EI DOSING USING DRY SALTS

spyder

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Ady34 said:
I just wanted to see if there was a way of providing everything so as to 'entirely' rule out fertiliser deficiencies over for example C02 issues (which i know yourself and Tom Barr suggest are nearly always the reasons for poor plant growth).

That's the advantage. If the ferts are ruled out it leaves only co2, flow, distribution and light's to tinker with.

It's a lot cheaper on the back pocket too. :thumbup:
 

ceg4048

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The thing to do is to fix, in your mind, the patterns and indications of CO2 failure. Any structural issues with plants is almost always due to a CO2 shortfall. This includes deformation, translucency, deterioration, holes, browning, melting, warts, rotting, curling, and often, cessation of growth or stunting. Tanks are often victims of their own success. When the biomass is low, it's relatively easy to get good distribution and to deliver CO2/nutrients while carrying away waste products. When the biomass increases to some critical value this often results in blockage and a loss of distribution deficiency. This can often be resolved by a large trim coupled with a good filter clean. Dirty filters often cause rapid deterioration of flow and sometimes it helps to either clean the filter out or even to remove some of the filter media to improve flow when the tank approaches choking biomass levels. However, doing this increases the growth and unless kept under control, causes the same problem sooner or later.

Cheers,
 

Ady34

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ceg4048 said:
Yes, in case you have trouble with chemical symbols the following is a translation:

KNO3=Potassium Nitrate
KH2PO4=Potassium Phosphate
MgSO4=Magnesium Sulfate
CSM+B=Trace Element Mix

You can find these products on this website AE POWDERS

You also have the option to use commercial products, the most prominent of which is Tropica Plant Nutrition+ (TPN+). This contains a combination of all the chemicals listed above so this is convenient, however it is more expensive. You can see it here: AE TPN+

Cheers,

Hi Clive, maybe a q for the fertiliser sub forum, but regarding TPN+ its interesting to know it contains the same nutrients as the EI method, but do you know what dosage you would need to add of TPN+ to provide in excess like EI?
Obviously it would prove uneconomical, but for those who use it it would be good to know the actual target dosage to ensure the bases are covered.
Thanks,
Ady.
 

skeletonw00t

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Hows this for an all in one mix!
10 teaspoons kno3
4 teaspoons kh2po4
9 teaspoons mgso4
5 teaspoons of trace
Asorbic acid & potassium sorbate added

All mixed in 1000ml of water.
Dosing 50ml daily into my 130 litre tank!

This strong enough?!
 

ceg4048

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Ady34 said:
Hi Clive, maybe a q for the fertiliser sub forum, but regarding TPN+ its interesting to know it contains the same nutrients as the EI method, but do you know what dosage you would need to add of TPN+ to provide in excess like EI?
Obviously it would prove uneconomical, but for those who use it it would be good to know the actual target dosage to ensure the bases are covered.
Hi Ady,
Just have a gander at JamesC AIO page James' Planted Tank - All In One Solution. There you'll see some comparative concentration numbers for TPN+ as well as his DIY versions. You can see theat these are about a third the strength of the typical EI mix for most of the nutrients, however, since TPN uses ammonium nitrate there is a little bit more N. This is why most people whou use TPN+ actually wind up dosing 2-3 times as much of what the bottle recommends.

All fertilizers use more or less the same basic ingredients, even the expensive ones in perfume bottles. The marketing departments of various companies will work overtime to present their product as having super magical additives developed by Arcanists at the Harry Potter University, which supposedly enhances plant growth. But these are all illusions, because they must have the same active ingredients NPK+micros.

For example, there are generally only 3 basic ways to deliver N;
(1) NH3/NH4, (2) Urea, and (3) Nitrate salts.

You can use any combination of these, and the combination in any given product depends on supplier cost and other economic factors. But, as I mentioned in the opening paragraph of the tutorial, by far, the most abundant ingredient in any commercial fertilizer is water, normally somewhere on the order of 90%-95% by weight. So why pay for water when you can simply use the same ingredients that they mix the water with? That is the essence of the EI mixes. If commercial aquarium fertilizers weren't so hideously priced, we would never even have heard of EI or PMDD. These DIY recipies were developed specifically as a retaliatory response to massive price gouging by "respectable" companies.

Cheers,
 

Ady34

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Thanks for the clarification Clive.
Looks like at three times recommended dosage TPN+ should cover things.
Cheerio.
Ady.
 

Jaap

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Ok I get it now :)

A question on algae! Clive listed 5 points that cause algae. If in a tank we have good light, good amount of nutrients, good watre distribution, good CO2 distribution then these are favorable conditions for plants to grow. Are these favorable conditions for algae to grow too or does algae only grow in the pressence of light and ammonia?
 

skeletonw00t

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I believe if you have those conditions then the plants themselves will thrive & not allow algae to take nutrients up for themselves?
 

ceg4048

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Jaap,
The best way to think about it is that, generally poor plant health triggers algal blooms. In that way, most times it helps you to focus on the solution, such as improving flow, nutrition and so forth. Algae can grow under these conditions just as well as they can grow under different conditions, but the health of the plant typically determines whether blooms are triggered or not.

Cheers,
 

greenink

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ceg4048 said:
the health of the plant typically determines whether blooms are triggered or not,

Have never quite understood why this is - although i don't doubt it's true - despite lots of reading of his forum and the wisdom of Clive.

What is plant health changing about the water quality (assuming this is the mechanism)?

Why does this impact on algae growth? Higher oxygen? Less ammonia? Greater variability in something?

Does this impact on algae growth once established or just start up?

What's the biochemical / botanical explanation for this? (Feel like an learning a lot of basic science on this forum, which is part of the appeal to be honest - but it definitely helps me understand and then improve what I'm doing).
 

skeletonw00t

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skeletonw00t said:
Hows this for an all in one mix!
10 teaspoons kno3
4 teaspoons kh2po4
9 teaspoons mgso4
5 teaspoons of trace
Asorbic acid & potassium sorbate added

All mixed in 1000ml of water.
Dosing 50ml daily into my 130 litre tank!

This strong enough?!

Is this a good mix or am I overdoing it?
 

ceg4048

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Yes mate this is fine. Overdo as much you like. We don't have a limits on overdo and that's what we've been trying to get across for the past 20 pages or so. Only when it becomes economically impractical, or if the rise in TDS becomes an issue, do you want to start backing off.

mikeappleby said:
What is plant health changing about the water quality (assuming this is the mechanism)?

Why does this impact on algae growth? Higher oxygen? Less ammonia? Greater variability in something?

Does this impact on algae growth once established or just start up?
When plants start to fail due to malnutrition they slow their growth and their cells start to rupture and they start to leech their contents (i.e spilling their guts) into the water column. Algal spores are sitting right on top of the plant membrane within the biofilm and can therefore immediately sense the change. This triggers the spores to bloom and the slowed growth allows the algae to attach itself to the plant surface. Of course there are other factors such as reduce oxygen and other things we don't even fully understand yet, but this is the basic mechanism.

Cheers,
 

mi casa

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HI i want to say well done on the write up but do you know what the amounts are in grams plz sorry to be a pain lol :)
 

ceg4048

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Hi,
Thanks. No worries at all. The densities of each powder are different, so I generally use the rule of thumb which is 6 grams per teaspoon. :wave:

Cheers,
 

mi casa

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HI cool thank you i am just finishing my TPN+ and have ordered the dry salts from Aquarium plant foods i have got the starter kit and was wondering if that got all the salts i need ? :)
 

ceg4048

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Yes, it's fine. Just compare the list of ingredients to the list shown in the article and you'll see that they match up.

Cheers,
 

hotweldfire

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ceg4048 said:
Hi,
Because every other possible fert is nowhere near as important as NPK. There are lots of other elements that are completely ignored by EI dosing schema. We do not address Sulfur, for example, or Cloride, or Nickel. At the end of the day the dosing scheme was developed in order to be easy and accessible, and to cover the most important nutrients that plants require for optimal health. Calcium and Magnesium were considered adjuncts and are normally available in sufficient quantities just as are S, Cl-, Ni and other, more obscure micronutrients. Deficiencies in these are never as problematic as are deficiencies in NPK and Fe.

You need to step back and think about the context under which Barr developed this dosing scheme. At the time, NO3/PO4 were boogiemen, and people continued to suffer great difficulties with plant health because of their refusal to recognize or acknowledge plants' dire need of these essential components. EI dosing addresses these basic needs and resolves the issues associated with poor performance. Only very rarely do we ever see a Calcium or Sulfur deficiency, for example, so really, , this was not really a focus of the dosing scheme, although, yes, this can possibly occur if using RO water without remineralizing it, which is not a wise thing to do anyway.

Therefore, if you are using RO water it should definitely be remineralized, either with tap, with GH Booster, or with one of the (more expensive) commercial remineralizers. EI does not really want to be responsible for fixing this basic flaw in plant and animal husbandry.

Assuming you have followed the remineralizing procedure, you can now follow the basic EI dosing scheme. Adding more of everything can certainly boost performance, can enhance colors, boost growth rates and can even stimulate flowering in some species, but these special enhancements are not the objective of EI. The objective is to fix the most important and basic needs of plants. This doesn't mean that we avoid suggesting to add these adjuncts, quite the contrary, but these are less important than getting people to realize that they should, first and foremost, always address Nitrogen Phosphorous and Potassium in their dosing program. NPK are 1000X more vital than Calcium.or Magnesium or any other micronutrient we can think of.

Cheers,

Ok, I didn't know this. I typically use pure ro without remineralizer because I assumed my EI mix would have everything. I don't like using London tap water 'cos it's nasty and am wary of remineralizer products because I've read they have large amounts of sodium (and are expensive).

So what's in a trace mix then? Just Fe?
 

hotweldfire

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Jaap said:
Ok I get it now :)

A question on algae! Clive listed 5 points that cause algae. If in a tank we have good light, good amount of nutrients, good watre distribution, good CO2 distribution then these are favorable conditions for plants to grow. Are these favorable conditions for algae to grow too or does algae only grow in the pressence of light and ammonia?

Yes I have wondered about this too and think I posted a similar question somewhere (in one of my journals I think). I understand Clive's post about poor plant health feeding algae because of the breakdown of plant matter providing food for the algae. However, given that algae uses nutrients, lights and CO2 why can't both plants and algae thrive in the same environment?

The EI approach appears to be based on the assumption that if you provide optimum conditions for healthy plant growth then the plants will outcompete the algae. Why?

I'm sure this is the case and there's tons of evidence from aquatic horticulture. I just don't know any of it. Clive, could you point me to a decent review paper on the subject (I have access to peer reviewed journals)?
 

ceg4048

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hotweldfire said:
...Ok, I didn't know this. I typically use pure ro without remineralizer because I assumed my EI mix would have everything. I don't like using London tap water 'cos it's nasty and am wary of remineralizer products because I've read they have large amounts of sodium (and are expensive).

So what's in a trace mix then? Just Fe?
London tap water has plenty of good stuff in it like Magnesium, Manganese, Chloride, Sulphate and Phosphate. It's in the middle in terms of NPK compared to municipal water supplies in agricultural zones. Strangely enough, from what I can see of the water report, unless I'm looking at the wrong data set, the TDS and hardness are kind of high, so soft water fish are probably happy that youi are using RO, but I see no reason to avoid remineralizing the RO using this tap. It's cheaper than buying Equilibrium and you don't have to use a 1:1 ratio. A 4:1 RO/tap ratio would drop your Gh to about 3/4 and would reduce the conductivity to about 130 microsiemens on average, which is still pretty good.

Typical trace mix content is shown here=> Typical Trace Mix

hotweldfire said:
However, given that algae uses nutrients, lights and CO2 why can't both plants and algae thrive in the same environment?
I think you're missing the point. As we've tried to explain a million times, every creature on Earth needs pretty much the same elements to survive. How much they need and how they go about getting it is what determines their success and determines what niche they fit into the environment. Plants and algae do not share the same niche any more than elephants share the same niche with mice. Elephants will starve to death if forced to survive on the same quantity of food that mice can quite happily grow fat on, so you cannot compare the two. On the other hand if you provide the amount of food that elephants require, there is no advantage for the mice because they cannot really take advantage of all that extra food. The mouse consideres infinity to be a much lower level of food than what an elephant consideres to be merely adequate.

hotweldfire said:
The EI approach appears to be based on the assumption that if you provide optimum conditions for healthy plant growth then the plants will outcompete the algae. Why?
No, you are wrong. As I just explained, there can be no competition between plants and algae because they exist in different niches. Algae can take advantage of failing plants, so if anything algae are predators in a similar way that army ants can terrorize and kill an injured or slow footed cow. Algae will win every time. You need to stop thinking about competition between these two because that is an illusion. Plants compete for survival against each other, so it's more appropriate to think that Hygrophila competes against HC for nutrients and CO2. Algae eats the loser.

Cheers,
 
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