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EI with new tank set ups & 2x weekly water changes

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by growitnow, May 25, 2010.

  1. growitnow

    growitnow Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi,

    Water changes 'reset' the tank with EI and in most practices the water change initiates a new weekly cycle of dosing. (e.g., Mon/Wed/Fri=NPK, Tues/Thurs/Sat = trace). Also, with a new tank setup 2-3x weekly water changes coupled with less than full EI dosing are beneficial in minimizing new-tank algae outbreak.

    I am trying to follow various recommendations from Tom and generous others on this site, in order to minimize 'new-tank issues'.

    I am in my first week of new tank running. In following those recommendations I have:

    * preloaded the bottom of the new substrate with established filter mulm immediately before planting
    * planted heavily
    * added zeolite to filters
    * relocated mech/bio media from established filters and placed it in the new filters
    * initiated 2-3x weekly large water changes
    * I am currently dosing EI at 50% strength
    * I also am running reduced lighting

    My main question is that when water changes occur more than 1x per week, is there any rationale to always dosing NPK on the water change day, or, should one just dose NPK or trace depending on what was scheduled on the day the water change occurs.

    Example:
    I do a WC on Mon (scheduled for NPK), then dose NPK. I do another water change on Thurs (scheduled for trace). On Thurs, do I dose trace, or do I dose NPK?

    "It doesn't really matter" might be an understandable response. But - given I am also following recommendation to dose EI at less than full strength -- it seems relevant to ask the question, so no significant imbalance cumulates over time..which could undermine efforts to REDUCE new-tank algae issues.

    Tank:

    90gal
    4x55w compact flourescents
    black flourite (no fancy nutrient loading; except preloaded flourite with established filter mulm)
    3 Eheim 2128s (277 gph)
    1 Eheim 1260 hobby pump (630 gph) driving the AM1000 reactor (reactor output split to create L and R CO2 return)
    about 2bps, drop checker nicely green

    right now:
    I am leaving CO2 on 24hrs (there are no inhabitants)
    "reduced lighting" I am running = total daily photoperiod = 4hrs, with 110w on for 3hrs, full 220w on for 1hr

    Intention for lighting:
    Week 1: 4hr total photoperiod (110w on for 3hrs/day, full 220w on for 1hr/day)
    I plan to increase total photoperiod by 1hr each week thereafter
    but maintain only 1hr per day of full 220w (mid-day burst), until tank well grown in
    later, 'full lighting' for me will = 8hr total daily photoperiod = 6hrs/day 110w plus 2hrs/day full 220w

    Though main question about EI & WC for new tank, any feedback/suggestions for overall approach would be appreciated.
    growitnow
     
    #1 growitnow, May 25, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 25, 2010
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    Here are my thoughts on your questions:

    1. Dose your macros with EVERY water change. Even if you just dosed macros the day before or even 5 minutes prior to the WC.
    2. You can also dose micros on the same day, just wait a few hours if you have concerns.
    3. Why not use full EI if giving c02 and plenty of light? What is your goal in dosing 50%?
    4. No need for c02 24/7. Not helping the plants at night as they require 02 at night, not c02.
    5. A green DC color does not guarantee sufficient or stable c02. Just keep this in mind. Move the DC around the tank as well.

    I think it all sounds fine, but I doubt I would ever use the whole 220 watts for ANY length of time..
     
  3. growitnow

    growitnow Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi Gerryd, great and helpful feedback. Thank you.

    Not using full EI, because that is what I have seen recommended for multiple new-tank start ups by folk that post here and elsewhere. I had presumed the less-than-full EI recommendations were intended to minimize algae issues.

    I'm game to up the anti if there is no sense that that may contribute to new-tank algae issues (or that there is no basis to less than full EI at tank set up)
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Has nothing to do with algae, has to do with no need to lard extra on if there's no way the plants will use it up.


    When plants are growing fast, well estbalished, then full EI is better since most is getting used up, we add extra only as a fudge factor to ensure we do not limit the plants, there's no need to add more than that amount.
    I think many simply do not understand this and think it's purely larding it on without any regard.

    This is a myth.

    I've never once suggested it, but I also know that in doing so, it causes no algae or other real risk either near as anyone has shown.
    So it's more just about tossing the ferts away for no good reason vs any real risk.
    I've got enough experience to offer advice about a tank when I have a pic and some general info. It's virtually never more than full EI. My advice and articles really get warped and twisted, this is also true for Diana Walstad's advice and book. How folks take and process the info and read what they want to and leave out the rest is common. All either can do is to keep stating what it really means and what is a myth, try to stop the misunderstandings etc.

    Such is life:)

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. growitnow

    growitnow Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hello Tom,

    Good! To clarify my (and others?) misunderstanding. As an often thought of but not stated aside, I think one of the key reasons I have come to respect your contributions so much - is your somewhat Herculinian capacity to state and re-state fundamental principles and messages. So I thank you for that. That such may be required is, indeed, the character of life. :)

    Regarding reduced dosing in a new tank, some long time ago you suggested that I run 1/2 EI for the first two weeks then crank dosing up as things filled in. That had been under the assumption of my use of AquaSoil. And it had also been my misinterpretation of rationale. I had incorrectly assumed without asking that the rationale was related to algae issues - specifically in a new tank. I ended up choosing black Flourite after pains in my buttocks from cloudy water experiences in a smaller non-co2 tank with AS.

    Thus, it makes sense for me to run full EI from the start given the cost of ferts is low - without risk of inducing algae.

    On behalf of all of the dense, I thank you.
     
    #5 growitnow, May 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2010
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I just want folks to be sure they have right from the start, nothing personal in anyway if I come off that way(as I often do on the web, but I'm a little bit evil that way, and that's my good qualities).

    It's a learning process for me also and I watch and see how folks respond etc, much of what I do is social science in helping others.
    Not a whole is really Plant Science.

    Like many, it comes out crotchety and I do not add sugar and make it into and Disney theme park.
    In person, it comes out a lot nicer though. Still, folks, most of them, even the kids, are adults on these forums near as I can tell, we get a few whiners, but with thin skin and false outrage, to hell with em.
    I ain't got time to pander that sorry punk crowd. The web is tough place, live with it, give folks a grain a salt and offer the same in return. Do not judge personally unless they prove it otherwise and need a good old smack.

    The life you save shall be your own.

    Since you have ADA AS, you really do not need much to start out with, that's non limiting source of ferts in the sediment, then there's less demand on the water column.
    However, your ADA AS will last much longer usign EI in conjunction with ADA or any enriched sediment.

    There's just less total draw from the ADA this way.
    So they both work together, but you can likely just stick with 1/2 EI and be fine for another 6-12 months.
    You will need more N and P later on(after 6-12 months).
    Since the N particularly will become limiting and larding on some added P seems to help over all, even if the plant demand is much less.

    I add about 15ppm NO3 3x a week and 4-5ppm PO4 3x a week on my old ADA AS.
    This is more than is needed, but seems to do the right things by eye on my plants.
    I also have a lot of fish and feed them well also.

    No risk, breeding, lots of plant sales to locals and on the web.
    All is good.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    As far as density, I've been there.
    I've been as thick about many things, and made plenty of mistakes.
    Never wanted to go all nerd with the KH2PO4 this and the KNO3 that...making solutions.........scaping etc..........Gas tanks CO2............

    All the same crap most everyone goes through.
    But........having done that process, I know what others are thinking and dealing with.
    But folks have to want to address these issues themselves via free will and their own mind and logic.

    My nagging or someone nagging at me does not work well.
    Folks have to prove it to themselves.

    That said: it is go to learn from experience, as long as it is not your own.:gw

    There's your 20/20 foresight.
    You have it, but only you can chose to use it.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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