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A couple ?'s About EI dosing in a New 90G Planted Tank

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by HerbieBH, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. HerbieBH

    HerbieBH Junior Poster
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    Hi All,

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide. I've been attempting planted tanks for a number of years but my approaches have generally been haphazard and results quite mixed. I'm posting in this "new to aquatic plants" section because I am trying for the first time to do things correctly as I start a new 90G planted tank.

    I am in the process of mineralizing what started as a 40lb bag of topsoil. I have ordered dry ferts and expect to receive them by the time the soil is mineralized. (I ordered from aquariumfertilizer.com). The tank is 48"x25"x18.5" (WxHxD). Lighting will be 4x65watt 6700K compact fluorescents (Coralife). I will be using pressurized CO2 with a ph controller, planning to keep the ph in the high 6's. I plan to place some dolomite and K2S04 under the MTS and to use black fluorite mixed with black fluorite sand and possibly some playsand on top of the MTS. I'm not sure of what plants other than that it will include small ground cover for the foreground and I like the idea of starting with bulbs/small plants with lots of growth potential for the mid and background. In other words, I expect this to be eventually but not initially a heavily planted tank.

    Here are my questions:

    1. Will the 260 watts be too much light? Do you suggest using lower light, at least initially, before there has been much growth?

    2. Should I adjust the EI dosing downward initially and increase it as the plants grow? I'm asking this with the understanding the EI is based on the idea of more than enough nutrients for a heavily planted tank which this tank will be eventually but not initially.

    3. Is my plan to start with small plants that will grow large a bad idea?

    4. I understand that testing for CO2 using a KH/pH chart is unreliable. My tanks that do not use CO2 infusion generally have a pH in the high 7s. Can I assume that if I am using CO2 infusion with a pH controller to keep the pH in the high 6's that I will be providing enough CO2? If not, any other suggestions regarding CO2 "dosing?"

    I'm sure i will have more questions as I go along but answers to and thoughts about the above will help me get started and will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    That's going to be a lot of light. You can easily get by with half that and it'll be easier to keep up with things. I use 2x54W VHO over a 60"x18" footprint with no problems growing anything.

    -
    S

     
  3. HerbieBH

    HerbieBH Junior Poster
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    Thanks for the quick reply shoggoth43. BTW, how tall is your 60" x 18" tank?
     
  4. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    It's a 120 gallon, so off the top of my head I think it's ~20". The lights are another foot or so above that so I can get a full pitcher of water in/out of the tank.

    -
    S
     
  5. Chunks

    Chunks Prolific Poster

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    I can't wait to see you make progress on this tank!
     
  6. Doc7

    Doc7 Member

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    Hello all - related question to the OPs set up, if it needs a new post I can make one:

    Is it OK to have a 1 to 1.5 inch layer of "Play Sand" (from home depot/etc) on top of MTS? What about on top of Top Soil that has not been mineralized? I will have malaysian trumpets and cories in the small tank for this project.

    Thank you

    DSW II
     
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