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Double checking full EI dosing as per calc

kschyff

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Hi
I would like to start with full EI and have plugged in my tank parameters which generated the attached output (let me know if the image is too small). I use 100% RO water.
1.) Are these looking good in terms of the choices I made for the various elements? I have heard that the chloride versions dissolve better than the sulphates, but I would like to double check this.
2.) Given that Ca and Mg are integral in this EI method, do I have to remineralize when I do the WC? I would think so as the levels of Ca and Mg are not yet at their intended threshold.
3.) In South Africa I am buying the Plantex CSM+B compound without knowing exactly which one it is. Which CSM+B compounds is preferable?
Any advice welcome before I buy all of these chemicals.
Karl
 

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Hufsa

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Why target 5 degrees KH? You have RO so you can set your own parameters freely, 1 degree should be more than enough if you are just wanting some stability to your PH?
Unless you have some livestock requiring higher?
Around 6-7 GH will be nice for neocaridina shrimp if youre wanting to keep those.

The chemical choices themselves look good, the choice is yours to use chlorides or sulphates, chlorides do indeed dissolve more easily, while higher levels of sulphates is better tolerated by plants than higher levels of chloride.

I believe for your trace mix it will probably be fine, do you have the values for your specific mix? For EI dosing the thought is generally that most mixes will do, unless its got unusually high levels of copper or something like that.
 

kschyff

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@Hufsa thank you for the advice. I only target 5 dKH as that is what the Fert calculator recommends when I select full EI dosing. The screenshot is for the micro and macro dosages as I understand it. I ordered the Plantex minerals - will go ahead and get the others now as well.

Do I add potassium carbonate to the macro container with all the other minerals?

I see the one online store lists potassium carbonate as "potassium carbonate anhydrous". Is this anhydrous version correct?
 
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Hufsa

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Theres been an oversight on my part, I believe the one you want is Potassium bicarbonate, not potassium carbonate. Im sorry I didnt catch that earlier in the image you shared.
@dw1305 can you confirm this for me? I think my notes on this is based on one of your posts

I only target 5 dKH as that is what the Fert calculator recommends when I select full EI dosing.
Huh thats strange. Maybe @Zeus. can clarify this?
I wasnt aware there was a precise KH target for EI.

Do I add potassium carbonate to the macro container with all the other minerals?
No you should only add it when you remineralize your RO water, its not a part of the macro or micro fertilizers.

Calcium and magnesium is also added (usually dry) to the RO water, although I believe some people include a small amount of magnesium in their macro mix.
Calcium cannot be added to macro as it does not play nice with the others when in a concentrated solution like a macro fertilizer.
The calcium will find any available sulphates from the other salts, and then form calcium sulphate and precipitate out of solution because calcium sulphate is poorly soluble.
So even if you use calcium chloride like you have planned, it wont be able to go into the macro.
Only into water change water, where the volumes will be large enough for it to stay in solution.
 

kschyff

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@Hufsa thank you. I think as someone who is still learning i misunderstand which of those minerals should feature in the macro solution and which should form part of the remineralization solution. I know the csm+b is what is placed in the micro solution.

Sent from my SM-A715F using Tapatalk
 

Zeus.

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Huh thats strange. Maybe @Zeus. can clarify this?
I wasnt aware there was a precise KH target for EI.
Yes 5kH is what full EI recommends, which for most folk using tap water can be ignored as the tap water will have plenty already. Same for Ca. Which is why IMO Clive's EI dose doesn't contain any kH or Ca as they are already in abundance with tap water. They are there for folk who use RO/DI water
 

kschyff

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Thank you @Zeus. Am I right when I say that the following should feature in my macro mix:
potassium nitrate, monopotassium phosphate, potassium sulphate

Then, when I do a water change I dry dose the calcium chloride, potassium carbonate and magnesium sulphate in my 30 litres of RO water.

OR

Should I include the magnesium sulphate as part of the macro mix?

I think its this question which has caused problems for me in the past, especially with the remineralizing.
 

Wookii

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Thank you @Zeus. Am I right when I say that the following should feature in my macro mix:
potassium nitrate, monopotassium phosphate, potassium sulphate

Then, when I do a water change I dry dose the calcium chloride, potassium carbonate and magnesium sulphate in my 30 litres of RO water.

OR

Should I include the magnesium sulphate as part of the macro mix?

I think its this question which has caused problems for me in the past, especially with the remineralizing.

You can do either with the magnesium sulphate - either dissolve it along with your macro mix, or add it to you RO water change. The latter is easier, and allows you to more accurately maintain a consistent GH and a good relative ratio between the Calcium and Magnesium (usually around 3:1).

As @Hufsa says, you can only add the Calcium Chloride and Potassium Carbonate to the water change water (or directly to the tank after a water change) - both dissolve very easily. For Potassium carbonate, you'll be needing to add around 0.72g to your 30 litre water change for 1dKH. Personally I'd just go for half a gram per water change to make it easy.

Measuring the powders out in such small quantities can be time consuming though, so you can make up a solution instead. For example you could make up a bottle with 500ml of RO water, and dissolve 25 grams of Potassium Carbonate in it, then dose 10ml per water change - effectively dosing 0.5g of K2CO3 to your 30 litre water change for 0.7dKH.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I believe the one you want is Potassium bicarbonate, not potassium carbonate. Im sorry I didnt catch that earlier in the image you shared.
@dw1305 can you confirm this for me?
You can use either. The carbonate (CO3-- ion) will convert to bicarbonate ((2)HCO3-) in <"most circumstances">. You've added a bit more dKH with the same weight of potassium carbonate (K2CO3), from <"James' Planted Tank">
1.8g KHCO3 in 25 litres of water = 2 dKH
1.2g K2CO3 in 25 litres of water = 2 dKH
cheers Darrel
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
as I understand it, a KH below one is generally the optimum for plants (though most will grow happily in any KH) - I can't think of a reason to willingly raise it higher unless its for specific livestock?
Why target 5 degrees KH? You have RO so you can set your own parameters freely, 1 degree should be more than enough if you are just wanting some stability to your PH?
Same for me, if I had water with very low carbonate hardness I wouldn't add any more dKH, unless I was specifically keeping livestock from harder water.
Which is why IMO Clive's EI dose doesn't contain any kH or Ca as they are already in abundance with tap water.For any-one who has hard tap water a small dash of tap is going to supply all the calcium and (bi)carbonate you need.
Any-one who has hard water can just add a dash of tap water to supply <"calcium (Ca) and bicarbonate (dKH)">.

Hard%20Water%20Map%20of%20Uk.jpg

cheers Darrel
 
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kschyff

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Thank you all. @Wookii I like your suggestion to make 500 ml remineralizing solution. Would it be ok if I simply add the required magnesium sulphate and calcium chloride to the potassium carbonate and make an all-in-one remineralizing solution? This way I get the Ca:Mg ratio right from the word go after the WC and also slightly up my KH. @dw1305 Thank you for the graphic of the UK - very interesting.
 

Wookii

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Thank you all. @Wookii I like your suggestion to make 500 ml remineralizing solution. Would it be ok if I simply add the required magnesium sulphate and calcium chloride to the potassium carbonate and make an all-in-one remineralizing solution? This way I get the Ca:Mg ratio right from the word go after the WC and also slightly up my KH. @dw1305 Thank you for the graphic of the UK - very interesting.

No, you can't mix them unfortunately, they'll react and you'll get newly formed calcium and magnesium carbonate precipitating out of solution. You can however produce a separate bottle for each if you prefer dosing liquids rather than dry powders.

My tanks run on automated water changes with RO water, so I use an auto-doser to dose solutions of MgSO4, CaCl2 and K2CO3 immediately after the water change.
 

GreggZ

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Don't get too caught up in dosing "full" EI. I know many successful people in the hobby and very few if any dose full EI amounts.

If you were to dose 30 ppm NO3 as indicated with 50% water changes your potential accumulation is 60 ppm NO3. There isn't a tank in the world that needs 60 ppm NO3 in the water column.

As to dKH I know Tom Barr and he runs his tanks with very little to no carbonate hardness. My guess is that the suggested dosing of dKH is a relic from some very old EI thoughts from many years ago. Most of the best tanks I know of keep dKH at somewhere between one and zero. Personally I've run my tank with pure RO with no carbonates added for many years. And keep in mind that if you are adding K2CO3 or KHCO3 you are also adding a huge amount of K which you don't really need or want.

For dGH it's simple you just need sources of Ca and Mg. Most use CaSO4 and MgSO4. Dose these right after a water change to bring the levels to where you prefer them. Most that I know raise dGH to somewhere between 4 and 6. Either is plenty for plants.

Be sure to create a solution for the CSM+B. The larger the container the better. It will increase your odds of having a more uniform amount of micro nutrients.

Good luck and keep in mind that fert dosing is only one small part of keeping a successful planted tank. IMO light levels, CO2 levels, and maintenance/horticulture have more impact than fert dosing.
 

Zeus.

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That a new one on me, where did that come from - as I understand it, a KH below one is generally the optimum for plants (though most will grow happily in any KH) - I can't think of a reason to willingly raise it higher unless its for specific livestock?

Good question. TBH I cant remember ATM 😬:oops:, I've even ask @Hanuman if he can remember
 

John q

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I think? Clive's suggestion of 3 ~ 4kh was once mentioned by him in regards to stability when injecting and monitoring Co2 (ph readings) I could of course be completely wrong on this.

Truth is and Clive would definitely say take no notice of kh, work with what you have, do whatever is the easiest, the plants won't care.

Also as Greggz points out, there are lots of beautiful tanks out there that run 0 ~ 1 KH.
 

kschyff

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Wow. Thank you for all the great advice. I have read these messages carefully and think I will go with Clive's EI regime (less NO3) as per the calculator and then simply add enough Mg and Ca to reach between 4 and 6 dGH. Will use a 1 litre container for the CSM mix and add the acsorbic acid and the potassium sorbate to the containers when I mix it all up. At least now I can eliminate nutrients when I do run into issues.
 
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