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EI dosing - questions

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by Gerryd, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi all,

    I have reviewed the sticky for EI light and that document is the basis of all my questions:

    The text states:

    'The primary fertilizers are the macro nutrients - Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P), Potassium (K), and the micro nutrients – trace elements (Plantex CSM+B, Flourish, Tropica Master Grow-TMG). Iron (Fe) can also be supplemented if necessary.'

    Also it states the dosing for a 100-120 gallon tank:

    100 - 125 Gallon Aquarium
    +/- 1 1/2 tsp KN03 3x a week (N)
    +/- ½ tsp KH2P04 3x a week (P)
    +/- 1.25 tsp once a week(water change only) What is this element? See #3.
    +/- ½ tsp (30ml) Trace 3x a week
    50% weekly water change

    Questions:

    1. Where does Potassium (K) fit in here? I see no reference to it in the dosing parameters above.

    2. I have a 180 gal. Should I increase the above dosing by about 30-35% for my size tank?

    3. What is the third parameter above at '+/- 1.25 tsp once a week(water change only)' ? Is the the GH booster?

    4. My water parms are: GH 140-160 MG/l CaC03 and KH 90-100 mg/L. Should I use the GH booster, or is my water ok?

    5. I intend to use Flourish Excel for my trace elements. Is this adequate or is the Plantex a better product.

    I have my mouse on the ORDER button (from Greg Watson's site) for the ferts and want to ensure I order correctly. The three ferts I have in my cart are for 1 lb each:

    1 Potassium Nitrate KN03
    1 Mono Potassium Phosphate KH2P04
    1 Potassium Sulfate K2S04


    1. Are these the correct items? Am I missing any?


    2. I have 450 watts of MH hung 15" above the tank. Should I lower this when I start EI to ensure I have more light to use the ferts, or should I monitor and adjust only if appropriate?

    Thanks for all the help. I apologize if this data is in the sticky and I missed it.
     
  2. Crazymidwesterner

    Crazymidwesterner Guru Class Expert

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    I can answer a few of your questions.

    Question 1. Potassium is dosed while dosing K-NO3, and K-H2PO4 or anything else with a K in front of it :)

    The answer to number 3 is GH booster. You only add that after the water change. I use Seachem equilibrium.

    The answer to question 5 is flourish excel is not a trace mix. It is a carbon additive. Seachem does make a trace product but I believe the name is just seachem flourish, I'm not real sure though. I use Tropica PLant nutrition and have had good luck with that. I have also heard plantex works well for others.

    180 Gallons:) That's gonna be fun!
     
  3. jeff5614

    jeff5614 Prolific Poster

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    The Seachem trace product is Flourish. Flourish Excel is the carbon supplement product.
     
  4. FacePlanted

    FacePlanted Guru Class Expert

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    Either order the seachem flourish for trace elements, or CSM+B for a trace mix. The flourish is probably a better product than csm+b, but the csm will last for a very long time. dosing flourish for a 180 gallon tank will run out very quickly. I think either would work fine, though. I would still purchase a bottle of seachem excel, and use it occasionally to kill algae during an outbreak, and/or give the plants an occasional extra "boost". I have pressurized co2, but still use excel to keep algae at bay, and boost the growth of my HC when I feel it's needed.

    Good luck with EI--it has worked very well for me so far.

    -Mike B-
     
  5. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi,
    I would up the values by 50%. Are you using a wet/dry with a large sump? If so I would consider add that volume to my tank total otherwise your concentration levels will be cut by the percentage of the difference between the sump volume and total volume (if that makes any sense at all). I seem recalled that the GH Booster was the item 3. It's the only item that makes sense. If you use the booster then you'd probably not need the K2SO4. It won't hurt to add this though but for me it's all about avoiding complicated schemes. It seems to me that your tap water is fine and that you ought not need to add the booster unless proven otherwise. Instead of buying and adding the K2SO4, why not just add an extra teaspoon of KNO3. This reduces the number of "stuff" to add.

    As Mike pointed out, a tank that size, if well planted, will be voracious, especially if you are throwing 1/2 kilowatt of light at it. I reckon one pound of KNO3 will last two months with the standard adjusted dosing, but I have a feeling you'll need to double the numbers if the sump is as big as I think, so that means a month.

    I always recommend caution with the lighting in the beginning. It seems to me you are about 100 watts too much for the moment, but you do have the Excel so that might keep you out of trouble.

    I think it was pointed out that Excel has nothing to do with traces and is a carbon supplement only. Flourish or CSM+B are the trace mixes, the CSM being the best value per dollar.


    Cheers,
     
  6. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    All,

    Thanks so much for the answers......

    1. So HOW MUCH of it do I dose??? I never saw a measurement:(

    3. I thought so, but wanted to be sure....It was indeed the only one that made sense.

    5. Thanks to you all for confirming this and pointing out the differences in the products. I actually have a bottle of both in front of me and it is labeled right on the front. Getting old lol.

    ceg4048,

    I agree about the 50%. I do have a new larger trickle wet/dry and the capacity is about 20 gallons, so right around 200 total. Yes it makes perfect sense.

    I have yet to even start EI, so don't feel comfortable substituting as you suggest until I gain some experience.

    I also agree on the volume of nutrients that may be required. I will order some of the CSM and compare to the other product to see the rate of consumption and go from there.

    As far as the light, remember that the tank is 24" deep and 180 gallons. 450 watts is 2.5 wpg. I was under the impression that it was on the higher side of this crude measurement, but not I had 2/3 too much light!

    Add 15" to the depth of the tank and it is over 3' or 1 meter to the bottom. Too date, I have not yet 'burnt' any plants, and it has also been lower. I have no real algae issues, other than on the sides of the glass, which I clean weekly anyway.

    My plant load is relatively light at the moment (for the tank), and I have no high light requirement species either (yet), so it is at the highest adjustment possible. Do you really think I have that much light????

    One last note on the light. I have 14k bulbs and have 3 6500k replacement bulbs on the way. So, same wattage, but different temp rating.


    Thanks again to all for the prompt and courteous replies!
     
  7. charlie

    charlie Guru Class Expert

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    EI light

    Hi there, question 1 - you must have overlooked the potassium dosing , it is there
    http://www.barrreport.com/articles/42-ei-light-those-less-techy-folks.html

    Question 2 - i would just add the dosing regiment for 40-60 gallon to the 110-125 gallon, could be wrong but that would be a good start

    Question 3 - i`m confused, this is what i`m seeing

    100 - 125 Gallon Aquarium
    +/- 1 1/2 tsp KN03 3x a week
    +/- ½ tsp KH2P04 3x a week
    +/- ½ tsp K2S04 3x a week - here is your potassium dose
    +/- ½ tsp (30ml) Trace 3x a week
    50% weekly water change

    I think the others have been addressed.
    Regards
     
  8. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Charlie,

    Thanks for the info.

    As an FYI, I cut and pasted my original thread from the EI light thread including the dosing for 90-125 gallon tank. It did NOT contain the reference of:

    +/- ½ tsp K2S04 3x a week

    Now that you point out it is there, I checked the thread again, and it IS different than what I cut. I will assume it is my bad, but I could SWEAR it was not there before.

    Not sure how I missed it (that age thing again), but that is why I asked for enlightenment :D

    Thanks again to all. I think I might now have a clue........
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Cut and paste gnomes do abound:)
    However, it's wise not to believe everything you think also:)

    Most dosing that uses KNO3, supplies plenty of K+ anyway, roughly 4x more K+ is added per dose of KNO3 than is require for a critical concentration/limitation to occur.

    You can see that in the thread about using KNO3 as the sole source of K+ in that same EI section or in the article's section
     
  10. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi Gerry,
    Mr. Barr's response confirms that you can easily delete the K2SO4. Believe me, it's much easier to only dose 2 things than 3 things. Remember that you're going to have to dose for the rest of your life.

    I absolutely hear what you are saying about the light. I'm like you in that the tank is never bright enough for me, especially if there are carpet plants so I want to penetrate right to the bottom in order to be fair to my HC. I figure though that if I were an algae spore living 5 inches beneath the surface I would probably think that 1/2 kilowatt is NICE. :D

    Cheers,
     
  11. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

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    This wins my vote for quote of the month.
     
  12. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Dosing

    Okay, I obviously have some more learning/reading to do, but I am getting there, albeit SLOOOOOWWWWWLY :D

    Thanks for all of the help/tips/info.........I have read some more of the EI articles/threads/etc and have more to go...........

    I was thinking of the following dosing with is INCREASED by 50% from the 100-125 gal dosing, assuming I have close to 200 gallons of water including the sump.

    I will NOT be dosing K2S04.
    I will NOT be using a GH booster.
    I do have a high fish load.

    180 gallon tank + 20 gal sump

    +/- 2 1/4 tsp KN03 3x a week (N)
    +/- 3/4 tsp KH2P04 3x a week (P)
    +/- 3/4 tsp (45 ml) Trace 3x a week
    50% weekly water change


    This brings me to (I hope) two last questions, one practical and one ethical:

    Practical - vacation

    1. How is EI dosing affected if not done due to vacation or some other absence? Should we just resume the normal schedule upon return? Should we dose a little extra the week prior? Let's say a vacation of 7-10 days as an example.

    Ethical - drought restrictions and large WC

    2. I live in South FL which experiences SEVERE drought restrictions pretty much every year, and getting worse. During these times, there are many restrictions on water use, lawns, car washes, etc.

    I feel that using 90 gallons of water a week during this time is using more than my fair share. I feel that others are giving things up, why shouldn't I?

    How can I ETHICALLY and ENVIRONMENTALLY accomodate EI during these times?

    I appreciate all of your thoughts and responses.

    Thanks again to all and have a great day!

    P.S. Sorry about all the questions, but I have NEVER fertilized. Just a little afraid of failure I guess (like killing all my inhabitants), but try to remember that:

    FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real
     
  13. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    It appears to me that 90 gallons of water isn't much, compared to a normal usage of water. For example, flushing a toilet takes about 5 gallons of water, so if 2 people flush a total of 6 times a day, that is 30 gallons right there, per day, or 210 gallons per week. A shower takes about 10 gallons of water, so two of those a day is another 140 gallons a week. In my opinion it is lawn sprinkling that is the major usage of water for most hoseholds - if you use the drained water for watering your lawn plantings you aren't even adding any usage. Maybe I am just rationalizing, but that is only because I dump 5 gallons a day with my water changes.
     
  14. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

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    You can still do EI if you do a 50% water change every two weeks, but the difference will be that it will be possible to build up a maximum of almost double the total amount of nutrients you put in in total every two weeks, whereas if you do the 50% water change weekly you can only build up towards double what you are adding in total weekly. If that makes any sense.
     
  15. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Vaughnh,

    Thanks for your thoughts. I appreciate the time you took to think about this. I think a certain amount of rationalization is required for my question.

    Hi Carissa,

    I understand what you mean. That makes sense to me.

    I would go back to the weekly schedule ASAP after restrictions are lifted.

    I ordered my ferts and can't wait until they get here :D

    Same goes for my drop checker :D

    P.S. Should I expect very accelerated growth rates if all goes well with EI, or will it be a gradual process to better growth.

    Thanks again to all!
     
  16. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

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    I think you should see results right away. I did. Well I guess it depends on whether you have fast growers or not, the faster growers will respond very visibly and quickly if they have been lacking something all along.
     
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