EI DOSING USING DRY SALTS

Ady34

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yeah i understand your confusion, i dont know either! We need Clive to explain it for us.
Maybe its something to do with uptake rate in a given time period, ie plants may uptake some minerals more greedily than others effectively feasting on the most important ones first, if we replenish daily/every other day then this isnt such an issue as there is always an availability of everything, whereas weekly they can strip some of the nutrients and effectively then starve? Also could be down to plant species and what they consume.
Like i said though, no real understanding of it, but im sure Clive will enlighten us.
Cheerio,
Ady.
 

ceg4048

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Errr...guys, try not to lose your grip on this, OK? When we talk about EI and unlimited dosing it is within the context of starvation or deficiency. Unlimited nutrition means that for a given set of variables whose values are fixed, such as CO2, light, temperature, flow and so forth, the growth will not be limited by the nutrient loading. Under that set of fixed conditions, the plant will not fall victim to starvation. It does not mean that this is the maximum achievable growth rate possible for that condition. Almost all tanks are limited by one of these variables, CO2 is the usual one. However, for that CO2 level it's entirely possible to increase the growth rate by adding more of everything else. How much more of each is uncertain because it would require exhaustive tweaking.

We are generally concerned with getting acceptable growth rates, healthy plants as well as practical things such as minimizing required maintenance. If your tank is doing well right now with your particular combination of light, CO2, flow and dosing, it almost a certainty that if you increase your PO4 by 50% for example, you will immediately see an improvement in growth rate. The same can be said if you increase the flow or increase the lighting. Very few tanks are up against the maximum possible growth rate envelop. We are too concerned about keeping the tank healthy and not crossing the line and causing more problems than we would solve by going over the top.

I've already done the experiments whereby 2X-4X EI dosing is attempted. The tank shown in this article was dose 3X EI in order to improve the growth rates so that I could photograph and bring the article to fruition. This is not a big deal. The principles are the same and there is no need to have manic growth rates. In any case yes, higher concentrations of nutrients beyond the baseline EI dosing will definitely increase the growth rates. ADA Aquasoil has a nutrient concentration of 100X EI for example. The penalty of massive concentrations of course is that the plants will eject greater quantities of organic waste into the water column so you'll have a more difficult time with maintenance and the plants will suffer if you are inattentive. So the baseline dosing levels over the prescribed intervals works just fine and one can even lower the values and still get good growth to reduce maintenance even more. We talk about this all the time so we need to understand that it works in both directions with advantages and pitfalls on both sides of the baseline. The increased pollution due to increased nutrient concentration is one of the factors that makes dumping a weeks worth of nutrients a less than sound policy. The plants have to sit in their own waste for the whole week and this catches up with them and ultimately, affects their growth.

Some more information in the thread Nutrient question - concentration

Cheers,
 

Jaap

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So essentially what you are saying is that if we follow the recommended EI dosing amounts then we ensure that we provide the plants with an excess of the minimum required amount of macros and micros that they need to grow and stay healthy. Any amount greater than that will still be utilised by the plants by increased growth rates.

Correct?

PS: I think the word excess is a bit confusing in the context of EI because it implies that more nutrients are unnecessary. At least this is how I perceived the statement up until now :)
 

greenink

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Jaap - couldn't agree more! EI seems to be excess of the minimum required, not excess of the maximum required... I definitely hadn't grasped this.

So the very short answer to my original question is: keep nutrient levels stable on a day to day basis, at whatever concentration you choose, and it helps plants adjust. That's why dosing daily is sensible.

Thanks CEG, as usual very helpful. (the other thread too). Am learning way more science here than I did at school.
 

ceg4048

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Jaap said:
So essentially what you are saying is that if we follow the recommended EI dosing amounts then we ensure that we provide the plants with an excess of the minimum required amount of macros and micros that they need to grow and stay healthy. Any amount greater than that will still be utilised by the plants by increased growth rates.

Correct?

PS: I think the word excess is a bit confusing in the context of EI because it implies that more nutrients are unnecessary. At least this is how I perceived the statement up until now :)

Hi mate,
Yes, excellent summary. ;)
There are several words I don't like to use because of their connotation. The word "excess" has a negative connotation and implies that something is out of control. It would be better to use the word "abundance", or preferably "unlimited". I think we sometimes trap ourselves into confusion simply by our choice of words. Another word often used in dosing programs that I dislike intensely is "balance", because this implies that some parameter(s) must be maintained above and below some set value. Really, there is no balance. There is only cause and effect. The more you feed any plant or animal, the more it grows. Plants and animals, if given the chance will stuff themselves until the physical and chemical limits of nutrient uptake are reached. The nutrition gained will be put to use until the physical limits of growth are reached.

Cheers,
 

greenink

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Now that one's sorted (!), have been wondering how EI interacts with non-inert substrates (eg molar clay) with the ability to absorb nutrients from the water column.

Would the clay in theory give you a 'backup battery' effect, whereby if the water concentrations of nutrients fell below a certain level the clay would start releasing nutrients?

I guess my idea is that clay acts like drop checker solution and the water column is like the air in the drop checker, if you see what I mean.

The reason I'm asking this in the EI thread is that it might mean you need to up the EI dose in new tanks with this kind of substrate as the clay (or whatever) competes with the plants for nutrients. Is that right? Or is the clay so bad at it that it doesn't matter?
 

ceg4048

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Hi Mike,
Again try not ot over-think this. Eutrophic dosing schemes means that there are sufficient nutrient levels in the water column. This cannot be affected significantly by the CEC of substrate. If you stick to the dosing regime the nutrient concentration "pull down" will be negligable. Practically speaking it doesn't really matter.

I don't agree with the dropchecker analogy because there is no isolation of the substrate against the water colum. The substrate and water column interact because there is nutrient movement into and out of the substrate. If the nutrient levels in the sediment exceed that of the water column then osmotic forces push nutrients from the more concentrated sediment into the water column. This is precisely why new ADA Aquasoil leaches so much ammonia and other ions into the water. If the water column nutrient concentration is higher than the sediment then the same osmotic forces push the ions into the sediment. If the sediment has high CEC and therefore capable of capturing the nutrients then this is a good thing since it will then pass on the nutrients to the plant roots.

In this sense the analogy of a battery is correct. But remember that the sediment and the plant roots are always interacting. The sediment does not hoard nutrients like some sort of miser, only giving them up under threat of violence. CEC means Cation Exchange Capacity and so this is what happens at the molecular level all the time. Nutrients get passed on from sediment to root continually, and nutrients from the water column get adsorbed on to the sediment to replace the ones that were transferred to the root. In this way the plant feeds from both water column and sediment simultaneously. There is no competition between the two and the sediment does not act as a thief, but instead, acts as a stock broker, or a middle man.

Since the origin of the nutrient ions is from the water column, an unenriched sediment would be a weak battery unless there is sufficient breakdown of waste within the sediment. An enriched substrate like Aquasoil is a much better battery because it is enriched with it's own set of nutrient store. So actually, molar clay by itself is inert in the sense that it comes with no additional nutrients but must accrue it's nutrients from whatever is in the water column and from whatever the bacteria break down and release into the sediment.

Cheers,
 

Iain Sutherland

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Jaap said:
So essentially what you are saying is that if we follow the recommended EI dosing amounts then we ensure that we provide the plants with an excess of the minimum required amount of macros and micros that they need to grow and stay healthy. Any amount greater than that will still be utilised by the plants by increased growth rates.

Correct?

PS: I think the word excess is a bit confusing in the context of EI because it implies that more nutrients are unnecessary. At least this is how I perceived the statement up until now :)

well that explains it, i too was under the impression the 'excess' was the top limit of consumption under intense conditions.

Thanks Clive again for setting us straight :thumbup:
 

BMK

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Hi
I am new to the forum but have been reading this thread for a couple of months, I have a new setup and deceided to take the plunge, I have bought the starter kit from aqaurium plant foods and it gives the following dosing mix
Macro Solution
Mix, Shake & Leave to Dissolve Overnight:
4tsp Potassium Nitrate
1tsp Potassium Phosphate
6tsp Magnesium Sulphate>
500ml water

Micro Solution
Mix, Shake & Leave to Dissolve Overnight:
1tsp Chelated Trace Elements
500ml Water
Dosing
Macro 3x a week. (10ml per 50ltr of Aquarium water)
Micro 3x a week. (10ml per 50ltr of Aquarium water)
20-50% weekly water change

I have done a quick calculation and have come up with the following:
One months mix in 500ml of water = 40ml dose x 3 times a week

KNO3=Potassium Nitrate = 33.6G = 6.72tsp
KH2PO4=Potassium Phosphate = 12G = 2.4tsp
MgSO4=Magnesium Sulfate = 80.4g = 16tsp

CSM+B=Trace Element Mix = 8.52g = 1.7tsp
My tank is as follows:
Jewel Vision 180L with standard Jewel filter and 2 x 35w T5 lights, CO2 pressured system. Is this a good starting point for my dosing.

Many thanks in advance for any input.

Barry
 

ceg4048

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Hi Barry,
I guess I'm at a loss trying to determine the need for all the recalculations. I'm particularly perplexed as to why you are performing calculations to the nearest 1/100th of a teaspoon. I like mathematics too but I also enjoy simplicity. The APF dosing instructions are to dose 10ml per 50L so why wouldn't you just mix as instructed and dose 40ml? I mean, don't get me wrong, it's no big deal. Your proposed mix will work just as well as the APF suggestion, but, really, what's the point? You're not gaining anything, and you've just made life more complicated than it needs to be. I wouldn't even waste my time and energy looking at the numbers on a kitchen scale. I would just dump 4 teaspoons of this and 1 teaspoon of that in the bottle and get on with it, in exactly the same way that I put a couple teaspoons sugar and a couple squirts of milk in my morning tea. I think I've been trying to get across this point for the last 20 pages or so: These values are just estimates. Accuracy is irrelevant. :geek:

Cheers,
 

ian_m

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I use 40ml every 2 days in my Vision 180, dosed as 2 x 20ml from 500ml dosing bottles.

When mixing ferts, my teaspoon size does vary from mix to mix, but as stated doesn't really matter too much.
 

BMK

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Hi
Many thanks for the quick reply, I will just continue to mix as per APF and dose 40ml. I didnt mean to come across as that pedantic, I wasen't going to try and mix to the nearest grain of salt :) once again many thanks for the responce, I now have a good starting point and will be starting dosing tonight.

Barry
 

ceg4048

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Good stuff mate. Yeah, there are actually people out there that think they do need to measure to the nearest grain, and they use electronic scales accurate to 3 decimal places. Some people even buy special 1/2, 1/4 and 1/8 teaspoon sets just for this purpose, and I just shake my head, muttering to myself.

Always keep in mind that these are just baseline numbers from which you are encouraged to deviate. Nothing is set in stone. Some folks don't like to trouble with very large water changes every week, or they find constant trimming to be tedious once the plants get off to a good start, so it's easy to simply reduce the dosing very gradually so that maintenance becomes easier. Lowering the dosing also allows you to lower the CO2 injection to some extent to give you an extra margin of error, as long as the lighting is not to strong. So once you get things going don't be afraid to play around with the dosing to find the limits of your particular tank.

Cheers,
 

ian_m

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ceg4048 said:
....., so it's easy to simply reduce the dosing very gradually so that maintenance becomes easier. Lowering the dosing also allows you to lower the CO2 injection to some extent to give you an extra margin of error, as long as the lighting is not to strong....
In fact my latest mix made on Saturday I used slightly smaller not stacked so high teaspoon fulls of powders, as in a month I am going away for 3 weeks, so I am reducing the strength and reducing lighting starting now in anticipation of no ferts for 3 weeks. Will have a fish feeder attached that will hopefully keep things alive whilst away.
 

hinch

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ceg4048 said:
Good stuff mate. Yeah, there are actually people out there that think they do need to measure to the nearest grain, and they use electronic scales accurate to 3 decimal places. Some people even buy special 1/2, 1/4 and 1/8 teaspoon sets just for this purpose, and I just shake my head, muttering to myself.

Always keep in mind that these are just baseline numbers from which you are encouraged to deviate from. Nothing is set in stone. Some folks don't like to trouble with very large water changes every week, or they find constant trimming to be tedious once the plants get off to a good start, so it's easy to simply reduce the dosing very gradually so that maintenance becomes easier. Lowering the dosing also allows you to lower the CO2 injection to some extent to give you an extra margin of error, as long as the lighting is not to strong. So once you get things going don't be afraid to play around with the dosing to find the limits of your particular tank.

Cheers,


I've taken a slightly different route (read lazy) I dump 25ml of the APF stuff in a day and do one big water change at the weekend on a 60l tank its working well getting good growth and never had any algae issues.
 

jazjac

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Hi CEG, I am new to this forum and want to say a massive thanks to you and all others who have added to this forum to make it the best thing I have read and has helped me in my quest for the planted tank I had in my mind prior to realizing I actually knew sod all about the topic. I hope you can help me with a question I have.
Here is what I have and have done so far.
Juwel Rio 180, All pond solutions external filter 2000 with uv. 2x T5 45w, both with reflectors. Using a hydor 9000 korline pump for extra flow (only been in a week). Pressure CO2 using a fire extinguisher and twin guage ( no solenoid) on 24/7 and air stone at lights out. Ceramic diffuser from AE placed below filter intake. Drop checker always on lime green and I check at various times of day and night. Tap water is soft. Using Seachem Flourite as a substrate.
I have been through a learning process as probably everone new to here has of being clueless and going through different trial and error phases. I have tried seachem products and Aqua essentials nourish and nourish + and doing 50pwc each week and getting hammered by all the algae types but more BBA and staghorn than any other.
After coming across your articles on here I have switched to EI and dose 90ml of liquid 3x macros weekly and 2x micros as descibed on Fluidsonline calculator and got my salts from them. ON the second week now and I am totally happy with using EI and am not worried about it or anal about measurements ect but I think as I was probably not too far off the EI experience before the move to using salts. I have not see a massive change in the tank. No real pearling going on but plants like Ludwigia Glandulosa doing well but stargrass not doing so well and has black lines, almost looks like it has been creased and same on the Rotala. If you have any answer to those crease like lines it would be great but my real question is I am still getting BBA on crypts and on leaves of Alternanthera reinecki and Glandulosa. It is nowhere near as bad as has been in the past but slowly coming.
Will this settle and reduce in time using EI. Am I missing something? Might it be CO2 on 24/7 due to no solenoid although the drop checker stays lime green? Looking forward to any help you can offer and thanks for your inspiring articles.
 

san-ho-zay

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jazjac said:
stargrass not doing so well and has black lines, almost looks like it has been creased and same on the Rotala
I shall leave the CO2 and ferts question for Clive but I'd add that these plants are quite soft and leaves can show a legacy of damage from transit or planting. Some fish might also like to have a nibble or maybe just a taste of them, which can account for ongoing creases.
 

ceg4048

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Hi Alex,
BBA has really nothing to do with nutrients. As mentioned by Richard, it's strictly a CO2 issue so it would be better to review the information in the algae section. EI ensures that your plants don't suffer problems related to lack of nutrients, but it's easy to get problems due to other issues such as flow or distribution. Have a look in the Algae sub-forum and post there with pictures of your setup if you have any. Also have a look at the thread viewtopic.php?f=37&t=19499

Cheers,
 
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