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Thread: EI and nitrate in tap water?

  1. #1

    EI and nitrate in tap water?

    I have been dosing with EI using the basic macro and micro solutions from James' Planted Tanks page. The macro solution (Potassium Nitrate and Potassium Phosphate) I add 6ml every other day except Saturday which I believe works out at 3ppm per day or 18ppm per week (I have about 80 litres of water).

    My tap water already contains 30ppm nitrates. I am having very high Nitrate reading at the end of each week (80ppm+). Before I started EI I was getting readings around 10ppm. I believe the objective is to aim for 20-30ppm nitrates. I do a 50% water change each week to reset the system. I know that testing is not always necessary with EI, but I am just trying to get a feel for how the system functions.

    I am thinking that I should reduce the Potassium Nitrate in the macro solution as it is not needed. Is this correct? Could the tap water in addition to the macro solution explain the high nitrate readings? Or could it be something else?

    My ammonia and nitrite are always zero. I am using Easycarbo (1.5ml per day) and have just above 2 wpg lighting. The tank is about 50% planted. I also have a slight green algae problem developing.

    Any thoughts? I am a novice at this sort of thing so apologies if the question seems trite.
    My 100 litre tank: 6 Cherry Barbs (2 male 4 female), 6 Platies (2 male 4 female + 4 fry), 2 Dwarf Gouramis (1 male 1 female)

    My 200 litre tank: fishless cycling.

    My aquarium log

  2. #2
    So you are not using any CO2 gas then?
    Just substitute K2SO4 for KNO3.

    If the tap has 20-30ppm, this should be fine for such a tank.
    If you added CO2 and a fully planted thicker tank, then maybe adding say an extra 10ppm per week would be fine with this tap.

    EI is never meant to be used regardless of other factors, however .........doing so will do no harm to livestock, plants, or induce algae.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Barr View Post
    So you are not using any CO2 gas then?
    Just substitute K2SO4 for KNO3.

    If the tap has 20-30ppm, this should be fine for such a tank.
    If you added CO2 and a fully planted thicker tank, then maybe adding say an extra 10ppm per week would be fine with this tap.

    EI is never meant to be used regardless of other factors, however .........doing so will do no harm to livestock, plants, or induce algae.
    Thank you for your quick reply. I am not yet using CO2 gas (maybe I will in the near future).

    I will get some K2SO4 and try that.
    My 100 litre tank: 6 Cherry Barbs (2 male 4 female), 6 Platies (2 male 4 female + 4 fry), 2 Dwarf Gouramis (1 male 1 female)

    My 200 litre tank: fishless cycling.

    My aquarium log

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by CletePurcel View Post
    Thank you for your quick reply. I am not yet using CO2 gas (maybe I will in the near future).

    I will get some K2SO4 and try that.
    This assumes that the NO3 is in fact 20-30ppm from the tap, unless you have a confirmed method that shows this and it does not vary much, you need to be careful there.
    If so, then K2SO4 at roughly the same dosing as KNO3 should work.

    Still, for non CO2 methods, you do not typically do water changes, EI is not appropriate for that goal or method.

    So Non CO2 methods under the EI sub forum for more details there.

    If you have to do water changes, say at least 1-2x a month, then Excel dosing and increasing the non CO2 dosing about 2-3x will suffice.

  5. #5
    Thanks again. I will check the other forum out.

    According to my water board the tap water is 25ppm NO3. My testing puts it higher than that (but given the inaccuracy of the nitrate test kits I cannot be sure).
    My 100 litre tank: 6 Cherry Barbs (2 male 4 female), 6 Platies (2 male 4 female + 4 fry), 2 Dwarf Gouramis (1 male 1 female)

    My 200 litre tank: fishless cycling.

    My aquarium log

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Barr View Post

    Still, for non CO2 methods, you do not typically do water changes, EI is not appropriate for that goal or method.
    I have seen information on other web sites that EI can be used with liquid carbon:

    For example (from a site that sells the raw fertilizer chemistry): "[A discussion of EI nutrient levels] ... The other important requirement is CO2. This can be added as a gas but will require an expensive set up – regulator, needle valve, solenoid valve as well as a gas cylinder. A more convenient method is to use a product such as EasyCarbo ..."

    Are these guys just trying to get people to buy their products?
    My 100 litre tank: 6 Cherry Barbs (2 male 4 female), 6 Platies (2 male 4 female + 4 fry), 2 Dwarf Gouramis (1 male 1 female)

    My 200 litre tank: fishless cycling.

    My aquarium log

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    EI can be used with Easycarbo. A lot of people do this here (The Netherlands) and I promote it. Why? You can get a nice average rate of plant growth, plants develop well and no or less algae (Why don't I do it myself

    This way you use around half EI dosing as well as 50% waterchanges. It also means that in your case with 50% waterchanges the tapwater already provides most of the NO3 you need, assuming your measurements are correct. So I would dose no more than another 5 to 10 ppm NO3 per week. You can even try to do without nitrate dosing and see where you end up.

    If you also use Profito (traces) from the same line of products, K2SO4 addition is not necessary, because this product consists most of K+.

    Your green algae is caused by using a lot of light without CO2. Try to use less, by reducing intensity (no reflectors, less bulbs) or duration (8 hours).
    Last edited by dutchy; 03-31-2011 at 10:09 AM.
    regards,
    dutchy.

    My 2011, 2012 and 2013 AGA aquascaping contest entries:
    http://www.barrreport.com/album.php?u=21013

  8. #8
    Thanks a lot.

    I will try and reduce the dosing. I think I will eventually get a proper CO2 setup, but the easycarbo will have to do for the time being.
    My 100 litre tank: 6 Cherry Barbs (2 male 4 female), 6 Platies (2 male 4 female + 4 fry), 2 Dwarf Gouramis (1 male 1 female)

    My 200 litre tank: fishless cycling.

    My aquarium log

  9. #9
    UKAPS has some info and good folks that can help modify EI to address the goal better. But I do not think any of them suggest doing full EI with only Excel/Easy carb etc.
    It's mor elike 1/3 to 1/2 at most and then water changes maybe once a week, but 1-2x a month are more typical goals.

  10. #10
    Hello again. I have registered on the UKAPS site. Thanks for the advice.

    I have decided to experiment with a yeast based system on my smaller 25 gallon tank (the Hagen Nutrafin one). If this works should I then dose full EI or still use a reduced dosage?

    [I think I will invest in a full CO2 system on my new 50 gallon (JBL M602 or something like that) when it is cycled.]

    I also checked my tap water for phosphates and it is off the chart (8ppm).

    This implies that I don't need much nitrate or any phosphate at all as my tap water seems to have it. That just leaves Potassium and trace.

    So if I just use K2SO4 and trace mix, will I be OK?

    Thanks again.
    My 100 litre tank: 6 Cherry Barbs (2 male 4 female), 6 Platies (2 male 4 female + 4 fry), 2 Dwarf Gouramis (1 male 1 female)

    My 200 litre tank: fishless cycling.

    My aquarium log

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