Want more accuracy? Want daily PMDD style EI dosing?

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Left C

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I like to thank Tom, Vaughn and others for their help and insight for using this particular dosing regimen. It is working great for me!:) I don't know what to call it exactly, but I've been using this name: 'Barr's EI PMDD+PO4.' I hope you don't mind.

I'm presently using it with three aquariums:
- a 15g with 96w quad 6700K PC and pressurized CO2
- a 10g with an Orbit 2x40w fixture using 76w; it has a 36w ADA 8000K PC and a 40w dual daylight 6700K/10,000K PC and pressurized CO2
- and a 10g with a 36w ADA 8000K PC and the Hagen ladder yeast/sugar CO2

I was using EI on two aquariums and PPS-Pro with the 10g that has 76w of lighting.

The EI worked OK on those aquariums tanks, but I never 'fine tuned' it for each aquarium. I guess that I was a little lazy to test often so that I could fine tune them.;)

The 10g aquarium with 76w and pressurized was using Seachem's ferts. I made a Microsoft Excel version of their dosing chart: Plant Dosage Chart It worked OK for this tank for almost two years. I started running low on Seachem's ferts and I saw PPS-Pro.

I had plenty of Greg Watson's dry ferts left and decide to try it. It worked OK in that particular aquarium, but there were a few minor problems. Growth was just moderate and I had GSA for a while, but a little extra KH2PO4 fixed that. I also had holes is some leaves and a little extra K2SO4 fixed that. The aquarium has some Hygrophila difformis in it. The leaves looked a little thin and there was a great quantity of water roots. I started running low on my PPS-Pro mix and I mixed up a batch of 'Barr's EI PMDD+PO4.' I used Seachem's Flourish for the trace product.

I used an early batch of GH Booster from Greg Watson that turned the water a little brown. For some reason, that batch of GH Booster didn't dissolve well. There was ~ 40% sediment in the container. I used it for a while by using a pipette and a tiny spoon to get a little sediment for each dose. It was really a small PITA to dose. Then I had a right shoulder operation in the middle of July and things went on the back burner for a while, so to speak.

About a month ago, I mixed up another batch of 'Barr's EI PMDD+PO4.' This time I used Seachem's Equilibrium for the GH Booster. The Equilibrium dissolved very well with just a few grains that didn't dissolve. The day after the first dose, I noticed an improvement in the plants. The day after the second dose, I could really tell a difference. After several doses, I noticed that my Barclaya longifolia was a more intense red color and my Kleiner bar sword was a more intense red color too. The Hygrophila difformis grew really fast with thicker, more healthy looking leaves and w/o so many water roots. The other plants really grew well too. The GSA completely disappeared. It was an amazing transformation!

All my aquariums are using this 'Barr's EI PMDD+PO4' now and I am simply amazed at the difference that it has made!!:D

I just switched over to Tropica's Plant Nutrition liquid from Seachem's Flourish. I'm just about out of Flourish.

I want to thank you guys again for this easy way of dosing that just flat works exceptional, IMO. It seems forgiving if I happen to not dose one day and it is customizable as well. The 10g aquarium with the yeast CO2 gets a few mL's less and it's working out great.

Again, thanks guys!

Left C

PS: If anyone wants a copy of the Seachem dosing chart/calculator that I made using Microsoft Excel; just PM me your email address and I'll send it to you.
 

VaughnH

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What was your GH before adding the Equilibrium? And, did your water report show a significant amount of magnesium in the water? I ask because I don't dose a GH booster now, so I wonder if I could expect better looking plants if I did. My GH test kit isn't working well but the water quality report makes me think I have adequate GH and magnesium.
 

Tom Barr

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Thanks Left C.

I'm never sure what to call 1/2 the stuff I suggest.
However, it's certainly not my idea in general, PMDD folks take credit for that.
I just added a few tweaks, PO4 and a different trace is all.
Nothing is as rigid as some seem to suggest.

I suppose I could call it Barr's Pro dosing and suggest I came up with it and how advanced it is and much better tailored to each individual tank........but I ain't that way.

But after you see a few things and test them well your self, then you see that things are not that much different here. After a few years, you also, hopefully get better, some do not blame the method when you where new, blame yourself. After you do this hobby a few more years/decades, you see the reinvention of the wheel many times and how folks are.

Your own habits play a huge role here also.
I test a lot at the lab, we took 200 readings for a lake in Yuba county today. I'm not that interested in monitoring my tank, I'm interested in answering larger questions about aquatic plants.

I already know what drives plant growth an stability here.
Most do if they think about it.

Just do not believe everything you think.
Be more skeptical than that.



Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Left C

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VaughnH;19083 said:
What was your GH before adding the Equilibrium? And, did your water report show a significant amount of magnesium in the water? I ask because I don't dose a GH booster now, so I wonder if I could expect better looking plants if I did. My GH test kit isn't working well but the water quality report makes me think I have adequate GH and magnesium.
Hi Hoppy

My tap water is very soft. I tested the GH a little while ago using a Hagen GH test kit. I got 30 mg/L or 1.7 dKH.

I have a copy of the 2005 water quality report for my city. We get water from two different lakes. This is the average of the two lakes (They are very close by the way) The 2006 report isn't much different, but this is the 2005 report average:
Hardness: 32.4 mg/L
Alkalinity, mg/L as CaCO3: 35.7 mg/L
pH: 7.1

The Ca and Mg concentration isn't mentioned. This seems a little odd; but whatever.

I hope this helps you, Hoppy.

I'm a believer in this easy dosing regimen! It seems that this just flat works w/o algae being involved.

Left C
 

Left C

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Tom Barr;19087 said:
Thanks Left C.
Thank you!

Tom Barr;19087 said:
I'm never sure what to call 1/2 the stuff I suggest.
However, it's certainly not my idea in general, PMDD folks take credit for that.
I just added a few tweaks, PO4 and a different trace is all.
Nothing is as rigid as some seem to suggest.

I suppose I could call it Barr's Pro dosing and suggest I came up with it and how advanced it is and much better tailored to each individual tank........but I ain't that way.
It seems to be custom tailored to my three tanks. I have two more that will be going shortly. I like the name 'Barr's EI PMDD+PO4'. Barr's Pro dosing is too close to another dosing regimen. I'll refer to it as what you would like to call it. I've already suggested this regimen to several folks.

Tom Barr;19087 said:
But after you see a few things and test them well your self, then you see that things are not that much different here. After a few years, you also, hopefully get better, some do not blame the method when you where new, blame yourself. After you do this hobby a few more years/decades, you see the reinvention of the wheel many times and how folks are.
That's so true.

Tom Barr;19087 said:
Your own habits play a huge role here also.
I test a lot at the lab, we took 200 readings for a lake in Yuba county today. I'm not that interested in monitoring my tank, I'm interested in answering larger questions about aquatic plants.
I'm glad that you are interested in the 'big picture.'

Tom Barr;19087 said:
I already know what drives plant growth an stability here.
Most do if they think about it.
All my tanks have really too much light and I know what you mean, I believe.

Tom Barr;19087 said:
Just do not believe everything you think.
Be more skeptical than that.
This is one area that I need to improve on.

Thanks,
Left C
 

VaughnH

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Left C, thank you for the information. I think my tap water hardness ranges between about 26 and 175 ppm and the magnesium from about 2 to 23 ppm, depending on the mix of river and well water in use. I now add some magnesium in my daily fertilizer dosing, but not GH builder (Equilibrium). Obviously at the high end I don't need either more Mg or Ca, but at the low end I probably do. I already have a jar of Equilibrium, so I may start using it. I don't know how to dose it, given that I use a continuous water change system. One more thing to learn! I guess I need to sit down with a calculator and see what makes sense.
 

Left C

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Hi Hoppy

You're dealing with two variables, I believe. The variability of the incoming water and the variability from the continuous water change system.

Would you want to shoot for something in the middle between the highest and the lowest GH?

Seachem's says that 16 grams will raise the GH by 1 meq/L or 3 dGH. Seachem recommends a range for GH and KH of 1-2 meq/l or 3-6 dH.

This is the guaranteed analysis:
Potash (as K2O) 23% or 19.5% K
Ca 8.06%
Mg 2.41%
Fe 0.11%
Mn 0.06%

Equilibrium

Left C
 

VaughnH

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If I were to use my Equilibrium to raise the GH by 1.5 degrees, then dose Equilibrium daily, along with my ferts, to keep up with the dilution of the water caused by my continuous change system here is what I would do:

It takes 2 TBS of Equilibrium to raise the GH of 20 gallons of water 3 degrees, or 1 TBS to raise it 1.5 degrees. My tank has about 40 gallons of water in it, so 2 TBS (tablespoons) would raise the GH 1.5 degrees. That is a pretty good starting point, so I should add 2 TBS of Equilibrium to my tank. But, I drain off 5 gallons of water a day, so, using the "dilution equation" I am draining off about 1/8 th of that 2 TBS every day, or about 3/4 teaspoons a day. So, I should add 3/4 tsp of Equilibrium per day to the tank. I figure I can add this to my macro fertilizer mix and dose it all at one time. Did I make a mistake somewhere?

The first problem I see with this is that I setup my macro dosing so I dose 15 ml of solution per day. I doubt that 3/4 tsp of Equilibrium will dissolve in 15 ml of water. I'm not sure how much water it would take to dissolve that much.
 

Left C

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VaughnH;19098 said:
...It takes 2 TBS of Equilibrium to raise the GH of 20 gallons of water 3 degrees, or 1 TBS to raise it 1.5 degrees. My tank has about 40 gallons of water in it, so 2 TBS (tablespoons) would raise the GH 1.5 degrees...
I'm sure the first sentence is a typo because the second sentence is correct. The first sentence should say "It takes 1 TBS of Equilibrium to raise the GH of 20 gallons of water 3 degrees, or ½ TBS to raise it 1.5 degrees."
 

Left C

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VaughnH;19098 said:
...So, I should add 3/4 tsp of Equilibrium per day to the tank. I figure I can add this to my macro fertilizer mix and dose it all at one time. Did I make a mistake somewhere?

The first problem I see with this is that I setup my macro dosing so I dose 15 ml of solution per day. I doubt that 3/4 tsp of Equilibrium will dissolve in 15 ml of water. I'm not sure how much water it would take to dissolve that much.
Adding ¾ tsp of Equilibrium per day to the tank is a bit too much to add each day, I believe. That's 4 grams daily. I think it should be ⅛ teaspoon or 0.675 grams of Equilibrium daily for your aquarium.

I believe that it would take ~ 250 mL of water to dissolve ¾ teaspoon of Equilibrium by the way.

The formula mix calls for 25 grams of GH Booster or Equilibrium per liter and dosed @ 12 mL per 20 gallons daily. You could mix this and dose 27 mL daily for your ~ 45 gallons of water. Or, if you wanted to dose it dry, it works out to 0.675 grams or ~ ⅛ teaspoon of Equilibrium daily.

When I made my mix, I didn't have 100% of the solute dissolved. There was a small amount that was not dissolved. You may want to mix 25 grams of Equilibrium with 1.5 liters of water or 16.7 grams in 1 liter of water. That would mean that you dose 40.5 mL of solution daily to equal the 0.675 grams or ~ ⅛ teaspoon of Equilibrium daily.

Dosing ⅛ teaspoon of Equilibrium dry each day is easier than messing with these solutions, don't you think?

I hope this helps.

Left C
 

VaughnH

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Did you neglect that I drain off 5 gallons of the 40 every 24 hours? So, I am reducing the amount of Equilibrium in the tank by 1/8 every 24 hours. That would mean I need to add that much back every day just to account for what I drain off.

It does look like I only need half of what I said to get a 1.5 dGH rise in hardness.

I think my first step has to be buying another GH test kit and verifying what my hardness actually is.
 

Left C

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I used 45 gallons for my calculations. I knew that your tank holds around 40 gallons and that you replace 5 gallons automatically daily.

Here's my statement about your gallons: "The formula mix calls for 25 grams of GH Booster or Equilibrium per liter and dosed @ 12 mL per 20 gallons daily. You could mix this and dose 27 mL daily for your ~ 45 gallons of water. Or, if you wanted to dose it dry, it works out to 0.675 grams or ~ ⅛ teaspoon of Equilibrium daily."

The ~ ⅛ teaspoon of Equilibrium daily is based on 45 gallons as well. Tom's recommended amounts is working great in my aquariums. I haven't had to change them at all.

I read your calculations like you were wanting to add 1.5 dGH daily. Would that be too much? If my math is right, that would be adding 5.6 dGH weekly. Here's my math: 1.5 dGH x 7 days per week x [40 gallons ÷ (40 gallons in tank + 35 gallons replaced weekly] = 5.6 dGH.


Have you got a preference for a GH test Kit?
 

Tom Barr

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Lamott's GH test kit is pretty good, accurate to 4 ppm.
Not bad for cost either.

Also, you can take most KH or GH test kits and use 10mls instead of 5 ,kmls for the total test volume, then double the reagent drops and each count as 0.5 units of KH or GH, instead of 1.0 units.

This doubles the accuracy, but you really cannot go another step and use 0.25 units.
But still, you have 2x the accuracy or about 9ppm with most.

Lamott is still 4x more accurate and you can play this same trick and get 2 ppm if you want.

I use a digital tritrator and have about 0.5ppm for GH or KH.
Using a colorimeter, I can get 0.001 ppm.
But few things call for such accuracy:)

The Digital tritrator is nice and neat little gizmo.
Test a number of other items as well.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Left C

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Thanks Tom!

I use Lamotte's Alkalinty Test Kit for KH and I use Hagen's GH test kit with 10 mL instead of 5 mL like you mentioned. This makes one drop equal 10 ppm instead of 20 ppm.

I'll pick up Lamotte's Hardness Test Kit. It's less than $36 at Aquatic Eco Systems, but I'll shop around for a better price. AES will price match.

Left C
 

VaughnH

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I can't think of a good reason to know the GH any closer than +/- 1 dGH. If I'm right, for hobby purposes, of course, a cheap API test kit is plenty adequate. My problem with that kit is that it no longer gives a good enough color to see the color change. It is about 3 years old, plus however long the dealer had it on the shelf.
 

Left C

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Hi

I hate API's GH test kit. It's hard to tell the difference between yellowish green and greenish yellow.

Hagen's GH test kit starts at pink and the endpoint is blue. It's easy to work with, but it measures in ppm instead of dGH. Using 10 mL for the sample size instead of the 5 mL that's recommended is better.

Hoppy, I'm not positive about my math when I came up with 5.6 dGH. I'll dig out my lab math book and look at the serial dilution formula and see what I get. The equation that I used was a "quick, down and dirty" equation that I used to use in textile finishing years ago.

The ~ ⅛ teaspoon of Equilibrium daily based on 45 gallons is correct if you want to use Tom's formula.

Left C
 

VaughnH

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Left C;19185 said:
Hi

I hate API's GH test kit. It's hard to tell the difference between yellowish green and greenish yellow.

Hagen's GH test kit starts at pink and the endpoint is blue. It's easy to work with, but it measures in ppm instead of dGH. Using 10 mL for the sample size instead of the 5 mL that's recommended is better.

Hoppy, I'm not positive about my math when I came up with 5.6 dGH. I'll dig out my lab math book and look at the serial dilution formula and see what I get. The equation that I used was a "quick, down and dirty" equation that I used to use in textile finishing years ago.

The ~ ⅛ teaspoon of Equilibrium daily based on 45 gallons is correct if you want to use Tom's formula.

Left C
Tom's EI formula is for maintaining the Ca and Mg in the tank as the plants use up what is there. Then, when you do the 50% water change you add back for the lost Equilibrium you dumped with the water. In my case I dump about 11% of the Equilibrium every day, due to my constant 5 gallons per day flow into/out of the tank. So, it seems to me that I need to add about 11% of the original dose of Equilibrium every day to make up for that. I think that's where our difference comes from.

The "Dilution equation" I use is from Wikipedia and is: natural logarithm[final Concentration divided by initial concentration] = Flow Rate divided by total volume times the time interval. (all with consistent units).
 
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