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Old 04-16-2007, 06:59 PM   #1
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Using EI - but getting low nitrates

I am using the EI for 40-60 gallon and when i tested after my water change but before dosing (I change the water sunday - 50%, then on mwf i dose nitrates, and tues,thurs,sat i dose everything else) i got a Nitrate reading of about 5 ppm. Is this normal or low? Seems i wanna keep them between 20-40 ppm at all times. Just looking for some tips b/c i am still trying to get my planted aquarium to perform like a lot of you guys online. Right now only the super easy plants (wisteria, ambulia) is growing well while the others are growing slowly or dieing slowing. I am using pressurized co2 with EI dosing and 130 watts on a 55 gallon. Let me know what other info you need to provide some tips.

Thanks,

Jimmy
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Old 04-16-2007, 07:47 PM   #2
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What test kit are you using to test and have you calibrated it?

It's possible that your tank is understocked with fish, heavily stocked with plants, and/or just has lots of fast growing nutrient hogs. Any of these could result in your needing to up your dosing from the recommended starting amounts for EI. Please remember they are just meant to be a starting point and the amounts are not written in stone.
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Old 04-16-2007, 09:00 PM   #3
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i am using an Aquarium Pharmaceuticals test kit.

How do you calibrate a test kit? I have not done this.

My tanks is pretty well with fish and isnt that high with plants (you can see my tank pretty well in my other post you posted in recently).

Thanks In Advance!
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Old 04-16-2007, 09:11 PM   #4
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You calibrate a test kit by testing known reference solutions and then comparing the results with the known value. This tells you how far off your test kit may be and allows you to compensate.

Your tank is moderately planted, but you do however have some nutrient hogs in there. That's a rather large bush of Hygrophilia difformis, which could be consuming a good chunk of the nutrients on its own.
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Old 04-17-2007, 07:57 AM   #5
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I suggest you dose your Macro's on S/T/T and the Micro's on M/W/F. Rightnow you are running real low on Macro's after the PWC.
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Old 04-17-2007, 09:21 AM   #6
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i dose Nitrates MWF, and everything else on Sat/Tues/THurs, water changes on sundays
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Old 04-17-2007, 09:27 AM   #7
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You need to be dosing you Macros right after your water change, which is why Rkilling suggested the change. You're water change effectively halves the remaining amount of nutrients in the tank, so that your plants can easily run out of the macros before you finally dose the next day.
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Old 04-17-2007, 10:09 PM   #8
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If no algae, having a positive nitrate test after water change and before dosing is good. Lots of people crash nitrates. Just another point of view.
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Old 04-18-2007, 07:36 AM   #9
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thanks for the tips guys, my next move it to replace my center piece of wood with a new piece to rid the tank of the rotting wood. I will then monitor my nutrient levels over teh next couple weeks so i can see how much nutrient uptake i am getting and adjust the EI schedule.

Can anyone provide me with the upper and lower limits for each nutrient (i.e. how many PPM i dont wanna drop below or go above?)

Also can anyone provide me with a link to a place that sells solutions i can callobrate my test kits with?
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Old 04-18-2007, 07:58 AM   #10
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Here are the general EI ranges:

CO2 range 20-30 ppm
NO3 range 5-30 ppm
K+ range 10-30 ppm
PO4 range 1.0-2.0 ppm
Fe 0.2-0.5ppm or higher
GH range 3-5 degrees ~ 50ppm or higher
KH range 3-5

You can make solutions using your ferts. You just have to find a calculator to figure out the amount you need to add to a set volume of DI water.
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