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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a bit frustrated. I know I need to fertilize my plants. I also know I need to provide water changes for my fish. My water changes take fertilizer out of the water, but if I stretch out the water changes my fish get fin rot and don't grow as quickly. How do I find a happy middle ground?
 

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Or you can start dosing very lightly (one pinch of every fertilizer) once a week. Increase the dosage every week until your plants grow well. At that point continue dosing these final amounts forever. Of course some fertilizers must be added in much less amounts than others, but that's common sense. Do 30% water changes once a week. Your tank will stabilize very well that way.

EI will keep it in a precarious ballance - always on the edge. You will have tremendous plant growth + you must take care of the tank every week or it will start having issues. If you enjoy taking care of it every single week without missing a beat then EI will reward you with tons of healthy plants.

--Nikolay
 

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Hehe, I also add a pinch of nutrients every so often along with water changes whenever I feel up to it. Plants are able to stockpile nutrients, so it isn't terribly important to dose with high precision, or in huge quantities. As long as they don't run out of nutrients between dosings there shouldn't be a problem. I suppose this is a hybrid dosing method somewhere between EI and PPS-Pro.

After a while you will develop a "pinch sense," that is, a sense of roughly how many pinches of each nutrient your plants will need. Just like Niko said :)
 

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I'm a bit frustrated. I know I need to fertilize my plants. I also know I need to provide water changes for my fish. My water changes take fertilizer out of the water, but if I stretch out the water changes my fish get fin rot and don't grow as quickly. How do I find a happy middle ground?
If you keep fish, you really need to do regular water changes.

I looked at EI but doing 50% water changes weekly is way beyond my commitment for a 50 gal tank using RO water.

I use a modified PPS pro formula. I do the additions on a daily basis (accurately) and twice a week I do 10% water changes.

I check KPN regularly (once a week) and if anything is out I modify the additions as needed or do more water changes.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank-you for all the input! This is all still so overwhelming to me.

The EI talks about CO2. Am I going to have to eventually do the CO2 thing?

I have a bunch of tanks (15) and put live plants in almost all of them about a month ago. I'm apprehensive to go the CO2 route, and with so many tanks I think it would be too much to even think about CO2.

I got lucky and got the plants for free. I was able to pack 7 tanks with quite a few plants. Most of the plants are low light plants. The ones that need higher light I just put in shorter tanks. So far 95% of them are doing fine and putting out new growth.
 

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Regular water changes are not necessary in a well setup non CO2 setup. In fact if you go by Walstad's setups or some of Tom Barr's then these have no water changes or only every 6 months or so!!!

That's not to say that water changes are a bad thing but they can cause problems with CO2 fluctuations in a non CO2 tank.

AC
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If there are fish or shrimp water changes are necessary. Water changes remove hormones that will stunt the growth of the fish if not removed. Plants are incapable of removing those hormones. All my tanks, except 1, have either fish or shrimp in them. Straight plants I can see that being a possibility.
 

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Or you can start dosing very lightly (one pinch of every fertilizer) once a week. Increase the dosage every week until your plants grow well. At that point continue dosing these final amounts forever. Of course some fertilizers must be added in much less amounts than others, but that's common sense. Do 30% water changes once a week. Your tank will stabilize very well that way.

EI will keep it in a precarious ballance - always on the edge. You will have tremendous plant growth + you must take care of the tank every week or it will start having issues. If you enjoy taking care of it every single week without missing a beat then EI will reward you with tons of healthy plants.

--Nikolay
"One pinch of every fertilizer" Per how many gallons of water?
One pinch would not be the same in a 100 G tank as it is in a 10 G.
One pinch of N, P, K, FE, & CSMB?
Sounds interesting to me but I don't know how to start. I currently do EI with PMDD, Flourish & FE.
Charles
 

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The first few doses are more of an estimation rather than an exact science. Just add the same sized pinch every week until you see your plants showing signs of needing more of 1 nutrient than another, then add more of that nutrient. After a few weeks you will know how much to add.

Or you could test the water to give you an idea of how much the plants use each week to help you figure out if you should add more or less.

As a general guideline add more nitrates, potassium and phosphate and much less of CSM+B and other nutrients.
 

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Or you can start dosing very lightly (one pinch of every fertilizer) once a week. Increase the dosage every week until your plants grow well. At that point continue dosing these final amounts forever. Of course some fertilizers must be added in much less amounts than others, but that's common sense. Do 30% water changes once a week. Your tank will stabilize very well that way.

EI will keep it in a precarious ballance - always on the edge. You will have tremendous plant growth + you must take care of the tank every week or it will start having issues. If you enjoy taking care of it every single week without missing a beat then EI will reward you with tons of healthy plants.

--Nikolay
Nikolay

This method sounds interesting to me.
What dosage should I start with on say, my 46 gallon moderately planted tank?
How many pinches of each fert per gallon?
I currently EI w/PMDD & Flourish.
Thank you
Charles
 
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