Wet's EI modeling calculator with graphical output and dosing calculator

mathman

Guru Class Expert
Mar 8, 2011
260
1
18
California
KNO3 and K2HPO4 Solutions

Hi fish tank people,

I've kept a 55 gallon tank for awhile now and have been dosing dry ferts with good results...I guess. I am interested in making solutions to keep in graduated dispenser bottles as I believe this might be easier for me and others (in the case of my absence) to do. I have played around with Wet's calculator and have a few questions regarding its usage:

Let's leave the 55G aside for now as my questions pertain to my other tank...

For my 5g tank:

Macros: using Wet's Calc

I typed in 5 gal, DIY, K2HPO4, 500mL container, and dosing 15mL (DOES THIS MEAN 15mL DAILY?, selected EI....and finally, my results..."To reach your target of 1.75ppm PO4, you'll need to add 2.025 grams of K2HPO4 into your 500.0 mL container."

Same options selected as K2HP04 for KNO3...the results..."To reach your target of 6ppm NO3, you'll need to add 6.172 grams of KNO3 into your 500.0 mL container."

Can I add both of this compounds on the same bottle dispenser? Does it need to be refrigerated? If my selection of 15mL is a daily amount does that mean I can simply do 35mL 3x a week? I noticed wet's calculator asks for 3 decimal accuracy. Is it fine to do the solutions based on a 2 decimal accuracy? Why is the calculator giving me a target less of what Tom suggest for NO3?
thank your for all of your help.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Wet

Lifetime Members
Lifetime Member
Aug 25, 2006
395
0
16
USA
Hi mathman.

When selecting The Estimative Index as your dosing method, the calculator will spit out traditional EI dosing, which is usually dosed 3x a week. In reality, you can dose it any number of times as long as no nutrients fall below their minimum thresholds to grow plants. Many people dose the standard EI mix 2 or 4 or once a week depending on light and plant mass, for example.

If you would like to calculate a daily dose, select EI Daily from the regular (non-mobile) calculator.

(This is not quite live yet on the mobile calculator, but will be soon along with new features.)

Are you sure you have K2HPO4 and not KH2PO4? Either is fine but the latter is much more common in our hobby.

It is fine to mix these Nitrate and Phosphorus sources together in the same dosing bottle. You only lose the ability to adjust each individually.

There is no need to store the fertilizers in the fridge; however, some folks find long-lasting mixes eventually grow mold, and refrigeration can avoid this. Other easy methods are to a) make shorter lasting mixes that are gone before mold grows and b) add a little Excel/Glut in there.

There is some argument for keeping fertilizers containing Fe in a dark place, since most of our fancy chelators are sensitive to sunlight. This should not be a problem with other fertilizers containing other elements.

You absolutely can adjust your dosing to fit your schedule. Just keep feeding the plants.

You can absolutely round to the nearest 10th or whole number for any dosing recommendation. The calculator rounds to 3 decimals because it is just a calculator and doesn't know any better. Most gardeners will just round. Some gardeners tend to take this nerdy stuff pretty seriously and want precision and accuracy. But almost every hobbyist will agree our plants don't know the difference either and precision is for the benefit of the gardener.

EI is a broad range, and 6ppm NO3 falls within that range. To think EI ever targets a specific ppm is to misunderstand EI. You should feel free to increase, reduce, or adjust your dosing if you ever see deficiency or want to avoid water changes. If you have some specific target, the calculator will help calculate your dose by target instead.

Hope this helps and good luck!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

mathman

Guru Class Expert
Mar 8, 2011
260
1
18
California
You are correct I have KH2PO4! :)

Is tap water fine to use or should I use distilled water?

On a side note,
What about making a mobile app with your calculator? I would love to carry this app on my phone without the use of Internet.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Wet

Lifetime Members
Lifetime Member
Aug 25, 2006
395
0
16
USA
Hey again mathman.

RO/DI is always best. This is whether you are nerdy and want to be precise or if you want to avoid anything new in the mixture (which may promote mold, or in the case of my tap, there is moderate KH and PO4, both of which aren't a good idea with any chelated trace mix).

Lots use tap, though, and lots of them grow really nice plants.

I guess what I'm saying is if you're not dosing because you don't have any RO/DI around, you may as well make your first mix and see if you have any problems. You're looking for stuff that won't dissolve, cloudiness (sometimes this is unavoidable), mold, etc. Keep feeding the plants.

Here's more advice just because I feel guilty for typing all that: it's a lot more rewarding to spend this time trimming and working on a tank, and -- the definition of fertilize -- all we really have to do is keep feeding our plants. This stuff isn't so important, unless you find this stuff fun, too, of course :) (I do!)

If you search the Apple app store you'll find "Mistergreen's Aquarium Fertilizer Calculator," and it uses some stuff from this calculator. Mistergreen is active on The Planted Tank, his support seems great, and he has mentioned he'll be hooking up the liquid/commercial fertilizer work in his next release.

If you have an Android or other mobile device, I am not aware of any standalone app yet. I hope someone tackles it. :)

You should see the existing mobile-optimized stuff on any device, though, and ime it works pretty well even on Edge. It does require Internet.

Mind giving feedback? Check out http://glut.petalphile.com when you get around to it. That guy works off-line if you save/cache it/keep it open in some tab. I'm just curious if using such a tool is easier for you than this tool was.

Thanks!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

mathman

Guru Class Expert
Mar 8, 2011
260
1
18
California
Wet,

I am grateful for the time you've taken to answer back.

I made my first solution today with distilled water. The solution will be stored in a 500mL graduated dispenser and dosed 3x a week at an amount of 40mL each time. With this quantity the solution should last 4 weeks. The solution consist of:

5.78g of KNO3

.59g of KH2PO4

Which yields approximately:

15ppm of NO3 and 1.75ppm of PO4

The solution also makes enough K so adding K2SO4 will not be necessary.


Do you know of any pictorial source of nutrient deficiency in a planted tank? I would love to see actual plant pictures that have, say, NO3 deficiency.

Thanks once again.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

mathman

Guru Class Expert
Mar 8, 2011
260
1
18
California
Rohanz21;75934 said:
What should be the target levels of the macros for a moderately planted tank ?

The amount of macros is dependent on the volume of the tank. You can read http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/2819-EI-light-for-those-less-techy-folks
To get an idea of how much macros you need for your tank. There are targeted ranges when using EI. Some folks target a specific level based on Just how many plants they have (I think), for example, a fully planted tank will consume more nitrates and therefore require more co2 to sustain the growth rate.

I am a beginner at this and I am learning and passing on what I know. I hope I'm correct, if not, there other people here who are always willing to help.
 

Wet

Lifetime Members
Lifetime Member
Aug 25, 2006
395
0
16
USA
Hey mathman.

I know of two pictorials/infographics, first from Zapins here http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/fertilizing/62876-plant-deficiency-picture-diagram.html and then by hariom here http://infographics.myaquacalc.com/

It's worth noting that Plantbrain explicitly dislikes these pictorials because they can steer hobbyists in the wrong direction during troubleshooting, and they're so effective in relaying a point that any misinformation becomes that much more of a problem. I think hariom does a good job of stating "CO2" a bagillion times in troubleshooting, but definitely see where Tom is coming from.

My advice is to pick up moderate to fast stems, and I would recommend Blyxa japonica, Rotala indica (this is also known as "Bonsai"), Rotala rotundifolia, and/or HM because they trim well and tend to get dense and bushy for your scape. More importantly, moderate to fast growing stem plants will show deficiencies pretty fast, will recover from mistakes pretty fast, and are just cool staple plants that are easy to acquire and share experiences with. This way, when you show pictures of, say, small or discolored R. rotundifolia leaves even as the leaf matures (older growth), most all of us will recognize it as NO3 deficiency or at least have some ideas to kick around.
 

Tom Barr

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 23, 2005
18,696
745
113
Wet;75961 said:
Hey mathman.

I know of two pictorials/infographics, first from Zapins here http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/fertilizing/62876-plant-deficiency-picture-diagram.html and then by hariom here http://infographics.myaquacalc.com/

It's worth noting that Plantbrain explicitly dislikes these pictorials because they can steer hobbyists in the wrong direction during troubleshooting, and they're so effective in relaying a point that any misinformation becomes that much more of a problem. I think hariom does a good job of stating "CO2" a bagillion times in troubleshooting, but definitely see where Tom is coming from.

My advice is to pick up moderate to fast stems, and I would recommend Blyxa japonica, Rotala indica (this is also known as "Bonsai"), Rotala rotundifolia, and/or HM because they trim well and tend to get dense and bushy for your scape. More importantly, moderate to fast growing stem plants will show deficiencies pretty fast, will recover from mistakes pretty fast, and are just cool staple plants that are easy to acquire and share experiences with. This way, when you show pictures of, say, small or discolored R. rotundifolia leaves even as the leaf matures (older growth), most all of us will recognize it as NO3 deficiency or at least have some ideas to kick around.

The first problem with CO2 is right at the start of these diagrams, they assume 30ppm is easy to measure and a KNOWN, and..that 30ppm is non limiting and good and fine for ALL aquariums, which is pure Horse manure.
Poor CO2 management is the no#1 issue aquarist have. They make huge assumptions there, but get pretty finicky over a ppm of N or P.

No one has ever once killed a fish with NO3 or PO4 I know of.
CO2? Weekly.

My tanks are not a stable 30ppm.
Not even close.

45ppm for one tank, maybe 70ppm for another.
55 for yet another tank.

This is 50-233% more than the suggested amounts.

Each tank is different in it's CO2 demand, just like each tank is different in fert uptake etc.
We cannot be so naive to assume that tanks need coddling and unique dosing for ferts...........then toss that out the window for CO2.

Ferts are very easy and very flexible IME, if you forget to dose one day, no big deal.
Dialing in good CO2 from day one is far more helpful. But..this takes experience and observation skills.

I wish I had a simple solution.
It really is what makes some successful and other fail.

Hariom does make the effort and is good, but without realizing what the root issue is.....CO2 varies and tanks can vary greatly, just like growth rates can............we miss a lot of information and make a lot of assumptions.
This gets us into lots of trouble and statements like"I know my CO2 is 30ppm and so it MUST be a fert issue" even though I and many others add the same ferts without any issues.

The user's experience also makes a huge difference also. I know much more how to grow plants well, no matter what species I am given..........than I did 20 years ago.
If you can grow it, then you have little issues testing various things like ferts or light. CO2 is more challenging

If you cannot grow it, then you cannot test no nothing. You are just lost looking for any answers that sound good. Many of which are wild goose chases.
It's a PITA. Been there.
 

mathman

Guru Class Expert
Mar 8, 2011
260
1
18
California
Thanks Tom.


Is it okay to make a solution of KNO3, KH2PO4, and K2SO4?

I'm dosing less KNO3 since I the bio load is high. To compensate for the loss of K in the KNO3 I was wondering if I can use K2SO4 within the same 500 Ml solution.


Thanks
 
C

csmith

Guest
mathman;76068 said:
Thanks Tom.


Is it okay to make a solution of KNO3, KH2PO4, and K2SO4?

I'm dosing less KNO3 since I the bio load is high. To compensate for the loss of K in the KNO3 I was wondering if I can use K2SO4 within the same 500 Ml solution.


Thanks

I use K2SO4 in mine.
 

mathman

Guru Class Expert
Mar 8, 2011
260
1
18
California
Sweet.

Based on my past doses the K levels were well under the target range of at least 10ppm. I'm curious to see what changes my plants will have now that I am dosing approximately 10ppm of K.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

pdavis41

Lifetime Members
Dec 26, 2010
41
0
6
38
Chicago-land area
Question on the calculator. I it assuming a dose of xxml three times a week? So if I say my container is 1000 and dosing 25 ml, that is 3 times a week I should be dosing 25ml?

Thanks!
 

Wet

Lifetime Members
Lifetime Member
Aug 25, 2006
395
0
16
USA
Hey hbosman. I've been moving petalphile.com stuff over to http://rota.la. The old domain just stopped being funny to me, I think the new one is cooool and more appropriate, and I'm looking to launch some stuff for AGA 2012. Figured I'd roll some of the calculators as they were mostly ready to shake out the bugs :)

rota.la has definitely been flakey this past week and the long term charts are coming (though you can get them directly from http://rota.la/ei if you want to ). Daily EI looks to be working alright though. Am I missing the bug?

Thanks!
 

hbosman

Guru Class Expert
Oct 22, 2008
277
1
18
Leesburg VA USA
Wet,

I used to use it to figure out how much chemicals to add to a 1 liter bottle dosing 15 ml EI daily. I have my dosage in a spread sheet but, was looking to lower the concentration kh2po4. I could guesstimate from my speadsheet but was looking to use your calc for precision. when I go to EI it asks for aquarium size in gallons or liters and whether its diy or premix. I select diy and then nothing else to do but hit gimmie and then it tells me to use 15 ppm of calcium. Anyway was looking for ei daily for macros and micros.

Thanks for the previous app, it was awesome.