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Ei dosing Vs ADA Liquid Ferts

justin85

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1 Jul 2012
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Birmingham
I have ordered this: Ei Starter Kit - Dry Chemicals - Fertilisers

2 x 500ml Dosing Bottles
1 x 500g Potassium Nitrate
1 x 250g Potassium Phosphate
1 x 500g Magnesium Sulphate
1 x 250g Chelated Trace Elements

But I also have:

ADA Brighty K 250ml
ADA Green Brighty Step 1 250ml
ADA Green Brighty Step 2 250ml
ADA Green Brighty Step 3 250ml

My question is, Can I use the Ei ferts with the ADA or should I just use one or the other?
Also which do you think is the better of the two?
 

pompeyfan

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The ADA is good as a complete system, but you'll probably run out of Brighty K before you use step 2/3 , so it will definately cost more in the long run.

Depending on your plant choices, lighting and CO2 requirements, EI may be the way to go from the outset.
As you already have the powders, you could use the Brighty steps with KNO3 and KPO4 as you go.

I started EI using Tropica's plant nutrition(now plant growth premium) as the trace, as i already had some, and just stuck with it.
Some folks, Tom Barr amongst others, have said the Brighty Steps are a bit weak, as they offer no additional Nitrate and Phosphate, the Aquasoil itself providing 'enough' from the start.
ADA do a 'Specials lights' supplement and beyond adding Brighty K and what you 'gain' from tap water, that is what you are supposed to add for N,P&K (Macro elements), i think.

I have never used the whole system, but the Green Gain and ECA Iron supplements certainly seem to work for me.

Have a look at Ceg's thread 'EI dosing with dry salts' to give you an idea of what's involved with the powders, as it's fairly detailed on ADA liquids...

Cheers, Pete.
 

viktorlantos

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Budapest, Hungary
Go with this or that one. Not mix it.

With ADA way you will be low on nitrate with EI the opposite way.
We do use more ADA in tanks where you have higher grade shrimps or where we need slower growth more nicer RED colors.
You also can have nice reds with EI too with tons of light, but for me the leaner ADA gave better reds all the time.

And now Tom will join in with his mind blowing non-real stem plant tank and my words will fly away :D

Both are good. Do a round with one and switch to the other. You will see some changes on your plants and will gain experience. Since you have both you can do that.

We never used increased ADA ferts on our tanks. Just daily K and Step sometimes ECA but not often. With this dosing regime we successfully grew many plant wonders on hight light, CO2. You can check my flickr page for tank shots.

Used active soils as a substrate. With and without ferts. So not only with Amazonia.
 

justin85

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Thanks for your replys, I had a feeling mixing wouldn't be a good idea but had to ask. Ferts have never been my strong point which is why on my last setup I went with the ADA product because its so simple but this time around I will do more research and learn about it. From my reading this Ei dry ferts seem to be the way most people are going.

Here's the tank/setup I will be starting up: ADA 60P
 

George Farmer

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Hi Justin

It's worth mentioning that the ADA liquid fertiliser range are designed to be used in conjunction with the ADA substrate system, which compensates for the lean nature of the liquid. I note you're using the ADA substrate system so would start off using your nice ADA bottles first.

I'm guessing dosing ADA liquids in a non-enriched substrate may not provide sufficient nutrients.

There's no room for deficiencies with EI, but like Viktor says, there's lots of anecdotal evidence that suggests that limiting some nutrients can improve red colours in some plant species. The only time I've ever managed to grow red Rotala rotundifolia was before I'd ever heard of dosing NPK! But that's purely anecdotal...

EI (with dry powders) is certainly the most cost effective dosing method, and it's relatively simple.
 

justin85

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I got my parcel today from aquariumplantfood with the Ei ferts, so you think its just best to stick with the ADA ferts? I will need to get more brightK if so as I am almost out, I had good results in my 55L tank with just brightK and the steps 1/2/3 which was ada substrate, although my hairgrass wasn't as lush as I wanted.

My substrate in the new tank will be:

Substrate additives
ADA Penac W ADA Penac P ADA Bacter 100 ADA Tourmaline BC ADA Clear Super
Substrate
ADA Power Sand Special M (3 Litres) ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia (9 Litres) ADA Aqua Soil Powder Amazonia (3 Litres)


Still not sure on plants yet, but will be using Co2 and my lights are 30W leds.
 

zanguli-ya-zamba

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Hi
As George says, if you are using full range of ADA substrat (penac, bacter tourmalin, power sand, amazonia) thant you can stick with the ADA ferts range.
I have a 85 L tank with just Amazonia and natural laterite and I was using ADA step 1, no bright K for the first month or two it was ok, but I was having some K problem.
I am now using EI on thins tank since than it's working well.
So for me due to weakness of the ADA line if you don't have the complete substrate range and the complete ferts line you can go with it !
My only doubt is about your lights. maybe it will be to strong for your tank. Maybe with that amount of light you will have to pump a lot of COé and there for a lot more of ADA ferts to respond to that light, so it will be costly. LEDs are strong lights
Maybe I am wrong !!! I am not an expert ...
Can some one tell me if i am wright ??!!

cheers
Zanguli
 

zanguli-ya-zamba

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Sorry there is some mistakes in my post:
"if you don't have the complete substrate range of ADA ( for example only amazonia) you will have deficiency when using ADA liquid ferts"
If you have the complete Range of both than it's ok.
just adjust you ferts to your light, CO2, and Biomass than it works.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I got my parcel today from aquariumplantfood with the Ei ferts, so you think its just best to stick with the ADA ferts?
Once you've run out of ADA, just use the EI salts. All you have to remember is "an ion is an ion is an ion", they don't have any memory of what compound they were in before they went into solution, or what it said on the bottle.

Each potassium (K+) ion is exactly the same as every other K+ ion.

All the Earth's potassium atom were formed in the nuclear furnace of a massive yellow giant star several billion years ago, before being blasted into interstellar space in a supernova explosion. Eventually these atoms coalesced from the inter-stellar dust clouds to form the planets of our solar system, about 4.5 billion years ago. The normal isotope of potassium (K39) decays with a half-life of 1.25 billion years, meaning that half of the K atoms are gone after that span of time, but as potassium makes about 2.6% of the weight of the Earth's crust, and is the seventh most abundant element, we haven't run-out yet.

Same with the ADA substrate additives, I'm sceptical to say the least, but others have used them successfully. Have a look here: <The science behind ADA additives | UK Aquatic Plant Society>

cheers Darrel
 

justin85

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Thanks for all the info! Very helpful as ferts have never been my strong point, which is one reason why I went with ADA ferts in the first place.

My leds will give me 30W which will be 2.3 wpg, They are high output leds and I have read there the equivalent of 40ish watts when compared to T5s....not sure how true this is but I don't think there to much for my tank size, plus I can just raise them up if the light is to intense.


Hi all,



Same with the ADA substrate additives, I'm sceptical to say the least, but others have used them successfully. Have a look here: <The science behind ADA additives | UK Aquatic Plant Society>

cheers Darrel

Very nice read! took ages to work through but found it worth while to real other peoples thoughts on the additives, I am also sceptical but I didn't buy the full tubs (I would not pay that much for something that might not even work) I got 5g of each off a seller on eBay for £10 which I don't mind paying. One thing I would say is, I don't think Takashi Amano would risk his reputation on selling something that does nothing.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
One thing I would say is, I don't think Takashi Amano would risk his reputation on selling something that does nothing.
That is the real point Justin, Amano believes in them, and for a lot of people that is all that matters. I'm probably naturally sceptical and I like to at least see a mechanism for how things might work.

Have a look through this thread: <For Dan ... Spezial N - Nitrogen Fertilizer | UK Aquatic Plant Society>, this looks at mineral nutrition, and has posts from a number of successful aquarists with differing views.

This one has a bit of a look at substrates, and discusses an alternative method for fertilising for low tech. keepers <Low maintainence, long term sustrate | UK Aquatic Plant Society>

cheers Darrel
 

justin85

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Hi all,

That is the real point Justin, Amano believes in them, and for a lot of people that is all that matters. I'm probably naturally sceptical and I like to at least see a mechanism for how things might work.

Me too, like I said I would never pay the price for the full tubs would cost almost £100, I would prefer to add £60 to that and just get a 60P lol

Thanks very much for them links, I will have a read through them later.
 
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