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Newish to plants, help with my EI dosing

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Bryan Morris, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. Bryan Morris

    Bryan Morris New Member

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    So my 120 gallon tank is moderately stocked. I have tried plants two different times in this tank with no luck, but after lots of research I have stumbled across this forum and what I think may be the answer. Estimative Index (EI). Now I understand this is mainly for "high tech" tanks but can be adapted for "low tech" tanks as well which is more closely related to my goals.

    The tank currently has about 1 watt per gallon with one 4' T5HO single light fixture and a 4' T8 double fixture giving me 118 watts total. I plan to plant this out at a moderate level but not too dense to keep room available for my fish to swim.

    I will be performing weekly 25-50% water changes. Here are the parameters of my water here in Fort Worth over the last year.

    Nitrate - .75ppm
    Nitrite - .4ppm
    PH - 8.0 - 8.4
    Calcium - 97-110ppm
    Magnesium - 4-8ppm
    Sulfate - 25-38
    Sodium - 14-28ppm
    Copper - .51ppm

    My understanding of low tech tanks is that there should be no water changes due to the influx of different C02 levels possibly causing algae, however I intent to keep up with these water changes in order to keep my fish happy and healthy (Discus and Clown Loaches).

    My plan is to dose the following once a week after my water change.
    KNO3 - 3/4 teaspoon
    KH2PO4 - 3/8 teaspoon
    Seachem Equilibrium (traces) - 1/2 Tablespoon

    The biggest questions I have are

    Is the above dosing schedule sufficient with the water parameters from my tap?

    With C02 being one of the main components to keeping plants, should I dose Flourish Excel as well?

    If I do dose Excel, do I need to increase my dosing schedule and/or lights output?

    Any help or references you can provide will be greatly appreciated. Thank You
     
  2. UDGags

    UDGags Lifetime Charter Member
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    First thing....watts/gallon isn't very useful. Try reading this post to figure out your PAR http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=184368

    Use this calculator to get the weights of the ferts http://rota.la/ Options-120 gallons/DIY/Fert/Dry Dosing/EI low light-weekly

    Excel is so-so. It will harm certain plants and it does kill algae. I would try without Excel first and if needed try it in the future.
     
  3. Bryan Morris

    Bryan Morris New Member

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    UDGags. Thank you for your reply. I understand watts/gallon isn't optimal but I don't not have a PAR meter and thought this would atleast give a broad idea.

    I have asked this same question over at plantedtank.net and have some additional information to provide.

    My substrate is a mixture of Eco-Complete and black sand blasting sand.

    Distance from substrate to water level is roughly 21-22" and the light sits about 6" above the water. The T5HO has a great reflector and the T8 is a shop light with white reflectors(but a mirror like reflector could easily be made for this light if needed).

    If I were to change the dosing amounts to the following:

    1.5% DIY glutaraladehyde mixture- Dosed at 50 ml after water change and 10 ml daily

    Weekly after water change
    KNO3 - 1/4 teaspoon
    KH2PO4 - 1/8 teaspoon
    Plantex CSM +Boron (solution) - 1 tablespoon

    Would I be able to get away with keeping my lighting the same at 118 watts 28" above the substrate?

    My stock list is 8 Clown Loaches (ranging from 3" to 10"), 5 Geo Tapajos (3-4"), 5 Roseline Sharks, and 3 Discus (3").

    Is the additional liquid carbon necessary with my stock list? Would I be wasting my time if I attempted to keep the plants without it?

    I have been successfully keeping large South American fish for close to 10 years but am just now making a real attempt at keeping plants. I have been researching for days but just haven't put it all together yet so I apologize for my ignorance on the subject. Thank you so much for your support.
     
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