Demystifying the Estimative Index

Discussion in 'Planted Tank Equipment' started by Silikube, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. Silikube
    Offline

    Silikube Moderator Staff Member

    • Global moderator
    53%
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2006
    Messages:
    904
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Somerset West
    The Estimative Index

    Overview:

    In essence, the basic principles behind EI are that, "excess"
     
  2. wearsbunnyslippers
    Offline

    wearsbunnyslippers Administrator Staff Member

    • Super Admin
    23%
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Messages:
    6,333
    Likes Received:
    1,122
    Trophy Points:
    223
    Location:
    Johannesburg South
    nice man, thanks for taking the time to put all this down :)
     
  3. philfarm
    Offline

    philfarm Algae harvester

    • APSA Member
    53%
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Messages:
    597
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Centurion
    Yeah its very well put, looking forward to discussing it with you in more depth sometime...
     
  4. SuperDave
    Offline

    SuperDave Algae harvester

    • APSA Member
    40%
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    26
    Location:
    Centurion
    Thanxs a mil Silicube!

    Now it makes more sense to me as well...

    Just mailed Warren Chem but they only sell in minimum 25 kg bag's it seems...
    Have anyone else stumbled across a supplier, maybe in the Pretoria to Midrand
    region? Or Joburg for that matter?
     
  5. Silikube
    Offline

    Silikube Moderator Staff Member

    • Global moderator
    53%
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2006
    Messages:
    904
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Somerset West
    I hope you don't mind me answering some of your questions out in the open Superdave!


    Yes, wow, that is very pricey indeed.

    You can use the Lenolax as a phosphate source. Many forum members have, and I am not aware of any problems caused by dosing with Lenolax. Me, personally, when I use chems to dose, I prefer dosing the single element, just makes it easier to know exactly what goes in the water.

    Regarding your light, well light is not always an easy topic to work on. It depends on a few things that dictate how much light you actually end up shedding on your plants.

    Your levels are good. A rough calculation, and I would put you in the, up to 4wpg range. Further factors to take into consideration when looking at your lighting would be: reflectors, they help a great deal in collecting and sending light back onto your plants. The height at which your "light fixture" is situated above the water also affects how much light your plants get. And thirdly, since you are using T5's you are already running more light than conventional T8's, and could get away with less as they produce more intense light.

    Your colour temperature (Kelvin) is fine. A little bit on the warm side, it could be brightened by adding a whiter tube, say in the 7000K to 10000K range. But that is purely personal choice really.

    I think that you could even start off with less light for now. I am not sure if you have any CO2 running?? If not, I would suggest you look into getting yourself some. When running with higher light, you drive up your nutrient demand, and if the plants are not fed enough algae can take advantage :mad:

    Not sure how long this setup has been up and running, but slowly introduce, and increase your light levels and exposure times. This helps a lot in keeping "start up" algae under control. I often only start with one tube and a mere 4 hours of light. And only after a month or 2, do I start increasing the photo-period.

    Regarding the soil substrate. It does not sound like you have any additives in your substrate. So you might run out of available nutrients sooner than later with so much light. At that point you might have to supplement your nutrients by dosing. But until then, let the plants settle and respond to their new enviroment. You could add tiny amounts of micros, if you have some flourish or any other generic plant food lying around. Only start seriously dosing after you see they are showing defficiencies, otherwise, you could be feeding the algae.

    Hope this helps.
    Regards
    Ruben
     
  6. SuperDave
    Offline

    SuperDave Algae harvester

    • APSA Member
    40%
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    26
    Location:
    Centurion
    Hi Ruben!

    Don't mind at all...! Thanxs for the info!

    Truth is I haven't started re-doing the 3 footer yet. I'm still trying to gather
    everything I'm going to need...
    But I did put on the new canopy and that soon gave me a nice green pea soup
    for all my efforts! :mad: So I'm only running 2 lights and trying to get rid of
    the algae.

    What I have done is set-up a hex tank with mineralized top soil(2,5cm) and
    river sand(2,5cm).
    http://gwapa.org/wordpress/articles/mineralized-soil-substrate/

    Planted with 1 Amazon sword and lots of Lilaeopsis brasiliensis(broken into small clumps) around the sword.
    2 x 26watt Compact fluorescent bulbs, running at 6 hours with a 3 hour
    break in the middle.
    A ruff calculation on the tank volume probably between 80 and 90 liters...
    Tank water height is round about 45 cm.

    This tank will be 3 weeks old this weekend. Got some brown algae but that
    could probably be expected.

    I'm waiting for this tank to cycle then I'll redo the 3 footer with the same
    substrate and DIY CO2 with lots of plants...!

    Don't want to high-jack your EI thread to much Ruben...!

    Will then use the enema stuff till I can get my hands on the proper stuff!
    Also read that instead of MgSO4(Magnesium sulfate), Epsom salt, that you should
    rather use dolomite...that I have a lot of! 20kg's!! ;D

    Hope you had a good voting day!
    Thanks again Ruben!
     
  7. Silikube
    Offline

    Silikube Moderator Staff Member

    • Global moderator
    53%
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2006
    Messages:
    904
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Somerset West
    Easiest way to create some Green water would be excess NH4 and strong lights. Taking it slow is the way to go! You could try a 4 day total black out followed by a couple of waterchanges.


    Personally, I do not subscribe to the "siesta period" notion. I'd much rather have a noon burst lighting cycle than a midday "siesta"


    Do yourself a favour here and get a decent pressurized CO2 system. You seems serious enough about your plants! DIY CO2 is a great fun way of adding CO2 but is way to uncontrollable and the novelty will eventually wear off.

    Now, this is very interesting, I would love to hear what you heard about why dosing MgSO4 is not such a good idea??
     
  8. SuperDave
    Offline

    SuperDave Algae harvester

    • APSA Member
    40%
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    26
    Location:
    Centurion
    Hehe! As I've experienced lately it's just about the only way to go!

    Yeah, I screwed that one up badly but would love to sort it out before I redo
    the whole tank. Just in case it happens again.
    Did try the 4-5 day black-out but it seems to have been in vain...
    Lights is also 6 hours with a 3 hour gap. Apparently higher plant life
    doesn't mind the gap but lower, algae, do...confuses them or something!

    Daphnia would also work but for that I need to take out the fish!

    I'm going to save up for pressurized CO2 system...want it badly! But in the meantime I thought playing around with the DIY will give me some experience...

    For the life of me can't remember where I read about the dolomite or if they meant it's rather a substitute for the MgSO4...could have been on PMDD as well.
    Will check if I can find it again...
    You could probably shed some light if the one could be swopped for the other?

    Is there a big difference in PMDD and EI?

    So if I stick to the following I should be fine?
    - K2SO4(Nature's choice "no salt" sodium free salt)
    - KH2PO4(Lenolax)
    - KNO3(Salt peter)
    - MgSO4(Epsom salt)

    Also going to test the tap water at the SABS here in Pretoria(Brooklyn). It's
    probably a very good idea to know what is in your water...
     
  9. wearsbunnyslippers
    Offline

    wearsbunnyslippers Administrator Staff Member

    • Super Admin
    23%
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Messages:
    6,333
    Likes Received:
    1,122
    Trophy Points:
    223
    Location:
    Johannesburg South
    i am alternating between equilibrium and dolomite instead of K2SO4 and MgSO4 this also adds calcium...
     
  10. neilh
    Offline

    neilh Algae harvester

    • APSA Member
    40%
    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    26
    Location:
    JHB
    WBS, where do you get the dolomite from?
     
  11. wearsbunnyslippers
    Offline

    wearsbunnyslippers Administrator Staff Member

    • Super Admin
    23%
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Messages:
    6,333
    Likes Received:
    1,122
    Trophy Points:
    223
    Location:
    Johannesburg South
    its sold as lime at most nurseries. if you look on the back, it is dolomitic lime...
     
  12. plantbrain
    Offline

    plantbrain Noob

    • APSA Member
    55%
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Locating some of these products should be somewhat easy in SA..........other places can be rather tough, agricultural supply places are the cheapest, then with 25Kg, you can sell the rest off to other hobbyist ;D

    It is what we do here in the States.

    CO2 and good lighting is the other harder things to source in various places.
    We have been threatening to come to SA for a few years now.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  13. shihr
    Offline

    shihr Administrator Staff Member

    • Super Admin
    23%
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Messages:
    8,863
    Likes Received:
    1,786
    Trophy Points:
    223
    Location:
    Edenvale
    Please Come?? these pet stores need some major help!!
     
  14. plantbrain
    Offline

    plantbrain Noob

    • APSA Member
    55%
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Well, you folks have a shipping issue for brands and relatively small market near as I can tell? Maybe there's a huge group, I'm not sure. Australia has similar problems but they are close and have strong ties to Singapore and China.

    Europe is isolated in some ways, and things cost more there.
    USA lacks some stuff, but is has been doing better for the last 15 years slow and surely.
    The UK has changed a lot and a few other locations as well.

    Still, sourcing products is a challenge for your group.
    CO2, good even lighting, dry ferts, nice aquariums/stands, hard scaping materials etc.

    This is why your club and forum is so important. The group is far far stronger than the individual and much more likely to find and buy certain products, or locate a good local source for say, driftwood.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  15. Dirk B
    Offline

    Dirk B Aquascaper

    • APSA Member
    73%
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    Messages:
    2,000
    Likes Received:
    1,087
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Location:
    Somerset West, South Africa
    Hi Silikube,

    Thanks for adding my fertilizer name to those that you have listed. The Afrikaans members of the forum refer to my ferts as "Dirk se Druppels" and the English members refer to them as "Dirk's secret drops" so I now refer to them as DSD fertilizers.

    However, I would like to point out that my ferts do not just include a trace element mixture but that they are a complete set of fertilizers incorporating the full EI dosage principle. However, I have made the use a lot more simple.

    It also needs to be mentioned that in most areas in South Africa the water is too soft for normal plant aquatic plant (as opposed to Europe and the USA where tap water is much harder) and Calcium and Magnesium need to be added to the water. Again I have included this with my fertilizers. In order to make it easier for the aquarist, I have also formulated my fertilizers so that you can use three options:

    1. What I call the low tech option, which just adds Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium as well as traces. THis is for the average aquarist who wants good plant growth but does not want to go the intensive EI route.

    2. What I call the medium tech option, which consists of the low tech option plus EI, in other words instead of adding dry fertilizers where you have the hassle of weighing off everything, you just dose a certain volume which contains exactly the same as what you have specified above.

    3. The so-called high tech option which includes low and medium tech options, but then additionally has a fertilizer fluid which adds carbonate hardness so that you can use CO2 fertilization as well.

    What I have also changed in these formulations is that where there were biochemical errors in the formulations that you have listed at the start of this thread (and there a number of errors) I have corrected these and use the corrected formulas in my fertilizers. For the record, I would just like to state that I am a professor of biochemistry at Stellenbosch University, as a result of which I have the professional background and experience for development of these fertilizers.

    Finally, I would just like to state that my fertilizer solutions are not expensive, and that it means that you do not need to buy any chemicals at ridiculous prices. If you want to purchase my fertilizers, I supply them by mail order, and you can send me a PM with your private email address and then I can send you the relevant information.

    Many thanks and kind regards,

    Dirk Bellstedt
     
  16. wearsbunnyslippers
    Offline

    wearsbunnyslippers Administrator Staff Member

    • Super Admin
    23%
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Messages:
    6,333
    Likes Received:
    1,122
    Trophy Points:
    223
    Location:
    Johannesburg South
    this is why i contacted you about the manzanita, a few guys are really interested in getting some over and would share the shipping costs.
     
  17. ClaudeS
    Offline

    ClaudeS Noob

    • APSA Member
    55%
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Location:
    Linmeyer, Johannesburg
    Re: DCD mixture and Fe chelate liquid.

    Good evening Dirk,

    I am well pleased to read about your successful DCD mixture.

    I am a complete novice within the "Planted Tank" concept. Having said that I am having great success with several recommedations taken from reputed expets across the world.

    I would however love to get your magic potion for my next tank.

    Please be so kind as to give me your contact details so that I can visit with you some, tap some of your experience and buy your DCD blend and concentrated Fe additive.

    You can also call me on 082 452 9052 when you have some time available.

    Kind regards
    ClaudeS
     
  18. Trev Pleco
    Offline

    Trev Pleco Algae destroyer

    • APSA Member
    23%
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    5,762
    Likes Received:
    1,760
    Trophy Points:
    223
    Location:
    Constantia, Cape Town
    Dirk is not on here much, perhaps you will get a quicker response on the other forum, bud
     
  19. JP01
    Offline

    JP01 Moderator Staff Member

    • Global moderator
    73%
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Messages:
    6,091
    Likes Received:
    559
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Location:
    Benoni
    Re: DCD mixture and Fe chelate liquid.

    Claude we have all the nice ferts available now in SA, Tropica is here and is available at Loolilocks! The seachem Fe you can get about at any LFS.
     
  20. FransCronje
    Offline

    FransCronje Noob

    • APSA Member
    90%
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Heidelberg GP
    I am on the EI index, but my plaster of paris make some clumbs in the bottel, must i change the Ca source or what?
    Thanx
     

Share This Page