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Just ran out of PMDD Pre-Mix. Want to try something new.

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plant Fertilization' started by lazzaroni, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. lazzaroni

    lazzaroni Junior Poster

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    I just used the last of a bag of PMDD Pre-Mix that I bought from AquariumFertilizer.

    I follow the dosing recommendation on the bag, 4 tablespoons mixed in 500 ml of water, and I dose .5 to 1 teaspoons (2.5 to 5.0 ml) of that liquid daily.

    I also dose iron chelate 10%, which I also bought from Aquarium Fertilizer, once a week following the recommendation on the bag, which is 1 part iron to 9 parts water. And I push 3 or 4 Sera Florenette tabs into the substrate once every month or so. I change 50% of the water every week using tap water.

    This routine has been working well for me, but not great. Instead of just ordering another bag of PMDD Pre-Mix, I would like to try something new and am hoping someone can give me some recommendations on dosing.

    My tank is 50 gallons, is injected with pressurized CO2 and is lighted with two 65 watt compact flourescents. I have inserted a picture at the end of this post to give an idea of how I am planted. My fish stock is limited to 3 flying fox, 5 corydoras, 2 small plecostomus, 5 ember tetra, 4 galaxy rasbora, and numerous cherry shrimp.

    Thanks!

    View attachment 1352
     
  2. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Love The Tank!

    Hi,

    I made the transition to EI from PMDD a while back. I found the iron limiting. :)

    You will find growth much faster under EI.

    I suggest you read up on EI dosing.

    I am happy to help as I can.

    My kind of tank by the way, plants carefully arranged to appear unarranged!

    Biollante
     
  3. lazzaroni

    lazzaroni Junior Poster

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    Thanks Biollante!

    I do want to switch over to EI, but I am wondering where to buy the ingredients. I know EI is a methodology, like PMDD, but do most folks buy the individual components and mix their own, or is there a "EI Pre-Mix" like there is for PMDD, or even a close substitute?

    By the way, the plant arrangement is largely the result of "volunteering." Over the years my plants have been wiped out by algae on occassion. I get things balanced again, the algae goes away, and the plants start coming out from hiding. I've had plants come back that I thought were dead for a year! I just sort of let things wander and trim as necessary to keep things at least somewhat compartmentalized.
     
  4. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Patron Saint of Lepers Among Us

    Hi,

    Estimative Index EI is pretty much a do it yourself proposition. :)

    http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com/index.asp is a good place to start.

    Fleet Enema or better yet there knock-offs are great for the Phosphates, Epsom Salt of course work for the Magnesium. Plaster of Paris or Calcium chloride is readily available at the hardware or big box stores. If you are careful most of the stuff is available as other products. Be careful of organically derived nitrate, the preference is Potassium nitrate, think stump remover at the hardware store just be sure it is only KNO3.

    Personally, I believe in staying to the high side on the dosing ranges and change water at least once a week, the calculation is that a 50% water change once a week “resets” the tank. Me, 70% minimum water changes every week and when in doubt, change water. :D

    EI tends to attract people who like to over-think things. Keep it simple test only if that is your thing. Don’t worry about the silly arguments we have, unless you like silly arguments then jump on in. :)

    If you are interested in the hows, whys and wherefores, the subscription is well worth the price.

    One of the things about the EI system is that it tends to balance things out, you do not tend to get those algae cycles. Just remember that as the biomass increases so does the nutrient requirements. Around here, CO2 is a macronutrient.

    Light drives the system; you have a nice level of lighting in my opinion. Everything else breaks down into CO2, circulation, macronutrients and micronutrients.

    The big change from PMDD is the dosing cycle macronutrients one day, micronutrients the next with one day off for good behavior. Having been a PMDD kind of evil plant monster for a decade or more I have a hard time grasping the full reasoning behind the alternate day dosing, but it works and keeps some of the aforementioned silly arguments to a minimum, so I go along. :rolleyes:

    Anyway, welcome. :cool:

    Biollante
     
  5. lazzaroni

    lazzaroni Junior Poster

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  6. lazzaroni

    lazzaroni Junior Poster

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    An older version of Tom's response was archived on another site. It had this to say about "where to buy fertilizers."

    "So your next question might be ok well i figured it out kinda but where do i get these macro fertz. Well i got a secret for you. Rex Grigg is a guy that sells them to people living in the states and Canada and you can checkout his website right here. http://www.bestaquariumregulator.com/ferts.html."

    I don't know the reason for the change.
     
  7. lazzaroni

    lazzaroni Junior Poster

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    I am going to use Reg Grigg's Fertilizer Combo Pack (1 lb KNO3, 1 lb K2SO4, ½ lb Plantex CSM+B, ½ KH2PO4 for $24.20) as my introduction to EI.

    I am going going to stick with dry dosing. I am tired of mixing ferts with water and watching the mold build up.
     
  8. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    For future reference, you can prevent the mold completely with Excel or HCl.
     
  9. lazzaroni

    lazzaroni Junior Poster

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    Thanks Dan!
     
  10. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    I went the aquariumfertilizer.com route. I snagged a bunch of the CSM+B and then added some iron Chelate to it to bump that up a touch. I got a bunch of KNO3 and a pile of the mono potassium phosphate. I haven't bothered with the sulfates as Tom's later articles seemed to indicate he didn't use it so much anymore, but depending on your water you might want to.

    Definitely don't overthink it. Dump the amounts in and dump the tank at the end of the week. Alternate days are for those people who are concerned the micro nutrients might react if mixed with the macros. I'm not sure it's really a problem in a practical sense if you're not dumping them all in at the same time. By the time you get one powder in and scoop out another there's probably enough dilution going on to deal with it, but alternating days avoids the concern altogether.

    Biollante has some good ideas on saving money. To be fair though, the macro powders aren't bank breaking in most cases when a bag is 5$ but still, 5$ for a 1 lb bag vs. 5$ for 10 lbs does add up. The micro ferts are brutally expensive though.

    -
    S
     
  11. lazzaroni

    lazzaroni Junior Poster

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    Thanks for the practical advice!

    Sadly AquariumFertilizer.com ran out of KH2PO4, so I am trying laaquaria.com
     
  12. lazzaroni

    lazzaroni Junior Poster

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    I want to close out this thread so that others might find it useful.

    It's been almost a year since I started using Estimative Index (EI).

    The plants have been growing steadily and I have no algae problems. I don't bother with mixing the fertilizer with water. I just put each of the fertilizers in a separate jar, marked the lid with the dose amount and days. On the prescribed day I measure it with a measuring spoon and dump it in.

    Couldn't be simpler and I couldn't be happier.

    Thanks!
     
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