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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-13-2014, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Dry dosing numbers

I'm running a low tech 7.5g tank, low/medium light, Excel daily. Just got my dry ferts from nilocg this morning and used the nutrient calculator to come up with these numbers. I don't plan on doing EI as of yet, just once weekly dosing with small water changes at the end of the week (10-20%). Do these numbers look good or should I go higher or lower?

KNO3: 1/20 tsp = 5.62 ppm
KH2PO4: 1/80 = 1.39 ppm
KS2O4: 1/80 = 1.26 ppm
CSM +B: 1/40 = 0.25 ppm of Fe
Total Potassium: 5.95 ppm

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-13-2014, 10:56 PM
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I know someone on here has a list of suggested PPM bookmarked and will supply it soon. But you will never get a 1/20 tsp etc, so you likely will
need to do multiples of that in MG and mix it with distilled water so the
doses come out all the same. And yes that would require a digital scale but the Flea Bay or Amazon has them fairly cheap.
Can't remember who on here knows that formula but an example of it would be to mix 10 times the amount you need for one dose in with x amount of distilled water. That will give you 10 doses or 10 weeks supply of that formula and it will be distributed evenly.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-13-2014, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
But you will never get a 1/20 tsp etc, so you likely will
need to do multiples of that in MG and mix it with distilled water so the
doses come out all the same
The measuring spoon set I ordered was supposed to be 1/64, 1/32, 1/16, 1/8, 1/4 as stated by the manufacturer but a reviewer used a gram scale and found that the spoons are actually 1/80, 1/40, 1/20, 1/14, 1/6. Going to make for some weird measurements but it is what it is.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-13-2014, 11:22 PM
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Check your nitrates first before dosing KN03.

The last thing you want is getting too much nitrates in the water. I have a low light tank (I think) that I dose everything on a weekly bases except nitrates because the fish load seems to be providing plenty. I know because the tank is overstocked plus I have a goldfish in which seems to poop constantly. LOL


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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-14-2014, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks PortalMasteryRy, it's a shrimp species tank so the nitrates will always be zero until they start breeding like rabbits.

Dosed everything and looks like the reviewer was correct. Phosphates read 1ppm, Nitrates were between 5-10 ppm but I double dosed Seachem Nitrogen yesterday so the extra could be attributed to that. I guess i'll go with this for a little while and wait for my plants to let me know if they need anything else.

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 11-16-2014 at 05:15 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-14-2014, 02:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PortalMasteryRy View Post
Check your nitrates first before dosing KN03.
Good advise if you don't already know your levels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
I know someone on here has a list of suggested PPM bookmarked and will supply it soon.
Non limiting nutrient levels are listed below.

CO2 range 25-35ppm
NO3 range 5-30ppm (KNO3)
K+ range 10-30ppm (K2SO4 or GH booster)
PO4 range 1.0-3.0 ppm (KH2PO4)
Fe 0.2-0.5ppm or higher (?) (Plantex CSM +B)
GH range 3 degrees ~ 50ppm or higher (GH Booster)

These are by NO means my numbers. Simply recommendations by Tom Barr. I wrote an article, The EI "Concept" Explained., explaining the idea of non-limiting nutrients with the numbers listed above.

All that said we don't need to "count calories" in our tanks like most suggest. We have three basic systems we keep (this is my interpretation).

High tech; High light and CO2.
Medium tech; Medium light and Excel.
Low tech; low light and no CO2 methods.

You can muddle the waters with variations but they all have basic commonalities.

High tech should receive a full EI dose 2-3 times per week and a 50% weekly water change.

Medium tech should receive about 1/3 full EI and 10% plus weekly water change.

Low tech without water changes is a different animal. Regular water changes? Use the medium tech dosing method. Little to no water changes? Use Tom Barr's Non-CO2 methods.

Mixing solutions to full EI dosing levels is the way to go IMO. For example if you want full EI you dose this 3 times a week. If you want medium tech which is 1/3 EI once a week well...the math ain't so hard. Dose one full EI dose once a week.

The recipe for solutions and dry dosing are listed here,
Dry dosing and Nutrient Solution Recipes.

Forgive my direct explanation or simplistic approach. When it comes to fertilizing the water column, numbers really aren't as important as they're made out to be.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-14-2014, 03:02 AM
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This is a great quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorfox View Post
When it comes to fertilizing the water column, numbers really aren't as important as they're made out to be.
IME under-dosing is way worse than overdosing. I have not seen any negative results of dosing 1.5 - 2x EI levels when I see deficiencies in my high tech tank.

just my experience though - others may disagree


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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-14-2014, 03:21 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorfox View Post
The recipe for solutions and dry dosing are listed here,
Dry dosing and Nutrient Solution Recipes
I was just thinking earlier when I was measuring the spoons out how I would rather use a single syringe and squirt in a concentration of all three simultaneously. I had instructions on how to make liquid solutions from two others but neither were as easy to understand as your write-up; thank you for that. Looks like I have a project for this weekend.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-14-2014, 05:06 AM
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You can run models of the outcomes of doing 10-20% water changes, but for Excel tanks...........I suggest once a month water change and do a good 50%.

All the fuss and heehaw over ferts when a simple water change will address 100% of the issue with any fert. Planted tanks love water changes, non CO2 and no excel may be more the exception, bit CO2/Excel dosed tanks love em.

I have no idea where the risk begin for dosing high ferts.
It's an arbitrary ppm more or less.

Some set it at 80 ppm of NO3.

I have more shrimp than I can sell in 3 aquariums. Client's also.
Those tanks are not Excel tanks, but Excel is more toxic than any macro nutrient.

I just find it odd many will suggest 2X Excel dosing without ANY mention of toxicity, but fear, worry if you dose dry ferts above a certain range which I can do all day and night without ever having a single issue for 2 decades with so many fish and shrimp, as well as 400+ species/types of plants.

CO2 also gets the same Free Pass curiously, even though those two things kill far more fish, cause algae issues when not used right etc.




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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-16-2014, 12:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
You can run models of the outcomes of doing 10-20% water changes, but for Excel tanks...........I suggest once a month water change and do a good 50%.

All the fuss and heehaw over ferts when a simple water change will address 100% of the issue with any fert. Planted tanks love water changes, non CO2 and no excel may be more the exception, bit CO2/Excel dosed tanks love em.

I have no idea where the risk begin for dosing high ferts.
It's an arbitrary ppm more or less.

Some set it at 80 ppm of NO3.

I have more shrimp than I can sell in 3 aquariums. Client's also.
Those tanks are not Excel tanks, but Excel is more toxic than any macro nutrient.

I just find it odd many will suggest 2X Excel dosing without ANY mention of toxicity, but fear, worry if you dose dry ferts above a certain range which I can do all day and night without ever having a single issue for 2 decades with so many fish and shrimp, as well as 400+ species/types of plants.

CO2 also gets the same Free Pass curiously, even though those two things kill far more fish, cause algae issues when not used right etc.
There are a lot of good points made here that need reinforcing IMO.

I’m leaning more towards water changes and less concern about water parameters for low tech as well. I have a non scaped planted shrimp tank. I had used the weekly dosing and monthly water change regime. A few months ago I changed to a weekly water change schedule. Same ferts (one full EI dose of all once a week). I was concerned about the CO2 changes with frequent water changes. So I altered my routine. Now I let my new water sit for the week in the same room. The temperature matches (I heat/cool my house not my tanks) and the added benefit is CO2 levels have equalized to atmosphere, i.e. my tank.

After doing this my plants haven’t changed a bit. However, my RCS have become, well, a bit more “frisky” lol. I attribute this to the lower harness and TDS here.

My point being that water changes even in a low tech seems to be a great thing. All the benefits aside, water changes just make nutrient management 10 times easier. Why would water changes ever be a bad idea?

I also agree that most freely toss around Excel and CO2 like it was "water". Then they ask how close to limiting nutrients can they come before problems. Makes no sense to me.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-17-2014, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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Good points guys. I'm very particular about Excel, I never dose the 2x dosage but dose the recommended amount which is measured by a 1cc syringe. Regarding the numbers in the first post, they are what Yet Another Nutrient Calculator say I should be dosing for full EI. Since I am low tech + Excel, I didn't think I needed that much but added full strength anyway due to GSA problems. I dosed on a Thursday before going out of town and when I came home Sunday, PO4 was barely 0.25ppm and the GSA had progressed while I was gone. I don't understand why I am seeing PO4 deficiency in my low tech + Excel tank using dosages recommended for high light and CO2? My lighting was estimated to be 30-35 PAR at the substrate and 45 PAR at the surface so my lighting is pretty reasonable.

Aside from the GSA, i'm also seeing new growth like this in my Rotala rotundifolia. Can someone diagnose this deficiency? I just assume it's PO4 since the GSA appears to be telling me this as well.



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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrangeDejavu View Post
Good points guys. I'm very particular about Excel, I never dose the 2x dosage but dose the recommended amount which is measured by a 1cc syringe. Regarding the numbers in the first post, they are what Yet Another Nutrient Calculator say I should be dosing for full EI. Since I am low tech + Excel, I didn't think I needed that much but added full strength anyway due to GSA problems. I dosed on a Thursday before going out of town and when I came home Sunday, PO4 was barely 0.25ppm and the GSA had progressed while I was gone. I don't understand why I am seeing PO4 deficiency in my low tech + Excel tank using dosages recommended for high light and CO2? My lighting was estimated to be 30-35 PAR at the substrate and 45 PAR at the surface so my lighting is pretty reasonable.

Aside from the GSA, i'm also seeing new growth like this in my Rotala rotundifolia. Can someone diagnose this deficiency? I just assume it's PO4 since the GSA appears to be telling me this as well.
I think the easiest approach to this as well as many other issues is to simply dose non-limiting nutrients. Is my algae from an imbalance or lack of nutrients? What deficiency is this? Why do my plants?...

We can easily eliminate all those questions by dosing.

An easy way to dose is to use a standard fertilizer solution using EI concentrations. High tech, dose 3 times a week. Excel based tanks need about one third full EI so that would be one dose. We can dose that on a weekly basis.

Remember, non-CO2 injected tanks take longer to show changes. In your case it may take a few weeks before you see significant changes.

Phosphate deficiency is only one cause of GSA. If we eliminate nutrients then it's fairly likely that it's caused by too much light. Generally speaking, it seems to me at least, that many green algae issues are caused by high light. The other red algae (BBA and staghorn) seem to be more CO2 and high organic issues.

Don't confuse yourself by testing water parameters. They can give you a general idea of levels but are prone to error. If you're dosing full EI in a medium tech tank, you don't have a PO4 deficiency.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zorfox View Post
I think the easiest approach to this as well as many other issues is to simply dose non-limiting nutrients. Is my algae from an imbalance or lack of nutrients? What deficiency is this? Why do my plants?...

We can easily eliminate all those questions by dosing.

An easy way to dose is to use a standard fertilizer solution using EI concentrations. High tech, dose 3 times a week. Excel based tanks need about one third full EI so that would be one dose. We can dose that on a weekly basis.

Remember, non-CO2 injected tanks take longer to show changes. In your case it may take a few weeks before you see significant changes.

Phosphate deficiency is only one cause of GSA. If we eliminate nutrients then it's fairly likely that it's caused by too much light. Generally speaking, it seems to me at least, that many green algae issues are caused by high light. The other red algae (BBA and staghorn) seem to be more CO2 and high organic issues.

Don't confuse yourself by testing water parameters. They can give you a general idea of levels but are prone to error. If you're dosing full EI in a medium tech tank, you don't have a PO4 deficiency.
Thanks Zorfox. I've been dosing the tank as if it were high tech so maybe I should dial it down. Leaning very heavily toward nutrients as the worst of the GSA is at the substrate level where the PAR is the lowest. I have DIY window screen I can use to reduce PAR by ~50% but i'd like to think I can solve this without getting into the -teens in PAR. One thing is for sure though, my Ludwigia sp. "Red" new growth is as red as an apple.

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrangeDejavu View Post
Thanks Zorfox. I've been dosing the tank as if it were high tech so maybe I should dial it down. Leaning very heavily toward nutrients as the worst of the GSA is at the substrate level where the PAR is the lowest. I have DIY window screen I can use to reduce PAR by ~50% but i'd like to think I can solve this without getting into the -teens in PAR. One thing is for sure though, my Ludwigia sp. "Red" new growth is as red as an apple.
What type of water change schedule do you have?

The reason I ask this is because full EI in a medium tech tank is harmless provided 50% weekly water changes. In fact, there is a much larger margin for nutrient errors by doing so.

We know for a fact those levels (with 0% plant uptake) will not cause issues. Wasteful? Absolutely. Harmful? Not in the least.

The only drawbacks I see by doing this is using more fertilizers than needed and more frequent CO2 fluctuations from water changes. Degassing the water prior to water changes will eliminate the CO2 issue.

Benifits?
  • We dose everyday. This helps us remember to dose as well drawing attention to the tank which usually leads to seeing issues early.
  • Dosing micros every other day prevents many micro elements from oxidizing. Hence the reason we see chelates used. Iron for example will not be bio available after 48 hours or so depending on chelates used and PH.
  • The inhabitants receive more stable changes in nutrient levels. Stability makes for happy residents.

I realize this idea sounds crazy but it really does make sense. Just saying, maybe dosing full EI in a medium tech tank is not that bad of an idea.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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Prior to EI, I was doing 25% weekly or 50% every two weeks. I was scared to do EI at first because when I first got my shrimp, I lowered the water level to wipe away a case of dead Green Dust Algae and had shrimp deaths from the TDS fluctuation the next morning. Since I paid $55 for my shrimp and they haven't started breeding yet, I have been hesitant. However, I did a 50% last Friday and all was well so I think they are adapting well now.

I have to get in my tank today and try to clean the glass, it's getting bad. The glass near the substrate lost about 60% visibility because of how dense the GSA is getting, and now it's spreading on both sides where the light is sitting and spreads more and more each day. Yesterday, I made your recommended 1/3rd solution of 5mL/10 gallon and will probably just go ahead and reduce lighting and try that for a while. I wanted medium lighting but it would probably be easier as far as trimming goes since I have Rotala in an 11" tall tank.

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