Discussion in 'Tutorials' started by ceg4048, 23 Mar 2008.
Looks like I will need to order a new batch!!!
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Considering I saw 25Kg of Magnesium Sulphate (Epsom Salts) for £15 at local garden centre, again at that price why bother leaving Mg out ?????
I knew someone would pick up on this. My logic is that omitting an entire componet rather then reducing quantiy of components fits in with being simple and easy. I got the feeling from some of the expert posts on this thread that some people are over complicating what should be a simple and easy regime. This would fit in with Occam's Razor "the simplest solution tends to be the right solution."
To me if I was to start reducing quantities of say the KNO3, that adds a level of complexity and opens the gates for errors. Hence why I asked about omitting the Magnesium whilst pointing out about leaving everthing alone. If it had of been suggested to completely omitt the KNO3 then I would have asked the same question as that would be simple.
I hope that explains it.
Oh I understand and I thought it was a fair point I just found it humorous. Also makes people look at me weird on the train when I appear to smile for no reason!
There are a couple good reasons for reducing the dosage, but this does not have to be at too much cost to simplicity.
Some people want to minimize the TDS of their water, this especially of those who keep soft water fish, and especially those interested in breeding soft water fish. Adding nutrients has a huge impact on TDS.
Some people also want to reduce the amount of added CO2.
High nutrient loading causes a higher demand for CO2 in a similar (but not as dramatic) a way that adding CO2 causes in increased demand for nutrients. Lowering the dosing levels convinces the plants to lower their demand for CO2.
EI is very flexible and it does not demand strict adherence to any nutrient level as long as the nutrient level is sufficient for the plants demand. You're also not forced to sacrifice some other important goal in favor of simplicity.
EI is even appropriate to non-CO2 injected tanks, and the dosing for those tanks looks very different in terms of quantities. The quantities are fractions of what is used on injected tanks.
Again, it's not necessary to complicate things. To lower the dosing simply choose an easy fraction such as a 10% or 15% reduction and see how things go for a few weeks. Then lower it some more and observe the results. If you start to see a nutrient deficiency then you know that you have gone too far and resume the previous quantities.
This is not really a big problem because we know that there are certain syndromes which are associated with certain deficiencies so just looking at the tank will tell you if you've gone to low. You definitely don't have to measure anything except the amount of powder you're putting in the tank (or in your mix). Once you're settled on a reduced amout then the exercise is over with and just carry on with the adjusted values. This works fabulously and is a lot easier to do that to actually write about it.
If you want to delete the Mg addition then that is a worthy goal. Epsom Salt is annoying in that you need large amounts just to get small concentration levels of Mg. This becomes a burden for people with large tanks so definitely get rid of it if it adds no value but keep it if it does add value.
The fewer the powders necessary, the better. If your water report indicates you have a high Mg count then there is no pressure to add it. If there are symptoms of Mg deficiency the it can always be added later. In general though, it better to start the program of adding Mg and deleting it after a few months while you get to calibrate your eyes to what looks healthy and what doesn't. This process also should be easy and relaxed.
Thanks for that Ceg I appreciate your input.
Andy - Lol! I would rather people think I am weird than boring!!!
Hi Darrel, maybe it is a nonsense, but can assume that dosing EI at higher doses will avoid Mg, K and Fe uptake problems in my GH21+, KH high, lots of Ca++ tank? In other words, adding more means more chances for making them available to plants?
Jordi it is the ratio of Ca:Mg and Ca:K that leads to problems with uptake, but it is true that if you have high levels of all the cations these problems are lessened.
Plants that are adapted to calcareous conditions can take up the other cations even if the soil is entirely saturated with calcium ions. This is the situation you would get on "terra rossa" or rendzina soils. I assume the same is true of aquatic plants from calcareous waters. In the UK and Eire there are a large range of plants that occur only in highly calcareous water (Chalk streams and marl lakes).
Plants like Citrus may need foliar feeding with magnesium to counteract the effects of high soil calcium.
Yes, that's exactly what we have to do in orange groves n my area, otherwise the leaves get yellowish. Concerning aquatic plants I have noticed lately that I have to dose a bit higher than the recommended EI values (I know EI standard values are just a reference, not something fix). If I use normal values the symptoms mentioned begin to appear: leaves yellowish with dark green veins. My co2 is right now very high and the flow quite good (thanks to this forum I'm a bit obsessed with this issue, tank rescaped to ensure a perfect circular flow all over the tank length). Not sure if it is a sign of nutrient shortage due to some kind of blocking in my very hard water or due to the fact I am achieving higher biomass than ever. Or probably both. Anyway I wanted to make sure that in case of chemical blocking, adding a surplus was a good strategy.
Maybe I missed the answer to my question but I am still confused - if I have ADA soil in the tank do I need to add Macro/Micro salts? and if yes - does the dosage changes in comparison to having normal gravel?
Exactly the same dosing, no change.
If you can accurately measure the salts & ferts in your ADA soil, then you can reduce
From my understanding, and I am sure others will correct my if I am wrong, the ADA soil should really be considered more like a storage container rather than a nutrient source. That's where the CEC level (Cation Exchange Capacity) comes in, i.e. how much of the nutrients your ADA soil can hold. I believe ADA soil is very high and so will hold a lot of nutrients. But you will need to constantly replenish the storage container, hence the required dosing. Having a higher CEC level means basically if you miss a dose or two of the ferts it won't matter as much as something with a lower CEC level such as "normal gravel."
For the dosing I always use the Nutrient Companies dosing calculator which can be found at the web address below (they link directly to Fluidsensoronline where you can buy the nutrients):
***I apologise now if I am not supposed to link to external websites. Moderators ; Please feel free to remove the link if it breaches rules***
I hope that helps. I am still new to the game but this is what I have learnt so far and as I say I am sure others will put me right if I am wrong.
Hi mate. Your link doesn't breach rules, fluid sensor are also one of our sponsors.
Regarding the ada soil, it actually comes loaded with lots of nutrients initially. Yes it's got a good CEC as do soils such as tmc nutrasoil Columb florabase etc but the advantage of the ada soil is its quite high in organic nutrients. This is the reason why missing a days dosage with amazonia gives you a bit of leeway.
Yes, this is wrong. Amazonia is extremely high in nutrient content. It is also clay which has a high CEC.
I understand that it is desirable to keep the PO4 and cheleted Iron seperate otherwise the PO4 could cause the Iron to precipitate out of solution, but I was just wondering how much time would be the minimum for this danger of precipitation to pass?
I ask because I am going away on an unplanned holiday, but I have only just setup my new tank (its only a week old) and I would rather avoid shutting it all down to go away during its startup phase. As it happens I came across a Marine Dosing pump on a carboot sale (and it works fine, Bonus!) and I was wondering if I could use that to dose my EI, whilst I am away. The only problem I can see is that this pump cannot omit days so I will have to split the dose down across 7 days. The one thing I can do though is program the individual pumps to deliver at seperate times. This would mean that i could setup a delivery schedule with a maxium of 12 hours between the Macro dose and the Micro Dose. Would 12 hours be enough time to allow the damger of precipitation to pass?
Thanks in advance.
yup 12 hours is enough, can even be shorter due to the diluting in the large volume of the tank
That's great, thanks for the info.
Would it be possible to follow EI with minimal water changes? I ask because the fish I keep do not react well to water changes (Channa spp.), and I have to keep the frequency down as result of this. Would it be safe to dose to1/4 of the recommended or something like that? I don't want to pollute the water with excess nutrients but I do the want the plants to do well.
I'm a bit dubious about this. When I started keeping fish "aged water" was regarded as having all sorts of beneficial properties, and fish like Discus were impossible to keep. As soon as people started changing a lot more water Discus etc became a lot more keepable. A lot of the drinking water in the USA is very heavily chlorinated, and I think that is where a lot of this comes from.
You can add minimal amounts of fertiliser, either regularly as weekly 1/10 EI, or via something like the <"Duckweed Index">.
You won't pollute the water with excess nutrients, fish can withstand 100's ppm of EI salts, but you will pollute the water with organic waste. The 50% weekly water change isn't just to "reset the nutrient levels" it is mainly to get rid of all the organic waste produced by the plants when running EI. If you don't remove the organic waste algae will have a field day eventually.
Remember if you dose 1/4 EI you will need to lower the light level by 1/4 either by turning them down or blocking the light with something, for example duck weed.
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