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Ive read many times that when doing EI method that you need to discover the balance in your dosing. Yet how do you determine this. Ive been dosing around 3 months now just at the reccomened levels and i guess dont see that much improvement then before. Now i have out breaks of GDA but i had the before dosing so i dont attribute it to EI.

So what am i to be looking for in my plants and how do i know what to adjust and how much in the EI dosing.

Thanks

D
 

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I've been wondering this as well. Do I have to get a ANOTHER test kit to determine the best values or are there other ways to tell?
 

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I went through this last year, and unfortunately the only way to reach Fert nirvana is to buy at least a Phosphate and Nitrate(NO3) test kit, since those are the two macro's most influenced by tap water, bioload, and plant matter. balancing them is most responsible for the good, like plants coloring up, and the bad, like algae blooming. It was not until I got a handle on these two macro's that I was able to keep algae from coming back, while optimizing my plants potential. You might want to ask in SnS if someone will sell you their year old test kits, since once you use them a few Months, you know your tank, and develop a feel for what it needs without having to test anymore, so the majority of these test kits go to waste.
 

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I agree with spypet, for a while I tested every time during my weekly water change and eventually you catch on to how much nitrate and phosphate is left over for the week. Adjust up or down depending on if readings were really low or high, and once you have developed a consistant reading for a few weeks, you are balanced! Haven't had any problems since then, and haven't tested at all either.
 

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Is it ok to under fertilize? Obviously your plants wouldn't look as good, but I would prefer that to algae blooms
 

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Why does underfertilizing cause algae? Is it because the CO2 doesn't get used up by the plants?
 

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Underfertilizing leads to algae too. Hence 'balance'. Not over or under.
In a tank that has been setup (150g) for over 9+ years: underfertilizing does not lead to algae outbreaks. I have had almost NO algae ever since it was set up and then only spot algae right below the lighting. Water changes are at best 2x/yr... 20-50%.

As far as I can tell...(over 40+ yrs) algae outbreaks are caused more by water changes than anything else. Especially if the tap water contains nitrates or phosphates from farm runoff.
 

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Plants are trying to use up more ferts than are available...they get stressed...algae sees this as a sign to grow.
At least, that's how I understand it.

Why does underfertilizing cause algae? Is it because the CO2 doesn't get used up by the plants?
 

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Water change only 2x a year? How is that possible? Any issues with fish, and/or plants?
 

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In my experience if you are running high light and CO2 at or around 30 ppm and NO FERTS then you will get algae (I did anyways) and as far as i understand it is because unless the plants have the proper ferts they cant use the CO2 and light no matter how much there is. This leads to algae which grows very well with just CO2 and light.
 

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If kimo is not fertilizing and not doing water changes and still getting no algae then i am assuming that he does not add CO2 and does not have alot of light. Basically a low tech tank.
 
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