Lighting with EI questions


Guru Class Expert
Sep 6, 2008
between Sac and Reno
I was told my light is a little to high for a low light tank set up (2.13wpg). I thought of getting a bracket to raise the light above the top glass. Not sure where to get these brackets. What I read is that raising the light will lower the wattage into the tank. Would it be easier to just change out the bulb? I am always dipping the light into the water during vac's, not good! Thought the bracket might help with this problem too.
My diatoms are clearing up after 4 weeks and things seem to be getting stable. I do realize that I am still low on my plant mass. I thought I got a lot more plants but when they settled in there is not enough.
I added the Hydor nano powerhead and it and the canister are focused down and to the middle front. The Hydor swirls a lot of tiny bubbles into the water. I have the intake on the outside of the Hydor several inches away.
I have been reading several back post. I am not sure if I understand. Tom has posted several posts and articles on lower light but most always goes back to talking more on low light with CO2. Or they talk about stopping the excel and slowing the growth rate and extending the WC to several weeks out or to stop them all together. I guess I could get use to that but I don't see how there would not be a lot of mulm build up, with my fish load.
I don't know if I saw a statement on continued use of Exel and reduced EI with WC. This sounded like a good balance to to me. But would the other options mentioned in Toms articles work better?
It states that there really isn't need for tests but, I have noticed those that added to Toms post ran tests. It sounds like even using EI some adjustment will be needed for each tank set-up. Does doing the test make the others just more comfortable? You guys probably can look at a plant and say "It is missing this". If the liquid tests still give averages what would I learn?

I am about to buy dry ferts to change over too. Am I missing anything?
1 lb KNO3
1 lb K2SO4
½ lb Plantex CSM+B
½ KH2PO4
Will use Excel for carbon source (Can this be for long term without major effects)

EI (with CO2) states over dosing the micro's and macro's is ok to do because of the weekly WC but if I use the options above do I cut down a certain amount on the EI?


Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jan 24, 2005
Sacramento, CA
EI allows you to dose fertilizers liberally, always knowing you will not have a deficiency of any nutrient. But, the price you pay for that is having to do 50% water changes every week. If those big and frequent water changes are not acceptable you can't use the EI method of dosing. Instead, you should use a leaner dosing method such as PPS Pro. Both methods use the same chemicals, just differing philosophies and differing dosage schedules.

If you raise the light by suspending it above the tank, instead of resting it on legs on the tank, you have a lot more flexibility for setting the height, and it is a lot easier to get the light out of the way for maintenance. You can either hang the light on cables or chains from the ceiling or from brackets, or you can try something like this: Oregon Aqua Design | Come in we are OPEN!!!!