EI and Lower Plant Densities, and Checking Test Kits


Prolific Poster
Dec 27, 2006
I have a 29g tank and I don't think the number of plants in my tanks would qualify for "heavily planted" more like "sparsely planted". I am basing this off of the photographs of other peoples tanks that I see... I am wondering if my planned EI dosage should be reduced due to this?

Plants in my tank:
Java Fern x 4
Egeria Densa x 12 stems
Hygrophila Difformis x 12 stems
Bacopa Carolinian x 9 stems

My other parameters include:
65 W lighting
~30 ppm of C02 (using 2 organic C02 generators with alternating biweekly re-charging)
Kh: 4 degrees (raised from 2 using baking soda)
Ph: 6.6
Gh: 9 degrees
* After reading in this forum I have confirmed my Gh and Kh tests Accuracy using DI water, seachem equilibrium and baking soda per the labeled inctructions.

My planned dosage is:
1/4 teaspoon of KNO3 3x week
1/8 teaspoon of K2SO4 3x week
1/32 teaspoon of KH2PO4 3x week (source tap has ~ 2ppm)
5ml of trace (CSM+B mixed @ 1T per 250ml) 3x week (alternate days from macros)

Some questions:

1) Is my plant density too low such that my EI dosing needs to be reduced? I believe EI will be broad enough that I don't need to worry about this...
2) Does my test kit calibration (* above) make sense? I think I can test my Ph this way as well if I simply leave the solution out over night to allow the C02 to escape.
3) My Hygrophila Difformis is shooting roots all over the place, at multiple nodes
far above the substrate surface. Is this an indicator of something wrong, or just normal performance? It is kind of ugly when it does that... do you usually just trim them away?
4) After sterilizing w/ potassium permanganate I use a weight (probably zinc) to bunch my plants together. I think they look nicer bunched. Will this weight affect their performance poorly?

Thanks in advance for any answers/information you can provide.