55 gallon NON-CO2 EI dosing

feh

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I've been trying out EI fertilizing a Non-Co2 setup housing mostly slow growers in inert sand. I did read thru the NonCO2 thread here and thats what got me to give it a try. I added nothing to the substrate at all. No tabs, no mud, soil, mulm, nothing... If my crypts start showing signs they need it I'll pop something in there at the roots for them later but for now all ferts are from the water column.

I'm using 1x 54watt T5HO sitting directly on top of the tank. Its a semi-DIY fixture. Basically I gutted an Aqueon T-8 fixture and popped in a T-5 6500k bulb and used a remote electronic ballast. I didn't swap the reflector out so its still using the original. No idea what kinda PAR I'm getting. I'm assuming if I had a good t-5 reflector it would put me in around medium lighting. I do think the wide angle of the reflector helps with getting a pretty good spread since it is a fairly narrow tank.

I'm only dosing once a week with 1/4 tsp KNO3, 1/8th tsp PO4 and 1/8 tsp micros the following day. I do water changes every 2 weeks. I haven't done any testing and I see no noticable algae. Maybe I'm wrong but I feel I'm already dosing on the high side. The tank houses 15 Amano shrimp currently and the plants seem to be growing quiet well. Its not a very heavy plant load - a large java fern, Xmas moss, about 5 crypts, 2 anubias coffeefolia, 2 types of Hydrocotyle, and some cyperus helferi. The java fern isn't in the best shape but it never really was when I got it from an online source. The tank seems to be stable so is there any reason I should up the ferts or just leave it be?
 

Biollante

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Hi,

Obviously if you are happy and the plants are happy that is a good rate.:D

Is that pure PO4 you are dosing?

Me, I would at least triple the dosing of the KNO3 and certainly look at adding some Calcium and Magnesium.:)

How long has the tank been set up?

Biollante
 

feh

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I use dry ferts... its KH2PO4 to be exact. I'm using plantex cms+b for micros. I have some Miller Microplex but I'm trying to get rid of the Plantex before i give it a shot. 8.5 hrs of light... which I forgot to add earlier. I like the extra 30 because it gives me a few mins to enjoy it before I head off to lala-land. This is 2nd incarnation of this tank. It was planted before for about 6 months then I got a 75 gallon and I moved the CO2 over to it. Technically its been going since last Oct, but I yanked the flourite and replanted/scaped it early May so Its been going for a month. The plants aren't exactly new for the most part. Everything but the anubias and the moss came from the 75 when I decided I didn't like the jungle look so much. The Xmas moss I decided wouldn't work well in the 75 and I just couldn't see tossing out $40 worth of moss so I ended up wrapping some wood I had laying around, one thing lead to another then I started thinking about ferts and looked over the NonCO2 method see what I could do to keep the plants happy. I do intend to add some zebra ottos if I can talk the LFS into getting some. Gripes about the price difference between them and others. *shrugs* Loss of a sale on his part really. My concern though is mostly I don't want to waste the ferts. I will try upping the KNO3 though. Its the one I was wondering about mostly. Thanks for the feedback though. Oh and the pH isn't too bad 7.2 which is another reason I'm wondering about uptake.
 
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Biollante

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Hi,

Keep a close eye on the plants and shrimp.;)

Were it me I would triple, (minimum) your dosing KNO3 and add 3 or 4 teaspoons of plaster of Paris and a teaspoon of Epsom salts at least with every water change.:gw

Potassium nitrate is cheap.:rolleyes:

The Hydrocotyle likes nutrient rich, particularly Nitrogen.:D

Still the plants you have should do well, the Cyperus helferi, is the best candidate for “problem child.”

Actually you have the makings for a nice paludarium, drop the water level 6-8 inches (15-20 cm), make sure the shrimp cannot escape, you have some nice amphibious plants.:cool:

Why is the pH 7.2 significant? What is the pH out of your tap?

Biollante
 

Biollante

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I Need An RO filter to Get pH 7.2

Hi,

Seems like a good stable setup. :gw

The pH (pretty much neutral) makes me think it is a good clean source, at the same time you probably do not have much in the way of nutrients or for that matter carbonate or general hardness, so you will need to supply them.;)

I would just point out that the EI concept is about not limiting nutrients.:)

My advice is to start with higher dosing and then back off if you think the growth can be sustained. Though remember as the plant mass increases so do the nutrient demands.

Light and CO2 are your limiting factors, if you are going to have a problem, I think the Cyperus helferi is the most likely.

The Hydrocotyle may balk a bit but with sufficient macronutrients, actually Nitrogen, they should to well…:cool:

Biollante
 

feh

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Dosing:
Since the plants are the same as they are in a CO2 enriched tank and we know the rates of uptake are there, we can scale down the rates for the non CO2 dosing routine.

I removed all fish and critters from the test tanks, I dosed only with KNO3m, and other inorganic fertilizer so that I would see only plant uptake and inorganic ferts contributions to the plant's health.

Going back and assuming 80-90% of the nutrients will come from the fish load, I added once a week KNO3/KH2PO4.

While trace mixes can be added, I decided to use SeaChem Equlibrium instead.
It has Fe and Mn as well as Ca/K/Mg/SO4.
I will add about 1/4 teaspoon per 20 gal tank once every week or two.
This greatly enhances the growth of the plants.
I also will add about 1/8" and 1/32" teaspoon of KNO3 and KH2PO4 respectively once a week or two.
Yeah, but based on the info given here as quoted above its not limiting its just not wasting it. Considering how light my fish load is. 15 Amanos. Some adult, some still growing... So I'm actually dosing for around 40 gallons of water which says I should definitely up the KNO3.
Carbonate and General hardness for my water is KH 2, GH 5... so still pretty good there too. And since I'm dosing 1/8 tsp of KH2PO4 technically I should cut back a little on that but its not hurting anything. Plus like I said it is a fairly light plant load which is probably why it hasn't shown signs of being a limiting factor yet.

Here's a pic for reference of how lightly planted it is.
55.jpg


So anyway I'll up the KNO3... and since the Plantex CMS+B has no Calcium perhaps I should add some Equilibrium.
 
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Biollante

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Minimally Non-Limiting

Hi,

If you had a plan, then follow it, you asked an open ended question, which I answered based on my experience, your “here” thingy takes me nowhere. I assume you meant the “here” thingy to take us to http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/2817-Non-CO2-methods?p=15139#post15139 :)

I simply do not see what I contradicted based on the information you provided, nowhere do I read that Tom Barr advocates, not providing required nutrients. Then I do not pretend to speak for the estimable Tom Barr (or anyone else).:cool:

SeaChem’s Equilibrium is fine product, but is (in my ever-so-humble-potted-plant-opinion) unnecessary, expensive and overkill. If you chose to use it, I would recommend a tablespoon a week and instead of KNO3, dose 2 teaspoons Ca(NO3)2.4H2O, continue the CSM+B at ½ teaspoon or so a week.

The great thing about our hobby is there are so many ways to succeed!

If it makes you happy, it works for me.:cool:

Wet and a few others have explained there are all kinds of high minded reasons to operate with the minimum amount of cheap fertz, if that is what makes you happy, be happy. :D

I guess that would be minimally non-limiting. :rolleyes:

Good luck,
Biollante
 

feh

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Jan 14, 2011
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I make typos. I had been up since 4:30am. I had to stay late dealing with nonsense at work... it was a stressful day. BTW my "here" link would've worked if it wasn't for the extra bracket. Hehe... anyway. Thanks for the feedback.