IE questions, timing, WC changes, etc - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
Lnb
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Red face IE questions, timing, WC changes, etc

I've had my pressurized Co2 running for a couple months and I've only used Seachem flourish and some occasional Seachem iron. Dropper checker is showing appropriate SAT rates.

I have my dry ferts from GLA. It's the all inclusive package he offers, all the dosing regimes printed and posted, got my smidgen, pinch and dash measuring spoons and we're off.

I have a few simple questions.

1. Does it matter when you dose? Meaning, I'm not home when the lights go on and don't get home sometimes till 7pm. Would it be counter productive that I'm not dosing at the beginning but rather at the midpoint or even the end of the light cycle for the day?

2. What do you do if you're unable to do the WC weekly? Suppose it stretches to 10 days. Should I stop IE dosing after 6 days and resume after the WC.

Not trying to be nit-picky, just trying to avoid a disaster.


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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 06:23 PM
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It doesn't matter when you dose, no. Nutirent levels will begin to accumulate as you dose - the whole point of estimative index is ensuring nutrient levels don't become limited by dosing a bit more than is needed - an "estimated" amount. Therefore, you can dose any time, day or night...you can even miss a day (if you're on vacation or something) and won't see any major problems as a result, but I wouldn't recommend it as a normal course of action (ie don't get lazy).

I've had weeks that I've been so busy I can't make the water change; when this happens, I will usually continue to dose, though at lower concentrations (it's not at all an exact science - hence the "estimative" part)...I just sort of "guess" what I can add without causing problems. so far, so good.

That said, the weekly water change is imperative...50% minimum ensures nutrient levels are "reset" and do not accumulate in excess. It's good, especially early on while you're really motivated, to keep a really rigid schedule: dose daily and do your weekly water changes. Once you get that hang of it, you'll see that it's not that complicated. The key with an EI tank is personal discipline.

Also, I noticed your thread was titled "IE...." instead of "EI (for estimative index)..." You might get more responses if you correct it, though I'm sure most people get what you're trying to say....
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 07:46 PM
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Quite a few skip a water change every so often.
Most issues are due to under dosing or CO2.
So if you are pretty sure the under dosing is not an issue, you are left with CO2.

If you go 10 days, you might try doing a 80% water change etc, when you get to it. Nothing says you have to do a 50% weekly etc, it's just a concept and easy math for that routine and % WC.

The math formula will give your error rates for whatever % you chose and the frequencies etc:a basic infinite series.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 07:59 PM
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the opposite is also true, and I'm sure Tom assumed it was obvious, but I figured I might expound. If you simply can't do a WC EVERY week on the dot, and you have the option, it might be more beneficial (maybe not on the plants but possibly on certain fish) to plan out a couple 25% water changes instead of the one big one. The big one is easier for most, as you can say on sunday... every sunday, I do a 50% WC on my tank. If you can't plan your life out like that, break them up, or as Tom suggested, change more water when you do get the chance to get back to your tank. The water changes are simply to avoid critical buildup of things in the tank, and the EI method does leave a certain "slack" in the line for errors. (once the slack is pulled though as with any method, it's bound to break fast without intervention :-) )


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 01:42 AM Thread Starter
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Sounds doable for me!

My WC's are usually a minimum of 50% anyway so that's definitely not a problem and I tend to lean more on the scant side of measuring rather than the heaping side.

I needed to get serious about dosing since the tips of one of my red swords have turned transparent and looks like it's melting. Fortunately the new growth is just fine.


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