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I use this:

29 Gallon Aquarium
+/- ¼ tsp KN03 3x a week
+/- 1/16 tsp KH2P04 3x a week
5ml of Flourish 3x a week
50% weekly water change

Instead of using Flourish, would it be better if I used the CSM+B for trace elements?

Another thing, how does everyone dose their fertz into the tank? Do you simply measure out 1/4tsp of KNO3 and dump it into the aquarium?
 

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Hi Kamon,

I have used both CSM+B and Flourish Comprehensive in the past as my micronutrient source and although more expensive I believe that Flourish does a better job. I seem to have fewer deficiency problems with Flourish.
 

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I use this:

29 Gallon Aquarium
+/- ¼ tsp KN03 3x a week
+/- 1/16 tsp KH2P04 3x a week
5ml of Flourish 3x a week
50% weekly water change

Instead of using Flourish, would it be better if I used the CSM+B for trace elements?

Another thing, how does everyone dose their fertz into the tank? Do you simply measure out 1/4tsp of KNO3 and dump it into the aquarium?
I've used Flourish, CSM+B and TMG for micro dosing and frankly have need seen any major difference. Some others in my club (SFBAAPS) sort of report that same. Many others insist though they see differences so to each his own.

For dosing I dose dry right into the tank. Sometimes the fish mouth the powders as it drops to the bottom and this freaks some people out but it's of no consequence. Personally I drop the powder from the measuring spoon right into the water above my Koralia and it gets dissolved and blown around the tank. Some people will scoop a small cup of tank water and drop the powder in that, swish it around to dissolve most of it and then dump the cup of water back into the tank. That works too.
 

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I too have been dosing dry into the tank. I found that I felt more comfortable with using a small cup to scoop out water from the aquarium and letting the fertz dissolve, then pouring directly into the water.

One last question; is it advised to use Flourish and Flourish Comprehensive at the same time? Just wondering.
 

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Hi Kamon,

I use the name Flourish Comprehensive to differentiate it from other Flourish products such as Trace, Iron, etc. Most people just call it Flourish.
 

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Hey all,
There's just 1 thing about the ei dosage regime that's been bugging me for a while now.
Ex. For a 40 - 60 gal, the rec. Dosage is
1/2 tsp kno3 3*p/week
1/8th tsp kh2po4 3*p/week
10ml plantex csm+b
Then a 50% water change

Now, after you've done the 50% wc, say 25gal.
Do you only add ferts for the 25gal that's been replaced ex.
1/4 tsp kno3 3*p/week
1/16th tsp kh2po4 3*p/week ecc.

Or do you start the whole full fert regime again from scratch?
Cheers!!
 

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I began the EI dosing and am due to change 50% water in my 29 gallon tank this Saturday. However, my nitrates, nitrites and ammonia all read 0 ppm. If they read the same on Saturday should I still due a water change? I think I'm supposed to at least have 5-20 ppm of Nitrates. I'm sure my API master test kit is reading ok. The tank is well planted and getting about 107 watts of t-5 and cf lighting with pressurized CO2. This tank has been established for about a year.
 

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I'm sure my API master test kit is reading ok.
Just curious. What makes you so sure they are reading ok?

The tank is well planted and getting about 107 watts of t-5 and cf lighting with pressurized CO2.
Wow! I'm 108w of T5 on my 72 gal and even with that plants are growing quite fast for me. Are your plants growing like mad? Any algae issues? With that much light and if you have loads of plants I guess your levels could be down to zero if the plants sucked it all up. Do you have any fish? Even without dosing for some time my nitrate levels rarely drop lower than 5ppm just from fish poop and uneaten food.
 

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The reason I believe the test kit is that I recently set up a new tank and went thru the ammonia spike, nitrites, nitrates cycle and the test kit read thru the whole process. I've also gotten good readings in the past.
Algae was a problem, but after clearing most out with H2O2 and now clearing out a few BBA tufts with excel it is under control.
Fish in tank are Rummy nosed tetras (15), black line gobies (4)
A couple Swordtails and A couple mollies. Panda Corys (2) and Zebra Loaches (4). About 30 red shrimp. Oh, and one bristlenosed cat.

The 48 watts of T-5 are about 4 inches above the tank in back and the 55 watt CF with AH reflector is sitting on top front to give extra light for the minuta ground cover. Other plants are Anubias, Fissidens & Java moss, Echinodorus Tenellus, Stauraqyne sp. Porto Velho and Red Repens all of which are growing quite well.

I also keep a small amount of Floating Red Rooter in the tank and believe it does suck up the nutients.
 

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My bad on testing for nitrates. :( I read the instructions again today and missed something.
I was to shake vigorisly for one minute the #2 bottle before adding to test tube. I did that and it shows my ntrates at about 15 ppm. This should be about right so glad I did the water change this morning.:) I'll retest during the week and see what it shows rest of week. I guess the #2 bottle needs to be shaken to stir up the indicator stuff. :!:
 

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hey guys, question. the level of macros in planted tank should be give or take :
NO3 range 5-30 ppm
K+ range 10-30 ppm
PO4 range 1.0-2.0 ppm

now can i add all of those at once to get them to their recomended levels except of doing EI and do a 50% WC end of week, will that also work? or do i HAVE to add them 3 to 4X a week
 

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I have a friend that doses every thing once a week after the 50% water change. No problem for him, so he says. He has very high lighting and uses C02. Personally, I would rather use the EI and dose each three times a week.
 

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Initial Questions About EI Dosing Pertaining to Our Setup

Overview
The Estimative Index (EI) coined by Tom Barr 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 to out compete algae growth.

The process of which this is done is simple. Each day 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). At the end of the week, one performs a 50% water change to 'reset' the nutrient load in the entire system. And then the entire dosing schedule is repeated.

The primary fertilizers are the macro nutrients - Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P), Potassium (K), and the micro nutrients - trace elements (Plantex CSM+B, Flourish). 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 lower light setups, smaller quantities of fertilizers should be dosed in those instances.

General Dosing Guideline for High Light and Well Planted Aquariums
(wolfenxxx)

10- 20 Gallon Aquariums
+/- 1/8 tsp KN03 (N) 3x a week
+/- 1/32 tsp KH2P04 (P) 3x a week
+/- 1/32 tsp (2ml) Trace Elements 3x a week
50% weekly water change

20-40 Gallon Aquariums
+/- ¼ tsp KN03 3x a week
+/- 1/16 tsp KH2P04 3x a week
+/- 1/16 tsp (5ml) Trace Elements 3x a week
50% weekly water change

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

60 - 80 Gallon Aquariums
+/- 3/4 tsp KN03 3x a week
+/- ¼ tsp KH2P04 3x a week
+/- ¼ tsp (20ml) Trace Elements 3x a week
50% weekly water change

100 - 125 Gallon Aquarium
+/- 1 1/2 tsp KN03 3x a week
+/- ½ tsp KH2P04 3x a week
+/- ½ tsp (30ml) Trace Elements 3x a week
50% weekly water change

Example Dosing Regime for 29 Gallon:


Note: K2SO4 is not required for dosing unless you need the extra Potassium (K). This K is found in KN03 and KH2P04. Dosing these two according to above will yield sufficient K levels. Therefore, one will be fine dosing only KN03 and KH2P04, and Plantex. If one needs to increase their K levels with K2S04, add the same measured amount as KH2P04. For example, if one is dosing 1/2 tsp of KH2P04, then dose 1/2 tsp of K2S04. In true regards to EI, added excess K is not detrimental in any event.

EI target ranges
CO2 range 25-30 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 APC's Fertilator for additional dosing guides for Fe, Ca, Mg, etc.

Where to buy fertilizers?
AquariumFertilizers.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 AquaCare are equivalent to each other. Drsfostersmith and bigalsonline for the Seachem and Tropica brands.

One Pound of each of Aquarium Fertilizer/Greg Watson's Chemicals will last at least 1 year:
Plantex CSM+B​
Potassium Nitrate KN03​
Monopotassium Phosphate KH2P04​
Potassium Sulphate K2S04 (optional)
Special Notes:

Providing optimal CO2 levels of at least 30 ppm are necessary for plants to prosper and out-compete algae. 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 dosing straight into the tank, or they dissolve each chemical in water before adding.

Making a Liquid Stock of Plantex CSM+B is more often mixed into a bulk liquid solution since some find it more convenient to dose their trace elements this way. The recipe for this solution is 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. For making stock solutions for NPK refer here for a resourceful conversion calculator.

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 ¼ tsp in 2 tries, 1/16 tsp in 4 tries, and a 1/32 tsp in 8 tries.

Stick to a good dosing regime and your plants will flourish!
Hi,

I am contemplating migrating to EI Dosing in the near future.

However before I start to think about switching I have two basic questions.

1. Using the water changing barrel I have, we can only change 24-28 gallons which is less than half, of the 72 gallon tank we have. Would this amount of water change still facilitate the weekly reset? Realizing that the net water volume of the tank is 60 gallons, we are not far from the 50 % mark

2. Is there any history of EI and Discus? Longevity results are probably nonexistent. We can see where the plants would flourish with EI . However some species of fish require purer water. Logically, over fertilization for extended periods of time, surely can't be beneficial to fish or humans.
 

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Hi,

I do my WCs on Fridays. A few days ago I printed these instructions out, but I do not remember from which site. Anyway, what I would like to ask you guys is this: are these printed instructions for the EI method?

Minimum 50% weekly WCs, on WC day, 3/4 tsp GH booster.

On WC day, 3rd and 6th day:
KNO3 1/2 tsp 3 times a week
K2PO4 1/8 tsp 3 times a week
K2SO4 1/8 tsp 3 times a week
MgSO4.7H20 1/2 tsp 3 times a week

On second, fourth and seventh day:
CSM+B 1/2 tsp 3 times a week
I am confused because I was under the impression that nothing should be added on WC day.
 
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