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What is going wrong with EI in my tank

Discussion in 'Estimative Index' started by guy tillmans, Oct 7, 2008.

  1. guy tillmans

    guy tillmans Guru Class Expert

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    Ok , i'm still increasing my co2 bit by bit. Now my controler is set on Ph 6.2(kh is 4-5). I know you said urlier that those are no absolute figures/numbers. I don't know if i can increase the co2 anymore because of the fact that my in-line reactor is every day full off co2 and comes unsolved withthe water in my tank. I've tried less flow/more flow through the reactor but it doesn't seem to help. It's a big reactor (diameter 5 cm by 30 centimeters). Can it be that there is a moment that the water doesn't take op the co2 anymore??
    I started to use also easy carbo , just as you said.(1.5 the recommended dose).

    I'm i bit "off the road" with my EI. Should i dose the recommended dose ? halve dose ? or above the recommended dose? (2 wpg light).

    I also do not use fertilized soil , just sand, could that be an issue? (i know EI must work wihout fertilized soil)

    thanks a lot
     
  2. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

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    you should be fine without the fertailized soil, most of the plants should be taking the nutrients up via the water column. If you have a high plant load i would go above the recommended EI for your tank size. More ferts cant hurt unless you really overdose the thing(like >5 recommended)
     
  3. guy tillmans

    guy tillmans Guru Class Expert

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    My gh is 9. Could i run in to mg deficientie unless there should be enough (gh =9)??
    Should i add mg (mgso4) and how much?
     
  4. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Adding enough MgSO4 to increase the concentration of Mg by 10 ppm couldn't possibly be harmful, and it might help, so why not do so? If you do it, I suggest adding a little every day until you get that much. (Calculate the amounts, don't try to test for them)
     
  5. guy tillmans

    guy tillmans Guru Class Expert

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    Just add Totally 10 ppm / week? so 3 to 4 times 3 ppm??
     
  6. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    It isn't a critical nutrient that has to be there in a specific amount. My point was that even if you already have enough Mg in the water, adding another 10 ppm, provided it is done over a few days time, should do no harm. And, if you actually have too little Mg, that might be enough to give you an adequate amount of Mg. My rough calculation is that 1 teaspoon of MgSO4-7H2O gives about 1 ppm in 100 gallons of water. You should double check that to be sure.
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Guyt, you can have 5, 9, 20 degrees GH and not enough Mg.
    GH is both the Ca and the MG, not a nice mix of each at 3:1 ratio etc.

    So it might be all Ca++, no Mg++.
    You can test for it if you wish.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. guy tillmans

    guy tillmans Guru Class Expert

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    New update

    I'm still battling my algae, instead of getting rid of it, the amount increases. Most of my algae are thread algae (some hard species and some soft /slimy species). What have i done last weeks : Cleaned the bottem very deep, added gh+ (mg and ca), increased the co2 and lost some fish , so i assume that there was enough co2 (now i turned back the co2 untill the behavior of the fish was normal (kh now 4 en ph 6.5)). 2 times p/w 50% wc, and still the algae keep coming. I increased the current by adding a hydor pump. Every day i keep pruning my tank like a fish watches over there bread.
    Finally (now) i reduced my lightperiod to 8 hours and went back to 1.2 wpg for some time(was 2 wpg) hoping that this will help a bit. Ei 3 times p/w half dose. I don't know what to do anymore and can't find the key to succes.
    Can high co2 levels increase the growth of algae if there is a lack of something else (macro/micro)? Perhaps must do i have to concentrate myself on low tech tanks if thats easier:(

    greats
     
  9. guy tillmans

    guy tillmans Guru Class Expert

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    It feels like that you have all ingedients in your kitchen but can't cook a good meal!!
     
  10. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I know what you are feeling, and I very often feel the same way. My algae is BBA, simple for everyone else to elimiinate, but not me. I still enjoy my aquarium so much I am willing to keep trying to eliminate the BBA. If you enjoy yours too, just enjoy it and keep on trying to achieve the ultimate goal of no algae of any kind.

    Reducing light intensity should make our algae elimination efforts work much better. I now have a single 55 watt light, suspended 6 inches above my 45 gallon tank, and I still struggle with BBA, but it doesn't overwhelm me anymore. One morning I will wake up and it will all be gone.
     
  11. guy tillmans

    guy tillmans Guru Class Expert

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    Vaughn , i'm am a believer, and i still keep on working on it , but after you've tried everthing , and still the algae flourish, i sometimes think to quit whit my hobby. But after a few days , my battery is loaded again , and start pruning again.
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    One thing is to not give up, you can beat it.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  13. Riba

    Riba Lifetime Charter Member
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    My (dutch) waterprovider gives me an accurate overview of the water parameters. Does yours do that too? If so, could you give us a link?

    Kind regards,
    Riba
    (for example, this is my overview)
     
  14. guy tillmans

    guy tillmans Guru Class Expert

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    Yes riba , i've got that in pdf, do you want the hole overview (them i've to convert it to a picture and post it) or do you want some particular values, so i can write them down here
     
  15. guy tillmans

    guy tillmans Guru Class Expert

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    [​IMG]
    this is the list of my waterprovider

    It says that there is Boron 28 mcg/liter, Iron 0.005 mcg/l, No3 38 mg/l, mg 13 mg/l, k 2.2 mg/liter, Ca 50 mg/l and po4 0.015 mg/l in my tap water.

    Sorry for the picture but i couldn'tget it better, because i would have to split it in several picrures.
     
  16. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

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    Don’t give up! First thing that typically happens when modifying co2 levels is an algae outbreak namely BBA. Try doubling up your EI dosing if your tank is heavily planted as it should be  I have a 60gal and I use the 120gal dosing strategy and my plants are doing much better now. Also don’t fret over minute details such as concentration of this or that or the other thing. I can guarantee from experience that the plants and fish won’t mind a little extra on the ferts. Also realize that it takes time for a tank to stabilize when you are making these changes. For me it took about a month of tinkering with the Co2 and EI dosing to get everything growing in nicely and the algae retreating.

    ps. IMO if you are using a drop checker, forget the readings and increase the co2 until you see pearling about 3-4 hours into the light cycle. Worked for me, trying to get the checker to green didnt ever work...
     
  17. guy tillmans

    guy tillmans Guru Class Expert

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    Yes thxs but i've lot of thread algae now , i think it comes from the high no3 level in my tap water 38mg/l. I also doese the recommended dose of ei. Lowering light doesn't seem to work ,instead of that i think the algae grow faster now. Pruning helps for one day, if you know what i mean.
     
  18. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I think this is why old Dutch tanks had good results in the distant past, the tap water.

    I spoke to friend and he agreed, that's why many elsewhere needed to add PO4 and NO3. All you had to do was large frequent water changes.

    If the tap is 38mg/l NO3, is this N-NO3? Or measured as NO3?

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  19. defdac

    defdac Lifetime Members
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    I will stick my neck out a little bit here.

    There is one weak spot with EI and it seems to be the choice of micros. Many folks do weekly wc and dose one time per week. In this case 3 times a week which is a little bit better.

    If you use a really good micro like the ones by Tropica you might be fine.

    Why are the Tropica ones better, and that proven over and over again?

    It seems to be the HEEDTA and cheap DIY-guys use EDTA/DTPA-based agriculture grade micros like CSM+B. In fact most aquarium fertilizers use EDTA/DTPA. Except Tropica. Many does not say at all which chelator they use. In Sweden we have found an agriculture grade micro named "Mikro+" which also is HEEDTA. Cheap alternative to Tropica.

    Two plants that are extremely sinsitive to micro/iron-deficiency: Downoi (P. helferi) and HC. They eat so much iron it's down right ridiculuos.

    The downoi you show is 100% micro limitied, most probably iron.

    I bet my pants that if you start small daily dosages of a better micro nutrient everthing will start look better in matter of days.
     
  20. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hey defdac, I'll take that bet, and I'll raise you a a pair of thermal underware. Everyone badmouths CSM+B and talks about how great TPN is at 50X the price. If truth be told I've tried both for weeks on end and I can't see a difference - and I've never seen anyone actually show the difference in a "micro shootout".

    While I'll accept what you explain about the chelators I'm not convinced it makes that much of a difference compared to other factors in the tank. I'm a real cheapskate and I get the cheapest micros I can find, like the agriculture grade product here (if you're in the shop it's located two rows below the 25Kg bags of cow manure)=>Chelated Trace Element Mix - £0.00 : The Garden Direct Store, Make the Most Of Your Garden

    This is P. helferi on cheap DIY-guy EDTA/DTPA based micros:
    [​IMG]

    Check this out:
    [​IMG]

    Keep it real:
    [​IMG]

    It's unlikely the damage shown in the OP's photos are attributable only to low quality micro (in fact wasn't the micro mix Easylife profito?), especially when he reports dosing higher levels than standard. The only other difference I can see between CSM+B and TPN is that TPN has magnesium and CSM+B does not. But, this is no big deal as Mg is either abundant in the tap or it can be added via (cheap) Epsom's salts.

    Additionally, the OP reports occurrences of Hair algae which is strongly correlated to poor CO2. That's not going to be a micro issue. As per popular trend it seems, high NO3 was blamed for the algae.

    It's much more likely that the tank suffers from any combination of injection rate being too low, or gas ON timing being too late (if solenoid is used) or flow distribution being stagnant at the front substrate level.

    A simple test would be to add or to increase Excel/Easycarbo dosing, assuming there are no fauna or other flora which react negatively to this, and/or to add more flow via pumps to direct flow to the front substrate. I've found that most cases of poor carpet plant performance is due to poor flow to the substrate or poor flow rate within the tank in general. If the symptoms are in fact due to a micro deficiency I reckon it's more probable that micros are not being delivered properly to the plant instead of it being just due to cheap micro quality.

    Big tanks are problematic due to loss of inertia in such a big space. An 80G tank is big and should get a flow "rating" of about 800 Gallon per hour or more if possible. Things that you can get away with in a small tank are unforgivable in a big tank, and THE cardinal sin in a big high tech tank is poor flow. Not only does the flow rate have to be high but the flow patterns need to be considered as well.

    It's also not really clear how much the tank is being dosed. If one miscalculates the mixture then underdosing could easily be the culprit. The typical EI dosing levels for this size are as follows:
    3X per week 1 teaspoon (6 grams) KNO3
    3X per week 1/4 teaspoon (1.5 grams) KH2PO4
    3X per week 2.5 teaspoon (13 grams) MgSO4
    2X per week 3/8 teaspoon (1 gram) CSM+B or 20ml TPN (if you insist)

    Since shrimp may be adversely affected by injection rate increase, it might be advisable to focus on flow improvement to deliver the nutrients/CO2 more efficiently. Massive flow cures a lot of problems in a big tank. It is entirely possible to have high CO2 which affects the fauna yet to have poor distribution which stifles plant uptake.


    Cheers,
     
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