Low Tech EI dosing and Nitrates - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-27-2014, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Low Tech EI dosing and Nitrates

So I have been Low Tech EI Dosing for about a month now. Before that I had gotten my nitrates in a more manageable number. I was having problems before with it getting too high.

Now I have noticed that before I perform my water change on my 30 gal, that the nitrates are back to being at some of the highest ranges of my API Test Kit.

Am I doing anything wrong? Should I perform more water changes or larger one? Or reduce my dosing?


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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 04:35 AM
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Try cutting down on potassium nitrate and adding some potassium sulfate. And cleaning/water changes to get nitrates back down. Depending on stocking level and plant growth, you may not need to add as much nitrate as EI suggests. I don't add any at all.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 04:43 AM
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First, verify that your nitrate test kit is giving you correct readings. You can mix a known nitrate concentration test solution per https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=83545 and see if your test kit gives the right reading. It is best to use 2 or 3 different concentrations of nitrates in your test solutions, and check all of them to see how good your readings are.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 04:55 AM
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If you're not running co2 and low light intensity, there's no reason to do full ei dosing. Do like 1/4 dosing. Your plants will tell you what you're missing.


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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 05:04 AM
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If the fish food is giving you enough nitrogen (based on the nitrate test) then it may also be giving you enough phosphorus, but probably not enough potassium. Probably getting enough traces, except for iron.

You might cut back the EI and try it more like this:
Little or no KNO3
Little or no KH2PO4
Use K2SO4 instead, at whatever rate is suggested for the KNO3.
for example, if the chart suggests 1/4 tsp of KNO3 and you think 1/8 is enough, then dose 1/8 tsp K2SO4 so the plants still get the potassium they need.
Little or no trace.
Dose chelated iron instead of trace, or combined with the trace minerals so the tank is getting more iron and less trace minerals.

When I was running heavily stocked tanks all I needed to dose was K and Fe. Fish food had everything else, water changes kept the GH and KH correct. As I improved conditions (light, carbon from excel) I had to start adding a little bit of other things, but kept the K and Fe dosing the highest, since fish food was still supplying a lot, just not quite enough N, P, traces.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 05:11 AM
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A lot of people forget the "Estimative" part of the Estimative Index; it's just a starting point, and since everyone's individual tank is going to differ, you adjust accordingly.

Plant species, total plant sizes/mass, light levels, CO2 levels, biomass, tap/source water chemistry can all affect dosing needs.





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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses.

This is for my 30 gallon in my signature.

I was advised to start with this dosing:

1/2 tsp KNO3
1/32 tsp KH2PO4
1/4 tsp CSM+B

50% water change a week.

Plants are as follows:

Argentine Swords (three large groups on the right)
Bacopa Caroliniana (quite a few on the back right)
Bacopa Monnieri (small group mixed in with the Caroliniana)
Creeping Jenny (or so I think, front left)
An unidentified plant on the back left

I am looking to add a fair amount of some foreground plant around the rock in the middle.

I started EI dosing because I felt I was at a point where I could take things to the next level. It is not like anything was wrong. Next week I plan to trim my bacopa and replant. The bottom halves are covered in slime algae that I am still recovering from. The new growth is fine. So my thought process at the time was to grow them as much as possible, and then trim and remove the pieces that are covered and replant with the pieces that are not.

Also I need to trim some of the swords that are not recovering.

Also, I just kicked the bucket on my Nitrate test kit and will need to replace. It seemed to be reading correctly based on what I would expect from my other tanks.


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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 05:07 PM
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Does not matter what nitrate level's are in other tank's for they are not the tank in question.
If you want,dose 1/4 tsp KNO3 and observe plant's reaction over a few week's.
Can alway's bump it back up if plant's respond poorly.
Agree with Hoppy.unless one takes the time to calibrate their test with known sample,then one could easily have less or more than they think.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DefStatic View Post
I started EI dosing because I felt I was at a point where I could take things to the next level.
The next level is adding CO2. You're wasting ferts that's all.
Your plants aren't going to grow any faster or more lush by adding more nutrients without CO2.

No harm done really.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-29-2014, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
The next level is adding CO2. You're wasting ferts that's all.
Your plants aren't going to grow any faster or more lush by adding more nutrients without CO2.

No harm done really.
I agree that faster growth,more lush growth ,is achieved with CO2 injection.
Also agree that if one is dosing full EI level's in low tech application that they are prolly wasting fertz.
Is not to say that 1/3 to 1/4 of EI does not benefit the plant's in low tech for I and many other's have seen the benefit.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-29-2014, 05:24 PM
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Non CO2 dosing methods are about 1/10th to 1/20th of full EI dosing.

With Excel, maybe 1/4 and you can add the water changes back.

Non CO2 or excel? No water changes are done.




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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-19-2014, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
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SO perhaps I should cut everything back by 1/2 then after a month another half?

Looks like by one calc I should be using:

1.389 g KNO3
211 mg KH2PO4
869 mg CSM+B

Using a unit converter, it seems it should only be

1/4 TSP of KNO3, not 1/2.
1/32 tsp KH2PO4 seems right
1/16 CSM+B maybe?

Guess I need to do my homework. I think for now I am just going to cut the KNO3 in half.

Also, I thought it was recommended to still EI dose without CO2?


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Last edited by Darkblade48; 06-19-2014 at 02:35 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-19-2014, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DefStatic View Post

Guess I need to do my homework. I think for now I am just going to cut the KNO3 in half.

Also, I thought it was recommended to still EI dose without CO2?
Are you adding CO2 and/or Excel or not?

If not, then stick with the non CO2 method. There's no low tech EI method. EI is used for Excel and CO2 enriched tanks only.

"Low tech" I assume in your context is no CO2 or Excel.

API NO3 test kits have many issues, never reply or do management based decisions on their results without checking to see if they are correct and in the 1st place, Hoppy told you what you need to do there already.




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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-17-2014, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
Are you adding CO2 and/or Excel or not?

If not, then stick with the non CO2 method. There's no low tech EI method. EI is used for Excel and CO2 enriched tanks only.

"Low tech" I assume in your context is no CO2 or Excel.

API NO3 test kits have many issues, never reply or do management based decisions on their results without checking to see if they are correct and in the 1st place, Hoppy told you what you need to do there already.
Ok, my bad. When I was reading about Low Tech EI dosing, I was under the assumption that meant no CO2 or CO2 additive.

The funny thing is, my plants have never looked better. All my new growth since I started is amazing. The amount of growth has slowed a little, but the size of what does grow is nearly twice what I was seeing before.

Should I stop all together? If I was to use Excel, do I have to do this daily or once a week as well?


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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-17-2014, 06:36 PM
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Excel is only effective for about 24 hours. It's best dosed daily or every other day.


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