Fert dissipation/EI Dosing - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-29-2013, 02:30 AM Thread Starter
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Fert dissipation/EI Dosing

I do EI dosing but I'm confused about something I read. I've read that ferts should be added shortly before the lights go on and was given the impression that they only are usable to the plants for a couple of hours. But when you read about EI it says that you are dosing more than the plants can use and that is why some choose to do a 50% water change. I guess I am just not understanding because those two statements seem to contradict each other. If the ferts dissipate then how are you overdosing? EI dosing is working great, I just like to understand what is actually occurring. Thx!

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-29-2013, 03:25 AM
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The story behind ferts is both simple and complicated but the short answer to your question is EI adds more nutrients than the plants can use in a day or in a couple of days. Nutrients in general are not broken down and most of them remain available to the plants until they are used up. The exceptions are basically trace elements. Iron is often a problem in peoples tanks because they use a form of iron that is very weakly protected from reactions in the water (like citrate iron or ferrous gluconate). If you use EDTA or DTPA iron you should have no trouble keeping iron levels high in your tank long term. These two forms of iron prevent reactions that would precipitate out the nutrient from the water column.

As for dosing in the morning. I don't believe it makes a huge difference what time of the day or night you dose. There are certainly minor differences, plants do seem to take up most macro nutrients better during daylight hours and trace elements do seem to degrade somewhat during daylight hours (light gives some trace metals enough energy to react with other things in the tank water). So there is something to the advice of dosing macros during the mornings and traces at lights out. Though I highly doubt that the minor differences in dosing times makes any sort of substantial difference in plant growth.

Here is some information you might want to read if you are interested in knowing more about nutrient uptake:

Summary
  • PO4 is taken up in the day and night, but much more is absorbed in the light. PO4 is also preferentially taken up by shoots and roots.
  • Ca and K are both absorbed in light and darkness but more during the dark.
  • Mg is absorbed almost equally in light and darkness.

Phosphate and nitrate uptake thread:
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...tml#post659666

Phosphate uptake in aquatic plants paper:
http://ir.ihb.ac.cn/bitstream/342005...catum%20L..pdf
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-29-2013, 05:11 AM Thread Starter
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I hadn't taken into account the difference of uptake between macros and micros. Thank you very much. Looks like I'll continue my reading

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-29-2013, 07:34 PM
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I think that any differences in when the plants take in the ferts and how they are broken down in the tank is offset by the 'user error' factor.

Best info: Dose when you can, on whatever schedule you will be most reliable.

If you have time in the mornings, and can (pretty much) always dose then, do that.
If your mornings are often rushed, and trying to dose then will result in hit or miss sort of dosing, then dose in the evenings.
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