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Old 01-06-2007, 11:43 PM   #1
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Would like to get a dosing plan

Ok so i am going to be setting up my 54 gallon corner tank with ada aquasoil. I am going to be using hc as the foreground plant and some stem plants towards the back.

My specs are:

manzanita wood (Not sure if this matters)
ehiem classic 2215 filter
ada aquasoil subsrate
Coralife 130 watt 6700k bulbs
Red Sea pressurized co2

I am going to be doing with flourish nitrogen,potassium and phosphurus

I would like for some with lots of experience to try to give me a nice dosing plan to keep healthy and an algae free tank.

Thanks for all the help.
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Old 01-07-2007, 12:02 AM   #2
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You need to look into dry ferts. You will also need a Micro fert.

Dosing with Flourish:

~100mls of Flourish Potassium 3 X a week.

~250mls of Flourish Nitrogen 3 X a week.

~90mls of Flourish Phosphorus 3 X a week.
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Old 01-07-2007, 12:13 AM   #3
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Wow at that much i will be broke.

If i were to buy the dry ferts which ones should i buy ffrom gregwatsons and again i would like a dosing plan. Also when i get the dry ferts how do i know how much of the fert to mix with water? Thanks
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Old 01-07-2007, 12:17 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bballsosh
Wow at that much i will be broke.

If i were to buy the dry ferts which ones should i buy ffrom gregwatsons and again i would like a dosing plan. Also when i get the dry ferts how do i know how much of the fert to mix with water? Thanks
Tom's EI article covers all the questions you are asking.

"Overview
The Estimative Index (EI) is a straightforward method for providing nutrients for a planted tank. The idea behind EI is simply introducing an excess amount of nutrients within an aquarium, throughout the week. This excess of nutrients floods the water column and feeds the plants. This is an estimative method; measuring specific nutrient uptake rates is not necessary and no test kits are involved. EI provides a surplus of nutrients that helps to prevents plant deficiencies, and allows plant growth unhendered. Most algae releated issues are due to plant deficiencies rather than excess nutrient levels(Ammonium/NH4 + is the exception).

Basically you add a slight excess of nutrients to prevent anything from running out, then do a large water change at the end of the week to prevent anything from building up. This allows you to maintain a range of nutrients without ever using a test kit.

The water change generally takes about the same amount of time once you haul out the hoses etc do the water change so the time and work difference between a 25 % and 50% water change is fairly small.

The process of which this is done is simple. Each day (or 2-3x a week, weekly for low light tanks) fertilizers are dosed, and the nutrients are absorbed by the plants. With this method being estimative, we can dose fertilizers according to general guidelines suited for our particular setup (see below for regime). At the end of the week, one performs a 50% water change to Ďresetí the nutrient load in the entire system. And then the entire dosing regime is repeated. The hobbyists can do larger(which will afford more accuracy) or smaller water change routines, but 50% is just guide line.

The primary fertilizers are the macro nutrients - Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P), Potassium (K), and the micro nutrients Ė trace elements (Plantex CSM+B, Flourish, Tropica Master Grow-TMG). Iron (Fe) can also be supplemented if necessary.

The Estimative Index method works best for a high light and well planted aquarium. However it is not limited to higher light setups, smaller quantities of fertilizers can be dosed if low light is used. Also, the frequency may be reduced to 1-2x a week at low light(1.5-2w/gal).

General Dosing Guideline for High Light and well planted aquariums.

40-60 Gallon Aquariums
+/- 1/2 tsp KN03 3x a week
+/- 1/8 tsp KH2P04 3x a week
+/- 1/8 tsp K2S04 3x a week
+/- 1/8 (10ml) Trace Elements 3x a week
50% weekly water change

EI target 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

See dosing calculators for additional dosing guides for Fe, etc.

Where to buy fertilizers?
www.gregwatson.com can provide you with the necessary chemicals for dry and liquid dosing of the above. For micro - trace elements, Plantex CSM+B, Seachem Flourish, and Tropica Master Grow (TMG) are equivalent to each other. www.bigalsonline.com for the Seachem and TMG brands.

1 lb of each for Greg Watson Chemicals will last at least 1 year:

Plantex CSM+B
Potassium Nitrate KN03
Monopotassium Phosphate KH2PO4
Potassium Sulfate K2S04

Special Notes:

Providing optimal CO2 levels of at least 30 ppm are necessary for plants to prosper. If algae issue arise, remove all visible algae and infected leaves. Recheck CO2 levels, and possibly reduce and adjust the lighting period.

Direct dry dosing into the tank is perfectly fine. Many dose straight into, or they dissolve each daily amounts in water before adding. Plantex CSM+B is often mixed into solution for liquid dosing. 1 tablespoon to 250ml water is equivalent to: 20 ml = 1/4 teaspoon of dry Plantex. This solution is stored in refrigerators to prevent mold from forming within the container. HCL can be added to prevent the mold.

Small dosing teaspoons (smidgen, dash, pinch) can be found at Linen & Things, Bed Bath and Beyond, Wal-Mart, dollar stores, eBay and other online retailers. To identify the specific measurements of your smidgen, dash, pinch set, a 1/8 tsp should fill a ľ tsp in 2 tries, 1/16 tsp in 4 tries, and a 1/32 tsp in 8 tries.


Sticking to a good dosing regime will make your plants flourish, and keep you delighted! If you seek more in depth discussion about EI, there are two other articles here.

John N and Tom Barr"

From http://www.barrreport.com/articles/1...ive-index.html

EDIT: here is a dosing plan that I had for someone with a 55 gal tank and using dosing bottles that greg watson sells:

"I would mix 1 TBSP of Monopotassium Phosphate KH2PO4 and 1 TBSP Potassium Sulfate K2S04 into 250 mls of hot water (one of those 8 oz twin neck bottles), This will be dosed Sunday, Tuesday, Thusday at a rate of 10mls (1/4 oz line on the top bottle, you may want to calibrate this with a childrens cough syrup measurer ect.) and you will also add Potassium Nitrate KN03 dry or mixed with aquarium water at a rate of 1/2 tsp on those same days depending on your fish loading. (make sure you use level tsp and TBSP measurements)

The CSM+B Plantex will be mixed (1 TBSP) with the other 250 ml 8 oz twin neck bottle, but this one should be stored in your refrigerator, due to it sometimes becoming moldy, (again, use Hot warm water, this helps to dissolve the chemical). This will be dosed on opposite days of the other fertilizers. Monday, Wensday, Friday. You will dose this at a rate of 10 mls also (1/4 oz line on the top bottle). Saturday you take pictures and place them in the Planted Aquascaping Forum! and Sunday you will perform a 50% PWC and the cycle starts all over again.

PS. don't forget that after the PWC is when the cycle starts agian. ie you have to dose your macro's right after.

HTH."
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Old 01-07-2007, 09:57 AM   #5
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Thanks so much rkilling for all of this info. I will be using dry ferts from gregwatson now. My last question is can i just pour the dry fert right into my tank or do i have to put into water first?
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Old 01-07-2007, 10:02 AM   #6
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You can just pour them into the aquarium.
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Old 01-07-2007, 11:32 AM   #7
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bballsosh - You can just dump the ferts straight into your tank, if you don't mind your fish tasting them as they dissolves into the water. I prefer to mix mine in a small cup with a little bit of warm tap water. It all dissolves in about 30 seconds and then I pour it in a high-flow area to get it to spread through the tank better.

As I just mentioned in another thread, I used to do the premixes, etc, and now prefer dosing dry, so to speak... Here are my preferred tools:

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Old 01-07-2007, 11:36 AM   #8
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Is it ok to mix up some in advance and store it, or should you mix fresh every time? I have smaller tanks and will be starting dry ferts this week.
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Old 01-07-2007, 11:53 AM   #9
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You can mix and store it. A lot of folks do. Make sure you don't mix your PO4 and FE together or they will cancel each other out.

FWIW, as I was going through the first few learning curves with ferts, I was told to either keep my macros and micros mixed separately, or else mix everything separately. Thus, I find it easier to just mix as needed...
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Old 01-07-2007, 12:13 PM   #10
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Ok, Thanks Dan
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Old 01-07-2007, 12:14 PM   #11
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what should i use as my trace element?
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Old 01-07-2007, 12:26 PM   #12
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For trace I use Seachem Flourish Comprehensive liquid. You can also use Tropica's Master Grow (TMG) or CSM+B (sold by GregWatson.com)... I am sure there are others that would also work.
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Old 01-07-2007, 12:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drobertson
Is it ok to mix up some in advance and store it, or should you mix fresh every time? I have smaller tanks and will be starting dry ferts this week.
I asked about making a big batch of dry ferts once and was told i shouldn't be dosing micros and macros on the same day so can't mix everything. I also wanted to make just a big batch of the ferts i could mix and it was mentioned that it would be hard to adjust anything if needed and the ratios may be a little off if it isn't mixed well. I wanted to mix some in advance and recieved this great advice...

Go buy one of those day planning pill containers. The ones that list M-Tu-Wed..etc.

I'm able to measure out 2 weeks worth and have the days conviently labled. They had bigger cubes but the one i got has boxes for 2 weeks so i can alternate micro/macro and it was onlyu $1.50

HTH
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Old 01-07-2007, 02:21 PM   #14
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Dan - it's good to see that someone else wrote the chemical formula (like KNO3) on the fert label! They only came labeled with "potassium nitrate" and since I'm used to looking at the chemical formula, I just labeled mine that way so I wouldn't accidentally grab the wrong bag!

I have just begun to dose dry. It's much easier than premixing with RO water (something like X teaspoon to X ml water). I measure the correct dry dose and then mix it in a little cup of tank water to dissolve. It doesn't matter how much tank water you pull out as long as your dry dose is correct for the tank volume. I stir to dissolve and then pour it in over the filter outflow. I put all three macro powders into the cup of water at once and then stir and pour!

I also use Seachem Flourish Comprehensive as my trace fertilizer.
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Old 01-07-2007, 05:32 PM   #15
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Everyone's covered the basics very well but I just want to emphasize not to add your trace mix (the one with iron in it) on the same day that you add the phosphate as the phosphate will cause the iron to precipitate out and it won't do your plants any good. I learned this the hard way! You can mix and match any way you want, except the trace mix and phosphate. If you really want to do them on the same day, dose one in the morning and one at night.
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Old 01-07-2007, 07:14 PM   #16
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PITT made a good point too, and a reason I have kinda forgot, but something I do all the time... Premixes don't let you tweak the dose of individual ferts... For instance I find that I often end up with a naturally high PO4 and will skip dosing that part of the equation, or I may find that my plant uptake of NO3 slows down a bit and decide to add a bit less... or that I need more iron, etc....

Another very good reason to mix as needed.
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Old 01-07-2007, 07:22 PM   #17
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why would you consider doing EI and possible over dose when u dont need to and waist ferts and money when you can study your chemestry through out a month and get a plan from what the water/plants is telling you exactly how much of what it needs so you just dont waist time, money and products?
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Old 01-07-2007, 07:23 PM   #18
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kaz - that deserves a new thread, if you are serious...
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Old 01-07-2007, 07:26 PM   #19
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just asking , cause im moving into planted area and I like to figure out exactly what I can afford on time and money, maybe it is just easier EI for the person who doesnt want to do the study, I am sorry to intrude in this post. I will leave my question to when I really think I will need it, at this time I do not have alot of plants to start a thread. just one question does it matter how many plants you have that you need to start dosing?
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Old 01-07-2007, 07:51 PM   #20
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kaz - it comes out much cheaper to run EI than to buy professional-grade test kits to measure and adjust your levels. For that matter, it is much cheaper and easier than trying to acheive the same thing with hobby-grade test kits and reference solutions.

The dry ferts will run you $1-2 per pound, which will last you a long time, and make slightly overdosing and then reseting weekly with the PWC very cheap and simple to maintain.

I would think you could benefit from dosing regardless of your plant level (assuming you have at least some)... Of course it will be a bit different levels you will want to maintain.

HTH
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