Originally Posted by glass-gardens.com
Magnesium is one of those things I add because it can't hurt at the level I dose, it's cheap and the base is covered if needed, if not, oh well I just wasted what? $0.78 every 6 months?
The whole idea of EI (in my opinion) is to offer a method that relies more on consistency rather than accuracy. Obviously Tom Barr has gotten the tweakers in a fix, because despite it's apparent inattention to minute detail, it works.
That would be a fair assement.
A routine habit is done a number of ways, some folks will pay much more attention and keep their tank maintained much better when tweaking and watching/testing. This a reasonable assumption.
We pay more attention when we know there is a problem and are trying to achieve some goal.
When they neglect and do not pay attention to it, they blame the method rather than their habits. Habits play a huge role in folk's approaches
. Some I think need to test
to keep themselves interested and consistent.
Likewise, some need to dose daily vs 2-3x a week since it's an easier everyday routine for them vs "Did I dose yesterday or was it two days ago?"
Adding a tad more Mg will not hurt the plants or help algae and would account for any deficencies which is the main problem, rather than excess
You can still tweak though if you have that urge, will you gain anything more?
Not in terms of growth rates, one person said their plant's where "prettier" doing PPS, I asked what are the units for that subjective observation.
How can I argue with prettier?
I see a nutrient starved plant, they see a "prettier" plant.
As scientist, if something has a higher growth rate and uptake rate, it'll be assumed reasonbly that the plant prefers that condition over another.
I think some need to justify all their work vs actually gaining something significant. The significant thing you gain from testing: growth rates
Even the tweakers using PPS have conceded that.
They claim knowing the individual growth rates for each tank is better.
But is it?
These change over time, with plant biomass etc. So they need to assume the max rates for their tanks as well.
Some say that EI does not account for fish bioloads, this is true to some degree.
But if you have high bioloads, the fear is not running out, but rather an excess level, something that EI assumes does not cause algae or poor plant growth.
Observations with high bioloads shows this to be true also.
If you add too much fish load and have a NH4 back up, does not matter which methiod you use, there will still be the same issue: algae.
So not addressing the bioload does not make EI less useful.
High bioloading and large water changes also go together rather well don't you think?
If you have a high bioload, you can add less KNO3, but that's all that will save you. Same with lower light methods.
This is something I made light of as important years ago.
I had not seen anyone suggest a NO3 or PO4 uptake rate
by planted tanks till I suggested them. No one realized the plants would remove that much until, someone did a basic test that included removing the limiting elements like PO4, Fe, CO2, light etc. I added high light/Fe, CO2 etc, then mainpulated each variable to see what is the best range.
Calibrating the test kits and testing for the nutrient of interest were also topics I've raised a long time ago on the APD and other broads.
From here, you can scale down whatever approach you use to accommodate your routine in terms of the plant's needs.
There is nothing saying you must do weekly 50% water changes, it's merely a suggesting that assumes you cannot muck things up too much in a week.
If you are experienced, you can likely go weeks without one, I can.
But I'd rather brush my teeth than wait for a cavity...........so doing a easy to remember weekly routine is easier and keeps up on things.
If they are so good about testing and managing, why did they not figure out this stuff before????? Maybe I'm just very lucky? I don't think so. This is not just hobbyists, but companies making things for the hobby claiming they do research. I always wondered what kind of research they do, they never said much interestingly.
Funny thing is, now folks are testing a lot, before they tested a lot before thinking about calibration, before considering uptake rates, before considering that excess PO4 does not cause algae among other issues.
We have come a long way since then.
But the things I looked into were initailly done with Paul Sears and PMDD. He looked at dosing KNO3 and considered PO4, but the issue of looking at macro's was begun and a focus on the plant's needs.
I assumed that at max light, high CO2 that this would also be the max uptake. Adding more than you need does not hurt(at least over a wide range for most every nutrient except CO2/NH4) nor causes algae.
But testing and tweaking and filling in Excel spreadsheets and micro managing things is a tough sell. It's hard to explain, it requires the aquarist to know much more. It is interesting but something I've done for a long time, I moved beyond that and testing for nutrients. That leap was critical in accepting EI would work as well as knowing.
If I can just look and add something or do a simple routine, then it will work for a larger group than the tweakers.
BTW, I am tweaker but I am open minded enough to realize most folks in this hobby really would rather avoid testing if it's still give them good results.
The ironic thing is that I am sometimes called closed minded or not open to ideas other than "my own" which to many seems to be exclusively EI. I play both sides of the field and do many methods, not just EI.
They can always do that later if they chose, nothing wrong with that.
PPS makes some weak assumptions on Ca/Mg/SO4 and also Traces, one which will not be overcome with testing regarding traces.
Face it, the simpler we can make this hobby, the more people will get involved in it. If you can develop a system whereby a simple dosing regimen labeled a b c results in a good planted tank experience it's a good thing.
It's an issue of assumptions and making them reasonable.
I test for water parameters way too much in work related issues. We put out a thick water monitoring report every year for our aquatic weed control program. Good lord, I'm sick of it.
The last thing I want to do is come home and test more.
Most did not get into this hobby to test water.
I'd personally rather spend my time pruning and making the tank look prettier.
EI allows you to grow any plant you want well and together.
If I have a question, I'll test and be rigorous.
But I don't test just to maintain a tank, that's too much work for something I can do without that much work.
Why test if you do not need to and also do not want too?
Add that to more cost, more time, more compicated methods, it's really a hard sell. Both work, but one is a harder sell and takes more time to learn and explain.
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