EI daily methods or PMDD + PO4

Discussion in 'Aquarium Fert Dosing' started by plantbrain, 12 Feb 2008.

  1. plantbrain

    plantbrain Expert

    Messages:
    1,946
    This is just a solution for folks wanting a daily routine that's actually older than EI and was just a slight tweak of PMDD using PO4 as well and bit higher nutrient levels:

    EI was developed mainly in response to folks that had no test kits that lived in 3rd world countries and for lazy/cheap folks.

    Some folks like dosing daily, when they feed their fish.
    Some forget to dose 2-3x a week(uhhh was it on Tuesday or Wendsday I last dosed the traces?? ahhh.......), so a daily routine works better for their habits.

    Some have a tiny tank and want more consist ppms in their dosing than 1/64 th of a teaspoon can afford. Whatever your reasons, this is just an example. If you have high O4 in the tap, add less KH2PO4, good GH, skip the GH booster etc.

    This is an example of EI for a 12 week supply for a 20 gallon tank for those with teaspoon adversion.

    To 1 liter of DI water add:

    60 grams KNO3
    10 grams of KH2PO4
    25 grams of GH booster

    Add 5 mls daily.
    Add TMG at 2.5 mls daily.

    That's it.

    That's EI without the teaspoons and more accuracy in dosing.
    If you fiddle with daily dosing, you may have a better routine
    and habit. Some are okay with 2-3x a week.

    You can scale this up or down to suit your tank volume, light level etc, make larger batches etc.

    But if you are not and skip dosings etc, then EI may not give the same results using 2-3x a week dosing as daily.

    Thus it is not the method that fails, it's our own habits and routines.
    Still, this gives a PMDD type routine for folks to do.

    Teaspoons are just easier to explain and most folks do not own a scale etc.
    Plants are not these sensitive things, nor should your tank be either.
    They have a wide range they can adapt and grow well in, thus such accuracy is not critical as some will have you believe.

    Anyone with common sense can see and test that themselves.

    EI nor any method was ever meant to be rigid. You finess and tweak to suit.
    Often we think what we did is really causing an effect. Often it's just we are paying more attention to the tank.

    That can help any tank as we all know.

    As always, focus more on CO2.
    That makes or breaks results more than anything else.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
    Stevieblue likes this.
  2. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Interesting Tom, what kind of water changes would you need to do?

    Sam
     
  3. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,089
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    I've covered this in the next PFK issue.... :D
     
  4. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,266
    Location:
    Daventry, Northants
    Nice one Tom, just what i need. ;)
     
  5. Spider Pig

    Spider Pig Member

    Messages:
    141
    any chance of making this a sticky- always have to hunt around a bit when I've lost where I wrote it down :oops:
     
  6. keymaker

    keymaker Member

    Messages:
    255
    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    I just made an Excel File that can be easily used to calculate the all-in-one solution dosing quantities needed to comply with the EI range of nutrients. The chart can be customized to any regime of water changes and can be used to mix a solution with dry ferts.

    I used fert amounts from the DIY TPN+ solution published on James' site and NO3 data from my water company (the others are still missing). The molecular weights calculation is based on James' dosing calculator.

    Big thanks to James, and to Mark for giving me the initial calculation method. As Mark rightly pointed out, this calculation does not include the amounts used by plants and assumes there is no other source of nutrients. It should be used as a guide only.

    If you see anything that could or should be modified, please let me know, and I'll edit this post accordingly!!!

    Download with confidence - No Viruses! (I made it under Mac OSX !) :)

    [​IMG]

    http://akvarisztika.budapet.hu/dosing_calculator.xls
     
  7. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    i have just downloaded it, and i put my tank size as 50l, with a dose of 5ml, so that should give 5.9 NO3, but it only gives 2.36??

    am i using it wrong or something?

    Capture.jpg
     
  8. keymaker

    keymaker Member

    Messages:
    255
    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    Thanks Aaron. My stupid late-night mistake from yesterday... I left the 2ml as a default value so it did not take the changes in TPN dose in consideration. Mistake corrected, you can download it again from the link above.

    Also, I did a major "rescape" on the chart :) to make it more usable for those mixing their own solutions with dry ferts. Please let me know if there's anything that I overlooked or if you see any mistakes in the calculations.

    A couple of words about the calculation method:

    After filling in all the tank and dry ferts doses the chart calculates the quantities (in grams) for every nutrient on the list. This initial calculation is based on the molecular weights used on James calc. The values are then converted to PPM values based on the concentration and dosage regime. It is displayed under "My Dose". The tricky part comes with the daily calculations. Let's take the NO3 for example (I will use all the values from the image...)

    48g KNO3 added, out of which a total of 29,42g NO3 will be dissolved into the 500ml concentrate. 5 ml of this dosed into 50 liters will result in a 5,88 ppm NO3 addition. That is displayed under "My Dose". The first day we fill the tank with 50 liters of water containing 11,8ppm NO3. We then dose according to the first day's "yes" to dosing. the 11,8 is increased by 5,88 to 17,68.

    On day 2. we change 50 percent water. The old water contains 17,68 / 2, the new one is 11,8/2. We add them up and increase the whole amount with the daily dosing of 5,88. If you look into the cell P14 the calculation might look a bit complicated - this is due to the conditional water changes and dosages, enabling us to rewrite all the "yes" and "no" cells to fit anyones method.

    The color of the cells calculated changes automatically to show nutrient values in reference with the EI range (I still need to know the range for Mg). Also, are there any other nutrients that should be calculated on the right?

    Please let me know if I overlooked something or made mistakes.

    Thanks, keymaker.
     
  9. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Member

    Messages:
    2,668
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    A fair few of us have been using a PMDD+PO4 daily recipe for quite a while albeit a leaner version with lower water changes.

    AC
     
  10. keymaker

    keymaker Member

    Messages:
    255
    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    This example has been made to work with my 20 liter nano tank. With these - as George Farmer suggested many times- it is advisable to have frequent water changes.

    You can modify the days and amount of water changes on the chart to fit the more common 3 days/week makro dosing and once-a-week 50% water changes too.
     
  11. plantbrain

    plantbrain Expert

    Messages:
    1,946
    Calculator looks nice.
    EI is just an estimation for non limiting levels. Chances are, most will use less. So that can be modified accordingly.
    Or if the tap is loaded with NO3, PO4 etc etc..........

    It's not a "formulation" or even a "ratio", just a concept, and that's not even my own either, I just applied it to plants, ferts etc. A range was developed long before this came about, around 1995-1997.

    From there, applying this concept was rather simple and easy, but many cling to their test kits:)


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  12. Superman

    Superman Member

    Messages:
    1,804
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    I'm thinking of doing an all-in-one solution maybe in the future as I mix my salts in water before it goes into the tank anyway.

    Although, reading my area's water report
    http://www.stwater.co.uk/upload/pdf/ZGL ... 0South.pdf
    there's no mention of PO4, K or Mg although my Nitrates seem rather high.

    Is there a possibility of making a more concentrated solution as I think of me to do this, I'll be dosing a lot of the solution each day - about 65mls for my 180ltr!
     
  13. keymaker

    keymaker Member

    Messages:
    255
    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    Tom, it means a lot to me that you like my calc. There's a lot more to do with it, I'm improving it continuously and adding data. I do fully understand what you suggest that the EI is and what it is not.

    Please send me more feedback as to what else would you guys see in there on the sheet...

    ------------------
    Superman,

    I'm afraid there is a limit to how much you can dissolve of your dry ferts into a fixed amount of water.

    Unfortunately I have only found two solubility amounts on the net so far - the Nitrate and Potassium Sulphate values. Those are already in - if you open my excel chart and try to type say 80g to the K2SO4 value (with DI water of 500ml) you will get a red background, meaning you will not be able to dissolve all of it into 500ml.

    It would be great if I could get a list with all the solubility data for our purposes. I remember seeing somewhere (maybe even this forum) but I forgot where.... :( If anybody has that to hand, please post it. Too busy to search now.

    Thanks, Keymaker
     
  14. JamesC

    JamesC Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    Location:
    Bexley, Kent
    http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/calculator.htm - at the bottom of the page.

    James
     
  15. keymaker

    keymaker Member

    Messages:
    255
    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    James, that's where I saw it, thanks mate. :)
     
  16. Henrik

    Henrik Member

    Messages:
    67
    Location:
    Chester, Cheshire
    This is the thread that will help me - great calculator. I just wrote to my water comapny to find out the tap water details.

    Do I need to use distilled water (is that what DI means?) for mixing up solutions, or is this simply recommended to avoid having to take into account the tap water content in NO3, PO4 etc.

    Lastly - trying to make sure I am really getting the concept - do the numbers in the final table assume that none of the added feriliser is actually consumed by the plants? Is it a sort of 'max' number, if you disregard the NO3 and PO4 produced by nitrification of fish excrements, food leftovers etc.

    Thanks a lot, Henrik
     
  17. keymaker

    keymaker Member

    Messages:
    255
    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    Thanks, Henrik. All I did was to sum up calculations and data from James' site, ideas from Mark, and of course Tom's method. The excel sheet is far from finished and reviewed so please take that into consideration when using. Also, please check back for updates.

    Yes, you do need to use some kind of water that does not contain nutrients affecting the calculation. Besides NO3 and PO4 - among others - the tap water usually contain elements like Ca for example which might cause PO4 to precipitate from the dry ferts dissolved. You can use distilled water which is really expensive, or even better, you can use cheap deionised water you can get from almost any big store (I got mine from Tesco).

    Yes, the whole EI concept - as Tom has written many times - is to estimate the "non-limiting levels" of nutrients available to the plants in your tank. If your final data from the right columns of the sheet fall within the EI range (all is color black) you have good chances that you've accomplished that. Plant uptake and amounts added by fish and bacteria will not influence the "non-limiting levels" that are set by Tom using high uptake enviroments.
     
  18. Henrik

    Henrik Member

    Messages:
    67
    Location:
    Chester, Cheshire
    Thanks!
    Excuse my ignorance - in what section in Tesco would I search for deionised or destilled water - is it for household appliances?

    Sorry again, but I am still not quite there...The numbers in the final table increase week by week, although admittedly they fluctuate less and less, but if I do not estimate plant intake and additional sources somehow, how will I know whether I have actually achieved the right range, I might be much under (high intake) or higher (production by fish and bacteria).
     
  19. keymaker

    keymaker Member

    Messages:
    255
    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    Well, I actually got my DI water in a Tesco in Budapest, Hungary. :) It was in the car accessories section... Most gas stations have it too... The nutrient levels will gradually grow in the first couple of weeks as with the first filling of the tank, you have your tap water defaults and you dose to that. After the water change the default is increased with a certain percentage of the previous dosages and you dose to that again. And so on... After 20-30 rows you reach a level, where you have the same ppm pattern that will stay constant. I suggest you read the Estimated Index to get an answer to your other questions.
     
  20. plantbrain

    plantbrain Expert

    Messages:
    1,946
    You generally reach a maxima when you provide non limiting nutrients. That's the point.
    From there, if the plants take up more, this does not matter, they are non limited and thus cannot take up more than you provide. That's the point.

    So running out is entirely avoided.

    Thus the question now becomes, what about adding too much?
    Well, then the water change comes into play. This prevents you from building up too much.

    You do not continue to increase the ppm's infinitely with partial water changes. Otherwise fish only tanks would have increasing NO3 levels that never decline or level off, this does not occur in fish only tanks with regular water changes now does this occur in planted tanks where KNO3 is dosed etc.

    A bit extra NO3, Ca etc in the tap is not critical, but if you want to keep a lower NO3, say 15 ppm as a general target, and the tap has 20ppm, then you might switch K2SO4 for the KNO3 in the dosing and assume every 50% water change adds another 10ppm of "new NO3" to whatever your tank was at. If you use CO2 and have reasonable plant biomass, the fraction from fish is pretty small, typically not more than 5-10%. Some high load Discus tanks might have perhaps 25-40%, even 50-70% at low light, lower plant biomass. If you go non CO2, then you can hit 100% and not need to dosing any inorganic ferts.

    But the trade off is slow growth.

    As far as fish/shrimp health, there's little differences between 10ppm and 30ppm for NO3 dosing.
    This is large target to hit and non limiting for most planted tanks.

    So there's less need for accuracy, testing than many think. Still, some are never quite comfortable with this for whatever irrational reason and perhaps they want to confirm as well. This is where the problems start :twisted:
    You try to get around one assumption only to jump right into another.

    Now you need to make sure the test kit is calibrated.
    Check, that's done. Now you need some standard comparison for light, and then accurate CO2 etc.
    Folks are lost by then.

    This may change later, folks can measure light pretty reasonably now. But CO2 is still a big problem.
    Still, folks will do best using the less light approach rather than "more is better" much like the USA auto industry. :rolleyes:
    They claim they cannot do it and that the market sells large powerful cars. Yet Mini coopers sell well here, and many Toyota and other makers also do very well somehow.

    This applies to the hobby as well.
    A good T5 lower light system works very well like a good hybrid or electric or air car.

    You can try and impress your pals with the big fast light, but it just means more cost, more labor, less wiggle room with dosing etc etc.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     

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