P.P.S. and dosing regimes generally

dazzer1975

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So, anyone have experience of using this dosing regime?

The more I read about it the better it seems, and I have also read a few posts where basically Edward has been suggesting E.I. can actually be problematic when trying to counter certain problems.

What are the other dosing regimes out there, seems to me, there are essentially 4:

E.I.

P.P.S.

Dosing in accordance to what the plants tell you

Dosing in accordance to a complete product line, i.e. ada or seachem etc

Are there any more options in terms of dosing regimes out there?

The product line up is out for me due to cost, but I also have to say that, while I am certainly no chemist, the dry powders, being the raw nutrients required, cant be beaten in any case? I mean, anything other contained within those products that the plants dont need are superfluous, and lets face it, the plants cant see the fancy packaging.

reading the plants comes with time and experience, I am starting to pick up on it, however, I am not dosing in accordance to what I see, with the exception of potassium or calcium defficiencies in which case I just top up alongside the e.i. dosing.

E.I. is basically a sledge hammer approach and while is extremely easy to follow, and may well produce favourable results, can cause problems with lifestock and for me, is starting to bother me regarding the subtlety, or rather, lack of, with this approach

P.P.S. looks to be the answer we have all been looking for?

What are your experiences and opinions on any and all of the above dosing regimes and are there any more dosing regimes out there that people have used?
 

VaughnH

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PPS is just another dosing method, but one that depends on testing for all of the nutrients and trying to bring them up using premixed concentrated fertilizers in water. Two problems: One is the obvious one - you need to calibrate all of your test kits to do this meaningfully. Another is that Edward makes some assumptions which have not been proven to be correct. But, people do use versions of PPS successfully.
 

trcpdx

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dazzer1975;11846 said:
E.I. is basically a sledge hammer approach and while is extremely easy to follow, and may well produce favourable results, can cause problems with lifestock and for me, is starting to bother me regarding the subtlety, or rather, lack of, with this approach.

What problems would those be?
 

dazzer1975

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Taken from APC PPS Discussion Thread - Page 5 - Aquatic Plant Central- aquascaping...a living art last post on page 5

One major difference that I see in what APC practitioners recomend vs. classical EI is that they see the index as indicating minimum values and have escalated ppm recomendations. Tom Barr for example, can often be observed claiming that much higher ppm values will not have detrimental effects. This implies that excess is preferable to shortage. While these concentrations may not often produce noticable algae problems I have observed that they can be quite detrimental to the health of fish.

My personal husbandry practice has backed off of daily supplementation and now includes a rest day. It is as follows: 1st day - 1/4 tsp KNO3 + 1/4 tsp enema, 2nd day - 10 ml TMG, 3rd day - rest, repeat previous 3 day cycle, then on day seven do a 10 gal. WC with 1/4 tsp Epsom salt, 1/4 tsp CaCO3 and 10 ml TMG. Tank size is 60 gal with 190 watts of light for 10 hours. Fish health has improved.

also
Yes, also better for the fish, they are healthier and live longer.
written by Edward in this thread:

50 ppm Ca and still Ca deficiency - Aquatic Plant Central- aquascaping...a living art

Anyway, apart from that, I would like a mature adult discussion regarding my first post, not who can piss higher tom or edward or anyone else, all I want to do is maximise my plant growing capabilities.
 

Tom Barr

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dazzer1975;11846 said:
So, anyone have experience of using this dosing regime?

Yes.
Several memebrs did this about 10 years ago in our club.
Some of the most observant hobbyists I've yet to meet still to this date.
Myself and them as well came to the conclusion, as has Oliver Knott, CAU, Amano, Jeff and Mike Senske that large frequent water changes are essential for good conditions for fish and plants.

But if you wanna listen to Edward talk and buy into to all that, go for it.

The more I read about it the better it seems, and I have also read a few posts where basically Edward has been suggesting E.I. can actually be problematic when trying to counter certain problems.

Such as?
I've not found any issues with even the most finicky of plants, of which I can illustrate excellent helth and detail out a wide range of tap water conditions that the plants will do very well in.

He loves to suggest his method is better than everyone else's, but beyond that, I think ragging on another's method rather than understanding it and the goals/trade offs is simply a poor argument. :rolleyes:

What are the other dosing regimes out there, seems to me, there are essentially 4:

E.I.
P.P.S.
Dosing in accordance to what the plants tell you
Dosing in accordance to a complete product line, i.e. ada or seachem etc
Are there any more options in terms of dosing regimes out there?

Yes, non CO2, Excel, Non carbon enrichment, low light, med light high light, substrate fertilization, something Edward rails against.

My older version of list of levels and parameters, it's about 10 years old now, basically EI, with testing. PPS with water changes: EI.
PPS with water changes and testing: List of levels and parameters.

No water changes: folks doing non carbon enrichment knew this at least a decade ago, personally I knew it about 20 years ago.

The product line up is out for me due to cost, but I also have to say that, while I am certainly no chemist, the dry powders, being the raw nutrients required, cant be beaten in any case? I mean, anything other contained within those products that the plants dont need are superfluous, and lets face it, the plants cant see the fancy packaging.

I've strongly argued this to be the case.
Some folks less knowing and certainly having not done much homework on the topics put forth by various companies seem to believe that these relative (to large agricultural corporations and farming research, 30 billion$ in CA alone per year) dinky fish hobby companies are going to hone in on some secret that's not already known in the agricultural field.

Not very likely.
Hormones, amino acids, tannic extracts and so forth, various chelators for cations etc.

None of these things are particularly research the hobby companies have done, they are taking research from something else and trying to use that for support.

Not research of their own,.

Of all the companies with the largest stake in such research, Topica, Oriental Aquarium are the two largest. They are the only ones that really do much there. FAN in the USA to some degree also, mainly with Tissue culture methods........not aquariums.
Few horticultural hobby companies grow plants in CO2 submersed tanks.

So there is little consideration given.

But we hear every 6-18 months about some new "miracle growth accelerator". increases your sword plant's growth by 50%" yada yada.......

None of this stuff works.
The molecular DNA based amplification methods for increasing growth/crop production also have interwoven limitations within the whole plant.

Plants grow for defind reasons, stick with those and let the fruity nerdy researchers mess with the other stuff.

I could make 10 solutions that I could chargeb 19.99$ for a bottle and make them sound all nice and furry and there would be a slight impact on the plants and some folks would swear it cures cancer.

But that is not the angle I do in this hobby.
I am not keen on BS and nor BSing the hobbyists.

It's a diservice to this hobby.

reading the plants comes with time and experience, I am starting to pick up on it, however, I am not dosing in accordance to what I see, with the exception of potassium or calcium defficiencies in which case I just top up alongside the e.i. dosing.

Sounds good, you'll get it and figure it out soon enough.

E.I. is basically a sledge hammer approach and while is extremely easy to follow, and may well produce favourable results, can cause problems with lifestock

That's a lie. I've tested it, and I've gone way beyond the limits of EI thatb I suggest.

160ppm was the breaking point for NO3
100+ ppm for K
10ppm for PO4
200mls of Flourish in 20 gallon tank for a week
GH: 24 degrees for several years

Note: no fish str4esses where evr observed, Discus, rare wild softwater fish, common fish, ottos/cardinals, shrimps did die at 160 ppm and above at 3 day exposure.

Now ask Edward for specific data rather than political BS spin talk.
If he has hard factual data, have him pony it up, but every time I ask, he never answers.......funny how that works.

When folks talk crap about other methods, they need to have actually tested it prior to bad mouthing it.

Sledge hammer?
Are you taking Edward's talking spin points? :rolleyes:

and for me, is starting to bother me regarding the subtlety, or rather, lack of, with this approach

P.P.S. looks to be the answer we have all been looking for?

Now you sound like Edward, not a newbie.
How is a range of 10-20ppm of NO3 a sledge hammer?
Math does not lie. Nor does algae and observations of the plants.
EI has a very straight forward simple mathmatical formula.
PPS relies on test kits.
Test kits, poorly calibrated ones at that, many aquarist don't calibrate them also.They just believe what someone else says about them rather than calibrating them themselves.

I'm much less inclined to put so much faith into a test kit and PPS when Edward is not very rigorous about measurement of CO2.

Now gicven that N is 1.5 % of the biomass of a plant and C is 45%, I think it makes far more sense to test for CO2 in a rgorous manner than PPS and all the time that method waste and micro management issues.

Folks chase their tail, when they should be growing plants and focusing on
CO2.

What are your experiences and opinions on any and all of the above dosing regimes and are there any more dosing regimes out there that people have used?

Rather than asking, try it and see.

The proof is in the pudding.

State the lighting, tank size and I'll suggest something, then you can try PPS.

Then you can decide.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Professor Myers

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This has a very familiar ring to it ???

Or perhaps it's the odor ? I am acheiving my best results so far using EI...But I've only been keeping planted aquaria for a little over 39 years ? ;) Something new may come along ? Again !!! :p
 

dazzer1975

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Tom Barr;11865 said:
Myself and them as well came to the conclusion, as has Oliver Knott, CAU, Amano, Jeff and Mike Senske that large frequent water changes are essential for good conditions for fish and plants.

Excellent, thanks for that, I have always preferred the idea of water changes anyway regardles of fertilisation issues as the build of compounds (not a scientist maybe thats the wrong term? will just increase as the water gets topped up through evaporation as opposed to doing the water changes)
But if you wanna listen to Edward talk and buy into to all that, go for it.

I am certainly not into allegiences and taking sides, all I know is that there is a wealth of information out there, and being a newbie and someone who does not and probably will never understand the detailed chemical processes at work, I just have to try and find my way through all the info out there.

He loves to suggest his method is better than everyone else's, but beyond that, I think ragging on another's method rather than understanding it and the goals/trade offs is simply a poor argument. :rolleyes:

Which is why I have posted this here as well as other forums, I wanted to garner a wide range of information and experiences regarding my post, and as much as I perhaps could have worded my original post better, I certainly do not want to "rag" on any person, over another, I simply want to know what techniques etc are out there and to try and make sure, if not already, I am on a decent path to getting my tank where I want it.

Yes, non CO2, Excel, Non carbon enrichment, low light, med light high light, substrate fertilization, something Edward rails against.

Ah yes, I meant in accordance with high tech principles, I know of low tech approaches and do appeal to me, however, I have yet to actually try it out and have read many of your posts (the ones I can try and get my head around LOL) and see and understand how light and its intenisty is the driving force behind any nutrient/co2 uptakes etc. Trust me, I am not a disciple of anyone, Edward in particular, I have recently come across this p.p.s. method and wanted opinions, thats all.

I've strongly argued this to be the case.
Some folks less knowing and certainly having not done much homework on the topics put forth by various companies seem to believe that these relative (to large agricultural corporations and farming research, 30 billion$ in CA alone per year) dinky fish hobby companies are going to hone in on some secret that's not already known in the agricultural field.

Not very likely.
Hormones, amino acids, tannic extracts and so forth, various chelators for cations etc.

None of these things are particularly research the hobby companies have done, they are taking research from something else and trying to use that for support.

Not research of their own,.

Of all the companies with the largest stake in such research, Topica, Oriental Aquarium are the two largest. They are the only ones that really do much there. FAN in the USA to some degree also, mainly with Tissue culture methods........not aquariums.
Few horticultural hobby companies grow plants in CO2 submersed tanks.

So there is little consideration given.

That is precisely what I thought re these new fancy ferts coming on the market, when the dry powders, to my mind at least, are all anyone would need?

even tropica, from what I understand of their set up in Holland, grow predominantly emmersed "hydroponic style", of course though, as with many things, I could be wrong

I could make 10 solutions that I could chargeb 19.99$ for a bottle and make them sound all nice and furry and there would be a slight impact on the plants and some folks would swear it cures cancer.

I absolutely believe that to be the case.

But that is not the angle I do in this hobby.
I am not keen on BS and nor BSing the hobbyists.

It's a diservice to this hobby.

Now, take this any way you want to, but I have been reading tonight an exchange between you and Edward over on apc, old thread obviously, but, while my cynicism shines through at every opportunity, I did note and take on board your constant references to the "hobbyist" and whether they can afford all the testing equipment, spend time meassing about etc etc, so that message does and has gotten through about where your motivations lie.

When folks talk crap about other methods, they need to have actually tested it prior to bad mouthing it.

Indeed

Sledge hammer?
Are you taking Edward's talking spin points? :rolleyes:
LMAO of course not, however I use the term to illustrate how e.i. is simply an easy unsophisticaed way to maintain a planted tank. Indeed, that is what you have said yourself, albeit maybe not by referring to it as a sledgehammer LOL

Now you sound like Edward, not a newbie.
How is a range of 10-20ppm of NO3 a sledge hammer?
Math does not lie. Nor does algae and observations of the plants.
EI has a very straight forward simple mathmatical formula.
PPS relies on test kits.
Test kits, poorly calibrated ones at that, many aquarist don't calibrate them also.They just believe what someone else says about them rather than calibrating them themselves.

I understand the points regarding test kit calibration, and also the fact, regardles of calibration, that home test kits, just arent as accurate as perhaps they should/could be.

I'm much less inclined to put so much faith into a test kit and PPS when Edward is not very rigorous about measurement of CO2.

Considering I have spent probably around 3-400 pounds in setting up my pressurised co2 system (including all ancillory fittings and controller etc) then trust me, I am just as interested in establishing co2 levels as most people

Rather than asking, try it and see.

I would, but I am a home hobbyist, running one planted tank which has recently been "redone" with new substrate and lots of new plants and am following the e.i. method, I perhaps should have asked these questions beforehand, but life gets in the way and you stick to what you know while hopefully, taking the opportunity to learn some more at the same time.

State the lighting, tank size and I'll suggest something, then you can try PPS.

Then you can decide.

Regards,
Tom Barr

First off, thanks for the reply, much appreciated.

Here is my tank details.

40 uk gallon, 36-37 gallon of water owing to displacement.

36" length x 21" high x 16" wide

Aquasoil amazonia and powersand m

arcadia 4 tube luminaire 39 watt t5 tubes, 2x arcadia plant gro, 2x 6500k daylight giving total of 156 watts, working out over 37 u.k. gallons as 4.2 wpg, but the lights are probably 22-24" from surface of substrate

pressurised co2 diffused through ceramic/glass diffusor underneath filter outlet to create co2 mist, levels (given inherent inaccuracies of kh/ph/co2 relationship) comes out at 66ppm.

No lifestock in yet, newly set up with aqua soil so ammonia and nitrites still present.

Dosing every other day nitrate, alternate days trace mixture phosphorous comes from tap at 5ppm and lasts all week before water change replenishes levels at which point I also throw in some magnesium, as my traces contain boron instead of magnesium

Think that covers it?

And this last week (tank been running for 3 weeks now) a bright green filamentous hair algae has started up in tank, growing on back wall, and java ferns and anubias

And p.s. my HC has all but died.

water params today after 5 hours of lighting are:

Nitrate 20ppm
gh 280ppm
kh 40ppm
p.h. 6.0
Phosphate 0.25ppm (water change tomorrow)
calcium 100ppm
magnesium 7.3ppm
 

Tom Barr

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Good, you did not scare off

dazzer1975;11868 said:
Excellent, thanks for that, I have always preferred the idea of water changes anyway regardles of fertilisation issues as the build of compounds (not a scientist maybe thats the wrong term? will just increase as the water gets topped up through evaporation as opposed to doing the water changes)

I think many are enamoured with the idea they can balance a system, adding only what is needed and removing plants as the export.

If this is your goal, then a non Carbon enrichment/(no excel/no CO2) is the perfect thing for you.

That method examplifies what is a balanced tank. Chasing each nutrient, buying a battery of test kits, calibrating each test kit peroidically(test kits get old and expire, your eyes get funny when seeign colors etc month to month etc, ask 5 folks what happened at a auto accident and you will get 5 different stories, point is: do not trust your eyes too much)

I am certainly not into allegiences and taking sides, all I know is that there is a wealth of information out there, and being a newbie and someone who does not and probably will never understand the detailed chemical processes at work, I just have to try and find my way through all the info out there.

I know that gripe all too well myself
It's why I do what I do today actually.
I had several methods to help folks with in the past, I've reduced them down to the essentials, the simplest method will often be the best.

If you desire to know "why" that is a much more detailed explaination and requires a lot more work, understanding and thought, the "how"? That's easy.

Which is why I have posted this here as well as other forums, I wanted to garner a wide range of information and experiences regarding my post, and as much as I perhaps could have worded my original post better, I certainly do not want to "rag" on any person, over another, I simply want to know what techniques etc are out there and to try and make sure, if not already, I am on a decent path to getting my tank where I want it.

Yep, I know where you are coming from and know what was said or you may have thought upon reading various opinions. A lot more folks do EI than PPS for many reasons. EI is in a dozen languages all of the over world with good reason.

Amano, and the rest of the folks all do a flush and dosing method.
A few try the balancing method, this is not the ownership of Edward, he likes to think and act like he came with everything all on his own, that is niot the case, many folks have done similar things all a long, probably before either he and I where born. EI is not particularly new, it's just extending the concept of making a calibrated solution but instead of doing 100% water change, you do a 50% or some fraction thereof.

Add some math to get a model of the range the routine produices and you have it.

Simple, easy and water changes are just the single best habit any hobbyists can acquire no matter what they are doing, especially for a newbie.

Ah yes, I meant in accordance with high tech principles, I know of low tech approaches and do appeal to me, however, I have yet to actually try it out and have read many of your posts (the ones I can try and get my head around LOL) and see and understand how light and its intenisty is the driving force behind any nutrient/co2 uptakes etc. Trust me, I am not a disciple of anyone, Edward in particular, I have recently come across this p.p.s. method and wanted opinions, thats all.

I would encourage you to try a few methods after you get comfy.
Non CO2 is really quite rewarding.

Is that PPS without testing(or you can if you want)?
Based on what Edward said, I argued it was, and then PPS is certainly not Ed's system:) That method goes back to at least the 1940's and much farther depending on where you draw the fully planted, scaped tank.

I really don't care if anyone follows me, I want them to use their own eyes, common sense, learn and make good assumptions and not be taken in by BS spin.

PPS has some things to offer, but some have added BS with it. There's no need for that, but in order to popularize a lot of testing, calibrating, micromanaging and a rather complicated way to keeping aquatic plants by any measure compared to every other method out there, I suppose that was what Edward felt was required. That's his own choice.

That is precisely what I thought re these new fancy ferts coming on the market, when the dry powders, to my mind at least, are all anyone would need?

Yes, PMDD did this long before I sugegsted eI.
I added PO4, more CO2 and higher NO3/Fe etc
Then went to using the water change to remove the error from dosing issues.
I make no selfish claims to evolution of EI's origins.

even tropica, from what I understand of their set up in Holland, grow predominantly emmersed "hydroponic style", of course though, as with many things, I could be wrong

For the aquarium plant trade, this makes much more sense do ing it this way at a commericial level.

Now, take this any way you want to, but I have been reading tonight an exchange between you and Edward over on apc, old thread obviously, but, while my cynicism shines through at every opportunity, I did note and take on board your constant references to the "hobbyist" and whether they can afford all the testing equipment, spend time meassing about etc etc, so that message does and has gotten through about where your motivations lie.

It's called being practical as well as realitistic.
After a few decades, you stop thinking about asking others to do all this complex stuff and distill it down.

Most old timers fall into this group after awhile.
It's the person that knows a little that's the most dangerous.
Newbies are blessed in some ways, and old timers already know I'm right.

LMAO of course not, however I use the term to illustrate how e.i. is simply an easy unsophisticaed way to maintain a planted tank. Indeed, that is what you have said yourself, albeit maybe not by referring to it as a sledgehammer LOL
Haha, yes!
What is very deceptive is the science and testing involved that is behind it.
At the face, it seems simple, that's good and a quality that I think is useful for a newbie.

If you desire in depth modeling of plant uptake dynamics, we can go there as well:)

Most don't wanna, but it's there if you get more interested in it.
Many just want to garden and scape though, few get into the hobby to test water. Many view it as a necessary evil, well, by passing that makes many folk's much happier!!

I understand the points regarding test kit calibration, and also the fact, regardles of calibration, that home test kits, just arent as accurate as perhaps they should/could be.

Good, you have learned a good lesson already there!!
PPS is good in that respect, insistence on calibration.
I've helped a large number of folks doing the method as they often chase nutrients when they should be chasing CO2 levels:)

But folks wonder how I knwo this stuff, well, I must have tested at some point a lot:rolleyes:

I really do not want to test if I can avoid it and have more confidence in my ppms with water changes and dosing known amounts of ferts.

One, well, 4 things less to fret over.

continued:
 

Tom Barr

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Considering I have spent probably around 3-400 pounds in setting up my pressurised co2 system (including all ancillory fittings and controller etc) then trust me, I am just as interested in establishing co2 levels as most people

Ouch, I help folks find the best deals, we all do, locally there in the UK as well, I know many folks there and even the places to acquire the tanks, regs etc.

I would, but I am a home hobbyist, running one planted tank which has recently been "redone" with new substrate and lots of new plants and am following the e.i. method, I perhaps should have asked these questions beforehand, but life gets in the way and you stick to what you know while hopefully, taking the opportunity to learn some more at the same time.

Yes, the hobby is forgiving there, we all have things that takes us away and bring us back, but the hobby is a very good one in the long run.


40 uk gallon, 36-37 gallon of water owing to displacement.
Aquasoil amazonia and powersand m

arcadia 4 tube luminaire 39 watt t5 tubes, 2x arcadia plant gro, 2x 6500k daylight giving total of 156 watts, working out over 37 u.k. gallons as 4.2 wpg, but the lights are probably 22-24" from surface of substrate

This is a lot of light, the t5's are quite brigth!!
I saw a nice ADA tank a few days ago, it was a tank about 2x this size and had 2x 54 w T5's and it had plenty of light and was a ADA style layout with so called high light plants.

More light is not better.
I'd run 2x39 w for 10 hours and add all 4 for 3-4 hours in the middle of day.

pressurised co2 diffused through ceramic/glass diffusor underneath filter outlet to create co2 mist, levels (given inherent inaccuracies of kh/ph/co2 relationship) comes out at 66ppm.

No lifestock in yet, newly set up with aqua soil so ammonia and nitrites still present.
Water changes!!!
2x a week, 50% or more.
Add carbon to the filter and or zeolite, this will be biofilter matierial after a 1 month when everything's settled down well.
This way you can shrimp/fish right away and not worry about NH4/NO2 etc.
The water changes will reduce any algae as well.

And this last week (tank been running for 3 weeks now) a bright green filamentous hair algae has started up in tank, growing on back wall, and java ferns and anubias

And p.s. my HC has all but died.

water params today after 5 hours of lighting are:

Nitrate 20ppm
gh 280ppm
kh 40ppm
p.h. 6.0
Phosphate 0.25ppm (water change tomorrow)
calcium 100ppm
magnesium 7.3ppm

CO2, CO2 and CO2.
PPS would not tell you this.

I know these plants, I know the substrate and I know the lights.

Do this:

Clean off all you can, very well.
Trim leaves etc if needed.
70% water change.
Get some SeaChem EXcel if possible. Add the suggested initial amount every day for 5 days and clean and do a water change every other day.

Add more CO2. Ignore the pH/KH relationship, it's not going to tell you anything particularly useful.
Add enough CO2 to knock the pH to 5.4.

Dose this after each water change and then 3x a week there after w/50%-70% weekly water changeL:

KNO3: 1/3 teaspoon
KH2PO4: 1/10 teaspoon
Traces: TMG if you have it: 10mls

GH booster: SeaChem Equilbrium or your own CaCl2/MgSO4 mix(about 4:1 given your tap), about 1/4 teaspoon 3x a week

Everything else will be all about the gas, the plant biomass(pack as many as you can stuff in the there and trim later) and staying on top of things.

Try this for 1-2 weeks and see what you think.
Note: do the algae part for 5 days or so.
That should beat it back good.

You have the algae and poor HC growth for one reason: poor CO2.
Keep that pH way down there!!!

See the CO2 drop checker with reference KH solution from Hoppy's threads here for more info!!
That will give you a good idea of what is in the tank, fish are typically fine at this KH/pH with ADA soil.

I have direct experience with this which is why I knwo rpeciselt what to do here.

Note: PPS supports inert substrates.
EI needs no such constraints nor is fish load an issue, but you can simply add less to dial in any particular tank.

Note: EI was never designed to be rigid, 30% weekly, 80% weekly, 2x 50% weekly, 90% every two weeks etc, all are useful.

Watching plants and their growth over long time frames(not one week, rather, 3 -4 weeks with excellent CO2, this is the main problem for many why they think all this monkey business with ferts) are good ideas.

If you have all this ADA stuff, light/CO2 etc, you are likely very committed.
Green Thumbs up!

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Professor Myers

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Taken out of context...

and yet it's still WAY Too Freakin Logical ! :p

"Now given that N is 1.5 % of the biomass of a plant and C is 45%, I think it makes far more sense to test for CO2 in a rigorous manner" TB

Buy a decent substrate. Purchase "Appropriately Sized" quality lighting. Stick with EI. Water change religiously. Buy quality Co2 equipment. Check, Double Check and Re-Check for leaks. Do "Another" leak test ! and then Nit pick the Co2 to death !!! :cool:

Most of this is nothing new. It's common sense. Someone taking it to heart would be refreshing of course, but I'm hopeful ! :rolleyes:

I know there's more than one way to skin a cat, but I have an aversion to Gauze, and Merthiolate, let's not make this any more difficult than it really is...Prof M
 

Tom Barr

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Well,

I'm much less concerned about converting anyone to a particular method as I am helping that person succeed. That provides a massive difference between myself and some others........

Thus this allows me to help anyone with whatever method, bad habits, problems, algae issues, growth issues, scaping issues, equipment issues, CO2 issues, DIY projects..........

I've done the various methods and routines, there's only a several ways to grow plants as they have all the same needs and requirements:eek:

The differences are not as great as some seem to make out....
the growth rates are namely the biggest issues and is related to the CO2/Excel or not methods.

Talk is cheap. Trying it out and seeing is a better method. Then you know.
But that takes time and you need to know the other aspects of plant horticulture beyond the ferts as well. Ferts are only part of the picture of what drives plant growth.

But oddly folks obsess a great deal about and suspect it for every ill they might have.

Obsess about CO2 instead, it'll be more fruitful for obvious reasons.
If you do not use CO2, then you have no testing/dosing issues because..... well...... you have a non CO2 tank:p

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

dazzer1975

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Tom Barr;11876 said:
Good, you did not scare off
It takes more than a little banter to do that LOL


I had several methods to help folks with in the past, I've reduced them down to the essentials, the simplest method will often be the best.

If you desire to know "why" that is a much more detailed explaination and requires a lot more work, understanding and thought, the "how"? That's easy.

I would love to know why, but I am still getting to grips with the hows LOL

Simple, easy and water changes are just the single best habit any hobbyists can acquire no matter what they are doing, especially for a newbie.
that is something I have drummed into me regarding keeping aquaria generally, not just with regards to planted tanks.

I would encourage you to try a few methods after you get comfy.
Non CO2 is really quite rewarding.

I have a couple of 5 gallon nano's I will be experimenting with in the new year and was thinking of trying a low tech non co2 approach in one of those using some peat I have recently in Scotland specifically for a low tech tank.

Is that PPS without testing(or you can if you want)?
Based on what Edward said, I argued it was, and then PPS is certainly not Ed's system:) That method goes back to at least the 1940's and much farther depending on where you draw the fully planted, scaped tank.

Wow, 1940's? That is quite phenomenal actually considering, imo at least, that the planted tank only now appears to be coming "mainstream"?

I really don't care if anyone follows me, I want them to use their own eyes, common sense, learn and make good assumptions and not be taken in by BS spin.

Well that is the problem with the plethora of info out there and the sometimes, very technical explanations which accompany it, almost like being blinded by science which is so easy for the new non scientifically minded hobbyist to drown amongst, no pun intended.

It's called being practical as well as realitistic.
After a few decades, you stop thinking about asking others to do all this complex stuff and distill it down.

Most old timers fall into this group after awhile.
It's the person that knows a little that's the most dangerous.
Newbies are blessed in some ways, and old timers already know I'm right.

LMAO well that is the reason I latched onto e.i. initially, it is a very easy regime to pick up, perhaps it needs tweaking here and there as you have suggested a plan for my tank in your next post, but basically is a very straightforward regime to pick up for the complete novice, hence it was the first, and up to now, only way I have dosed a tank.

Haha, yes!
What is very deceptive is the science and testing involved that is behind it.
At the face, it seems simple, that's good and a quality that I think is useful for a newbie.

Very useful, it provides an open door into the world of this hobby by keeping it simple and hassle free as possible.

If you desire in depth modeling of plant uptake dynamics, we can go there as well:)

In time LMAO

Most don't wanna, but it's there if you get more interested in it.
Many just want to garden and scape though, few get into the hobby to test water. Many view it as a necessary evil, well, by passing that makes many folk's much happier!!

I would love to learn more behind the scientific principles behind this, however, I still need to get a good grounding in the basics first and learn how to run a tank exactly how I wnat to.

One, well, 4 things less to fret over.

continued:


Thankyou!
 

dazzer1975

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Tom Barr;11877 said:
Ouch, I help folks find the best deals, we all do, locally there in the UK as well, I know many folks there and even the places to acquire the tanks, regs etc.
Well jesus, I wish I knew that before, you would cry if you knew what I have sunk into this tank with bits and bobs here and there.

This is a lot of light, the t5's are quite brigth!!
I saw a nice ADA tank a few days ago, it was a tank about 2x this size and had 2x 54 w T5's and it had plenty of light and was a ADA style layout with so called high light plants.

I have been wanting some metal halides actually:eek: I take it they are not necessary lol I was worrying due to distance from lights to substrate, I suppose the average tank is between 12 and 18 inches from lights to substrate? As I have tried and just cant seem to grow hc( tried it previously with 2 t5 tubes and 2 t8 tubes in a sand substrate and it did exactly the same thing, i.e. melt and died away.

More light is not better.
I'd run 2x39 w for 10 hours and add all 4 for 3-4 hours in the middle of day.

I have slowly been picking up on this over the last few days as I have read more and more, I will also get the timers out and implement your lighting plan, thanks very much for that.

Water changes!!!
2x a week, 50% or more.
Add carbon to the filter and or zeolite, this will be biofilter matierial after a 1 month when everything's settled down well.
This way you can shrimp/fish right away and not worry about NH4/NO2 etc.
The water changes will reduce any algae as well.

Excellent, I have been dying to get some amano shrimps and maybe a couple of ottos in there, I will bang some carbon in the filter and increase the water changes to try and get the tank sorted.

Do this:

Clean off all you can, very well.
Trim leaves etc if needed.
70% water change.
Get some SeaChem EXcel if possible. Add the suggested initial amount every day for 5 days and clean and do a water change every other day.

Add more CO2. Ignore the pH/KH relationship, it's not going to tell you anything particularly useful.
Add enough CO2 to knock the pH to 5.4.

Dose this after each water change and then 3x a week there after w/50%-70% weekly water changeL:

KNO3: 1/3 teaspoon
KH2PO4: 1/10 teaspoon
Traces: TMG if you have it: 10mls

GH booster: SeaChem Equilbrium or your own CaCl2/MgSO4 mix(about 4:1 given your tap), about 1/4 teaspoon 3x a week

Everything else will be all about the gas, the plant biomass(pack as many as you can stuff in the there and trim later) and staying on top of things.
Excellent, thanks a lot for the suggestions, I dont use tmg just a trace powder which I make up into a solution and add 20ml every other day, when inverts are present I drop this down to 10ml of solution

Try this for 1-2 weeks and see what you think.
Note: do the algae part for 5 days or so.
That should beat it back good.

Brilliant stuff, this hair algae is a real bitch from what I have read on the net and have experienced it once before when my co2 ran out and I couldn't locate a refill. I dosed excel then and it destroyed it overnight, however, I didnt follow a dosing plan, I literally dumped it in there LOL but yes, I will get the excel again and follow the dosing exactly

You have the algae and poor HC growth for one reason: poor CO2.
Keep that pH way down there!!!

I dont think I will get any more diffusion with how I have it positioned at moment, I will try and get it feeding into the filter and go for 100% diffusion.

See the CO2 drop checker with reference KH solution from Hoppy's threads here for more info!!
That will give you a good idea of what is in the tank, fish are typically fine at this KH/pH with ADA soil.

Will do cheers!

Note: PPS supports inert substrates.
EI needs no such constraints nor is fish load an issue, but you can simply add less to dial in any particular tank.

I picked that up, regarding inert substrates from a reply on another forum

Watching plants and their growth over long time frames(not one week, rather, 3 -4 weeks with excellent CO2, this is the main problem for many why they think all this monkey business with ferts) are good ideas.

I will put your recommendations into practice today and watch how things progress, thanks for the suggestions and advice.

If you have all this ADA stuff, light/CO2 etc, you are likely very committed.
Green Thumbs up!

Regards,
Tom Barr

Thanks Tom, much appreciated

The only ada stuff I have is the substrate material, but the equipment and expenditure I have committed to this tank means that I am very serious about this hobby and simply want to grow plants well and increase my knowledge thus.

Ah one more point/question before I submit this, I also run a uv steriliser on the tank for dealing with green water if it should occur and white spot and other precautions etc, does this impact upon the fertilisers in any way as I have heard contrasting view in relation to this, good and bad.

Thanks again
 

Tom Barr

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Just remember folks have HC issues with ADA aqua soil for one reason: low
CO2.

Aqua soil has enough nutrients, there's is a lot of light, all that's left is CO2.........

More light is not better, it only means faster growth.......something you will more than likely come to hate later.

I like MH's as well, but having a low light and a high light tank is like having two different "methods" also.
I easily grow Gloss and HC at relatively low lighting, about 1.5-2 w/gal.

I do not know of any plant that cannot be grown at 2w/gal T5's or PC's or even NO FL's.

For the algae:

They hate water changes. Lots of water changes, you cannot over do these really.
They do not do well when the plants grow good.
Lots of CO2! 95% or more of the algae issues are CO2 related, not ferts like PO4 etc or ratio issues.
Manual removal is highly effective but the algae will come right back if you do not address the plant's growth, poor plant growth = algae.
Add lots of plants from day one!!! The more, the better. Do not wait for things to grow in and be skimpy with the initial planting, this is one of th worst things you can do.
Add cheapy plants in the interm and phase them out after.
Use Excel directions after the water change and dose from there, I do not suggest going much over the suggested amounts, maybe 1.5 x max and do this after each water change.

You can do this daily WC + excel + manual+ crank the CO2+ dose EI for algae removal if you want to be agressive. Or once every other day or once every 3 days etc.

The daily method works very well and takes a fair amount of work, but it's straight forward work and will beat the algae back faster.

Once things are fine, then the work is not needed nearly as much.
If you have issues/or problems, do a water change and add ferts back again.

Simple.

LMAO well that is the reason I latched onto e.i. initially, it is a very easy regime to pick up, perhaps it needs tweaking here and there as you have suggested a plan for my tank in your next post, but basically is a very straightforward regime to pick up for the complete novice, hence it was the first, and up to now, only way I have dosed a tank.

The algae sends folks off looking for other solutions.
So they think it must be the nutrients, but with EI, I know that not to be the case, those are covered, that just leaves CO2........
So solving issues with EI is easy also.

But re read what you wrote about some tweaking above....now what does PPS suggest in that context? It most certainly needs tweaking to achieve any balance also, much more than EI.

Also, look at those rates of uptake, I came up with those ranges of rates of uptake, not Edward:rolleyes:

And I did that a long time ago........about 10 years ago.
That's not public knowledge or consensus, because no one did the uptake rates in a critical manner.

Take a look at this thread from about 10 years ago from the local club I wrote this article much longer ago than that of APC (which is roughly 3 years or so old).

References

More old articles:
SFBAAPS References Page


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

dazzer1975

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Tom Barr;11888 said:
Just remember folks have HC issues with ADA aqua soil for one reason: low
CO2.

Right ok then, I have had a look over on hoppy's kh4 co2 checker and will get one of those and make up a suitable kh solution to indicate the co2 levels I want and that will help me see where I am at with the co2 at least


Aqua soil has enough nutrients, there's is a lot of light, all that's left is CO2

Exactly, but I also thought my co2 must have been fine aswell, hence the searching for other methods, I am looking forward to seeing what the outcome of your suggestion sare now though, I am very hopeful that I can get the tank turned around, imo there is a lot of biomass in there, but, again, I am not that experienced so a lot to me could be next to nothing for other people LOL I will attach a pic below of the tank when it was first planted and species list and then you can see what I am working with.

DSC01960.jpg


DSC01954.jpg


DSC01964.jpg


The plants aren't actually that yellow, but being a crappy photographer I cant get the camera to see the vibrant green of the plants.

These are the species I have in there

Tropica Pogostemon helferi
Rotala wallachii
Marsilea hirsuta
Anubias Barteri Var Nana Yellow Heart
Microsorium Pteropus Windelov
Eleocharis acicularis
Monosolenium tenerum
Anubias Barteri "Coffeefolia"
Eleocharis "parvula"
Bolbtis Heudelottii
Pogostemon Stellata
Limnophilia aromatica
H. C.
Nuphur Japonicum Spatterdock
Didplis diandra
rotala green
java fern
Nymphea stellata
java moss
bacopa caroliniana
Madagascar lace plant

I do not know of any plant that cannot be grown at 2w/gal T5's or PC's or even NO FL's.

That is very good to know for the nano tanks I plan to set up in the future

For the algae:

They hate water changes. Lots of water changes, you cannot over do these really.
They do not do well when the plants grow good.
Lots of CO2! 95% or more of the algae issues are CO2 related, not ferts like PO4 etc or ratio issues.
Manual removal is highly effective but the algae will come right back if you do not address the plant's growth, poor plant growth = algae.
Add lots of plants from day one!!! The more, the better. Do not wait for things to grow in and be skimpy with the initial planting, this is one of th worst things you can do.
Add cheapy plants in the interm and phase them out after.
Use Excel directions after the water change and dose from there, I do not suggest going much over the suggested amounts, maybe 1.5 x max and do this after each water change.

I think I need to add some more and fast growing plants then that I can just rip out once they have done their job. Ok then I will try that and pack some nice quick growing stems in there


You can do this daily WC + excel + manual+ crank the CO2+ dose EI for algae removal if you want to be agressive. Or once every other day or once every 3 days etc.

The daily sounds good, I am gutted this algae crap has started, did everything (well I thought I did) right, e.g. co2, good lights, aqua soil and still plagued lol

The daily method works very well and takes a fair amount of work, but it's straight forward work and will beat the algae back faster.

Once things are fine, then the work is not needed nearly as much.
If you have issues/or problems, do a water change and add ferts back again.

Simple.

Excellent, thanks

But re read what you wrote about some tweaking above....now what does PPS suggest in that context? It most certainly needs tweaking to achieve any balance also, much more than EI.

True



Take a look at this thread from about 10 years ago from the local club I wrote this article much longer ago than that of APC (which is roughly 3 years or so old).

References

More old articles:
SFBAAPS References Page


Regards,
Tom Barr


Ok then cheers, thanks for those links I will check em out, and also the detailed plan of actipon to get the algae beaten back and crack on with water change and co2 regime etc, very much appreciated

Just checked out those last 2 links, they are fantastic, thanks a lot for those!
 

Jimbob

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Nov 10, 2006
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dazzer1975;11911 said:
Tropica Pogostemon helferi
Rotala wallachii
Marsilea hirsuta
Anubias Barteri Var Nana Yellow Heart
Microsorium Pteropus Windelov
Eleocharis acicularis
Monosolenium tenerum
Anubias Barteri "Coffeefolia"
Eleocharis "parvula"
Bolbtis Heudelottii
Pogostemon Stellata
Limnophilia aromatica
H. C.
Nuphur Japonicum Spatterdock
Didplis diandra
rotala green
java fern
Nymphea stellata
java moss
bacopa caroliniana
Madagascar lace plant

Just as a suggestion:

You have a lot of light with not really that much plant mass. You might consider adding a couple of amazon sword plants (echinodorus amazonicus) or some more hygrophila corymbosa (several bunches of stems)... some larger plants that will grow quickly while the rest of your stuff gets established. You could use some big fat growers in there to help out-compete the algae.


-Jimbob
 

dazzer1975

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Apr 22, 2006
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Jimbob;11918 said:
Just as a suggestion:

You have a lot of light with not really that much plant mass. You might consider adding a couple of amazon sword plants (echinodorus amazonicus) or some more hygrophila corymbosa (several bunches of stems)... some larger plants that will grow quickly while the rest of your stuff gets established. You could use some big fat growers in there to help out-compete the algae.


-Jimbob

Hi Jimbo, thanks for the suggestions, I have just got back from lfs on the hunt for some decent fast growing plants and some flourish excel but they had none of either so I will make the order online.

Thanks for the suggestion of plants to put in, much appreciated.
 

dazzer1975

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Hi Hoppy,

Thanks for the suggestions but I have already made the order, with aqua essentials and greenline

I am in the u.k. anyay and not sure if those links will apply to me? I have just signed up to planted tank forum anyway and will check out apc plant sell/swap forum for future reference.

As an aside I have ordered some cabaomba, bacopa caroliniana, couple of swords, some hygro polysperma and some bacopa australis. And a mate has just offered to send me some broad leaf pogostemon stellata

polysperma, cabomba and bacopa caroliniana as well as the swords, if not the australis too are all fast growers (fingers crossed lol) and the increased plant mass should help, I got the carbon and have banged that into the tank too and have just introduced 10 amano shrimp and so far they seem ok so fingers crossed on those too, just done a 70% water change, and will do this each day until I have been dosing the excel (when it arrives) for 5 days and hopefully that should sort the problem with the algae. Got the lights running as suggested, co2 should be upped, although I do need to prepare the kh drop checker thing but I have to wait to go to another lfs to get some ro water for that.

Anyway, thanks for the help all, much appreciated, I will keep updated with info as to how the algae is doing etc
 

Tom Barr

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Jan 23, 2005
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You folks in the UK need to get a trade board up and runnign for plant swaps/exchanges etc.

This is critical to formation of local clubs also!!
Hint hint!!

We do this here in the USA and SFBAAPS was a model for that.


D-

Yes, CO2 is 90-95% of all algae related issues, not the ferts.
While algae sends folks scramblign for solutions, they often think it's the ferts and over look the CO2.........PPS folks are also guilty of this..........
I've helped several folks doing that method achieve far better results by simply having them continue doing what they where, and adding more better CO2 levels.

Edward completely missed this, he's so focus only on the ferts and balancing PPS that he's missing the causations for algae and the critrical relationship of CO2 with helping other hobbyists.

I focus on everything, not just 1/3 of the growth(light, CO2 and ferts), and I also focus a lot on algae as bioindicators, which unlike a test kit assumptions and error, are much more telling and do not lie about the environmental conditions in the tank.

So when the test kits and the algae growth do not match,. I know it's it is the test method/kit rather than the ferts etc.

But CO2 is 90-95% of hobbyists issues with alage and algae in the main thing that drives folks to look for other "fert routines" and manipulation.

PPS is good as it does adress good fert levels for plants, has calibration built in to the testing methods, does not ascribe to excess PO4/NO3/Fe to causing algae and so on.

But these are things I've advocated many years prior:cool:

Regards,
Tom Barr