Need Help Creating a Dosing Guide for EI

Tenor1

Junior Poster
Oct 22, 2013
2
0
1
San Pedro, CA
Hi All,

This is my first post to this site and I would appreciate some help with the amounts of dry ferts needed for a 60-gallon tank. I have some controversy with the folks at Ecoxotic regarding low PAR levels using their LED's. Here's some history.

Two years ago I contacted them asking for recommendations to create a high-level PAR aquarium. The tank is a 60-tall, which is, 24" high, 18" wide and 30" long. The LED's are retrofitted in a Custom Sealife hood. It contains 3 Panorama-2 units and 2 magenta stunner strips. Ecoxotic assured me this would be considered a very-high PAR level tank. Things went along swimmingly until I added Rotala Macrandra a few months ago.

R. Macrandra is the catalyst for upgrading to LED's. I waited patiently for my LFS to get in some really beautiful stems. During the wait I converted to using RO water knowing this planted preferred softer water. Finally, the shop received 2 stunning bunches of RM from a local hobbyist. I bought one bunch and the shop kept the other one in their display planted tank. This is when I noticed some problems with mine.

Their bunch kept the deep red while mine was turning green with the leaves beginning to crinkle up. They use RO water with about the same ratio of tap as I use. They use T5's versus LED's, they dose lightly with Seachem iron and I dose all the Seachem line heavily. Each week their's stayed red while mine continued to go green with crinkles. I then bought a PAR meter thinking light is the problem.

The PAR levels read only 25-30 just above the substrate. I realize PAR levels and what to do with them are still developing, but my reading is still considered very low. I wrote to Ecoxotic and relayed this story to them.

They were concerned/upset that I waited 2 years to let them know and asked for tank readings. I've been in the hobby over 50 years and waited for JUST the right bunch of stems. They felt the Seachem line did not provide the nutrients needed in the right levels and suggested I try EI dosing. So I ordered everything needed to begin.

I've seen a couple of the EI calculators here, but don't know what target range I need or want. Can you tell me doses using 1/16 tsp or other tsp measurements? Here are my tank readings.

TDS - 216
PAR - 25-30 at the substrate (tank is 24" tall)
pH - 6.8-7.0
GH - 7
KH - 6
Nitrate - 20-40, between that, it's hard to tell

Here are the dry ferts I've ordered: KNO3, KH2PO4, GH booster, Plantex CSM+B, Iron Chelate 10%.

Sorry for the long narrative and I appreciate any help and recommendations.
 
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Tom Barr

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Jan 23, 2005
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I've yet to see nice reds produced by LED's, of any brand compared to T5's.

The PAR is low over the area generally, but they have done well the last 6 months or so with new lights coming out.
25-30 umol is running near the limit for low light. The plants will grow, but they will not look great.
I have 100-110 umol in my 24" deep 180 using T5's, reds are nothing short of amazing.

If they are upset, then let's see some of their examples with the red plants and not obviously photoshopped images.
They say it works and it's high light, let's see it.

It ain't bragging if you can back it up.
If you cannot....well..........

For a 60 Gallon tank:
1/2 teaspoon(tsp) KNO3 2-3x a week
1/8th tsp KH2PO4 3x a week
Trace mix: 4 tsp of CMS+b and 2 TSP of 10% Fe to 1 liter of warm RO water. Add 15 mls or this 3-4 x a week.
KH of 6 and Rotala macrandra are not a good combo, a KH of say 2 would be better.

So that's an issue also.
 

Tenor1

Junior Poster
Oct 22, 2013
2
0
1
San Pedro, CA
Thanks Tom, but how do I decrease the KH to 2? Isn't a hight KH needed to help stabilize the pH? What do you recommend as a target KH and pH?
 

Tom Barr

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Jan 23, 2005
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Tenor1;120795 said:
Thanks Tom, but how do I decrease the KH to 2? Isn't a hight KH needed to help stabilize the pH? What do you recommend as a target KH and pH?

Most use RO water for that.
You said you use RO and match the store's.........

As far as needing KH to stabilze anything, this is a huge myth and common sense will quickly tell you that if you X amount of CO2, you still have X amount of CO2 regardless of the KH.
KH stabilizes the pH, but you do not need very much KH to do that, but that does not imply anything about CO2 ppm, you just cannot measure the pH/Kh to get CO2 ppm if there's no KH, which is pretty hard to do.

But the CO2 will be the same if you dose the SAME RATE of CO2 at a KH of 5 or a KH of 0.5.
 

Tom Barr

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 23, 2005
18,695
736
113
Tenor1;120795 said:
Thanks Tom, but how do I decrease the KH to 2? Isn't a hight KH needed to help stabilize the pH? What do you recommend as a target KH and pH?

Most use RO water for that.
You said you use RO and match the store's.........

As far as needing KH to stabilze anything, this is a huge myth and common sense will quickly tell you that if you X amount of CO2, you still have X amount of CO2 regardless of the KH.
KH stabilizes the pH, but you do not need very much KH to do that, but that does not imply anything about CO2 ppm, you just cannot measure the pH/Kh to get CO2 ppm if there's no KH, which is pretty hard to do.

But the CO2 will be the same if you dose the SAME RATE of CO2 at a KH of 5 or a KH of 0.5.