EI vs ADA liquid ferts - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2016, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 10
EI vs ADA liquid ferts

Hey fishheads...

I have a question. I am setting up a 75 gallon planted tank with CO2 and high lights. I want to do it right and keep it as simple as possible.

The counterpoint I am hearing to EI is the 50% weekly water changes that is constantly shocking the fish. Therefore the ADA liquid Brighty K and the 3 step ferts seem much easier and less stress on the fish. Yes it is expensive, so can I mix dry ferts to make liquid and then dose an amount that doesn't require 50% weekly changes? I am hearing the only way algae grows is from not enough ferts (not from too much, hence the water changes).

I have been reading so much info that at this point I am suffering from paralysis from analysis. Can anyone break this down its most easiest method.
It's a 75 gallon planted tank.

Thanks you all!
catchnrelease is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2016, 03:34 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 588
Quote:
Originally Posted by catchnrelease View Post
Can I mix dry ferts to make liquid and then dose an amount that doesn't require 50% weekly changes? I am hearing the only way algae grows is from not enough ferts (not from too much, hence the water changes).
Yes, in fact you don't even need to mix solutions - just dose smaller amounts of the individual salts. EI was created as the "easy" way of dosing a planted tank, you can do it the old fashioned way by adding only what the plants can consume.

To figure out exactly how much the plants are using you can either observe growth or test the water.

Say you have a nitrate test kit, start by dosing say half of EI and measure nitrate daily. If the nitrate level is rapidly returning to zero before the next dose you can increase fertilization slightly. If nitrate is constantly rising, pull back a little.

If you only have the one test kit, dose the other two salts proportionally to the nitrate. If you have a lot of spare time you can perform a similar process with the phosphate/iron test kits and dose all three salts individually.

Once you have things in line you can reduce test frequency. Note that sometimes nutrient consumption will change (especially if bioload increases) so I'd probably run another set of tests every month or so.



In general I've found that each individual aspect of the planted tank (light, CO2, NO3, K, PO4, Traces...) has a very wide margin of error, you only really run into trouble when many are out of balance or one is at an extreme.

The hardest part is when the tank is just getting started, especially if all your plants have been weakened by shipping. My best recommendation is to get at least one bunch of plants locally - find the healthiest looking fastest growing weed possible (floaters are even better) and everything will be great. I started a tank once with only shipped plants and they spent the first three days shedding leaves which made things tough.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
691175002 is offline  
post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2016, 05:29 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (84/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 21,015
If you run your tank on tap water, not on RO/DI water which has various chemicals added to get the parameters you want, water changes do not shock the fish. In fact fish do better with water changes than without. When you try to adjust the water parameters to some ideal that you have in mind, water changes require that you adjust the change water the same way each time or you do subject the fish to sudden changes in hardness. That can be a problem.

The only downside I know of to big water changes is the fluctuation in CO2 content in the water. Tap water often has a much higher CO2 content than water that has been in contact with the atmosphere for a day or two. When you do a big water change you raise the CO2 content in the tank water, and then let it drop back to the roughly 3 ppm that is in equilibrium with atmospheric CO2. That often causes BBA to start growing. If you are dosing Excel or Metricide, daily, at 2 ml per 10 gallons of water, you probably won't get the BBA problem.

Another benefit of weekly or roughly weekly big water changes is that it encourages you to clean the tank, and do other tank maintenance, at the same time. Doing that is always a good idea.

Water changes can be done very easily, and in a pretty short time, if you use a DIY water siphon/filling hose system. I do mine in about an hour each time. It takes that long only because my tank is just a little bit higher than my kitchen sink, so there is very little water head pressure available for siphoning out the water. If it was convenient for me to use the bathtub as my water source and drain location I could speed that up to about 30 minutes per water change.

Hoppy
Hoppy is offline  
 
post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2016, 05:34 PM
Banned
 
dukydaf's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Rome
Posts: 1,273
Welcome to the forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by catchnrelease View Post
I want to do it right and keep it as simple as possible.
Guess we all want that but nothing is cheap, fast and well done.


Google PPS-Pro for a fert regime which does not require weekly water changes.

I would not trust test kits for determination of how much to dose. Most of hobbist test kits have very wide margins of error. Maybe, just maybe use them to see if you have a 0 or not ( For eg. I can get you a 0 ppm NO3 test result right after I dose 10 ppm reference solution) Put the money into more useful upgrades. Your plants will offer the best insight into what they need. The problem with putting just what the plant consume is that you will forever have to adjust your dosage according to trimming, plant mass, plant types, etc...

I think the ADA liquid ferts are way overpriced when compared to buying dry salts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by catchnrelease View Post
I am hearing the only way algae grows is from not enough ferts (not from too much, hence the water changes).
Well actually algae do quite well in nutrient rich waters, the major ingredient in the EI is high plant biomass that is growing fast. Usually when things do not go well plants stop growing and algae take their place.

Water changes are a way to clean the tank ( remove organics, leaks from plants during trimming etc) but also a way to deal with any excess nutrient that may have accumulated for one reason or the other.

Hope this helps. But be prepared for lots of reading.

On hiatus till later this year
dukydaf is offline  
post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2016, 05:59 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (538/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Oregon
Posts: 3,009
PPS-PRO would be a good option if you arent wanting to do frequent water changes, but as has already been stated, water changes are normally very good for the tank inhabitants assuming some precautions are taken.

As for cloning the ada line of ferts with dry ferts, other than the brighty K Im not aware of a recipe to closely mimic this line. If you do know of a recipe do you have a link?
nilocg is offline  
post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-19-2016, 01:36 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 10
Thanks for the responses and info. I have been getting my info from the Tom Barr report, Tropica.com and this forum.

This is what I know:
My tap water (Marin County) has a ph of 7.6+-.1 and a kH of 4 to 5 based on my tests.

I thought I needed those numbers to know how much ppm of co2 to inject to get my ph down. Then someone said you use buffers to lower the ph. Ok, so then I am told start with 10-15ppm of co2, but another source says start at 30ppm. I have know idea how to convert bpm into ppm. Someone told me start with 1-2bpm, someone recently said 3bpm. Either way I want to know what I am doing, not just take advice.

My tank is dry and I am researching what plants and fish I want while I wait on my filter from Dr Foster and Smith. I am also wanting to plan my ferts before water hits the substrate.

Bump: Thanks for the info and I appreciate the response.

I am planning on using good ol tap water and I am told it is pretty good soft water.

I am not looking to supercharge my tank. I don't want crazy rapid plant growth. I want a healthy, serene, setting. I enjoy the hobby and don't mind the time involved in water changes, cleaning, etc, but don't want or need a crazy plant jungle under water.

So, with a 75 gallon tank, what and how much and how often would you be adding fert.

I know it all depends on what the plants are telling us they need. I get that. I am interested in a good baseline amount and schedule. When I asked Aqua Forrest Aquariums in SF (Really enjoy that store and frequent it more and more), they suggested the liquid ADA ferts and were saying people come in looking for something other than EI.
catchnrelease is offline  
post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-19-2016, 01:51 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (73/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: New York
Posts: 5,942
Quote:
Originally Posted by catchnrelease View Post
...Yes it is expensive, so can I mix dry ferts to make liquid and then dose an amount that doesn't require 50% weekly changes? I am hearing the only way algae grows is from not enough ferts (not from too much, hence the water changes).
Removing excess ferts is not the only reason you do water changes. Water changes remove excess organics and or ammonia that will lead many times to fish deaths as well as the more common algae problems.

It's not really the ferts that cause the algae it's the excess organics that breakdown and are not absorbed by growing plants, filter media and/or water changes.

Water changes are the single best thing you could pretty much do for any setup. in terms of fish health, plant growth and algae control.
houseofcards is offline  
post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-19-2016, 02:03 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 10
When I started this hobby a few years ago (with 29g tall which is now upgraded and gonna run next to the 75g), I was told weekly water changes at about 25%. I have been doing that and now I'm hearing 50%. I thought that would take out to much bacteria and spike my ammonia?

Anyway I appreciate your response.

Thanks

Bump: Thank you
catchnrelease is offline  
post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-19-2016, 02:34 AM
Algae Grower
 
locus's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Oz
Posts: 142
I use the ADA liquid fertilisers on my three tanks (45P and two Mini-M's). They are designed to be used with ADA Aquasoil, which becomes a source of nitrogen for the plants so you can just dose Brighty K (potassium) and Brighty Step 1, 2 or 3 (micros). If you have really hungry high light plants then you can also use Brighty Special Lights (contains nitrogen and some phosphorous).

I wouldn't recommend using these ferts for a big tank - it would get too expensive. They are pretty much ideal for the smaller sized tanks I have though, saves mucking about with dry ferts.

I still do weekly water changes in the region of 30-40%, twice a week for the first 3-4 weeks of a newly set up tank.
locus is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome