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Editors Note-

We at APC do not normally step in and edit posts or split threads with out a reason. We feel that Discussion of the PPS Method warrants it's own thread and should not be mixed with the actual article.

Original post starts below

Water, fish, plants, biology and ones individual ecosystem that are created in your rooms are not standard, they are not the same, and they are not generic. Each has a life of their own and each is unique in both design and water chemistry. Accordingly, the Perpetual Preservation System was born from this idea. The idea that your tank is different, the idea that your tank is unique and that it requires unique attention is what brings us to where we are today in terms of aquatic plant fertilization and maintenance.
Are they really unique as far as their needs?
Plants need the same things pretty much, Light, CO2 and nutrients.
Assume maximum rates, then anything less than that will still have a good supply(eg non limiting)

Not that unique..............
Routine mainteance/water changes can standarize things for everyone everywhere. Actually they have and have for some time.

If you add "just enough" for your particular "unique" tank you end up walking a razor's edge. While it's possible to add just enough with time and skill and watching the plants a lot, it also requires lots of testing, RO water, calibration of your test till you get a feel for your unique tank.
I've done this, so have many many aquarist before you.
Reef folks do this and I keep those as well.
I hear their sufering quite often, meanwhile I do a simple water change and don't need to do even 10% of the expense, time and work to have the same results.

This introduces a large amount of variables and work.

Over the past months I attempted to get this point across in many posts here on APC answering a question at a time, a parameter at a time, a topic at a time which caused confusion. Your aquatic systems are not standalone; they can not be analyzed alone, they must be looked at in its entirety as a whole.
So go from light=> CO2=> NO3=> K+=> GH=> PO4=> Traces
If those are addressed, that's pretty much all plant needs.
The rate of uptake and light(or CO2 or NO3 or PO4) that drives the system relates to the balance. This is true in marine systems, non CO2 plant tanks, lakes/ponds, rivers, anywhere there is good plant growth.

You can test each individual system and find some it's unique needs and dose accordingly.This involves a lot of testing. Many will never do that. The other issue, while testing is useful, the rates of uptake depending on biomass changes, pruning, water dosing errors etc make testing a long term project.
You will slip up and neglect a tank at some point. Adding more things and steps make this far mopre likely.
Simple is good.

After some time, folks can use their plants as indicators to see that things are fine or need work. Or they can simply go on as they were and waste a little trace/KNO3/KH2PO4. That's dirt cheap. But then it gets back to testing again. You chase the test, why wait till something is getting too low? Why wait till you start to see holes in ther M umbrosum? Some folks get good and can predict this before it occurs by watching the growth rates. That's not something that is easily learned or shown to a new person, it's learned from screwing up and trying to anticipate. Or you can test (and hope you tested the right thing/reading, be sure to calibrate etc).

But to what end? What do the test show you? Why are you dosing these nutrients to begin with?

To maintain a stable nutrient level for the plants?
To see what the plants use?

I understand the PPS, correct me if I am wrong, to mean few water changes, use only when needed or things get out of whack. Then dose and test to replace the nutrients as they are used up.

Add just enough nutrients.

Many will not calibrate their test kits. Many will neglect testing and slack off.
Many will not prune for a long peroid, many will not be able to afford or otherwise spend the $ on the test kits. It's asking a lot from someone for what?

Diana Walstad's arguement for the non CO2 method is extremely strong in that regard. No kits, no water changes, decent plant health, growth etc. Low maintenance. Supply of nutrients(fish food+ some from the substrate initially)=outputs(plant pruning). I differ with her on some points, but the overall notion is very very strong.

TE build up can cause a number of problems, we see this is reef tanks with Cu, they also, much like this, try to avoid water changes and dose only what is needed. They also do a heck of a lot of work to achieve this and at a considerable cost. Do you test for Cu? Or just Fe as proxy for all the TE?

On your dry weights pie wheel, 13% is NO3? NH4? or Total N?
My references are about 1.5% N.

I'm still trying to find some utility beyond fewer water changes.
I know you have put a lot of work into it, been there done that, still do that, but what is the goal? Good plant growth with the least amount of work? I did all that testing for years and still do it, but to answer certain questions. I want something out of my work.

Otherwise I'm doing the testing for no real reason other than to avoid a few simple water changes. I tried that. At lower light it works fairly well, any system does, I don't do any water changes of the non CO2 tanks. If I'm going to do the work and go through all that, I want something out of it. I used the rates I learned from the testing on many tanks and plant species(close to 250-300 now) to determine a simple dosing method using water changes and tap water.

This works on just about any tank, from Zambia to Australia. It works because it addresses these unique differences by assuming the tank at max light. That covers all the bases, but assumes that the higher levels will be fine, this proved to be fine regarding algae and toxicity levels build up for all the nutrients and organic by products that reduce O2 levels, not just one trace element and the kits you have on hand.

Then folks can reduce the nutrients down to suit their unique needs based on plant health, rather than testing. Water changes with tap water are easy to do, then dosing thereafter makes it easy. That answered my question and solved this issue without the need for test kits, without introducing a huge work load, without so many unknowns and expense to the hobby. It is good to test for some things to reduce the amounts of KNO3 you may need, I have a good feel for various light levels and rates of uptake, CO2/non CO2 approaches. Yep, it took many years and work and discussion as well.

I'm still not clear on what your goal is here besides reducing water changes through lots of testing and long term reliance on the test kits. Can you discuss that aspect in detail and the reasoning behind it?

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
IUnknown said:
I think one good thing with this method is the information on Ca and mg. I've got the test kits coming in a couple of weeks, so I'm not sure its my problem, but at least the information has given me another place to look for answers to my leaf curling/stunting problem.
Yes, it's good to have, Steve Dixon and I did some Gh work back in the 1990's as the SF tap water is notoriously low (0 to 20ppm).
He added Mg and Ca and after seeing my tanks and tap water switched to adding more GH.

There is an old article on sfbappas site to this effect with very soft purer waters.

Up take rates can be used and useful for Ca/Mg if you plan on adding "just enough" but I see no utility in adding just enough or testing for it unless you know there is an issue. I used a wide variety of tap waters with enormous ranges over the years, I've never found found issues unless the Gh was too low.

So adding plenty to never have it become limiting has been much easier than testing.

I can add just enough NO3 to a tank also, but why?
Why walk this fine razor's edge? Does higher Ca/Mg cause algae? Hurt plant growth, if so which species? I have no seen any GH related issues at high GH in any plant species, KH I have seen with 2-3 species better growth at low KH's, but not GH's. I have plenty of dosing experience with Mg as do many being part of the PMDD program.

Neil and I discussed Ca for many years, he has very soft tap water as well.

I've found plants do much better with higher GH's.
Same thing for KH, but there are 2-3 species that seem to grow "better" at lower KH's.Most plants will grow better as there is an ample supply of DIC Carbon.

This makes me question the utility of GH measuring unless you have a gaol of minimizing the additions of Ca/Mg for some reason.

Can you better pinpoint the rates of uptake and predict the ratios? Sure, not sure why you would find that useful though nor gain much from knowing that.

Testing is great and all, but to what end? You can rule it out I suppose, but I've said that years ago if it was in excess and high enough, 50-100ppm or so, then you don't have much to worry about. If you still suspect something, add a little MgSO4 as Ca is virtually never in excess to Mg in any tap water.

If you use RO, then you neeed to add all the KH/GH components back, that's a PITA but too bad once you get use to it. You add 1 tablespoon of CaCl2 and 1 Tables spopon of Baking soda or Potassium carbonate etc, 3/4 teaspoon of MgSO4 to your tank after each water change and then you are done, it's standard.

If you want to push the water changes and not do them....then this information begins to become useful and you'll still need to test......

So there are trades offs..........

I'm not sure these are worth all the testing and seeing how far you can go without messing things up at higher growth rates.

You can test to check to make sure Ca/Mg do not louse up and become limiting.........

But after testing and all and calibrating the test.....it seems easier and cheaper to do a water change.

Why avoid the water change? Seems like a self imposed barrier to me.
I've tried as have many others with good test kits(All lamotte and Hach) to try and add only what the plants will use and avoid water changes. I know the mentality of it and results. It's 3easy to do with non CO2 methods and as you increase the light, CO2 you increase the uptake rates of the plants.

Edward is entirely correct about each tank having a unique uptake rates, plant species etc. Uptake rates in a tank will less/more than another.

Plant specific uptake rates also play a huge role.

But these rates are not a problem nor need monitored if you add a standard solution back into the tank each week and do the large water changes.

All that monitoring cost you money, time and work.

Water changes removes many of the unknowns, need for testing in the first place(something that is very tough to get folks to do for even the most basic things such as pH/KH, many still don't measure KH routinely)

One area I would suggest that would be very useful using PPS, monculture of specific plant species.

That work would be useful, in addressing plant specific issues and appearances without infuences of other plant-plant competitions.

But not everyone wants a single species plant tank:)

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Hi,

I'm sorry, I don't want to lead the discussion anywhere else, but at least I have to try to understand this.

I have two tanks, 53gall and 15gall. It takes 1 hour and 30 minutes to change water in both tanks and it takes 5 minutes to test water in both tanks and take notes.

Now.. Please explain to me what is so wrong with testing? Like, I find very interesting the Estimative Index too, but I really can't see any problem in trying a system where you don't change water, or the water change is not so frequent.

I know Tom, you will come up with a very good argument, but admit it please.. there is nothing wrong with testing. Besides, you have lots of experience, and you also agree with the fact that calibrating a test kit will lower the chance of bad reading. Now arguments like "lots of people will not calibrate their test kits", is entering into people heads and figure out the future. Assuming you're not on the voodoo/black magic scene, explain to me what is so wrong with testing.

Best Regards
Miguel
 

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In my opinion, there is definitely nothing "wrong" with testing and I don't think that any one would say that there is.But there is a chance for readings that are less than accurate. The reason I started usig the Estimated Index is because there is really no way to screw it up. As long as you do the weekly water changes, you are ok. Of couse I'm new to this and this is only my opinion.Thanks,
John
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Its me [color=#175172 said:
I have two tanks, 53gall and 15gall. It takes 1 hour and 30 minutes to change water in both tanks and it takes 5 minutes to test water in both tanks and take notes.[/color]
Hummm.........

1.
It takes how long to do drain and replace 35 gallons worth of water?
It takes me all of 10 minutes to do 50% weekly water changes on tanks that size. I use a siphon hose and out the water goes, drains in minutes, I add a hose to refill(I use tap), I don't touch a bucket. Done, I can do water changes on my lunch hour for 5 tanks, totaling 180 gallons in 35 minutes and still eat lunch as they fill.

2. Some of us in SFBAAPS work even harder at being lazy, we have automated water changes.

A simple 1/4" tube and led to a drain with timer shut out solenoid, a float valve(manual type of electronic) refill with a 1/4" tube.
Easy, simple, cheap and it's simply hard work being that lazy!!

3. I can say it takes me 2 hours to test, 20 minutes to do a water change.
I can come up with extremes, most folks are not that slow at water changes.

I'd figure out an easier method to do a water change personally, but you can do a water slow as you want, that's _your choice_, not an arguement nor is "easier" or "faster".

I've been there done this a long long time ago.
You guys want to argue and reinvent the wheel with a different name, feel free.

If you seek to get out of work, an automatic water change system is easy and works. Dosing EI works for the rest.

If you want to get out of even more work, use automatic dosing pumps.

I really am trying to think why it could possibly take you __so long__ to do a water change........???

So you can test Ca, Mg, KH, NO3, PO4, in 5 minutes?
But it takes you 90 minures to change 35 gal of water?

This assumes the kits are accurate also and/or calibrated.
We will assume that to be the case.

Folks need to do that as well and make standard solutions, most are scared to death of chemistry and their eye glaze over. They are scared of KNO3, KH2PO4, CaCl2, and adding all this metrically weighed stuff into 500mls of water.

It's hard enough telling them to add "1/4 teaspoon of this jar 2-3 x a week".
Try telling them to calibrate and make a standard solution. Sure a few brains will, but most will go "uhhhhhh......I did not take Chemistry"........

I try to make it easy, cheap and simple for folks.

Now.. Please explain to me what is so wrong with testing?


Nothing "wrong with it" per se,

1.Folks did not get into this hobby to test.
They get into it to have a nice planted tank, gardening, nicer place for the fish etc.

2.Folks buy junky test kits, folks believe junky test kits to be true and accurate, that's caused huge issues for many years/decades. They buy PO4 removed, worry about NO3, Fe especially... ad nauseum.

3. Folks don't like to test as rule, trying to get hobbyist to do this consistently is highly difficult. I worked at a LFS as kid, I suggested this, few ever did it. They brought the water samples to me to test it and we charged them for this service, that's pretty common.

You guys should offer your testing services:)

4. Test kits cost a fair amount(decent ones) and are an added expense many do not want to invest it. People are cheap in this hobby.They will look for other alternatives before spending the $, a few will, but many will never test no matter what.

5. You don't need them, they are nice for some things, they are useful for research.

Like, I find very interesting the Estimative Index too, but I really can't see any problem in trying a system where you don't change water, or the water change is not so frequent.
Me either, try a non CO2 tank sometime since you enjoy no water changes.......

You can try and push things and not do water changes, try and test things and see waht you are missing etc and dose accordingly.
We all have done it to some degree over time.

You will never grow if you do not try what you have already not mastered.
I know both sides of this coin, this applies to CO2 enriched tank, high and low light systems, high low bioloads, you pick a method, even Saltwater and reef folks. I've been at this for a long time and at in a large way.

I've never said something this generalized, I've said for many years, non CO2 tanks do not get water changes for YEARS. I have such tanks. I've tested them in the past, I really do not care to test something where I'm trying to reduce the work load on it already.

Many folks have tried to add only what the tank needs and avoids water changes with CO2 and high light. They crash their tanks, have algae and other issues, they might get away with it for awhile, but generally the tank will be a better healthier system and garden with water changes rather than avoiding them. Even some of the best observational folks and scapers I know acknowledge the problem in CO2 enriched systems lacking water changes over extended peroids of time with higher light.

Plantr health is often healthier as a result, that's the ruler folks might consider.

As far as testing, higher light and more CO2 will drive the uptake rates faster and you can see what nutrients are used up much quicker and get results
that assume the fastest rates, that's a max amount needed.

You are certainly welcomed to try it or any method, been there done that years ago, I'm just asking why and how is it easier.

If you reduce the light down, it'll work better.
If you go non CO2, it'll work great.

How do I know these things? Humm.......

I know Tom, you will come up with a very good argument, but admit it please.. there is nothing wrong with testing.
[/quote]

Hehe, I will?
Okay I admit it.

Okay there's nothing wrong with a bad test kit that gives an incorrect readings that I do not own because I'm too cheap to buy them and I'm too lazy to use because I have an automatic water changes and it takes me 5 minutes once a month to fill the autodosing reserviors and I really need to test my non CO2 tanks often to maintain their "balance". I also hate chemistry and do not know anything about it and feel I do not need to know any of that high flutin intellectual jargon to grow plants:)

Otherwise test kits are very useful.

They do have their uses, CO2, but even that has some limits. They are useful in determining uptake rates for certain plant species, groups of plants to a much lesser degree, for finding out a routine such as the EI, it came from test kits so that other did not have to go through this again.

Why did we come all this way? Why did we come down from the trees?

This might bother people as much as adding PO4 did some years ago when I suggested that controversial notion......

I've never said testing is bad, I've said some test methods and some test kit kits are bad. I have said you do not need test kits for things except for GH/KH/pH.

Besides, you have lots of experience, and you also agree with the fact that calibrating a test kit will lower the chance of bad reading. Now arguments like "lots of people will not calibrate their test kits", is entering into people heads and figure out the future. Assuming you're not on the voodoo/black magic scene, explain to me what is so wrong with testing.
The High priest of voodoo suggest you read the above for a reference.
I've nagged folks to calibrate their kits some 9 years ago.
So yes, I do get inside an aquarist head ask basic questions about what seems reasonable. I do recall how many folks really did it.

No voodoo needed there, I called it common sense about people.

But testing the heck out of your water to what end?
To avoid a water change?To avoid work?
To see about uptake rates?
Does it make the plants grow better?
Is it something folks will do and continue to do?
Is it cheap?
RO water is a PITA for tanks and especially if you have many of them.
Another item you do not need.

I need a reason to test and do all this work.
I'm lazy and want to avoid work, not chase after it.
I certainly don't want to remove things from tap water and then add them back again.

So how is this easier than an auto water changer and how is it cheaper??
RO waste lots of water also. So you pay what? 90% more for the water change assuming a reject rate of 90%.

The critque still stands and no one has said much.
I think you've dug yourself in deeper.

Auto water changers, now there's a lazy person's nirvana....

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Hi,

Tom, there are a couple of things here you say that makes absolutely no sense at all; you enter in people heads ? You kidding me right ? Unless you have those fancy swords and your name is Obi-Wan-Kanobi and you master Jedi mind tricks.

You invented the weel? Hope its not another jedi mind trick.

Need to know a lot about chemistry? Ok, here goes my experience now: not much people here try chems on their tanks, so talking with them about PPS, EI or PMDD is the exact same thing (chemistry is not the issue here).

So, all test kits are way bad. Ok, i assume you have tested them all, and i wont fight with you about this, after all... you invented the weel (sorry to talk so much about the weel but i found the expression hilarious).

Automatic water changes: want me to put tubes around the living room, or put them inside walls to hide it ? Yeah right.

Take in consideration Tom, you might have lots of experience, no one is telling the opposite, now assuming all your theories are right, and the rest is wrong, man.. you will need the voodoo to help ya out.
Being humble aint that hard to be, even for weel inventors. :)

Best Regards
Miguel
 

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If I may interject here...

There are many aspects to this hobby we call Planted Aquaria, some like to grow plants and are happy when they grow, some strive for the perfect scape, some just want to make nice home for their bait and some enjoy the techie aspect and all its trappings. There are other reasons I'm sure I've missed. Just as there are many reasons folks get into this hobby there are many ways to achieve similar goals. The essence of this thread has turned into EI vs PPS and I think thats not where it should be headed. Personally I enjoy the regimen of daily dosing, the mixing of semi precise solutions and the testing to back up my observations. For "ME" that is enjoyable, it appeals to the techie in me.

Tom, I gather thats not an aspect you enjoy, thats great, and EI works for you and it works for lots of people.

Miguel, I know you like the testing and the discussions we have had about the relative merits of adjusting doses by ml levels.

No one is forcing anyone to choose EI over PPS, they are alternatives, and not the only ones at that.

I respectfully ask the both of you to stop beating each over the head and neck area with driftwood and lets take this conversation in a new route. How about discussing PPS and how you use it or if you have issues or questions please post them here.

Thanks
 

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Hi,

Well said gnatster, it will lead us nowhere i guess. The intention was not to make a "war" between PPS and EI, im the first to say both work fine for a lot of people, just wasnt understanding why testing is a federal crime. But i have my awnser now, and wont post again asking Tom, this or that, it will take us to never end roads and 750 lines posts that not all have the patience to read.

Best Regards
Miguel
 

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I am sorry for coming late - maybe the party is over but I really want to first of all understand what Tom is suggesting so allow me please -

I have a high light high CO2 tank with all the nutrients and everything. This is at least what I believe... I think NO3 consumption in this tank should be 5 ppms per day. But I also know that if something goes wrong with the traces the consumption rate could be absolutely 0 - nil !! So I have to be preapred to both extremes... So I do my weekly 50% water change and add 5 ppm no3 per day. After all I don't want the no3 to bottom out before the end of the week - right? So I add the full 5 ppm daily. Now if the tank consumption is 0 then by the end of the week I added net 35 ppms. Now if I keep this routine I will have a tank with 35 ppms after water change and 70 ppm before next water change. Is that how I am supposed to grow my plants? And all the time I have no idea that something is wrong over there. And if I test for NO3 and it's high - shouldn't I test PO4 to see maybe this is the reason? And KH?

Moreoever, I have a 190 gal tank - 50% WC takes 2.5 hours.

Aviel.
 

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You dose 5 ppm NO3 (and *everything else*, KH2PO4, Micros, GH) after wc and keep up with CO2.

You don't dose the next fulldoseofeverything until the pearling from plants are noticable less, not nil, just less.

Then you can be totally sure the plants need everything again and nothing is building up. If some nutrient should be building up anyway, however very unlikely, the large wc will keep it down.
 

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Doesn't work,

Because nitrate uptake is 0 - plants pearl less after the first/second days - so waht do I do yet another 50% WC? :???: Geeez 3 hours instead of 5 minutes testing for NO3?

Aviel.
 

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It do work.

Up the KH2PO4-dose and you will rock bottom your NO3-levels in notime - if the CO2-levels are good.

You will probably now say something like "But my PO4-test says 2 ppm already!".

My response will be: That is probably DOP, not DIP. Add DIP in the form of KH2PO4 that the plants can utilize instead of DOP that can't be used until it is mineralized in the substrate (which takes a lot more time than the growth rate)

And you measured NO3 is probably DON. Add som DIN in the form of KNO3 and it will probably be taken up faster. In fact adding KNO3 despite high NO3-readings will probably plummet your NO3-levels. Try it.
 

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Defdac,

No it won't work - not necessarily that is - po4 is not the only contributor - there could be others - it could be anything. And if po4 is @ 1.5ppm and you thought it's 0 and you add 1.5 ppm? then you have 3 ppm.... And you have 3ppms which are not consumed by the plants because something is stuck so guess who eats it first?

BTW - great tank and great movie you have there! Absolutely amazing - I put that link in the Israeli forum - come to visit www.freshreef.com

Aviel.
 

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it could be anything. And if po4 is @ 1.5ppm and you thought it's 0 and you add 1.5 ppm? then you have 3 ppm....
See my edited post.

You have to know if you measured organic bound PO4 or inorganic. Plants doesn't use organic bound PO4 (fish poo) until it is mineralized in the substrate. KH2PO4 is inorganic and can be utilized directly by the plants.

When they get a lot of inorganic PO4 the NO3-levels dive. I promise you. If you're on target with CO2 that is.
 

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Tom,

In an effort to clear up confusion and misunderstanding would you be so kind as to create a new thread entitled Estimative Index (EI) and detail the process for all. Once created I will happily sticky it in the Fert Forum. I think this will help people to see another of the various methodologies available.

Thanks
 

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Gnaster,

Yes that would be a good idea...

Daniel,

I said I do 50% water and yes I do add 0.35 ppm kh2po4 daily and my po4 test kits confirms that this is the rate of consumption so it can't be DOP or DON that I measure. Right?

But back to my understanding of Tom's method: no test kits, 50% WC once a week and add those nutrients daily. If so then I have no idea of what my nitrate consumption rate - it could be 0 ppm per day and it could be 5 ppm per day. Since I am afraid of bottom out of nitrate I must add 5 ppm per day. Since there are 7 days a week then I add 35 ppms per week. If the tank consumed 0 nitrate then I will have swings between 35 ppm right after WC and 70 ppm right before next WC.

PO4 is not the only problem - it could also be light, CO2, K, iron, molybdenum, manganse, u-name-it deficiency and maybe too much of something and you can't analyze it - you are not supposed to measure anything. The whole approach is that plenty of nutrients and (plentry of nutrients) X 2 is fine....

That approach could work if you know your consumption rates - if you are absolutely sure that your no3 won't bottom out because there's no reason for it to decrease by more than 1 ppm per day. But us newbies, when something is not pearling - we need to test, and check, and double check - no?

Right?

Aviel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
defdac said:
You told me this when I asked about this over at APD:
http://fins.actwin.com/aquatic-plants/month.200412/msg00004.html

"The above references are for terrestrial plants, which have no ionic Ca++ floating around their leaves(from water+ CaCl2 which disassociates into their ions Ca++ and Cl-)"
With very low circulation that would be a problem I guess?
Traces I have enough of. The substrate is another matter. Perhaps I should try shoving down some CaCl2 by the roots and see if things get better - but if the plant have to transport things from the roots/older parts I guess it would still get curly leaves?
This whole thing of certain plant specific problems with certain plants is not a PPS issue.

This is more a specific dosing issue.
Aquatic Plants do not use Ca++, Mg++ from the substrate in nature nor in lab studies. So if you have enough in the water column, that's where it'll come from.
While you can test to see what you over looked, often a poor NO3 test or too low NO3 levels will cause issues similar to Ca,

Pearl grass is friggin weed, so is Rotala var green, if you stunt it, it takes a long time for it to recover. Same for Ammannia.

You need to be specific with the plant species. Testing can help as a good test kit and modification of your dosing routine can help to adjust for some funny plant's tolerances.

Generally in virtually all cases, folks need to add more nutrients, not less.
This can still be done with PPS also.

So you can see how the long term excesses influence plant growth over time without water changes. Still, I can add the nutrients back and keep them more stable using water changes and dosing.

Otherwise you end up chasing the nutrients with test kits and not being able to amintain a good standard reference solution without the need for lots of testing and other unknows such as oragnic interactions and by products.

While using RO removes some unknowns..........not doing water changes also introduces other unknows as well.

I can test inorganic ions, I cannot(well, I can, but few hobbyists use organic chemical testing) test for organic compunds of whichb there are many and how they influence things is very debateable but liltte has been done on it.

Most foplks that have tried not doing water changes and dosing had much better success by doing their 1-2 week water changes 40-50%.

That's not me, that lots of folks that tried to avoid water changes with a nice healthy planted tanks over time using CO2 moderately high light. After trying this for a few months , years, you'll figure it out and see for yourself.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Its me said:
Hi,

Tom, there are a couple of things here you say that makes absolutely no sense at all; you enter in people heads ? You kidding me right ?
I'll let you answer that one:)

Need to know a lot about chemistry? Ok, here goes my experience now: not much people here try chems on their tanks, so talking with them about PPS, EI or PMDD is the exact same thing (chemistry is not the issue here).
Okay, which is easier to explain to someone?
Add 1/4 teaspoon of this "fertilizer" 3x aweek or..........

Test your NO3, calibrate this test kit and make known standards for these and also test 6 other parameters in the same way? You still dose both.

This is simpler than PMDD and PPS and over the long term, works better as far as plant health/growth is concerned.

I've tried to talk chem with folks, they freak. Some get it, many don't.
So if we say add 3 basic things, 4-5 if they have soft water, then it's easier.
If we call them ferts and add 1/4 teaspoon of this 3x a week, no chem involved.

Simple, easy and less pain. Results.........they are very good. If you do this simple routine, the results continue.

Not everyone wants to do water changes, fair enough, there are trade offs associated with that. What these trade off are is the focus of this thread.

What trades off seem reasonable to you is subjective to some degree, but what you trying to acheive with these trade offs?

Less work? Simplicity? Research? Better plant health/growth? Less algae?
Fewer water changes?

These are basic questions as to what your goal is.

So, all test kits are way bad. Ok, i assume you have tested them all, and i wont fight with you about this, after all... you invented the weel (sorry to talk so much about the weel but i found the expression hilarious).
Me too:) hehe...no all kits are not "bad", all kits should be run against a standard though to see if they are off scale or bad.
Many folks will never run their test kits against a standard, they will ask is this kit good or not.

No, I have not tried ever kit brand, I like Lamotte and Hach as far a somewhat relative reasonable costing hobby kit to suggest.
These have proven the best for the water monitoring industry and Reef aquarist who are far more inclined to drop $$ for testing, invest the time and to avoid water changes. Salt cost $$ so water changes are a balance there.
They still do water changes no matter how careful they are.
Even the top people do this. Amano does it. I do it. Reef folks do it.

Ask yourself why.

Automatic water changes: want me to put tubes around the living room, or put them inside walls to hide it ? Yeah right.
I drill into the wall and run them underneath, once done, I do not have to fool with it from then on. 4 hours saves me 400 hours per year and the water changes are consistent.

All I do dose some dry ferts, take 4 minutes a week.

You do not have to do this by any means, but you said the water changes were a problem.

If it takes you 90 minutes to change 35 gallons of water, that would be an issue for me too.

You create your own set of barriers to your own solutions.
I use to do that. Jedi mind trick or common sense solution to the problem?
I'm not poking fun at you, I'm asking you to consider what you are saying.
I've been on both sides of this fence. I've done both methods for many years. So have my friends.

Take in consideration Tom, you might have lots of experience, no one is telling the opposite, now assuming all your theories are right, and the rest is wrong, man.. you will need the voodoo to help ya out.
Being humble aint that hard to be, even for weel inventors. :)
Best Regards
Miguel
Personal attacks are not arguements of support.
That's what politians do, not scientist.

I'm not saying this is "wrong", I'm just asking to what goal do you hope to acheive? What is the purpose?

That is a very humble question and seem to have been lost in the personal issues.

To date, no one has offered a supportive answer.

I can suggest extremism on either side to make a case.
I am practical and solve things that make life easier and the plants grow better.

I'm trying to see what this has to offer that we have not already done 100 times long before any of you even had fully planted tanks. Myself included.

I have yet to hear anything new or a new method.
I do see an updated method that includes more testing, calibration of test kits etc, that's good if this method is your goal.
But folks used Lamotte and Hach kits years ago and tried this and these kits are pretty darn good and accurate IME/IMO.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Tom,

Full marks for your interesting responses in this discussion. I appreciate your sense of humor and time. Your perpetual dedication is inspiring.

Can I ask you about the following? :-s
Pearl grass is friggin weed, so is Rotala var green, if you stunt it, it takes a long time for it to recover.
Do you mean: Pearl grass and Rotala var green are hardy aquatic weeds. If, by some amazing chance, your fertilizing regimen causes stunting, they take a long time to recover.


Eats shoots and leaves

Andrew Cribb
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
gnatster said:
Tom,

In an effort to clear up confusion and misunderstanding would you be so kind as to create a new thread entitled Estimative Index (EI) and detail the process for all. Once created I will happily sticky it in the Fert Forum. I think this will help people to see another of the various methodologies available.

Thanks
Yes.

My points about PPS, I've done this and have made comments about how it worked, or did not work for me. I've tried it with CO2 , non CO2 and with a battery of Lamotte and Hach kits, so have other folks from year's past that no longer post on the APD. I've tried it with several ranges of light intensities.

These are comments directly related to this PPS.
It's nice to organize it further and make it more of a "method", but folks have been doing this for a long long time already. If you look back into past folk's experiences rather than folks with only a few years, you'll see some neat ideas and some things folk's learned.

It's better to learn from exepirence........as long as it's not your own.
This is one reason I post.
I suffered but am able to try new things to solve the problem and take a new way to look at the problem.

Some things folks can do......and avoid testing and approach it from a non CO2 prespective. No testing needed there.

I suggested that. I also know folks that have tried no water changes in high light CO2 tanks, we all slack off and try and dose over time and can see the results. They often are algae or stunted slowed growth.

Many very very good observational people have done this over many years. They watch the plants carefully and add what is needed.

Plant response is key.

This is one reason such a system will work in a non CO2 tank where uptake is lower do to CO2 limitations and lower light.

This is PPS exemplified. Or is it DW's apporach or is it a non CO2 approach?
Dosing PO4 to excess, is this EI or is it PPS?

The lines blur here.

These are some of the points I've made.
I'm not suggesting any method is "worse" or "better".

But there are trade offs for each main method and more wiggle room when you use less light, slow things down, don't add CO2.

These trade offs might be worth while for you or they might not.
I consider folks going through this testing process a "phase".

I do like to test a great deal for the record. But only if I am trying to answer a specific question, not as part of a routine. I want something out of my work efforts.

I realized that I did not have to test and could guess the rest of the week by doing large water changes.

Folks had issues with test kits, most still do.

Perhaps some day folks doing this will get lazy and wonder what good is all this data from the testing.

Not doing water changes introduces a number of unknowns, those assumptions can get you into trouble when you try to interpert things.

I have no idea why it takes some folks so long to do water changes, I add a hose, drain, add another hose, fill...or... automated water changes.

Those issues are easy to address.
It removes many assumptions and requirements.

Then there's a practical part: does it work well?

You try PPS at 4 w/gal for a year with no water changes and you try EI for a year. I'll let you decide for yourself.

Sharing info is good, I am doing that here in this thread. It seems I've considered both sides and few side of the coin many have not.

I'm asking why is this useful and why is it being used.
I asked myself this same question as well a number of years ago.

I tested some non CO2 tanks a few years back. I found they needed more K+, Ca, Mg, a little traces and fish food could do the rest. I added PO4 also, it had little effect on plants/algae.

I ended up adding SeaChem EQ as it had most everything I needed, and a pinch once a week added what helped the plants out.

Edward suggest adding GH(Ca/Mg) etc.

That mirrors the suggestions and what I've found also.

But I'm not going to test just to get out of work.
I do not do more work ...to get out work.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 
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