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Appologies for another dosing plea for help

matt davidson

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Joined
11 Jul 2009
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20
Really sorry to start up another thread, but I'm completely lost and totally confused.

First a bit of background:
At the moment tank is 120l, 1x 36w T8 about 25% plant coverage of swords and Hygrophyla. Currently dose with easylife easy carbo and profito. Oh and lots of algae of pretty much every kind. This is mostly due to N and P defficiencies So Ive finally given up and invested in some better hardware.

So, the re-fitted setup will be pressurised CO2, 2x54 T5s and a proper dosing regime. Also plan on adding a lot more plants.
Ideally I want a low meintenance regime, as im quite often away so a weekly dose would be best with 25-30% weekly water change.

Unfortunately this is about as far as ive got- I've spent the last couple of days reading through topics, journals and articles on here, and have only got more confused.

A massive thank you for any help you can give!
 

glenn

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19 Jan 2009
Messages
358
Location
Leicestershire
well 1st you need to decide on what dosing method best suits you. E.I, PMDD+P04 or all in one soloution.-http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/dosing-methods.htm
i would recomend EI, its simple, very effective, very flexable and ideal for a highlight tank which yours will become once you get the new lights.
E.I is a mixture of
Potassium Nitrate(KN03)
Potassium Phosphate(KH2PO4)
and Trace Elements-this is a mixture of many elements e.g. Iron, Magnesium, Copper, calcium and Zince ect ect.
these are all easily avalabe here is one link where you can get them all-http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=414_145_146

there are other things that you can add depending on your water but i wont go in to that. you can read here-http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/EI.htm

so, once you have your 3 basic ingredients you need to decide if you want to add them straight to the tank as a powder (dry) or you can make a stock soloution.
i prefer to make a stock soloution-on the web site i have gave you the link to it shows that you need to make 2 soloutions out of the 3 ingredients.
Macro Solution
33g Potassium Nitrate
7.2g Potassium Phosphate
250ml Water
(All these values can be doubled if you go through it quite quick)
Trace Mix Solution
10g Chelated Trace Element Mix (7% Fe, 1.3% B, 2% Mn, 0.06% Mo, 0.4% Zn, 0.1% Cu)
250 ml Water
0.5 ml Normal Hydrochloric Acid
it also says that the hydrochloric acid is not vital, its just there to preserver it a bit. its also recomended to use RO water or deionised water. but many just use tap water.
so now you have your 2 bottles of soloutions ready to add it says
Using Solutions

Using the daily schedule below add the following 3 times a week:
5ml of Macro solution per 50 litres of water
2.5ml of Trace solution per 50 litres of water
here is my working for dosing E.I in your tank.
MACRO
120L/50L = 2.4 ---> 5ml x 2.4 = 12ml 12ml is the ammount you add 3x a week.

TRACE
120L/50 = 2.4 ---> 2.5ml x 2.4 = 6ml 6ml is the ammount you add 3x a week.
as the method hints this a estimate, we aim with this method to provide more than enough nutrients for the plants to survive and grow and stop any deficiency. dont worry if you add 1ml more to your tank one day and 1ml less the next.
this is just one route to dosing that i chose to explain, there are others on james website that you might find easier.

i hope this helped you. dont hesitate to ask any questions about it. :D
 

matt davidson

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11 Jul 2009
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Wow, thanks for such a quick and comprehensive reply. I'm assuming this is dosing full E.I, with a 50% w/c at the end of the week?

Personally I'm not after rapid or jungle like growth, and at the moment I dont plan on planting any high-demand plants. Would it be possible to lower the dosing levels by, say, half? Would I then need to decrease light and CO2 levels? Or would this just be asking for an algae plague?

Also could I move up to dosing full E.I at a later date, when I have more time to spend on the tank?

Thanks for your help!
 

glenn

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19 Jan 2009
Messages
358
Location
Leicestershire
yes, this is full E.I
Daily Schedule
Sunday 50% water change. Add Macros (KNO3, KH2PO4)
Monday Add Traces
Tuesday Add Macros (KNO3, KH2PO4)
Wednesday Add Traces
Thursday Add Macros (KNO3, KH2PO4)
Friday Add Traces
Saturday Rest day
here is an example from james planted tank of a schedule.

matt davidson said:
Personally I'm not after rapid or jungle like growth, and at the moment I dont plan on planting any high-demand plants. Would it be possible to lower the dosing levels by, say, half? Would I then need to decrease light and CO2 levels? Or would this just be asking for an algae plague?

well with a tank your co2 and ferts need to match the lighting, you have high lighting so your co2 and fert dosing need to be high. if you want to lower the fert dosing like you say then yes you should lower the lighting level and co2 to match it. if you dont, you will have high light, high co2, but low and inadequate ferts in the tank, and this unstability can cause algae.
if your new lights are a luminare then it could come with seperate swiches to opperate each light tube. failing that you could just take one bulb out or cover one bulb with somthing to dim it in order to lower the lighing.
if you dont have the time to dose i think you can add the whole weekly dose in one go on one day. i dont know why we dont do this anyway (prehaps some one can explain the benifits of spreading the dosing over the week). if you did add it all in one go then i would watch closley later on in the week to try and spot any signs of a deficiency.

hope this helps :D

Glenn.
 

CeeJay

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3 May 2009
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Surrey UK
Hi Glenn
glenn said:
(prehaps some one can explain the benifits of spreading the dosing over the week).
I don't profess to be an EI expert by any means but I know a man that is. His name is Tom Barr aka plantbrain. He has answered your quote here, about 6 posts down the page.viewtopic.php?f=11&t=7096

Matt.
If you're after low maintenance why don't you consider dropping the CO2 and lower the lighting. Lighting is the driving force behind all plant growth followed by CO2 and ferts.
Using CO2 and high lighting automatically makes it a high maintenance tank.
I have 2 lo tech tanks (no CO2 and lo lighting) and the plants are in excellent condition, they just grow slower that's all. :D
There are plenty of plants that will grow in low light.

Chris
 

glenn

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19 Jan 2009
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Leicestershire
cool, thanks for the link. Enlightement :angelic:
learn somthing new every day.

so basicaly you want to keep the ppm of each nutrient constant to allow the plants to adapt to that ppm, varying levels of ppm mean the platns have to keep adapting and changing and not growing to their full potential.
 

matt davidson

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11 Jul 2009
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Awesome, cheers guys- thats a massive help.

So I think for now I'll start with just a single bulb with half EI. What ppm of CO2 would you reccommend? 20ppm?
Then when Ive got more time I'll move up to full lighting and dosing.

Think I'll try the all-in-one dose, bu might have to switch to daily if its not working out.

Thanks again
 

glenn

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19 Jan 2009
Messages
358
Location
Leicestershire
i would still aim for 30ppm in any situation, that way you know any deficiencie isnt down to lack of co2.
Barr report says:
Estimative Index is highly dependant on a good level of CO2 which must be maintained at a stable 30ppm through the whole of the photo period. More than 90% of all algae problems on planted tank forums are because of poor or fluctuating CO2 levels.
also, good circulation is needed to transport the nutrients and co2 around the tank and to the plants. aim for 10x turnover. this dosent have to be acheived using a filter, you can also buy a powerhead to assist in acheiving the 10x rule of thumb.
 

matt davidson

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ok, great that sounds ideal. In the current sutup I've almost got 10x ( 2 internals, one at 500 lph, one at 450lph). But will hopefully be swapping them for an external + powerhead

cheers
 

glenn

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Location
Leicestershire
matt davidson said:
ok, great that sounds ideal. In the current sutup I've almost got 10x ( 2 internals, one at 500 lph, one at 450lph). But will hopefully be swapping them for an external + powerhead

cheers
yeah nice idea, what external are you thinking of?
 

matt davidson

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11 Jul 2009
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Probably going to be a tetratec ex700 or a fluval 305/405, but depends what comes up- gonna have to buy second hand as I'm on a pretty tight budget. No idea about powerheads though, havnt had any experience with them.
 

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