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post #91 of 137 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 03:28 AM
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Originally Posted by cl3537 View Post
I wasn't around nor did I read I find the Microtox arguments, but just reading Joe's comments above I never considered excess Fe causing Algae and stunted growth until this week. This is rarely discussed here and just about never on Barr Report.
That's because the notion is still dismissed by a large percentage of the hobby despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

To be fair the whole "micro-tox" idea is greatly overblown, usually misapplied and tends to be shouted the loudest by all the wrong people. It's a convenient way to explain problems that we have no idea wtf is causing them, just like blaming everything on CO2.

Not sure if you plan to take this tank down when you do the new scape or not but I wish you'd leave it up a couple more months so everyone could see that pogo erectus bounce back.


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post #92 of 137 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 04:12 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by burr740 View Post
That's because the notion is still dismissed by a large percentage of the hobby despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

"If you dose too much Iron you tend to get Green Filamentous Algae"
Filipe Oliviera at 5:04
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post #93 of 137 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 04:45 AM
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The estimative part for a tank such as mine should not copy Burr740, Greggz, Tom Barr, 'Classic EI' or any high plant mass dosing schedule as a first guess.



The method is totally useless if it takes you months (or never) to reach a happy equilibrium for most of your plants. The first guess should be much more refined based on water parameters and the species you choose to grow.
You're confusing the starting point or the example point with the "method". Could the starting point or example points be more refined as you've requested? Sure. Maybe the share your dosing thread could turn into that. Or maybe it's just a bunch of useless cases of "correlation, not causation." Could Tom be a little less adamant about excess not a problem? I'll concede that.

But the "method" is still sound. Even pps-pro "simplified" shares this method by including water changes to "reset" the amounts of nutrients. It just has lower amounts.

"How to do PPS-Pro with water changes?
Easy, no worry approach. Dose PPS-Pro Solution #1 and PPS-Pro Solution #2 at the same time daily for a week, then 50% water change."

https://sites.google.com/site/aquati...home/chemicals

Unless you go pps classic and break out your tds meter and/or test kit for every water change for the rest of your tank life, you're "estimating" your nutrients.
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post #94 of 137 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 05:22 AM Thread Starter
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Look at this reply to Filipe's video from 2 days ago in CO2 Supplemented Planted Tanks (Facebook Group)



Judge for yourself.

Do you really think someone who writes these kind of paragraphs is credible amongst those who are knowledgeable and recognized top aquascapers in Europe like Filipe?
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post #95 of 137 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 06:10 AM
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*shrug* apparently credible enough to have a method of fertilization forever linked to his name.
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post #96 of 137 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 10:05 AM
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There's no reason to make this about Tom or EI or anyone else. No system is gonna work for every tank. If someone cant accept that it wont work for everyone then that's their problem.

Those Tropica ferts wouldnt run any of my set ups, not even close. Neither would Flourish liquids. I used to run Flourish liquids, as my tanks evolved so did the need for different ferts. It is what it is.

Be great if we could all just watch and learn from the response in this particular tank instead of turning it into a bitch fest. jmo
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post #97 of 137 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 12:40 PM
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Do you really think someone who writes these kind of paragraphs is credible amongst those who are knowledgeable and recognized top aquascapers in Europe like Filipe?
More bashing from someone who hasn't run one tank clean compared to someone that has a huge portfolio of successful tanks.
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post #98 of 137 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 12:52 PM
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turning it into a bitch fest. jmo
Can we lock all the participants in a room and observe the bitch fest?


I ventured into this hobby couple of years ago using classic EI ferts. Did it work? Yes and no. Some plants thrived while others just melted. Instead of re-inventing the wheel, I opted to follow more experienced planters and tweaked my parameters (CO2, lights, ferts, housekeeping).

I think I have my CO2 and light levels at optimum as far as my setup is concerned. Ferts are continuously evolving.

You can call it EI, modified ferts, low ferts...call it bull crap. I just observe my plants and tweak my ferts here and there to get the best out of them!! Are all my plants perfect? Absolutely not!! But I have more happy plants then unhappy ones and that makes me happy.

FWIW, my tank is looking MUCH better with lower ferts! But then it is MY tank. YOURS might not respond in a similar way.
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post #99 of 137 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 12:57 PM
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Can we lock all the participants in a room and observe the bitch fest?


I ventured into this hobby couple of years ago using classic EI ferts. Did it work? Yes and no. Some plants thrived while others just melted. Instead of re-inventing the wheel, I opted to follow more experienced planters and tweaked my parameters (CO2, lights, ferts, housekeeping).

I think I have my CO2 and light levels at optimum as far as my setup is concerned. Ferts are continuously evolving.

You can call it EI, modified ferts, low ferts...call it bull crap. I just observe my plants and tweak my ferts here and there to get the best out of them!! Are all my plants perfect? Absolutely not!! But I have more happy plants then unhappy ones and that makes me happy.

FWIW, my tank is looking MUCH better with lower ferts! But then it is MY tank. YOURS might not respond in a similar way.

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post #100 of 137 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Those Tropica ferts wouldnt run any of my set ups, not even close. Neither would Flourish liquids. I used to run Flourish liquids, as my tanks evolved so did the need for different ferts. It is what it is.
Fair point, I'd prefer not to be reliant on any black box fertilizer or expensive commercial water but for now I don't trust the 'clone' recipe of Tropica and can get away with the expensive green dyed water as my tank is small. Filipe may very well be sponsored by Seachem, I'm not interested in using their Ferts that part I ignored.

If you watch though Filipe makes a distinction between heavy stem plant tanks and the carpeted lower plant mass ones he is keeping in the tank behind him. That is a key point of difference which should be emphasized. Too lean within limits isn't going crash his type of tank, I know it didn't hurt mine, it merely slows down growth which is a positive for limiting the need for frequent maintenance. Dennis has spoken about this on here and in his videos on Diorama and competition scapes.

On the other hand for someone with daily NTUs in the 2-3ppm of Nitrates per day its obvious you can't be dosing 7ppm of nitrates per week.

But its not just the absolute value of dosing (lean versus excess) its also the ratios which may be a problem for my type of tank.

The N:P ratio in Tropica 13.4:1 yours is 5:1 and I beleive used to be even lower. Is that a major difference maker for your tank or a result of starting with 'Classic EI' and then optimizing leaner from that starting point?

Then there is the Macro to Micro ratios or just the absolute concentration of Fe. If Fe is used as the reference your N:Fe is 40:1 and Tropica 86:1.

I beleive I may need to keep Fe concentrations low <0.2ppm of accumulation to keep Hair Algae in check, clearly a different concentration is needed for your type of tank. pH and which chelates are being used plays a major role here for stability of Micros, Tropica uses strongly chelated Micros(still guessing as to what the chelate is) as Fe and the phosphates are in the same bottle without issue.

Then finally one can use leaner dosing if the N source is more efficiently used by plants. A decent amount of Ammonia in the fertilizer may serve that purpose quite handily, unnecessary and even potentially problematic in high bioload tanks.
[/quote]
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post #101 of 137 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 08:26 PM
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@cl3537,

I climbed down from EI-type levels 6-8 months ago, but I do think that they can work in the right light/CO2 setup (it did work for me). When making a radical nutrient change, such as moving away from high-end EI levels, I found it much more difficult than simply removing it from the water column. I spent over six weeks not dosing anything other than very low traces (even below Tropica's levels). It is amazing how much plants can store due to luxury uptake and other aspects. Then, I figured enough was enough, so I started very low level increases in micros and simply monitored NO3, PO4 and K to hold them in the 5/.5/5 ppm area and GH in the 2 dGH area (nudging if needed). dKH is below 1. The idea was to allow the plants to drain their reserves, slowly, while ensuring a minimum reading of the macros. I'm still in this stage. My TDS levels hover in the 60 ppm area to give you an idea of how low my water column dosing is. My plants look the same as they did with EI (and I've always been pleased with them).

My perspective is that we might do better to establish our light (PAR/PUR and photoperiod), CO2, circulation, gas exchange, cleaning and husbandry and say: "That's my setup." Then, approach non-CO2 nutrients from the low end, expanding their use as you wish, given your willingness to watch and wait. I'm not sure that 2-3 weeks is enough to say that a change is stable. I think you have to crawl toward it.

You might like investigating PPS. Although I'm not following it strictly, I'm much closer to it than typical EI ...right now.
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Last edited by Deanna; 04-28-2019 at 12:33 AM. Reason: correct
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post #102 of 137 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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You're confusing the starting point or the example point with the "method". Could the starting point or example points be more refined as you've requested? Sure. Maybe the share your dosing thread could turn into that. Or maybe it's just a bunch of useless cases of "correlation, not causation." Could Tom be a little less adamant about excess not a problem? I'll concede that.

But the "method" is still sound. Even pps-pro "simplified" shares this method by including water changes to "reset" the amounts of nutrients. It just has lower amounts.

"How to do PPS-Pro with water changes?
Easy, no worry approach. Dose PPS-Pro Solution #1 and PPS-Pro Solution #2 at the same time daily for a week, then 50% water change."

https://sites.google.com/site/aquati...home/chemicals

Unless you go pps classic and break out your tds meter and/or test kit for every water change for the rest of your tank life, you're "estimating" your nutrients.
I get what you are saying about most of the dosing methods are 'estimating' to some extent and many of them share the 'reset with WC' philosophy.

The problem I have with EI in my case is how it has been applied here on TPT. Read the Share your Dose Thread, your tank is an 'outlier' unless you are dosing around ~20ppm NO3, ~3 - 5ppm PO4, 0.4ppm+ Fe etc. etc.

Thrive often reccomended here is an 'EI' fert NO3:PO4 5:1 with Fe at 0.2ppm per dose and dosage at 2 - 4 time per week. Yet most of the tanks that I see here looking for advice have low plant mass.

But look at the ranges as reported on Barr Report in 2005 for EI.

https://barrreport.com/threads/the-e...-test-kits.52/

CO2 range 25-35ppm
NO3 range 5-30ppm
K+ range 10-30ppm
PO4 range 1.0-3.0 ppm
Fe 0.2-0.5ppm or higher (?)
GH range 3 degrees ~ 50ppm or higher

If someone had said try 0.2ppm Fe, 10ppm NO3 and 1.0ppm PO4 based on my tank I might have much healthier plants and much fewer problems now.

The problem is EI preaches not needing test kits, you don't ever know plant uptake, you are supposed to know from plant health what to do. Well not even the pros can easily do that, deficiencies are hard enough to diagnose correctly, toxicity from excess even more difficult and it seems very plant specific.

That post I quoted above from Facebook is exactly the same thing Tom Barr has been saying for 14 years, nothing has changed. His advice is not more sophisticated, it isn't more nuanced, no guidelines for specific tanks like Dennis Wong, its the same tired conclusions blaming 'everythingelse' instead of admitting that some problems are precisely about excess fertilizer.
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post #103 of 137 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 09:21 PM
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The problem I have with EI in my case is how it has been applied here on TPT. Read the Share your Dose Thread, your tank is an 'outlier' unless you are dosing around ~20ppm NO3, ~3 - 5ppm PO4, 0.4ppm+ Fe etc. etc.
You need to take that information in context. Most every one of those tanks has high light, high CO2, and loads of fast growing hungry stems. Not much in common with yours.

And much of this discussion goes right back to the overthinking fert dosing thread by Dennis Wong. In my experience, a well managed tank can do pretty well in a wide variety of dosing schemes. Seems you are suggesting here that fert dosing is the primary reason for a successful tank. That has not been my experience.

Another thing not often discussed is the actual mix of plants in any tank. When you look closely at different methods, you begin to see how folks pick plants that favor the conditions they provide. As has been mentioned, your P. Erectus and Rotala like lower nutrient levels. Vin Kutty has done numerous experiments in this area and his Kill Tank thread is a very good one. By the way, his Pogo Erectus always eventually stunted and melted away in his Dutch tank.

So the point is, plants like Pogo Erectus and something like Pantanal have much different needs. You will seldom see both flourishing in the same tank. Now some of the groups out there are preaching that there is a secret "recipe" that one must follow. While I do agree that ratio's are something to pay attention to (one of the reasons for the share your dosing thread), I don't believe there is a "recipe" that works for every tank. Actually, far from it.

In my opinion, our best tool is trial and error and observation. And this doesn't sit well with those who want to solve a planted tank with science. Each tank reacts differently, and duplicating an eco system with so many variables is pretty much impossible. It takes a good deal of effort and dedication to figure out YOUR tank. No shortcuts that I have seen so far.

In the end, sometimes the end goal gets lost in all the arguing. Show me a beautifully presented tank of healthy plants, and I am interested. Some have strayed so far from that they can't admit when someone has success with any method other than their own. A dogma can be blinding at times.


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post #104 of 137 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 10:16 PM
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I am definitely an "outlier".
Dose more macros than most, less micros than probably any, and barely change any water.
But I have based it all on consumption with a bit left in the water column.
Otherwise that minimal WC deal would not work.
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Growing is not that difficult.
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post #105 of 137 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 01:18 AM
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I think some ratios are important stay in a general range, mainly those with a strong antagonistic relationship between them. Ca, Mg, K - Fe, Mn - Fe, PO4.

But there's a few problems with prescribing a "best ratio" for everyone. One of the biggest problems with that is how PH affects each nutrient's availability in a different way. Some will be more available at a certain PH (stronger), others will be less available (weaker).

Im not sure how accurate the pic below is but it gives the general idea. There can be a big difference in how "strong" something is in a PH of 5.5 compared to 7.5.

PH is not the only thing that affects availability. The levels of everything else does too. Say you shoot for a 3:1 Ca:Mg ratio, pretty common target. How "strong" either one is will be different in a tank with 15 ppm K than a tank with 50 ppm. Because all three compete for uptake within the plant, and it probably varies from species to species.

Chelated compounds vs non-chelated will make a difference too as far as how long something sticks around (longer with chelated) and how rapidly plants absorb it (faster with non-chelated)

The ratio we put in the dosing bottle is not necessarily what the plants wind up presented with. It's what happens in the water column that matters.
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