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EI vs PPS

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by chubasco, Nov 5, 2005.

  1. chubasco

    chubasco Guru Class Expert

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    I don't understand why there needs to be so much friction between those that
    use EI and PPS. Most of us on this forum are perfectly happy with the "dump
    and flush" method (as the originator of PPS calls it) of EI, and don't have the
    time, money, to invest in continually measuring water parameters. This is in
    reference to a thread MatPat started way back in August that has been
    resurrected on APC, again.

    Bill
     
  2. matpat

    matpat Prolific Poster

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    Re: EI vs PPS

    Hey Bill,

    The thread you are referring to:
    http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/showthread.php?t=8931

    was actually split off of this thread in post #7.
    http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/showthread.php?t=8871

    Several people were actually trying to lend a hand to Frozenoak in getting hiim started with a fertilization routine when some rhetorical questions ( http://humanities.byu.edu/rhetoric/Figures/R/rhetorical%20questions.htm )were asked in post #8. I had requested the thread be moved at post #14 since the discussion was getting off hand and no help was being given to Frozenoak.

    The first thread could have been moved at a better spot in my opinion and the title was selected by the moderator in post #8. Reading the second link may give you some answers to your question. I don't know why there is such animosity towards EI but there definately seems to be. Maybe because it works well?

    I am in the thought stages of trying PPS again since I failed so miserably at it the first time. I'm not one to give up easily ;) I have a lot of questions in the thread that I hope to get answered so that I may have better luck with PPS this time.

    I just haven't decided if I want to go through the bother of weighing out the ferts and mixing up a bunch of liquids and doing the testing required. The response(s) to my questions will probably be the deciding factor in whether I decide to go through the effort of PPS again. If they are answered then I will give it another shot, if not, I will use EI as usual :)

    If this is an inapproriate post, I hope Greg or Tom will remove it :D
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: EI vs PPS

    Matt, not at all.

    The issue was the way they approached it and claimed it was something that is not. PMDD and one of my older articles suggested this in TFH as well as web sites some years ago ,long before. PPS with smaller water changes is what folks did before if they had the test kits and wanted to test.

    But after a few years, it was apparent no one was going to do that and getting them to buy nice test kits was too much and getting them to calibrate the test kits was even worse.

    But folks wanted to argue for the no water change idea.

    But then, they wanted to suggest that was not the issue either.
    So if you do water changes and dose PPS, that is the same as EI.........you just use test kits(or not).

    You are still adding the same nutrients for plant growth and the ratio has always meant little.

    That is no different.

    So it really does get back to the water change issue.
    Autowater changers are simple and a huge time saver.
    Much more than consistenly using test kits and entering data.

    Realitistically, most hobbyists stop testing after they settle in good with their tank, if something goes bad, they test. But.....by then you missed the cause that sent things downhill.

    PPS works well, I already knew that(gee, you think I have never missed a water change every week? 2 weeks? 3? 4?)

    The issue is one of human's habits and CO2. But PPS users and the public will find this out.

    It's hardly error free dosing.
    EI has a broad use since it corrects for most of the dosing issues as well as human habits and CO2.

    PPS will work much better if the users focus a lot more on CO2.
    Virtually everyone that has had issues has CO2 problems in most every case.

    Just like EI.............
    Why? Like EI and the past suggestings, there are enough nutrients for the plants, and light, so all that is left is CO2.

    Our own SFBAAPS Alan is a master autowater changer. I make the water change as easy as possible so that is not an issue.

    If low maintenenace is my goal, I go non CO2 which does not use water changes and still looks good. Excel is a middle ground but can be done for several weeks without water changes.

    If do not like to test as a method, I do test for experimenting/answering a question etc. Some can say the same about a water change. But I need to get in and prune good every week anyway and after a rearrangment without a water change, you often will get a nice algae attack.
    PPS offers no solution for that. If I just leave the plants and only top, then it's less of an issue.

    There are some very good uses for water changes relating to algae.

    Rergards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. Milan

    Milan Prolific Poster

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    Re: EI vs PPS

    May I ask what is the purpose of this thread if not sheer rhetorics? Why didn't you comment on the "resurrection" where it occured, rather then here? Why such "we" vs. "them" philosophy?

    Most of us are here to learn and share information, ... not to watch a football match and cheer over beer and popcorn, and I am seeing this thread exactly as such ...
     
  5. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: EI vs PPS

    Isn't EI a method for relatively lazy hobbiests, while PPS is for those who enjoy doing the measuring of parameters, careful dosing, etc.? I would enjoy the PPS method myself, but the cost of the test kits is more than I want to pay. And, my experience is that testing for the fun of it soon gets very old, and I just "forget" to do it eventually. So, I will use EI, in principle anyway, until I feel I would enjoy the other way enough to justify paying for test kits. I see this type of discussion as nothing more than a pro and con discussion of ways to pursue the hobby, so I appreciate it.
     
  6. Milan

    Milan Prolific Poster

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    Re: EI vs PPS


    To my knowledge, both systems work well. Furthermore, take the EI with testing, and PPS with frequent water changes, and you have a convergence.

    But, that's not the point ... Seems like too much unnecessary hype has been created over the two approaches, and threads like this are meant only to fuel it.
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: EI vs PPS

    Yep.

    I think there is some utility in testing for those that have not done it(testing that is so they at least know how and what occurs) but..............this can be done with EI or PPS(using test kits to gain experience).

    They converge as mentioned.

    I recently just did a 5 week run without a water change on many tanks.
    I like my water changes better as a habit and the cleanliness.

    As mentioned, I did an uprooting without the water change and as predicted, algae bloom.

    So if you do a re work of the tank, the PPS method without the water change is a very bad idea and this issue was known some 10 years ago off the APD.
    Any big reworks require a water change.

    The use of test kits to add/not add nutrients for planted tanks is hardly new(many decades old in the hobby).
    The use of adding KNO3 to drive down PO4 is hardly new(USENET and PMDD).
    The use of a standard dosing solution is hardly new(Various companies and PMDD).

    These things evolved slightly over time.

    The suggestion of not testing and estimating the uptake based on a very high light tank was new. No one suggested that it could work even if many had been doing it all along (The Dutch, Amano, myself and other folks).

    Cheaper and easier for most human habits.
    Both work, I and many others in our local group agree that the water changes help vs not doing them. If you have higher fish loads/feeding etc, this also makes a difference.

    And if you use the water changes to avoid testing, then it's EI.
    That is the main tenent of EI.

    Edward maintains there something special about maintaining the constant K+ level. Of all the macro nutrients, that one has the least impact on plant growth. I've run that nutrient all over the place for a very long time, I've never seen any issue other than deficiecy and even that is very typically rare except with newbies. I also have not seen anyone test the uptake rates of K+. It's been estimated as have the other nutrients folks seldom if ever test. I have a K+ meter and it's quite accurate to 0.5ppm K+, other test kits have a resolution of 10ppm between the scale.

    Folks can try it, then decide which they prefer.
    Still, the automatic water changers make everything easier if that is the goal.

    Why some have such animosity to EI?

    Well, because it was new. Many liked their habits and notions.
    Sour grapes also. EI solved a great number of algae related issues also and made all the test/advice etc go out the window.

    Mostly because they feel it's too much of guess and they have been conditioned to believe the hobby is some exact science that requires monitoring of all these parameters and that they will learn something through all the testing. So they fierecely defend their rational and find a another purpose for the method (no water changes/K+ dosing stable) Many do learn, then they come full circle and end up doing EI.

    As far as work, water change + no testing vs no water changes (or less) + testing are the main issues.

    I think some did not like the advice to do a water change unless something was inherently wrong(eg algae bloom).

    And a well run tank that's in good shape can get away with fewer % and fewer water changes. There are folks in out local group that have gone years without water changes, they do pretty good. Some test, some don't.
    Most everyone is in perfect agreement that at least some weekly water changes make the plants and tank look better in the group.

    I use to be in that test group, but realized that EI was much cheaper, easier than testing and a heck of lot easier to give advice with to solve folk's growth related issues.

    Try giving PPS type advice vs EI advice sometime to a newbie or solve an algae related problem.

    PPS could not solve most of the algae related issues for many folks, I helped out by pointing out the CO2 issue was the reason, not the lack of water changes. That was a key point.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr


















    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. chubasco

    chubasco Guru Class Expert

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    Re: EI vs PPS

    It never occurred to me that someone would take exception to my
    innocent observation, and of course, I'm so sorry. Since I don't want to be
    the recipient of any more of your huffy comments, I'll strive to be less
    observational, and more informative. Thank you very much.

    Bill Ruyle
     
  9. Milan

    Milan Prolific Poster

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    Re: EI vs PPS

    Fine. Appreciated ..
     
  10. detlef

    detlef Subscriber

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    Re: EI vs PPS

    Hi Tom,
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: EI vs PPS

    I think plants can consume more if you look at N:K ratios.
    1ppm per day is enough most likely but it's hard to say since many plants have luxury uptake of both nutrients.

    I sort of doubt they tested it, I think they just used the ratios.
    Unlike N and P, K+ is not bound to any organic fractions.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  12. Milan

    Milan Prolific Poster

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    Re: EI vs PPS

    Tom, what are the Autowater changers? I've never heard of this. Is it DIY, or some commercial stuff? Any links, descriptions ...?
     
  13. Tom Wood

    Tom Wood Guru Class Expert

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    Re: EI vs PPS

    Eh, I say a pox on both their houses! :p

    I do the "test for a while and keep a log, then dose the same amount as you did before when you are too lazy to test, unless it doesn't work then test some more" method. :p :p

    TW
     
  14. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: EI vs PPS

    We in SFBAAPS have been doing this for the last few years, maybe 2-5 years..... Alan has done a lot to promote it and automate his tank system to the nth degree.

    It's fun to a huge number of tanks all ran with solar power as well and he makes money selling the power to PG&E!

    It's a simple float valve and ice water /RO type tubing that drains the water from the sump at one end slow and refills at the other.

    A simple solenoid of electronic flat switch etc can do this and timer.
    You run the drain and fill lines into the wall, or like a wire along the floor baseboards etc to outside or a collection pond etc for the drain.

    For the refill water, most run the tap through a carbon filter.

    Add a pair of dosing pumps for the ferts, the only thing left is pruning/wipe the glass etc.

    Several folks in our club have these set ups and Alan is going to do it as a business I believe.

    I have a semi automated version, I simply turn a valve to drain, turn a valve to fill. This takes me 1.5 hours to drain and refill 300 gallons of water(not tank volume) and prune everything while it refills etc.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  15. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: EI vs PPS

    You are just mad because your new tap sucks. :D
    Don't feel bad, I went from KH 1 GH 3 to KH 14 GH 17 recently also.

    Regards,.
    Tom Barr
     
  16. Tom Wood

    Tom Wood Guru Class Expert

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    Re: EI vs PPS

    LOL

    Man does it ever! :p

    TW
     
  17. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: EI vs PPS

    I got an RO filter and tossed the old one I used from drinking water.
    I use 80% RO/20% tap. This gives me about 3KH/4GH.
    I also made sure to get a 100gpd Unit, not a wimpy one.

    Roxanne Bittman was right about few plants, but many do quite well in this hard water.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  18. Milan

    Milan Prolific Poster

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    Re: EI vs PPS

    Tom, don't take me wrong, but this, what you are proposing can only shake my head. Ripping through walls, running pipes in living rooms, solar panels ... Are you serious? It may be an option for a fish store, or if you decide to build your house around the tank, ... but for a hobbyist ...???!!

    Most of the folks that I know of use buckets (including myself), because they don't even want to run hoses across expensive flooring. Some use pythons, like you do ...

    Hardware wise, being a techy myself, I can tell you this system is waaay more complex than a simple level switch and a couple of solenoids/valves. Where is the redundancy? You don't want to bet your house on a simple level switch or a snail/debris that may decide to venture into it, resulting in having a beach front living room or your fish going terrestrial. Would you enjoy your vacation leaving this contraption behind? How about insurance agency? Would they be willing to cover for potential losses?

    Tom, you have to consider that massive/frequent water change is an issue for many people. Don't take this as an attack on EI. It works great if you commit yourself to this. I personally take a great pleasure in reading your research stuff, but I can't give you a credit for being practical in some cases.
     
  19. turbomkt

    turbomkt Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: EI vs PPS

    Did somebody say solar panels?

    Here's my house... http://turbomkt.aquariumgarden.com/Solar_Power

    And it had nothing to do with aquariums. It just happens to have helped with the electric bill ($300 per year with a hot tub and A/C). And that's in San Diego with SDG&E (A Sempra Energy Company ;) ).

    Also, the level of effort to do some of what Tom talks about is going to be different for everyone. For me, it's easy to bring a garden hose into the house to fill the 50g. I also know people that have plumbing of some sort within easy reach of their tank...
     
  20. Tom Wood

    Tom Wood Guru Class Expert

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    Re: EI vs PPS

    I plumbed a supply and drain line to a living room closet that I converted to a built-in bookcase with a built-in tank. One hole through the exterior wall, drain to a flower bed and a 1/4" water supply line run from a nearby exterior faucet. It can be done, but things need to be in the right place to begin with.

    TW
     
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