PPS ferts- high PO4 levels - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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PPS ferts- high PO4 levels

Firstly hello at all. Long time lurker.....

I started PSS a few weeks ago- macro recipie as follows; Pour into bottle #1, 59 grams of K2SO4, 65 grams of KNO3, 6 grams of KH2PO4 and 41 grams of MgSO4.

Tank is heavily planted, with medium or high light (depending on who you ask lol) and co2. Also dose excel about 2x per week.

Recently tested for P04 for the first time (as pps says no need to test water!!!) and the levels are through the roof..
higher than the test kit is capable of testing. Should this be cause for concern? 50% water changes required? or wait for the plants to absord.

Fish seem fine atm. Have stopped dosing macro all togeather till I get some advice.

Any advice welcomed.
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 08:55 PM
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If you trust your test kit I'd be changing water.
I used PPS for about a year or so before creating my own soup.
PPS requires regular testing to base what Edward called the regulation loop to figure out what the plants were using over the course of a weeks time.

PPS Pro is claimed to be a method not to need testing or water changes but I never braved that one (sorry).

Welcome to posting on the site we were all lurking in the dark at one time LOL.


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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks.

I don't suppose you have a link to some info on the "regulation loop"?

Not being lazy lol... I've done a bit of searching and can't find anything.

Just wondering, how much does your recipie vary from Edwards PPS pro soloution?
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 11:02 PM
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Consider this reasoning:
Many people have proved that excessive fertilizing does no harm, until you reach a level that starts to be brackish water.
If plants always have all of the needed fertilizer elements available in concentrations they can use, they can have no nutrient shortages.
Therefore, it makes sense to always dose more of each fertilizer than the plants can use, and do big weekly water changes to limit the maximum concentration of any of the fertlizers to twice the weekly dosage.

If that makes sense to you, read the sticky in this forum about dosing schemes and follow it. Then you can concentrate on the one nutrient it is hard to get right - CO2.

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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 11:09 PM
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The only reason I fooled with the PPS system is my source water is terrible so all my tanks use RO and weekly water changes are problematic. While I don't have all of his original materials I do have the Excel spread sheets and calculators along with most of his papers on the PPS system stored in electronic format.
I would be happy to email them to you if you provide an email address that allows attachments. (PM it if you like)

I've eliminated all NO3 and dose PO4 separately but my tanks are very heavily stocked and I over feed young fish.


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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 12:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkndracer View Post
The only reason I fooled with the PPS system is my source water is terrible so all my tanks use RO and weekly water changes are problematic. While I don't have all of his original materials I do have the Excel spread sheets and calculators along with most of his papers on the PPS system stored in electronic format.
I would be happy to email them to you if you provide an email address that allows attachments. (PM it if you like)

I've eliminated all NO3 and dose PO4 separately but my tanks are very heavily stocked and I over feed young fish.
I had very hard water but just did 50/50 split with RO/tap. This allowed me to do water changes pretty easily, and dose easily as well.

I think in general, setting up a simple good way to do water changes, whether you have tap issues or you have marine water changes..........we all would do very well to provide a good method to do the water changes, vs avoidance.

Test can be incorrect and are more often than not......so there might not be any issue at all here.

That is an unknown, and folks assumed it was a known, sorry, without calibration, the reading is still suspect. The only method that really effective eliminates water changes and dosing is the non CO2 method.

Co opting EI with water changes and then not testing is not Edward's idea, nor is PPS, look up PMDD dosing, it's been around for well over 15 years and is widely available.

It's virtually identical.

PO4 dosing is far more Steve Dixon and myself, but Paul Sears suggested it as well vs going below 0.2ppm. So very little is PPS really, but Edward seems to relish taking credit of other folk's work.

That's way uncool.




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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 01:38 AM
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Thanks for the post Tom as always a wealth of good information. By and large my situation is tuned to where I am happy with it. You've shared this information a couple times in the past and indeed I made note of it. Simply answering the OP question here and offering the information I have on file from prior to the site shutting down where Edward hosted his systems.

Avoiding the impurities from the well and subjecting the salt regen house RO water to RO membrane final treatments provides me a quality supply for my tanks. Also while I have a system following the D. Walstad type maintenance schedule the remaining tanks are merely pushed out to ruffly 3-4 week intervals on the change schedules.
Parameters of NO3 10-30ppm, PO4 1-5ppm, maintaining 4-6dGH and 2dKH my plants grow, fish breed and I'm happy with the tanks. Enriched substrates, dosing trace along with Fe and monitoring TDS levels the schedule is one I can maintain along with my job which includes crazy hours from time to time along with family life.

Bonus for me was deciding only two tanks needed to be in overdrive with high light and CO2 for me to be happy. Took a couple of years to get my understanding and expectations in line but things are fairly close these days.


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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-27-2011, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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Nice one for the responses.

Firstly, checked my P04 test kit with distilled water (didn't calibrate, sorry), and it gave a very high reading of P04 lol. So the test kit is obv trash. It was JBL so i had faith in ze german engineering.

The responses have got me thinking about a lot of things regarding ferts and given me a few ideas. Will try and put them down on paper and start a thread about it to see what some of the experienced people think (prob not lot lol).

@ wkndracer, PM'd my email, so if you could send me that stuff that would be cool.

@ Hoppy, am i missing something with co2? I thought that a drop checker i with a 4KH soloution was sufficent to check levels???
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-27-2011, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by heyzeus View Post

@ Hoppy, am i missing something with co2? I thought that a drop checker i with a 4KH soloution was sufficent to check levels???
If you don't use a drop checker, and have little or no experience with CO2, nor with what healthy growing plant look like, you will very likely be too timid to raise the CO2 bubble rate high enough to get more than 10 ppm of CO2 in the water, and with that you will worry that you are damaging your fish. I went through that.

With a drop checker, using 4 dKH standard water, you can raise the bubble rate until the fluid is green, and you will know you aren't damaging the fish, and the plants are getting 20+ ppm of CO2. But, to get the CO2 concentration up higher takes lots of fiddling with it. You need to raise the bubble rate slightly, watch for fish distress for a day or so, then raise it slightly again, etc. And, you need to be very good about pruning the plants often to avoid too much water flow blocking plant mass. And, you need to adjust the in-tank flow to be sure of getting good surface ripple all the time. Etc. So, there is a lot more to it that just looking for a green drop checker. The drop checker just gets you off to a good start.

You can also reduce your light intensity to low to medium intensity, around 40 micromols of PAR, and not have to try for such high concentration of CO2, even though a high concentration is very beneficial.

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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heyzeus View Post
Nice one for the responses.

Firstly, checked my P04 test kit with distilled water (didn't calibrate, sorry), and it gave a very high reading of P04 lol. So the test kit is obv trash. It was JBL so i had faith in ze german engineering.

The responses have got me thinking about a lot of things regarding ferts and given me a few ideas. Will try and put them down on paper and start a thread about it to see what some of the experienced people think (prob not lot lol).

@ wkndracer, PM'd my email, so if you could send me that stuff that would be cool.

@ Hoppy, am i missing something with co2? I thought that a drop checker i with a 4KH soloution was sufficent to check levels???
I suspected it was the test kits initially, PPS is very limiting regarding PO4.
Since many assume and think they do not need to calibrate and do this step, feel free to tell everyone and explain it to them

Folks often get in a huff and worry and make all sorts of management changes.....based on a lousy cheapo test kit.

DC's are lousy for CO2, I would not trust them nor arer they accurate really, you get 3 basic CO2 levels: not enough, maybe enough and too much maybe.

I'd focus more on light/CO2, less on nutrients.




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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by wkndracer View Post
Thanks for the post Tom as always a wealth of good information. By and large my situation is tuned to where I am happy with it. You've shared this information a couple times in the past and indeed I made note of it. Simply answering the OP question here and offering the information I have on file from prior to the site shutting down where Edward hosted his systems.
Edward obviously took this stuff from the APD and the Krib.
Folk's had long long been doing PMDD for 8-9 years before Edward supposedly invented any of this. A cohort of newbies came along and thought it was great and had no clue where the info came from. Too much so to say it's a mere coincidence. No one has step up to defend this. APD posters and Paul no longer post much.

PMDD worked well for many folks, but was strongly PO4 limiting, which was the goal for that hypothesis, which was falsified, but that did not imply it does not grow plants or that those ranges where bad for plants, they where just lean/moderately limiting.

Plants STILL grow however.

Edward went after water changes for his argument for support.
The horrible, the evil water change.
EI went after non limiting conditions and the evil, the horrible test kits.

Both methods still dose the same things however.
And both can be reduced or increased to suit either goal there.
Both could use test kits....or not.

I am not one dimensional regarding plants, I know more about CO2 and light for management. As well as yourself, a nice fish load. I still love me some fish!

Quote:
Avoiding the impurities from the well and subjecting the salt regen house RO water to RO membrane final treatments provides me a quality supply for my tanks.
What impurities?
Often times, KH is about it, some want less KH is all. The others? Activated carbon is more economical, no waste water and simple to use.

If you use a well, it cost $ to run the well pump and drive the pressure against the RO membrane, you are paying for that. And a 1/10 ratio is a typical RO efficiency production. So 1000 gal will produce 100 Gal of RO water.

A few small tanks? Not an issue though.

Quote:
Also while I have a system following the D. Walstad type maintenance schedule the remaining tanks are merely pushed out to ruffly 3-4 week intervals on the change schedules.
This is all I do for 3 tanks I have
One water change a month.

I just used less light, good CO2, high fish load, and slightly reduced dosing.
Bred quite a few fish and CRS SS grades etc.

Quote:
Parameters of NO3 10-30ppm, PO4 1-5ppm, maintaining 4-6dGH and 2dKH my plants grow, fish breed and I'm happy with the tanks. Enriched substrates, dosing trace along with Fe and monitoring TDS levels the schedule is one I can maintain along with my job which includes crazy hours from time to time along with family life.
Yep, good management there.

Quote:
Bonus for me was deciding only two tanks needed to be in overdrive with high light and CO2 for me to be happy. Took a couple of years to get my understanding and expectations in line but things are fairly close these days.
I'm about the same, 5 tank limit, 2 are semi fast growth, the light is still low however.

I can wait 2-3 weeks to trim the stems vs weekly.

BTW, wood went out.




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 06:41 PM
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Given the importance of proper CO2 levels, the innaccuracy of drop checkers and the fact that we can't entirely trust the charts that predict CO2 levels based on pH and water hardness, what is the best way to determine proper CO2 levels? I assume it would involve slowly increasing CO2 levels until we see the fish get distressed and then back it off some? Are there any 'better' options?
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 07:35 PM
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Given the importance of proper CO2 levels, the innaccuracy of drop checkers and the fact that we can't entirely trust the charts that predict CO2 levels based on pH and water hardness, what is the best way to determine proper CO2 levels? I assume it would involve slowly increasing CO2 levels until we see the fish get distressed and then back it off some? Are there any 'better' options?
Unfortunately this is what some have called the worst problem in the hobby today. I'd say this and too much light are the biggest factors with poor growth and algae.

Nutrients?

Not even remotely in the same class.

I'd suggest using the pH/KH chart with a pH meter, then if you have issues still, slowly adjust the CO2 up by a 1/20th of a turn with a higher grade needle valve.

Then wait a few days, observe.

Repeat as needed.

I add about 45-60ppm on average according to a confirmed method.
This 150-200% more than what is recommended.

However, adding CO2 cause no issues EXCEPT for fish and livestock..........so their needs MUST be addressed, and O2 seems to really help, so I make sure I have excellent current and O2 as well.

Less light= less CO2 demand, so more wiggle room dosing CO2, less risk.

Nutrients are really the tail wagging to dog. This can occur though and Liebig's law predicts this, if you strongly limit say PO4, the CO2 demand will be reduced and some see improvements when they dose no PO4.
This is because the PO4 limitation is stronger than the CO2 limitation, not.......because...........you are doing a better job with CO2. If they added enough CO2 to start with, then limiting PO4 will result in worse plant health and more algae.

Folks often blame nutrients for CO2/light issues.
Once you realize this, then all these fert debates are silly.

Treat CO2 as a relative measure, ferts for that matter as well, but we can measure them fairly well and manage them much easier than we really can with CO2.




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
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...I'd suggest using the pH/KH chart with a pH meter...
Tom,

What's a good hobbyist grade ( i.e., hobbyist price ) pH meter. I've been using some pH strips that I QC'ed at work so they're as accurate as far as pH strips that are in 0.5 unit increments and dependent on my eyes comparing them to a color chart can be. So something more accurate with fewer variables would be better.
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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 08:54 PM
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Tom and I view drop checkers differently: Tom has many years of experience observing aquatic plants, spends lots of focused time on his tanks, and can therefore judge his CO2 much better than I can. I have far fewer continuous years of experience with aquatic plants, am not a very good observer of details of plant growth, and much more lazy than Tom, and I can't judge the CO2 at all well. So, for me a drop checker is a great way to get past my fear of harming my fish with too much CO2, until I really do have nearly enough in the water. Your own experience should guide how you go about using CO2. But, don't ever believe that the pH/KH table will tell you much of value, nor will a drop checker, with it's huge problem in judging the color of the fluid, ever be an accurate way to measure CO2.

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