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nutricalculator and carbon levels

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by robin adair, Aug 14, 2006.

  1. robin adair

    robin adair Junior Poster

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    When using the "Nutri-calc" program (Nutri-Calc[v1.7.9 Jul 28/06]: an EI Dosing Calculator & Tank Size Calc), it doesn't seem to take into account carbon addition regimes.
    Can I assume that the EI option works on the addition of around 30ppm c02? And that clicking off the EI function means no external CO2 is added?
    It makes a fair difference to the nutrient rates being added?

    Thanks!

    R
     
  2. quenton

    quenton Guru Class Expert

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    Re: nutricalculator and carbon levels

    If you do not check the EI-Dosing flag, then the fert amounts are those which will result in the requested ppm in clean unfertilized water. This is equivalent to most of the other fert calculators around.

    If you do check the EI-Dosing, it assumes that you have an average uptake and that you change 50% water every week -- and that you are following the suggested EI dosing regime (dose on the day of the change, and every other day after that, and dose traces on the other days, skipping the last one).

    The results match pretty closely those specified by Tom in his "EI Light" document -- tom gives ranges, while nutri-calc allows you to adjust by changing the desired ppm.

    Note that the EI-Dosing calculation is much more of an approximation than the non-EI-Dosing, but if you are using EI, then it can tell you what you really need to dose. I measure and dose right off the results for my tanks.
     
  3. robin adair

    robin adair Junior Poster

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    Re: nutricalculator and carbon levels

    Thanks Quenton, I appreciate the repy, but I'm still unsure where carbon dosing fits into the picture.
    When you say EI, can I assume this incorporates addition of CO2 or an equivalent (Excel) to produce CO2 levels of around 20-30 ppm?
    I'm trying to work out how dosing levels might change between CO2 added and CO2 non-added tanks with the nutri-calculator.

    Cheers

    Robin
     
  4. quenton

    quenton Guru Class Expert

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    Re: nutricalculator and carbon levels

    Using Excel instead of CO2 is not something I have ever done -- nor have I read anything much about it, here or elsewhere.

    The EI concept is to supply enough of everything so that the plants are not limited by anything (ferts, CO2, light) and thus outperform the algae preventing it from taking hold. IF the excel can produce sufficent carbon do that, then you can use EI techniques. If NOT, then you are basically "on your own".
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator Social Group Admin

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    Re: nutricalculator and carbon levels

    Excel adds such a relatively smaller amount of CO2, I'd knock EI dosing down by no less than 60%, and increase Excel dosing 2x the suggestions.

    so you can oplug and chug an excel file sheet with those and be fairly accurate, remembver, it's EI and you do 50% water changes a week.

    So instead of adding 40ppm of NO3 a week, you are now only adding 40% of that ~ 15-16 ppm, so 2x for max build up = 30 ppm or so assuming no plant uptake.

    2x the suggested Excel might be a little light for some tanks, but over all, 2x will give you okay results for most planted tank.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. quenton

    quenton Guru Class Expert

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    Re: nutricalculator and carbon levels

    Re the 2x Excel (and I don't use it so I only know what I read) -- there was an issue at one point with the large bottles of excel having a 10ml cap instead of a 5ml cap (or maybe it was 20 instead of 10, anyway it was 2x) and some people had problems -- losing fish. So if you are going to try the 2x on excel just watch carefully for signs of stress. I expect that those losing fish were in fact using the higher (2x) to start with and thus were dosing 4x, but I don't know and would just keep an eye on things.

    Robin -- please let me know if this works well for you -- if it does, I will add an extra flag to Nutri-Calc.
     
  7. robin adair

    robin adair Junior Poster

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    Re: nutricalculator and carbon levels

    Now the picture is now clear. This is consistent with what has been written about Excel dosing. Thanks.
    I'm not going to try x2 dosing with Excel because the product costs an "arm and a leg" in this country :eek: . This is probably OK for small tanks but for big ones, its not sustainable. And this is probably to do with the cost of the chemical base its made from, which is expensive in the chem supply catalogues.
    At x2 dosing rates, it makes pressurised CO2 a very attrractive option even though the initial outlay is high. In the long run it pays off. So Quenton, thanks for the help and if I went that route, I would certainly fill you in on the outcomes. But I've bought my reactor and a dedicated canister filter to drive it and I'm on the way to CO2 pleasures :) .

    Cheers

    R
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: nutricalculator and carbon levels

    If you use CO2 and have issues with BBA etc, it's better to learn how to use CO2 properly.

    Excel is fine for smaller tanks, temporary issues, not chronic ones.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  9. quenton

    quenton Guru Class Expert

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    Re: nutricalculator and carbon levels

    I didn't see a size on your tank?

    You could start off with DIY CO2 if your tank is not too large (I use it on a 65g, will switch one day). I have 5 2L bottles on that tank, and I can overdose it with that if I want to -- that gets expensive over time too, but it gets one started.
     
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