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EI & holiday! (what to do with EI)

Discussion in 'Estimative Index' started by guy tillmans, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. guy tillmans

    guy tillmans Guru Class Expert

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    Hello

    I'm a newbe on this forum. I come from the Netherlands. I'm a aquarist sinds 2005. I've had lots of plants and also lots of algae. I've tried dosing on the redfield ratio. looks like EI but just only for de No3 and the po4. I wasn't lucky. But then a found the barr-report about the EI. I work with it now 6 weeks and the result is magnificant. I never had my plants so flourishing. So much thanks to guys like you on this forum and especially mr.Barr.
    After i've read every word on this forum and apc, about EI, i've a new question i couldn't figure out .
    What do i have to do when i'm on holiday for 2 weeks. I've nobody to look after my tank. Do i have to back off light( 4 to 2 bulbs) macros, micros and co2?? Dosingpumps are out of the question at this moment.
    And if i've to back off, how much??
    (80 gallon , 2w/g, weekly: 12ppm no3, 1.5 ppm po4, 1 ppm fe, 30-40 ppm co2, 7.5 ppm k2s04 and a little bit mgso4) (Kh =4 ph 6.5 gh 6)

    thanks a lot folks
     
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    I would do the following if possible:

    1. Raise the height if the lights if possible. More light = more need for nutrients.
    2. Reduce the DURATION of the light by at least 33%.
    2a. Yes, halving the amount of tubes will do the same as #1.
    3. Dose 3-4 times the EI for your tank. Combine this with a 75% WC the day before you leave. The higher dosage will NOT cause algae and will not hurt your fish. Remember that the plants will need food for 2 weeks.
    4. Leave the c02 as is assuming it is adequate.
    5. Ensure the c02 bottle is full. If in doubt, refill it prior.

    Before you leave if possible, do a couple of 50% WC with heavier 2x your normal dosing.

    Remember that the key is to reduce the light which reduces nutrient demand.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. guy tillmans

    guy tillmans Guru Class Expert

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    Thanks gerry,

    I will follow your advice. Is it ok that i reduce my light from 4 to 2 bulbs?? ANd after my holiday can i go back immidiatly to 4 bulbs, or do i have to build up the light?
    With 3-4 times you mean the week dosage of no3 and po4 and micro's??
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    2 weeks is a long time for the aquarium.

    I would try and find someone to dose say 1/2 the EI amount(2-4X ideally) and reduce the light.

    Simply set the doses out in small plastic cups and label what to add.
    This makes it easy of the person helping.

    I think many folks have issues, blame the method, then as they learn, they get better about other aspects of aquarium keeping over time.

    Then they try another method and it works, they think it's the method but it may be they finally go tthe CO2 running correctly etc.

    Algae is generally a CO2 issue in 95% or more of the cases I've seen.
    Dosing is the easy part.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. guy tillmans

    guy tillmans Guru Class Expert

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    thxs Tom

    I don't think my co2 was ever an issue in relation with my algae. It's ph regulated with a constant kh from 4. My probe is tested/calibrated 2 times/year at a lab in the hospital where i'm working. My algae are caused by an insufficiant dosing regime, i think. I was afraid that too much (even a little ) could/would cause algae. So pobarbly i've always underdosed my tank. Now i'm working on the "finetuning" to deal with the last few algae.
    All my plants are doing very well, behalve the pogostemon helferi. I can't get him deep green. The haerts keepa little pale, and the growth is medium.
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Generally, most dosing issues are CO2 related, however, if the algae is somewhat minor and adding more ferts such as NO3/PO4 increase the growth and the algae goes away, that's a good sign that it is indeed nutrient, not CO2 related.

    As folks add more nutrients, the plants start using more CO2 as well. So the CO2 can get away from you, especially as the plant biomass increases and if you have higher light.

    Fortunately, many in Europe are far more conservative about adding too much light to their tanks, a trait rarely found in the USA where "more is better" thinking seems to prevail.

    Even with a pH controller, you can easily run into issue due to low flow, reduced flow etc as the plants fill in and grow. Some response times can be very bad as well, but if you have a lot of flow and current in the tank and through the CO2 diffusion method(Reactor, Venturi etc), then the response time and ability of the pH control to respond is much much better.

    The KH can also fool you as some of the KH may not be due to carbonate alkalinity.
    1 unit off can cause a lot of error.

    Still, given the results of less algae and improved plant growth, CO2 seems less likely. What you report was common when I first started suggesting folks try more NO3/PO4. They had lower light and had good CO2, they where just missing the nutrients, so their situation was similar and easy to resolve.

    Over time, folks in the USA started to use more and more light, so the trend switched to CO2 and less to nutrients.

    More light =more CO2= more nutrients.

    Less light = less CO2 demand= less nutrient demand.

    For all the measuring done today with test kits, CO2 and light are rarely measured well and in the case of light, virtually none at all.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    you might consider IV medical drippers at a very slow rate, add the ferts to DI water and use those. A drop every 30 seconds will give you about 1 mls per 10 min, 145 mls or so per 24 hours.

    145 mls x 14 days=2 liters ought to do it.
    Soa 2 liter reserve of water, add 2 week's worth of ferts and that should about do it.

    If you can set the dripper slower, go for it or use larger volume etc for faster.

    Note: this will also address evaporation loss, which will be considerable over 2 weeks, you might pay a friend to stop by and refill the tank, add a few ferts as well that are set out and easy for them to simply toss in there.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. guy tillmans

    guy tillmans Guru Class Expert

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    Tom

    It is indeed so that folks in europe dont use as much as you in america. THey all get nerveous when we dose a little bit to much and there was always something limiting = algae. We dose that what is limiting, but then you are too late.
    I'm planning after my holiday to add more light(+nutrients surely) ad about 3w/g. I also install a hydor water(flow) pump to increase the flow. I underestimated that. I'v a pump 1200 l/h, but indeed my flow is slow (er) when the tank is full of plants at the end of the week.

    Thanks
     
  9. guy tillmans

    guy tillmans Guru Class Expert

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    That from the dripper(infuse) is a good idea. Easy to get for me :) . I shall do it that way. But micros and macros together ?? fe and po4 gives problems. Do i have to insert 2 infusions, one with the micros and one with the macros??
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Use 2 of them, be careful to add only what you are willing to add all at once:)

    They can fail or not be consistent, so keep this in mind.
    Do not use K2SO4 or GH booster in them, I think they will clog.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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