How many plants enough for EI? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-26-2006, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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How many plants enough for EI?

I am starting up another planted tank, making it amazon themed and using cuttings from my other tanks. I want to avoid the algae and other problems I encountered with my first planted tank and part of the remedy for that was getting my ferts correct. However, I do not know if I currently have enough plants to add ferts per the EI method. If I do not, what method would you suggest?

specs: 20 gal long, eco/tahitian moon sand 50/50 mix, DIY champaign yeast co2 1 gal jug and ceramic airstone, about 2.5 wpg. Up and running for 2 months approx.

plants: 2 SMALL swords (i trade them out when they get too big), 1 med and 1 large jungle val, 4 small pennyworts, 1 chain sword, 5 or 6 stems of cabomba, and some moss. I want to thicken my cabomba but I want to see how it does in this light first as it may be a little too low. I have a better light I can use but I know apistos don't really like really bright light. Not sure if I'll stick to this lower light or diffuse brighter light via floating plants. I would also like to add more amazonian plants.

My fert program for my other tank uses dry macros in the form of P2O5, Nitrate of Soda (16% N with calc carb), and muriate of potash (60% K2O).
My micros are in the form of iquid flourish. I can add what's in flourish but I'm pretty sure most people already know that :-). From time to time I'll also add liquid iron but I still don't know when to tell when I need it unless my plants show signs of iron deficiency.

Thank you in advance.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-26-2006, 09:49 PM
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I would also like to know the answer to this question - also, what happens if you do not have enough plants and you are adding too much fert via the EI method?
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-26-2006, 10:52 PM
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If you don't have a lot of plants when you start up an aquarium you are more likely to have algae problems. I think it is best to start the tank with lots of cheap "throw away" stem plants, then replace them with the plants you really want after a couple of months or so. But, I can't explain why this would work well, so it may be another of the aquatic plant myths.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-27-2006, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you Hoppy. Chances are if it has worked for/is being recommended by someone experienced like you, then myth or not it's probably worth a shot!
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-27-2006, 03:56 PM
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I wouldn't say it's a myth. You can search for more about it on fins, but think of every leaf on a stem plant as a surface for the good bacteria to live on. The more bacteria you have, the more Ammonia gets taken up, the more starved the algae gets. If you can count the number of plants in your tank, then you are going to have problems. Shoot for 70% biomass, cram that tank with plants, and you will have a lot less problems with algae.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-27-2006, 04:06 PM
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The ammonia consumption is something forgot about. That is most likely why using a lot of plants is so effective. I just couldn't reconcile it being that the plants outcompete the algae, since I know they don't compete. Instead, if they prevent big spikes of ammonia they eliminate one of the conditions that signal algae spores to start growing.

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