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Is this a good daily dosage of EI?

Discussion in 'Estimative Index' started by Gilles, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    After reading the thread "want more accuracy..." this question;
    I have 4 dosing pumps which pump out 1.5 liter / hour (meaning 0.42ml/sec)

    My tank is 126 gallon (incl. sump) which means i have to multiply the mentioned ammounts by 6.3. I also have high lightning > 3wpg.

    This would mean i have to add to 1 liter of RO water:
    * 378 grams KNO3
    * 63 grams of KH2PO4
    *0 grams of GH booster (since my GH is perfect in the water)

    Add 5 mls of this solution daily.
    Add TMG at 15.75 mls daily.

    However, on the calculator, i've read that only 36g of KNO3 can be dilluted per 100ml.

    Question 1:
    Is my assumption correct that i could also do this:
    * 60 grams KNO3
    * 10 grams of KH2PO4
    * 0 grams of GH booster

    Add (5*6.3=) 31.5 mls of this solution daily.
    Add TMG at (2.5*6.3=) 15.75 mls daily.


    Question 2:
    Is anybody familiar with the fact that KNO3 and PO4 don't mix together in 1 sollution, e.g. do they react on each other? or even better; is it better to separate them (2 different dosages)?
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    KNO3 and KH2PO4 do mix very well in one solution. I do it all of the time. The only mixing problem is when you add iron to the mix, then iron combines with phosphate to form an insoluble compound that settles to the bottom of the mix container. Now, if you dose from this container you aren't dosing any iron, unless you shake it up really well and get some of the suspended iron phosphate compound in the dose. It then settles to the bottom of the aquarium, where the plants eventually can use it.
     
  3. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    Oke guys, i've been dosing now for 2 weeks; planted my plants last wednesday; this is my tank at the moment; I did my water changes (more then 50% but less then 60%) 2 times, last saturday and the week before. I add TMG, Iron, Fosfate and Nitrate using dosing pumps, so it is pretty accurate and every time consistant at thesame time (3x a week)

    I am dosing for a 120 gallon tank right now, but i think i am going to half this, since my plants are really not that strong at the moment... Is the sign of algue on the edges of the plants a sign of to many nitrates in the water?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    P.s. as you can see; i've had my plants in pretty good condition before i moved houses..


    [​IMG]
     
  4. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Gilles,

    Yes, your old setup was beautiful!

    Re: your last post.

    At 3 wpg IMO you should be INCREASING EI and c02 and not reducing anything except the amount of light. 2 wpg is plenty.

    High light drives high rates of growth and thus a high nutrient demand/uptake.

    You are underdosing right now for the amount of light and that is why the plants are 'not that strong at the moment'.

    I get that same algae (I think it is BGA, which is not really algae, but I digress) when I underdose my KN03. Low levels of KN03 are associated with BGA.

    Many tanks dose higher than average EI based on many factors.

    I would recommend increasing your dosage by some % weekly and guage the effects. Increase until better results are seen.

    Also keep in mind that c02 and nutes need to be adjusted based on bio-mass, so as the plants grow, they need more of ALL nutrients to be non-limiting.

    If you gently shake the plants, alot of that algae will come right off. Then use a fine net to remove it from the tank.

    Turn off the filters first or the current will just blow it away from you....

    Look for the thread where I ask for details from folks on large tanks > 120 gallons and EI.

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    I agree with you, but i think my plants are not yet ready for EI since they are all very small.

    But actualy the problem is that this algue has showed itself when i had 108w on my tank, which is 1.2w/gallon.

    Current state:
    - I just recently increased my lights (since a few days)
    - Today i decreased my KNO3 from 70ml to 60ml.
    - At the end of the week (before the water change on saturday) i will try and test my KNO3 and PO4 to see how they compare (e.g. redfield ratio-ish).

    Is that a good approach?
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You may add the dry fertilizers into a larger solution bottle, say 1000 mls instead of 100 to dissolve it and add say 50mls instead of 5mls of a stock solution.

    The plants are not really macro limited based on the picture,s they look trace and CO2 limited more than anything.

    Getting the CO2 right is about 90% of dosing.
    Nutrients are easy.

    Your tank likely does not need nor require more nutrients like EI etc, but lack of biomass is really the issue, not ppm's of NO3 etc.

    In other words, higher NO3 from less plant biomass uptake is not causing your issues.

    I'd do more water changes, better CO2, more traces, your tank should be growing well in a few weeks.

    Stay away from Ratios and the Redfield Ratio etc.
    That's for algae, not for plants.

    You have issues more with plants and CO2 etc, not the ratios...............

    CO2 is about 40-45% of the plant biomass, an the main variable when it comes to algae. NO3 is very small by comparison. CO2 is the most common limiting growth parameter in nature and in aquariums.

    I have many of the same species you have in the tank.

    Looks like a BGA, much like I had some weeks ago, 3-4 DAY blackout, followed by good CO2 and cleaning took care of it, antibiotics did nothing.

    If you have the Limnophila aquatica and only the new growth is nice and bright green, then that's the alga. I have not identified it yet, but it does not respond to antibiotic treatment.

    I also had it in a 120 gal tank, but it's not come back since the treatment and good CO2, care thereafter.

    It has nothing to do with nutrients etc though.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    Hmm strange; but i'll look into my PH and KH values to see if i need to add more CO2. Is 40ppm a good range? I currently dose at 25ppm co2...
    edit: PH is 6.8 (digitally controlled); KH was 7 (meaning 31ppm CO2). I've decreased that to 6.7, meaning 39ppm

    More co2 i can imagine, but more trace? Really?

    Hehe cool ;)

    BGA is like a blue-ish slob on the bottom of the tank, i've had that before and BGA is a cyano algue right? I don't think i have that algue, the one i have looks a lot more on beardalgue, but it does NOT respond to Flourish Excel, or any other carbon injecting liquids available in the netherlands. It is growing like mad on my background, i'll make a picture of it sometimes. A site refers to a "beard-algue like" algue as eudogonium, but Google does not help me much with that. Anyway, i can confirm that it does not respond to biological treatment.


    I'll post a picture next week; since that is the time the tank has been growing in for 2 weeks, which gives more of a comparision right?

    P.s. my co2 method can't be better; it is dosed using an aquamedic 1000 reactor, which hangs in the last compartment of my sump (e.g. it is taken in by the pump almost immediately) and it flows back in my tank in all 4 outlets. The bioballs which where originally in it, have been replaced with Sera Siporax, which does not make so much sound but gives much more biomass.
     
  8. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Your main problem is trying to use the tank water pH and KH to determine how much CO2 is in the tank. That just doesn't work. It would work if the tank water contained only carbonates which affect the alkalinity, and only CO2 to affect the acidity, but tank water typically also contains phosphates added by the water company to keep the pH high enough not to erode copper piping, tannins (acidic) leaching from wood and/or dead plant debris or substrates, various fertilizers, etc. all of which destroy the relationship between KH/pH and ppm of CO2.

    A drop checker, with 4 dKH distilled or deionized water in it will measure the ppm of CO2 as accurately as we can, without spending over $1000 on a special piece of test equipment. Even that measurement isn't accurate beyond knowing that the concentration is somewhere between about 20 and 40 ppm. Once you have a drop checker working right, you can get near the right concentration of CO2 in the water. Then, with good water circulation all over the tank, you can slowly increase the bubble rate on the CO2 until you get the plant growth results you want, without gassing the fish. And, very important, you do need some surface disturbance, a rippling of the surface, in order to keep enough O2 in the water, and to get rid of the CO2 at night with the CO2 turned off.

    I know that all of this is important, but I have also learned that it takes skill and perseverance to finally get it all right. Then it takes regular good pruning habits to keep the plant mass from getting too big and throwing the whole thing out of balance again. I would like to say I have finally mastered it, but I'm afraid I would die laughing if I tried to type that!
     
  9. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    Hmm, do you know this by experience? I mean; everybody (and i mean everybody) in the netherlands is using KH and PH to determine how much co2 is in the water; e.g. a so called CO2 table. But, i do agree that there are a lot of factors (TMG, Phosphate, Nitrate, Aging of electrode, Fe) which all plays an important factor.


    Okay, i have made that sollution before if i am not mistaken;
    1. Dissolve 1 tsp (6 grams) of sodium bi-carb into 1 litre of distilled water.
    2. Take 10mL of this solution and dissolve it further into 490mL of distilled water.
    3. You now have a solution with carbonate hardness of 4 degrees.

    I have to use NaHCO3 for that if i am not mistaken; which is found in baking powder, stumach tablets etc. in the Netherlands. However, i think it is better to buy NaHCO3 in the farmacy to have cleaner powder, right?


    Every week, before my water change i prune ;)
     
  10. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    The equation relating ppm of CO2 to KH and pH shows that ppm of CO2 is directly proportional to KH and inversely proportional to ten raised to the pH power. So, a 10% error in KH results only in a 10% error in ppm of CO2. That means you can use your KH measuring kit to determine that the KH of your drop checker water is 4 dKH. If it is actually 3.5 dKH your ppm of CO2 error is only 12.5%, which is extremely accurate compared to the inaccuracy a small pH error causes. (If you think the pH is 6.6 and it is really 6.8 - 3% error - the error in ppm of CO2 is 33% - 20ppm instead of the 30ppm you think you have.)

    Yes, I know from experience that the KH/pH/CO2 table doesn't work in real aquariums. I used to have over 100 ppm of CO2 in my tank, based on that chart, but in reality I only had about 10 ppm, based on a drop checker. That is why people were getting BBA all of the time, but were sure they had over 30, and as much as 100 ppm of CO2 in the water. I did a lot of testing before I was convinced that the drop checker method actually works well. And, most of that testing was a futile effort to prove to myself that it wouldn't work.

    The problem Tom has found that dooms all of our CO2 measurements is that the concentation of CO2 in an aquarium varies widely from place to place in the tank. And, that is what has led to the desire to get a lot more water circulation in the tank. I'm sure that a couple of years from now we will all know a lot more about this subject.
     
  11. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    Hi Hoppy, wow it is amazing; i just redid my water checks; mind you it is a resting day so none of the macros have been dosed today. Here are the values:

    KH was tested using 20ml of water (using lab needle), meaning 0.25 dkh accuracy.
    - KH (test bottle 1): 26 drops to trigger the colloration: KH 6.5
    - KH (test bottle 2): 32 drops to trigger the colloration: KH 8.0

    I also installed a CO2 checker from Dennerle, which comes with its own fluid and colloration table. After sitting in the tank for a few hours (at thesame place my PH electrode is) it reads dark green / blue-ish which meant that the PH according to the drop checker is 7 or 7.1.

    That shocked me, since the PH of my computer read 6.7 (!!) So something is wrong, either the drop checker or the electrode... I took a brand new PH electrode of the shelf since the current one is doing its duty allready 1.5 years now. Lets see if that makes a difference... I am going to calibrate it in a few minutes and then hang that in my tank to see if that gives me a reading of 7.0 PH (which i expect since it is new).

    I also did all the other tests i could do;
    - NO3: Turned bright red (Red sea test): meaning 20-50ppm, closer to 50ppm
    - PO4: Turned Dark green / blue-ish; meaning 1.0 ppm po4

    edit: Just calibrated and installed the new PH electrode and what do you know.. it gave a reading of 7.05 when i had calibrated it, so the old electrode WAS malfunctioning. Even though i re-calibrated it just 2 weeks ago! Damn.... So.. basically my co2 is now pumping in my aquarium again, and if all goes well i expect tomorrow that it reads 6.7 and that the drop checker is bright green.

    But... for now my last question remains.. Do i need to adjust my EI dosage so the NO3/PO4 levels will be more in harmony next week?
     
  12. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I don't know what the Dennerle fluid for their drop checker contains. Is it a fluid that you fill half the bulb with, or is it something you add in drops? If it is to be added in drops to water in the bulb, you have to use 4 dKH distilled water in the bulb or it will just measure the pH of the tank water. And, the pH of the tank water doesn't work to tell you how much CO2 you have in the tank water.

    If it is a fluid you fill the bulb halfway with, the color of the bulb doesn't tell you the pH of the tank water, so your pH probe may be giving a good result now.
     
  13. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    It is a fluid which i have to fill the glas bulb with. I don't have to add anything in it.
    http://www.f3images.com/IMD/MD_images/aquarium/co2_visual_indicator.jpg

    p.s. dont understand this "If it is a fluid you fill the bulb halfway with, the color of the bulb doesn't tell you the pH of the tank water, so your pH probe may be giving a good result now."
     
  14. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Dennerle must be using 4 dKH distilled water mixed with pH reagent for that fluid. That means they are using their drop checker the same way we reccommend using it. The pH of the liquid in the drop checker isn't the same as the pH of the tank water. The only thing that is the same as the tank water is the concentration of CO2 in both. Since the drop checker fluid is water with nothing affecting alkalinity except carbonates and nothing affect acidity except CO2, the KH/pH/CO2 chart works for that little bit of fluid. So, since you know it has a KH of 4 dKH, and the color tells you the pH of that bit of fluid, the table tells you how much CO2 is the bulb of the drop checker, and because that is in equilibrium with the concentration in the tank water, the tank water has that same ppm of CO2. But the tank water will have some other KH, will have other compounds in it that affect the KH other than carbonates, and may have tannins or other acids in it that affect the pH, you can't tell from the drop checker color what the pH of the tank water is.
     
  15. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    Well update; i changed my EI dosing of nitrates from 70ml 3 times a week to 60ml last week and 40ml this week. Plants seem to like it since my new heads no longer are covered (that much) with algue. I am almost positive that this is the result of my new electrode, my new dosing scheme and maybe i can give an extra boost by changing my lights.

    --------------------------------------------------
    old setup:
    --------------------------------------------------
    lamp 1: (Philips TLD T5 HO 830):
    07:30:00 0
    08:30:00 80
    13:30:00 80
    14:30:00 100
    18:30:00 100
    19:30:00 80
    21:30:00 80
    22:30:00 0

    lamp 2: (Philips TLD T5 HO 865):
    08:00:00 0
    09:00:00 80
    14:00:00 80
    15:00:00 100
    18:00:00 100
    19:00:00 80
    21:00:00 80
    22:00:00 0

    lamp 3: (Philips TLD T5 HO 840):
    07:30:00 0
    08:30:00 80
    13:30:00 80
    14:30:00 100
    18:30:00 100
    19:30:00 80
    21:30:00 80
    22:30:00 0

    lamp 4: (Philips TLD T5 HO 830):
    08:30:00 0
    09:30:00 80
    14:30:00 80
    15:30:00 100
    17:30:00 100
    18:30:00 80
    20:30:00 80
    21:30:00 0

    lamp 5: (Philips TLD T5 HO 865):
    08:00:00 0
    09:00:00 80
    14:00:00 80
    15:00:00 100
    18:00:00 100
    19:00:00 80
    21:00:00 80
    22:00:00 0

    lamp 6: (Philips TLD T5 HO 840):
    08:30:00 0
    09:30:00 80
    14:30:00 80
    15:30:00 100
    17:30:00 100
    18:30:00 80
    20:30:00 80
    21:30:00 0

    which gives this table
    [​IMG]

    and this chart
    [​IMG]

    As you can see, i peak my lights late, and i give a lot of blue light. In my new setup; i am going to change that in what you will see later this week.
     
  16. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    Some pics since the last update


    Sump

    [​IMG]


    Overview, a bit foggy dont know why

    [​IMG]


    I have to do a trim..

    [​IMG]


    Macrandra seems to be enjoying itself...

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    Limno Aquatica with BGA?

    [​IMG]


    Tonina belem / manaus (?) having a hard time:

    [​IMG]


    HC not growing at all...

    [​IMG]


    Aromatica / stellata:

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    Other plant

    [​IMG]


    So.. still lots (..) of algue. I also seem to develop hair algue..

    [​IMG]
     
  19. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I see bubbles rising straight up in a couple of those photos. If you had good water circulation you wouldn't see that. The bubbles would be moving at an angle and possibly in a zig-zag path to the surface. Since the only way CO2 can get to all of the plants is by having enough water circulation to keep CO2 enriched water replenished at every plant, you need better water circulation than you have. Many algae problems result from poor CO2 supply to the plants.

    Do you have any filtration media that "polishes" the water - removes floating debris? It looks like a tank without that kind of filtration. Cleanliness is another way to discourage algae.
     
  20. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You might take out that BGA infested plants and place in a plastic bag in the dark for 3 days.

    This will kill the BGA on there.

    I think the other plants would do better if you used the ADA AS if available.
    YME switched over and it made life easier for him/her to grow plants better.

    I've grown these in plain flourite etc, but they do better in the ADA AS.

    Tonia and HC especially.

    Texture, perhaps clay, perhaps pH, perhaps sediment sources for nutrients etc might be why. The sediment looks good and grows all species very well, so it hard for me not to suggest this product.

    Some cleaning and good CO2 should get the tank looking the way you want with some time, but it'll take a bit of pateience to get it going well.

    You cannot do too many water changes, and as you have learned, do not assuem much about CO2.

    Always suspect CO2 if you see anything that does not make sense to you.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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