I am a newbie to planted aquariums. I decided to try the PPS-Pro approach for my 90G.
There is lots of information here on the PPS-Pro, but not a single guide for the newbie. So I decided to make my own.
This is my take on PPS-Pro derived from countless searches of APC and questions of Edward.
I am not saying this is the definitive test on PPS-Pro, but a good start.
I am also not saying this is the only way to grow plants. That would be dumb. The are many good ways of doing something, this just is the one that made the most sense to me. Newbie Guide to PPS-Pro What is PPS-Pro?
PPS-Pro is the latest generation of the Perpetual Preservation System developed by Edward. The history and scientific basis for PPS can be found here: http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...on-system.html
The goal of PPS-Pro is growing healthy plants with minimal effort. Isn’t this just fertilizer?
No PPS-Pro is more than just fertilizer. The PPS-Pro solutions are highly advanced fertilizers with years of practical research behind them. But PPS-Pro is also about the approach to growing plants for aquascaping. What do plants need to grow?
Light, carbon, nutrients (macro and micro), and proper water. What kind lighting of lighting do I need with PPS-Pro?
PPS-Pro works with lots of different lighting setups. The general guidelines are:
Low Light ( Under 2 wpg) 10-12 hours a day
Medium Light (2.0 – 3.0 wpg) 8-10 hours a day
High Light ( 3.0 – 4.0 wpg) 7-8 hours a day
Very High Light (4+ wpg) 6 (Expert level)
2.0 Wpg 12 hours
2.2 Wpg 11 hours
2.4 Wpg 10 hours
2.7 Wpg 9 hours
3.0 Wpg 8 hours
3.4 Wpg 7 hours
4.0 Wpg 6 hours What do you mean by wpg?
“wpg” stands for Watts Per Gallon. Basically take the number of total watts of the fluorescent bulbs over your tank and divide by the number of gallons the tank is.
Why do plants need carbon and how do they get it?
48% of a plant’s mass is carbon, it is the basic building block of plant life (actually most life).
Plants in nature and in most aquariums get if from CO2 (carbon dioxide) in the water. Plants take the CO2 and release O2 (Oxygen) back into the water via a process called photosynthesis during hours of sufficient light How does the CO2 get in the water?
CO2 gets in the water several different ways.
From the air: There is CO2 in the air we breathe and lots in the air we breathe out, many other sources as well.
From the fish: Fish taken in O2 and release CO2, just like a human. Since the fish are breathing in water the CO2 is released into the water.
From us: In most medium to heavy planted tanks, we add supplemental CO2 to the water. How much CO2 do I need in the water?
A good target is about 1 bps (bubble per second) which is simple to do and safe to fish and sufficient to plants.
Even a tank planted with low light plants can benefit from added CO2 What happened to the “30 ppm Ideal”?
Maintaining 30ppm can be challenging and risky for the fish. Moderate levels about 15ppm are natural and provide plenty of carbon for the plants and allows a much greater safety margin. What nutrients do plants need to grow?
Plant nutrients breakdown into two categories: Macro (Larger quantities) and Micro (small quantities)
Macro: Nitrates, Phosphates Potassium, Calcium, Carbon, Sulfur, and Magnesium
Micro: Manganese, Iron, Zinc, Copper, Boron, Nickel and Molybdenum Is there where you give us the formula?
In 1 liter bottle:
59 grams K2SO4 (Potassium Sulfate)
65 grams KNO3 (Potassium Nitrate)
6 grams KH2PO4 (Mono Potassium Phosphate)
41 grams MgSO4 (Magnesium Sulfate)
Fill with distilled water and shake well. Let sit overnight.
In 1 liter bottle:
80 grams of CSM+B or equivalent trace element mix
Fill with distilled water and shake well. Let sit overnight. How do I dose PPS-Pro solutions?
Dose 1 ml of each solution per ten gallons of tank size. Dose prior to lights turning on. Do I need a scale? Can’t I just measure the stuff with a spoon?
You need an accurate scale The scale needs to measure to the gram. Dry chemicals are very powerful and quantities need to be specific. Where can I get a scale?
Ebay Where can I get the chemicals?
There are many options, but a common one is here: http://www.greenleafaquariums.com/ http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com/ http://www.hydroponics.com/ http://www.plantprod.com/ Can I mix the two solutions in one bottle
No. The solution must be kept separate. The trace elements in the Micro mix react badly with the Macro components of the other mix at the concentration present in the solutions. Why is my macro mix cloudy and stuff settle to the bottom?
A couple potential reasons:
• Impurities in the ingredients
• Did not use distilled water
• Did not let sit overnight
• The container is not a chemical resistant plastic or glass.
No worries, just shake well. Why do I need to add them in the morning?
The goal is to have the nutrients in the water ready to use when the lights come on. An hour before the lights come on is good. What do you mean by proper water?
Good water is water that has consistent water parameters, such as pH, hardness, etc. without a build up of potentially toxic chemicals. Ironically the parameters we worry about with fish the most: Ammonia and Nitrites, don’t matter that much to plants. What do I need to test the water for?
For most part nothing more than you test for when you just have fish. PPS-Pro does not really require any additional testing. If you want to measure KH and GH fine, but no real need. Do I need to do regular water changes?
No – Maybe – Yes
No: PPS-Pro does not add excessive nutrients to the tank, so I plants only tank no water changes should be required.
Maybe: In a tank with high fish load like discus fish, the waste from the fish and food could lead to less than desirable water quality. Watch your NO3 nitrate levels. That will give you a good idea.
Yes: Certain substrates leach into the water and require the water to be changed. Water the KH levels.
Water changes do not hurt. So if you have fish go for it. Do I need to shut off my CO2 at night?
No. CO2 is available in the water full-time in nature, no reason to change that here. Since we are dosing at a lower level (15ppm) we have plenty of safety margin. And stable levels help plants and fish, making it harder on algae. The dosage seems awfully small?
The dosage seems to be is small, the goal is to give the plants what they need, not to overfeed and have nutrients build up in the water. I am planning on doing a massive water change tonight and then start dosing tomorrow. Should I add a larger dose to start?
No. The dosing should always be the same. The goal is to feed the plants what they can use in a day.