Discussion in 'Tutorials' started by ceg4048, 23 Mar 2008.
For those not finding success with EI, you can likely rule out nutrients.
Unless you have insane light and lots of dense plant growth, it's unlikely you will under shoot things.
If you think/assume that excess will cause stunting, melting or any negative issues with plants, then how can you account for tanks where the dosing is done and these results are not occurring? Either everyone is in on a Big Lie, or........there's some other issue occurring that's not related to the dosing.
So you have ruled out dosing. dosing is independent of what you are seeing.
Move on to something else for the solution to the issue.
Say the CO2/light. Maybe you do not need to focus so much of testing ppm's of the CO2, and just get close and then tweak it from there. Perhaps the CO2 is not coming on that fast in the 1st 1-2 hours of the light cycle, maybe there's too much light intensity, try reducing it and see how that affects things.
Try a needle wheel diffuser(cheap and effective). Give the tank time to bounce back and stick with more water changes, add carbon to the filter, clean the filter more often. Clean the glass, equipment, non living items well.
Allow plants to grow up along the top of the water for a few days. Give things 3-4 weeks for the plants to start growing at a strong momentum(patience).
Add Easy carb or Excel till you tweak the CO2 good for say 3-4 weeks etc.
There are many things left to try.
Nutrients are, by and large, easy and easy to rule out. The other parameters, light, cO2, general maintenance etc etc, are less so.
Hello, Tom. Thanks, I think the reasoning for my failings are in fact underdosing, I have no proof for this other than I was dosing for a tank of 10gallons when mine is 15. All the symptoms seem to be conducive of this, poor growth pin holes etc etc are all symptoms of insufficient dosing of micros and macros. I'm now dosing a hybrid of James and Cegs dosings, All the teaspoon quantities being rounded up to the nearest number. As you say this should have this base covered.
I've only been using one 24 watt tube over a 60x30x30 tank, the growth was initialy steady but after a month there was no real difference between planting and after a months "growth". If anything I had less plants as a result of a lot of plants melting for reasons I simply do not know, they all showed signs of growth, then they just rotted. Stem first, the leaves remained fine.
I've cleaned the filter, I wipe the glass every water change, glass wear gets killed every 7 days and the filter once every 4 weeks. I clean the rocks and wood with a tooth brush once a week too. The filter contains Purigen (2 sachets) I was always told to avoid carbon since it depletes so quickly and it draws ferts from the water? The only stems I have in the tank that will reach the surface are didiplis diandra and that always melts and has never grown tall enough to touch the surface. The other stem is HC and that has done nothing, it's not died but I can't say it's grown. For the last week or so I've been doing water changes every other day, before that I was doing every day water changes, in all cases I was changing over 50%.
My co2 I would say is fine, comes on an hour before the lights and goes off an hour before, the photoperiod is 6 hours and both drop checkers are green without a tint of blue when the co2 comes on and the yellow side of green at the end. I can see co2 mist throught the entire water column too. I'll change the side of the lilly pipe to see if this makes any difference. I'm also dosing easycarbo at 2ml and have been since I set the tank up.
What other parameters could be issues? Too little light is often something I have thrown at me but I know it's rubbish as I grew plants fine under a single 24 before. I have however upped the co2 and the light in the last 4 days to see how 48w effect the tank, I had no visible algae before and 4 days in I still don't, everything seems greener but this could simply be an optical illusion caused by the increased light. I've also been told that ph could be an issue but I don't know, it seems too simplistic. As mentioned before I think my co2 and maintenance is fine, I could easily be missing something though.
OK I'm converted Superb thread Clive. I will be ordering my powders to start this method.
However, meantime I do have TPN and TPN+ to use but I am not sure I am dosing sufficient quantities. I have a Crypt only tank with 1.3wpg for 6 hours daily, and on Tropicas advice I dose 1ml per day of TPN for 5 days and 1ml of TPN+ for 2 days, which is much lower than the suggested dose on the packaging. A few leaves have small holes forming and yellowing a little. C. balansae is yellowing at the end of the leaves. This would seem to suggest something is lacking. 43% water change weekly.
I would appreciate some advise re dosing TPN & TPN+ to ensure that I have sufficient quantities of everything. Cant find any info giving the percentages of ingredients. Should I dose the full amount suggested on both products?
The guidlein is usually 5ml per 100l everyday. Considering you have a low tech tank you could get away with dosing 3x per week, if deficiencies continue then raise the frequency of the dose.
has anyone used the chempak trace mix with EI? what's your dosage (in teaspoon/xx liters please)?
I've been asked to help set up a tank (230 litre 50" long 21" deep) and find the forum a huge help. EI seems
the ideal way to go and I intend to recommend it. First though, could anyone comment on the setting so far.
This relates to an aquarium already in existence so I have no control over what is in place. The tank is empty and we are starting from scratch. Filtration will be by a sump under the tank. There will be a CO2 system installed later and lighting is yet to be decided. At this stage I'm interested to hear what you think of the filtration method and whether it's suitable for an EI setup. Also what kind of substrate do you consider best for this method of plant feeding. Is it necessary or wise to use soil under gravel a la Diane Walstad's approach or would plain gravel be sufficient? Dry dosing strikes me as the simplest and cheapest way to ensure good plant growth and the system holds no terrors as far as the measuring and application is concerned. We are aiming for luxuriant plant life and relatively light fish stocking. Years ago I wanted to follow the Dutch style but gave up for lack of success. If only the internet and forums such as this had existed then I might not be having to ask now! Any help and advice will be most welcome, and thanks in advance.
Hi.. most probably a basic question, but I cannot get my head around it..
How much is a 1/16 and 3/6 teaspoon? 1/2 a teaspoon is easy, but the others?
I looked thru the 13 pages of the post and could not find more information about it.
3/6 cancels down to 1/2tsp
1/16 - the easiest way i can explain it is this>
1 => 1/2 => 1/4 => 1/8 => 1/16
so you just half the spoonn every time. small numbers, yes, but you can buy measuring spoons:
http://www.fluidsensoronline.com/zen/in ... cts_id=230
My dosage is 6tsp per month (but 3x doses per week = 1/2tsp x3 per week for 240l)
the biggest problem you will find is CO2 gassing off , unless you can build it so the water movement is pretty calm. As for nutrients it doesnt matter if its a whirlpool.
Inert substrates means there will be a higer demand for nutrients inthe water column. Personally I have found it easier when using a nutrient rich substrate, but there is no reason why you cant dose 2x EI.
I use grams rather than teaspoons which is more accurate anyway.
Have a look here: http://www.simetric.co.uk/si_kitchen.htm
Just purchase a gram scale and that's it.
Many thanks for the help. I will check the measuring spoons and the grams scale. The spoons will be perfect to add the salts directly to the tank, and the scale to make the more elaborate "potions".
Funny enough my wife is into tissue salts, so believe it or not some of the stuff the plants need I already have it here, labeled and in a pill form.
I really appreciate the explanation.
Aaronnorth Thanks for your reply. Have set up the sump to minimise turbulence and will reduce air contact by using floating lids. Now we'll see how things settle down. Great forum this!
BTW, I liken the idea of using a good enriched sediment with macro nutrients, eg, soils, worm castings, ADA AS and dosing the water column much like walking on 2 legs.
As far as nutrients go, why only hop on one leg?
You can do it, but it's harder going.
Use sediments and the water column if you want less limitations and easier long term nutrient management.
Makes dosing easier and if you want to reduce water changes down, makes it easier to maintain a leaner dosing routine, that+ lower light.
Those will make CO2 also easier.
So folks can put it together and use the best aspects of each location/dosing and reduce the labor, cost etc.
I think when folks take things out of context, expect a dosing routine to be all and work miracles, it's short sighted indeed. So always think light first, then CO2(or not, or Excel etc), then nutrients, and add them to both locations.
Then you only worry about light which is very stable once set, and then CO2(or not/or Excel).
That makes all aspects of management easier and likely where the new folks should start out with.
Thanks for the post, it has actually put at ease one of my worries.
I invested a lot on my substrate, and so far my plants are growing good for just over a year. The heavier root feeders I have them on 15cm pots, with holes punched on the bottom and sides to avoid dead spots, actually some of the roots come out of them. I also use JBL balls, one on each pot.
Now as I am considering using Dry Salts, I was worried that it could be too much nutrients for the plants, and would create problems. I guess that I just have to try to use what the plants need, and keep an eye on the tank for the first week or so.
In real life, i.e. on the amazon rivers et all, the substrate would be as rich as the water collum right?
Also, most of the plants we have on sale today are able to deal with some time out of the watter, how would they obtain the nutrients they need from the leaves alone?
Tom meant soils rich with macro, that is P, N and K
JBL soil and ferts don't include N or P, only micro and some K
Most plants don't get significant nutrients from leaves, except CO2. Some plants are able to get most of their nutrients from leaves. Dosing water will make nutrients diffuse in soil to the roots
Finally, amazonian waters are very low in conductivity, with quiet no nutrients in column. Soil is mineralized and rich with organic and mineral P, N and carbon (that said, organic carbon won't serve as CO2 source). From there the idea of a mineralized/organic soil
As far as I know, only ADA soils are mineralized. Then, you can make your own soil with earthworm castings, natural clay...
Always learning on this forum, and this topic is one to print out and read more than once.
So I can use the dry salts without worry that would clash with the JBL soil.
The JBL soil I am using has boron (B), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo) and zinc (Zn).
So JBL has the micronutrients, and with the Dry Salts I will supply the Macro Nutrients, which are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), sulfur (S) and potassium (K).
Took me 14 pages of posts to get this, but I now think that I understand the concept.
As far as I know, only NPK are considered macro, because needed by plants in important amounts along with CO2
JBL soil doesn't have any macro except K
You'll need to dose N and P. Dosing micro in water column will help soil to last longer. Also, when pruning plants you don't burry them often to the nutritive layer, anubia and many other plants will benefit from dosing in water column
The Amazon soil is very poor in nutrients actually and you will not find any rooted submersed species in those regions typically thought of. There's also simply not enough light. In the springs, headwaters where there are nutrient rich clays and enough light and more stable water levels, then we start to find aquatic species. In most regions, floating weeds is about all we find.
The delta here in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys in CA, USA, have similar attributes as the the ADA AS. Few discuss CA soil in relation to aquatic plants and natural habitats however, but few doubt the soil's ability to grow plants very well in the delta region.
So ADA's AS is more like CA's soil than the Amazons, perhaps in the southern edge of the Pantanal's muddy regions, but not in what most consider the Amazon basin. Soil there sucks, which is why it's lousy for farming and agriculture, they only get a year or two of farming, then the cattle ranches come in, so you have the loggers raping the forest for $, then the farmers, raping the soil and finally cattle ranchers get cheap land to raise beef.
Pretty messed up.
If it was decent soil, they be farming only, just like in CA, we drained and removed 96% of the wetlands in CA for agriculture. But we lack water for most of the San Joaquin even with all the dams and water conveyance systems.
1/2 of the agriculture here is a desert, only the delta and the upper 1/2 of the state have water.
Kasslemann did a lot of testing for Sword plants for the water, but there was not much nutrient content in the native waters. She however, did not look at measuring or took any soil pore water samples, not one. I scratched my head and asked her later if she had, she said "no" and took off without further discussion.
Aquatic botanist who want to discuss nutrients must look at both locations and not make assumptions.
I focused early on in the water column, something I could simply test and watch easy as a hobbyists, but few can do this for nutrients in the soils.
Poor understanding of soils, how to test for nutrients leads to more issues.
EI is just one location, likewise, Worm castings is also just one location.
Some transfer can occur, but we have done test at the lab that keep the water column pure(filtration runs through a giant DI filter to remove any and everything that leaches) and we can simply isolate the the top 1/2 of the stem/leaves for the water column dosing and use a clay confining layer to prevent leaching into the root zones.
Not that hard.
The bottom line is that many have long under dosed, not been consistent, limited their plants with water column dosing.
Then they see large gains when they add sediment soils like ADA AS or topsoils, delta clays etc, worm castings etc.
Many of those same folks had not been dosing the water column with NO, K, PO4 as it was or if so, not much.
So their results are easy to predict.
Still, we can see two legs are better than one, and that even if you assume that plants prefer some via the roots, some via the leaves, you will have both options covered, so then the issue no longer matters horticulturally.
That's a BMP.
Commercial growers cannot do this due to soil borne pests and diseases.
So they have less choice in the matter.
Folks perhaps know this already, but I wanted to clarify this.
Many thanks for clarifying all this
Just one question. ADA AS is mineralized N and P while earthworm castings is organic N and P that needs to be mineralized by bacteria for plants to take it
So, at the end, is it really important to add ADA AS to earthworm castings? Which one will last longer? I do think organic soil as it should better keep the nutrients in it and not leach them in water, or am I wrong?
Many thanks for the clarification.
I would have thought that the Amazonian soil to be rich with nutrients, especially with the rainy season creating floods, and with minerals that may be present as the river passes thru its course, eroding rock and through leaching.
If the soil is poor, where would the plants get the nutrients from? Through the leaves?
So the use of good soil will indeed help some plants grow, and may allow us to be more relaxed with regards to the dosing on the water column.
For ferns and Anubias, using dry ferts will for sure help, as their roots are exposed.
After all, in their natural habitat the plants would not be getting good nutrients all the time, right?
Maybe one day I will be able to make a trip to the Amazon river to see what sort of environment does the plants live on.
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