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Modified EI dosing advice needed !

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by Mr G, Nov 29, 2006.

  1. Mr G

    Mr G Junior Poster

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    Hi,

    First post here on the Barr Report, love the site and the newsletter (currently reading all the past issues)!
    I dont pretend to understand much of the chesmsty, but have no doubts about following the method, the dosing involved and the reasons why.
    Currently in the process of moving a 60ltr tank off ADA ferts and over to full EI.

    But ...... (there's always a 'but')

    I will soon be setting up a 240ltr planted tank and would like to run it using the EI method, however I had almost ruled it out due to the 50% water change each week.

    If this was my only tank then I'd have no problem, but I'll have a 60ltr tank on EI, a 130Ltr low tech tank, 2 nano's and this 240ltr tank. All need varying degrees of water change and maintenance etc. All my water changes are done the old fashioned way ..... by bucket !
    I'd like to actually spend some time enjoying the tanks, not just working on them !

    Whilst reading Tom's excellent EI article, I came across the following statement .....
    Also seen this statement in the 'EI light' article...
    This could be what I'm looking for ....

    Obviously the requirements of individual tanks differ, but if I take the following as a baseline (from the EI light article)

    40-60 Gallon Aquariums
    +/- 1/2 tsp KN03 3x a week
    +/- 1/8 tsp KH2P04 3x a week
    +/- 1/8 tsp K2S04 3x a week
    +/- 1/8 (10ml) Trace Elements 3x a week
    50% weekly water change

    The question is, if was looking to limit my water changes to 25% per week or 50% every 2 weeks, how would I need to adjust my dosing levels. Is it just as simple as dosing half the amount ?

    EI would be my preferred route ....... Any advice very welcome

    For info:
    The tank will have about 2.5wpg, an Eco-complete substrate (Or possibly ADA Aquasoil) and pressurised CO2 aiming for 30ppm.


    Thanks
    Al
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator Social Group Admin

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    You can shoot for a lighter side of EI, leaner.
    And also have a decent fish load.
    Dose the same amounts of traces, but light on the macros.
    Use the ADA Aqua soil.
    Do the 25% WC's.

    There are other options...........

    One is obvious.

    You mention that you would rather garden than do water changes etc and that you do the water changes the old fashion way: buckets.

    With tiny tanks, this is fine, but a 240 liter tank should use a Python auto water changer or you may use your own DIY version, you should not require any buckets for tanks!

    This is a simple device that will save you both time and money and a lot of work.

    A simple hose that drains the tank while you work and clean it, then switch the hose over to the cold/hot tap water to refill. Have RO? Use a powerhead to pump the water back to the tank etc.

    A few very simple things will resolve the water change issue for you and reduce the work load greatly.

    Then you can still do the large water changes.

    This will work well and only cost the hose $ and the adaptor to fit it on the faucet. Hoses eg garden hoses come in 25,50 and 100ft lengths so you use them about anywhere in the house.
    Unlike the bucket methods, refilling/draining is done fairly slowly ands you can work on the tank when the water is low which is the best time anyway.

    If you use garden hoses, runn the tap water through for a minute or two prior to refilling.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. Mr G

    Mr G Junior Poster

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    Tom,

    Thanks for the reply.

    I've looked at a Python device before, but in the UK they dont seem to be very common, although as you say, there is the DIY option or internet orders.
    If I do go down that route, when do you add the dechlorinator. Straight into the tank before the new water or once it's filled (does it even matter) ?
    Sorry if this is a stupid question, but doing all my changes by bucket means I always treat it before adding !
    Also I'll be using 100% tap. Not RO or an RO/Tap mix.

    I may try a leaner macro EI dosing regime.Something along the lines of :-

    1/16 tsp KH2P04 3x a week
    1/16 tsp K2S04 3x a week
    ¼ tsp KN03 3x a week
    10 ml Tropica Plant Nutrition 3x per week
    and a 25% water change per week

    Obviously I'll keep an eye on the plants and take some reading just prior to the water changes to see if the macro's need adjusting up or down.

    Cheers
    Al
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I've just added as I fill.
    Always have for 30 + years.
    Once you do the python type method, you'll never go back to buckets.
    Those are for amatures:p
    Or nano tanks.

    Just get something that will adapt a thread garden hose to the shower thread/sink thread, draining is easy, outside, toilet, sink drain etc.Some use a powerhead to pump the water outside and up.
    Most just let gravity water the lawn, garden etc.

    Then you swap the end on the refill shower head and fill the tank up with the right temp water, your hand can feel about 1-2 F or about 1 C difference.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. Laith

    Laith Lifetime Charter Member
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    JBL makes a python called an "Aqua In-Out". So find a shop that carries JBL products and surely they can order one for you... ;)
     
  6. Mr G

    Mr G Junior Poster

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    Tom: Thanks again. I'm now thinking that a water changer and Full EI would be the better way to go ...... Much rather use a 'proven' method, less room for error on my part leading to problems with the plants/tank.


    Laith: Many thanks for the JBL info. I've found an online UK retailer that sells the Python and also one for the JBL.
    Assuming are both sets of equipment are fairly equal, I'll go for the JBL version as spares are probably easier to order from UK/Europe .... Oh and it's cheaper than the UK Python. :rolleyes:


    ... just a thought but .... I know somebody who has a spare Hydor inline heater (150 or 300w - not sure), anybody ever tried fitting one of these into the hose to bring the water up to temp during the fill ?
    I'm not sure the water would be in contact with the heater long enough to make a difference !

    Cheers
     
  7. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    A few years ago I looked at using an inline heater to warm up water change water. The problem is the large temperature rise needed. Unlike recirculating tank water thru a heater, this heater could be required to raise 55F water to 80F, and that means a very high wattage heater. About the only practical way I saw to do it was to use a shower control valve, the type that holds the temperature constant even if the wife flushs and the kids start filling the blowup swimming pool just as you start showering. This valve keeps the same flow ratio between two streams of water, so you could use your hot water and your regular tap water to supply the water. I thought about installing one of them in my utility shed, where access to both water supplies is easy, then running a line to the tank. But, I gave up, because a continuous flow water change system is easier, cheaper, and just as good, and I can use regular cold tap water for that.
     
  8. Mr G

    Mr G Junior Poster

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    Thanks VaughnH,

    It was just a thought ..... I had suspected that the contact time between water and heating element wouldnt be enough to make real difference.
    I also wasn't sure if there would be any issue with the direction of flow through the inline heater when draining water from the tank (I suppose that depends on the heater design), and the fact that the heater needs to be plugged in ..... might not be convenient when moving the hose around.

    I guess I'll just use the mixer tap and be happy that I'm no longer carrying buckets around the house :D

    So it's 'Full EI' on this tank with 50% weekly water changes, using the JBL Auto In-Out kit and adding dechlorinator


    Thanks again

    ....Al
     
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