How rigidly should you follow EI? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-13-2005, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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How rigidly should you follow EI?

I do understand the EI dosing method (mostly). I understand that you don't need to do much testing, and that tests are notoriously inacurate. However, I did a 50% wc on last Saturday, dosed my usual 1/2tsp NO3 etc, and the nitrates have read 7-9 25ppm, 7-10 25ppm, 7-11 20ppm, 7-12 20ppm, and today between 10-20 (couldn't quite tell exactly). I have not dosed any macros since 7-9.

In light of these readings, should I have been dosing NO3 every other day?

Last edited by mikey; 07-13-2005 at 06:17 PM.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-14-2005, 04:42 AM
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Hi Mikey, If I understand your readings correctly you dosed the 1/2 tea. of no3 at the beginning of the week correct. If so, and your plants are growing fine then that's good. Just remember they need some po4, K, and micros.

Also the plant uptake depends on the amount and type of plants you have. Along with the lighting and co2. As well as how much of that light your plant mass is actually getting (shade from taller plants). If you are lacking some other nutrient that can slow or stop uptake.

Some people version of heavily planted is different than others.

ask yourself, If you had a tank planted wall to wall with R. indica or hygro, and one planted full of anubias which would use more nutrients.

I have around 3.3watt per and 40+ppm co2. I add 1/2 teas. of no3 and try to keep K around 20 and po4 anywhere from 2-3. My no3 is around 15-20 and I only add about a 1/8 or 1/4 more during the week. But, I top off 4 gallons worth during the week and my tap has 10ppm no3.

I have great growth on just about anything I have tried.

Also if I am going to do a major trimming I let the nutrients lower alittle before I actually trim. (Less plant load.)

Also fish waste and fish food add to the water column so you are probably adding and using more than your test kit shows.

Most importantly everyone's tank is going to be slightly different. That 10:1 ratio is a good starting point but some will find their tank to use nutrients differently.

Finally I think your uptake seems normal but I dont know everything about your tank.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-14-2005, 12:08 PM
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You're doing fine. Why would you dose more if your levels don't drop below 10-20 as you mentioned? If you wanted to dose more often, you could dose 1/4tsp twice a week instead of your typical 1/2tsp once a week. Your nitrates are fine. As cprroy mentioned, uptake is dependent on a multiplicity of things.

I assume you're dosing PO4 and K as well as micros.

What you don't mention is how your plants are doing? If all's well, don't worry about it!

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-14-2005, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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thanks guys.

No comparisons for bioload. 2 cories, 1 skunk loach, 1 2" krib. 1 Crypt wendtii, 1 annubius (4leaves) and about 40-50 stems. They all look passable. The growth is slower than what I have "guessed" it should be. Bacopa Carolinia for instance grows about 1" per week. Crypt has filled out nicely going from 4" to 7" over the first month. Tank just starting its 6th week of existance.

CO2 fluctuates 35-50
ph rock solid at 6.6
kh between 3.5 - 7 (eco complete issue I beleive)
NO3 between 5 - 20
PO4 1.5 - 2 (from the tap)
Dose 1/32 K2SO4 TBS twice a week (can't measure in tank)
Excel 2.5ml 2x week
weekly wc 50-60%

Does it seem that things are on track? Should I be getting 3 or 4" growth on the stem plants every week. That is what I initially thought but I must be wrong.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-14-2005, 03:08 PM
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From what you describe, you're ok. Bacopa is not one of the faster growing stems. For me it grew at about the same rate. Bottom line is, are the plants healthy, and/or do you have algae? If your answers are yes and no, you're there. Some folks have stem plants which they have to prune weekly. Me, I'd rather enjoy watching my tanks than having to spend time every water change pruning something or other.

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