I Want To Avoid The EI Method - ***Need Help With Fert Dosing from NON EI People*** - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-02-2006, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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I Want To Avoid The EI Method - ***Need Help With Fert Dosing from NON EI People***

I am not saying that the EI method is not good, from what I hear its excellent. BUT my reason for wanting to avoid it is the daily dosing and weekly 50% water change. I hope I dont come off sounding lazy, I just want to keep the maintenance at a minimum and make it safe for the fish.

I would much rather keep the nutrient levels at a level that is just right for plants to uptake (using Chuck's Planted Aquarium Calculator) and keep water changes to no more than once every 2 weeks. I am not planting anything yet until I get some more info on dosing.

I just bought these dry ferts from the Greg Watson site:

(Macros)
Mono Potassium Phosphate
Potassium Sulfate
Potassium Nitrate
(dont need magnesium or Ca because tap water has plenty)

(Micros)
Regular Flourish

Can anyone suggest some good fert regimens they have been using other than the EI method with success? If I keep the nutrients at the levels suggested on Chuck's calculator, how often will I need to change the water?


Here's what I got:

I have a 37 Gal Tank
2x65w 6700/10,000 k CF Lighting (not using it yet)
3 inch Flourite
Fairly well stocked (fish)
DIY CO2 (not using it yet)
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-02-2006, 01:48 PM
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Since you already got all the ferts you need use chucks Calculator and make up a bottle of each nitrate and phoshates say in 250ml bottle and figure out how much to add per week i think it would work. but you know the EI is so easy. Sounds like you got everything you need lights ferts and co2 ok heres what i would start out at. Mix a bottle of nitrates 3.75 tablespoons of nitrates in a 250 ML and each ml would give you 1.2 ppm .And mix up another bottle for phoshates 3.25 tablespoons in 250 ml bottle each ml would give you 1.01 ppm of phoshates. or just add them dry to the the tank but just remember to add alot of plants right off the bat.
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-02-2006, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexplosive
I am not saying that the EI method is not good, from what I hear its excellent. BUT my reason for wanting to avoid it is the daily dosing and weekly 50% water change. I hope I dont come off sounding lazy, I just want to keep the maintenance at a minimum and make it safe for the fish.

I would much rather keep the nutrient levels at a level that is just right for plants to uptake (using Chuck's Planted Aquarium Calculator) and keep water changes to no more than once every 2 weeks. I am not planting anything yet until I get some more info on dosing.

I just bought these dry ferts from the Greg Watson site:

(Macros)
Mono Potassium Phosphate
Potassium Sulfate
Potassium Nitrate
(dont need magnesium or Ca because tap water has plenty)

(Micros)
Regular Flourish

Can anyone suggest some good fert regimens they have been using other than the EI method with success? If I keep the nutrients at the levels suggested on Chuck's calculator, how often will I need to change the water?


Here's what I got:

I have a 37 Gal Tank
2x65w 6700/10,000 k CF Lighting (not using it yet)
3 inch Flourite
Fairly well stocked (fish)
DIY CO2 (not using it yet)
Are you familiar with the Walstead method?

Regards,
Barry
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29 Gal. - 100% Eco-Complete/2x65W CF/CO2/Filstar XP2/RedSea500/KH:3/GH:5/pH:< 5.5/EI Dosing/WWC 50%
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-02-2006, 04:00 PM
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Here's what I would (and should) do:

1. Get some test kits. Mainly just nitrates, but phosphates/iron are available too. It seems that rigorous testing is the only way to really avoid EI.

2. Get your lights + co2 up, then start dosing ferts. You can dose them dry on your 37 gallon tank, except for phosphates. They will need to be kept in solution, unless you want to dose 1/16 teaspoons or something rediculous like that.

3. Initially use a dosing regime similar to that suggested by EI.

4. At the end of 1 week, when you would typically do a water change, test for nutrient levels. by doing this, you can see where you are at by the end of the week, and tweak your dosing schedule accordingly.

5. Keep a close eye on plants and algae for signs of deficiencies!

After many iterations of this, you can probably get it down to 25% water change per month or something.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-02-2006, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexplosive
I am not saying that the EI method is not good, from what I hear its excellent. BUT my reason for wanting to avoid it is the daily dosing and weekly 50% water change. I hope I dont come off sounding lazy, I just want to keep the maintenance at a minimum and make it safe for the fish.

I would much rather keep the nutrient levels at a level that is just right for plants to uptake (using Chuck's Planted Aquarium Calculator) and keep water changes to no more than once every 2 weeks. I am not planting anything yet until I get some more info on dosing.

I just bought these dry ferts from the Greg Watson site:

(Macros)
Mono Potassium Phosphate
Potassium Sulfate
Potassium Nitrate
(dont need magnesium or Ca because tap water has plenty)

(Micros)
Regular Flourish

Can anyone suggest some good fert regimens they have been using other than the EI method with success? If I keep the nutrients at the levels suggested on Chuck's calculator, how often will I need to change the water?


Here's what I got:

I have a 37 Gal Tank
2x65w 6700/10,000 k CF Lighting (not using it yet)
3 inch Flourite
Fairly well stocked (fish)
DIY CO2 (not using it yet)
EI is not something you must do this or that with.
It does not require daily dosing, I've never once said it does ever.
Since it's something I came up with, I might know.

It also does not say you must do weekly water changes, it's just a suggestion.

Once every 2 weeks is fine.
Dosing 2-3xa week is fine also in higher light/CO2 enriched tanks.

If you have an adversion to water changes and dosing, go non CO2, dose once a week, never do water changes.

There are options depending of how much work you are willing to put into the tank.

But there are trade offs for every option as well. If you are fine with the trade offs, then you should do that method that best suits your goals.

My issue for folks is helping them maintain a tanks over time..........

Based off what you have stated, non CO2 methods sounds perfect for you.
I have written a lot about non CO2 methods.

Many think they are too good to be true and they require more patience, but they are without a doubt the easiest of tanks to maintain.

No water changes for months, dosing once a week at most etc....plant growth is slower, many don't like pruning much anyway, some plants will not do nearly as well, but most will.

BTW, I do every method, not just EI. I know the trade offs and enjoy different approaches, each method has it's benefits and I like them all.

Regards,
Tom Barr




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-02-2006, 06:29 PM
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the PPS system sounds like something for you. Involves giving the plants the exact nutrients to minimize excess and waterchanges.

also like Hypo mentioned..the Natural way "walsted method" found on the aquabotanic.com forum. No dosing, no water changes, low tech methods.


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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-02-2006, 07:40 PM
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EI works fine with water changes every 2 weeks.

John P.
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-02-2006, 07:44 PM
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What's "EI"?
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-02-2006, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheese Sandwich
What's "EI"?
EI is "Estimative Index". It is a "schedule" of fertilizing based on adding fertilizers and doing water changes to regulate the levels of ferts in the water. If used properly, it can help to maintain roughly ideal levels of ferts to promote plant growth. It was developed by Tom Barr, and his writeup of it can be found here.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-02-2006, 09:23 PM
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EI = Estimative Index, or dosing according to suggested guidelines according to your tank size, chemistry etc and tweaking that dosing regimen according to plant behaviour.

It is so easy and so forgiving and so flexible. Algae is a thing of the past and my measurements are not dead on accurate and if I miss a day, no big deal. It is a case of getting a feel for what your particular setup needs rather than following an exact regimen.

Steve

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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-02-2006, 09:24 PM
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-02-2006, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexplosive
Here's what I got:

I have a 37 Gal Tank
2x65w 6700/10,000 k CF Lighting (not using it yet)
3 inch Flourite
Fairly well stocked (fish)
DIY CO2 (not using it yet)
Since you have fairly well stocked fish, (at least this works for me) go easy on your light period, depending on types of plants you are trying to grow. You have a lot of light which will promote need for more dosing. Let the fish "primarily" take care of NO3 and PO4. I rarely dose those two and certainly not at what some recommend for EI levels. Dose K and Fe (and if needed Mg and Ca) at water change and micros 2 to 3 times per week. Think in terms of 1/3 water change every 10 days. Maybe occasionally two weeks, but that depends on flora/fauna load and three times a month would be better... Experiment around and see what works. Everyones' water parms are different and there are a lot of routes to choose. Use that CO2 as much as you can. Just my .02 cents.





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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-03-2006, 01:33 AM
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Sparrow & Metak - Thx.
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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-03-2006, 01:40 AM
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The EI method is not a heavy workload compared to most fertilizing methods. Every morning, or some other fixed time, you probably will feed the fish. With EI you just feed the plants too, at the same time. You add enough of each needed fertilizer element so that you will never be short of one. Then, because this might build up large amounts of unneeded fertilizer in the water, you do periodic large water changes, which reduce the amount of fertilizer back to below what is needed, and you start fertilizing again. This eliminates measuring nitrates, measuring phosphates, measuring potassium, measuring iron, calculating how much fertilizer to add to bring the low levels back to normal. Instead of it being a laborious technique, it is a labor saving one. If you change water every two weeks instead of every week, you just dose smaller blobs of fertilizer each time - no problem. We now know that too much nitrate or phosphate do not cause algae to bloom, and really do no harm at all unless you really go way overboard, so why not take advantage of the flexibility? However, other methods for fertilizing can work too, so it is up to all of us to pick a method that we like.

Hoppy
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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-03-2006, 03:07 AM
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Additionally, you can progressively add slightly less each week till you see poorer plant growth and then bump back up.

Essentially using the plants as a test kit. They are what we grow so they will always make the best test kit there is.

Once you get near the lower end of this dosing routine, you can effectively go 2-4 weeks or more without testing or water changes.

No matter what anyone wants to claim when using CO2 enrichment and dosing inorganic ferts, water changes do help versus not doing them. But the amount can be 20-50%, it does not have to be 50% all the time, that just is an easy number and makes the math easy as well.
Amano does the same thing and we both have told folks to do this independently for many years prior to even knowing of the other.
Blah, what do we know

It generally does not take that much longer on most tanks to do 20-vs 50%.
Once you drag out the equipment etc, may as well get the most out of it.

I just make the water changing part as easy and simple as possible. Some folks make autowater changes, then it's no longer an issue either.

Regards,
Tom Barr




Regards,
Tom Barr
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