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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently started dosing my tank following the EI/low light - weekly method ,from the Rota.la calculator.

How much water should I change and at what time intervals ,given that I don't use CO2 nor Excel ,and my inhabitants are:

3 Peacock Gudgeons ,1 Oto ,1 (small) African Filter shrimp ,3 Amanos and some red Cherry ,in a 10 gallon tank ,roughly 7 gallons water column.

I have a decent plant biomass ,mostly low light plants ,and fast growing plants.The noCO2 method recommends mostly top-offs ,and very rarely big WC ,so that the CO2 level doesn't create imbalances.
On the other hand ,EI recommends 40 or 50% WC weekly ,in order to reset params and prevent nutrient buildup.
Which one do I follow?
 

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I use the EI method on 3 of my tanks and dose very little ferts in my other 3 shrimp tanks. Before I went to having plants and going to multiple high tech setups my water changes were already weekly and 50%. I did this for the overall health of the tank and my fish. I never understood doing any less, but realize that is a choice. With EI I usually do 60-75% (1-75g, 2-125g). Even in my shrimp tanks I do 40%+ weekly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I use the EI method on 3 of my tanks and dose very little ferts in my other 3 shrimp tanks. Before I went to having plants and going to multiple high tech setups my water changes were already weekly and 50%. I did this for the overall health of the tank and my fish. I never understood doing any less, but realize that is a choice. With EI I usually do 60-75% (1-75g, 2-125g). Even in my shrimp tanks I do 40%+ weekly.
Hi ,Jrman,
The main reason I started changing 40-50% of the water was that I started doing gravel vacuuming at the same time.More vacuuming means more water siphoned(I don't have one of those vacs with bag ,who filter water straight back in the tank ,it is a vacuum which siphones water in a bucket ,from Dennerle.)

My tank is still kinda dirty ,la lot of mulm has build up ,it raises in the water column even if a shrimp sneezes :)So I feel I should keep up with vacuuming(maybe filter the syphoned water through a micron bag or some fine mesh/filter wool before it reaches the bucket,then mix some of it with fresh water and pour it back in the tank?) - that would give me less CO2 in the added water ,hence less imbalances ,meaning plants won't take as much time to adapt to the new CO2 levels?

As I had an algae outbreak - many types of it - I started properly dosing P and K ,since my tap water has almost none ,and my plants were stunted. Nitrates are around 20 ppm though ,most of the time.I also gave up my DIY CO2 ,as it wasn't constant ,and I think was the main culprit for BBA.

Some people recommend more WC ,some don't ,.....Classic EI recommends them ,in order to reset your params and prevent buildups ,yet the Non Co2 method advises mostly top-offs ,and second to none WC.You can understand my confusion.:)
 

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I have high-low to low-medium light tanks & dose a modified EI low light dose weekly. I still do 40%-50% water changes weekly. I also use Glut (Excel equivalent) 3x per week. I'm not having any issues. I don't have a lot of different types of plants though. My Ludwigia repens & Myrio have taken over my tank leaving little room for others. LOL

I modified my EI dose because I wanted to use more KH2P04 & little to no KN03.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have high-low to low-medium light tanks & dose a modified EI low light dose weekly. I still do 40%-50% water changes weekly. I also use Glut (Excel equivalent) 3x per week. I'm not having any issues. I don't have a lot of different types of plants though. My Ludwigia repens & Myrio have taken over my tank leaving little room for others. LOL

I modified my EI dose because I wanted to use more KH2P04 & little to no KN03.
Isn't Excel supposed to be dosed regularly ,like....daily ,or every other day ,at most?
I always thought that - since it's a substitute for CO2 ,it should be kept in constant amounts in the water(just like the real Co2 ppm is supposed to be kept constant) ,since it doesn't last more than 24 hours?That's another of my unsolved mysteries....
 

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On the glut dosing...I have a low tech nano at work that I dose. Granted I'm only dosing .5ml but I do not dose on Tuesdays (at a different office) or on the weekends, no adverse affects and plants have really still picked up their growth rate.
 

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Well I guess I actually do dose Glut every other day for the most part, except sometimes I don't use itthe day before a water change.

Not sure dosing Glut needs the same steady supply as using pressurized CO2 requires. Maybe someone with more knowledge can answer that question. I haven't seen any adverse effects dosing Glut as I do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well I guess I actually do dose Glut every other day for the most part, except sometimes I don't use itthe day before a water change.

Not sure dosing Glut needs the same steady supply as using pressurized CO2 requires. Maybe someone with more knowledge can answer that question. I haven't seen any adverse effects dosing Glut as I do.
I dosed every 2 days ,for a couple of weeks ,0.5ml for 7 gallon water column.Most of the shrimp stopped being active ,stopped breeding ,some even died.So I stopped using it and now they are active again.
 

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Since February when I re did the sub, my tank has been a mess as I don't care for the "Dutch" style where you can't see the back of the tank due to the amount of plants. Had a lot of plants die/get very deformed before that sub change because of excess iron in the Laterite sub I used but in all fairness it was because I didn't follow the directions and put more than recommended.
So now I'm nursing a couple of plants back to good health and just got more that went through a few days of storage/shipping so their not in great shape either.
So that is what I'm working/w at the monent but I dose Excel @ 2x the recommended dose each day. It keep out most of the GSA as I hardly need to clean the glass.
I do have Hair algae and the Excel doesn't seem to work on that as well.
But understand that I'm running 100 PAR in a 10g tank..way overkill but the directions for the EI say 50% and I don't exacly follow that either as I only use that EI low ligh/weekly version. So if I'm using 33% of the EI then I should be able to use less
WC also. Haven't tested the nitrates lately but shortly I will to see if any are building
up in there. The last time I checked it the plants were using it all up.
AND my Ludwigia still has a couple of pin holes in the leaves, but just a couple.
So I would say you can use less WC if using less ferts but I use the WC that goes/w the fert type that I use and double the Excel daily but it's to compansate/ go with
that light level. BTW...my other tank has no Excel and is growing better/w very low ferts...like half of the EI low light weekly. But those plants are very different plants
also. But ther have light right between the low and mid range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
BTW...my other tank has no Excel and is growing better/w very low ferts...like half of the EI low light weekly. But those plants are very different plants
also. But ther have light right between the low and mid range.
Hey ,I think I'm on to something here.....I also dose following EI - low light/weekly(in tune with the calculator though), and I have 1.8 wpg of T8 ,kinda low to mid-range also.Plants are low light(ferns ,crypts ,anubias) ,and some fast growers (wisteria and guppy grass) ,plus some bacopa and rotala here and there.Also have some Vals ,whose leaves ride along the water surface - shallow tank- 10 inch high ;(guess they are the biggest consumers ,since not limited by CO2 ,and closest to the light.

I dose only P(1 ppm) and some K; no additional NO3 ,as I have 20 ppm nitrates in my tap water.
Usually ,I measure PO4 ,just before water change ,just to see how much I got left in the water ,compared to what I dosed a week before.Nitrates were always around the 20 ppm range ,give or take ,but I haven;t measured since I started some serious gravel vacuuming.

I realise the tests aren't very accurate ,I measure PO4 just to make an idea about plant uptake.Last couple of weeks I got left with 0.2ppm ,then 0.4 ppm,before my 50% WC.Tomorrow I should expect maybe 0.6 ,due to the obvious small buildup.will get back on that.Thanks.
 
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