Dry dosing and Nutrient Solution Recipes - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 179 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 03:57 PM
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Question on this. I have a 48g tank growing iwagumi style and most plants are root feeders. I don't have the demand for full EI I wouldn't think. Would it make more sense to start dosing based on say the 40g measurements, see how the tank reacts and adjust accordingly? I just have a feeling dosing per the 46g measurements would cause my nitrates to run high.
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post #32 of 179 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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Question on this. I have a 48g tank growing iwagumi style and most plants are root feeders. I don't have the demand for full EI I wouldn't think. Would it make more sense to start dosing based on say the 40g measurements, see how the tank reacts and adjust accordingly? I just have a feeling dosing per the 46g measurements would cause my nitrates to run high.
It's hard to say without knowing what your current nitrate level is as well as what it would be if you did 50% weekly water changes. If you currently maintain a level between 10-30 ppm with WC you wouldn't need the KNO3. Phosphates, 1-3 ppm. It sounds as if you're using substrate fertilizers but I don't know.

Dosing for a 40 gallon would work just fine. There is quite a large margin here. So the difference between 40 and 46 isn't much. Regardless, if you do a 50% weekly water change the levels will remain within a normal range assuming your tap water does not have high levels of nutrients.
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post #33 of 179 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 07:56 PM
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It's hard to say without knowing what your current nitrate level is as well as what it would be if you did 50% weekly water changes. If you currently maintain a level between 10-30 ppm with WC you wouldn't need the KNO3. Phosphates, 1-3 ppm. It sounds as if you're using substrate fertilizers but I don't know.

Dosing for a 40 gallon would work just fine. There is quite a large margin here. So the difference between 40 and 46 isn't much. Regardless, if you do a 50% weekly water change the levels will remain within a normal range assuming your tap water does not have high levels of nutrients.
Thanks for the reply. My nitrates usually run high since this setup which is why I asked. I do want to get them down. I see them at or over 40ppm weekly before my change.

So you're saying don't dose KNO3? I thought you usually don't dose K2SO4 if you have higher nitrates. So could I skip the KNO3 and dose K2SO4 for a week to see how that works in the tank and where the nitrates are at after a week? My tap doesn't have high levels of anything so that is ok.

The pre-mixed solution I was using now had both KNO3 and K2SO4. My phosphates run a bit higher too, closer to 5+. I was already going to reduce that when I start dry dosing tomorrow.
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post #34 of 179 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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What exactly are you dosing now? Do you use any substrate fertilizers or dirt substrate? I was under the impression you didn't dose currently. Also high light, CO2 or excel?
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post #35 of 179 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 08:15 PM
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What exactly are you dosing now? Do you use any substrate fertilizers or dirt substrate? I was under the impression you didn't dose currently. Also high light, CO2 or excel?
I am dosing per the below solutions. I do use root tabs, all pushed down to the glass. I have 3 inches of substrate which is eco-complete. I have high light (dual BML setup) and run pressurized co2.

500mL water + 5.5 Tbsp KNO3 = 33 doses at 15mL per dose
500mL water + 2 Tsp KH2PO4 = 33 doses at 15mL per dose
500mL water + 4 Tsp K2SO4 = 33 doses at 15mL per dose
500mL Water + 2 Tbsp CSM+B = 10mL per dose.

Last edited by bsantucci; 06-04-2014 at 08:17 PM. Reason: dose amount for CSM+B
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post #36 of 179 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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The substrate fertilizers must be adding nitrates and phosphates. It's hard to say since they can vary quite a lot.

The doses you listed are around half of the full EI dose with the exception of Phosphates. You're dosing a full EI dose of that. Since you use substrate fertilizers you may be getting a lot from there.

So basically, IF you're doing a 50% water change weekly what you're dosing seems pretty close to where you need to be. You could reduce the KH2PO4 by half but it's not going to hurt anything leaving it the way it is.

How much of all this (and what) comes from the substrate fertilizers? I have know idea. This is one reason I prefer to not use them. A substrate with a high CEC ratio will hold fertilizers for root delivery. Then I know exactly what I am putting in which means I know what the plants are utilizing. No guesswork. But saying that is probably consider heresy by many in the hobby lol

In short you seem to be fine doing what you're doing. If you don't like the nitrate and phosphate levels reduce your current dosing but keep them in the EI ranges. You certainly do not need to dose full EI.
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post #37 of 179 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 08:59 PM
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The substrate fertilizers must be adding nitrates and phosphates. It's hard to say since they can vary quite a lot.

The doses you listed are around half of the full EI dose with the exception of Phosphates. You're dosing a full EI dose of that. Since you use substrate fertilizers you may be getting a lot from there.

So basically, IF you're doing a 50% water change weekly what you're dosing seems pretty close to where you need to be. You could reduce the KH2PO4 by half but it's not going to hurt anything leaving it the way it is.

How much of all this (and what) comes from the substrate fertilizers? I have know idea. This is one reason I prefer to not use them. A substrate with a high CEC ratio will hold fertilizers for root delivery. Then I know exactly what I am putting in which means I know what the plants are utilizing. No guesswork. But saying that is probably consider heresy by many in the hobby lol

In short you seem to be fine doing what you're doing. If you don't like the nitrate and phosphate levels reduce your current dosing but keep them in the EI ranges. You certainly do not need to dose full EI.
Cool thanks for the replies here. I didn't think the root tabs would leech that much up if they remained under the substrate. Since I'm moving to dry dosing now I'll give it a shot dosing much lower KNO3 to see if I can get the nitrates down to 20% at the end of the week. Nitrates are my only real concern here since they are always high like I said. I don't want my live stock affected with the higher levels over time.
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post #38 of 179 (permalink) Old 07-20-2014, 04:11 PM
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Hi,

Im about to start a modified EI routine on my 75, and Im trying to figure out a good dosing schedule to begin with based on the above recipes. I just got the EI pack from GLA plus a bag of their iron chelate. I plan on dosing dry for the time being.

Here's some details on my set-up, mid-tech is what I call it (med light, moderate CO2)

Tank Size: 75g
Light: 2x54w T5HO Hydropinic fixture, 20" from substrate:
Co2: DIY - in the 15-20 ppm range
Excel/Glut: 5 ml Metracide daily, down from 15 before CO2
Substrate: 100% BD blasting sand, Osmocote root tabs around the swords and crypts.
Plant Mass: Fairly heavy
Stock Level: Heavy, feed once or twice a day.

Ive used Flourish Comp since starting the tank. Besides that Ive been using Seachem liquids for about a month, N P K Fe @ about 1.5x "beginners dose" three times/week. (which isnt near enough macro btw) Before I added those my nitrate and phosphate were practically zero all the time, even on day 7 right before a weekly water change. (lots of stems and wisteria, picture is in my sig for a general idea)

Pretty sure I dont need to do full EI, considering light/Co2 levels, so I was thinking about starting with the 55 gal dosage, twice a week. Mon/Tue and Thur/Fri, with a 50% WC on Sun.

How does that sound? Would 3x week be better, or maybe the 75 gal dose 2x week?

Also not sure if I even need the extra iron but I got some anyway. Thoughts on that? If I decide to use it, does 1/16 tsp on micro days sound about right?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions. This thread has already been so helpful.


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Last edited by burr740; 07-20-2014 at 04:24 PM. Reason: .
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post #39 of 179 (permalink) Old 07-21-2014, 02:10 AM Thread Starter
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Dosing the 55 gallon amount twice a week would be fine. I do think dosing more often is desirable mostly due to chelated nutrients becoming unavailable. So dosing that amount 3 times a week may be a better option. As far as the iron 1/16 teaspoon sounds good. I doubt you will need it but the DTPA will last longer between doses than the EDTA in Plantex which is where the advantage comes into play.

Now for my heretical opinion on trying to balance dosing with light and CO2.

Many hobbyists will argue over how much is enough for a certain set of parameters. The debate is about how close we can get to limiting nutrients without going under. I've never understood this debate. Why would you ever want to get close to limitation?

We know that the full EI dose does not cause any issues when weekly water changes are done. In fact, full EI dosing won't cause problems with 0% uptake as long as the same water changes are done. 0% uptake would be a tank without CO2 in total darkness lol.

The only advantage that I can see to reducing dosages is to prevent wasting fertilizers. Dry fertilizers are dirt cheap! We're not fertilizing 500 acres of corn. I've never seen the point to this methodology. Just my two cents of course but logically it makes sense, to me anyway.
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post #40 of 179 (permalink) Old 07-21-2014, 03:26 AM
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Wouldn't the 46 need less dosing because they are taller and thus lack the width and depth of the 40 gallons? Meaning less plants to take up nutrients...

I have a tall tank and found out that I get the nitrates I'm looking for when shooting for the tank range under mine. In my breeder tank, I stick to the EI. Otherwise my nitrate levels build up to fast when compared to fast.
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post #41 of 179 (permalink) Old 07-21-2014, 05:29 AM
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Dosing the 55 gallon amount twice a week would be fine. I do think dosing more often is desirable mostly due to chelated nutrients becoming unavailable. So dosing that amount 3 times a week may be a better option. As far as the iron 1/16 teaspoon sounds good. I doubt you will need it but the DTPA will last longer between doses than the EDTA in Plantex which is where the advantage comes into play.

Now for my heretical opinion on trying to balance dosing with light and CO2.

Many hobbyists will argue over how much is enough for a certain set of parameters. The debate is about how close we can get to limiting nutrients without going under. I've never understood this debate. Why would you ever want to get close to limitation?

We know that the full EI dose does not cause any issues when weekly water changes are done. In fact, full EI dosing won't cause problems with 0% uptake as long as the same water changes are done. 0% uptake would be a tank without CO2 in total darkness lol.

The only advantage that I can see to reducing dosages is to prevent wasting fertilizers. Dry fertilizers are dirt cheap! We're not fertilizing 500 acres of corn. I've never seen the point to this methodology. Just my two cents of course but logically it makes sense, to me anyway.
Excellent. I was mainly worried about overdosing but I get it now. Thanks! Probably gonna start with the 55 dose 3x week, and if anything, err on the plus side when measuring.


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post #42 of 179 (permalink) Old 07-22-2014, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
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Wouldn't the 46 need less dosing because they are taller and thus lack the width and depth of the 40 gallons? Meaning less plants to take up nutrients...

I have a tall tank and found out that I get the nitrates I'm looking for when shooting for the tank range under mine. In my breeder tank, I stick to the EI. Otherwise my nitrate levels build up to fast when compared to fast.
Interesting observation. I've never thought about that. However, I don't think it has anything to do with the plant mass. Plants can occupy the vertical water column so the mass would basically be equal to the volume of a more shallow tank. Instead, the amount of surface area for light would in fact be reduced not to mention the lower PAR values as a result of increased depth. After all, light drives nutrient uptake. I could see that being a factor to nutrient uptake.
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post #43 of 179 (permalink) Old 07-22-2014, 04:34 AM
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Interesting observation. I've never thought about that. However, I don't think it has anything to do with the plant mass. Plants can occupy the vertical water column so the mass would basically be equal to the volume of a more shallow tank. Instead, the amount of surface area for light would in fact be reduced not to mention the lower PAR values as a result of increased depth. After all, light drives nutrient uptake. I could see that being a factor to nutrient uptake.
Glad you understood what I meant. I was a bit intoxicated when I typed that. No matter how heavily planted my tall tanks are, the nitrates build up is to fast by the end of the week. These are fully planted tanks too. The first day after a water-change is the same, but day 3...it can get ugly.

Some with heavy plant feeders like watersprites and frogbits to boot. With standard tanks or breeder tanks I don't have this issue. This is coming from a guy that most of his tanks are tall tanks because I like Angelfish. >.>
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post #44 of 179 (permalink) Old 07-24-2014, 07:45 PM
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I just got an autodose system from Marine Magic and unfortunately this only had a function to dose within 24 hours time period at 16 different schedule time. Currently I"m planning on dosing the following schedule for my 75 gallon tank using the formula provided in OP. I will multiply it by 3 to mix it in the solution to fill in my 1500ml bottles:

15ML for 3 times a week. I split it into half since mine can only dose within 24hrs.
Dose Micro: 7.5ML 8:00 (8AM)
Dose Macro: 7.5ML 20:00 (8pm)
Dose Iron: ???????

Also, I'm planning to dose iron since this is a 3 pump system. How many grams of iron (Fe 13%) should I mix in a 1500ml ro water and time (I think I will dose it at the same time as Micro)? I heard if you add 10ml Excel solution it will help the solutions last longer and avoid the crap it will build up.

Thoughts and recommendation?
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post #45 of 179 (permalink) Old 07-25-2014, 02:30 AM Thread Starter
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I just got an autodose system from Marine Magic and unfortunately this only had a function to dose within 24 hours time period at 16 different schedule time. Currently I"m planning on dosing the following schedule for my 75 gallon tank using the formula provided in OP. I will multiply it by 3 to mix it in the solution to fill in my 1500ml bottles:

15ML for 3 times a week. I split it into half since mine can only dose within 24hrs.
Dose Micro: 7.5ML 8:00 (8AM)
Dose Macro: 7.5ML 20:00 (8pm)
Dose Iron: ???????

Also, I'm planning to dose iron since this is a 3 pump system. How many grams of iron (Fe 13%) should I mix in a 1500ml ro water and time (I think I will dose it at the same time as Micro)? I heard if you add 10ml Excel solution it will help the solutions last longer and avoid the crap it will build up.

Thoughts and recommendation?
Dosing micro and macros on the same day is fine. I've done it back to back without problems so a 12 hour difference will certainly be okay.

The full EI doses are for high light and CO2 injection. Are you injecting CO2? If not decrease the dose to a third of the full EI.

As far as iron is concerned it depends on your KH and the type of iron you have. Most people that get extra iron end up with DTPA. This is more suited for a higher KH. A 3:1 ratio of Plantex to DTPA is about right.

The doses below are targeting 0.5ppm per dose total.

Plantex CSM+B 54.4 gm (approximately 12 3/4 teaspoons)
DTPA Fe (11%) 10.8 gm (approximately 2 3/4 teaspoons)

The levels above are for a 75 gallon tank using a container size of 500 ml and a dose size of 15 ml.

You can mix them together or dose separate no matter.

The reason adding DTPA iron is a good idea is that it lasts longer than EDTA in Plantex. Iron will become oxidized basically making it unavailable to plants. Therefore, we use chelators to protect it.

To explain with an analogy imagine a bare piece of steel exposed to very high humidity. Without wax the steel will start to rust immediately and be rusted within an hour. We can protect it with waxes. The cheaper the wax the less time it will protect.

Those grades of "waxes" are called chelators. The three main types we see are gluconate, EDTA and DTPA. In general, Iron gluconate will last a few hours at best; EDTA about 24 hours; DTPA about 48 hours. I say in general because PK/KH plays a role in the oxidation process. The higher the PH/KH the better the chelate should be. This is over simplified but basically that's how it works.
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