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My first two weeks with EI Method.

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plant Fertilization' started by mathman, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. mathman

    mathman Guru Class Expert

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    Hello,

    I have a 55 gallon tank with 220 watts PC light 4 inches above the surface. My current photoperiod is 10 hours. I have been dosing my somewhat heavily planted tank the following:

    For Macros:

    Saturday (after Water Change); Monday; and Wednesday
    1/2 tsp of KNO3
    1/8 tsp of KH2PO4
    3/4 tsp GH booster (only once after water change)

    For Micros:

    5mL of Flourish 3x a week (Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday)
    I do nothing on Friday and Saturday the whole cycle begins again.

    After doing this for two weeks I decided to run a nitrate and phosphate test to see if I am within the recommended EI target ranges.

    Nitrates read about 60-80ppm and Phosphates 3-4ppm. Aren't nitrates levels high with my current dosing? Should I add potassium instead and how much? My java fern has yellow spots Can i do 1/2 tsp of potassium 3x a week and add 1/8 or 1/16 of potassium nitrate? Is my dose of Flourish fine?


    BTW, my inhabitants are:

    cardinals 9
    rummynose 5
    German Ram 2
    Dwarf Botia Loach 3
    otocinlus 2
    discus 8
    albino bushynose 2
    candy striped pleco 2
    helena assassin snail 6
    amano shrimp 10-15
    ghost shrimp 4
    cherry shimp 2


    Thank you for all of your help.
     
    #1 mathman, Apr 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2011
  2. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
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    EI for 40-60 Gallon Aquariums
    +/- 1/2 tsp KN03 3x a week
    +/- 1/8 tsp KH2P04 3x a week
    +/- 3/4 tsp GH booster once a week(water change only)
    +/- 1/8 (10ml) Trace Elements 3x a week
    50% weekly water change

    It looks like you aren't dosing enough Flourish. You should be getting enough potassium from the KNO3 and GH Booster.

    Isn't your tank overcrowded because of the discus?
     
  3. mathman

    mathman Guru Class Expert

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    I already do a 50% WC. My nitrate levels are already high so I was thinking of simply adding either 1/8 or 1/16 of potassium nitrate And add 1/2 tsp of potassium. Yes I agree I have too many discus but It would be sad to give them away.
     
  4. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    I have a 55L and dose according to EI (what LeftC posted). I agree that you need to double your trace elements. The reason why there are +/- next to the dosage is to excentuate the fact that those doses are not set in stone. If your nitrates are too high, you can cut the dose of KNO3 in half, then test again at the end of the week to see how much plant uptake there is. With more fish, chances are you need less N.

    Regarding potassium, the macros should take care of that along with the gh booster. You can always add more, but why?

    Following another member in the SFBAAPS lead, I've ordered MgSO4 (Epson Salt), which I will be adding to my macro routine. STronger stems and more color, is the benefit from what I hear.
     
  5. mathman

    mathman Guru Class Expert

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    Thanks for the tip. The reason why I'll be adding more potassium sulfate (K2SO4) is due to the yellow patches my crypts and java fern have. So Its okay to add 1/2 tsp of k2SO4 3x a week? And decrease the nitrates by half?
    How much of MGSO4 are you thinking of adding? If you claim those are the effects I'll be ordering it to use it. So do 10Ml of flourish liquid fert? Thank you
     
    #5 mathman, Apr 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2011
  6. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
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    I wonder how much K that you are getting from your GH Booster? I used Seachem's Equilibrium for my GH Booster because I knew its composition. But, it was like chipping a limestone rock to get it out of its jar.

    You can try 1/4 tsp KNO3 and 1/4 tsp K2SO4 both 3X a week and monitor.

    There is some Mg in your GH Booster. Again, how much? Anyway, 1/2 tsp MgSO4•7H2O 3X a week will give you an additional 4 ppm of Mg a week. This may be a good starting point.

    You didn't mention this, but you have pressurized CO2, right?

    Some people may mention that your 4 wpg may be a bit too much light. Are they from an AHSupply PC kit.
     
  7. mathman

    mathman Guru Class Expert

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    Thanks for the help. Yes i do have pressurized co2 ( 3bps). I know how to test for nitrates and phosphates but potassium i have no clue. Anyways, I did a 50% WC today and added the following:


    Macros (Sat-M-W)

    1/8 tsp Potassium Nitrate
    1/8 tsp Potassium Phosphate*
    1/2 tsp Potassium Sulphate *
    3/4 tsp GH Booster (Once a week *after water change)

    Tomorrow I'll add
    Micros

    10 Ml of Flourish *(S-T-Th)
     
    #7 mathman, Apr 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2011
  8. chopsticks

    chopsticks Prolific Poster

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    Hey Matt,

    How much MgSO4 are you going to dose?

    Regards,
    Juan
     
  9. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    I'm thinking I'll start with 1 tsp (maybe 1.5 tsp) 3x per week with macros.
     
  10. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Lack of color could have any number of causes. I would suspect, in your case, it would have to do with not enough micros and higher light.

    Increasing your potassium is okay, but remember you're getting some in your gh booster. I would try a lesser dose of potassium sulfate if you're going to be dosing 3x per week. I'd dose about 1/8 tsp (same as yoyr nitrate dose).

    How much co2 are you injecting?
     
  11. mathman

    mathman Guru Class Expert

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    Hi Matt,

    I'm using the KH-Ph chart to determine how much CO2 I have in the tank. My Kh is 7-8 and Ph is not constant it varies from 6.9-7.1 since I have it on a milwaukee Ph regulator. With these readings I believe the CO2 reading is of 24-30ppm. So you would recommend I dose 10Ml of Flourish 3x a week? Do you recommend I get MgSO4 and how much should i put?
     
    #11 mathman, Apr 3, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2011
  12. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    I'd focus on increasing your micros via 10ml 3x per week. See what happens with that tweak alone. ALso I'd dose less potassium than you are. Maybe about the same amount as your kno3. remember, you're getting K via macros and gh booster. same goes for Mg. I'm just adding more Mg to see if I get healthier growth. I'll let you know how it works out.

    3o ppm is just a minimum target. some plants do better with higher co2. My fish can take higher co2 as well.
     
  13. GillesF

    GillesF Subscriber

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    Do not use the chart to measure your CO2, it is unreliable. Drop checkers are more accurate (although not perfect) for that. Do you only use Flourish or do you inject CO2 under pressure?
     
  14. fjf888

    fjf888 Guru Class Expert

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    Assuming your filters are maintained and you're not overfeeding and your fish are fine, you could go with K2SO4 instead of KNO3. Your high fish load could be supplying enough nitrate. However, after only two weeks. There could be a couple issues. I think the most likely is CO2. My guess is there might not be enough CO2 for the lighting you are providing. With discus I would be especially careful raising the CO2, raising it very gradually. If there's little uptake of nitrate I think CO2/lighting would be a more likely cause than trace elements.
     
  15. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    I would be one of those people :) I personally would try reducing the light first either by removing 1-2 bulbs or increasing the distance at least another 4-6" if using all 4 bulbs. Try and keep the outer ones to provide a good spread over the tank.

    I think your light is driving a higher demand than you can suppy. I would bet your c02 is more the issue than micros. While PC are not T5HO, a 55 gal tank is not that large. A lot depends on your goals of course but that is more light than I think you need.

    That being said, an increase overall in fertilization is not going to hurt any.

    Try reducing the light for 2-3 weeks and do nothing else and see what that gets you..

    You can always increase it again if you like.
     
    #15 Gerryd, Apr 3, 2011
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  16. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Btw,

    IMO 8 discus are NOT going to fly in that tank for very long. Even if you eliminated ALL other inhabitants...

    I would think you will end up with 1-2 larger ones and a bunch of runts. The runts are not going to last long as there is nowhere for them to hide. Discus establish a hierarchy fairly quickly and the smaller ones need to be able to get away from any bullying. Also feeding time will be an issue as the smaller fish tend to be more timid feeders....Not a good combination...

    I know they are beautiful but you simply have too many for that volume of water....

    Can you just keep 2-3 of your very very favorites?

    That is a very high bio-load in addition to the feeding required....

    Just may want to think about this. Would you like these same conditions for yourself?
     
  17. mathman

    mathman Guru Class Expert

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    Thanks for all the input. I use a 5gallon co2 cylinder with a Milwaukee ph controller which I have set to a ph of 6.9. My ph varies from 6.9-7.1 if it's a lack a of co2 I can crank up the co2 more if I need to.
    I am trying to grow dwar baby tears, amazon swords, java ferns, Anubias, tiger lotus, crypts, and two stem plants whose names I've forgot. I have two light fixtures. I am currently using all four bulbs in a 220 watt PC light fixture made by Jalli. I have another light fixture not being used at the moment but it's made by Current USA it has two 54W T5HO bulbs. Which one is better? BTW, my tank measures about 22 inches in height. Thank you
     
    #17 mathman, Apr 3, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2011
  18. fjf888

    fjf888 Guru Class Expert

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    I would use the 2 PC lights not the t5 HO, currents don't have the best reflectors, but 2x54 of the t5 HO's is probably equivalent or close to equivalent to 4 of your PC lights. None of the plants you listed need tons of light if there's enough CO2.

    Its not my intention to pile on, but realistically a high tech 55g planted with 8 discus and all the other fish is not only crammed, but likely a maintenance nightmare. You really would need 2-3 water changes a week to even hope to maintain equilibrium in the long run. Also discus like high temps, water holds less O2 at higher temperatures, you may easily have an O2 crash at night, unless you are running a wet dry. Even with a 75 or 90 with a sump I think you would still be pushing it with adult discus.
     
  19. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
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    You didn't mention the K value of the bulbs. So many fixtures come stock with Actinic bulbs. Does your PC or T5HO fixture have any Actinic bulbs?

    Does your 4x55w fixture have two ballasts so that each two bulb battery can use a separate timer?

    The 2 bulb T5HO fixture may be a better choice if it has plant friendly bulbs?

    Are you having algae problems?

    Don't use the pH/KH/CO2 chart like GillesF mentioned. It usually errors to the high side and makes you think that you have more CO2 that you actually have.

    As a reference, 1 tsp of MgSO4•7H2O (Epsom Salt) three times a week adds approximately 8 ppm of Mg per week or 2⅔ ppm per dose in 50 gallons of water.
     
  20. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    I agree that nitrates are prob not a problem in this tank ;)
     
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