5.5g Nano with EI Dosing, ADA Aqua Soil, and RO/DI Water Questions


New Member
Nov 9, 2011
Hi Guys,

I'm setting up this new tank and I've got a couple questions.
Please forgive me if I have misunderstood anything-- there is a lot of conflicting information out there and this seems like a good place to clear up some of my questions.

Tank Specs:

ADA mini M 5.5gallon
27 Watt PC 8000k
ADA Aqua Soil New Amazonia
Pressurized CO2 + Diffuser
Milwaukee PH controller
Eheim 2211 filter with stock media + Purigen.

Iwagumi type layout with
Dwarf Hairgrass

I'm using only RO/DI Water-- no tap water at all.

So guys, my questions are:

1. Should I add anything to the RO/DI Water even though I am using ADA AS? Or can I use it straight?
2. I want to use EI dosing with daily, large (50%) water changes for the first week, every other day for the next two weeks (or longer). Does this make sense?
3. Using EI, What dry ferts should I dose and how much (I plan to use a small gram scale for accuracy)? Does creating a stock solution make more sense for a tank this small?
4. Should I do my water changes at night, after the photoperiod, and dose right after my waterchange?
5. I have read that a PH controller is inadvisable. Why? What would cause fluctuations in my KH/GH that would throw off the PH/CO2 reading? I will be using a drop checker with a 4dkh solution as well, just in case. I fully expect to be cranking the CO2 to avoid algae problems.

I want to avoid any AS-induced algae blooms as much as possible. I figure I should do this right from the beginning.

Thanks very much for your help, this is a very interesting and informative site-- money well spent.

Thanks, and please forgive me if these questions have been asked before, I searched on the site as much as I could.



Guru Class Expert
Mar 14, 2007
St.Louis, MO
Hi and good choice on the tank and some of the equipment. ;)

I also have an ADA mini-m that is filtered by a 2213, perfect IMO.

I used to have it with pressurized co2 and a Walmart desk lamp w/27w spiral PC bulb and also two 13w ottlite reading lamps. I dosed EI and also used TPN+ but it's not available in the US so that option is out.

I now just keep crypts and have no co2 and swapped out the 27w bulb and ottlights for just a 13w bulb in the desk lamp.

Now I just use a the TPN+ once weekly after my weekly 40% WC and a bit of GH booster every couple of weeks. I also use 100% RO water for my WC's.

Here are links to the dry ferts you will Need for EI dosing.





You can do WC's whenever you want. I always do mine before the photoperiod starts.

And now to when I said good choice on MOST of your equipment. I do not see the need for ph controllers. I believe that if you adjust your co2 up over a day or so and use a solenoid to turn your co2 on an hour before lights and off a hour before lights off there is simply no need.


Prolific Poster
Oct 31, 2007
ph controller with a only RO/DI water don't work, the Kh is too low and will impact on the amount of Co2 as the ph will be easily dropped.
this is because the controller will switch off the co2 before this reaches good levels for your plants, as ph will varies a lot without a good level of buffer (KH)


New Member
Oct 22, 2017
los angeles, ca
How do you like your Eheim 2211? Do you think it would be good for a 7.5 gallon planted tank with a Betta?

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