Hi, I have a few low tech tanks set up along with my higher tech that i dose with EI. I was just curious that if i ever wanted to add ferts to the low tech tanks once in a while, what would be the best to dose it with? Micro or Macros?
I don't think it's an either or situation, the plants need "some of everything" you could get away with just micros, something like Tropica Premium which is just traces but that would largely depend if the plants were getting some npk macros from somewhere else like the fish waste or your tap. Salts are a far cheaper alternative.what would be the best to dose it with?
I assume that is because the plants are carbon and/or light limited, so they can't make use of that level of fertiliser. As you drop the dosing rate, and/or frequency of dosing, down you are eventually going to arrive in the "Goldilocks zone" where there is the right level of <"some of everything">.John at APFUK in a article said he didnt recommend EI for a low tech
Some people <"will tell that there isn't">, personally I'm not sure and would rather have low levels of nutrients.
No, I don't think there is. I always had fish issues <"before I understood about the importance of water changes">, since I've been a regular water changer fish health has improved immeasurably. I've always used rainwater, so I don't have any experience of large volume water changes with tap water.
Don't open that can of worms The reduced EI model sort of works for me using the assumption that each element is going to be consumed by the plants in those kind of ratios so it's simpler to divide them ratios when dosing and be fairly confident you are somewhere near. For instance 1/3 n also match 1/3 p etc. I use rainwater but the same would apply to RO, beyond that we don't know for sure what's coming out of the tap if you use tapwater so the ratios breakdown at that point, also fish waste needs taken into account. In a low energy system you get far more room for manoeuvre as issues tend to happen slower, that's where the Duck Weed Index comes in to play, DW is closest to the light source and has unlimited co2 and reacts quickly to a lack of nutrients giving you time to dial it in before the other submerged plants start to suffer. The hard part is working out which ones!
My own personal experience and that's just based on my current setup is when I was changing weekly some plants didn't do so well, Crypts in particular. When I changed to every two weeks and sometimes longer they seemed to improve. Purely anecdotal but I'm thinking maybe crypts don't like changes too often. Crypts are notorious for melting back when in different conditions especially newly planted. I could be putting 2 and 2 together there though and getting 5
At one time adding fertz was thought to encourage algae and then along came Tom Barr with EI and pretty much proved that it didn't. Now there seems to be a move toward lean dosing. The low-energy tanks that worked well for me were lean dosed soil substrate tanks with a lot of the nutrients locked up in the soil. I found that method gave me much more wriggle room, in terms of playing with lighting to get the growth I was after, without algae becoming a problem.
I'd like to say I changed the water frequently but in those tanks it was probably 50% every couple of weeks or so, sometimes longer once they became established.
Iron (Fe) is probably the most likely to micro-element to be "missing" (probably just unavailable), which is partially why I've gone to using a <"hybrid duckweed index">, where I add iron and magnesium (Mg) <"on a regular basis">, but don't add any other fertilisers until the <"Frogbit indicates that I need to">.If I'm changing water every day currently, is it likely the tap water will be providing sufficient micros also?
In my particular case PO4 is added to the tapwater supply at the treatment plant possibly for raising alkalinity? as our water is extremely soft. AFAIK this would then react with the iron forcing it to precipitate and get filtered out. Not sure if this is common practice in all softwater areas of the UK.Iron (Fe) is probably the most likely to micro-element to be "missing" (probably just unavailable)
From what I've read and because lighting these days is very efficient (Even the ones we class as low energy because they use low watts but still achieve reasonable par to watt) fish food adds very little nutrients. I would suggest it would take quite a high fish stock and combined heavy feeding to make a real difference. The downside being along with the nutrients from feeding you also get other waste bi-products which aren't helpful=more water changes.and I guess a fair bit of N and P will be added via fish food/waste
Yes, most UK <"tap water is treated"> to raise the pH and has phosphate added to <"precipitate out any heavy metals">.In my particular case PO4 is added to the tapwater supply at the treatment plant possibly for raising alkalinity? as our water is extremely soft. AFAIK this would then react with the iron forcing it to precipitate and get filtered out. Not sure if this is common practice in all softwater areas of the UK.
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