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Changing levels of CO2 from 50% weekly water changes using EI method for 75G

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by catchnrelease, Jan 19, 2016.

  1. catchnrelease

    catchnrelease Junior Poster

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    I am in the process of getting a 75g planted tank going from scratch. I have the proper substrate (Eco-complete and Flourite Black with a top layer of ADA AS) ready to go. Wood and rocks in place. ADA glass bubble counter and pipes. One Archaea LED from Aqua Forrest Aquarium (love that place) centered over the top of the tank.


    I am waiting on my Eheim Pro Ultra G 160 filter and hoping to start planting it (just read Toms thread on growing the carpet plants with just enough water and not filling it up right away) in the next week or so.


    I am trying to figure out my fert plan and I am leaning towards EI, except I am not looking for crazy fast growth, and I am using CO2(not sure how many bps or ppm to start, but I am thinking 1 to 2 bps to start?). I figure I would use a percentage of the recommended amount for a high tech plant as a baseline for a 75g.


    Here are the questions. My tap water is 4kH and 7.5ph. I thought adjusting the CO2 ppm is how I bring down my ph. I think I want the ph around 6.8. which would give the amount of CO2 ppm it takes to achieve that desired ph. That is how I am reading it. Then I was told buffers are what I use to adjust my ph, NOT the CO2. Conflicting info.


    I am also under the impression I want to keep my CO2 at a fairly consistent level. I am also told I need and want to be doing 50% water changes weekly. I am told those big water changes drastically affect the CO2 levels. I will be using tap water. Is this accurate? What do I do? I did buy a drop checker, but I am sure that is missing the point completely. Haha.


    My other question is I am told I want to adjust water parameters (buffers for pH) before adding the change water to my tank. I also see people doing water changes by connecting a hose/tube to their sink and filling it that way. What is going on?


    Any opinions and suggestions are greatly appreciated. I am totally into this hobby and plan on being for a while and figure I will never stop learning. Right now "I don't know what I don't know"


    and really am taking pride in this project.


    Thank you!!
     
  2. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Consider increasing CO2 bps a little more. You may not need it if light is low to medium.


    Since you don't have a rich substrate (wish you'd have gone with 100% ADA aquasoil), you will need some water column ferts. May be go with EI lite. This means you will need to do water changes regularly to avoid fert build up.


    If you had a rich substrate, you could skip some of the water ferts or drastically reduce it (like those following the Amano method) and some of the water changes needed by following EI.


    Dont worry about CO2 levels during water changes. Just do the water change and move on. You're at the point of analysis paralysis. Pull the trigger. Make some mistakes. Learn. Adjust.


    If you want to minimize mistakes and learning, follow the Amano method per LFS and follow it to the letter. The Amano formula works. If you get adventurous and mess with the formula, it will blow up in your face. And you'll have an algae mess. And then you're back to mistakes and learning. Blindly following the Amano method is the quickest way to a pretty plant tank. But if you like opening the hood of your car and tweaking things, may be EI or EI lite is for you.


    But since you're using Eco-complete and Fluorite, it's not Amano method for you, I guess. If I were you, I'd go with EI lite. Dry macros. Commercial liquid micros until you get the hang of things. And do not make the classic newbie mistake of increasing your light. Keep light low. Be generous with CO2, filtration, flow, and water changes.
     
  3. Kathy Yata

    Kathy Yata Junior Poster

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    No pH buffers ever. pH doesn't matter. GH and KH do. If you inject CO2 then you use pH to determine very roughly how much CO2 is in the water and that's all. Use GH and KH boosters if your tap water is very soft. You would be doing those big water changes and always adding the same amount of booster. Plants need some GH and KH to do well. 4KH ought to be good, what is GH? Mine is apparently a bit too low and my plants do better if I add some GH booster.


    The water change thing is for low tech tanks, not ones with added CO2 gas.


    I add water treatment to the tank as tap water fills the tank through a long hose attached to the kitchen faucet. Enough hot water is added to warm the water to approximately that of the tank. Works great. I do spend more money as I dose for the tank volume rather than new water volume. With a 75 gallon tank you won't be happy lugging buckets for a 35 gallon water change weekly! Some people use trash cans on wheels to hold new water and dump water using the hose but refill with treated aerated and warmed water from that trash can. I suspect it all depends on how good your tap water is and how sensitive your livestock. I'm messy and have a 180 gallon tank. I wouldn't have this tank unless I could use a hose as one drips a lot using buckets. Lots.
     
  4. catchnrelease

    catchnrelease Junior Poster

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    Alright. I understand measuring ph is to see how much co2 is going on. Got it. I just planted some MC using the "dry method" today and was planning on around 10hrs of light for the next 4 to 8 weeks until things get settled and then fill it. Thanks for all the time answering my questions and I am gonna go with a lite version of EI and do the water changes pump the CO2 and start with 6ish hours of light and then dial it up to 8ish.
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    MC is pretty forgiving as far as a plant.


    If you worry about RATES of GROWTH, then the 1st thing is NOT EI or some other fert routine.


    It is always...the intensity of the light.


    Next, comes CO2. It can cause a 20X fold in rates of growth.


    Then lastly..............comes dosing ferts. Which will not cause nearly the same impact as say CO2 or light.


    http://www.bio-web.dk/ole_pedersen/p..._2001_2_22.pdf


    ADA aqua soil is where the nutrients are, so you do not need to dose them as much, but you STILL need to dose them. ADA suggest doing the large weekly water changes also.


    So they suggest the same thing that EI suggest.


    Curiously, few make any criticism when ADA suggest it.


    ADA AS also needs much more frequent water changes the 1st 2-3 weeks and then taping off to about 1/2 to maybe 1/3rd a tank water change a week.


    After about 1 year, the ADA As is replaced if you follow the ADA routine.


    If you dose more ferts to the water column, have a large fish load and actually feed your fish often(few ADA vendors/ADA tanks seem to do this), then you can get many years out of the soil. The soil is very similar to rice paddie soil, it declines over time in NH4. After 1-2 years, most all the available N is gone. The other nutrient remain for perhaps a decade? Maybe longer. I have 8 years from the ADA AS in my 180, but it's become pretty mucky and muddy. If you uproot and move plants often, the ADA As will break down faster. If you just trim the tops, do not choose faster growing species, trim well and often, then it will last longer.


    But ADA and EI offer the same routine essentially for water changes and the % is rather arbitrary, it is not a requirement that EI is 50% weekly to prevent build up, it's just a risk management tool, maybe 2x the total dosed is what you choose as your action based management routine, maybe 3x, maybe 4X, maybe 1.25X etc. Generally I started off rich in the ferts, then slowly reduce it..........till I see a negative response(plants/algae/live stock etc), then back up to the last prior dose. This tends o be the best routine.


    CO2 can be done the same manner, start with a good richer guess and then tweak it up till no new algae growth occurs within reason and plants are healthy.


    No matter what method is used, you are still guessing and then dialing it from there. I use ADA As and a modification of EI for most tanks using CO2 gas.


    Each tank has it's own routine and each tank has different light and CO2 and trimming routines/uprooting etc.


    You can not bother with the tweaking the ferts as much and just do larger % water changes, which only helps any planted tank and the livestock I've seen.


    Never understood why not doing water changes is such great advice. Can some folks get away with it more than others? Sure, is it good advice to new folks? No.


    ADA does not, I do not, ADG does not. Water changes, those we signed up for as part of this hobby. If you really want the no water change routine, then forgo the CO2 and high light and go non CO2 planted tanks, they look nice if you do them correctly. Far far less work. Growth is slow, but the method is well proven and can look very nice
     
  6. catchnrelease

    catchnrelease Junior Poster

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    Thank you for the responses and great information. If you look at the pic (or can see it) the ADA AS is covering part of the Eco Complete and Flourite Black substrate, not the entire top layer. My plan is to carpet the area with the ADA and then plant mid and back ground plants in the non ADA substrate. I will plan on having a good fish load, plan on feeding them. Yesterday I planted 5 pots of MC which didn't turn out to be that much coverage. I am doing the dry start method you wrote about years ago Tom. I am giving 8 hours of light. Is that correct for the first 4 to 8 weeks? I think I read something like 10-12, but also keep hearing about limiting light.


    When I eventually fill the tank and continue to plant the tank and it is "starting to run", I am planning to start with 6 hours of light, 3bps of CO2 (was gonna start with 1 to 2, but someone suggested with a 75g tank, start with 3). Is that good advice? And 75% of the EI dose for a 75g and weekly water changes (50%?).


    Also I was told the wood is gonna start to mold because of the dry start method. Anything to prevent that and what should I use to clean/ remove?


    Enjoy your day and thanks for the forum!
     
  7. catchnrelease

    catchnrelease Junior Poster

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    Thank you Tom and everyone else for your time and info. Greatly appreciated.
     
  8. catchnrelease

    catchnrelease Junior Poster

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    Just a little over two months since I added water and plants
     
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