Back in February I had my water tested by a professional laboratory. Based on my dosage amounts and the measured water column amounts, I determined what my plants were using, and from there I calculated what upfront dosing and daily dosing would be required to keep the tank at a constant macro and micronutrient ppm level throughout the week, from right after a WC up to the next WC. My thought being that plants, if doing well, would like the consistency. What I found out, at least with my tank, was that consistent levels did not work out as well and the standard EI method worked out better.
My tank has a lot of different plants, some low tech, slow growing plants and fast growing, high tech plants. When I switched to the very consistent 24/7 routine, some plants would do very well, and others not so well. I also started to have BBA. When I changed dosing amounts, plants not doing so well would improve and the good growing plants would not do so well. I would change the dosing amounts again, and different plants would respond differently. And what was odd was Lud. Sp Red just sort of stopped growing and started to get algae, which was strange as it’s easy to grow. During this time I was constantly chasing the magical perfect dosing regime that was perfect for all plants. What I’ve come to realize is this formula doesn’t exist for a tank with many different kinds of plants.
About eight weeks ago I stopped up-front dosing and started to daily dose set amounts of micro and macro nutrients. It’s the standard EI routine, the WC resets the water column levels, nutrients get added daily and the nutrient levels increase, and at the end of the week the WC resets all parameters. Since I’ve done this a large percentage of plants across the board have improved. I believe the reason for this is the water column amounts are constantly changing from after a 60% WC to right before a WC. As the water column amounts slowly increase, they cross a zone that certain plants like, and as such they grow better. Maybe this zone is only there for one to three days, but the plants still grow well in this zone. When the tank ppm levels are outside this zone, they may not grow as well, but they still are doing relatively well and much better that being outside their optimal zone for the entire week which was occurring with upfront and consistent dosing. Maybe this is why EI dosing works so well.
I hope this makes sense to folks. It’s a different theory than what others may have, but with my tank having so many different plants, varying ppm amounts in the tank seem to work out better than having the same levels 24/7. Anyway, that’s my theory for now, and as I’ve learned with this hobby, my theories are constantly changing!
A little trimming last night, mainly removing about 90% of the floating dwarf water lettuce and topping the Eichhornia Diversifolia and replanting as a low as possible. @Greggz
, I notice you acquired some, most like from @Maryland Guppy
. I’m curious to see how yours grows. I like it as a low height plant, but this requires it to be topped and replanted every couple of days because of the fast growth.
: It's always fun when hiking is involved!! BTW, your tank is looking great, I like the recent post.