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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have been fertilizing with PPS Pro for a while, but recently tried experimenting with changing the doses to give better fuller, faster growth. I have read all over the forum about trace toxicity so I have been cutting the daily dose for my micro dosing in half to try to avoid toxicity and I am tripling the macro dosing for improved growth. The PPS Pro calls for equal dosing of both micro and macro solutions, since I am only half dosing the micro, would that limit the plant growth?

To more fully avoid trace toxicity should I supplement the micro dose with a cheleated iron dose?
 

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Some time ago, there was a system called PPS-Classic. It was analytical system able to give us details about plant consumptions. At that time, the average trace element mix, referenced to Fe level was established at 0.01 ppm.

Shortly after, based on the PPS-Classic results PPS-Pro was developed. At the same time “smart” high CEC Cation Exchange Capacity substrates became available and some people started to experience trace element deficiencies. The PPS-Classic was developed with inert substrates which had low CEC. Because we didn’t expect this to be an issue we have had decided to use ten times more trace elements referenced to Fe at 0.1 ppm to assure effectiveness.

In the following years, doses of 0.01 and 0.1 ppm Fe have not created problems when conditions were met. Conditions like 100% planted, CO2 enrichment and conductivity maintained water column parameters.

Recently, I have learned about trace elements toxicity from Solcielo Lawrencia, who if true, should get the Nobel Prize for finding aquarium trace elements toxicity issues and CEC substrate implications. For this reason I have reconsidered the PPS-Pro recommendation on trace elements levels of 0.1 ppm TE (Fe) back to a safer zone of 0.01 ppm TE (Fe).


In short, it is great that you are experimenting with it. You can try more solution #1 macros while keeping solution #2 micros at 1/10th of the recommended quantity. Only if new growth appears pale than more solution #2 micros is needed. Please tell us more about your aquarium, thank you.
 

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Interestingly enough, I am roughly in the same boat (tank?) as Maroman. I have a tank with Eco Complete and on the micro side, have been dosing the standard PPS-Pro solution from more than a year. The tank also had some root tabs installed at various points in the last year. Now I am thinking that Edwards thoughts on micro dosing might be a better idea. Over the last 2 weeks I have switched from the standard 1ml/10gallons daily to 1ml/10gallons every other day (effectively 1/2 recommended). Will be interesting to see the results. Solcielo Lawrencia has posted many interesting observations regarding this issue. I may have to dig thru more of his postings to see what else I can learn.

MaroMan, on the macro side of PPS Pro, I have also been adjusting my mix of chemicals with good results. When my phosphate level was around 2ppm the green spot algae seem to thrive on everything. Now I am running around 5ppm and I have very little green spot algae. My nitrate levels in the tank seem high (around 80 most of the time) so I have adjusted the mix some to try and help lower that number. I have no issues with EI, but I feel what I am dosing is a better solution for my tank. Best of luck in getting your tank where you want it. Don't know if it would be any use, but this is what I am dosing. KH=7, GH=12

What I am currently dosing for PPS Pro on 65 gallons of water
KH2PO4 Add 13 gm to 500ML (13 gm is approx 2-1/4 t)
KNO3 Add 40 gm to 500ML (40 gm is approx 7-3/4 t)
K2SO4 Add 48 gm to 500ML (48 gm is approx 7-1/2 t)
MGSO4 Add 20 gm to 500ML (20 gm is approx 3-3/4 t)

Dose = 1ml / 10 gallon or 7ml daily
 

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Interestingly enough, I am roughly in the same boat (tank?) as Maroman. I have a tank with Eco Complete and on the micro side, have been dosing the standard PPS-Pro solution from more than a year. The tank also had some root tabs installed at various points in the last year.
Your substrate must be pretty saturated by now. I tell you what crazy idea I had. I used white inert substrate for number of years and it started to look more amber, almost dark orange colour. So I boiled it for an hour. I couldn’t believe what came out. The liquid was black, slimy, oily chemical soup. I kept rinsing it until clean water came out and there was my bright white shiny looking substrate again. And that is inert, low CEC substrate.

Over the last 2 weeks I have switched from the standard 1ml/10gallons daily to 1ml/10gallons every other day (effectively 1/2 recommended). Will be interesting to see the results.
I would do 1/10th of the recommended dose and daily. You can dose more if you want but daily dose will get you better results than every other day.

MaroMan, on the macro side of PPS Pro, I have also been adjusting my mix of chemicals with good results. When my phosphate level was around 2ppm the green spot algae seem to thrive on everything. Now I am running around 5ppm and I have very little green spot algae. My nitrate levels in the tank seem high (around 80 most of the time) so I have adjusted the mix some to try and help lower that number. I have no issues with EI, but I feel what I am dosing is a better solution for my tank. Best of luck in getting your tank where you want it. Don't know if it would be any use, but this is what I am dosing. KH=7, GH=12

What I am currently dosing for PPS Pro on 65 gallons of water
KH2PO4 Add 13 gm to 500ML (13 gm is approx 2-1/4 t)
KNO3 Add 40 gm to 500ML (40 gm is approx 7-3/4 t)
K2SO4 Add 48 gm to 500ML (48 gm is approx 7-1/2 t)
MGSO4 Add 20 gm to 500ML (20 gm is approx 3-3/4 t)

Dose = 1ml / 10 gallon or 7ml daily
Your NO3 of 80 ppm cannot be good. Such massive amount is not from dosing KNO3 I hope but rather from organic waste. Organics waste is better to be removed with water changes because it serves more algae than plants.

When I look at your modified solution I see couple of problems with it. One is solubility. The chemical amounts you listed cannot be completely dissolved in that amount of water. For instance, the original PPS-Pro solution #1 macros contain minerals in amounts to 80% solubility. And even this 80% takes overnight to dissolve in cold RO water. Your recipe is 125%, which has 56% more minerals than can be dissolved in the specified amount of water.

When undissolved minerals stay on the bottom of the bottle how can we know what is actually being dosed, we can’t.

Here are solutions to compare.

PPS-Pro #1
1.00 ppm NO3, 0.10 ppm PO4, 1.33 ppm K, 0.10 ppm Mg

Your solution referenced to NO3
1.00 ppm NO3, 0.37 ppm PO4, 1.66 ppm K, 0.08 ppm Mg

Your solution as is (does not dissolve)
1.23 ppm NO3, 0.45 ppm PO4, 2.04 ppm K, 0.10 ppm Mg

So, from your recipe I assume you are looking for a solution with increased PO4 4x and 80% solubility
1.00 ppm NO3, 0.4 ppm PO4, 1.33 ppm K, 0.1 ppm Mg

500 ml, 1ml per 10 gallon or 40L, 4x PO4
1.00 ppm NO3, 0.4 ppm PO4, 1.33 ppm K, 0.1 ppm Mg
23.8 g K2SO4
32.6 g KNO3
11.5 g KH2PO4
20.2 g MgSO4

Hope this helps.

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Bump: Immortal1: Solcielo Lawrencia has posted many interesting observations regarding this issue. I may have to dig thru more of his postings to see what else I can learn.

Here are some Solcielo lawrencia related posts:

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http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...uirements-aquarium-plants-15.html#post8937602
Solcielo lawrencia
Low calcium is a problem if everything in relation to it is high, but low Ca is not a problem if all other nutrients are proportionately low. Nutrient ratios matter a lot. E.g. Plants can grow in just 1ppm of Ca, as long as the other nutrients are in proportion to it. If there's excess, then Ca deficiency may result or toxicity of the other nutrients.
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http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...growth-toxic-aquatic-life-17.html#post8934121
Solcielo lawrencia
In chemistry, there is a phenomenon called the 'anion effect'. It makes cations less toxic due to the affinity of positive and negative ions. In other words, dosing high levels of anions reduce the toxic effects of excess heavy metals cations that are essential in minute quantities (but very toxic at higher concentrations, e.g. 1ppb of Cu is toxic to many life forms, including algae and crustaceans.)

Dosing excessive PO4 also increases the likelihood of metal precipitation, rendering them inert and non-toxic. It also helps alleviate toxic metal stress once plants have absorbed metal cations.

Dosing high levels of NO3 and PO4 anions also helps improve nutrient balance between the macros and the micros, especially more so if micros are excessively high as occurs when dosing EI levels of micros.

So is it typically necessary to dose such high concentrations of anions even though plants don't ever use so much? No, unless you are dosing excessively high concentrations of micros and need a way to neutralize or balance that toxicity. FYI: hydroponics use only a minute fraction of the traces needed to grow food crops, yet EI suggests dosing far in excess of what even these terrestrial crops require for fast and healthy growth. Logic should dictate an error in this approach.
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http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...omote-algae-growth-toxic-aquatic-life-12.html
Solcielo lawrencia
Another thing to note is that the substrate is a high CEC substrate, which will quickly adsorb cations from the water column which reduces it's potential for toxicity. As long as there are plenty of adsorption sites available, severity of toxicity is reduced. However, after a few months or so, the adsorption sites diminish to the point where it can no longer adsorb anymore. This results in metals remaining in the water column, resulting in very obvious signs of toxicity. Therefore, you should expect in a few months, there will be an inevitable decline in plant health and algae will most likely run rampant if the current dosing is not decreased. So high CEC substrates provide a buffer against toxicity by its ability to remove metals from the water column.

So the high CEC substrates is probably the reason why people indicate initial success with EI, because of its ability to reduce toxicity. But then after a few months, things start going downhill. Those who use sand as the substrate (which has almost no CEC), have issues with plant growth immediately.
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http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...ritional-requirements-aquarium-plants-14.html
Solcielo lawrencia
On UKAPS, when Marcel presented evidence that plants don't need what EI claimed they needed, I was very skeptical and critical because it contradicted everything I've learned about EI. E.g. Marcel stated that plants can use just 10-15ppm of CO2. Blasphemy! Because from experience, if I used that little CO2, I'd have an algae farm, not a planted tank. That was last year. Today, I use 10-15ppm of CO2 with high light (100+PAR at substrate) and I don't have an algae farm. The difference? I'm not dosing EI levels of traces which causes algae to proliferate. This directly contradicts the claim that CO2 is of utmost importance and explains why CO2 is so critical in EI: because without enough CO2 (and light) the trace nutrients will not be absorbed fast enough which results in toxicities and algae growth. Algae grows partly because of those excess nutrients.

If the system doesn't work for most people, if it doesn't live up to its claims, then there's something wrong with it. But instead, believers make excuses and attack those who dare challenge it. Then they further make claims that fit the model, distorting the original idea so that it's no longer the original idea.
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http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...csm-b-toxicity-experiment-42.html#post8968682
Solcielo lawrencia
My conclusion is inconclusive due to the following confounding variables. I discovered that:

1. High CEC substrate became toxic which results toxicities.
2. Adsorbed metals desorb back into the water column.
3. Plants can retain nutrients in their stems for later use.

1: If the substrate is high CEC, then it will have built up a layer of heavy metals. Just like the hard-water deposits that build up on shower doors and tubs over time, the substrate also builds up heavy metals. This can be toxic if roots grow in it. E.g. H. pinnatifida grew really well, but once it developed roots and it touched the substrate, toxicity occured: roots brown, pinholes and necrosis of older leaves, stems die and rot.

2: The metals that adsorbed onto the substrate will desorb into the water column. This will occur much faster if there's a concentration differential, like when you ceased dosing traces. It will also occur much faster if the water is acidic, either through natural acids or by CO2 injection. The lower the pH, the faster the rate of desorption. When it desorbs, the water column will have a higher concentration of metals which may result in excess metals that cause plant issues. This is partly the reason why no amount of water changes can eliminate toxicity because the metals will easily desorb into the new water.

3: Since plants can retain nutrients for a few days or weeks, it's unlikely the health problems observed 1-2 weeks after ceasing traces is due to lack of dosing but actually due to the nutrient imbalance within stems. If one depletes more rapidly than another, then toxicity of the excess can result.
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http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...csm-b-toxicity-experiment-43.html#post8976513
Solcielo lawrencia
The problem with stating an absolute concentration of toxicity in plants is that it ignores nutrient ratios, which matter greatly. In very soft water, 0.1ppm of Cu is toxic and can kill plants (and definitely harm and kill shrimp and sensitive fish) while in hard water, it's safe (but not necessarily safe for shrimp or sensitive fish.) So in those studies, all other nutrients are held static while the concentration of Cu is varied to determine plant response.
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http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/23-algae/999786-need-some-algae-help.html
Solcielo lawrencia
High CEC substrates adsorb metals. When the substrate is new, there will be plenty of adsorption sites. But over time, the adsorption capacity diminishes. This results in the substrate unable to chemically bind to the metals which will stay the water column.
...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My tank is a 75 gallon with 1 - 24" 6300k XB series BML, 1 - 24" 10,000k Planted BML, 1 - 24" ray 2 lights on for 9 hours a day with a 2 hour siesta. Removing ray 2 soon once my new 36" BML arrives. Fluval FX5 filter, inline pressurized CO2, inline heater, inline UV Sterilizer Substrate mineralized dirt with layer of ada amazonia and quarts sand cap.
PH - 6.4
GH - 2
KH - 3
I do have some green spot algae, but it has been going away this week.
Flora:
Syngonanthus Belem
Syngonanthus Madeira
Syngonanthus Lago Grande
Eriocaulon an son
Eriocaulon H'ra
Euriocaulon Cinereum
Bucephandra Sintang Mini
Bucephandra Kagas Odinda
Bucephandra Pride Blue
Fissidens fox
Limnophila mini Vietnam
Rotala Indica
Ludwigia Pantanal
LUDWIGIA SENEGALENSIS
Blyxa Japonica
Pogostemon stellatus "Narrow Leaf"
Alternanthera Reineckii Mini
and some others I cant remember, all plants came from various members on here! Thanks peeps!

Fauna:
3 Synodontis Petricola
4 Roseline Barbs
5 Rainbows left over from purchase of 30+ over 4 years ago
1 Orange CAE

I am resurrecting this tank after I moved last November and finally have time to put into the tank! I really need to make a build thread to track the progress, but in due time.

Thank you for the input edward and Immortal1!

The Pantanal is only 2 weeks old in my tank, but it is quite faded, is that because of the low amount of trace I am providing?
 

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Edward, thank you for the provided info. I have read several of solcielo's post that you referenced. The problem with the first time I read them I did not have quite the understanding that I now feel I have so I will be re-reading them - hopefully with a better understanding.
Will definitely be reworking my macro mix given a better understanding of what you provided.
MaroMan, your tank reminds me of mine from about 1 year ago (see my build thread below). Below is a more recent pic of the tank. I am amazed at how slowly it seems to change, and yet how different it looks after about 1 year. Given your flora list, you should end up with a very impresive tank.
 

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Trying something new. Ok, seems I can attach a .pdf file from dropbox. Edward, this is from my Excel spreadsheet. Will make a new macro mix tomorrow and see how things go. Also will be making up a new micro mix based on your info.

For MaroMan, the Zorfox calculator shows I should mix about 4 grams CSM-B into 500ml to give me 1/10th the typical PPS-Pro dose. Seems pretty low compared to the 40 grams listed on the bottle supplied by GLA. But, I am certainly open to suggestions.
 

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Trying something new. Ok, seems I can attach a .pdf file from dropbox. Edward, this is from my Excel spreadsheet. Will make a new macro mix tomorrow and see how things go. Also will be making up a new micro mix based on your info.
Did you see my post #4 above? I wrote that your mix will not dissolve. Does it dissolve for you? Also, I use 4L as a gallon so there is some numerical discrepancy. The difference between US gallon and 4L is ≈ 5.5%, insignificant for aquariums.
 

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Captain
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Did you see my post #4 above? I wrote that your mix will not dissolve. Does it dissolve for you? Also, I use 40L as a gallon so there is some numerical discrepancy.
Yes, I did see that. Working on correcting my spreadsheet / mix right now.
 

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Did you see my post #4 above? I wrote that your mix will not dissolve. Does it dissolve for you? Also, I use 40L as a gallon so there is some numerical discrepancy. The difference between US gallon and 40L is ≈ 5.5%, insignificant for aquariums.
gallon is ~4L not 40
 

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Edward, I am catching up on all of the PPS-Pro recommendations and results, and it would appear to me that the results can depend greatly upon one's starting parameters in addition to all of the other variables that exist. So I started with 0 of everything, dh and kh at 2 and was weekly at best with just micros. Therefore, unless I do something in gross error like measuring grams instead of milligrams, it would take time for me to reach critical levels for many of the nutrients, even if I do not see explosive plant growth which is pointless to many anyhow. I am more interested in healthy plants that grow slowly.

Substrates preloaded with nutrients will of course give immediate unbelievable results without any additional dosing, leading to more purchase and more praise of these products, until the day that the reservoir is depleted and things go south. Ironically, south would be better than north since we are tropical fish hobbyist. So if one starts dosing immediately on top of what is there day one, can unknowingly reach critical levels much sooner. And if I have read correctly, it is the micros that are hard to test accurately for.

So while the initial recommendations were obviously based on generic types of tanks, since you could not physically inspect every tank on earth, as time goes on you have adjusted some of the equations to take actual results into consideration. I like that.
 
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