Nathan Hill checks out an EI dosing kit for planted tanks.
There’s much interest in the Estimative Index approach to plant growing, but this doesn’t seem generally embraced by retailers. As many chemicals are involved, some fishkeepers feel that without access to a chemist this method is beyond them.
That’s exactly where Aquarium Plant Food UK comes in with its EI dosing kit.
These foods are all dry, powdered and, unlike many liquid fertilisers in stores, you’re not paying for a bottle of water. You get separate bags of potassium nitrate, potassium phosphate, magnesium sulphate and chelated trace elements — then it’s up to you to make a mixture.
Make your own dosings to suit particular conditions. Some keepers may baulk at the idea of calculating dose rates, but, with the literature provided, this is easy.
Two mixing bottles are included, so you can tailor differing combinations.
Many will love this set’s sheer value for money. For £18 you get a huge amount of food, and keepers of smaller tanks will have a supply for years rather than months.
The powders come with fish-safe antioxidants and preservatives, and the bags are resealable.
Alternatively, invest in Tupperware-style pots or kilner jars and you have plant food that stays good for a long time.
You’re getting 1.5 kg of plant food in this kit and, pound for pound, that’s amazingly cheap. Bearing in mind that a bottle of liquid plant food of 250ml (250g) will cost you more than £7 and is often more than 90% water, you can get a good idea how long such a large amount of dried powder will last.
This product will take all the guesswork out of dosing.
You’re in complete control and can alter dosage of key chemicals based on the response of the plants. That’s something you don’t get with a ready made all-in-one!
I’m using this product on my home planted aquaria. Refilling and mixing isn’t the chore you’d expect it to be, but given that we take such time over our plants surely a few extra seconds to provide a balanced food should be nothing for the committed aquascaper.