Thanks guys and yes, I was beginning to notice the one-way conversation taking place.
I don't even have test kits for Ca, Mg, Fe, PO4, K.
I didn't notice my No3 levels being low because I was dosing Ei specs for a 55g tank and so assumed they didn't need checking. Turns out that was an oversight of laziness on my part. I would assume my test kits were wrong, and they may be, but the calculators still support my findings, both Chuck's and the Fertilator show my levels to be low based on what I'm adding.
Tom said the Ei recommendations were a good starting point and that once people got a feel for things they could adapt it as their tanks needed. He's mentioned that to me more than once and I always assumed it was something academic, for those interested in tinkering, and that he thought I'd have fun with it. Turns out it was exactly the advice I needed, I just wasn't willing to hear it. This experience has shown me that, if ignored, it can become a necessity. I think that's as aspect of Ei that many people forget, or choose to forget. I've learned that even though others have been helpful in providing a standard fertilization routine, it can only be a standard. It keeps us from having to start from square one but we still have to think for ourselves.
I'm going to stop being so lazy and start accepting responsibility for my own tank. I suppose there really is no magic bullet in any of this, just good guidelines to go by until we're ready and able to help ourselves a little.
DarkCobra, that's another thing I had heard and chosen to forget. I can spot treat sections to test for effectiveness. It really would be a better alternative to treating everything in the tank, a little. If I decide to try Excel I'll use this method.
BSS, you're right and once I start upping my Macros it will make a micro deficiency more likely. I'll see what happens. And my tested No3 levels used to be bigger before the light upgrade. Apparently less was getting used up and so the surplus was growing steadily dose after dose up till the 50% water changes. Now, if I don't do it right, it shows
There are no more false positives.
**To be fair to Ei, I just realized that Ei recommends 1/4 tsp per 20g. I was dosing 2/4 when, in fact, I should have been dosing closer to 3/4 for a tank my size. That still may have underdosed me according to the calculators, but it would not have underdosed me as much. I may have been dosing 33% less than what Ei recommends. I guess it depends on if you're talking about tank size by name or tank size by actual interior volume. I'm still gonna up it to 1tsp because that gets me to the ppm targets I'm shooting for.
Light acts like a microscope. It makes little problems much bigger.