Are 50% water changes required for EI? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-29-2009, 05:14 AM Thread Starter
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Are 50% water changes required for EI?

I really want to get into dry ferts and start on the EI method for my planted 10 and 30 gallon, soon to be stocked with nothing but oto's and crystal red shrimp(which i dont have yet). A lot of people do things differently with their water changes and dosing and such,
So i was curious if 50% water changes are absolutly necissary? to supposivly to ‘reset’ the nutrient load in the entire system.
30% changes wont do the trick? (30% being the usual for me, and recomended for crs on this sites sticky thread) I imagine the extra 20% wouldnt hurt the little buggers, but I'm just a bit curious.

I plan on ordering a bundle of dry ferts when my liquid Kent stuff is gone.
KN03, KH2P04, csm+b is what I am looking at. Sound somewhat in the right ball park?
Thanks!

link to tank info...
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/yo...o=view&id=1480


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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-29-2009, 01:23 PM
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I am not sure about your shrimps + EI + water changes. But I have found that there is nothing better than regular water changes for a planted tank. I change at least 50% every week and my plants love me for it. Even when I change less than 50% they are thankful.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-29-2009, 02:30 PM
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The problem is build up over time. Remember that CRS are notoriously sensitive too. You could change less water by knowing what your plants need, but this will mean testing and perhaps dosing less than EI. One of the nice things about EI is not having to test...
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-29-2009, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green024 View Post
I really want to get into dry ferts and start on the EI method for my planted 10 and 30 gallon, soon to be stocked with nothing but oto's and crystal red shrimp(which i dont have yet). A lot of people do things differently with their water changes and dosing and such,
So i was curious if 50% water changes are absolutly necissary? to supposivly to ‘reset’ the nutrient load in the entire system.
30% changes wont do the trick? (30% being the usual for me, and recomended for crs on this sites sticky thread) I imagine the extra 20% wouldnt hurt the little buggers, but I'm just a bit curious.

I plan on ordering a bundle of dry ferts when my liquid Kent stuff is gone.
KN03, KH2P04, csm+b is what I am looking at. Sound somewhat in the right ball park?
Thanks!

link to tank info...
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/yo...o=view&id=1480
You can read my post on EI and CRS.
Also, as far as EI, you can adjust dosing and adjust %. 50% is just
nice for the math part.

Having bred the CRS's and increased the population 4x over 9-12 months, and at 79F with other fish etc, using EI + ADA AS. Sort dispels the claims made as far as EI.

They kill CRS's without dosing anything to water also

So think about that and the results I've had.
Then decide.

You can also do like some discus folks do, or folks who over feed fish: 30% 2x a week. EI straight works fine like that.

I suggest using sediment based ferts, (soil or ADA AS, worm castings, osmocoat etc etc) along with any water column dosing. I no longer keep CRS's since they do better at lower temps than most of the fish I like.
Fish also tend to eat them that I like also.

Without a dedicated tank and chiller, they do okay, but I'm not willing to do all that for some dinky candy cane shrimp. I'll just keep the cherries which breed like flies and fish also eat, but the population stays high due to breeding rates.

No chiller, and I do not care much if I lose a few to predation.

Still, 30% water changes takes about the same time and certainly the same motivation (the hard part) as a 50% water change. Main thing to do larger ones more frequently(do not wait 1-2 months in between). If you do wait, only do 20-30%, then another a few days later etc and get them use to tap once again before ramping up to large % WC's.

As suggested, you can watch, etc, and dose say 1/2 EI also.
If you want less WC's and less ppm's, then use less light intensity. This will require less CO2 (the 99.9% killer of all fish and shrimps in planted tanks, not nutrients) and less stress(you and CRS's and the fish), and then less nutrient demands by plants. So you can get away with less.

Sediment ferts adds yet another back up, so less dosing, or leaner can be done, without testing also, so a holistic approach(starting with light, then CO2, then nutrients lastly......and their location), not a one narrow minded nutrient approach, is the best management.

With skill, you can estimate pretty good by reducing progressively down the dosing %, of the teaspoons, or mls(liquid solution) and avoid water changes eyeballing plants, to get a month in between.

But doing more water changes does not hurt anything, plants do seem to like the large water changes and pearl more on those days, fish seem more active etc.

I make water changes easy, then it's no big deal to do them.
There's no simple way to make testing nutrients easy and I as well as the large % of aquarists, are much less likely to do them consistently. Generally only after something is already wrong. Poor test method by aquarist only compound that issue even further. Lots of lolly gagging about the needs to test and few actual folks calibrating their test kits with known standards, their ironic claims often saying they do not need to be accurate, which is the same critique they say makes EI a bad method, it guesses, well, no more than a poor test method does. The scale on many test kits is really pretty wide as well. So 10-20ppm ranges are not going to be that good for accuracy to begin with.


Funny how that works

EI should be able to dial in +/- 10ppm for NO3.
You can adjust that to be 10-20ppm, or 20-30ppm/any range in between.

Same for PO4 ranges and so on.

Regards,
Tom Barr




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-29-2009, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the responses everyone! very informative tom, thank you sir. I will be checking out your post when im at work later.


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-30-2009, 01:48 AM
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TFH just published a pair of articles investigating the impact of low vs high volume water changes:

Time for a Change: A Mathematical Investigation of Water Changes, Part 1 November,2009
Time for a Change: A Mathematical Investigation of Water Changes, Part 2 December, 2009

Basic conclusion was that large volumes changes create a superior water column than low voume changes no matter how frequent the low volume changes.

Once you get a good routine going, especially with a tool like a commercial or DIY Python system, changing a lot of water really doesn't take any more effort than a small change. More time...to do other maint functions, or surf the web...but not more work. Setup and Cleanup are the same.

So EI, or not, large-volume changes seem to be the way to go.

AB


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-30-2009, 05:10 PM
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I saw the second article about water changes. It didn't seem to take into account the other part of a water change: removing dead plant material, uneaten food and fish waste from the substrate. Seems to me that if you factor in the decay of those items and the amount of time they are in the tank, that a daily 10% wc would yield a cleaner water column than a weekly 50%. Not saying that you should do a daily 10% just that there is no accounting for one of the main sources of pollution in the aquarium in that article.


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-30-2009, 09:05 PM
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Well, you have already bothered yourself enough to do the water change and pull out the hoses(hopefully folks are beyond the bucket brigade), so 10% vs 25% vs 50% is not really that much different.

Maybe as well do a good job and change more if you got that far and around to it.

If you play with buckets still, have a small tank, then it's also still the same deal, may as well do a bucket's worth on a 10 Gal, or 2 for a 20 Gal, how long does that take and the refil in the shower/tub? Like 2-3 minutes tops.

You cannot even test NO3 that fast.

Regards,
Tom Barr




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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-30-2009, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
Well, you have already bothered yourself enough to do the water change and pull out the hoses(hopefully folks are beyond the bucket brigade), so 10% vs 25% vs 50% is not really that much different.

Maybe as well do a good job and change more if you got that far and around to it.

If you play with buckets still, have a small tank, then it's also still the same deal, may as well do a bucket's worth on a 10 Gal, or 2 for a 20 Gal, how long does that take and the refil in the shower/tub? Like 2-3 minutes tops.

You cannot even test NO3 that fast.

Regards,
Tom Barr
No argument here. If you're using a python on a big tank or buckets on a small why not do a 50% or even a 70% than just a 20%-30%? My point goes specifically to the article which says that a 10% daily would take 11 weeks to reach "equilibrium" or complete exchange of water. It doesn't take into account IMO how long the pollutants are sitting on the bottom of the tank in the daily/small as opposed to weekly/large wc. Not talking about total NO3 or traces in the tank-referring to total organic pollutants and their accumulations and effect on water "quality". I'm becoming less and less concerned about "too" much fertilizers in the tank and more concerned about getting enough CO2 circulated, controlling light levels and removing pollutants from the tank ie: organic material, than "resetting" levels. Right now I'm using buckets on a 55 using RO water so a 20% weekly is what I do.I'm going to move to using a python and tap water and at least 50% in the near future. It just makes sense to go that way but old habits can die hard.


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