When to know if you are over-thinking fertilization - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 10:49 PM
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This thread is headed towards one of the forums need to sticky threads. What people like me don't realise often enough is that they have simpler issues that originally thought.
This isnt a one size fits all hobby and we cannot simply apply 1 2 and 3 to end up with a perfect tank. My tank for example has probably been set up for disaster from the start. Huge hardscape, slow growing plants and not great co2 circulation, thanks for the heads up @cl3537, and yet I still EI dose though it is clearly not needed. I believe this also falls under the forum group thinking, my case being "I need EI, look at all the success stories."
To the forum gurus here, thank you for all you help truly. I love this hobby and it is fascinating to watch you guys with your tanks.


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post #32 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Xiaozhuang View Post
... I think as a whole the husbandry angle is under examined in most forums - its harder as well, as different folks have different practices and different styles of tanks can succeed under different approaches.
I do agree on the husbandry issues. I don't know if it's under examined (probably is compared to fert dosing) or is it just that people "think" they do enough but in reality it's not. I do think this is tied to one's dedication to their tank and other than a subset of the forum that is very dedicated I think in the U.S. this dedication pales in comparison to Asia and S.A.

There planted tanks/aquascaping is more a part of the culture than it is here leading to more dedicated hobbyists. This works its way to those who take it a step further and enter IAPLC and not only enter but finish toward the top. If you look at the entries to that contest there's usually only around 20 American entries and most don't do that well. This isn't by accident I think it's an indicator of how few take the hobby to that extreme. And that extreme requires knowledge, dedication and great husbandry.
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post #33 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Jamo33 View Post
I believe this also falls under the forum group thinking, my case being "I need EI, look at all the success stories."
It should probably be pointed out that few here dose strict "EI". It's kind of been evolving, and many are now dosing a pretty heavily modified version.

If you look at the Share Your Dosing thread, the majority who post there are dosing less NO3, more PO4, less K, and less Fe than recommended by EI. In some cases much less or more. And keep in mind those numbers need to be taken in context. Those tanks almost all have 100+ PAR, 1.2+ pH drop, and lots of fast growing stems.

Let's take a look at EI recommended micros. 1.5 ppm weekly Fe from CSM+B. That alone can create more problems than it solves. I don't think daily dosed custom micros are part of EI, let alone front end loading macros, both of which many of us have been doing for quite some time.

So my point is, the term "EI" is tossed around a lot around here. But IMO, it's really evolving from dosing more than enough of everything, to dosing the right amount of everything.

The tricky part is finding the "right" amount for each particular tank. Requires trial and error, time, and patience.......I know because I have been trying to find the right amount for three years now!!


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post #34 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 01:04 AM
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You know, much of this is Mom and apple pie to many of us. As I see many of us moving away from strict EI, as well as Dennis mentioning that he is below EI and the fact that ADA is below EI, gets back to his comments on how “group-think” tends to eschew those ideas that do not conform.

I bring this up because @Edward (albeit battling occasionally) has been ringing this bell for a long time. I was a firm believer that EI was the best way - and it does work, in fact - until he challenged me to test PPS. I wouldn’t go completely there but, about 6-7 months ago I did take him up on his challenge and I am now running at just under the clouds on nutrients (except CO2). I have seen no change in my tank (which was nearly perfect with EI, in my mind) having dropped to these ridiculously low nutrient levels (and still falling).

There is no doubt that all the non-nutrient aspects are a major contributor to my success and, because of the move away from EI, I have been able to maintain the appearance but with greatly throttled growth and, therefore, lower maintenance. We should encourage and be tolerant of all voices.

I also agree with others that have posted that ferts will probably always be the dominant discussion just because so many problems by new members are focused, usually incorrectly, in that arena and we do have to hold their hands to try to keep them interested in the hobby.

Again: @Xiaozhuang, great takeaway on the “group-think” challenge.
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post #35 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 01:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
Let's take a look at EI recommended micros. 1.5 ppm weekly Fe from CSM+B. That alone can create more problems than it solves.
Since I have been very dedicated lately to measuring Fe uptake by plants this has been the largest eye opener.
Daily consumption has been determined @ .015ppm Fe this equates to .105ppm per week.

I refuse to speak about my macro dosing.
At least I am targeting the needs of the plants!
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post #36 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 02:04 AM
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Of course my aim would always be to dose what my plants need and find that perfect recipe. But as you said @Greggz that takes some time to dial in. I have been watching the share your dosing thread, I am very interested in it and wish I could contribute. But it's not worth it. For now I shall watch and absorb...attempt to put at least some of what I learn into practice.
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post #37 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 03:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Xiaozhuang View Post
I agree with all of the comments here, but this crowd is probably the more experienced crowd since I recognize many of the names. One thing that has changed since long time is that now ADA uses the Solar RGB LED on most of their setups
Yeah its 130 watt light(quite powerful compared to most LED lights) but what is the PAR at substrate or at hardscape level?, curious how high they hang them?

Quote:
For example in my hardscape focused tank below;
priorities
- slow down growth as much as possible to maintain the look, cutting moss is very troublesome; work on the tank is very troublesome as the hardscape is very close to front glass
- avoid algae on any surface
Choices
- slow growing, low demand plants
- soil only on elevated hairgrass area
- root tabs for the crypts
- super lean water column (5ppm NO3 in water column if not closer to 0)
What would be your PAR high and low in your tank? Curious as to what equipment you are using and if you need to use a powerhead.
I have a big piece of wood in mine and I suspect it is causing all sorts of problems with flow, inconsistent light intensity and it is a magnet for Algae as well. Hoping a powerhead will fix some of the issues.

Quote:
It was an easy tank to maintain given that approach - often 30% water changes every 2 weeks, which is mainly done by siphoning substrate area, pruning only once a month or less. So much less work than any of my other stem focused tanks. And I could enjoy the manicured look for most of the 2 years that I maintained the tank ... it was almost low tech in nature. Wipe the glass once every 6 months if at all. Many folks would actually want a tank like this; if they knew how easy it was. (hard part is the initial hardscape work).
I certainly would! I need to study this tank.
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post #38 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
Let's take a look at EI recommended micros. 1.5 ppm weekly Fe from CSM+B.
I thought Fe was 0.75ppm(0.25 X3 classic EI) for EI where do you find those micro values?
Quote:
So my point is, the term "EI" is tossed around a lot around here. But IMO, it's really evolving from dosing more than enough of everything, to dosing the right amount of everything.
I don't think this hobby's understanding of precisely what plants need has really been advanced or evolved all that much.
There is a difference between actual uptake and optimal concentration levels and the former is much smaller than the latter.
At this point what the trend I see in the dosing thread is some have correlated leaner dosing with better or similar health but it seems to be more of a trial and error approach with only correlation and not much understanding of causation.

The advancement in "group think" that is starting to emerge though is having too great an excess can lead to deleterious affects in some species and this contradicts significantly what Tom Barr has said for years and one of the pillars of EI theory.

We know excess of some elements can inhibit the uptake of other elements but I don't think that even this correlation is clearly proven yet or spoken often for most nutrient pairs or trios.
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post #39 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by cl3537 View Post
I thought Fe was 0.75ppm(0.25 X3 classic EI) for EI where do you find those micro values?


I don't think this hobby's understanding of precisely what plants need has really been advanced or evolved all that much.
There is a difference between actual uptake and optimal concentration levels and the former is much smaller than the latter.
At this point what the trend I see in the dosing thread is some have correlated leaner dosing with better or similar health but it seems to be more of a trial and error approach with only correlation and not much understanding of causation.

The advancement in "group think" that is starting to emerge though is having too great an excess can lead to deleterious affects in some species and this contradicts significantly what Tom Barr has said for years and one of the pillars of EI theory.
Regarding Fe:
Colin & Zorfox still calc for 3 doses @ .5 per week.
Fab has rotala down to 3 doses of .2 per week for EI.
Edward dropped his way low quite some time ago for PPS Pro.

Unless precipitation is an issue water column can remain on the low side.

IMHO opinion leaner dosing of micro ferts shows great improvements.

Macro dosing:
My plants are total hogs, the ultimate of gluttony.
Especially since the soil is gone!
From week to week NO3 or PO4 takes a plummet, usually they take turns.
This caused me to make a separate bottle of NO3 & PO4 and to dose on the appropriate week only.
I cannot explain this one, would have to ask my plants and they can't talk.

The Research:
The scientific end of this ain't never going to happen unless a bumper crop of something we grow can save the world!
The pillars ain't in all that great shape either!
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post #40 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
Regarding Fe:
Colin & Zorfox still calc for 3 doses @ .5 per week.
Fab has rotala down to 3 doses of .2 per week for EI.
Rotalabutterfly was also at 0.5 Fe 3 times a week for many years.

It was not too long ago that they dropped it down to 0.2. Fab discussed this with Tom Barr on TBR, and he agreed that 0.5 was probably too much.

And many of the old dosing charts (not calculators) that people find on line are also at 0.5 Fe.

I'm also not surprised on your macro usage. I might be considered lightly planted relative to your farming operation!
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post #41 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Jamo33 View Post
Of course my aim would always be to dose what my plants need and find that perfect recipe. But as you said @Greggz that takes some time to dial in. I have been watching the share your dosing thread, I am very interested in it and wish I could contribute. But it's not worth it. For now I shall watch and absorb...attempt to put at least some of what I learn into practice.
When I first got into this hobby, I read and re-read treads from a few regular contributors. I took their methods as gospel and never achieved the success they did. It took me sometime but the bottom line in my opinion is "LISTEN TO YOUR PLANTS". Plant health and growth rate, minimal algae will be your ultimate guide to YOUR dosing requirements. And as mentioned many times in this thread - good housekeeping!! I was very surprised with the benefits of not only keeping the DT clean but also regular cleaning of the filters. Of course do not ignore lights and CO2!!
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post #42 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Asteroid View Post
I do agree on the husbandry issues. I don't know if it's under examined (probably is compared to fert dosing) or is it just that people "think" they do enough but in reality it's not. I do think this is tied to one's dedication to their tank and other than a subset of the forum that is very dedicated I think in the U.S. this dedication pales in comparison to Asia and S.A.

There planted tanks/aquascaping is more a part of the culture than it is here leading to more dedicated hobbyists. This works its way to those who take it a step further and enter IAPLC and not only enter but finish toward the top. If you look at the entries to that contest there's usually only around 20 American entries and most don't do that well. This isn't by accident I think it's an indicator of how few take the hobby to that extreme. And that extreme requires knowledge, dedication and great husbandry.
I think aquascaping wise (with the hardscape focus) is a growing trend in the US, but will probably take some time to be become mainstream. Takes a critical mass for a group to form, then it becomes more of a norm - I know quite a few good aquascapers in the US. Some of the Asia side countries with a focus on wood working arts and crafts, bonsai, rock gardens, san-sui paintings took to the aquascaping scene a bit faster due to the similarities in the art forms. Easier access to hardscape in Asia also (but by PPP equipment could actually be more costly).


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Originally Posted by cl3537 View Post
Yeah its 130 watt light(quite powerful compared to most LED lights) but what is the PAR at substrate or at hardscape level?, curious how high they hang them?

What would be your PAR high and low in your tank? Curious as to what equipment you are using and if you need to use a powerhead.
I have a big piece of wood in mine and I suspect it is causing all sorts of problems with flow, inconsistent light intensity and it is a magnet for Algae as well. Hoping a powerhead will fix some of the issues.

I certainly would! I need to study this tank.
For the ADA solar RGB They hang around 6-7 inches off the rim. Some folks took some readings, based on what I can eyeball, its definitely higher than 80 PAR at substrate for a single unit over a 90p tank.

For that particular tank with wood, I'm using a single BML XB, a few inches off the rim - so light levels are pretty high as well.
I think whether flow is an issue or not does depend on what plants you are using in what spot. Deadspots work fine for plants that don't need much flow to grow. Detritus build-up is an issue, but that can be handled with light vacuuming at each water change. I used a single Ehiem ecco pro 300 on the tank - so it had barely 4x turnover (yikes)....
Frankly, I think growing low requirement plants at slow speed allowed me to get away with slow flow, etc.

Regards, Dennis [
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post #43 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 05:38 PM
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Dennis, that website looks very fancy but still lacks anything new, most of the stuff written in there is something folks already know or they have already heard of before. i noticed you have posted a picture of Barr in that article, i simply look at it as the way to get more attention from others to read that article. i am bit confuse by your article, i remember we had a chat once, where you quoted "you are on my side than i think and you are not a big fan of EI". i usually keep all the messeges saved in case i need a backup, i wont post it here as it would be against the rule but i would like to bring the facts on the table. the lean dosing people been trying to dose now days is nothing new either, its been around for long time now, people are switching back to it due to many issue they are having, most would already agree that it was never a CO2 issue, i however do agree Co2 and Lights are the 2 main components before anything else matters.

Marcel Golias been talking about this in very dept and detail before anyone else ever did, if you google his work, you will see that all he got was hate and no one really agreed with him, i wont mention names but quick google search will get you there, i followed Marcel and worked with him side by sides and learned alot of stuff from him, he never got the respect he deserved from others, he only got banned from speaking the truth, i also got banned from saying the truth.

we have quite a good examples of people who disagree but now they agree, i use to post stuff on facebook groups and challenge people on these topics, guess what, they did the same they did to Marcel, but now they fully support the idea, so what changed their mind? Vin Kutty is an good example and Marcel talks about his tank issue, he never fully believed it untill he started dosing differnt method and went lean.

you can go back and look at my threads and threads from Marcel as well for more Validity. far as the the Nutrients goes, they have their role in excess or deficient, you cant tell if your plant are suffering from deficiency or excess as sympthoms are very similar, if your plants are not growing well at higher dosing then its clearly and sign of toxicity, toxicity doesnt come with roses growing on the plants, it just looks same as deficiency, lower the doses and watch those sympthoms dispears, other issues are how nutrinets are availble to plants, some of easy to obsorved and some are not, some can still goes deficient even if you dose higher as they react with other nutrients.

i will say good job on how the website looks

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post #44 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 06:13 PM
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I think aquascaping wise (with the hardscape focus) is a growing trend in the US, but will probably take some time to be become mainstream. Takes a critical mass for a group to form, then it becomes more of a norm - I know quite a few good aquascapers in the US. Some of the Asia side countries with a focus on wood working arts and crafts, bonsai, rock gardens, san-sui paintings took to the aquascaping scene a bit faster due to the similarities in the art forms. Easier access to hardscape in Asia also (but by PPP equipment could actually be more costly).
I agree 100% that it's growing in the US, just currently no where near those other parts of the globe. And yes that's what I meant by culture where bonsai/rock gardens, etc are very closely related and influenced the breakout. I believe that was Amanos influence into starting ADA. The popularity of aesthetically pleasing equipment (rimless tanks, hanging lights, etc.) are also putting the emphasis on design/aesthetics all the way around. I don't think these products would be sellable if aquascaping wasn't gaining in popularity. You wouldn't need them if you were just growing a salad bar of plants in the tank.
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post #45 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 07:19 PM
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there were many members who disagreed at first about higher dosing, but you can see how their dosing looks now.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...thread-47.html

Post #703, Predicted while back

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