Want more accuracy? Want daily PMDD style EI dosing?

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lowfi

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Dec 2, 2007
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Hey Tom,

After a horrible experience with PPS-Pro in my 20 gallon tank I have decided to try this method. I have a quick question for you. I wanted to make this solution but when mixing up the batch, i only ended up using 900ml. of water, instead of the full recommended 1 liter. how will this effect my concentrations in the tank at dosing time? and how should I adjust the mls. that i add to the tank??? thank you very much.

sean
 

Tom Barr

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Rather than having a horrible experience with this, or any methods, EI included, I generally suggest failure at a method something you might want to conquer.
PPS pro should work............
It might be a bit more work than some like, or more complicated.........however, the nutrients used are the same as EI..........the EI method just added more of them.

You can vary EI to leaner routines easily as well.
But adding excess, or providing non limiting ranges should pose no threat to any well run tank unless they are really high(much more than I typically hear about from folks that test to check.)

What I'm saying, do not blame the method, look at it as a learning experience and try to see why the failure occurred, do not blame the method.

It's our own fault when we fail, just try to change things, or see where you went wrong. Be honest about it and get back up and try it again till you succeed.

You learn a lot more this way and can use any method. And then you can tweak the method you chose as best suited for you, in a much better way.

We all have goals we want out of the system, and then there are the trade offs we are willing to do to have them.

PPS is not far removed from PMDD +PO4, nor EI using liquids.
Ratios are slightly to somewhat different, but the things are added are still the same.

What I'm saying now is that if you failed there, you will very likely fail here, but it may not having thing to do with the dosing method.

It generally is CO2 related.
Many folks using PPS had BBA and other issues with algae, of which they where CO2 related in the root cause.

Many found that algae went away when they dosed less.
This is secondary limitation -> the PO4 limitation reduces the plant's CO2 demand, so the intensity of the CO2 limitation(root cause), is greatly reduced, the road block is now low PO4, not CO2 as much.

Not taking into account CO2 carefully and critically often leads folks into blaming the wrong parameter for an algae issue.

I beat these folk's arguments up pretty good in most any debate, but it's because I know how to induce algae(few ever bothered to do this- it's a very powerful tool) and also can consistently produced non limiting CO2, light and nutrient levels for dense planted tanks(eg a control tank to base such comparisons against...........without which you cannot say a whole lot).

If all you did was mix up 900mls instead of 1000mls, simple multiply by 1000/900 for concentration or 1.111.

I'd really suggest focusing a lot of using less light, and really making sure the CO2 and current are good.

Search here about CO2, CO2 mist, CO2 and current etc.................this is 90% of growing plants with CO2 enriched methods, the nutrients should be otherwise easy if you keep up on the gardening and general maintenance.

Another thing about initial experiences without many methods, you learn more as you go and remember where you might have gone wrong later.......so after trying 2-3 dosing methods, you are much wiser than the first time(hopefully).
So do not believe everything you see or think.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

lowfi

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Dec 2, 2007
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Sorry if my post was kind of vague...LOL...i guess PPS-Pro wasn't a disaster, it just wasn't growing plants how I would like them to grow. Thank you for the quick response I really appreciate it. Some of the problems that I noticed in my tank was the consistent GDA and GSA. I had staghorn for a while, but I pruned and dosed excel, which killed the majority of it. I am just sick of the GSA primarily. I have pressurized CO2 which is being dispersed through at glass diffuser..I believe it is at 30 ppm...my dropchecker is yellow. I have heard through the grapevine that this system would work so I read about it and thought that I would give it a try. I have a rena xp1 on the tank so there is plenty of circulation and CO2 dispersion. Some of my rotala rotundifolia leaves kept going to a greenish/clear color and my blyxa hardly grows, as if it stunts. I have 48 watts of T5HO over the 20H. There is some info, if you can perhaps give some answers on the weird rotala syndrome that would be awesome. Again, thank you, and I hope this new dosing scheme works out for the best.

cheers,
sean
 

VaughnH

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Do you have 4 dKH distilled or deionized water in the drop checker, and not tank or tap water? If so, then you may not have good enough water circulation - do all of the plants sway in the "breeze"?
 

Tom Barr

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Try dosing a lot of PO4, PPS does not suggest a lot of most things, but PO4 and Good CO2 ought to address most any GSA issue.
You need both in good shape, not just one.



Regards,
tom Barr
 

naman

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Nov 12, 2005
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mistake?

In EI generally used PO4:NO3 ratio from 1:5 to 1:10.
Here you say ~1:2.7.

Why? Is this misspelling or something?
 

VaughnH

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The ratio of PO4 to NO3 is not important. It is having an adequate amount of each of them at all times that is important. When we see GSA many of us will double the amount of PO4 we dose, trying to get rid of the GSA, but we don't double the NO3 at the same time.
 

naman

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Tom,
not P:N, but PO4:NO3 ratio.

You Did, over here.

60 grams KNO3 gives NO3~37.2.
18 grams KH2PO4 gives PO4~12.56.
So PO4:NO3~2.96 (depends on accuracy of calculations).

More over, for 20gal tank this gives NO3~42ppm. Isn’t it too much?

I guess Luis Moniz here had doubts too.

:confused:

Help, please.

VaughnH,
I care of PO4:NO3 ratio because of a Redfield ratio and Rubisco.
More PO4 will not harm at all… until everything is ok with CO2. As soon as CO2 drops or liquid ferts under dosed plants have no enough N-pool for Rubisco to adapt for assimilation lower CO2 concentrations, and you have algae bloom much more and much faster, than when you have a more reasonable PO4:NO3 ratio, substrate loaded with nutrients, and less ferts in water column. This gives more Stability and easier Management, I guess.
Especially indicated problems evident with lean substrate.
Rich substrate (CEC+organics with low lability), together with “peak method” (see PJAN and Ole's data) allows dosing less nutrients in water column and better CO2 assimilation (due to better morning and all day Rubisco activation with gradually increasing light) makes ADA’s system quite different from EI/PPS-pro in terms of Stability and Management. This is ADA's "trick".
PO4 along is not a bad thing as we all here know well.
But here I have gone far off top…
 

Tom Barr

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Sorry, but I think it terms of N and P, not NO3 and PO4.
The ratio is about 4:1.

However, given some accuracy issues with scales etc, it can vary down to 3:1 to 5:1.

Let me take a look and think about this again.

1000 mls are in 1 liter.
That means 1000/12 mls 83.333 doses per 60 grams of KNO3.

We assume 1/4 teaspoon weighs 1.67 grams.
Thus that weight of KNO3(1.67 grams) added to a 20 gallon tank is 10-11ppm of NO3.

Convert your doses to per gram units:
83.33 dose/60 total grams = 1.4 grams per dose

Or about 7ppm, a bit rich, you could cut this in 1/2.
That's about 49ppm per week, so not too far off from 42 ppm.

Yep, thanks, I'll edit that and reduce it, no need.
I see what I did wrong too.
I assumed 3x a week dosing, not daily, so instead of 7x a week, I used 3x a week.
Which gives you a about 20 ppm a week dosing.

Thanks for catching that Naman.

Surprised no one caught it before.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Tom Barr

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luismoniz;19657 said:
Hi,
I made some calculations, and i need to know if i am right!

for 20gallons
60 grams KNO3 will give 0,49ppm x 12ml daily = 5,8ppm day
18 grams of KH2PO4 will give 0,17ppm x 12ml daily = 2ppm day

My question is, if i want add this 3x a week (mon., wed., fri.) i will add 11ppm of no3 and 4ppm of po4 a day?
This is correct?

Regards,

Luís Moniz

Thanks Naman and Luis, I caught what I did a revised the schedule.
I assumed I was adding 3x a week, not 7x a week , even though my feeble brain was trying to suggest a daily routine:eek:

So when you use the 3/7 factor of .42, you end up with 0.8ppm of PO4 and 3 ppm of NO3 per day.

That's much more like it.
And if you like atomic ratios, then it reduces to about 1:5.7 N:p

I've changed the routine by simply reducing the volume dosed per day to 5 mls instead of 12, and 5 is typically what I use to dose a standard tank volume like the 20 gal.

Thanks for catching that.
Regards,

Tom Barr
 

Tom Barr

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Naman,

I took the suggestion and used the 10 gram suggestion for KH2PO4 vs 18 grams.

So the routine is 1 liter of DI water for the macro nutrients

60 grams of KNO3
10 Grams of KH2PO4
25 Grams of GH booster(or equivalent)

4-8mls per 20 gallon tank daily.
Low light tanks will need les,s higher light tanks will need more(based on a 1.5 w to 5 w/gal scale, fully planted with a fair number of faster growers).
Add 3 mls of Tropica Aquatic plant nutrition for the traces or 1/5 for lower light.

Check the ppm's, I'm busy at the moment doing some other things.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

naman

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Nov 12, 2005
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Ok

Now this recipe have PO4~7g/l, NO3~37.2g/l (no need for higher accuracy).
PO4:NO3~1:5.3.
Suggested dosage 4-8ml per day by Tom gives PO4~2.6-5.2ppm PER WEEK in a 20gal (75L) tank.

You can also make a solution with a KH2PO4=5 grams as suggests EI as lower level for PO4 (PO4:NO3~1:10).

EI suggests rather high nutrient levels.
Lots of people regardless of system they used (EI, PPS-pro, ADA, their own or any combo) came to the routine for an average aquascapers tank with PO4 dosage ~0.5-1.5ppm per week, so dosage could be ~0.75-2.5ml per day for a 20gal (75L) tank.

Taking ADA’s tanks as an “aquascapers standard”, solution with KH2PO4 10 grams and KNO3 60 grams, for target level PO4~0.5-1.5ppm dosage will be:

60x30x36H cm (~60L) 4-12ml per week
90x45x45H cm (~160L) 12-34ml per week
90x45x60H cm high type (~200L) 14-42ml per week
120x45x45H cm (~200L) 14-42ml per week
120x45x60H cm high type (~280L) 20-60ml per week
180x60x60H cm (~560L) 40-120ml per week
(double dosage if you have made solution with KH2PO4 5 grams instead of 10)

Dose greatly depends on light intensity, plants species, whether you intentionally limiting plants grows with “peak method” of lighting and/or PPS-pro method: this gives less algae bloom in case of problems with CO2 etc, less trimmings = more stable composition...
but NEVER allows plants to run out of nutrients keeping main concept of Estimative Index's approach.

Personally I prefer to make a macro recipe equal in N and P to Seachem Flourish Nitrogen™ and Flourish Phosphorus™ (PO4~4.1g/l, NO3~66g/l) and use their rule of thumb on dosage.

Note for beginners: if you need to know dosage of ANY liquid ferts on certain compound, do this:
(Tank volume*, L x desired dose of compound, mg/l) / concentration of this compound in ferts, grams/L = week dose, ml
* water volume without gravel, decorations etc

If we talking on liquid dosing vs. dry ferts, I can say that in Europe cheap and reliable micro is JBL Ferropol 24 – 10ml costs $5. As dosage is just 1 drop for 50L per day it is VERY easy to dose, and runs ~1.25-2.5 month for a 180L (48gal) tank.
I guess Oliver Knott uses them long time ago and could give good comments on it.
There are also very economical Easy-Life® ProFito®.

You can easily skip JBL’s routine and do not by costly JBL Ferropol making DIY ferts by PPS-pro recipe of macro (PO4:NO3~1:10) with K and Mg.
Surely using “JBL Ferropol 24” is convenient when you using PPS-pro macro’s recipe, as this micro do not contain Mg and K.

Note: as soon as you placed ADA Aqua Soil in your tank, the system turns to quite different, so PO4:NO3 ratio and PO4 dosage in water becomes far LESS important.

(details in Russian on P and N dosing available at my Amania – sorry, it’s still under construction, use IE only)


naman
 

Tom Barr

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Thanks Naman,
That was precisely the input I wanted to see:p

ADA AS adds a measure of buffering, so you can have even a wider range, and can run things leaner if you chose.

Rather than using PPS nutrients to slow growth/CO2 demand, both ADA and myself prefer light.

PMDD also limited PO4 to the point is reduced CO2 demand as well.
So 15ppm was fine.
However, they used 1.5-2 w/gal max back then also using plain old T12 FL light.
Some seem to overlook this, almost on purpose.

This makes far more practical sense as well, cost less, adds less heat, uses less initial cost, and drives CO2 uptake.

When plants are CO2 limited due to high light, algae are not.
So if you are interested in less algae and better plant growth, it makes far more sense to use less light, then you need less CO2 and less nutrient demand.

That is why non CO2 methods work, less light= less CO2= less nutrient demands and is why you do not need to ferts to such a tank, fish waste alone can easily supply the plant demands.

Plants also have a wide range of parameters they can grow in before really taking a beating.

The ADA As works very well with non CO2 methods as well BTW.
 

naman

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Tom Barr;23104 said:
PMDD also limited PO4 to the point is reduced CO2 demand as well.
So 15ppm was fine.
However, they used 1.5-2 w/gal max back then also using plain old T12 FL light.
Some seem to overlook this, almost on purpose.

Ha!
Never thought of that, but not on purpose :)
While I never understood misunderstanding of PMDD concept (it was NOT limiting P to limit algae)
Excellent remark.

Tom Barr;23104 said:
The ADA As works very well with non CO2 methods as well BTW.

Precisely.

There is no any “soil methods”, really.
Put a rich enough substrate (as ADA’s Aqua Soil or Profile/Turface + earthworm castings), and you can lower light to such extent that you can switch to “non CO2 method” without any water column dosing at all, at any moment… without totally remaking your tank… and do backwise, again at any moment… again without totally remaking your tank…
And non CO2 method means lessen light to lessen nutrients demand (including CO2) – no more (shorter “peak”, for example).

I also like very much possibility with rich substrate to make huge water changes without massive water column dosing while eradicating algae* (if you don’t – plants will not start to grow well and algae will never go away, without taking plants together with them, I mean :D )
while not dosing at all with pure substrate for this period means no plants growth = no algae death.
This often leads to mistakes – it is needed to have a good practice to catch the moment when you should start a little dosing liquid ferts during massive WC to feed your plants and do not feed algae (close to the end of this period).
Rich substrate gives possibility to relax and just do water changes by means of “brainless technology” – plants will take Whatever they need, and Whenever they need from substrate.

* I guess this method called “resetting the tank”.
 

Tom Barr

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Yes, you can reset with a water change and rich sediment, or with the water column.

The problem arises when folks add algae to the issue.
Some believe you can limit algae(PO4, CO2, NO3 etc)
Vegetative adult algae growth and new spore germination are two VERY different things.

None of these folks have done any algae test I'm aware of other than myself.
At least none with a single control.

So if you are going to talk about algae, you need to ID algae, and you need to test specifically for algae. You need to know at least one or more causes also.

Some folks claim nutrients(NO3/PO4) in the water column = algae.

That is total baloney and simply put: wrong.
It can be easily falsified and many planted aquarist have done so for a decade or more now, repeatedly. This should be accepted as it has stood the test of time and passes the muster. I'm really not sure why some people keep suggesting it, it's a myth.

They want to suggest less is better and seem to think less = less algae if you dose less in the water column, and it's just not so.

Rich sediment ferts is fine, I've never once had any issue with that method.
I have no idea why some seem so in love with a lean water column.......I've never understood this.

Yet add lots of CO2, which is much more toxic to fish than NO3 and we do not ever have data on toxic levels of PO4.

It makes no sense as far as fish, as far algae or plant growth.

If you desire slower more consistent easier to prune growth, use less light, use a midday blast with a HQI MH for 2-4 hours etc.

Use lower light T5's etc.

There's no need, neither Amano nor Oliver use high light either and if so, they only use a small amount for a very short while.

Then folks scratch their heads and wonder how they do it:)
David tells folks, so does Amano, so do I and so have other going back 10+ years, but they still do not listen.

Light starts all uptake.

So that's the best wisest place to start.

Water changes can flush out any differences and keep the nutrients in line.
Using less light means you can run it leaener and get more life out of the sediments, the CO2, and the water column.

It's not "either or" the sediment/water column, it's both.

You do not even need to do water changes with lower light non CO2 tanks either, for months, years even, no testing either.

But back to PMDD........

You will get more out EI/PMDD + PO4 etc, any method, Sediment sources of ferts by reducing the light intensity, and if you insist on still using it, try a little blast midday only.

Worm castings was all the rage several years ago, but they did not have access to KNO3, or KH2PO4 etc, they had to make do with what they had.

Still, it adds ferts just like the water column methods.

When folks test and measure nutrients, it really depends on WHERE you test.
Kasslemann came to the USA, showed slide after slide of plants and showed water column nutrient levels, which where pretty much zero ppm for many.

I asked her later if she had measured the soils and the pore water in the sediments where she collected the plants "No".

Now it does not take genius to figure out the plants are getting plenty of nutrients, and why would you show such data and make comments without also measuring the sediment nutrient content as well?

Water column test kits are the only method hobbyists use.

But they do not test where plnts can also get and obtain nutrients from.
You can only make assumptions on the water column with inert sediments like sand etc.

But folks, even Kasslemann sat there and tried to do it.
Plants have roots after all.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

naman

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Tom Barr;23109 said:
Vegetative adult algae growth and new spore germination are two VERY different things.

This phrase deserves a separate thread.

Tom Barr;23109 said:
When folks test and measure nutrients, it really depends on WHERE you test…

And WHAT you test. Plans do use DOC (amino acids etc) and other organics from water column and sediments. In ocean there is a 5-6ppm of DOC, in rivers much more.
How much Fe bonded by organics in sediments and in water column etc. ?
Never seen such a data on rivers in those “scientific” books on planted aquaria… Never.

Moreover, our plants grow mostly in rivers, but there is a FLOW.
Take those 0.05-0.01ppm of PO4 which most of folks consider as very lean nutrition, and multiply by slowest river flow 0.5m/sec – you will see that plants during light time have unlimited source of P…
Water/plants mass ratio is much more in rivers than in a tank, so PO4 source replenished at any moment without problems. Day and night. It NEVER comes to 0.000ppm.

The same thing happens with “low” supply of CO2~5-10ppm, NO3~1-5ppm etc.

I have never saw people posing such question to themselves…

This is the same as to change ALL aquarium water every second(!) with those lean 0.05ppm.
How much PO4 will pass along plants leaves during a day? Ha!?

Comparing to this, “high” EI dosages is a mere TOY :)

Place a plastic box from water surface to the ground around lush batch of plants in a river, and I am sure soon they will stagnate.

This is why we should dose in a tank much more, and it does not leading to algae – it feeds our plants which out compete algae.

One more thing which surprises me quite well is misunderstanding of terms “dosage” and “to keep level” in a water column.
You can dose 5ppm of PO4, but when plants grow well, concentration in a water will be, and must be, very low (say PO4
 

Tom Barr

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Naman,

DOC's are easy to measure and control for actually.
If you want a contro to compare the effects of DOC's on a treatment organism(Fish, shrimp, algae, plants etc)l, simply use Activated carbon to remove them, this is a standard method for many such experiments.

You need to look at rivers and lakes over the course of season/s, not just the average, or a one time reading. It's like getting to know a person based on a quick 2 minute meeting vs living with them for a year.

Chelation has been discussed here in natural systems. Quite a bit in fact. There are two good text for it as well, The Ecology of Humic Substances and the Limnology of Humic Waters.

Generally it's discussed in terms of Hg, Cd, Se etc, nasty toxic metals, less so for Fe and Mn.

Reduction is also something to really look at as it is a larger driver of metal biogeochemistry than humics are in general.

You are correct about rivers having a non limiting but very low molar concentrations. 0.5 ppm of NO3 is common in many rivers with plants, sometimes 10X less, but the plants are not stressed, actually well adapted.

Takes time to adapt to low external levels though, but once this occurs, it's pretty easy for the plants.

Actually such topics use to be discussed on the web, namely the APD, back in the mid and late 1990's, since the list has been diluted and most of the more academic minded folks have long since left.

Lots of good discussions back then, you will not see such discussions in the future except here and there by myself and very few others.

PO4 time series measurements I made some years ago in several tanks, they do not drop rapidly, but showed and fairly normal uptake response.

This suggested little preciptation and lock up from other critters/bacteria/algae/OM etc.

Lakes are good models, better actually for our purposes, but few usee tropical lakes, and even fewer used large numbers with a representative no# of lakes.
Adding to that, you need 30-50% coverage with PLANTS, which florida also has(as well as plant less lakes for the most part).

Looks at Crismann, especially Bachmann, Hoyer, etc for Trophic status for lakes in Florida, USA.
I know all these folks.
Florida has about 7800 lakes 4 hectares and larger, lots of different types.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Andrey_V

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I dose dry chemicals and I believe that plants don't care a NO3:pO4 ratio if they are not limited in nutrients. So does it make sense if there (in the water column) PO4=1-2 ppm and 20-30 ppm of NO3? 30:1 or 20:2? Raft of variation as you can see and what? Plants stop the growth? Rely upon it they’re still alive and look pretty much superbly. Algae? Nope. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

In some cases I used to dose PPS-PRO solution. As far as you know this one is very low of nutrients mix. But in order to be successful with this approach I should adjust my CO2 concentration at 15 ppm level and tune the photoperiod according to PPS-PRO standard. To my mind JUST IN THIS SITUATION NO3:pO4 ratio may play the key role, not as for EI.

Also I don't quite understand why anybody needs to make DIY liquid NPK for EI method. EI works perfectly fine with dry powders as well and it’s more easily to dose.
:) :) :)
 

Tom Barr

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PPS pro works at 15ppm for exact SAME REASON as does PMDD.

As a matter of fact, it darn neat the same advice and target paremeters.
Hardly new, hardly advanced and hardly the method that drives better plant growth.

ADA uses a similar routine for the water column, but drives plant growth far better by using more CO2 and as a large amount of nutrient via the sediment(ADa As etc).

If you limit PO4, which is a decent nutrient to chose if you had to pick one, that will reduce the uptake of everything up stream from there.

It does not however, limit algae.
Plenty of folks have a lot of algae related issues, same with any method.

If you strongly limit PO4, you also limit NO3 uptake, as well as NH4, and certainly less CO2.

And you can use less light obviously.

However, this is a much smaller target that using less light to begin with, then using that to control rates of growth. Both myself and ADA have long used that advice (going back at least a decade).

Take a look at PMDD advice.
It's virtually the same as PMDD.

Here's the link and it's been used since 1995. Much longer and without the new name and new claims that it's someone else's and that they developed it themselves.

Practical PMDD Information

and

Control of Algae in Planted Aquaria

That's pretty much an out right lie and claiming your work is really someone else's.

I came along and used non limiting growth as a standard rather than several factors which could vary and make comparing anything nearly impossible.

Basic science suggest you need a standard reference control for non limiting growth if you want to compare different limiting treatments.

However, such logic eludes many.

If you limit light, which Sears did, and I've had these same talks with Paul over a decade ago and debates, you have less demand.

2 w/gal of plain old FL's was about anyone had back then. I used MH's and Fl's as well on other tanks.

I needed 30ppm of cO2.
I also needed higher levels of nutrients.
I had not sediment ferts at all.

I also found that nutrients did not limit algae, which is why I kept adding them to see if I could induce algae.

Still to date I never have with PO4 or NO3.

However, you can certainly limit plant growth using light, CO2 or nutrients,.

That is common sense.
Choosing PO4 is hardly something new, and when you have less CO2 because of a PO4 limitation, you obviously have less CO2 demand as well.

If you want slower plant growth, go non CO2, then no dosing , no water changes and no CO2 issues:rolleyes:
Method works far better than EI or PMDD.
It also tends to use less light.

How far do you take such logic?

I explore the entire range, not just one side and put poor assumptions into my model merely because I believe it and can make is sound all nice and furry.

If you plan on dosing plants and want leaner or reduced dosing for some reason, say less plant growth, start at the non limiting range(ei) then reduce it down slowly.

Do not start at the supper lean end where the potential for stunting plants and algae are higher.

Use less, not more light.

Use less, not more CO2(unless there are no fish etc).

These things are common sense, but folks muddle and confuse such basic things and inject their belief and uncontrolled observations and algae blooms.

Adding 3-4 way interactions are almost impossible to find anything significant, let alone single factors for most aquairist.

I can do 2 way, but have not tried any 3 way, they get geometrically large at that point. Does not matter too much at 3 also, you tend to bounce between 2 limiting factors, very rarely a 3 way issue.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 
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