Timing??

Discussion in 'Aquarium Fert Dosing' started by mick b, 8 Sep 2008.

  1. mick b

    mick b Member

    Messages:
    80
    Hi All,

    Ok, I'm adding dry ferts (EI) on a daily basis (as instructed to off-set my nightly Water changes), so when is the best time to add the ferts?

    WC occurs through the night, finishes about 6AM, lights (main) come on at 12AM (lunchtime), so is it best to add the ferts early morning just after WC ends, or wait untill about lunchtime when the plants are lit and active?

    Cheers, Mick B
     
  2. Garuf

    Garuf Member

    Messages:
    4,959
    Location:
    Leeds.
    The earlier better. Are you doing water changes every day or something, I don't really get your system. :oops:
     
  3. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,518
    Location:
    Bromley
    I would add it after the water change, so as to minimise loss of ferts during the change.
    I would then add it as early on in the photoperiod as possible so that the plants have it available sooner.

    It sounds like you will be doing that already, so that gives you a window between 6am and 12 - If you have any natural light hitting the tnak during this time then I would go for as early as possible. If not, then I would go for whenever suits you!
     
  4. JamesC

    JamesC Member

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    1,276
    Location:
    Bexley, Kent
    As long as the ferts are added before the lights come on I don't really see that it matters that much if they are added at 6 or at 12. Some people say that it is best to add just before lights on so that there is more iron available for the plants.

    James
     
  5. mick b

    mick b Member

    Messages:
    80
    Hi Garuf / Matt,

    Thanks for the replies, :D

    My 'system' is a large planted Discus tank, which has an automated WC system (approx 10% each night) which finishes at about 6.00 AM each morning.

    The tank gets some natural light (minimal) but the main T5's etc come on at 12.00AM.

    As I understand it, the ferts being added, are effectivly oxidised by the organics in the tank (over time), so I'm thinking, 1/2 hour before main lights on would be optimal, as the plants will not 'take-up-ferts' while the lights are off, but the oxidation can/does occur during lights-off period? and adding just before lights-on, maximises the 'up-take' period?

    Make any sence?

    Cheers, Mick B
     
  6. Garuf

    Garuf Member

    Messages:
    4,959
    Location:
    Leeds.
    It does make sense now but I'm thinking you probably need a custom drawn up system of dosing rather than EI to allow for the frequent water changes and no large "reset" water change. Though I'm no expert on the subject, just something I think might effect how you dose.
     
  7. mick b

    mick b Member

    Messages:
    80
    Hi Garuf,

    I tend to agree, to some extent, I'm using PMDD without the water :D or EI based on a daily routine (not weekly).

    Ceo was kind enough o give me an initial EI 'mix' which I intend to adjust (over time) with referance to the plants reactions (and the fish :D ), so hope to get a 'custom blend' based on daily doesing specific for my set-up ;)

    So, 1/2 hour before main lights it is! :D

    Many thanks, Mick B 8)
     
  8. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    It's pointless trying to micromanage EI dosing. If you are only changing 10% of your water then the nutrient concentration drop is a pittance on any given day unless your lighting is so outrageous that the tank is on the margin of bottoming out, in which case you would simply increase the dosage amounts anyway. Dosing EI means that you always have sufficient or even excess nutrient levels available, so just dose whenever it is convenient to make up for this 10%.

    If you were doing a 50% water change for example then you'd want to ensure that you dose prior to lights on as James mentioned. One needn't worry about oxidation of the macronutrients and the micronutrients are chelated so there is some protection, at least for a short while anyway. Nutrient uptake occurs at all times regardless of lighting level, however peak uptake rates occurs during the photoperiod.

    I wouldn't worry about reset or oxidation. It's just not that important and all these issues adds complications to life without adding any real value in terms of improvements in plant growth or health.

    Cheers,
     
  9. mick b

    mick b Member

    Messages:
    80
    Hi Ceo,

    So, I may as well do my daily doseing with the Discus 1st feed (lights off) in the morning, as that would be far more convenient :D

    So, once again, many thanks.

    Mick B
     
  10. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,518
    Location:
    Bromley
    taking Clives comprehensive reply (as usual I learnt a couple of things there! ;) ) into consideration I think it boils down to when is most convenient for you!

    As an aside - I dose 'EI amounts' (as specced in the barr report EI article) and religously carry out a 50%WC each week. Yet, as of the last couple of weeks, I do not consider myself as doing EI :!: . THe reason for this is that I was still bottoming out on some nutrients and the water change is for keeping the water clear rather than resetting. Hope that is not too offtopic Mick :)
     
  11. mick b

    mick b Member

    Messages:
    80
    Of topic? is it?

    Sounds similar to me :D :D

    Surely, the optimum, is to dose EI and adjust (over time) untill there is no 'bottoming-out' and no surplus,
    but good sustained plant growth, balance! :D

    Thanks for the input, I'm slowly learning, but it takes time!! :)

    Cheers, Mick B
     
  12. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,518
    Location:
    Bromley
    I see what you mean, it is on topic really :oops: I've been dry fert dosing for over 2 years and am still learning. For the past year all the plants have been growing, so I am not doing too bad :)

    Last month I slipped and dropped a heaped teaspoon of phosphates in the tank (160l), I was mortified at the time, but it turned out to be a Eureka moment! I hadn't realised I was bottoming out on phosphates until then. :wideyed:
     
  13. mick b

    mick b Member

    Messages:
    80
    Saw ypur post and , guess what,

    It gave me the confidence to increase the phosphate level a bit, so now (Sorry Clive :oops: ) test kit is showing 4ppm, which would have prompted a WC, but now,
    I look, see the plants are improving, fish are well, so test kit, back in box!

    Sometimes good things follow a cock-up :lol:

    Cheers, Mick B
     
  14. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,518
    Location:
    Bromley
    Brill!

    Since the phosphate 'overdose' I have dosed half a teaspoon of phosphates every other day. Before that I was dosing around 1\5th of a teaspoon every other day. That was about 3 weeks ago.

    A week ago I started getting holes in my swords. I figured this was an increase in CO2 uptake, glanced at my drop checker (you'd think I'd see the drop checker before the plants, but there you go :rolleyes: ) and it was a little less green than normal. So yesterday I increased my bubble rate from 2bps to nearly 4bps. A couple of hours later the drop checker is looking good, and the plants were pearling more than usual. I checke dthe fish all throughout the day and they showed no signs of stress, so I'm happy with the CO2 level. I then upped my nitrates (by about a 1/3) as I am sure they would have bottomed out next. I'll stick with this regime for 3 weeks unless I see any indication of deficiencies in the meantime.

    UKAPS baby!
     
  15. mick b

    mick b Member

    Messages:
    80
    Excellent!

    I like this place :D

    Cheers, Mick B
     
  16. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Both Matt and Mick bring up significant points that we've been trying to emphasize for what seems like an eternity. The first is Matt's observation of his plant's condition prior to noting the color of the dropchecker. In fact, this is actually a good thing as it shows that if we're going to develop tunnel vision, it's better that the tunnel be pointed squarely at the plant's condition and not at a test device. Ultimately it is their response to the environment that counts and which is infinitely more accurate than any test device. This is why beginners fail when they are brainwashed into being mesmerized by their test kit readings and blindly follow it's advice despite what their own eyes tell them. Mick's observation confirms this and he is no longer a victim of phosphate hating propaganda. R.I.P test kit...

    One final point. It's important to note that it isn't necessarily a bottoming out of the nutrients that causes the deficiency effects. Less than perfect flow and distribution within the tank contributes to failure due to the inability of the flow to efficiently and homogeneously deliver the nutrient concentration to the surface of the leaf. The plant itself may also be inefficient if they are in less than perfect health so their uptake mechanism(s) may require higher concentrations to uptake properly. Other effects such as lighting, temperature and other factors conspire to stifle perfect uptake.

    Cheers,
     
  17. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,518
    Location:
    Bromley
    Yes! and I have been reading it all along and thinking... 'oh that doesn't apply to me I dose EI and do it all properly'. Doh!

    I agree! It's just a shame that my swords now have a scattering of small holes in them :rolleyes:

    I'd forgotten about that (my thinking had accounted for increased biomass and then stopped there)

    Clive you really are a star 8) Thankyou!
     
  18. mick b

    mick b Member

    Messages:
    80
    Thanks Clive,
    See we were listening :lol:

    I've been VERY sceptical about the accuracy of 'Hobby drop-tests' since spending a year trying to reduce nitrates, only to find (when tested by my water supplier) that my test kit registers X2 (yes 100% inaccurate!! :twisted: ).

    So, now, with this excellent support, I will trust my eyes!

    Many thanks, just starting to get there ;) , Mick B
     

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