Oh EI Dosing, how you frustrate me.... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-07-2011, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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Oh EI Dosing, how you frustrate me....

What should be the simple way of dosing is not being so. I am running pressurized CO2 on my 75 gallon tank with an inline reactor. I keep my pH at 6.5 with my non injected water at 7.6 My drop checker goes green at around 6.8-6.5. My lighting is a quad 48 inch T5HO lighting that just recently got switched to only two bulbs, as I have spot algae everywhere, with a photo period of ten hours.

So I started dosing KNO3, K2SO4, KH2PO4, and Trace.
I went with the schedule of 50% Water change and Macros, Micros, Macros, Micros, Macros,Micro, day off. That is the seven days of the week.
KNO3: 3/4 tsp
K2SO4: 3/16
KH2PO4: 3/16
Micros: 3/16
As per the recommendations given in the regimen sticky for tanks 60-80 gallons. Anyway, I tested my nitrates and phosphates after three doses and they were 40-60ppm and 2+ppm, respectively. Did the 50 percent water change and then switched to only dosing 1/2 tsp KNO3. I did one more dose of that and the next day I checked my nitrates and they were the same as before roughly 40-60 ppm and my phosphates were at about 2.
I went ahead and dosed micros the next day, then checked nitrates the following day, still like 40ppm so I didn't dose macros. The day after THAT (today), still like 40 ppm on the Nitrates.

EDIT: Totally forgot, the only thing that I can think of is I do not use a gh booster and I know that my water is relatively soft. Don't know exactly what the levels are as I don't have the test, but I could find out if that was super pertinent.

What is the deal with my Nitrates not being consumed. I have a great deal of hygro carymbosa, cabomba, cryptocorene wendtii, banana plants, jungle val, bacopa, and a few others. Look at the pic in my profile, the tank is heavily planted! Should I just shoot for smaller a smaller dosing regiment or does something need to be fixed.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-07-2011, 11:21 PM
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I don't need to dose nitrates in my tank. My plecos dose them for me. I have similar plant density too. The only way I keep my nitrates in check is with daily 5 gallon water change/pleco poop vacuuming.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-07-2011, 11:23 PM
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Testing is not part of it.

Test kits need and require calibration to confirm that they are indeed correct or not, which is often the case(incorrect).

These are issues not with EI, rather trying to take a simple thing and make it more complex, we humans seem quite good at this.

There's also a lack of GH booster included there.
Mg and Ca are part of this and GH booster replaces K2SO4.
I do not think I've suggested K2SO4 for a very long time, many years in fact.

So the test kit measurements are guesses, till........you.....calibrate, not good enough guesses do not count, they are still and shall remain nothing more than a guess.

Come on lucky 7.

See "reference standards for NO3 and PO4".
A couple of stickies or threads to this effect here.




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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-07-2011, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
Testing is not part of it.

Test kits need and require calibration to confirm that they are indeed correct or not, which is often the case(incorrect).

These are issues not with EI, rather trying to take a simple thing and make it more complex, we humans seem quite good at this.

There's also a lack of GH booster included there.
Mg and Ca are part of this and GH booster replaces K2SO4.
I do not think I've suggested K2SO4 for a very long time, many years in fact.

So the test kit measurements are guesses, till........you.....calibrate, not good enough guesses do not count, they are still and shall remain nothing more than a guess.

Come on lucky 7.

See "reference standards for NO3 and PO4".
A couple of stickies or threads to this effect here.
Thanks Tom,
So do you think I should just follow through with the recommended dosage? Perhaps the next level down. Now that I think of it, a stocked and furnished 75 gallon tank probably only has at the most like 60 gallons of water right?
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 01:09 AM
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I went through the same thing recently. My nitrates were in the same range 40-60ppm at the end of the week. I cut down on kno3 dosing to only once a week and I haven't seen any ill effects but I do have a heavy bio-load in my tanks. I have had to increase potassium dosing though due to less from kno3.

You can be flexible with EI. If you want to cut back on N then give it a try.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 03:39 AM
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One of the basic tenets behind EI dosing is that you can let the concentration of nitrates, phosphates, potassium etc. go a lot higher than the dosages will get you to, and no harm is done. Since it does no harm to have 60 ppm of nitrates, for example, it does no good to test nitrates, etc. Back in the Dark Ages of planted tanks, when everyone was convinced that algae were caused by having too much nutrients in the tank, testing was considered essential or algae would eat you up. Now we know that isn't a problem, and algae are not caused by excessive nutrients. So, there is no reason to complicate EI dosing by worrying about or testing for high nutrient levels.

If you have adequate light, and adequate CO2, the EI doses won't cause a big build up of nutrients anyway. What build up there is is taken care of with big water changes.

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 03:51 AM Thread Starter
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One of the basic tenets behind EI dosing is that you can let the concentration of nitrates, phosphates, potassium etc. go a lot higher than the dosages will get you to, and no harm is done. Since it does no harm to have 60 ppm of nitrates, for example, it does no good to test nitrates, etc. Back in the Dark Ages of planted tanks, when everyone was convinced that algae were caused by having too much nutrients in the tank, testing was considered essential or algae would eat you up. Now we know that isn't a problem, and algae are not caused by excessive nutrients. So, there is no reason to complicate EI dosing by worrying about or testing for high nutrient levels.

If you have adequate light, and adequate CO2, the EI doses won't cause a big build up of nutrients anyway. What build up there is is taken care of with big water changes.
I understand all that and algae is not my concern at all but rather potential harm from too high of nitrate with my fish. I just don't know if I could be mis-dosing for some reason, I.e. lack of gh booster or because I may not have enough water to be dosing at the regiment I currently am
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 04:14 AM
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nitrates in my 29 gallon are always in that range or higher and I don't dose any nitrogen or phosphorous, just potassium/micros on alternating days and iron daily, no algea in months of doing this..

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 04:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Higher Thinking View Post
Thanks Tom,
So do you think I should just follow through with the recommended dosage? Perhaps the next level down. Now that I think of it, a stocked and furnished 75 gallon tank probably only has at the most like 60 gallons of water right?
Well, you can look at the tap water report, estimate their NO3's and then do larger water changes and see.

I have not tested NO3 in years now.

And yet so called rare sensitive shrimps and fish breed routinely and well.
Plants? Do you see how much weeds I sell?

You can watch the plants and simply adjust the dosing slowly and progressively over time. Once you see a negative response you bump back up to the last highest dosing.

Thus the plants are the test kit, not some test kit reading.
This is ultimately what we want to know anyhow.
Most dose more than the critical demand point, but that's fine too.




Regards,
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 04:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
One of the basic tenets behind EI dosing is that you can let the concentration of nitrates, phosphates, potassium etc. go a lot higher than the dosages will get you to, and no harm is done. Since it does no harm to have 60 ppm of nitrates, for example, it does no good to test nitrates, etc. Back in the Dark Ages of planted tanks, when everyone was convinced that algae were caused by having too much nutrients in the tank, testing was considered essential or algae would eat you up. Now we know that isn't a problem, and algae are not caused by excessive nutrients. So, there is no reason to complicate EI dosing by worrying about or testing for high nutrient levels.

If you have adequate light, and adequate CO2, the EI doses won't cause a big build up of nutrients anyway. What build up there is is taken care of with big water changes.
It is still the dark ages since folks still feel higher ppm's = something bad.
They moved from algae myths and fears to fish.........this too was falsified.

Next up...........was water changes, you must do more etc and waste etc. We will just ignore all the high light advice though, that must be good(even though in my 15+ years I do not advocate it)
Then it was Discus only.........then shrimps, then only certainhigh grade shrimps, and now only very certain high high high supper high grade shrimps from one guy in Hong Kong.

Good grief.

End the speculation and some some real evidence please before stating it as some fact. If folks do not know, just say so.

That's okay to state that, we know much less than we do not know after all.
This I know, if you know what I mean.




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Higher Thinking View Post
I understand all that and algae is not my concern at all but rather potential harm from too high of nitrate with my fish. I just don't know if I could be mis-dosing for some reason, I.e. lack of gh booster or because I may not have enough water to be dosing at the regiment I currently am
So how much is harmful? What effects would you expect to see?
What would you test to answer these questions? Should we use fish waste and the end product of that process to determine these ranges or should be use KNO3?

Sadly, few can answer this question, but I've yet to hear of a single documented case where a hobbyists has killed their livestock with KNO3.

NH4? Yes.
CO2, dang near weekly.

Where is the real risk?

Can folks measure CO2 accurate and precisely to say under +/-1ppm?

EI is the least of the issues.
Dosing is relatively easy, boring even.......
If you make any mistakes, do a water change and dose thereafter, factory reset. Simple, any and every aquarist is very familiar with a simple water change.
In general, just watch the plants, adjust the CO2 Very slow and in small amounts and watch and observe the plants, provide good current etc.
Many start off with too much light, poor circulation.

This kills many many many fish in this hobby.
They gas them with CO2 and poorly manage that, and then do not add enough O2 even for a non CO2 enriched aquarium.

Poor fish.

I have no issue with test kits if they are used correctly, they can be useful tools, but few want to use them all the time and really trust the ppm's anyway. I did not get into the hobby to run NO3 test.
Water changes I can rationalize a lot more and it allows me to get in and work on the tank, clean things etc.




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 06:09 PM
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Tom, I saw you wrote about proper O2 for fish in the last post. What would be the best way? Like I inject co2, so would a surface ripple be enough, just surface movement, or some sort of very tiny splashing from spray bar at surface. Does this gas off a lot of our co2 or does it not gas off a noticeable amount. Just very curious about the O2 factor in our tanks. Thanks


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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 06:20 PM
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Idk about Tom, I run my co2 24/7 since it's a paintball setup, so I run a small $2 airstone 24/7 as well, usually sitting behind the spray bar but it doesn't really matter where just as long as o2 is getting in the water. This way I can keep the co2 away from the surface and towards my plants/tank.

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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Tom Barr,
Thanks alot for all your insight. I appreciate it and will certainly apply it to my dosing with confidence. You're definitely right thought about this process being boring even in that it should not require too much effort. Thanks for all the help!
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 04:25 AM
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Originally Posted by PRSRocker3390 View Post
Tom, I saw you wrote about proper O2 for fish in the last post. What would be the best way? Like I inject co2, so would a surface ripple be enough, just surface movement, or some sort of very tiny splashing from spray bar at surface. Does this gas off a lot of our co2 or does it not gas off a noticeable amount. Just very curious about the O2 factor in our tanks. Thanks
Hoppy suggested a rule of thumb: just enough current to not quite break the surface and form aeration. This seems like a dandy description to me.


Fish respiration is the ratio of O2: CO2, it's BOTH, not just CO2 (which most of the advice suggest). This is a good balance between not degassing CO2 and adding plenty of O2 for fish.

I measure with a data logger every 15 min for O2 is 5 of my tanks, some with CO2 and others without, some with canister filters, others with Wet/drys. It's pretty telling.




Regards,
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