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Help starting EI

Discussion in 'Estimative Index' started by douahe, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. douahe

    douahe Junior Poster

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    Hello,

    I’ve been lurking around this forum for a while reading up on the EI and other topics. I’ve been looking for a way to improve the plants that are in my tank and think that a different fertilizer regimen would go a long way to assisting with that. I think I have enough of an idea to start with EI dosing, but I have a couple of questions.

    I currently have a 210 gallon tank measuring 72X24X30. I am running two Rena XP3 canister filters with mechanical and biological filtration. I also have peat moss and some phosphate remover. I have a 18W Cora-Life UV sterilizer hooked up to one of the XP3s as well. For lighting I have an Aquaticlife T5HO fixture that has 12 36” lamps. I have the following lamps:
    6 roseates 650 nm 3 on each side, 2 6000K lamps 1 on each side, 2 actinic 420nm 1 on each side,
    2 6700K 1 on each side. I realize that the actinic do nothing for plant growth. However they do a wonderful job of pulling out color in the fish. I run 8 lamps, 2 6K, 2 actinic, 2 6700K and 2 roseate, from 10AM – 7PM, with the remaining 4 roseates from 12-6.
    For CO2 I have a pressurized system comprising a 5lb tank (20lb is replacing it as soon as the 5lb is empty) I have a Milwaukie MA957 regulator attached. Output is about 6-8 bps. For a diffuser I have a Co2 reactor with a rio pump from aquariumplants.com . I am considering replacing this with a couple of in line foggers. In the tank right now I only have one Hydor Koralia nano 425gph. Depending on whether or not I go with the foggers or not I will add more.

    The tank is fairly heavily planted with the following: Vallisneria spiralis, Dwarf Hairgrass, Hemianthus callitrichoides, Echinodorus rubin, Microsorum pteropus, Bolbitis heudelotii, Echinodorus Osiris, Cryptocoryne wendtii, Cryptocoryne ciliate, Eleocharis parvulus, Nymphaea zenkeri

    I have what I think is probably a fairly light bioload on the tank. It is stocked with
    4 Elegant Algae eating gobies, 1 twig catfish, 13 cardinal tetra, 2 zebra loaches, 2 Fire red agassizi apistogramma, 2 double red cakatuoide apistogramma, 2 electric blue rams, 22 guppies and numerous fry, 2 flying foxes, 6 saiamese algae eaters, 2 albino bushy nosed ancistrus and about 40 new fry.
    I am in the process of trying to find a new home for some of the SAEs and ancistrus fry.

    I have been dosing with the Flourish comprehensive supplement at the recommended dose for 201g. Algae growth is fairly minimal overall, however I do get some growth on the glass and on the leaves of the melon sword which reach the top of the WC. I’m not sure how much this has to do with nutrients, light, or improper CO2 levels. I have an Azoo CO@ indicator that is in the green for “optimal range” unfortunately there is no indication how many ppm this actually is.

    My water quality has always been pretty stable. When I switched from my 120g to the 210g back in November it took a little bit to get things evened out. Right now my ammonia, nitrates, nitrites and phosphates all read at 0 on the API test kit that I have. My KH and GH are both at 9. PH is at 6.8. I would prefer to have the KH lower but the water where I live is hard and I am unable to do anything with RO right now. I do weekly water changes between 40-50%




    If I understand the EI dosing methods I should use this dosing regimen:

    +/- 3tsp KNO3 3 times weekly
    +/- 1 tsp KH2PO4 3 times weekly
    +/- 2 ½ tsp GH boost with water change
    +/- 1 tsp trace three times weekly

    Is this correct? Because my GH is so high already in comparison to the 3-4 that is assumed in the EI article, do I need to use the GH boost? I also assume with the nutrient dosing that I would want to remove the phosphate remover from the filter as well. Is that correct?

    Thanks for the suggestions!
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You might just skip the GH booster.
    Add say 1 tsp of MgSO4, epsom salt1-2x a week instead.
    I'd also add 4 parts of the trace with 1 part of the DTPA Fe, then add about 1/2 teaspoon 3x a week, that should be enough.
    You can add 1 part MgSO4 as well to the Trace mix.

    So 4 parts CMS+B, 1 Part DTPA Fe(eg Sequestrene 330 etc), 1 part MgSO4.
    Mix well etc.
     
  3. douahe

    douahe Junior Poster

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    So the dosing regimen would be this then?

    3 tsp KNO3 3 times weekly
    1 tsp KH2PO4 3 times weekly
    1 ½ tsp trace 3 times weekly with the added DPTA FE (Iron Chelate right?) and MGSO4
    1 tsp MGSO4 1-2 times weekly

    Am I correct in assuming that I should take the phosphate remover out of the filter?

    Thanks for the advice!


    Here is a picture of the tank after doing some trimming over the weekend. View attachment 2215
     

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    #3 douahe, Mar 4, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2011
  4. douahe

    douahe Junior Poster

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    Started dosing with the following this week:

    3 tsp KNO3 3 times weekly
    1 tsp KH2PO4 3 times weekly
    1 ½ tsp trace 3 times weekly with added DPTA FE and MGSO4 each at a ratio of 4-1 trace to additive.
    1 tsp MGSO4 1-2 times weekly
    1tsp K2SO4 3 times weekly

    Since I started, the water has gotten a slight haze to it. Is this from the fertilizers not mixing well? Or i from an excess of nutrients or something else entirely? Before I started dosing with dry fertilizers my water was crystal clear.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
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