How much should I use?(Seachem NPK, Flourish, Excel) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-26-2015, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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How much should I use?(Seachem NPK, Flourish, Excel)

I will get dry ferts. This is just for now

55 gallon low tech:

- Right now I am dosing 1.5x the recommended dosage of excel
- seachem root tabs in substrate
- around 30-40 par on substrate(depending on the location)

I'm just wondering if I should dose the recommended dose of seachem ferts, or also do 1.5x the amount.I know it depends on the types of plants, and how many plants I have...but is there a ballpark figure?

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I have some hygrophilas(I know they like potassium), java fern, anubias, crypt parva, marsilea hirsuta, rotala rot., stargrass, stauro repens, monte carlo, ludwigia repens, microsword(mauritiana), lobelia cardinalis, AR


This is to give a general idea of my setup. My newer plants(rotala, stargrass, AR) are coming tomorrow and the tank should be more filled in by then. I may also tie more anubias and ferns around the pieces of wood later on.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-26-2015, 07:25 PM
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The seachem recommended doses are absurdly tiny...

I suggest using a dosing scheme, either PPS-Pro or EI low light and using a calculator to figure out your dosing..

http://yanc.rotalabutterfly.com/

So, put in your tank size.
Select premixed fertilizers
Select Flourish nitrogen
Select "Perpetual Preservation System" or "EI Low light weekly"
hit "gimme"
repeat for phosphorus, potassium and comprehensive.

For example, PPS will give you:
3ml of Flourish nitrogen (warning - contains urea)
5ml of Flourish phosphorus
5ml of Flourish potassium (although you could go slightly lower since the nitrogen is providing 0.25ppm of K)
6ml of Flourish comprehensive.

These are daily doses.

EI low light will give you

31ml Flourish nitrogen
51ml Flourish phosphorus
43ml Flourish potassium
13ml of Flourish comprehensive.

This is a once-weekly dosing, hence the much larger numbers.


Note: Seachem gets really expensive with sufficient dosing.. you're paying a lot to ship around bottles of water. Most folks with tanks that aren't nano end up switching to DIY dry fertilizers, it is *much* cheaper..

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-26-2015, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! Very helpful. I will be using dry ferts as soon as these bottles are finished.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattinmd View Post
The seachem recommended doses are absurdly tiny...

I suggest using a dosing scheme, either PPS-Pro or EI low light and using a calculator to figure out your dosing..

http://yanc.rotalabutterfly.com/

So, put in your tank size.
Select premixed fertilizers
Select Flourish nitrogen
Select "Perpetual Preservation System" or "EI Low light weekly"
hit "gimme"
repeat for phosphorus, potassium and comprehensive.

For example, PPS will give you:
3ml of Flourish nitrogen (warning - contains urea)
5ml of Flourish phosphorus
5ml of Flourish potassium (although you could go slightly lower since the nitrogen is providing 0.25ppm of K)
6ml of Flourish comprehensive.

These are daily doses.

EI low light will give you

31ml Flourish nitrogen
51ml Flourish phosphorus
43ml Flourish potassium
13ml of Flourish comprehensive.

This is a once-weekly dosing, hence the much larger numbers.


Note: Seachem gets really expensive with sufficient dosing.. you're paying a lot to ship around bottles of water. Most folks with tanks that aren't nano end up switching to DIY dry fertilizers, it is *much* cheaper..
If the doses for the pps are daily, should I dose macros at one time in the day, and micros at another? I've been reading that it's not a good idea to mix the two.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-26-2015, 08:15 PM
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The macros and micros react if they are mixed at high concentrations (ie: in a fertilizer bottle). In particular it is iron and phosphorus reacting with each other.

With PPS dosing, the levels in tank are never particularly high, so putting them in at the same time shouldn't be a problem. If you're really paranoid, put them in at opposite ends of the tank, or at different times, but I don't believe most PPS folks do this.

Regardless of how you dose, at some point all the fertilizers need to be in your water at the same time. Plants need all of the nutrients to grow, it's not like they will do well if the macros are unavailable when the micros are present and vice versa.

I really think the main reason EI alternates dosing days is to avoid reactions when dumping two comparatively large doses into the tank right in the same spot. Alternating days is just an overkill way of ensuring the prior fertilizer got well mixed before adding the next one. It also adds schedule convenience.. Each day you have something to dump in.

Even in EI, when you add the micros, the macros you added yesterday are still there, or at least should be if you're dosing correctly.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 01:32 AM
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For the future using dry ferts check this out.
https://sites.google.com/site/aquati...r/home/pps-pro

Seachem has a sample schedule on their website.
Modify to fit your needs until liquids are gone.
http://www.seachem.com/Library/Calculators.html


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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks.

Just wondering, but do the PPS PRO and EI/LOW LIGHT regimens take into account the use of Excel? If not, should I use more than the suggested doses? Or are those regimens for low light and co2? In which case, I would assume I would need to use less.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 11:26 AM
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Excel contributes relatively little carbon. It does aid growth, but its larger affect is as an algae suppressant.

Regardless I use ei low with 1.5x excel dosing.

Pps-pro claims to work even with co2 injection. It probably does at the lower end of high tech, but it seems some folks with 100 par and lots of co2 run short on it.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattinmd View Post
Excel contributes relatively little carbon. It does aid growth, but its larger affect is as an algae suppressant.

Regardless I use ei low with 1.5x excel dosing.

Pps-pro claims to work even with co2 injection. It probably does at the lower end of high tech, but it seems some folks with 100 par and lots of co2 run short on it.
I see. For now I will try out the PPS regimen...and probably do EI low light if dosing everyday becomes cumbersome.

Why do they recommend 6ml of comprehensive daily, but only 13ml weekly for ei low light? Wouldn't that only equate to roughly two days worth of comprehensive from the pps dosing?
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 12:28 PM
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EI and PPS were designed by completely different people, taking completely different angles on things.. You may as well be asking why two cereals have different vitamin supplement levels in them.

The calculator treats comprehensive as an iron supplement. In terms of Iron dosing, the regimes target:

Full EI targets adding 0.5 ppm 2-4 times a week
Full EI daily targets 0.2ppm/day
PPS-Pro targets adding 0.1ppm/day
EI low light targets adding 0.2ppm/week


Why is EI low so much further down in iron? I suspect that Tom Barr recognizes that high-light red plants that need a ton of iron don't grow in low light, so he cut back the iron quite a bit. Normal EI dosing works out to twice what PPS does on a weekly basis, and EI low is 1/7th of EI or 2/7ths PPS-pro in terms of iron.

PPS-Pro claims to be a "universal solution" based on plant uptake, and tries to be suitable for any kind of tank, low or high tech. It seems to have taken a "middle of the road" approach to iron dosing levels.

In other nutrients, EI-low and PPS end up closer to each other, but still show some philosophical differences:

N
ei daily 3.2/day = 22.4/wk
pps - 1/day = 7/wk
ei low - 10/wk

P
ei daily - 0.6/day = 4.2/wk
pps - 0.1/day = 0.7/wk
ei low - 1.0/wk


K
ei daily 3.2/day = 22.4/wk
pps 1.3/day = 9.1/wk
ei low 10/wk

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattinmd View Post
EI and PPS were designed by completely different people, taking completely different angles on things.. You may as well be asking why two cereals have different vitamin supplement levels in them.

The calculator treats comprehensive as an iron supplement. In terms of Iron dosing, the regimes target:

Full EI targets adding 0.5 ppm 2-4 times a week
Full EI daily targets 0.2ppm/day
PPS-Pro targets adding 0.1ppm/day
EI low light targets adding 0.2ppm/week


Why is EI low so much further down in iron? I suspect that Tom Barr recognizes that high-light red plants that need a ton of iron don't grow in low light, so he cut back the iron quite a bit. Normal EI dosing works out to twice what PPS does on a weekly basis, and EI low is 1/7th of EI or 2/7ths PPS-pro in terms of iron.

PPS-Pro claims to be a "universal solution" based on plant uptake, and tries to be suitable for any kind of tank, low or high tech. It seems to have taken a "middle of the road" approach to iron dosing levels.

In other nutrients, EI-low and PPS end up closer to each other, but still show some philosophical differences:

N
ei daily 3.2/day = 22.4/wk
pps - 1/day = 7/wk
ei low - 10/wk

P
ei daily - 0.6/day = 4.2/wk
pps - 0.1/day = 0.7/wk
ei low - 1.0/wk


K
ei daily 3.2/day = 22.4/wk
pps 1.3/day = 9.1/wk
ei low 10/wk
So pps doses macros slightly lower than ei low weekly, and slightly higher on the micros weekly.

Do you use the EI low dosing for reasons other than the less frequent dosing regimen? I'm wondering if the higher macros with the EI low regimen would be a "significant" benefit for my stem plants like hygros.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 01:23 PM
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I use EI mostly because I like its principles of using large water changes to limit nutrient buildup.. I also don't see much point in dosing macros daily unless your demand is so high that you need to break up dosing to avoid toxicity.

That said, I do modify EI low-light slightly, including not following its iron suggestions:

1) I dose a about 2/3 the normal N and P in my heavily overstocked main tank, as the fish produce plenty. I dose K2SO4 to make up for the lost K. In my 10 gallon I dose normal levels.

2) I dose a second shot of iron-only mid week, which effectively doubles my total iron dosing relative to normal EI low light profiles. I do this because my moderately hard, moderately alkaline tank water breaks down iron levels from CSM's EDTA source fast enough that once a week isn't enough. My iron-only shot is DPTA, which is more stable anyway.

My regime looks a bit like this:

Monday - w/c + NPK
Tuesday - CSM+B
weds - x
Thurs - iron boost
Friday-sunday -x

Sometimes if my hygros start showing signs of K deficiency, I dose K2SO4 with the iron boost, but lately I've gotten my K dosing right on Monday and have not needed that.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattinmd View Post
I use EI mostly because I like its principles of using large water changes to limit nutrient buildup.. I also don't see much point in dosing macros daily unless your demand is so high that you need to break up dosing to avoid toxicity.

That said, I do modify EI low-light slightly, including not following its iron suggestions:

1) I dose a about 2/3 the normal N and P in my heavily overstocked main tank, as the fish produce plenty. I dose K2SO4 to make up for the lost K. In my 10 gallon I dose normal levels.

2) I dose a second shot of iron-only mid week, which effectively doubles my total iron dosing relative to normal EI low light profiles. I do this because my moderately hard, moderately alkaline tank water breaks down iron levels from CSM's EDTA source fast enough that once a week isn't enough. My iron-only shot is DPTA, which is more stable anyway.

My regime looks a bit like this:

Monday - w/c + NPK
Tuesday - CSM+B
weds - x
Thurs - iron boost
Friday-sunday -x

Sometimes if my hygros start showing signs of K deficiency, I dose K2SO4 with the iron boost, but lately I've gotten my K dosing right on Monday and have not needed that.
Ah I didn't realize the two regimens took different approaches to water changes. Would it okay to do the same, large weekly water changes with a PPS regimen if I just put in the ferts afterwards? I'd imagine that wouldn't have much of a negative effect.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 03:41 PM
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PPS, being based on trying to provide enough to match plant uptake for the day, really shouldn't care if you do water changes or not. The author also claims it works with or without water changes, and with or without CO2. That said, it tends to run short on high-demand tanks from what I've seen. I also don't see how it can avoid over accumulation in low demand tanks with no water change unless you adjust the dosing. To that end, I think its claims of being all things to all tanks are somewhat overstated.

EI, being based on providing non-limiting amounts of nutrients, is designed on the idea of saturating the water with large, but still safe, amounts of nutrient, and requires large water changes to avoid toxic over accumulation. (50% weekly for standard EI and EI low-light, but there are ways to scale EI to less frequent changes)

Regardless, they come from very different philosophies and use different approaches to the problem.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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Something that just came to mind - Why do these regimens reccomend the dosing amounts that they do for low light/non co2 tanks?

Even though the doses are small compared to high-tech tanks, I assumed that the doses would be much smaller... given that there are lots of low light, non-co2 setups that don't implement any dosing other than fish waste(even in non-soil substrates) I know I'm missing something here. Would those example be the type of setups that only use very non-demanding plants such as java fern, anubias and java moss?
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 12:15 AM
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Instead od PPS pro u can use PPS classic.
It requires you to test and put in desired levels.

I try to limit water changes keeping to a minimum.
Longest I ever get is 2 weeks 8 gallons on a 40G.
That is a lot easier than 20 gallons every week.


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