Barr Report but I haven't tracked it down yet. I have some iron-hungry red plants and a nearly full bottle of Seachem Iron, so...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave-H View Post
This is also something I'm seeing a lot - that there are overlaps in the different parts. It is worth discussing this kind of thing, or would it be best to just stick with the plan and not be concerned?
If you need to keep your N ranges lower than standard EI, it could be good to know how it affects your other nutrients, I guess.

Snail Glades,
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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I wasn't able to get much from either of those answers



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