Newbie/Mental with EI - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Question Newbie/Mental with EI

I need someone to hold my hand and tell me whether or not I'm completely missing something here. I believe I understand EI, but I'd like to make sure before dumping things into my tank. I've read the stickies here, watched everyone talk about it, read the Tom Barr report. I understand the concept of EI and now that I am making some plans to really get serious with my tank, it's time to dose like a big kid. Hopefully I'm not as deer-in-headlights as I feel.

So, my tank:
125g
Up for about 4 months now.
Light is currently 4 96 watt pc's... 2 6700k and 2 10,00k.
But I will be adding another 96w 50/50 and two 36w.
(yes, a lot of light -- big dreams for red plants)
CO2 is recovering from a pH controller death... around 15ppm and gradually getting back up to speed.
Substrate: Flourite, pea gravel, sand.
pH 7.4
kH 11 degrees
gH 17 degrees

Now, I have not tested for nitrate, phosphate, etc., AKA what I'll be dosing. I need to get some accurate tests before making any moves.

So, I followed some of the examples in the EI sticky here, and created a chart based on my understanding of those instructions and examples.

Please tell me if I'm on crack. I feel kind of like a moron here, but I doubt I'm the only one who is perplexed.

Sunday, Tuesday, Thurs: 1 1/2 tsp N03 - 3/8 tsp P04 - 1/2 tsp K+
and my usual two caps each of Flourish and Flourish Iron on Monday, Wed, Fri. Sundays 50% water change.

I realize that I need to find out more about my tank water... what it is lacking, etc., before starting a regimen. But does that look like a decent starter? Like a base-dosing regimen?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 08:58 PM
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That looks good to start. But I would double the Flourish dose.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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THANK YOU Rex! I had figured I was so far into left field.

I'll double the Flourish, thanks.

I'm looking at the ferts you have for sale, and

"KH2PO4 1 lb - For dosing phosphates

KNO3 1 lb - For dosing nitrates and potassium

K2SO4 1 lb - 10% For dosing potassium"

^ so, would I only need KN03 if it doses nitrate and potassium? Yes, that is how lost I am right now.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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I also found this as a general guideline...

"100 - 125 Gallon Aquarium
+/- 1 1/2 tsp KN03 3x a week
+/- tsp KH2P04 3x a week
+/- tsp (30ml) Trace Elements 3x a week
50% weekly water change"


That leaves out the Potassium... is it very necessary?

Edit: I realize that every tank is different and everything may need custom adjusting.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 09:31 PM
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You can still add some additional potassium. That dosing provides potassium but not quite up to the 20 ppm level.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, that makes sense. The whole calculating/knowing what PPM is optimal is the tricky part.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 10:19 PM
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Can i ask a question here that relates ?

Seachem sells Flourish, Flourish Iron, and Flourish Trace. Are you dosing flourish and flourish iron because you dont dry dose Plantex CSM (trace) and chelated iron ?

If so then why use flourish and not flourish trace ? Doesnt flourish just dose more of the same as your marco dry ferts (K, N, P)?

Just confused about which flourish product does what...

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 02:02 AM
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Flourish is a trace mix for us.

Flourish Trace is tap water.

Flourish contains very low levels of NPK.

Flourish Iron of course doses iron.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 05:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessica View Post
Now, I have not tested for nitrate, phosphate, etc., AKA what I'll be dosing. I need to get some accurate tests before making any moves.
As you surely know from reading the Barr report, the error margins of many test kits makes them worse than useless, it makes them misleading. One of the virtues of the EI approach that you don't have to measure? Or am I the one in left field? The only thing I ever test is nitrates, and that is just because my tank is kinds overstocked.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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macclellan,

that is what I have read and gathered, as well. I agree that most commercially bought test kits are probably not the most accurate, and also judging from what I've read, EI seems to be the most relaxed when it comes to the actual parameters of this and that.

I think maybe I'll just go for it?....
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-03-2007, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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Now that I'm getting a basic idea of what the deal is, I have a few more questions before diving in and making a purchase.

According to the schedule I included in my original post, and double checking w/ Chuck's nutrient calculator, adding 1.5 teaspoons of KN03 will put me at around 10.89 ppm nitrate. "Suggest Tank Target Level" states 5ppm. Call me paranoid, but does this information constitute that 1.5 teaspoons would be too much? (I checked the "Add dry compound directly to tank")

Then, for P04, adding 3/8 teaspoon, or roughly 6.62 grams, that would put me at 9.77 ppm Phosphate...whereas the tank target level is 1ppm. WOA....

However, I select "mix stock solution"....that puts me at way below the targets.


Am I over complicating this?
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-03-2007, 04:16 PM
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whats the volume of the mixed stock solution?


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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-03-2007, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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Looks like the default in the calculator is set to 250 ml.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-04-2007, 12:53 AM
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You can change the default.

Normally range for nitrates is now considered to be 10-20 ppm.

And your numbers look are are totally wrong on the phosphate.

3/8 of a teaspoon - .37 teaspoon - 1.78 grams of KH2PO4 will add 2.63 ppm of phosphates.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-04-2007, 05:10 AM Thread Starter
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Haha! Good thing I got an A in my college algebra class last week. GOODNESS. But that's what the calculator told me! So I need to rehash the defaults or re-input the numbers.

Thanks for pointing that out, Rex. I'm assuming that much phosphate is a no-go?
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