Estimative Index - Simplified Fertilisers for Planted Aquariums



Im not the most technically minded person when it comes to aquariums. Ive always kept things simple in the past but recently, I've wanted to really get more from my planted aquariums. Since i began looking into various methods of achieving this, I have discovered a method first created by Tom Barr which he calls the Estimative Index method.

The science behind this method comes from the theory that aquatic plants store nutrients for when the dry season comes. The plants soak up as much nutrients when they are available and thus providing substance during times when they cannot take in the required substances.
  • Nitrate
  • Potassium
  • Phosphate
  • Iron
The above compounds are the four basic nutrients plants require to thrive. Over the years this theory has not changed a great deal. the only added nutrient to the mix is magnesium. In the early days, this method was carried out using salts and based on various calculations; plant mass, tank volume and so on. When introducing these elements into your aquarium they are separated into two categories;

Macronutrient
  • Nitrate
  • Phosphate
  • Potassium
Micronutrient
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
The method consists of dosing Macronutrients 3 days a week and the Micronutrients 2 times weekly. This method overloads the plants with all the nutrients the need, a 50% water change is required at the end of the week to clear out any unused nutrients. The process starts over again on the Monday.

Personally, I didn't find the idea of all that calculating appealing which is why I wasn't keen to apply the EI method to my own plants.

During all my research into the planted tank world, I came across a company called CO2 Art. This company specialises in everything you need to run a successful Planted aquarium. They have developed a product which simplifies the entire EI process. They call there product, EI Easy Way! and that it is.

Their method is simple:
  1. Monday, Wednesday and Friday you add 1 squirt of Macro for every 10l of water, 
  2. Tuesdays and Fridays add 1 squirt of Micro for every 10l of water
  3. Saturday or Sunday do a 50% water change to remove any excess nutrients
This is a very simple method that even I can follow. I have received this product and will be documenting my progress on the blog weekly so we can see just how much aquatic plants flourish with these vital nutrients.

These products are available via the CO2Art website at £9.99 per bottle.


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