My experiences with the PPS and EI method - Fertilizing - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 08-22-2005, 12:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I think most folks mix up 1 tablespoon of CSM+B with 250ml of water and dose according to tank size. I dose 15ml of this solution in my 75g tank with about 2.75wpg.

As far as test kits, it is very important that you get a good pH and KH kit if you are using CO2. Some will suggest you get a NO3 and PO4 kit also. The beauty of EI is that you don't need to test your NO3 and PO4 levels. You already know that you are adding a certain amount of each fertilizer each week. This amount is over and above what the tank should be using for the week. Half of what remains at week's end is taken from the tank with the 50% water change and you simply start over adding the ferts again.

You can always add slightly more of KNO3 and KH2PO4 than recommended, there is no set amount. Play with it and see how the plants grow. Just try and only change one thing at a time and give it a week or two to see results before you change something else.

The fish should be fine with your dosing...
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Old 08-23-2005, 09:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatPat
The beauty of EI is that you don't need to test your NO3 and PO4 levels.
You can always add slightly more of KNO3 and KH2PO4 than recommended, there is no set amount. Play with it and see how the plants grow.
How do you proceed without test kits?

Thank you
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Old 08-24-2005, 03:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You simply don't test. It's quite easy to not test.

http://www.barrreport.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1

I believe you have referred to it as the dump and flush method many times Edward
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Old 08-24-2005, 03:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Edward,

If you do a 50% water change every week then you can always estimate mathematically what the maximum levels are in the tank. You can do the math by hand or enter the formulas in a spreadsheet.

For example if you start with a mythical dose of 10grams (for math simplicity)of something per week. You then divide that by 2 (50% water change) which equals 5. Then you're adding 10 again the second week = 15. After WC =7.5 then adding 10 = 17.5. After WC 17.5/2= 8.75 +10 =18.75/2=9.375+10=19.375/2= etc., etc.

You can see from the formula that if you carry it out far enough you max out at just below twice the amount you dose at. The only other twist is that in the real world you'll be lower because of plant uptake but if you are dosing on the high side this doesn't become an issue.

Hope this helps, Bill

You can use the same mathematical ideas with other dosing and water change percentages but 50% water change seems like the simplest.
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Old 08-24-2005, 06:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hi MatPat
How does one know if more KNO3 or PO4 is needed?

Thank you
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Old 08-24-2005, 08:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Edward, I am assuming (and hoping) that the look of the plants will tell you if you need to increase the amount of fertilizers. If this is incorrect someone please tell me.
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Old 08-24-2005, 08:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I believe whether or not to add more KNO3/KH2PO4 depends very much on how fast you want growth to be, or how much minimum your plants need to grow at a "just-nice" rate so algae doesn't have a chance at growing.
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Old 08-24-2005, 10:48 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward
Hi MatPat
How does one know if more KNO3 or PO4 is needed?

Thank you
Edward
As you already know, EI dosing is based on dosing to excess, or more than the plants need based on uptake rates.

In your dosing method, you state that a good range for NO3 is in the 10-30ppm range and PO4 is in the 0.1-2ppm range. How hard is it keep your levels in this range without testing?

Since this was Frozenoak's thread, if you, feel this needs to be discussed more, why not move this part of the discussion to its own thread so we do not steal Frozenoak's thread?
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Old 08-24-2005, 11:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frozenoak
I am aware that rapid changes to an aquarium is hard on fish. When I get my ferts from Greg Watson should I immediately dump the required amount into the tank or do I need to add them slowly and build up to the concentrations that I need?
Nope, add them right into the tank. I add the poweder directly, some dilute in water first, some make solutions and dose mls.

You can also use test kits and adjust EI accordingly to whatever the range of nutrients you like to target. No rule against that either.
I often do not listen to my test kits, I listen to my plants.
Then I go back when the plants are happy and see what levels things are at.

Before suggesting EI I suggested this about a decade ago:
http://www.sfbaaps.com/reference/barr_02_01.shtml

Folks where more skittish about dosing, but more folks had trouble testing and using junky kits, did not calibrate the test kits etc.
You'll note the more conservative amounts also back then.

Folks already where doing water changes so using that to make dosing easier for their already existing routine made things much easier.

PPS can use Test kits of not, you can do large water changes with that method and you can also not test by doing that.

The main difference is that PPS uses solutions much like PMDD, EI typically uses dry teaspoon measurements except for Traces.

Otherwise they do the same thing and both can be done with or without water changes over extended peroids, with or without test kits and Excel spreadsheets.

You can easily use PPS's SS and PS etc for dosing EI.

PPS/EI and any dosing routine that produced good plant growth has excess nutrients levels for a given growth rate. Otherwise you'd have poor plant growth and algae.

If it's a little excess or a lot, it does not matter as the upper ranges for the nutrients are extremely high except CO2/NH4.

Plants make the best test kit anyway, I change my dosing routines based on them much more than a test kit reading.

Regards,
Tom Barr
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Old 08-24-2005, 12:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain
You can also use test kits and adjust EI accordingly to whatever the range of nutrients you like to target. No rule against that either.
The Estimative Index of Dosing, or No Need for Test Kits
by Tom Barr, 20050125


Suggested EI test kits:
pH Pinpoint pH monitor(much better), Red Sea low range(cheaper)
KH Most all test kits are decent such as Tetra/Sera etc.
NO3 LaMott(much better), SeaChem(cheaper)
GH Same as KH
Fe Hach(much better), Sera or SeaChem(cheaper)
PO4 Hach(much better), SeaChem(cheaper)
K+ Aquarium Landscapes, Lamott

References

Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain
The main difference is that PPS uses solutions much like PMDD, EI typically uses dry teaspoon measurements except for Traces.
Otherwise they do the same thing and both can be done with or without water changes over extended peroids, with or without test kits and Excel spreadsheets.
Can EI run high light aquarium with CO2 for a year without a water change?

Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain
You can easily use PPS's SS and PF etc for dosing EI.
EI does not include Ca, Mg and K2SO4 management. Please see abundant EI threads and http://www.sfbaaps.com/reference/barr_02_01.shtml for reference.


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Edward
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