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Need someone to hold my hand with EI

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by TTKarl, Dec 20, 2006.

  1. TTKarl

    TTKarl Junior Poster

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    Ok, so I'm completely frustrated with trying to figure out what I should dose for EI! After reading many forum posts I think i'm more confused than when I started. I've looked at greg watsons ferts and I have for one no idea what to order much less how much to dose. I'm definitely a beginner at this and i think my brain is having a CO2, KNLMNOP overdose! An EI for dummies page would be great!!

    So here's what I have

    26 gallon bowfront 2.5 wpg(65w pc) diy co2 with barr reactor
    my tap water tests at 5 ppm of phosphates (I don't think i would have to dose phosphates?). I do have a tap water filter but if I am going to do a 50% water change the filter takes forever and I just don't have that much time. So if there is anyway i can avoid using it i will take that route!

    What I'm really looking for is:
    1. What should I order
    2. Will I need any special tools other than say some measuring spoons
    3. Some basic dosing suggestions such as 3 times a week dose say 1/4 tablespoon of X 2 times a week 4 pinches of Y etc.

    I'm sure a can eventually get the hang of this but just trying to get my feet wet i'm a bit overwhelmed!

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    For EI you dose nitrates, phosphates, potassium, CO2 or other carbon source, and traces. The least expensive way to do this is to buy from Greg Watson the following:
    One pound of potassium nitrate, KNO3
    One pound of mono potassium phosphate, KH2PO4
    One pound of CSM+B trace mix

    Then you dose these dry, using tiny measuring spoons:
    For your tank size and light intensity, dose 1/4 tsp of KNO3 and 1/16 tsp of KH2PO4, 3 times a week.
    Dose on the alternate days, 1/16 tsp of CSM+B, 3 times a week.
    Or dose the above on alternate days, continuously.
    Change about 50% of the water in the tank once a week.
    You can also dose Flourish instead of CSM+B per the bottle directions.

    When you first plant the tank, start dosing right away, at 1/2 the above dosages, if you wish, but don't wait for the plants to start growing.
    Don't assume that the phosphate in the tap water (or the nitrates, for that matter) are sufficient for the plants. Your test kit, unless carefully calibrated by you, isn't likely to be accurate enough to believe the results.

    Use CO2 injection, sufficient to get about 30 parts per milliion (ppm) in the water, best measured with a drop checker. You can use Seachem Excel instead of CO2, but it is the equivalent of a low level of CO2, not an optimum level. Because Excel also acts as an algicide to some extent, it is very desirable to have a bottle on hand at all times.

    The water can be at almost any KH or GH and still grow plants ok. It occasionally happens that some water supplies are too low in either calcium or magnesium, the constituents of GH, so adding enough Seachem Equillibrium or Greg Watson's Barr GH booster, to raise the GH by a degree or two can be helpful.

    Dose that help??
     
  3. sevenrider860

    sevenrider860 Junior Poster

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    VaughnH,

    I know for sure it helped me!! Thank you for the quick run down. I have a 50 gallon with CO2 and a lot of light and will adjust. But you explanation certainly convinced me that EI is not going to be too difficult to keep on top of.

    Thank you,

    Brian
     
  4. TTKarl

    TTKarl Junior Poster

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    That was perfect!! Thanks so much! Going to order the ferts right away.
     
  5. underwurlde

    underwurlde Junior Poster

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    Stupid is in town...

    exactly how DO you measure out 1/16 tsp of anything???

    Andy

    PS as this is the only place I can post in and cannot seem to find a 'forum' link, why can I not change my avatar & why is 90% of the forum blocked to me? Wierd....:confused:
     
  6. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    You can buy tiny little measuring spoons that go at least as small as 1/8 tsp - half of that is 1/16th tsp. The quantities of ferts don't need to be measured with great accuracy. If you want to buy a set of tiny spoons try various cooking supply stores or check on line.

    You have to be a subscriber, a member, to read and post at some of the forums. That might be your problem.
     
  7. sevenrider860

    sevenrider860 Junior Poster

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    I purchased my measuring spoons from AB Restaurant Supply (AB Restaurant Supply) for $4.98 + shipping. The set is called "Mini Measuring Spoon 5 piece Set Stainless Steel" in thier eBay store. The set includes the following sizes:

    * Tad - 1/4 teaspoon
    * Dash - 1/8 teaspoon
    * Pinch - 1/16 teaspoon
    * Smidgen - 1/32 teaspoon
    * Drop - 1/64 teaspoon

    Brian
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Take a 1/4 and divide equally into 4 equal parts.
    There is a 1/16th.

    The forums are public to some degree, the Reports and other features/subforums are not public and are reserved for subscribers only.

    Many forums have pay for added services and they also have advertizing as well.
    You will note, no vendor pop up ads etc.
    I do not like to deal with them.
    I set this site up for planted hobbyists and to further the hobby the way I see fit, not businesses.

    That makes this site more unique and it's quite a successful approach to business. Greg Watson and myself are more committed to helping hobbyists rather than cau tauing to vendors and having obnoxious ads.
    Waste time and resources.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  9. Henry Hatch

    Henry Hatch Guru Class Expert

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    I bought my measuring spoons at Linen's and things in the kitchen dept.

    Henry
     
  10. TTKarl

    TTKarl Junior Poster

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    Ok, so I've been dosing EI since right at christmas time. Got my co2 levels where they should be now in the 20-30 ppm range. I have to say i'm amazed by the plant growth!

    I just have a few questions.

    My phosphates are still testing at over 10ppm. I've been fighting green water constantly. Which i just got on top of with a uv sterilizer(wow do they ever work!) just installed last friday.

    Could this be attributed to the high phosphates?


    I also have noticed what seems to me a potassium deficiency. My rotala roundfolia and moneywort, on old growth, starts with a small yellowish spot which turns into a pinhole and then grows larger. So I ran across a fertilizer calculator Calculating dosages of fertilizer elements for a planted tank. When I put in my variables 1/4 teaspoon Potassium Nitrate and 1/16 teaspoon potassium sulfate i come up with somewhere in the range of 8ppm of potassium.

    This seems low to me??
     
  11. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Get ahold of your water company water quality report, then look to see what range of phosphate amounts they say is in the water. Or, phone that water company and ask to speak with someone in the testing department, and ask them what the range of values for phosphate are. That range will be far more likely to be correct than your test kit will.

    Or, calibrate your test kit, by mixing up distilled or DI water with KH2PO4 or a similar phosphate compound to get a calculated concentration of 100 ppm of phosphate, for example. Then take 10 ml of that water and add 90 ml of distilled water, which will give you 10 ppm of phosphate. Check what the test kit tells you is in the water. Then take 50 ml of the 10 ppm water and add 50 ml of distilled water to that, giving you a 5 ppm phosphate sample. Check what the test kit says is in that water. Repeat by mixing 20 ml of the 5 ppm water with 80 ml of distilled water to get a 1 ppm phosphate sample. Those tests will tell you what your test kit really means by its readings. Assuming the kit is found to be accurate, only then can you trust your test kit.

    Even if you actually do have 5-6 ppm of phosphate in the tap water you can't be sure that is enough to last a week with the plants using it up. You could skip the phosphate dosing right after a water change, but go back to dosing for the next fert dosage scheduled. In any case, 10 ppm of phosphate isn't going to cause an algae bloom. A spike of ammonia or an unstable CO2 concentration from day to day is likely to be the trigger for the green water.
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Thanks Brian!
    Good supplier!

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  13. TTKarl

    TTKarl Junior Poster

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    Got my answer from the "high phosphates" thread about the phosphates.

    Any ideas about the K?
     
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