EI heeeeeeelp

Discussion in 'Aquarium Fert Dosing' started by Nelson, 4 Mar 2009.

  1. Nelson

    Nelson Member

    Messages:
    2,583
    Location:
    Norfolk
    hi,
    i've now read all i can until i'm blue in the face.i'm not the sharpest tool in the box but i get from what i've read i need
    kno3-kh2po4-k2so4+trace.is this correct?i see other stuff used as well.
    what is the right mixture?
    thanks
    neil
     
  2. Superman

    Superman Member

    Messages:
    1,804
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Need MgSO4 too.
     
  3. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    strictly speaking you do not need MgSO4 or KH2SO4 because our tap water usually contains enough Mg and the K comes from the KNO3 and KH2PO4.

    You only need to dose them if your plants strat to show defficiencies in those areas.
     
  4. Nelson

    Nelson Member

    Messages:
    2,583
    Location:
    Norfolk
    hi,
    thanks guys,but you are confusing me more :? .do i,don't i need mgSO4??????

    neil
     
  5. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi,
    It might help if you can give us an idea of your tank configuration so that we do not jump to conclusions or make incorrect assumptions. The so-called "right" mixture will depend on how you intend to run your tank. For example, is this a CO2 injected tank? What size is the tank? What is the GH/KH of your tap water and are you cutting it with RO or distilled or rainwater? Have you read this article which explains the dosing EI Tutorial You may need to re-read several times before it sinks in because all the dosing instructions are provided there.

    If it's at all unclear then let us know and we'll try to clarify.

    Cheers,
     
  6. Nelson

    Nelson Member

    Messages:
    2,583
    Location:
    Norfolk
    hi
    here goes,
    215 litres
    co2 fe
    tap water
    14-21dGH
    15kh
    50-50 ro and tap water

    going to read through the link a couple of times
    thanks
    neil
     
  7. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    OK, well because this is a high tech injected tank the EI baseline numbers will be a good start. If you had a non injected tank the dosages would be only a fraction of these values. The baseline dosing scheme could be patterned after a ratio of the 20G article sample. Your tank is 54G but we'll call it a 50G. if this is the case you would multiply the articles 20G numbers by 50G/20G=> 5/2.

    Sunday – 50% or more Water Change then dose 5/2x[3/16 teaspoon KNO3] + 5/2x[1/16 teaspoon KH2PO4] + 5/2x[½ teaspoon MgSO4]
    Monday – 5/2x1/16 teaspoon CSM+B
    Tuesday - 5/2x[3/16 teaspoon KNO3] + 5/2x[1/16 teaspoon KH2PO4] + 5/2x[½ teaspoon MgSO4]
    Wednesday - 1/16 teaspoon CSM+B
    Thursday - 5/2x[3/16 teaspoon KNO3] + 5/2x[1/16 teaspoon KH2PO4] + 5/2x[½ teaspoon MgSO4]
    Friday – Rest
    Saturday - Rest

    The result is as follows:

    Sunday – 50% or more Water Change then dose [½ teaspoon KNO3] + [1/8 teaspoon KH2PO4] + [1¼ teaspoon MgSO4]
    Monday – ¼ teaspoon CSM+B
    Tuesday - [½ teaspoon KNO3] + [1/8 teaspoon KH2PO4] + [1¼ teaspoon MgSO4]
    Wednesday - ¼ teaspoon CSM+B
    Thursday - [½ teaspoon KNO3] + [1/8 teaspoon KH2PO4] + [1¼ teaspoon MgSO4]
    Friday – Rest
    Saturday - Rest


    As explained in the article, there is no need to be exact. When I multiplied the two fractions 5/2 times 3/16 the result is 15/32 but this is a ridiculous fraction to try to measure with a teaspoon so I rounded up to 16/32 which of course is ½. Similarly, 5/2 times 1/16 equals 5/32 so I round down to 4/32 which is 1/8.

    According to your GH you should have high levels of Calcium and Magnesium, but we never really know unless we can reliably test, in what ratio these two are present. It's possible to have all Calcium, or all magnesium - or any combination of the two. Since having more than you need never hurts, but having less than you need always hurts, it's best to start with the listed MgSO4 dosing until the plants growth reveal that you can lower the dosing level of the MgSO4. This is a valid course of action especially in light of the fact that you are cutting the water with RO, which means that you are adding new water with a composite GH closer to 7-10.5 instead of the original tap water's 14-21.

    Depending on the nitrate and phosphate levels of your tap water you may be able to lower the dosages from this baseline scheme, but again, having more than you need does little damage but underdosing can kill you. If you live in an agricultural zone then more than likely you will be able to lower your KNO3 and KH2PO4 dosages as the tap will be high in these due to runoff, but it's wiser to make life easy for yourself and just follow the scheme until you have a better feel.

    Hope this helps. :D

    Cheers,
     
  8. Nelson

    Nelson Member

    Messages:
    2,583
    Location:
    Norfolk
    hi,
    thanks clive.whats your view on k2So4?.do you not use it?

    neil
     
  9. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi Neil,
    Within the context of our baseline dosing scheme the K2SO4 is completely unnecessary. The reason is that K2SO4 is added for the "K" (Potassium) but if we are dosing the baseline values of KNO3 then we are automatically dosing adequate levels of K.

    K2SO4 becomes relevant only if we decide that KNO3 is unnecessary. This only happens if we confirm that the tap water is high enough in NO3 (nitrate) concentration to delete it's use. This can also happen if for example, the tank is overstocked with fish so that the fish and food waste generated enough NO3. Therefore if KNO3 is deleted from the dosing scheme it follows that we'd need a substitute source of K, so that K2SO4 now becomes necessary.

    If you live in an agricultural zone where nitrates and phosphates from farming tend to run off and enter the water supply then you may not need to add KNO3. The European upper limits for nitrates in the municipal water supply is as high as 50ppm so it is possible that some may not need to add KNO3 (or could get away with a much lower dosage) if their tap is at or near the Euro limit. Even so, if this were your case I wouldn't just drop the KNO3, only slowly reduce it and note any negative changes to plant growth or appearance of algae.

    Cheers,
     
  10. Nelson

    Nelson Member

    Messages:
    2,583
    Location:
    Norfolk
    hi,
    thanks so much for your help clive.according to my water company my nitrates are 50ppm!.you've done all the hard work for me now :D .
    thanks again
    neil
     
  11. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Be careful when reading the water report. You may be reading the Euro limit and not the actual measured values in your area...

    Cheers,
     
  12. Nelson

    Nelson Member

    Messages:
    2,583
    Location:
    Norfolk
    hi
    silly me :oops: .from what i can see it's 44ppm.hard work actually trying to find a water report for three valleys water.don't think they want you to know whats in it :bored:
    thanks
    neil
     
  13. baron von bubba

    baron von bubba Member

    Messages:
    333
    Location:
    stroud, glos
    thats pretty high!

    if your water report is like mine, 8 houses taken from my town of 22000 properties and they can be supplied from 4 different servies reservoirs, it may not mean a lot!! :0(
    mine also says dosed phospates, but has no figures, my tests reveal its around 3ppm!!

    nitrate tests are pretty inacurate too.
    i'm in the same situ as you at the mo, trying to sort out what i need and what i dont!

    which, when ya cant be sure about the tap water its not easy!! :0/
     
  14. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Practicing EI means never having to "sort things out". It doesn't matter what your tap water has, just dose the suggested amounts and don't worry about it. It's actually very easy. ;)

    Cheers,
     
  15. baron von bubba

    baron von bubba Member

    Messages:
    333
    Location:
    stroud, glos
    i understand its supposed to be easy,
    but surely an idea of "base rates" and plant uptake is needed to a certain degree?
    if your nitrates (or phos altho not a prob) are high from the tap and you add more in your doses than the uptake of the plants, doing a water change wont "reset" the tank, surely this could get to a "dangerous" level for the fish?

    this is the part i'm slightly worried about?
     
  16. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    No. The reason we do water changes is not to "reset" the tanks nutrient levels, although a reset does occur by default. This is the most misunderstood aspect of EI, and the reason it remains so misunderstood is because of the lingering and pervasive fear of nutrients. The primary reason for the water changes is to clean the tank by removing organic waste.

    Carefully read this article=> The Estimative Index (EI) Dosing with Dry Salts
    You'll observe that the nutrient levels in the tank are extremely high, but the levels of organic waste, which are toxic, are very low. Neither the flora nor the fauna we keep have any issues with high nutrient levels. The reason they suffer is due to poor maintenance leading to water pollution.

    One does not therefore need to calculate base uptake rates at all. Even at the highest Euro levels of tap water nitrate concentration (50ppm) dosing EI is not a problem. If the water change is not performed however there is a much higher risk of poisoning due to toxic buildup of organic waste. If one wished to control the nutrient buildup it would be a simple matter of stopping the dosages for a period of time until the nutrient levels fell to some target level, however, in a high tech CO2 injected scenario, stopping the water changes courts disaster both from an algae standpoint as well as from a health standpoint. Remember that high nutrient usage by plants results in high metabolic waste production which does poison the water. Therefore, focusing on cleanliness, rather than being paranoid about nutrient levels, will yield better mileage from EI dosing schemes.

    Cheers,
     
  17. baron von bubba

    baron von bubba Member

    Messages:
    333
    Location:
    stroud, glos
    thanks for that!
    It is clearer now.
    I admit, i have been struggleing with this! Mainly because it does go against everything i previously thought i knew! :-/
    Everyday is a school day! :)
     

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