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Tetra Florapride and EI

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by dealt, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. dealt

    dealt Prolific Poster

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    Hi! I've been reading about EI for quite some time and I'm really interested to try it out. I've a month-old densely planted tank that's doing quite well but shows deficiency on some plants, particularly stargrass which has cracked and darkening leaves and blyxa japonica that just wont grow.

    Tank specs:
    - 36 x 18 x 16 in (water vol. 35g)
    - 2x55w PL
    - pressurized C02 at 2-3bps

    Questions:
    - The chemicals that I have are potassium sulphate, potassium nitrate and magnesium sulphate only. Can I start dosing with only these chems?
    - Can I use florapride as trace elements source? If yes, how much to dose

    A dosing method and guideline specific for my setup (and available chem and fertz) would be very much appreciated. My apologies if these questions have been brought up before many times. I've very slow connection and searching and browsing the whole forum is becoming troublesome. I'm working on a faster connection anyway. Thanks!
     
  2. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

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    Besides those things you need a source of phosphate. Then you got your macros covered. Instead of using the Florapride which from what I can see doesn't contain all the micros you need and has some macros you don't need if you are dosing the dry ferts, you can order some Plantex CSM+B and mono-potassium phosphate (I got mine from Rex's Guide to Planted Tanks very cheap). If your water has a low GH you might want to order calcium chloride or GH booster too. This covers all your bases. You probably won't need to dose magnesium sulphate as Plantex has magnesium and so does GH booster.

    Just go by the dosing regimen posted on the Estimative Index board to start off and you can tweak it later if you need to. Also I found that the easiest way to do it is to mix up the dry ferts minus the phosphate into a specified amount of water, so I know I have to add 5ml of liquid per 10 gallons each time I dose. Then I dose the phosphate liquid solution I prepared seperately. No thinking or teaspoons required (except the 5ml).
     
  3. dealt

    dealt Prolific Poster

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    So I really need to get mono potassium phosphate. Ok. Many thanks.

    With the 'dry-fertz' you mean I can make a single mix of potassium sulfate and potassium nitrate except for phosphate?
     
  4. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    You can mix any of the fertilizers together in water, except phosphate with iron. So, you can make a pre-mix of the nitrates, phosphates, potassium, and if you wish, some magnesium. The trace element mix, CSM+B, or other trace element mix, should not be mixed in with the others. If you try to do that the iron combines with the phosphates to form a precipitate that settles to the bottom of the bottle.
     
  5. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

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    I do it backwards....mix everything together but the phosphate, then dose phosphate seperately.
     
  6. FacePlanted

    FacePlanted Guru Class Expert

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    For phosphate, I have used a fleet enema in the past. It seems to work well, and is readily available at many places. The monopotassium phosphate will certainly last longer, but the enema will last quite a while too, and you won't have to order it and pay shipping. It would be a good "quick fix" until you can order some of the other. I used 1-2 mL (maybe 30-40 drops) in my 29 gal.

    I used kno3, fleet, small bit of k2so4, flourish(for traces).
    ----------------------------------------------------
    I think for your size tank: (20-40 gal.)
    1/4 tsp kno3-3 times/week
    30-40 drops fleet enema-3 times/week
    1/16 tsp k2so4-3 times/week (to make up for K not found in fleet)

    1/16 tsp CSM+B-3 times/week on opposite days from above ferts.
    OR 5mL Flourish/Tropica Mastergrow/trace element solution

    If you use the monopotassium phosphate instead of the fleet enema,
    dose:1/16 tsp KH2PO4
    AND OMIT the 1/16 tsp K2SO4

    THEN dose nothing on the 7th day, and on the start of the next week-day 1 do a 50% waterchange and dose the macros (NPK), plus add 1/2 tsp of GH booster once a week after the waterchange.

    This is all you have to do to start using EI. Just keep up with it once you start.
    You can eventually add more or less if you see that your tank needs it
    Get a drop checker and MAKE SURE your CO2 is about 30ppm!!!!!
    Very important if you dont want to have algae.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    What is your GH? KH? Is it city tap water? or well water? I mix RO water with my tap water to achieve a desired hardness. My tap water is from a well and has a really high GH, but I believe it is from mostly limestone and has a lot of calcium, so I add 1/4 tsp. of the mag. sulphate once or twice a week. Depending on your water you would either need to use some of the GH builder, OR add calcium and/or magnesium.

    This is what I do for my 29gal, and what I would do for your 35gal. I got this straight from the "EI light" sticky in the EI forum here on this site. That would be the one thread I would read first if you have a slow connection. I think it would answer most of your questions.

    If your plants are starting to show deficiency, I dont think it would hurt to add the florapride for a little bit, until you get your trace elements and phosphate ferts.
    From what I see, it only adds potassium and iron. I find that my stargrass puts out white leaves at the growing tip and I have to dose a little more than 5ml in trace elements. I also find that stems start to melt if I let the nitrates get too low. Stargrass is a good indicator plant. Use it.

    What kind of substrate do you have? Do you have very many fish in the tank?
    These would add nutrients and you could possibly just get the fleet enema and dose only NPK for now IF you have a good substrate that could possibly provide some traces. But make sure to get the phosphate and traces soon.

    Another good place for dry ferts that I have used before and is very reliable is:
    Aquarium Plant Food - hobbyist taking care of hobbyist … | Planted Aquarium Fertilizer

    Hope this helps some.

    -Mike B-
     
  7. dealt

    dealt Prolific Poster

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    Hi! Thanks for the very comprehensive reply. I finally has KH2PO4 and this is how I dose:
    Made stock solutions (based from this guide James' Planted Tank Web Page)
    Potassium Nitrate - 40g to 500ml of water and adding 10ml per 100L of water would give you 5ppm NO3.
    Potassium Phosphate - 15g to 500ml of water and adding 5ml per 100L of water would give you 1ppm PO4.
    Potassium Sulphate - 55g to 500ml of water and adding 10ml per 100L of water would give you 5ppm K.
    Magnesium Sulphate - 70g to 500ml of water and add 50ml once a week per 100L of water - this would give you 7ppm Mg.

    Dosing:
    10ml solution or 1/8 tsp KNO3 3x a week
    5ml solution or 1/32 tsp KH2PO4 3x a week
    2ml solution or 1/32 tsp K2SO4 3x a week
    2ml or 1/32 tsp traces 3x a week

    Before I started with EI, my stargrass is really in terrible shape. Most of its old leaves have cracks and turning into black color. 4 days into EI dosing, they seem to recover although there are still some "cracks" on its old and few new leaves.

    The only test kit I have is low-range PH test. Aside from stargrass problem all the rest seems to be growing well. I've a low population fauna: 2 otos, 2 SAE, 8 tetras, 2 CAE, 2 clown loaches and several shrimps. I only feed them 3x a week.

    By the way, I haven't used magnesium sulphate, dosage is not included in the guide I have. I'll try to post some pics for better analysis of deficiencies.

    Thanks again!
     
  8. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    My "theory" is that those of us who are relatively inexperienced will do far better not to worry about deficiencies of any given nutrient. Instead if we dose per EI we can be sure we don't have any nutrient deficiencies. Then the weekly water changes we do prevent us from ever having an excessive amount of any of the nutrients, so that worry is taken care of. That just leaves CO2 to be concerned about. So, a cheap drop checker will tell us if we have enough CO2, and all of the nutrients will be taken care of - no more concerns about that. What is left is water circulation, tank maintenance, correct fish feeding, etc., and now that we have the other worries taken care of we have enough time to concentrate on those.

    The reason we shouldn't worry about looking for specific deficiencies is that we just don't have the experience to judge what is a deficiency, let alone judge what specific nutrient is deficient.
     
  9. FacePlanted

    FacePlanted Guru Class Expert

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    In your first post you say that your tank has a water volume of 35gal.
    It looks like you still need to dose more kno3 and kh2po4 per dose 3x a week.
    EI suggests 1/4tsp kno3 and 1/16 kh2po4 and 5ml traces 3x a week.
    You are doing about half of what you need. This is fine if you are dosing all of this every day. But if only doing it 3x a week, you need to double what you are adding. My stargrass is one of the first to show deficiency in my 29gal. tank. I have to dose a lot of traces or I get white leaves, and a decent amount of kno3 or I get melting leaves and stems.

    Good luck!

    -Mike B-
     
  10. dealt

    dealt Prolific Poster

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    Hi. Thanks all for your replies. I don't know if this is still the right place to post this but it's about fertz dosing anyway, so I guess it's ok.

    current scenario: made a major rescape last weekend. repositioned 80% of the plants. trimmed very few stem plants. moved hardscapes and as expected, there are substrate disturbance. siphoned mulms and dried leaves and did large WC (around 60-70%). dosing 10ml KN03, 5ml KH2PO4, 2ml K2SO4 (half of the required dosing for my tank) everyday. low population of fauna, fed only 3x a week.

    problem: Spirogrya (algae id based on the James' Planted Tank - Algae Guide) starts to grow on the stem plants, even on anubias. I've increased my c02 from 2 bubbles/sec to 3-4 bubbles/sec. I suspect the disturbance on substrate caused this, probable ammonia spike. But there was no fatality on the fauna during and after re-scaping.

    No improvements on stargrass, cracks and melts still occur even on new leaves. white leaves also visible. same issue with water wisteria.

    should i continue with the dosing? plan to change water tomorrow. what other steps should I make to prevent breakout. thanks
     
  11. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    You need a drop checker. You can't set your CO2 amount just by bubbles per second. You could increase the bbs and still get less CO2 in the water if something adversely affects how you diffuse it into the water. CO2 is far too important not to do the best we can to measure how much we have, and there is no way to determine it by the "dosage" we use, like there is with other fertillizers.
     
  12. dealt

    dealt Prolific Poster

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    I made a re-check of my tanks dimension using an online aquarium calculator and it reads:
    Volume..................................44.88 gal (US)
    Water Volume............................39.51 gal (US)

    I am now dosing everyday using the guideline for 10-20 Gallons (which is half of supposedly every other dosage for 40g ).

    It was stated on EI light thread that "If you have very high lighting and are at the top end of the tank size bracket for your tank, it may be an idea to dose at the next tank up size bracket."

    I have a 3wpg lighting. I'm having thread algae on stem plants and still obvious deficiency on stargrass,wisteria and anubias. Should I dose at the next tank up size bracket?
     
  13. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi,
    I would advise to drop your lighting by 30% in addition to your dosing scheme. This gives you breathing room because it lowers your CO2 demand. It's very possible that you have a CO2 concentration and delivery problem. A solution could be in changing the flow pattern and/or increasing the bubble rate slowly. Trim those affected leaves immediately, and do large and /or more frequent water changes. Stargrass when properly fed is almost invasive so if it's melting in you tank there is something amiss.

    Cheers,
     
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