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It is always the light intensity that sets the needs for everything else in the tank. Once you get X watts per gallon, that determines if you need CO2, if Excel will suffice, or if no carbon source is needed. And, the plant growth rate is set by the light intensity, so that determines how much nutrient dosing you need, in addition to the carbon.

PPS appears to work by acclimating the plants to a lean supply of nutrients with high light. But, if I read correctly, it often results in lots of algae problems until the plants get acclimated to those conditions.
 
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