Why do I need dirt to go with EI? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-18-2013, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
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Why do I need dirt to go with EI?

Now, I have three planted, dirted tanks right now. I've had plants that grew magnificently in just sand in a previous tank.

If I'm going to be following an EI dosing schedule, why do I even need dirt?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-18-2013, 11:33 PM
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You don't, I think you will just be giving your plants the full fertilizer treatment (water column or through root system). Where did you get the impression that dirt was required for EI?

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 01:06 AM
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Originally Posted by canlax View Post
You don't, I think you will just be giving your plants the full fertilizer treatment (water column or through root system). Where did you get the impression that dirt was required for EI?

+1 you are definitely going to provide a nice place for roots to take up nutrients from, but it's not an absolute MUST for growing a nice healthy bunch of plants.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 07:40 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by canlax View Post
You don't, I think you will just be giving your plants the full fertilizer treatment (water column or through root system). Where did you get the impression that dirt was required for EI?
I suppose I mislabeled the title. I'm just looking for a convincing argument for dirt in the presence of EI dosing. I do EI dose my dirted tanks, but I'm not really sure why, honestly.

My loaches and cories (and platys) love to kick up the sand, and even with a thick 2" sand bed, they manage to still dig down to the dirt and muddy up the whole tank. I'm really just looking to prevent that.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 03:51 PM
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So your asking if you can eliminate the dirt completely and still use EI?

Sure, go for it.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silock View Post
Now, I have three planted, dirted tanks right now. I've had plants that grew magnificently in just sand in a previous tank.

If I'm going to be following an EI dosing schedule, why do I even need dirt?
You need to reorganize your thoughts and come again..lol!


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 04:53 PM
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EI is most commonly used with higher energy tank's where lighting has been upgraded and CO2 is added which creates more demand from the plant's for nutrient's or that's my take on it.(EI ensure's plant's are not lacking in nutrient's)
Can use scaled back version of EI for low tech, but maybe add daily amount for your size tank, once a week or two.
Plant's that can draw nutrient's from both substrate,and water column, have best of both world's.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Xalyx View Post
So your asking if you can eliminate the dirt completely and still use EI?

Sure, go for it.
Not exactly. Of course I could DO it, but what I'm wondering about is its efficacy.

I don't see a big difference in my high tech tank when I dose EI or not, so I'm wondering if it works the other way around.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 03:16 AM
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I would suggest doing both water column AND the sediment as sources for ferts.

Both make the likelihood of either location running out of anything much more difficult. The soil will last longer and the water column will have a back up.

In other words, they work together synergistically.
Then you can focus on other things, like CO2 and light gardening etc.

You can sort of do one location o the other, but they leach into the other location's zones no matter what, so you sort of are doing it no matter what.
May as well go whole hog.

It'll only make the dosing method more robust.




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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 03:27 AM
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You don't need dirt... but you definitely need good root tabs or AquaSoil.


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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by ThatGuyWithTheFish View Post
You don't need dirt... but you definitely need good root tabs or AquaSoil.
You don't definitely need root tabs or aquasoil. Having a good supply of nutrients in the substrate and in the water is a good idea, but people grow aquatic plants with just nutrients in the water, and others with just nutrients in the substrate. The more light you have the more critical it is to be sure to have enough available nutrients to meet all of the needs of the plants. With low light some people do ok with just the fish providing the nutrients. But, the plants will find the nutrients which ever place they are. (Floating plants, of course, can't get nutrients directly from the substrate, but nutrients will leach out of the substrate, so they can still do ok.)

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 07:42 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
You don't definitely need root tabs or aquasoil. Having a good supply of nutrients in the substrate and in the water is a good idea, but people grow aquatic plants with just nutrients in the water, and others with just nutrients in the substrate. The more light you have the more critical it is to be sure to have enough available nutrients to meet all of the needs of the plants. With low light some people do ok with just the fish providing the nutrients. But, the plants will find the nutrients which ever place they are. (Floating plants, of course, can't get nutrients directly from the substrate, but nutrients will leach out of the substrate, so they can still do ok.)
The real question I have, then, is how WELL do these plants grow with just nutrients in the water?
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