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?
link to tank info...
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.
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.