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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i have read some where that having more K2SO4 in the water actually makes it harder for the plants to use other important nutrients, such as KNO3 which is the most important of all.

i have noticed something very important, i did my water change on Wednesday night on my 50g tank and added 1/2 tsp KNO3 and K2SO4, 1/8 tsp K2HPO4, 1tsp Ca and 3tsp Mg and i was going to trip on the next day, Friday the next morning i added 1/4tsp CSM+B and 1/8 tsp Iron and went to my trip for next 3 days. no dosing of any kind on sat,sun and mon, just my lights and co2 which turns on/off automatically. i came home on Monday evening and found LUDWIGIA INCLINATA VAR. VERTICILLATA 'PANTANAL grew about 2" with nice red color. while hair grass also had new runners and looked very healthy.

now how can i have better growth compare to my slow growth with 3x week dosing of micros and macros? i use to believe that adding all the nutrients and having none limiting is the key to planted tank. i know Tom Barr also believe this theory and i followed it till now, sometime i had good plant growth and sometime none at all. so i never tried to limit any dosing, now am thinking about stop dosing the K2SO4 and limiting the K2HPO4 while keeping everything else the same.

tell me what you guys think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't think I would stop. Maybe cut back the dosing. Redo the experiment when growth slows and check your NO3, KH, GH and PO4 before and after the experiment. Your water may have been too hard for uptake until Ca and Mg came down.
in my tank as the days passes by the Gh does not go down, it actually goes up hence making the water more harder. i use RO water, so GH/KH isn't the problem.
 

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It seems in general, most plants & fish prefer neutral to softwater, so why even with RO/DI do people add gH/kH boosting elements. My kH is 100 ppm and gH 50 ppm which is fairly soft and adding Mg,CA,etc. doses nothing or so it seems in my tank anyway, but I would rather mix in a couple of gallons straight tap water with my RO/DI water to get a balance of micro nutrients.

It seems your amounts vary slightly from what I use

EI dosing for a 50 gallon tank:
2-3x a week:
1/2 teaspoon KNO3
1/8th teaspoon of the KH2PO4

Add K2SO4 after water change, say 1 teaspoon

CMS+B, I'd add 1 TABLE spoon into 500mls of water, 1 teaspoon of MgSO4(Epsom salt), dose 15mls 3x a week
 

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would be interested to see if it is repeatable. keep the current dosing for 2 week to see if the trend continues, then switch back to EI to see if the growth slows down.
don't think it is necessary to add additional K2SO4 when you are already dosing full EI dose of KNO3, as there should be plenty of K in KNO3. another interesting thing to experiment if you think K is the determine factor is to continue with EI dosing but cut out K2SO4 completely.

what is your lighting condition for your 50G? i have 23w clamp light 3-4 inch above my 10g, i am not exactly dosing EI but it is probably pretty close, whenever I dose less, i get bad growth/deficiency symptoms and algae too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
i have 2x54 T5HO 26" away from the substrate, using 2 Rena xp2 filters, koralia 1 for circulation and using ada aqua soil.

there were a thread where people have said that extra potassium in their water slowed the plant growth, same applied for the phosphate. am not sure how correct this information is.
 

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i have 2x54 T5HO 26" away from the substrate, using 2 Rena xp2 filters, koralia 1 for circulation and using ada aqua soil.

there were a thread where people have said that extra potassium in their water slowed the plant growth, same applied for the phosphate. am not sure how correct this information is.
I've never seen any evidence of K+ harming growth in anyway, there's no evidence for it horticulturally, till you get to salt stress ranges, which are hundred's of ppm. Many ran K+ in the 40-100+ ppm K+ ranges for about 3-5 years in the USA, no one reported issues then curiously..........

I recall Erik Leung won the AGA contest with his stem plant tank using 100+ K+ ppm without any issues.

I tested about dozen claims of "excess" K+ using all sorts of supposed sensitive plants and could confirm nothing in each and every case.
Correlation does not imply cause. It could be many things.

That said..........I see not reason to dose more K2SO4..........unless you simply are not adding much KNO3. You should not run into a limiting K+ scenario using KNO3. I add GH booster once a week, it's for my low GH tap.......but if you have RO etc, then you may as well blend RO+ Tap, maybe try 1/2 and 1/2, or 1/3 to 2/3rds etc.......add some MgSO4(this can be added at the water change, or mixed in with the Trace mix like PMDD suggested years ago).

I did this for my plants and dosed a fair amount of everything here when I lived in Davis CA which has very very hard tap water, I did a 50:50 split with RO and tap:



I got about 6-7 " per week. PAR was about 120 at the tops of the plants, so that did not help. At 50-70, I only get about 3". This is at the tips of the plants.

Sometimes just leaving things alone can help more than day to day fiddling. I do not day to day fiddle. 2-3x a week is more what I prefer. But this is more my own habit. I'm not impatient.

If you dose good and then leave, there's a fair amount of nutrients.........so things will grow for awhile quite well.........then later...after they ARE GONE, the reserves are exhausted......then you start to have reduced growth..but there's a few days time delay, maybe a few weeks. ADA AS will have a fair amount of ferts also, but reduced N as it ages.........

Also, the last time you trim stem plants also makes a large difference in such cases where you have nutrients in the water, but also the sediment. Much longer time to develop good root systems......

And if there is less in the water...the plants will go after things in the sediments. This will give you some ideas to think about.
 

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I've never seen any evidence of K+ harming growth in anyway, there's no evidence for it horticulturally, till you get to salt stress ranges, which are hundred's of ppm. Many ran K+ in the 40-100+ ppm K+ ranges for about 3-5 years in the USA, no one reported issues then curiously..........

I recall Erik Leung won the AGA contest with his stem plant tank using 100+ K+ ppm without any issues.

I tested about dozen claims of "excess" K+ using all sorts of supposed sensitive plants and could confirm nothing in each and every case.
Correlation does not imply cause. It could be many things.

That said..........I see not reason to dose more K2SO4..........unless you simply are not adding much KNO3. You should not run into a limiting K+ scenario using KNO3. I add GH booster once a week, it's for my low GH tap.......but if you have RO etc, then you may as well blend RO+ Tap, maybe try 1/2 and 1/2, or 1/3 to 2/3rds etc.......add some MgSO4(this can be added at the water change, or mixed in with the Trace mix like PMDD suggested years ago).

I did this for my plants and dosed a fair amount of everything here when I lived in Davis CA which has very very hard tap water, I did a 50:50 split with RO and tap:



I got about 6-7 " per week. PAR was about 120 at the tops of the plants, so that did not help. At 50-70, I only get about 3". This is at the tips of the plants.

Sometimes just leaving things alone can help more than day to day fiddling. I do not day to day fiddle. 2-3x a week is more what I prefer. But this is more my own habit. I'm not impatient.

If you dose good and then leave, there's a fair amount of nutrients.........so things will grow for awhile quite well.........then later...after they ARE GONE, the reserves are exhausted......then you start to have reduced growth..but there's a few days time delay, maybe a few weeks. ADA AS will have a fair amount of ferts also, but reduced N as it ages.........

Also, the last time you trim stem plants also makes a large difference in such cases where you have nutrients in the water, but also the sediment. Much longer time to develop good root systems......

And if there is less in the water...the plants will go after things in the sediments. This will give you some ideas to think about.
Hey what's the bright red plant?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've never seen any evidence of K+ harming growth in anyway, there's no evidence for it horticulturally, till you get to salt stress ranges, which are hundred's of ppm. Many ran K+ in the 40-100+ ppm K+ ranges for about 3-5 years in the USA, no one reported issues then curiously..........

I recall Erik Leung won the AGA contest with his stem plant tank using 100+ K+ ppm without any issues.

I tested about dozen claims of "excess" K+ using all sorts of supposed sensitive plants and could confirm nothing in each and every case.
Correlation does not imply cause. It could be many things.

That said..........I see not reason to dose more K2SO4..........unless you simply are not adding much KNO3. You should not run into a limiting K+ scenario using KNO3. I add GH booster once a week, it's for my low GH tap.......but if you have RO etc, then you may as well blend RO+ Tap, maybe try 1/2 and 1/2, or 1/3 to 2/3rds etc.......add some MgSO4(this can be added at the water change, or mixed in with the Trace mix like PMDD suggested years ago).

I did this for my plants and dosed a fair amount of everything here when I lived in Davis CA which has very very hard tap water, I did a 50:50 split with RO and tap:



I got about 6-7 " per week. PAR was about 120 at the tops of the plants, so that did not help. At 50-70, I only get about 3". This is at the tips of the plants.

Sometimes just leaving things alone can help more than day to day fiddling. I do not day to day fiddle. 2-3x a week is more what I prefer. But this is more my own habit. I'm not impatient.

If you dose good and then leave, there's a fair amount of nutrients.........so things will grow for awhile quite well.........then later...after they ARE GONE, the reserves are exhausted......then you start to have reduced growth..but there's a few days time delay, maybe a few weeks. ADA AS will have a fair amount of ferts also, but reduced N as it ages.........

Also, the last time you trim stem plants also makes a large difference in such cases where you have nutrients in the water, but also the sediment. Much longer time to develop good root systems......

And if there is less in the water...the plants will go after things in the sediments. This will give you some ideas to think about.
tom i agree with your statement, which i followed very well till now. recently am running into more problems as i explained earlier. yesterday i lost 2 of my discus due to co2 overdose, because that was the last thing i could think of which i thought might be the limiting factor in my tank, but drop checker was solid green to lime green all day. i also thought that Ca and Mg might be the problem but again i was dosing enough to support my plants, i was dosing 2tsp of Ca sulfate and 3tsp of Mg during water changes, which gives me 9ppm of Ca and 6ppm of Mg. for right now i lifted up the light by another 2" and reduced the co2 levels to save my discus.

Tom i have asked this before but never heard from you, i have asked in one of the post about your dosing schedule, soil, filtration, lights etc. i really want to know exactly what you are doing, i want to try the exact same thing and see what i could achieve in my tank. looking forward for your reply on this. thanks
 

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I'm not sure if this is true of aquatic plants, but in terrestrial plants nearly all of them have means to store some nutrients when conditions aren't right for them to use them, or if they're taking in more than is needed. When the conditions change they'll switch to their stores which can be easier for them to access so they'll show increased growth for a short period of time, and usually use their reserves to propagate. Stress fertilization is a common technique for gardeners who want heavy fruit harvests or to trigger flowering among orchid growers but the plants usually start to look terrible after some time. This could explain what you saw and the only way to verify that's not the case would be to continue the dosing change.

K+ ability to interfere with other nutrients would either require a massive excess of K+ or an already present deficiency in the other nutrients. Case 2 is far more likely.

Maintaining a consistent excess of all nutrients may not create as rapid growth/propagation as stress fertilizing but is easier to control and maintain healthy plants. Might be worth exploring if you want to spread the DHG fast and don't mind if the plants end up not looking healthy for a while. Just pick a stressor that has a fast recovery time, and K+ might not be the best option since it helps in transport of other nutrients within the plant. Though as Tom said K2SO4 isn't necessary to dose if you're using decent amounts of KNO3. I also wouldn't try limiting PO4 due to its role in root structures.
 

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HAHA higher thinking!!!!!!!!!!! tom has a magical aquatic green thumb. i think he poops in his tank and it turns into beautiful plants
poop analyzers wanted, lol.
here is mine, don't have a good camera.


setup is quite simple, a 23w CFL clamp light 5inch above the 10g tank, don't know the PAR readings. Azoo plant bed substrate, pressurized CO2 at slightly > 1bps. I probably dose 2x of EI (KNO3 and CSM+B on alternate days, no K2SO4) recommended amount with EI dosing schedule. no noticeable algae. I can grow pretty much any plant in this tank.

i have another 72g, 110w T5HO, eco-complete substrate, 5-6 bps of CO2, EI dosing, i can't grow as good plants as the 10G one, and I get GSA and some black aglea (not BBA), Sara looked at the samples I sent her, and found that most of the algae are actually cyanobacteria. I am going to try EM once I receive them.

the main differences between the two tanks i think are the substrate and lighting, 10G probably much higher PAR than the 72G.
 

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i would say the 10 has lower PAR. tom is a big advocate that higher lighting is not necessary to grow lush plants, and produce brilliant colors including reds... im sure there is a limit to how low you can go.

i've handled all my algae in my 29 by turning off one of my fixtures.. i had plenty of c02 to handle the light but i think a lot of it may do with what kind of light. how high it is. not just how high the PAR is.. algae is gone. but so is the pink of my rotala.. im curious as to what would happen if i bought a single fixture with more output and raised it off the tank what would happen????
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
poop analyzers wanted, lol.
here is mine, don't have a good camera.


setup is quite simple, a 23w CFL clamp light 5inch above the 10g tank, don't know the PAR readings. Azoo plant bed substrate, pressurized CO2 at slightly > 1bps. I probably dose 2x of EI (KNO3 and CSM+B on alternate days, no K2SO4) recommended amount with EI dosing schedule. no noticeable algae. I can grow pretty much any plant in this tank.

i have another 72g, 110w T5HO, eco-complete substrate, 5-6 bps of CO2, EI dosing, i can't grow as good plants as the 10G one, and I get GSA and some black aglea (not BBA), Sara looked at the samples I sent her, and found that most of the algae are actually cyanobacteria. I am going to try EM once I receive them.

the main differences between the two tanks i think are the substrate and lighting, 10G probably much higher PAR than the 72G.
your plant looks good. IMO i was never able to grow much plant since i started using T5, PC fixture gave me very good results in the past. i had a 5g tank which only had a 27w PC bulb over it and flow wasn't that great on that tank but plant grew very well.
 

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i have 2x54 T5HO 26" away from the substrate, using 2 Rena xp2 filters, koralia 1 for circulation and using ada aqua soil.

there were a thread where people have said that extra potassium in their water slowed the plant growth, same applied for the phosphate. am not sure how correct this information is.
I would think the lighting set up would be you limiting factor, my lights are 30 inches from my sub at 2.15 wpg and with my tank being only 1/4 to 1/3 filled with plants and C02 I dose EI at a half rate or less with good results, but the tank is somewhat slow growing with Green Cobomba being trimmed monthly at best.

I did have this tank set up at 4.29 wpg years ago and with double the current light I was throwing out my plant trimmings at a 1/2 to 3/4 of a 13 gallon kitchen trash can every other week. I was dosing EI at full amounts for my tanks size and running about the same on C02.

But I think you could throw in all the K you want and it wouldn't limit growth until you got to a really big extreme, but it may cause other problems, algae, etc.
 

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i would say the 10 has lower PAR. tom is a big advocate that higher lighting is not necessary to grow lush plants, and produce brilliant colors including reds... im sure there is a limit to how low you can go.

i've handled all my algae in my 29 by turning off one of my fixtures.. i had plenty of c02 to handle the light but i think a lot of it may do with what kind of light. how high it is. not just how high the PAR is.. algae is gone. but so is the pink of my rotala.. im curious as to what would happen if i bought a single fixture with more output and raised it off the tank what would happen????
I think you can go either way, but a lower light tank will be easier most of the time. But you can go 4-5 wpg and like anything else that gets an extreme result (growth) you are going to have algae problems until the whole system gets moving and eating up the ferts then it should settle down and grow like crazy.

Happi seems to have a nice set up with a good substrate, so I'm really surprised that so much fertilizer is getting used. I'd like to see a pic of the tank.
 

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lol, maybe that's why he doesn't want to tell us about his secret ingredient.
Well I think one of secret ingredients is what he's studied his whole life and how much he has put into the hobby building systems, etc.

I think the day to day fiddling is a very good point with most of these systems you have to set back and watch, make small singular adjustments so you can realize the result, if you make 15 adjustments every other day there is really no way to tell what the heck is going on.
 
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