Dry powders with non EI?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Fert Dosing' started by jay, 12 Apr 2009.

  1. jay

    jay Member

    Messages:
    693
    Location:
    Harrow, Middlesex
    Hello!
    I've got my dry powders, everything required for an all in one solution, but i'm thinking of just adding straight to the water via teaspoon measures.

    But as i have a 4 ft tank and a busy life :arghh: i dont think i could handle 50% weekly water changes, so...
    What sort of dry dosing could i do while doing perhaps 20-25% water changes every week or 2, without it having the nutrients build up?
     
  2. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    1/2 EI or make up you own dosing regime. You dont have to stick to EI,it is very flexible.
     
  3. jay

    jay Member

    Messages:
    693
    Location:
    Harrow, Middlesex
    Yeah i know its great for being very forgiving in terms of how much dosing, i just dont know whether half dosing would be too little.
    My tank is massively stocked at the moment,
    The tetras:
    14 embers
    7 diamonds
    6 rummynose
    14 green neons
    9 cardinals
    8 black neon
    Also have a pair of laetecara dorsigeria
    and 5 wild checkerboard cichlids
    4 otoos, 3 small ansistrus and a 3 inch SAE
    and a load of shrimp.
    In a 4 footer, this is highly stocked for a high tech planted tank, so sure the nitrate is at a fairly good level for the plants anyway.
    They're not dangerously high as i've got happy (and broody) dwarf cichlids.

    Just wondering if i should dose nitrate accordingly, with this in mind?
     
  4. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi Jay/Aaron,
    First of all you all need to stop equating water changes with nutrient build up. The water changes that we perform have nothing to do with nutrient build up. It has to do with organic waste buildup. You are not trying to control the level of nutrients because they are not toxic at the levels we dose. What you are controlling is the amount of organic waste that is ejected into the water column as a direct result of the plants using the nutrients. If you eat a lot and drink a lot don't you produce more waste than when you are on a diet? Higher growth rates and high consumption of food naturally produces higher levels of waste. In a closed system the waste buildup is not only toxic but also generates opportunities for algal growth. Plants simply grow better and are healthier with cleaner water. Growth is inhibited when the water is polluted with the organic waste that they themselves produce. one of the factors in the organic waste production such as ammonia is that oxygen is consumed in the conversion of these waste products. Lowering the organic waste content allows more oxygen for fish, so this helps fauna as well.

    If you begin your analysis with faulty assumptions there is a much greater risk of doing the wrong thing for the wrong reasons and thus there is greater likelihood of failure.

    Unilaterally reducing your dosing by half is fine, except, what if your particular configuration of lighting and flow requires you to dose at or near full value? Well, the results will be predictable - you may incur algal attacks due to starvation.

    So if you want to reduce the water changes then you should think first in terms of reducing the organic waste production rate. This may involve a reduction in nutrient levels, however it must be considered within the context of lower lighting levels and lower CO2 levels. Nutrient buildup is completely irrelevant within this context.

    Cheers,
     
  5. jay

    jay Member

    Messages:
    693
    Location:
    Harrow, Middlesex
    Lesson learned, thanks Clive.
    I've just done my weekly 50% W/C and looking at my tank pearling and fish loving the new water, i reckon it wont hurt to take half hour out of my schedule every week for it (my back wont mind).

    Thanks for the info.
     
  6. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    No worries mate. If you are still doing water changes via the bucket brigade you might want to consider using a small powerhead and long tubing/hose to siphon the water to a drain or garden and the same hose to fill the tank from a water filled bin or tub. There are a few threads on use of this technique. You can also invest in a Python which does a great job as well. No need for back ache in 21st century mate! :D

    Cheers,
     
  7. plantbrain

    plantbrain Expert

    Messages:
    1,949
    You might try 25% Wc weekly and reduced dosing, with good feeding(daily dosing basically for nutrients).
    Watch and observe closely.

    I stay ahead of the game and do large water changes, some focus more on cutting it closer and doing less.
    This is a trade off really.

    I need to look less and just not fret over it.
    I still need to do them and watch CO2, but that's the case for the reduced WC's.

    If you use less light, you can likely reduce the EI to 1/4 dosing with a good fish load.
    Less light = less growth = less CO2 and nutrient demand.

    I've yet to have met a single person that's killed their fish using EI or over dosing KNO3.
    Not one person to date, that's over a decade.

    CO2?

    Lots of folks have gassed and killed their fish, where's the worry and outrage with using CO2? :rolleyes:

    I just do not get it.
    Fear mongering over NO3, but CO2? So blase'
    But statistics do not lie, more death has coccured using CO2 than any other additive.

    Wind bag Know Nothings harass folks on line over this issue all the time, but you do not see any discussion about CO2 being a cause for poor fish health.

    CO2, reduced light, then the nutrients...........nutrients themselves are over rated, and over hyped.
    They are only one cog in the wheel.

    That's why there are examples of failures in every method(and using just this part, other claim this as evidence of a bad method, it's not the method, they all work, it's the person using it- it's not the cars that run people and kill them, it's the drivers- same thing here).

    All method shave good examples of nice tanks without much issue. So you could say they all work well with some trade offs.

    So what other than nutrients is there to plant growth? where does plant growth actually start?
    Light and CO2.

    So focus there.
    EI just rules out nutrients as a possible limitation for growth for plants.

    CO2 might be another issue and often is, accounting for about 95% of algae related issues and growth problems.

    That's pretty telling, but given poor measurements, rapid changes in concentration, and that it is 40-50% of the plant biomass total(Carbon), and that fact that poor CO2 hurts plants, but has no effect really on algae(they are never CO2 limited), this hurts plants the most.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. jay

    jay Member

    Messages:
    693
    Location:
    Harrow, Middlesex
    Thanks guys.
    The tank was coming along nicely until last week when i changed my FE and the co2 levels have been up and down like a tarts knickers and i've got algae everywhere. :mad: :mad:
    I have managed to keep it fairly steady over the last couple of days at a higher level and carried on with the same dosing.

    Algae's starting to go.
     
  9. plantbrain

    plantbrain Expert

    Messages:
    1,949
    Jay, you can go midway here, something I suggested before really seeing how few folks bother to test:

    http://www.barrreport.com/estimative-in ... eters.html

    Most do a little testing + balancing the nutrient ppm's (not that critical as many will have you think)and fewer water change.

    If you are strapped for time/have many things to do....then lower light and water changes are more likely to be a better human habit. Then dose say 1/2 EI etc and go 2 weeks etc.

    That's fine, you will not run out of nutrients with lower light.........but the build up will be slower.

    Example, if you dose say 20ppm over 2 weeks, the max build up will be 40ppm.

    So dose 2x a week, say 5ppm..........

    Most of the folks in the UK use less light than many do in the USA(A wasteful bunch they are), so you likely do not need full EI, so reduce it and see.

    Light(good even spread), and CO2 focus are much more important overall.

    ADA AS would also be a more forgivign sediment type(I like it and use it).

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     

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