PPS Pro is not a dose and test method, it is actually very similar to the ADA methods. It seems that you use lower CO2 to limit the growth which in turn lowers the need for nutrients. Plants adapt, it seems they adapt to almost any conditions.
You will also note, ADA and many folks use a lot less light
than many folks that curiously have trouble with algae and balancing things............
15ppm of CO2 is fine and was for many when folks used 1.5-2w gal of NO FL's 10-20 years ago. I know. I and many other folks kept plants then
It's when I started seeing how much light could be added and then had to add more CO2/nutrients to compensate...........still....using higher CO2/nutrients with less light provides a more stable tank and system.
Which seems to be what you suggest is a goal.
If things are light limited, which is a much more stable easier to maintain consistent parameter than CO2 or any nutrient is, it makes logical sense to do things this way, but so many folks are not wise to this, they want more light and then try limit other nutrients to slow growth.
That's putting the cart before the horse.
George Booth and I have lamented about this for nearly the last 10 years as well, HLD is the problem and thus places more demands and less stability on CO2 and nutrients.
It all starts with light then progresses to CO2.
Testing - Ok, i am sick and tired of anyone who says "this method requires no testing". There could be nothing further from the truth.
That's nice, I use to think so also, so did Amano, so did Edward, we gave up. You are just not going to get that many folks to do it for all the yelling and fear and loathing you, I or anyone professes. Been there done that. Think about why Edward gave up. Think about why I suggested it and these days rarely do. Think about why most of the best looking tanks seldom if ever are being tested? Work, maintenance and gardening, not testing is what keeps things looking good.
It cost a lot and takes a lot of effort to do it right. Few get into this hobby to test water. Did you? I didn't.
I test carefully to answer certain specific questions so I no longer need to test later.
A good test will allow me a lot of flexibility and not need to test later for that parameter as I've explored it's upper and low ranges independently of other interactions that might confound my results.
I have heard Edward say it with PPS Pro, but guess what, i have seen some limiting issues with higher light and higher bioload. I tested and found this to be true, and adjusted. I have Tom say the same thing about EI. Then in the next breath he will say "i have never said you have to add ALL that stuff ALL the time". The only way to find out is to test. If you dont test you dont know whats going on and you dont excel in this hobby.
Well if you want a black and white method there is not one.
Some tweaking is required, however test kits are not required unless you consider the plants "test kits". I've always used them with test kits.
PPS is lighter/leaner, so that;s to be expected, EI is richer for the higher light tanks and if rather than quoting me, read the dang article, it clearly says that you can back off till you get a negative response from the plants
, PPS and ADA can also be used in a similar fashion, coming from the other direction add a bit more till you no longer get a positive growth response.
However ADA also adds a lot of nutrients to the sediment as well. So while lean is some parts of the tank, it's rich else where. PPS and EI are independent of that, but can work well synergistically with a rich sediment.
You can start at a lean level and move up, or a rich non limiting level and reduce it slowly till you see a negative response then bump it back up.
All you need is a decent observation skill set to watch plants.
Put another way:
Test kits do not measure plant health, nor algae presence.
Some user common sense and assumptions therefore must apply to test kits and their use, much like dosing... much like keeping a planted tanks and gauging the plant health and responses.
There's a lot of room for mistakes in there....and that is how we learn.
Which is not a bad thing.
Difference between two approaches.
For me it really has come to growth needs. I prefer slow growth for layouts. Its very difficult to do this with EI, so i use PPS. BOTH methods are not all answers. Learn to test and determine your growth goals.
If you seek to manage growth and slow things down, use less light. That's where growth starts, or perhaps you believe it starts somewhere else? CO2 or nutrients?
Not only will less light slow growth, it'll also place less CO2 demand and allow the plants to better utilize nutrients since there is less CO2 stress. Maybe Tropica, Troel and Ole are also wrong. Maybe Kasslemann too.
Everyone that suggest lean levels also has less light curiously..........or does not measure nor know their light values.
Light is far more stable than CO2 as far as our management is concerned also.
So that's 2 very big advantages to providing a nice stable slower growth tank.
I have no trouble with slow growth tanks and EI, I dose less due to common sense, I know I really do not need that much(traces cost more $ since I use TMG etc), however, since I tested things, I also know that independently, higher levels of K, PO4, NO3, traces also do not cause algae nor other issues.
These tanks get no algae and run for years. Having induced a number of species of algae over the last 10-15 years, that allows me to know what is the problem with my tanks, as well as others.
Many folks swore up and down they had everything right, then they added more, say CO2 and Mike ended up with 220 ppm of CO2 and fish where fine etc.
All because he believed strongly in a test kit and method rather than plants, watching things etc.
Algae don't like nor do the plants, test kits can and do.
Living things are far more integrative.
Lower light and rich nutrients/CO2 is easy as pie and much more stable than higher light tanks, this is nothing new, I've been telling folks this for nearly a decade and so has George and Karen and others.
Algae grows slower, problems happen slower so you can catch them faster when you have less light.
EI - A lot of nutrients!!! You do something wrong and you have a ton of algae.
If you have a lot of light and you mess up CO2, yes, then you do.
If you have low light, then no.
CO2 and dosing are less critical in every method and set up when you address stability and growth rates as the light intensity is reduced.
That's common sense.
You make little mention of the relationship with light intensity here.
Since you profess testing with passion, perhaps you might give some data about light in plant useful units and measures?
You test CO2, folks have had a lot of troubles measuring that anyway as we have long known.........and you test NO3 and PO4 and K and Ca and Mg using standard calibrations?
Let's not even bother with the trace metals............
You have yourself a lot of work to make heads or tails of things and that assumes nothing went nutty during your test.............
This not something I do 24/7 for years, I do it for a few weeks to see.
Then when my question has been answered, I repeated it to make sure I did not do something wrong or overlooked something.
I'm human and know enough to recheck myself and look for obvious.
You have to, to get the answers.
Limiting factors can cause all sorts of problems, that's why I wisely chose a higher non limiting approach rather than a limiting approach like ADA/PPS/PMDD.
I can prove without a doubt that these things are not causal agents, they on the other hand cannot show otherwise. Thus they cannot possibly be correct.
Simple process of falsification, you test your hypothesis.
If you are not willing to do so, then you really cannot do any more than mere speculation.........and there's enough of that in the hobby as it is...........
I dont care what anyone says I have grown some of my most fantastic algae with EI.
I can as well, I remove the CO2 and add lots of light.
Does that surprise you or something?
You have to pump a ton of light and co2 into the tank to balance the suggested dosing of EI.
Again, you missed the light part.
You do not have nearly the same CO2 demand at 80 micromols as you do at 450 micromoles of light. Why don't you critically measure this and see since you love to test to find out?
I tested it.
If you want to prove this to yourself, you need to do so.
Otherwise it's all speculation and you really are just guessing.
Don't guess, test your hypothesis!
Then you'll know.
CO2 is extremely ephemeral. It can change dramatically in 30-60 minutes in our tanks, flows, shading and all sorts of other factors come into play here.
The existing test methods are poor. I developed my own based on a pH probe and KH reference solution and gas membrane. Compared to the IR, it's about 0.1ppm accurate for a 5 minutes reading.
Took a lot of work, but it's far better than another else's test method in the hobby.
Methods do not fail, we do.
I have tried everything.....more PO4, more Co2.....guess what, GSA!!
PPS works well, so does aDA, so does EI.
There are examples of each that are lacking GSA.
I have done each of these methods as well as several others including marine methods.
Just because you failed and want to blame a method does not mean it's the method's fault.
That's a bad assumption on your part.
I chose to try and figure out what I might have been doing wrong when I initially had issues with PPS.
Like many that started using it, I had some BBA and other related issues.
I focused on CO2 and the issue was resolved.
It was not the dosing however, it was the poor use of CO2 for myself and most of the folks using the method.
You want to have perfect growth with EI, test!!!
Oh come now, you know there is a lot more to perfect growth than dosing, it involved a lot of maintenance, filter cleaning CO2 etc.
You are guilty of doing the same thing that you critiqued these methods about. Suggesting that perfect growth will be achieved with test kits alone.
Not everyone needs to test to have a nice scaped pretty tank, maybe you do. But others clearly don't and thus this cannot possibly be a cause for perfection vs someone who doesn't test................
PPS Pro - One mixture for all. This is not always ideal, especially if your tap has a lot of something already in it.
Well, I could say the same about EI or ADA as well.
The best way to deal with it is to do LESS % of WC's. There is also the possibility to bottom out nutrients with higher CO2 and higher light.
You want to have perfect growth with PPS Pro, test!!!
Or simply dose more and do large % water changes.
Fast + simple and folks are already well aware of the fish health benefits and load increases that they can have with frequent water changes and the lower cases of disease.
Helps fish, reduces the need to test and can benefit planted tanks a great deal.
Are frequent water changes bad for non planted fish only tanks or something?
I have great luck with PPS Pro, and lower nutrient levels. Most aquascapers do. I have never had long term luck with EI.
You want any luck....test!!!
If you want to really understand a method, you need to consider the other variables beside dosing. Light and CO2 and their measure.
You spent all this time pressing the virtues of testing and really never talked about the 2 main issues.
If you seek to understand a method and be successful with it and master it, rather than just winging it and hoping, you should go back and keep trying and testing until you do have success. Since testing and learning are your a large part of goals it appears.