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Do you use the Estimative Index

Discussion in 'Off Topic and Chat' started by Greg Watson, Feb 20, 2005.

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Do you use the Estimative Index

  1. Yes

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  2. No

    0 vote(s)
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  3. Both

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  1. Greg Watson

    Greg Watson Administrator
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    Ok ... this is really a test poll ... so please vote ...
     
  2. Wö£fëñxXx

    Wö£fëñxXx Prolific Poster

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    Re: Do you use the Estimative Index

    Yes

    Character limit Yadda yadda
     
  3. AV8TOR

    AV8TOR Junior Poster

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    Re: Do you use the Estimative Index

    Been using it now about 4-months and my tank has never looked better.
     
  4. Tom Wood

    Tom Wood Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Do you use the Estimative Index

    No, WAY too much water changing. The planted tank hobby will never catch up with reefs if it involves that much work.

    But I like TBarr's overall approach because he relies on simple facts rather than voodoodoo.

    TW
     
  5. fosteder

    fosteder Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Do you use the Estimative Index

    I just started using it. As far as water changes go, I was doing 30% a week before so 50% may take a whole 5 minute longer? I can deal with that if it works. :D
     
  6. chubasco

    chubasco Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Do you use the Estimative Index

    I keep mostly 10 and 15 gallon tanks for my killies and do 50% WCs/week anyway. Now that I have a scale to measure dry ferts, I'm able to follow more closely the EI method. Moving up to larger tanks this summer, I'll have to see about getting a python or meridian waterchanger. Personally, I think EI should
    be changed to TBM (Tom Barr Method). I know he says others were involved
    in its inception, but he's the only one that has put in quality time to help
    those achieve results using this method.

    Bill
     
  7. JadeButterfly

    JadeButterfly Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Do you use the Estimative Index

    Yes. Used it for about a month. My plants are doing great now. I can finally focus on the FISH!!!
     
  8. GreenStuff

    GreenStuff Prolific Poster

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    Re: Do you use the Estimative Index

    I've been doing 50 to 60 percent water changes for about 2 years now so trying out the ei system isn't much of a stretch. Right now I'm just hoping it works because I'm just getting started with it.
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Do you use the Estimative Index

    Yes and no,
    I use it on a few tanks, I use non CO2 approaches on more tanks and the SW tanks get a little of both.

    The low light CO2 tanks need less and can go longer with the water changes.

    If you believe the issue is too much work doing a water change, you may consider automatic water changers, they are simple and easy to install.
    Python and other DIY methods of simplifying a water change is very fruitful as well.

    Then the motivation ......the Activation energy is much less:)

    Make the water changes as easy as you can for yourself, you'll thank me later.

    It's like DIY CO2 vs canned CO2.........

    If something makes unhappy, take responsibilty for it! Do something that improves the issue! Your life, your tank, your plants, your routine.

    There are many solutions to deal with a water change.
    You can do the non CO2 method, auto matic, semi automatic, buckets(only if you are into pain), get good enough to wait once every 2-3 weeks to do it, use less light, be able to use plant's as indicators and dose accordingly, etc.


    But if you want a simple way to solve an immediate issue and a simple method to keep on top of things and grow the plants well and get the tank into gardening shape for contest, it's hard to beat the ease.

    Non CO2 tanks remove the water change issue.
    We all slack off and go longer than a week at some point and things do okay also. Some micro manage and test lots, but generally we guess and add what we feel the tank might need..........till things start to become trouble some then do the water change..........

    Watching the plants and knowing how they respond is a key to that and not something many are keenly aware of.

    But there's nothing wrong with that method either........

    But if that is the goal(no water changes, do non CO2.
    That is well proven and I have some suggestions that will allow you to grow most any plant in a non CO2 tank with no test and no water changes...........

    This is a 180 degree turn from the EI.

    Many associatre my name and methiod with EI, but I do and have done things with methods.

    If you can do the non CO2 method and the high luight max growth rate CO2 enriched method, you can do most anything in between.

    I have about 4 main methods, they all have a number of basic things that tie them all together.

    Each method can also make a tank a winner in any contest, they do not have to look like a**.

    The amount of work is not that much with any of these methods if you set things up correctly, mainly prune work, the rest is hooking a water change device up and dosing which is very easy with water changes etc.

    I encourage folks to try things out. Learn another method.

    High light/CO2 max growth
    low light CO2, moderate fast growth
    Non CO2
    Saltwater(Macro algae)

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. Tom Wood

    Tom Wood Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Do you use the Estimative Index

    I keep a 90 gallon and a 70 gallon, both with CO2 and a moderate fish load. The 70 gallon is a built-in with plumbing piped to it, so water changes are a snap. The 90 gallon is in a second floor bedroom and I've made water changes as easy as possible with a hose system over the rail and out the front door to drain into the flowerbeds, and a water connection under the sink in the nearby bathroom. It's still more work than I want each week.

    So, I've cut back the lights, the ferts, and the water changes to slow things down. Seems to be working okay so far. A trim once a month, water changes when I feel like it, but maybe twice a month. Looking for maximum serenity here rather than maximum growth. :p

    I don't care if my tank looks like the pretty pictures, I just want green.

    So there. :D

    TW

    PS: The 70 gallon's drain is piped out to the base of a Live Oak I planted several years ago. It's about five times bigger than the others I planted at the same time.
     
  11. fosteder

    fosteder Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Do you use the Estimative Index

    nice way to recycle the water, instead of down the drain.... :D
     
  12. travdawg

    travdawg Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Do you use the Estimative Index

    I am likely going to try the EI with my 10 gall tank, but when I get my 75 gall tank (almost halfway there!) I believe I am going to start out with the EI, then try to scale down & find a balance with minimal changes, but keeping the plants healthy, with no algae crashes.... I really dont think I will be able to do it with high lighting (almost 3.5 WPG if I run all 4 bulbs) but I really want to give it a go. I think I will likely start off slow with half lights & build up from there.

    Actually, it really just depends on how lazy I am feeling when I actually have everything together. :)
     
  13. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Do you use the Estimative Index

    I don't use it - low light, soil substrate, non-CO2.

    Bill
     
  14. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Do you use the Estimative Index

    "Looking for maximum serenity here rather than maximum growth. :p
    I don't care if my tank looks like the pretty pictures, I just want green.
    So there. :D
    TW"

    Sounds good to me!
    Many/most folks fall into this group after a few months, years.
    Light is the best way to do that.
    CO2 is next.
    PO4 is 3rd.

    There are other issues, plant species type also plays a huge role.
    I use slower growing plants, add wood, rock etc.
    Don't keep many high light tanks.

    Newer folks trying out the high light tanks get a faster view of the deficiencies and thus can go back with less light and slow things down and be able to see the plant's response and take action before there 's a problem.

    Anyone can and most do back off so they do not waste so many traces, but if there's an issue, you can always reset the tank.

    Many have issues(algae/poor plant growth) and many like to see max growth rates. Many seem to think more light is better and will not remove/replace the light ...having spent a small fortune.


    I dose weekly on a lower light tank, I do the water change and dose after and that's it. That's pretty dang easy.

    But if I want to avoid water changes, I go non CO2.
    That is the best method to achieve that goal.

    Contrary to poplular belief, non CO2 tanks can be done to a very high level.
    Most boards are very slanted to CO2 enriched routines.

    I came from non CO2 methods.
    I still use them.

    They will be included and compared and contrasted often with CO2 routines.

    I want folks to see the mechanisms that drive each of these extremes with the methods...they are more similar than many think

    I also want to show folks your tank need not look like donkey or only grow hornwort. I've done a lot of work with non CO2 tanks and can really improve upon methods laided out by past folks Dutch, German and Diana Walstad.

    I used tanks with no Fish so I could add only inorganic nutrients and tested these to see what was causing the problem with many species of "difficult plants" for non CO2 methods.

    This made it much easier to see the rates of uptake and compare them based on CO2 growth rates and uptake.

    I still dose PO4/NO3, Traces, just not as much.
    I have added a lot of KNO3/KH2PO4, traces even, I've found similar results as a CO2 enriched tank...........no algae.........

    Diana Walstad did not tell you this.
    Why? Folks did not try and test these things.

    They have fish in there and that makes things more difficult to control and tease apart to see what the heck is really going on.

    If you limit certain nutrients down, it effects some plant species much more than others................this occurs in non CO2 tanks also, it's not so much CO2, the light is similar to the lower light CO2 enriched tank, so we can rule that out, what's left? Nutrients........
    Which ones?
    K+, Ca, Mg, Fe and NO3/PO4.
    NO3 and PO4 can come from fish food alone for many plants, but some sure do benefit from additions of KNO3, plants are alright with PO4 limitation in non CO2 tanks, but adding it does seem to help.

    Onyx sand and leonardite and a little peat really seems to do the best job. I'm very pleased with the results using that.

    I'm not big on POLLS, but seeing where folks are at with the non CO2 is very good info, I'll devote more to this than I'd planned as it's something I like a lot.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  15. Tom Wood

    Tom Wood Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Do you use the Estimative Index

    I'm very happy with my h. difformis, cabomba and hydrocotyle thank you. I've tried collecting and growing a wide variety and after a while it's just not Fun any more. And we must have maximum Fun. :rolleyes:

    I do like the stability that CO2 brings, but I'm backing off on that too. You might also want to look at the middle ground here - moderate CO2, too. Especially with a moderate fish load, some steady plant growth is good and a little CO2 keeps things moving along.

    TW
     
  16. freemann

    freemann Junior Poster

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    Re: Do you use the Estimative Index

    Hi all :)
    This is my first posting.
    I think high light CO2 is a challenge and challenge is what keeps me in this hobby. I use EI but I make 2 wc (each 50%) weekly (Navarro's way) in my 2 tanks a 400 lt (4.2 w/gal MH):
    http://users.forthnet.gr/pat/ekfrasis/aquarium.jpg
    http://users.forthnet.gr/pat/ekfrasis/aquarium_now.jpg
    and a 25 lt (4 w/gal PC). In the 100 gal this is really simple as internal pluming are in place and wc take no time but turning on off valves. I dose ferts daily in small amounts through dosing pumps and after wc add them all as-well in high amounts, there is 0 algae in my tanks at the moment but some traces of BGA in the 100 gal that tries to hold on to life. I think wc and adding all ferts after virtually kills algae. Hopefully this will keep up in both my tanks. This days I am pretty sure that organics or deficiencies are the source of algae and not inorganic ferts.
     
  17. imatrout

    imatrout Prolific Poster

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    Re: Do you use the Estimative Index

    Just started EI and have noticed improved growth and a reduction of algae after only a week. I was doing 50% water changes anyway as I'm a big believer in WC in general so it's not a big deal. I hasd a hard time understanding and dialing in the dosages. Still have a little BGA I nee to deal with and it seems EI does not address BGA. So far...so good.
     
  18. Cornhusker

    Cornhusker Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Do you use the Estimative Index

    :) when using co2 the EI method works great.setting up a new tank,(with good substrate)it is much easier to get tank going without a big algae issue.i've done 50% water changes for over three years,even my non co2 tanks. i personaly like to see the beauty of the plants brought out by using co2.i use medium lighting so you get the best of both worlds.t. amano would make things much easier on himself if he tried the EI method,(he believes in substrate fertilization only). regards,cornhusker :) :)
     
  19. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Do you use the Estimative Index

    Certainly and you raise good points. Easy plants are super and max the fun factor for those that are no longer concerned with the new stem plant of the month club or having lots of species etc.

    You are a much better plant grower/scapist if you have easy plants that are healthy and well executed designs and lush dense growth than so so difficult stem plants.........

    But I have excellent fun with the non CO2 and with some rarer plants that many seem to assume are difficult, like Gloss.

    The lower CO2 and easy plant combo is good also, I think more folks tend to move to Excel in those cases these days but low CO2 dosing will produce a similar effect with lower light etc.

    Keeping the lower CO2 stable is the key and few seem to be able to do that.

    You can have a nice tank with low PO4, but stable and other nutrients.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  20. PatrikRos

    PatrikRos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Do you use the Estimative Index

    Hello!

    My first post here too - please excuse my english, I´m not native... :)

    I use EI as Tom describes it in my planted tank in the livingroom. Tryed the example with much light at first (150 W MH over a 130-liter tank), and I did make it work after some months. A lot of work in my opinion, but fascinating growth rates (including growing algae I didn´t know existed in my tank... :)).

    I´ve had many planted tanks before, but always been running them in the lazy way. Now I have changed the light over my tank to about half of 150 W, and it works fine (much less work and much less algae). I mainly use slow growing plants now, and plants that doesn´t need that much pruning.

    I also have other planted tanks where I use fertiliser but no CO2. Low light, waterchanges around once a month and moderate fishload. Works extremely good, but to get a really nice planted tank with that metod takes more patience. As a lazy person and recovering from illness it suits my personality fine.

    I really want to thank you for all your advices and explanations, Tom - I know there are many people out here running their tanks very well because of your help. This beeing my first post directed to you - once again, Thank You!! :)

    Best regards,

    Patrik, Sweden
     

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