Aquatic Plant Forum banner

1 - 20 of 110 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
284 Posts
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/...g/4241-pps-perpetual-preservation-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?

Yes.

Macro Solution

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.

Micro Solution

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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
284 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Thanks to whoever pointed out the typo. I moved so quick to fix, I did not note who mentioned it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,218 Posts
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.

Actually it is just fertilizer:)

Its just put together in a way that is easy to use and is formulated for the needs of aquascaping.....slower healthy growth:)

Nothing magical in there:)

Nice writeup though

jB
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
284 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Jason,

I would disagree from a newbie's perspective. The guide and PPS-Pro is about more than fertlizer, it is about a good way to grow plants.

No magical chemicals in the solutions , but nobody who knows anythings expect there to be.

This is a Newbie's guide, not expected to educate teh experts in the field, but give those just learning a chance. Like me.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,218 Posts
Actually i was thinking newbies might think there was something magical in there by the way you described it.

Either way....it is a good approach. I was a newbie at one time too.....still am in a lot of ways. I think i might have thought there were frogs eyes in there or something by the way you wrote it;)

jB
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,156 Posts
Hi snickle

That's a great write up that you did about the PPS-PRO.

Shouldn't this be included in your write up about PPS-PRO?

---is there a table posted somewhere which shows how much of each given macro you're adding per ml?
One dose adds 1ppm NO3, 0.1 ppm PO4, 1.33 ppm K, 0.1 ppm Mg, 0.1 ppm Fe(TE). Recommended dose 1 ml / 10 gallon aquarium before lights go on. ...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
284 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Left C,

Now it is part of the thread. Thanks

I left it out intentionally in the main text, because that was a newbie guide. That is definately not a newbie question.

But having those kind of questions asked and answered in this thread will continue to flesh out the knowledge.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Sticky. The presently stickied thread NOT ONCE explain what PPS is. This info is need for people who want an overview and i think thats the point of a sticky.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Hi snickle

That's a great write up that you did about the PPS-PRO.

Shouldn't this be included in your write up about PPS-PRO?
May I ask why it is important to add before lights on? And how soon before lights on is correct timing? Could you do it the night before, at lights out or before bedtime?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
284 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The goal of adding it before the lights come on is to make sure the nutrient are available to the plants once they start the photosynthesis cycle.

The recommended timing is and hour or so before lights, so that the solutions are thoroughly mixed into the water by lights on.

Should be no major issue with dosing before bed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,946 Posts
May I ask why it is important to add before lights on? And how soon before lights on is correct timing? Could you do it the night before, at lights out or before bedtime?
Not entirely sure but some fert/nutrients stay in the water column easy for plants to uptake only for a certain amount of time and to dose according to the photo-period would have the nutrients available to the plant when it needs it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
284 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
RJ,

I am still a newbie and learning. Hopefully Edward will chime in here and enlighten us, but I suspect the previous posters have it right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,156 Posts
Originally Posted by Left C
Hi snickle

That's a great write up that you did about the PPS-PRO.

Shouldn't this be included in your write up about PPS-PRO?...
May I ask why it is important to add before lights on? And how soon before lights on is correct timing? Could you do it the night before, at lights out or before bedtime?
Hi RJ

Edward and snickle are better qualified to answer your questions instead of me. I was just adding one of the pieces to the puzzle, so to speak.

But, since you asked; here's my 2¢ worth. From what I've read about iron, I think that it is more critical to dose the trace mix right before the lights come on because iron doesn't stay in the water column as long as the other nutrients. You will be maximizing it's use.

I just made my macro-solution. I'm going to test drive the PPS-PRO on one of my tanks. I have CSM+B, but I am going to be using Seachems trace line according to their dosing plan. I have plenty of Flourish, F. Iron and F. Trace.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Thanks for the replies,

Good circulation would spread the ferts out. I was thinking the the lights would degrade the fert and before light would allow plants to absorb more for usage when photosynthesis starts.

Edward do you have specific reason for before lights and how much before do you recommend?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,035 Posts
Dosing before lights go on works better. Why? Not sure. Maybe because it takes plants 20 minutes to take PO4 and all day to take NO3. What the exact timing is we don't know yet. But I think, plants do better when they have fresh nutrients available during each photoperiod.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,156 Posts
Are there aquarium water parameters or guidelines (minimum and mazimum levels) for PPS-PRO? What are the specs in your tanks using PPS-PRO, Edward?

My main concern is about NO3, PO4 and GH levels. My tap water has very low KH, GH, NO3 and PO4 levels. All my tanks use pressurized CO2.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
284 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Left C,

Good question. I'll be interested to see Edward's response. My understanding is the KH and GH don't matter too much.

NO3 levels need to be kept safe for the fish. If the bioload is too high more frequent water changes may be necessary.

As for PO4, I believe what we are adding is sufficient.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,035 Posts
Are there aquarium water parameters or guidelines (minimum and mazimum levels) for PPS-PRO? What are the specs in your tanks using PPS-PRO, Edward?

My main concern is about NO3, PO4 and GH levels. My tap water has very low KH, GH, NO3 and PO4 levels. All my tanks use pressurized CO2.
Plants are extremely adaptable. With PPS-Classic we saw what they look like in well managed levels. Then we found what plants need as a minimum requirement and put it into PPS-Pro. So here we have the minimum levels.

The maximum levels are controlled by plants uptake. However something can still go wrong and have an effect on nutrient accumulation. Here are some possible reasons, too few plants, unreasonable fish load, dissolving substrate, wrong lighting, wrong CO2, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,156 Posts
Hum....I was really asking for some #'s.

These are Tom Barr's old parameters. Is your system leaner than this?
pH 6.5 to 7.0
KH 3-6 degrees
GH 2-8 degrees
Nitrate (NO3) 5ppm-10ppm
Phosphate (PO4) 0.2ppm to 0.5ppm
Potassium(K+) 20-30ppm
Iron (Fe) 0.2ppm to 0.7ppm+

I started using PPS-PRO this past Sunday (4/22). My test tank is a 10g that has 76w of PC lighting (40w 6700K/10,000K + 36w ADA 8000K) and an automatic pressurized CO2 system.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Left C

According to my calculations, and I remember reading it somewhere here

NO3 is dosed at 2 ppm per day
K is dosed at 2.7 ppm per day
PO4 is dosed at .2 ppm per day
MG is dosed at .2 ppm per day

As far as pH, kH, gH, & Ca I don't know where the ideals should fall for these
I would assume the ranges you mentioned are okay.

Now my question is with larger fish (namely Discus in my case) should we lower the amount of NO3 we are adding to the water? Or a least be testing weekly to check on the levels till we get everything perfect?

Lou
 
1 - 20 of 110 Posts
Top