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    The Estimative Index (EI) Method
    The EI method of aquarium fertilising, using products such as LCA All in One Premium, aims to supply an excess of all nutrients so that plants can grow without deficiency. At the end of each week of fertilising, a large (50%) water change is performed to reset levels back to baseline. 
    So why use the EI method of fertilising? It’s tricky to precisely measure how much of each nutrient any planted tank will need, as different plants will have varying nutrient requirements, along with variables of lighting, CO2, water parameters – you get the idea!
    With EI dosing of micro and macro nutrients in surplus, you can be sure that all of your plants are able to get the nutrients they need regardless of species and other variables mentioned above. Knowing this, planted tank keepers can then focus on fine tuning lighting, CO2 and water parameters to achieve the best possible growth.
    With plants growing well under the EI method, they are able to outcompete algae as well. Algae will appear in aquariums typically if there isn’t enough dominant, healthy plant mass to use the available nutrients. If your plants are healthy and you have plenty of them, they will use the nutrients – if they’re not healthy, they won’t be as “hungry”, so algae appears to eat up what they can’t use.
    There are many other benefits to the EI method of fertilisation. Plant growth will be faster and newly planted stems will establish quickly, so you can fill out your planted tank much faster than with lean dosing. Growth is generally more lush and stems more hardy. 
    Because you are dosing directly to the water column, plants are able to absorb the nutrients directly through their leaves and transport them to growth tips faster than through root zone fertilisation. Water column fertilisation also means your aquarium won’t have to rely on an enriched substrate.
    If any plants show signs of distress, you can rule out nutrient deficiencies and focus on other potential issues instead, making it much easier to diagnose problems.
    What aquariums suit the EI Method?
    As Estimative Index fertilisation relies on concentrated nutrient dosing, it’s best suited to aquariums that are heavily planted with a mix of fast and slow growing plants. 
    It can be used in low-tech setups providing plant mass is dense (>70% planted) and predominately comprised of fast growing species. High-tech setups with pressurised CO2 will greatly benefit from the EI method of dosing as plants are metabolising and growing at a much faster rate and will easily make use of the nutrients.
    LCA All InOne Premium uses the EI Method of fertilisation and is ideal for these setups.
    If your aquarium doesn’t have many faster growing plants, if your plant mass is low (less than 50% of substrate planted) or if you already have algae issues, EI dosing may not be suitable for you. Fertilisers such as LCA Low Tech Complete or LCA Np Free may better suit the needs of your planted aquarium.
    It should also be noted that some plants require low nitrates to achieve red colouration, so if you want to get the best colour out of plants such as Rotala species, consider a more lean dosing approach with fertiliser such as LCA Advanced Red.

    From The LCA Team
    Every Solution For Your Aquarium