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Switched to EI - What went wrong

dw1305

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Hi all,
JBL Ferropol 24
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Seachem Equilibrium (for traces and Calcium + Magnesium). (1.42 ppm Ca, 0.42 ppm Mg, 3.43 ppm K and 0.02 ppm Fe)
  • 1/8 Teaspoon of KNO3 (Potassium Nitrate) (5.27 ppm NO3 and 3.32 ppm K)
  • 1/32 Teaspoon of KH2PO4 (Potassium Mono Phosphate) (1.61 ppm PO4 and 0.66 ppm K)
You might be suffering from magnesium deficiency if you are only adding Mg via the traces mix and have very hard (calcium rich) water. Some of the American EI recipes don't add Mg because of <"differences in geology"> between the USA/UK.

cheers Darrel
 

Waqar

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Hi all, You might be suffering from magnesium deficiency if you are only adding Mg via the traces mix and have very hard (calcium rich) water. Some of the American EI recipes don't add Mg because of <"differences in geology"> between the USA/UK.

cheers Darrel

Thanks Darrel - I thought there was Mg in Seachem Equilibrium? In any case, I will revert back to my old schedule. Daily doses of JBL Ferropol 24 for micros, no liquid CO2, and weekly doses of macro. I really want to keep the tank low-tech. I'll report in a couple of weeks.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I thought there was Mg in Seachem Equilibrium?
There is, but only in trace amounts.

Magnesium isn't required in huge amounts by plants, and it is mobile within the plant so it will be transported to the newer leaves, but in calcium rich water (like we have in the S. UK) calcium (Ca++) ions can interfere with Mg++ ion uptake.

"Epsom Salts" (MgSO4.7H2O) are cheap to buy and supply about 10% Mg, so you can guarantee your plants aren't Mg deficient by adding a small amount (~5ppm).

I keep low tech. tanks, but I don't add any nutrients regularly. I'm not aiming for optimal growth (I just want some growth) and use <"the colour and vigour of a floating plant"> (not CO2 limited) as a visual indicator of when to feed.

cheers Darrel
 

Waqar

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I keep low tech. tanks, but I don't add any nutrients regularly. I'm not aiming for optimal growth (I just want some growth) and use <"the colour and vigour of a floating plant"> (not CO2 limited) as a visual indicator of when to feed.

cheers Darrel

That's really helpful Darrel. I also want a low tech tank with slow growth. Can you share what exactly do you dose (as in what products do you use), what quantities etc, when you see a deficiency.
 

Derek113

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image.jpg
I dose macro and micro EI on alternate days. I also dose 2ml of co2 daily.

I found that only some of my needle fern melted, the rest of my plans are growing. Tank has been set up for 3 weeks and is growing well.
 

Waqar

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Hi all, It isn't very scientific, have a search for <"Duckweed Index">.

cheers Darrel

Hi Darrel - I read up on it, and like the idea and would want to try it.

So you suggest that I float a few plants (Amazon Frogbit, hornwort etc), and only dose nutrients when I see a deficiency in them. Would you recommend dosing KNO3, K2HO4 and micros?
 

Waqar

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View attachment 80168 I dose macro and micro EI on alternate days. I also dose 2ml of co2 daily.

I found that only some of my needle fern melted, the rest of my plans are growing. Tank has been set up for 3 weeks and is growing well.

Hi Derek - Glad that worked for you. I failed to get the results I needed with that, so I'll have to use some other method, probably the Duckweed one.
 

Waqar

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Reviving this old post after more than a year. So the culprit was Seachem Equilibrium. I stopped using that, and now dose with chelated iron and the tank is doing fine. I learned that in SE UK, the water is hard enough that we do not need GH boosters, so while Equilibrium might be needed in the US, it's not required here.
 

xim

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1/4 Teaspoon of Seachem Equilibrium (for traces and Calcium + Magnesium). (1.42 ppm Ca, 0.42 ppm Mg, 3.43 ppm K and 0.02 ppm Fe)

I've just seen this thread. As far as I can remember. The quoted sentence above is not from Tom Barr's site (barrreport.com).

Equilibrium is never considered to be used as a "Trace Elements" or "Micros" in Tom's EI. Because it doesn't contain chelated nutrients. The recipes in Tom Barr's barrreport.com always suggest using Trace Elements along with GH Booster (yes, you can skip it if you're sure your tap has enough Ca and Mg). Equilibrium is considered a GH Booster in Tom's EI.

http://www.barrreport.com/threads/ei-light-for-those-less-techy-folks.2794/
10- 20 Gallon Aquariums
+/- 1/8 tsp KNO3 (N) 3x a week
+/- 1/32 tsp KH2PO4 (P) 3x a week
+/- 1/4 tsp GH booster once a week(water change only)
+/- 1/32 tsp (2ml) Trace Elements 3x a week
50% weekly water change

PS. 1/32 TSP if the micros you use is in powder form (CSM+B) and 2ml if it's branded liquid such as Tropica liquid fertiliser or Seachem Flourish Comprehensive.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Reviving this old post after more than a year. So the culprit was Seachem Equilibrium. I stopped using that, and now dose with chelated iron and the tank is doing fine. I learned that in SE UK, the water is hard enough that we do not need GH boosters, so while Equilibrium might be needed in the US, it's not required here.
Good I'm pleased you sorted it out.

Do you dose magnesium sulphate (MgSO4.7H2O)?

cheers Darrel
 

Waqar

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Hi all,Good I'm pleased you sorted it out.

Do you dose magnesium sulphate (MgSO4.7H2O)?

cheers Darrel

Hi Darrel,

Thanks for your help. As next step, I am thinking of adding a few more plants, mostly those that I lost when this problem started.

On your question, I currently don't dose magnesium sulphate, although I have been thinking about it. I occasionally get yellowing of older leaves in my hygrophila polysperma, which someone suggested might be due to sulphur deficiency. Before I give it a serious thought, are there any potential side effects of dousing it?
 

Waqar

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Equilibrium is never considered to be used as a "Trace Elements" or "Micros" in Tom's EI. Because it doesn't contain chelated nutrients. The recipes in Tom Barr's barrreport.com always suggest using Trace Elements along with GH Booster (yes, you can skip it if you're sure your tap has enough Ca and Mg). Equilibrium is considered a GH Booster in Tom's EI.

I got the idea from this website, which is quite informative. Apparently, Sudeep's recommendations are better suited for US conditions. For me, adding Seactem Equilibrium with nonchelated iron turned out to be an expensive mistake.

http://www.sudeepmandal.com/hobbies/planted-aquarium/low-tech-planted-tank
 
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ian_m

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On your question, I currently don't dose magnesium sulphate
Very few places in the UK, unlike the States, have magnesium in the tap water. Thus really dosing MgSo4 in not optional.

dw1305 will be along shortly with his handy map of what causes hardness in the UK Mg or Ca.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I am thinking of adding a few more plants
More plants is always a good idea.
On your question, I currently don't dose magnesium sulphate, although I have been thinking about it. I occasionally get yellowing of older leaves in my hygrophila polysperma, which someone suggested might be due to sulphur deficiency. Before I give it a serious thought, are there any potential side effects of dousing it?
It is unlikely to be a sulphur deficiency, most hard water contains some sulphates. You only need to dose a small amount of magnesium, it doesn't have a down-side.
Very few places in the UK, unlike the States, have magnesium in the tap water. Thus really dosing MgSo4 in not optional. dw1305 will be along shortly with his handy map of what causes hardness in the UK Mg or Ca
Ian is right. It is to do with depositional basins.

In the USA most of the limestone aquifers have experienced <"dolomitization">. This is because the continental USA (the <"craton">) has been repeatedly flooded by a shallow <"epicratonic sea">.

Cretaceous_seaway.png

Magnesium is common in seawater (~1300ppm), and as the sea has repeatedly evaporated and re-flooded the continent large deposits of magnesium have been laid down. You have the same process with the <"Mediterranean">, it is an evaporite basin.

The limestone aquifers in the UK are mainly different and most of them are pure limestone (CaCO3), this is because they were laid down as huge layers of CaCO3 in a deep ocean basin, and have subsequently been compressed deep in the earth, squeezing all of the water (and magnesium ions) out of the limestone.

White_Cliffs_of_Dover.jpg

If you have chalk (above) or Jurassic age limestone aquifers they contain very little magnesium. In the UK only a few places are different, and you are only likely to have appreciable amounts of magnesium in your water if you live in S. Cornwall, around Epsom in Surrey, in the area where they used to extract <"Brine"> ("Triassic salt"), or the band where it says "Permian (gypsum and) dolomite" on the geological map.

dissolution2.gif


cheers Darrel
 

Waqar

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Thanks Darrel for such an interesting overview. I grew up in the US, but didn't know quite as much about the country's geological history.

What dosage of MGSO4 would you recommend. I am thinking maybe 1/64 tsp should be enough?
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I grew up in the US, but didn't know quite as much about the country's geological history.
If you want a good read, I can't recommend the works of <"John McPhee"> highly enough.
Using https://rotalabutterfly.com/nutrient-calculator.php for EI you are looking at just over 1/2 a tsp per dosing day.
That looks about right, you can always use a bit less, but it doesn't really make any difference.

If you start from the premise that "Epsom Salts" contain about 10% Mg, and you want ~4ppm Mg in the tank, 41g MgSO4.7H2O (made up to one litre with RO water) would give you a 4000ppm stock solution.

One cm3 of the stock solution in 1 litre volume of tank water is 4ppm. So if your tank is 50 litres, 50 cm3 of the stock solution would supply 4 ppm.

If you wanted to use the dry salt, rather than a stock solution, 4ppm Mg works out at 2g, and a half teaspoon is about 3g.

Personally I use the more scientific "lick your finger, stick it in the Epsom salts, dip finger in tank, when the plants look a bit pale repeat" method but I am pretty lazy and I should really do better.

cheers Darrel
 

Waqar

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Hi all, If you want a good read, I can't recommend the works of <"John McPhee"> highly enough.

Will check it out.

If you start from the premise that "Epsom Salts" contain about 10% Mg, and you want ~4ppm Mg in the tank, 41g MgSO4.7H2O (made up to one litre with RO water) would give you a 4000ppm stock solution.

One cm3 of the stock solution in 1 litre volume of tank water is 4ppm. So if your tank is 50 litres, 50 cm3 of the stock solution would supply 4 ppm.

If you wanted to use the dry salt, rather than a stock solution, 4ppm Mg works out at 2g, and a half teaspoon is about 3g.

Personally I use the more scientific "lick your finger, stick it in the Epsom salts, dip finger in tank, when the plants look a bit pale repeat" method but I am pretty lazy and I should really do better.

cheers Darrel

According to Nutri-calc 4ppm would require 5/8 tsp for a 20g tank. Do we really need 4ppm Mg in a low tech tank? The target ppm for my current regime is is 5.27 (NO3), 3.98 (K) and 1.61 (P). Do plants need more Mg that K and P?
 
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roadmaster

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As the plant mass increases weekly,monthly,then more of everything might be needed. No?
I do not doubt that some tanks can use less of everything ,but am struck stupid sometimes by those that want to dose only what the plant's might need for the day/week.
This approach to me,would mean constant testing ,increasing,as plant's began to grow in.
Much less trouble for me to add what I'm sure is excess in my low tech, maybe 1/3 EI,, and decrease a little each week till I see poor health,then return to previous dose.
 
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