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Old 02-20-2013, 02:03 PM   #1
Elyssa
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PPS vs. EI


Been reading and researching a bit on PPS vs. EI.

Looking for personal experiences with either methods and why you prefer one over the other, if you have actually used both.

I'm starting a 55G w/low light, no CO2 and prefer the most economical method in the long run.

With that being stated, I should say I'm wanting to get knowledgeable for the graduation to another bigger tank, that would be higher tech, with lighting and co2 injection!

Thanks.

Last edited by Elyssa; 02-20-2013 at 04:08 PM.. Reason: clarify
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:37 PM   #2
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PPS will last longer. I was using PPS on a dirted tank with high light and co2 and the growth was incredible. though, i'm sure if i had gone with EI the growth would have been just as amazing.

PPS attempts to keep the right amount of nutrients in the tank without over doing it. EI requires weekly water changes to remove excess nutrient buildup.

I'm using EI now and trying to get all my crap in order... co2 and new led lighting. that along with EI has me battling some algae. I should stop the ferts for now though.

regardless... no co2? don't bother dosing
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:56 PM   #3
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I started off dosing EI in my low tech tank, pretty much the same exact setup as you. Algae quickly over ran my tank! I made some fixes and cut back the dosing drastically and now everything is back to normal. I would not dose EI if you are not running CO2, the algae growth will be crazy. I cut back greatly and everything is running and growing fine now.

Just an FYI, the algae got so bad that it pretty much choked my anubias and I had to cut off alot of dead leaves. i would stay away from EI dosing for sure.
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:33 PM   #4
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No real point in following either in a low light, no co2 tank. I would recommend occasional doses of a trace mix (csm+b) and potassium along with a decent bioload.
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:35 PM   #5
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look into pmdd (poor man's dosing drops) if you want to do something for low tech. I used it for my 55 low lech tank without algae problems. just make sure you make really dilute solutions so that it is easier to measure the small amounts required.
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:17 PM   #6
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+1 for snausage and seanski21
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:17 PM   #7
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Thanks everybody for feedback thus far. I'm just trying to learn for future expansion and when the time comes know exactly what I'm going to be doing. Just a bit of pro-active research!

With current set up, I figure best approach would be just to watch the plants and figure out the deficiencies if any crop up and add accordingly.

But again, I'd love to go all out high tech in the future and plan to do so. Don't want to go into it ignorant.

It just seems like the EI approach is radical with the excessive dosing and water changes. But I feel I'm missing something with saying that since so many seem to do it. With smaller tanks not so much of an issue but over 100 gallons, seems like it would be a PITA w/weekly w/c's!!!

Thanks again.
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:20 PM   #8
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seanski21, thanks for the pmdd lead, regardless of where I am at with the future tank(s), I don't want to be wasteful!
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scapegoat View Post
PPS will last longer. I was using PPS on a dirted tank with high light and co2 and the growth was incredible. though, i'm sure if i had gone with EI the growth would have been just as amazing.

PPS attempts to keep the right amount of nutrients in the tank without over doing it. EI requires weekly water changes to remove excess nutrient buildup.

I'm using EI now and trying to get all my crap in order... co2 and new led lighting. that along with EI has me battling some algae. I should stop the ferts for now though.

regardless... no co2? don't bother dosing
Both methods can add more and less and end up being the same, they both add the same things, only he rates are different.

EI does not require weekly water changes, those are used as an example.

Algae and most issues are light/CO2 related, not fert related, there's (with ferts) little risk there.

As far EI weekly water changes, ADA also suggest weekly water changes even without the dosing. But few question Amano curiously. I do large water changes on my more pruned and gardened aquariums, less on lower light and less pruned tanks, maybe 1-2x a month and none on my non CO2 tank unless I need to remove dirt etc.

Ferts are modified to reflect the changes in light and CO2, not one simple rigid method applied equally to every tank, regardless of the light/CO2.

Dosing is meant to be modified after......you get a handle on light and CO2.
If you start at lean limiting starting point, then you cannot tell if it's due to ferts being too low, or if it's poor cO2, or poor lighting.
If you start high, then you can be confident that the nutrients are independent of other factors. This way you can focus on light and CO2, which is much more important as far as planted aquarium management as anyone worth their salt will tell you.

You can reduce the dosing slow and progressively from there after......you have the light/CO2 dialed it and reduce the water changes or whatever else you feel is an issue. We have nice examples of algae with every method of dosing and nice examples of of planted tanks, but they all add the same things. The reasons why are related to light/CO2, not the fert method so much.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elyssa View Post
Thanks everybody for feedback thus far. I'm just trying to learn for future expansion and when the time comes know exactly what I'm going to be doing. Just a bit of pro-active research!

With current set up, I figure best approach would be just to watch the plants and figure out the deficiencies if any crop up and add accordingly.

But again, I'd love to go all out high tech in the future and plan to do so. Don't want to go into it ignorant.

It just seems like the EI approach is radical with the excessive dosing and water changes. But I feel I'm missing something with saying that since so many seem to do it. With smaller tanks not so much of an issue but over 100 gallons, seems like it would be a PITA w/weekly w/c's!!!

Thanks again.
CO2 is a big jump.
Most everything as far as problems and poor management can be traced to this for folks using the gas.

But, it REALLY helps the growth, even at low light. It also removes the CO2 competition between plant species.

To better understand how light and CO2 affect plant growth, this is one of the best articles on planted tanks:
http://www.tropica.com/en/tropica-ab...and-light.aspx

Still, you need not have a so so non CO2 planted tank, you can really take it to the next level:



I used the aerial advantage and used nice ADA tank styling, this tank has bred quite a few fish.

As far as waste concern, electricity is the largest and most costly factor for the planted hobby/aquariums. Excess light leads to algae and more CO2 demand. Also cost 10-20X more than any water change scheme. Heating and lack of insulation, poor filtration design also lead to a lot of waste, the heater is the single biggest draw electrically. Water change be reused for landscape and house plants. Excess light? Just makes your life harder and cost more.

Relative, it's not that big of a cost per tank, but then again, neither is the water change. We might want to not tease Discus owners who routinely change 50-80% 1-3x a week.

So you can chose a few different methods. I modified a non CO2 method to use the water column.

Simpler newbie's:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=144983

Gory details:

http://www.barrreport.com/showthread...on-CO2-methods

That said, Diana Walstad's approach with soil is effective. I've had some debates with folks in person and in the know that have been helping folks for decades about this, they do not like it really. I have little issue with it personal and use such methods for my CO2 enriched tanks and non CO2 tanks sometime also.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:26 PM   #11
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i do realize that my algae issues are light/co2 related. I'm just not helping by having began dosing before figuring where things should be with those two first. so that's my own fault.

I do assume, however, that excess nutrients plus high light are playing a role in combination. I've already reduced the dosing to 1/3 of what I found recommended for a 20g , along with reduced light. the affect of this has been less new algae growth on cleaned glass.

I've been dialing back on both weekly now to get the algae under control, though it isnt horribly bad. I've kribensis fry so I'm trying not to do anything drastic for the time being... and they're enjoying the diatoms.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:34 PM   #12
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Default PPS vs. EI

Its pretty much trial and error and figuring out what works for you. Good luck in the future and remember to have fun with it!

A lot of great people who are more than willing to help!
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:07 PM   #13
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Tom,
Thanks for clarifying. I researched a bit about Edwards PPS this morning at::
https://sites.google.com/site/aquati...r/home/pps-pro

And not so much about EI. Others that have posted about it, say as much as "I use EI and I dose XYZ and then do 50%w/c and start all over again. I should of tracked down you as the source and read more directly and will when I have the time. The second hand info sounded kind of off and to me sounded wasteful and not too scientific of a method! I don't doubt at all that doing that works and glad to know it doesn't just end there!

I did run into the DSM method and if my tank wasn't already established with fish, I would of definitely of done this to keep it low tech and lush from the start. It's brilliant!

I want my son to make a diy CO2 and experiment in a 6 and 26 gallon to try to grow things out and then we can put in 55 gallon. Perfect timing, he's in 8th grade and they are just starting a plant unit....extra credit, yea!

I hear you with the lighting and heaters. My tanks are insulated on 3 sides and I cover them with fleece and wool blanket to keep the heat loss to minimum at night.

Thanks again for the clarification. I base my jumping off points on those that have been experimenting and tweaking and actually have a good idea of why they are doing the things they do and can speak clearly to that affect. Seeing KH/PH/Co2 relationship charts and such gives me more optimism when the known variables and effects are talked about. I know a lot of people would rather just do it and not think about the details but again, I need to know why I'm doing something more than just...because it works...believe...Amen

Off to read the lighting & co2 link.

Last edited by Elyssa; 02-20-2013 at 08:16 PM.. Reason: edit
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:17 PM   #14
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Cinbos,
I'm having a blast. I love plants and fish and now mixing the two.

The internet is such a double edge sword. If I would of sat down and read a few books, I wouldn't of been so hesitant to start down this road a long time ago. There's so much over-complication and knowing the theories behind things would be so much easier for me. Then I'd be able to figure out why people are doing XYZ and this works for them and not the other person. Variables, so many variables!!!

What is annoying is none of my Biology books even touches upon Aquatics.

Just switched out my substrate yesterday on established 55g and boy was that fun! LOL
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elyssa View Post
Cinbos,
What is annoying is none of my Biology books even touches upon Aquatics.
I feel your pain. I'm currently taking an Ichthyology course and it is a TON of information (very awesome info, actually) but it doesn't really touch on aquariums at all, just natural water systems. Wish there were more courses geared towards this!
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