Substrate for EI dosing - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 04:12 AM Thread Starter
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Substrate for EI dosing

Hello everyone, newbie here eager to learn.

I have shrimp tanks with plants and I’ve finally taken the plunge to do a full planted tank- a 40G breeder. My current plan is to do EI dosing with a rich substrate. My original thought was controsoil. However I was wondering with the weekly water changes using tap water (not feasible for me to get so much DI water every week), would I have problem keeping KH and GH constant, and would I exhaust the soil buffering capacity quickly? What is typically done for such a setup?

Many thanks for any advice you can give!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 05:35 PM
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Sometimes it seems hard to get the thinking going or posts just get overlooked? I hate to see folks get totally ignored so I might throw some thoughts, even though I'm not experienced with the soil mentioned.
My first thought relates to my lack of experience on this! Is there something driving the feeling you need special soil? It can sometimes seem to be more than needed as many who use EI dosing, do it with almost totally inert substrate like pool filter sand so I'm not against it but then also have never fully understood WHY as it seems to have lots of small points against it.
And that comes around to how it may work out for you and your water as water does vary a whole bunch. Part of the big discussion of how it will work will have to involve what your water parameters are as well as what you want them to be over the long term.
fish seem to be far more sensitive to these than plants so more info on what you have and what you plan may help to get the conversation started.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 06:03 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks PlantedRich for your reply. My main reason to do soil is for dry starting a carpet. However I don’t have much experience in what works best. I’m considering capped organic potting soil or Aquasoil. Among the Aquasoil options, practically all of them buffer to a slightly acidic pH (lowers KH). My question is if I use somewhat hard tap water for weekly 50% water changes for EI, would I deplete the Aquasoil buffering capability quickly? Also, would the plants be affected by a temporary shift in KH after each water change? Aside from plants, I’m thinking I will keep some snails, shrimps, small schooling fish, etc. yet to be decided. My main purpose is to grow some nice plants.
Your comments are much appreciated.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-25-2019, 11:57 AM
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Welcome to Planted Tank. Happy to hear that you have decided to learn about the technical side of the hobby.

Go with ADA Aquasoil and do your water changes. Do not worry about the buffering capacity.

Here is an amazing website to guide you through the process :

Instagram Account: @KeeperOfASilentWorld
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