I don't get EI method - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-29-2005, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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Question I don't get EI method

I have been reading through various boards around the net and this whole "don't test your water" thing makes absolutely zero sense to me. Why on earth would you NOT test your water? How on earth do you know what your levels are if you're not testing?

This seems like very bad advice ???
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-29-2005, 12:28 PM
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Until you have your program set, you do test your water. Once it is set, you will see very little variation in your nutrient parameters rendering it pointless to test so often. I will test once a month because I am fairly new to this, but for people who have been doing it a long time know what they are adding. Lets say you do overdose, the program involves a 50-70% water change weekly which basically resets all parameters. It has been a great program for me and many others. It keeps things simple stupid (in my mind at least) and algae free.

Brian
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-29-2005, 01:40 PM
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As Brian said, you want to do some testing when you first start to see how much your plants consume under the lighting/fish load/feeding pattern you establish in your tank. Then you basically follow the routine weekly. It's better to have more nutrients than they need than to bottom out on anything. Once you bottom out, then the algae will kick in. I use it, and it works great for me.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-05-2005, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue
I have been reading through various boards around the net and this whole "don't test your water" thing makes absolutely zero sense to me. Why on earth would you NOT test your water? How on earth do you know what your levels are if you're not testing?

This seems like very bad advice ???
Seems and is are two entirely different things.
If you look at the math, the most you possibly build up in the dosing routine adding a certain amount ppm of say NO3 per week is 2x the dosing amount.

Suppose you dose 10ppm of NO3 total to a tank per week. Assume you do a 50% weekly water change. If you do the math, you find out that:

If you assume that NONE of it is used up, you can build up a maxiumum of 20 PPM

If you assume that 25%of it is used up, you can build up a maxiumum of 16 PPM

If you assume that 50%of it is used up, you can build up a maxiumum of 13.3 PPM

If you assume that 75%of it is used up, you can build up a maxiumum of 11.4 PPM

The concentration will not be 15ppm with 25% weekly uptake because of the previous week’s build up if factored into the equation.


Basically what occurs is a range of 10-20ppm is maitained without using a test kit.

You can use an accurate test kit and measure these same ranges and numbers for additional verification(which I did long before seeing mathmatical relationship but knew it works and kept the levels from climbing based on the curves.

Most get into this hobby to grow weeds, not to test water..which is not much of hobby really from what I understand........

I tersted a great deal and still do in some areas, but as far as a routine thing to set your ppm ranges, I fine that testing is a poor method that cost more and requires more skills for the aquarist and is not a needed routined.

You arer welcomed to disagree, and vouch for 4-10$ cheapy test kit accuracy, but they are no better than estimating the ppm ranges empirically and dosing the inorganic salts like KNO3 provides bioavilable N, wereas test kits measure both organic and inorganic fractions, often the organic fraction is not biolavailable to the plants(and available to algae and a source of NH4)as is the case with higher fish loads.

NO3 derived from fish waste is not the same as NO3 derived from KNO3.

While at first glance it seems simple, there is more to it and what we assume about the dosing/testing.


Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-06-2005, 04:23 AM
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Trust Tom. This method works. And when using bulk ferts it is cheap.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-07-2005, 09:26 AM
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Well, you can always try it, make sure the CO2 is good, and then do a water change if you want to remove it.

Simple enough.

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Tom Barr



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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-09-2005, 04:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain
.......Suppose you dose 10ppm of NO3 total to a tank per week. Assume you do a 50% weekly water change. If you do the math, you find out that:

If you assume that NONE of it is used up, you can build up a maxiumum of 20 PPM.........
For those that do not want to do the math and perfer pictures, please observe that you reach a stable concentration equal to twice whatever you are adding after a few weeks.

Andrew, MASI Treasurer

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Last edited by g8wayg8r; 11-06-2006 at 01:39 AM.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-10-2005, 01:41 AM
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I have several of these model graphs with the assumption of 0, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of the dose being used up.
It's in the EI article since a few days ago.
This is a typical log curve, it never quite approaches 2x but goes out infinitely.

Many assumed it's a linear relationship.

I am making a dosing type calculator to describe and predict these ppm ranges based on time/% water changes/dosing amount and dosing frequency.

.......so if someone want to know theoretically what they want to dose minus the uptake of the plants, they can target that without a test kit and the only main variation will be the plant uptake.

This will allow excellent predictions and modeling of uptake rates and build up.
I should be able to have the program pump out a graph for each build up level and minimal target range.

The max/min range will allow you to maintain the stable range and be able to change the water change % to suit whatever acceptable limits you want to place of the nutrients.

Regards,
Tom Barr



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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-10-2005, 01:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g8wayg8r
For those that do not want to do the math and perfer pictures, please observe that you reach a stable concentration equal to twice whatever you are adding after a few weeks.
Yep, that's based a weekly dosing amount and a 50% weekly water change.
The build up and max/min levels change if you change those variables.

thanks........

I want to make a dosing type calculator that adjust for differences in % water change, and frequency of water changes for a given dosing weekly/daily/monthly/hourly amout.

Regards,
Tom Barr



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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-10-2005, 01:57 AM
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I'd love to see that, Tom!

Would be neat to have a way to plug in your parameters before you attempt EI and have the program provide you with a dosing regime as well.

You'd be loved by millions! Well, millions more!

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-10-2005, 02:18 AM
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And us too

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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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-10-2005, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momotaro
I'd love to see that, Tom!

Would be neat to have a way to plug in your parameters before you attempt EI and have the program provide you with a dosing regime as well.

You'd be loved by millions! Well, millions more!

Mike
Yes, I think many feel that EI is a bit too free and wild, too loose perhaps, without the test kits...............................

So this would add a known range and still not need a test kit to do this!

A predictive moidel is also a very useful tool to play with, but not the associated risk.

I will put an algae predictor in there as well................so low NO3 ranges will => BGA etc, low CO2=> BBA, low PO4=> Green spot and so on.

This would allow folks to see what the system can handle.

I'm still brain storming about it but I took an ecological math based modeling course at UCSB several years ago and we did some whole level modeling of ecosystems with Roger Nisbit.

He and Endler(the one the fish are named after) work in the stat's math side of the Biology dept there and Roger is a well know author of ecological modeling as well.

regards,
Tom Barr



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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-10-2005, 07:27 PM
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Once written, it should be fairly easy to add and change parameters to the system.

We can add things like non CO2 systesm as well.

It's more involved than a calculator and far more powerful a utility.
But it's not that much more difficult to accomplish.

I know the data and graphs and typically hand draw the grapghs(it's rather easy for me), but plotting them is not an issue either nor having the program run the models on out for you.

Regards,
Tom Barr



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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-10-2005, 09:41 PM
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For me, understanding the principle of EI is simple. That hard part is coming up with how many ml to add to get to a known amount in ppm. For example, someone told me that 7ml of NO3 will get me 5ppm per 10 gallons. That means for my 75 if I had zero NO3, I would have to dose somewhere around 150ml NO3 minus whatever the system makes for me. That seems awfully high, but could still be accurate.
NO3 = 15to 20ppm target (157ml - current NO3 level to start?)
K = 15 to 20ppm target (can't test, so 157ml to start?)
PO4 = 2ppm target (11.25ml to start?)
Traces = (follow recommendations on the bottle?)

I'm sure this info is printed somewhere already, because people talk about it.
-Aphyosemion

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I am an expert on algae, so ask me if you have questions. I know how to grow it, just not how to get rid of it.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-10-2005, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
That hard part is coming up with how many ml to add to get to a known amount in ppm.
That is it exactly, I think.

I really believe many folks can understand the basic principal behind the method, the problem comes in figuring out the actual action.

Matching the elements and amounts that need to be added in accordance with one's existing water parameters is what is a bit intimidating about the EI method.

Mike

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