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Simple EI Dosing Calculator

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by quenton, Jun 5, 2006.

  1. quenton

    quenton Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Simple EI Dosing Calculator

    Before I gave up on most testing (still to pH and Kh every week or so -- for fun), I had 3 PO4 test kits.
    One showed 0 all the time, one showed something I sort of believed and the other was off the charts. So I stopped testing it.
     
  2. Joetee

    Joetee Prolific Poster

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    Re: Simple EI Dosing Calculator

    I forgot to mention in my earlier post/question:
    My P04 always measures 0. But appx 1 hour after dosing my KN03 was only 10.

    Would you reccommend doing a larger dose at water change? Because if I just follow the calculator for 3 doses a week, I believe my levels will only be as high as 1/3 assuming my uptake is 100% ?

    Joe
     
  3. quenton

    quenton Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Simple EI Dosing Calculator

    I would stick with what is recommended. Remember that after a couple of weeks you should be higher because some remains from dose to does and wc to wc.

    I also don't trust NO3 test kits -- I have four, 2 from AP and 2 from Hagen -- each pair agrees, but between AP and Hagen, I see 20ppm to 80ppm.

    I asked tom, worried about the 80, he said its not 80 given what you are dosing, so don't believe the test.

    So now I just does and forget -- an my tanks never looked better.
     
  4. Joetee

    Joetee Prolific Poster

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    Re: Simple EI Dosing Calculator

    OK, thanks a lot.
     
  5. rrkss

    rrkss Prolific Poster

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    Re: Simple EI Dosing Calculator

    If I compare the result taken from my water company's calibrated highly accurate nitrate testing using photo spectroscopy to my AP Nitrate test, I get an almost 700% innaccuracy. My AP test tells me that I have almost 7 ppm of nitrate and the water company had their highest test result at 1.44 ppm of Nitrate.
     
  6. turbomkt

    turbomkt Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Simple EI Dosing Calculator

    Joetee,
    You also have to remember that this is "Estimative". Part of that is watching what your plants do and adjusting. EI is a starting point not a 100% rule for all to follow.

    quenton,
    It looks like your link is the same each time you release a new version. Why not put the link in your signature?
     
  7. quenton

    quenton Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Simple EI Dosing Calculator

    Good thought
     
  8. Wet

    Wet Lifetime Members
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    Re: Simple EI Dosing Calculator

    Substrate/tank volume adjustment is a great addition.
     
  9. quenton

    quenton Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Simple EI Dosing Calculator

    Thanks - I had just come upon two old (OLD OLD ...) tanks, one in my garage, the other buried under junk in my work-room and had no idea what their size was. And I have too much substrate in my 65g, so I wanted to be able to subtract it. Its fun doing this stuff. :D
     
  10. Wet

    Wet Lifetime Members
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    Re: Simple EI Dosing Calculator

    bumping from page 2
     
  11. marilyn1998

    marilyn1998 Junior Poster

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    Re: Simple EI Dosing Calculator

    Ok, newby question here from someone with plants for only about 2 months. I have been dosing Greg Watsons PMDD at 1/8 tsp dily and Excel 2 caps daily for 6 days. WC of 50% and UV filter runs 24 hours on 7th day. I run no CO2 and 2 Watts per gallon of Coralife t5 and compact mixed lights.
    The rest is in my signature. I am not truly doing any testing since my tests dont register correctly anyway.

    Your calculator states I should be using 1/2 tsp KNO3, 3/16 TSP K2SO4, 1/8 tsp KH2PO4, 1 1/2 TSP MgSO4 and 3/16 tsp CSM+B. THis is way more than I am using currently. My plants seem to be getting new growth, some of them seem to be adjusting, ( like my crypt and red temple and ludwigia peruensis).

    I am wondering if I should wait to see their growth and status for another 2 months? ORT should I be dosing as the calculator states? I just got rid of green water, so I havent had much time to see how MY EI schedule is working.

    What is the best to do? Since I too kthe pic of my avatar I have added 5 plants and another driftwood. Thanks
     
  12. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Simple EI Dosing Calculator

    The little photo looks like you don't have enough plants, but you don't say how much light you have, so I'm not sure. If you have much more than 2 watts per gallon for that size tank, you need to have lots of plants, CO2 and ferts. PMDD is not a complete fertilizing routine - no phosphate, which is essential. So, I suggest you use KNO3, KH2PO4 and either Tropica Master Grow or CSM+B for traces (or Flourish).

    Why use clay pots? That just restricts the root growth, in my opinion. Far better is to use a good substrate, such as ADA soil, or, if money is a problem, Soilmaster Select Pro Charcoal, and use it three to four inches deep, with a dusting of peat under it and some mulm from an established tank mixed in with it.
     
  13. quenton

    quenton Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Simple EI Dosing Calculator

    Basically as VaughnH says. My calculator, if you set the EI-Dosing flag, is showing what you need to dose 3x (or Nx, you can change it) per week under an EI setup. EI means you want high light (3 to 4 wpg), added CO2 -- 30ppm at least, and lots of plants.

    If you don't set the EI-Dosing flag, then its the amount you would add in one shot to get the ppm specified. As one example -- if you didn't change water and had no nutrient uptake from plants and no nutrients added by fish (I know thats not reasonable, just giving an example) -- then you would add that amount once and you would have the target ppm forever.

    Since you change water, then you need to add some ferts to make up for that, and you also have some plants, so there is some uptake.

    With a 40% water change and a small number of plants, you would not add as much as indicated for the EI-Dosing. Basically you would add some and test, and try and regulate that way.

    If you look at Tom's EI-Light document, it does talk about low-light low-CO2 tanks, but only suggests you would want to lower the doses -- it does not get specific which would be kind of hard since the variations could be many.

    Anyway, that is why the PMDD amounts are lower.

    Personally I would go with an EI-based setup -- add a few more plants and add some CO2 and increase the ferts -- but that is my own personal opinion, and I used to do otherwise until the last year.
     
  14. marilyn1998

    marilyn1998 Junior Poster

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    Re: Simple EI Dosing Calculator

    THanks you two! I am going to continue to add plants. I have a discus tank, so am trying to figure out the best substrate for it. THen I Will be doing my testing. I like the EI idea. I dont want to get into CO2 DIY or tanks as I just dont want the expense and havent any idea what it is all about.
    I guess I will use excel until I need otherwise. Fish will gasp if too low CO2, yes?

    Here are my params at the moment just for background.
    PH 7.4 temp 85 ammonia, nitrite nitrate testing 0. (dont beleive the trates are accurate). GH 6, KH 8, Phosphate 1.0, iron .5. Dose daily, wc 50% on Friday. Lights 186Watts over 90G US.
     
  15. quenton

    quenton Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Simple EI Dosing Calculator

    Hm -- first, fish will gasp at too much CO2 or too little Oxygen. Too little CO2 will adversely affect plants. Excel will do but can get expensive after a while -- too much can adversely affect fish, and the normal dose will kill anacharis (also called elodea). With excel be careful to exactly as specified.

    Re you params -- the 7.4 pH is ok -- if you added CO2 that would drop dramatically, probably to 6.6 or lower depending on your CO2 level.
    I don't get the 85 ammonia -- is that .85? even .85 is way too high -- so I am not sure what the 85 means?? If you really have 0 nitrate, how long has your tank been set up? Does it have any fish?

    Your aim should be
    0 ammonia
    0 nitrite
    10 to 20ppm nitrate

    You seem to be some way between a high-light/CO2/ferts and a low-light non-CO2, no-ferts setup. With the low lighting you have, you could go no-CO2 and no-ferts and very small water changes (assuming you have fish). The fish would provide the ammonia which would provide the nitrates for the plants.

    You might want to check out the two articles
    Non CO2 Methods
    -and-
    EI "light" ...

    you will find them in the articles side-bar on the first page of this site.
    They present to two extremes in methodology.
     
  16. marilyn1998

    marilyn1998 Junior Poster

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    Re: Simple EI Dosing Calculator

    sorry that was temp is 85. my ammonia, nitrites and nitrates always test at 0. I highly doubt my test kit is right. I dose PMDD at 1/8 tsp daily. do WC once a week at 50%. My fish load is high. Tank has been up for 6 months.
    3 BN cat, 3 Bolivian ram, 8 discus, 20 cardinals


    I have all the ferts separately from the PMDD also. THe ones from the calculator. I will definitely read the Non CO2 and EI light articles. And thanks for the tip on the anacharis!!!

    Love your calculator! Thanks for the tips.
     
  17. quenton

    quenton Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Simple EI Dosing Calculator

    OK, that 85 makes more sense now :)

    However, 85 seems a bit high -- what kind of fish do you have in there?
    I know some fish like a higher temp -- my mollies (in my community) are happier at 80 than at 77 which I used to keep both my tanks at. The only time I have hit 85 is during an ICH outbreak.
     
  18. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Simple EI Dosing Calculator

    Which is why I post such wide ranging methods together............ :D

    marilyn1998,

    You do need some NO3(Nirate).
    0 is not good, but........that also assumes that the test kit is correct, often times they are not.....................

    EI will solve that isue.

    Since you have Disvcus and like to do lrge weekly or 2x a week water changes, you will want to use CO2.

    Over time, this will make the most sense for you, your $ and your goals.
    CO2 is relatively simple to use and takes some tweaking, but is fairly straight forward thereafter.

    While a spear is not a bad thing to hunt with and is pretty easy to use(non CO2 methods), a gun(CO2 methods) makes hunting much easier, although it cost more, takes a lot more to understand and use it and maintain it.

    It's the same thing pretty much, cost more, more work but you gain a lot out of the deal.

    Most folks that use/have used CO2 will tell you to just do it.
    It's a leap to be sure, but a good one.

    EI and water changes will take care of the rest.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  19. marilyn1998

    marilyn1998 Junior Poster

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    Re: Simple EI Dosing Calculator

    Thanks again Quenton and Tom. I will begin my research on CO2. I will also figure out which is the best to get as I have already done enough spending only to have to then later buy the better things anyway. I suppose I will also bite the bullet and dump my gravel for Eco-complete. I realize this move will lower my ph as well as the CO2 doing it, but if I need to put up with a learning curve, I hope to only have to do it once.

    This is a great forum. I learn new things every day. I am glad I have the 15 years of fish only tanks behind me and NOT having to learn all that too! Taking the leap to real plants was one of the best things I did!.

    Thanks again for all the information and help.
     
  20. quenton

    quenton Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Simple EI Dosing Calculator

    Sorry -- I missed the "discus etc" -- I see why your temp is up there.
     
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