EI for Low Light/Excel 5.5g? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-29-2014, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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EI for Low Light/Excel 5.5g?

I just spent the last hour looking for the answer and I'm starting to get frustrated, so I'm just going to ask you guys: How much do I need to add to my low light (~30-40 par) 5.5g that's dosed with excel?

I would like to dose only twice a week (excel every day) and change the water every two weeks. Plant and fish load will be high, but fish load is currently low.

As I understand it, for full EI I would need:
1/32 tsp KNO3
1/128 tsp KH2PO4
1/128 tsp CSM+B
? Iron

I don't have measuring spoons that small and I'm not about to buy a scale, so I'll have to make a solution. I was hoping to dose the solution with a syringe, but I only have two at the moment, one of which is for the excel. Is it okay to mix the CSM+B in with the KNO3 and the KH2PO4 while I figure something out for the iron? Here's the solution I would make:

4 tsp KNO3 + 1 tsp KH2PO4 + 1 tsp CSM+B in 4 oz water, dose 1 ml twice a week

Would that work?

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-29-2014, 01:58 PM
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I would not mix anything containing PO4 with anything containing iron in a concentrated solution. Iron Phosphate, which is insoluble and useless to plants, is likely to result.

In a low-light setup, I would not dose full EI. EI is designed to exceed the needs of a high-light CO2 injected tank.

Check some of the online dosage calculators for the "low light EI weekly" profile. (ie: calc.petalphile.com). This gives you a once-a-week dose that amounts to about 1/2 of full EI's weekly totals.

If you have iron demanding plants and/or hard water you may want to dose iron more often than once a week, but the macros will certainly be fine.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-29-2014, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishly View Post
I just spent the last hour looking for the answer and I'm starting to get frustrated, so I'm just going to ask you guys: How much do I need to add to my low light (~30-40 par) 5.5g that's dosed with excel?

I would like to dose only twice a week (excel every day) and change the water every two weeks. Plant and fish load will be high, but fish load is currently low.

As I understand it, for full EI I would need:
1/32 tsp KNO3
1/128 tsp KH2PO4
1/128 tsp CSM+B
? Iron

I don't have measuring spoons that small and I'm not about to buy a scale, so I'll have to make a solution. I was hoping to dose the solution with a syringe, but I only have two at the moment, one of which is for the excel. Is it okay to mix the CSM+B in with the KNO3 and the KH2PO4 while I figure something out for the iron? Here's the solution I would make:

4 tsp KNO3 + 1 tsp KH2PO4 + 1 tsp CSM+B in 4 oz water, dose 1 ml twice a week

Would that work?
A jewlers scale is like $10, aside from that you can look around and find the spoons for a dash/pinch/smidgen which would get you closer.

It's said you shouldn't dose the CSM+B with anything else but iron.

I don't suggest this often but IMHO with 5.5 gal (- a little for substrate/plant/?fish displacing water) you could get buy with the Flourish comprehensive solution. According to this nutrient calculator you would need 1ml (that's 1 thread on the bottle cap) of comprehensive once a week and you should be good, comprehensive has iron BTW as well as everything else you need.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-29-2014, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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The "yet another dosing calculator" was one of the first ones I tried. Too many options and it doesn't take into account all of the variables I'm dealing with:

Low/medium light (should lower fert uptake)
Excel supplementation (should raise fert uptake)
High fish load (should lower nitrogen needs)
High plant load (should raise fert uptake)
Biweekly water changes (should increase fert build up)

At the moment I'm not interested in buying a scale (actually $20) or dosing spoons ($8). Even if I did, I still wouldn't know how much of each fert to add.

I wouldn't mind using Flourish Comprehensive, except that I already have about five pounds of dry ferts. It seems a waste not to use them.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-29-2014, 04:00 PM
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Hello,

I don't know if this will help you but Tom Barr gave this advice regarding Ei dosing for low tech planted tanks. This is the approach that I have embraced.

Bob
Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
No dosing method needs to be spot on, nor should require that.
Somewhat consistent is fine.

Folks worry and over think ferts.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-29-2014, 04:02 PM
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Using the EI Low light/Weekly regime should be adequate. That's 1/3 the full EI dosing which is about right for an Excel based tank. The bi-weekly water changes will be enough to prevent any build up problems. You can run the numbers through this calculator and see what the fertilizer levels will be.

Your tank is too small to use dry dosing. So below is the solution recipe you could use.

Container size is 500ml. Each weekly dose is 5ml.

KNO3 33.947 gm (approximately 6 1/2 teaspoons)
KH2PO4 2.983 gm (approximately 1/2 teaspoons)
Plantex CSM+B 6.377 gm (approximately 1 1/2 teaspoons)

You can mix the KNO3 and KH2PO4 together. However, do not mix anything with the Plantex. Since you may need to adjust the dosing you may want to keep them all separate.
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