EI Dosing advice

SteveMcD

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Hi everyone, I could really do with some advise. I’ve had my tank set up for over a year now & struggles to achieve any meaningful plant growth.

I’ve been studying the forums recently & I've found that it’s likely that my hard water is to blame & the fact that I haven’t been dosing Iron.

This is the ei dosing recipe, given to me by the guy I bought my C02 set up off & I do have some Chelated Iron but I have never dosed it as the advice I was given was that it was just if I had red plants.

My water hardness, according to Yorkshire Water is 86.3mg/l so the question is will the chelated Iron be adequate to boost plant growth & also how accurate is the recipe above please? Thanks.
 

Zeus.

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The recipe you have is the one that many use and should be fine.
You say you haven't been adding Fe but what about the other Micro elements plants need that your micro salt has also.
Having hard water does make things tricky as plants do grow better in soft water, but your water isn't as hard as mine.
I would dose the Micro ferts as it says on the label and see what happens.
You could also post all your tank details and a full tank picture and we would be able to advise you better.
 

SteveMcD

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Hi Zeus, thanks for the reply. Thanks details are as follows:
Roma240
Eco complete substrate
Fluval 306 & Tetra Ex1200 external filters
Eheim skimmer & generic circulation pump
C02 system supplied through 2kg fire extinguisher & co2 art reg, using inline defuser.
Chihiros A1201 plus led light.

I’ve always struggled to achieve any healthy growth using ei ferts, to the point where I’ve almost given up but I’m moving house in a few weeks so I’ve decided this is the opportunity to start again & give it a real go. I’m currently runing the tank down, co2 has been scaled back & ive stopped dosing ferts, so tank May look a little worse for wear!

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

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dw1305

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Hi all,
The recipe you have is the one that many use and should be fine.
That one.
I've found that it’s likely that my hard water is to blame & the fact that I haven’t been dosing Iron.
Yes, iron (Fe) deficiencies are much more likely in hard water, mainly because ferric/ferrous iron ions (Fe+++/Fe++) are highly reactive and form a whole range of insoluble compounds, including iron oxides, carbonates, phosphates and hydroxides.

Plant nutrient deficiencies aren't always easy to diagnose. Iron deficiency is easier to diagnose than most, because iron isn't mobile within the plant, and deficiencies effect new leaves. The other elements where deficiency cause chlorosis are mobile, and the <"yellowing happens first on older leaves">.

These are @sciencefiction's Hygrophila from <"Rotala rotundifolia.....>, and that shows a classic case of iron deficiency with <"lime induced chlorosis">.

iron2_zpsa522aade-jpg.jpg
so the question is will the chelated Iron be adequate to boost plant growth
It should be. I'd try the FeEDTA first. It will take a while for anything to happen with the plants, because only the new leaves will be greener.

What you may get first is a sudden flush of green algae, this is a good sign. Their growth will also have been restricted by iron deficiency (they are <"physiologically similar"> to all the mosses, ferns and higher plants) but they can show a quicker growth response.

If you don't get a response I'd try one of the other iron chelators, that is better at higher pH values. Have a look at @Zeus.'s posts (and links) in <"EI dosing please ..."> .
I do have some Chelated Iron but I have never dosed it as the advice I was given was that it was just if I had red plants.
All plants need all <"fourteen of the essential nutrients for growth">, just in differing amounts.

cheers Darrel
 

SteveMcD

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Thanks for the response, Darrel, very informative as usual!

Would I be best adding the FeEDTA into the Micro mix & dose on alternative days please?
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Would I be best adding the FeEDTA into the Micro mix & dose on alternative days please?
I'd probably keep it separate, but it doesn't matter if you dose it on the same day as the micro-element mix. You really want a <"light proof container for the the FeEDTA">.

The reason for dosing the iron/micro element solution on a different day from the macro-mix is to avoid it combining with the PO4--- ions and precipitating out as insoluble compounds, from <"https://www.lenntech.com/phosphorous-removal.htm">
Ferric chloride or sulphate and ferrous sulphate also know as copperas, are all widely used for phosphorous removal, although the actual reactions are not fully understood. The basic reaction is:

Fe3+ + HnPO43-n ↔ FePO4 + nH+

Ferric ions combine to form ferric phosphate. They react slowly with the natural alkalinity and so a coagulant aid, such as lime, is normally add to raise the pH in order to enhance the coagulation.
In the case of the micro-element mix you just have trace levels of any insoluble anions, so even if they do form insoluble precipitates, there aren't enough ions to make a real difference.

As the "lime bit" in the quote suggests if you keep the solution at low pH (by adding ascorbic acid) and in the dark (to avoid photodegradation of the chelate) you can create an "all in one" solution. If you add the FeEDTA to the trace mix you have a much more concentrated solution than you do when you dose them on the same day.

Plants don't need much iron, so it just needs a bit to be available.

cheers Darrel
 

Lee Murray

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8 Jul 2019
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Cornwall U.K.
I am using the EI salts same as you, I 1st used them in conjunction with injected co2 when I had tanks years ago and the plant growth was ridiculous, I couldn't even see my fish as it was like a jungle :lol:. I've been adding plants to my current tank bit by bit and so far everything seems ok, (albeit after a few problems), I dose macro and micro on alternate days except for Saturday as per the instructions, using Easycarbo with it this time instead of the co2 from a fire extinguisher.
 

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