Any Estimative Index experts? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-07-2009, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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Any Estimative Index experts?

I've been doing (or should I say, trying) the E.I. method for almost a year. Still having some algae issues, not bad but an annoying amount. Just wondering if there are any experienced E.I. users out there that could comment on my dosing amounts/frequencies:

KH2PO4 (fleets) 1.77 ppm/dose, 3 times/week (5.31 ppm/week)
Flourish Nitrogen 7.85 ppm/dose, 3 times/week (23.55 ppm/week)
Flourish Potassium 3.6 ppm/dose, 2 times/week (7.2 ppm/week)
Flourish Iron .4 ppm/dose, 3 times/week (1.2 ppm/week)
Flourish Comp 1.66 cc/dose, 2 times/week (per the bottle's instructions)

I added a signature, but it didn't come over to this post:
20 long since 3/07
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Platies, Otto cat, Serpae Tetras, Neon Tetras
Java Fern, Java Moss, Ludwigia Repens, Moneywort, Wysteria, Corkscrew Val

Last edited by roadie; 03-08-2009 at 12:00 AM. Reason: added signature info
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-08-2009, 12:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadie View Post
I've been doing (or should I say, trying) the E.I. method for almost a year. Still having some algae issues, not bad but an annoying amount. Just wondering if there are any experienced E.I. users out there that could comment on my dosing amounts/frequencies:

KH2PO4 (fleets) 1.77 ppm/dose, 3 times/week (5.31 ppm/week)
Flourish Nitrogen 7.85 ppm/dose, 3 times/week (23.55 ppm/week)
Flourish Potassium 3.6 ppm/dose, 2 times/week (7.2 ppm/week)
Flourish Iron .4 ppm/dose, 3 times/week (1.2 ppm/week)
Flourish Comp 1.66 cc/dose, 2 times/week (per the bottle's instructions)

I added a signature, but it didn't come over to this post:
20 long since 3/07
AC filter
Coralife CF 65W fixture
Hagan manual CO2 with ladder
Platies, Otto cat, Serpae Tetras, Neon Tetras
Java Fern, Java Moss, Ludwigia Repens, Moneywort, Wysteria, Corkscrew Val
I am certainly no expert on Estimative Index but have successfully used it without algae issues. I don't know what size your tank is, but two things come to mind based solely on my experience and observation with my own tanks. Light intensity and DIY c02. You may be able to get with DIY depending on your tank size and good diffuser but only if you cut your light intensity to ensure sufficient c02. Otherwise, if you don't want to do that, you may seriously want to go the pressurized c02 route with a good diffuser. Just out of curiosity, what kind of algae are we talking about. Green spot algae, diatom algae, and green dust algae in my experience can be stubborn. Otocats will make short work of diatom algae, with green spot and green dust, you just have to be patient and it may take longer to disappear, but will as the tank matures and stablizes and you get your lights, c02, and nutrients all working in concert.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-08-2009, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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I would have to do some research to tell you exactly the kind of algae. Last time I looked into it, I ended up confused and still wasn't sure what kind I had. I can tell you it's brown on some leave of plants....especially on my currently slow growing Wysteria and some on the Ludwigia with short brown hairs.

Are you saying that if I don't want to go the pressurized CO2 route, I should lower the watts of my lights?
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-08-2009, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by roadie View Post
I would have to do some research to tell you exactly the kind of algae. Last time I looked into it, I ended up confused and still wasn't sure what kind I had. I can tell you it's brown on some leave of plants....especially on my currently slow growing Wysteria and some on the Ludwigia with short brown hairs.

Are you saying that if I don't want to go the pressurized CO2 route, I should lower the watts of my lights?
If it is brown it could be diatom algae, which some Amano Shrimp or otocats will consume. Brown hair?? I am not sure. There is green thread or hair algae, string algae, and black brush algae but these are not really brown in color.

If you don't want to go pressurized c02 you could try adding another DIY c02 bottle connected or daisy changed with a T connector and one bottle changed at least weekly. You could also try double dosing seachem Excel assuming you don't have plants sensitive to it like vals, elodea, and riccia.

Otherwise, yes try going slightly lower with light intensity(lower watt bulbs). I can honestly tell you that I had wisteria grow like a weed in my 10 gallon with only 20 watts(two 10 watt spriral 6500k daylight fluorescent bulbs) and it also grew like a weed in my 5 gallon low tech with only 13 watt 6500K daylight fluorescent bulb. In both tanks, it grew so quickly it literally choked out plants in both tanks and I ended up throwing it out as I couldn't even give it away, It was totally algae free. I won't even keep it in my tanks anymore as it grows like dandelions.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-08-2009, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your help!
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-08-2009, 12:47 AM
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Thanks for your help!
No problem. These are two are excellent links re: types of algae/treatment

http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/algae.htm

http://www.rexgrigg.com/Algae1.html

By the way, I found that this article best fits my experience of what causes algae
http://www.aquariumalgae.blogspot.com/
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-08-2009, 03:25 AM
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How can you be an EI Expert. Isn't the concept to simply overdose the ferts and then rebalance with a 50% wc at the end of the week. The idea is to make sure you have an excess of ferts. Well, I guess you could over do it, if you weren't careful....(like putting 5 tablespoons instead of 1 teaspoon sort of thing.) From what I understood, there isn't an exact amount that's "just right" (to borrow a phrase from Goldie Locks). I don't think that if you put too much you would get algae. The idea is to put too much!

But, I probably have this all wrong and now hords of people will flog me with verbal abuse.

Go ahead, do your worst...(to borrow a phrase from Monty Python).

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-08-2009, 03:34 PM
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I agree. With EI you put in more then the plants need then correct with weekly water changes. Once you get some experience you can modify to more closely reach the nutrient levels you desire. Of course you need to test your water to know where you are at. The real issue if you have enough ferts is light and CO2.

Check out Tom Barr's forum:

http://www.barrreport.com/

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 02:53 AM Thread Starter
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I understand the basic concept that E.I. is over dosing and doing 50% water changes weekly.

I was hoping I'd find someone that could look at my dosing and suggest what to adjust to help with the algae. I don't want to increase anything too much and make it worse. I think that is possible, for instance if Nitrogen (in form of KNO3) is too low and Phosphorous (in form of KH2PO4) is too high.

But I realize that unless I found someone with the exact same set up as mine, it would be hard for anyone to know what to adjust.

I will check out the links you all provided. Thanks!
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 02:59 AM
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Can you provide a photo of the algae. If you are using EI, your problems are most likely related to CO2 and lighting. Either you don't have enough CO2 or you are supplying too much light for the amount of CO2 you are adding.
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 03:27 AM
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If Seachem nitrogen doesn't contain potassium, I would increase the dosage of Seachem potassium. It should be comparable to the dosage of nitrogen. If you over dose any of those you will suffer greatly - by having to buy more Seachem water....I mean fertilizers. Other than that, no problem.

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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 03:58 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by helgymatt View Post
Can you provide a photo of the algae. If you are using EI, your problems are most likely related to CO2 and lighting. Either you don't have enough CO2 or you are supplying too much light for the amount of CO2 you are adding.
I will take a picture, but unfortunately won't be able to post it right away. Since I am pretty much stuck with the wattage I have now, I have ordered a second Hagen manual CO2 set up for the tank. I'd rather try that than go the pressurized CO2 route. I also ordered a KH test kit so that I can calculate the CO2 levels. You just may be right.

Hoppy, you're not kidding about the cost of Flourish products! When I run out, I hope to try some dry ferts in order to save some $.

In the meantime, I did find some info on one of the links that I was not aware of.......that the ppm's of Phos to dose should roughly be 1/10th of the N. So, I think I will try upping the N I'm dosing. Then I'll periodically check the tank's Nitrate levels throughout the week to be sure it doesn't go over 40 before the weekly water change is due.

Sound like a plan?
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 04:55 AM
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In your sig, the issue is plain as day and laready mentioned, high light, cheesy CO2.............

Get better CO2 system, a 10X better co2 diffusion method, ladders suck, fun to watch, but they really do suck

No dosing is going to correct a CO2 issue really.
Less light and better CO2, those are the main issues, nutrients are frankly very easy and way over rated.

Plants are 50% or so carbon.......... higher light= more CO2 demand.

It's not all about nutrients, there are other factors, that is why folks liuse things up with every dosing method for nutrients, there are folks that do well and a lot that do not.

It's not the method that fails, it's the user and why they think they have troubles. Some never accept CO2 as an issue. I'm always amazed at how folks(in general) will fuss over nutrients ad nauesum, but brush off CO2 without a second guess

Do not ever do that.

I can easily disprove a direct cause for nutrients and algae.
Easily................and so can others...............

We cannot do that for light easily and certainly not somethign as variable for measurements or the temporal changes for CO2.

We can mss with our CO2 and induce algae easily with higher light, so you do the math.

This is common sense, but often gets lost on many.



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Tom Barr




Regards,
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 05:02 AM
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The thing that makes your light so far greater than you need is the shallow tank, only about 13 inches. That light will give good lighting for at least a 17 inch deep tank. If you raise the light a few inches, 5 - 6 inches for example, you will have a much more appropriate level of lighting. Then you can buy some time to save up for a good pressurized CO2 system or a weaker light.

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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 05:05 AM
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Why don't you want to go pressurized? If cost is not an issue, there is not reason not to go that way. It is not hard...easier than DIY CO2 in my opinion. Who wants to mess with sugar, yeast, packets...when in the long run pressurized ends up costing you less. With the money you will have spent on Hagen units, you could have almost had a nice (used) pressurized system.
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