Est. Index Question - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-12-2005, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Est. Index Question

When dosing according to the Estimative Index method, how important is it to know tap water parameters with regards to NO3 and PO4? In the begining I was very meticulous about finding the NO3/PO4 tap levels via test kits and the city's water department reports, then doing the math to get ~exactly~ 10ppm NO3 and 1ppm P04. This is what I came up with:

Tap Parameters
NO3 ..... 4.73
PO4 ..... 0.45

Stock Solutions
NO3 ..... 2.16ppm/ml
PO4 ..... 0.15ppm/ml

4.73 + (2.4ml @ 2.16ppm/ml) = 10ppm NO3
0.45 + (3.6ml @ 0.15ppm/ml) = 1ppm PO4

Too involved?? I wasn't using the EI method for dosing and things did just alright...nothing spectacular. Algae wasn't that big of a problem, but there was still more than I would have liked. Since I am now going to be using the EI method for the restart of the tank, should I simply disregard the tap numbers, assume they are zero, and dose accordingly? This seems to make sense because the EI method states that overdosing is not a problem so long as all nutrients needed are available. This would certainly simplify things. TIA

- Erik
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-12-2005, 10:14 PM
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Too involved?... yeah

It is always nice to know the source water param's one is using,
No more than the N03/P04 in you're source water, is not enough to worry about, dose a set amount to a known volume of water based on plant mass, bio load and you're set, as time goes and you get better at reading the plants, you can adjust this or that, it is really very simple once you get it,
Sound's like you are well on you're way.


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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-13-2005, 03:47 AM
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Unless you plan on testing each time you do a water change, the levels will and do change as far as the tap water's source.

The entire notion of the EI method is to get away from testing, and focus on growing the plants and doing aquascaping.

Few of us got into this hobby to test.
I have not met anyone yet that claims to have.

EI assume max light/uptake rates for the dosing, this way you will never run out of a nutrient.

The large frequent 50% water changes prevent anything from building up over 2x the weekly dosing.

So you can easily maintain a range of nutrient levels which is more more realistic in practice and practical and much larger target to hit than 1ppm variation of NO3.

No hobby test kits have that resolution anyway.

Is there a differenc ein plant growth of 10ppm NO3 vs 20ppm or vs 15ppm?

I think you'd have a tough time showing this and then implementing it without a dosing pump that is highly accurate(around 100$+ each).

I have them, but I do not find any significant difference nor gain, they are nice if I leave for a week or two though.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-13-2005, 04:31 AM
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I want to make sure I understand the EI principle. During my weekly 50% water change and two or three times thereafter, I'm adding enough potasium biphosphate to put my nitrate:phosphate ratio closer to 10:1. Enough muriate of potash is also added to raise the potassium level several ppm. I started this to get rid if pinholes in the leaves and my plants are looking better. I also include some traces, but, those alone did not cure the problem. Although my potassium concentrations are probably considered low, is this all there is to dosing by the EI method? Get an idea of what you are putting in the tank, watch your plants and make a decision on the dose after a while?

Andrew, MASI Treasurer

This message is always under construction: 75-gallon tank; 2, Eheim 2026 filters - one twice broken; Tek Light with 4, 54W T5s (6000K) ; Sand on top of 4:1 sand:clay mixture; Milwaukee CO2 controller; PlantGuild vortex CO2 reactor; pH = 6.6, kH=70mg/l, GH=120mg/l; EI; Flourish excel on 50% weekly water change: AGA Member.
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