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.
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
range 20-30 ppm
range 5-30 ppm
+ range 10-30 ppm
range 1.0-2.0 ppm
0.2-0.5ppm or higher
range 3-5 degrees ~ 50ppm or higher
See dosing calculators for additional dosing guides for Fe
Where to buy fertilizers?
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:
Potassium Nitrate KN03
Monopotassium Phosphate KH2PO4
Potassium Sulfate K2S04
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"
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.