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Everyone is right ...

JoshP12

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Assumption 1: Leidbig’s law of the minimum
Assumption 2: Everything interacts

Plants:
  1. have roots and shoots (includes leaves)
  2. require nutrients (All ferts, CO2) and light to grow
    1. Assumption 1 dictates the growth
      1. Define nutrient required for growth over an interval of time (1 second, 1 minute, etc) as the specific demand of nutrients, in specific relative amounts (ex: 5N, 2P, .1Mn etc) for the jobs that it needs to do
        1. The plant must be able to acquire these nutrients during that interval of time, in advance of what is being built in the plant
          1. Acquisition of nutrients occurs from roots and shoots
            1. In the substrate + in the water column
              1. During acquisition, assumption 2 applies (in both mediums)
          2. Nutrients can be moved through tissue from past acquisition (back to how (a) works)

Hence, Assumption 1 is contingent on the acquisition of nutrients which obeys assumption 2.

On the acquisition of nutrients:
  1. By assumption 2, there must exist a dynamic interconnected web of dependencies (between every single nutrient and factor at play) that dictate how the plant will experience the acquisition of nutrients.
    1. In the water column
      1. Flow of water will deliver nutrients to plant root/shoot system
      2. Relative concentrations will affect how other nutrients are acquired at plant interface
        1. Provided that nutrient values are within particular bounds (by 1) above), the acquisition of nutrients will not be inhibited.
          1. However, the interplay between the roots (in substrate) and the mobility of nutrients in plants will allow the plant to “top” itself up if something is unable to be acquired exclusively through the water column
    2. In the substrate
      1. Nutrients are acquired via the rhizosphere (symbiosis between bacteria and plant)
        1. By assumption 2, an appropriate relative range of nutrient concentrations for absorption exists
          1. Appropriately-acidic substrate increases the efficacy of nutrient acquisition

If you reset the water column to empirically confirmed values (ADA, EI, PPS, PMDD, GH 5-7, etc), via regular, consistent water changes (start with daily, then ease off to find the relative, dynamic range for your system) then everything should be able to acquire nutrients appropriately, provided you have Flow, CO2, and light optimized. The LONGER you can stay within the boundaries dictated uniquely for your tank via assumption 2, the longer you can postpone water changes. The more nutrient dense and appropriately acidic substrate, the more forgiving plants are to poor water column management (which is unique to each species of plant about its particular ability to acquire nutrients): dosing management (all at once, daily, every other day etc, AND relative concentrations of what gets poured in).

All that is left is to grow.

On growth:
  1. Assumption 1 dictates growth
    1. It assumes the nutrient is in the plant
      1. Absorption in soil is moderated by plant demand from shoots - the root can choose (otherwise soil with any trace of ammonia would burn everything in it and it doesn’t).
      2. Absorption in water column is partially moderated by the plant:
        1. NC4oX9QOnClj6Vt8Q024Kw6Ru4gClIek_HbVxvBuRY1RpVEW2u7tsjH_V1Jr3mZvmcqdZkwnNiBZg6D-KZwLRh6G-lxk2HHah4fGtEe1QxFJGY7xRko1IVUa0LG3SVjXAiqqAZV-
          1. We can force feed plants Nitrate and Phosphate and the plant cannot get rid of them (hence different plant forms under different dosing regimes)
            1. This approach, however, will increase the demand from the substrate
              1. This is fine, but as the substrate becomes depleted, we fall to Assumption 1 and obtain unhealthy plants (a state in which plants grow when the appropriate nutrients required are unable to be acquired by the plant)
                1. Hence the reports of EI users running into problems after 6 months with aquasoil if care has not been put into the empirically confirmed appropriate sacred ranges in the column/substrate/maintenance for plant growth

There are lots more “hences” but the conclusion is that everyone is right.
 
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plantnoobdude

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very interesting and I think you're right. liebigs law of the minimum only shows the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the complex topic (which i don't understand very well) which is plant nutrition. can't believe this thread hasn't blown up with all the great writing you've done. @JoshP12
 

JoshP12

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very interesting and I think you're right. liebigs law of the minimum only shows the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the complex topic (which i don't understand very well) which is plant nutrition. can't believe this thread hasn't blown up with all the great writing you've done. @JoshP12
Thanks :).

Under this framework, I believe, we can explain many people's observations and validate their experience. In particular, the existence of prominent camps:
EI, ADA, toxicity, nutrient interactions, lean, rich, high light, low light, anti-Plantex ... EDTA accumulation, etc, etc etc.

Every single experience is valid and the reason is:

On the acquisition of nutrients:
  1. By assumption 2, there must exist a dynamic interconnected web of dependencies (between every single nutrient and factor at play) that dictate how the plant will experience the acquisition of nutrients.
Even the accumulation of EDTA - whether it falls into the substrate or stays in the column - is is a proponent in this interconnected web. Now, we circumvent many issues with water changes but ... a water change is just a tool in our toolkit and should be used at the discretion of the hobbyist (that fits into their lifestyle etc): suppose you aren’t dosing nutrients and you use inert substrate … infinite water changes (devoid of nutrients etc) are not going to save your plants.

Frankly, every single thing that we can do - in this hobby - is simply a tool and has a time and place ---- understanding this framework, first validates all experiences (at least the ones that I have come across) and second allows us to move forward, by picking the right tool.

There is a third assumption that we actually need: The goal (which is unique to each hobbyist and must be clearly defined). Set the goal and call it "balance". Once you have achieved your goal, your tank is balanced, unique to you.

If you are not happy, i.e. your goal is not met, then begin problem solving.

Josh
 
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Zeus.

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Interesting overview of a very complex topic, much of which has yet to be proven, I can see you have given it some thought.
the conclusion is that everyone is right.

Sorry, I fail to see how you came to the conclusion!
 

JoshP12

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Interesting overview of a very complex topic, much of which has yet to be proven, I can see you have given it some thought.


Sorry, I fail to see how you came to the conclusion!
Hey Zeus!!!

Well, I suppose that I would need to know what ideology "you" (really any ideology that has a "camp" - not neccesarily you) think is "wrong", then from there use my framework to demonstrate how it occured and how to fix it!

It would require lots of rigor though and several assumptions, but I don't mind running through the exercise!

Bring it on :)! ... Let's test the integrity of this framework.

Josh
 

MichaelJ

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@JoshP12 Very interesting. I can't tell if you and everyone is right...though... What I do know however, is if understanding all this would be a prerequisite for a successful aquarium I most definitely wouldn't engage myself with this hobby :)

If you reset the water column to empirically confirmed values (ADA, EI, PPS, PMDD, GH 5-7, etc), via regular, consistent water changes (start with daily, then ease off to find the relative, dynamic range for your system)
...Fish poop, plants decay and release waste by various means, pathogens grow, uneaten food rot etc... you do water changes to get rid of all that from the water column... you replenish nutrients to make up for what the plants consumed and the collateral damage you caused by doing the water change, and add extra just to make sure plants never starve (EI).... I don't think it needs to be more complicated than that. The tank will "tell" you if you are not doing enough water changes and maintenance or expect too much from your plants with inappropriate high light levels (vs. available CO2) or inadequate filtration/flow.

Don't get me wrong though, I certainly appreciate the fact that some people are thinking and researching deeper into this hobby than happy campers such as myself, that just want to see happy fish and enjoy nicely thriving aquactic plants... your the people we rely on when we screw up and need help, so keep up the good work! :)

Cheers,
Michael
 
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JoshP12

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@JoshP12 Very interesting. I can't tell if you and everyone is right...though...
I like that. You have made me realize that I have been unintentionally Machievellian:
Assumption 1 = EI backbone
Assumption 2 = Anti-EI backbone

... as a result, we all have to be right.

What I do know however, is if understanding all this would be a prerequisite for a successful aquarium I most definitely wouldn't engage myself with this hobby :)
I would say most people want to replicate the same method and have success time and time again - nothing wrong with that ... aquarium is beautiful.
...Fish poop, plants decay and release waste by various means, pathogens grow, uneaten food rot etc... you do water changes to get rid of all that from the water column... you replenish nutrients to make up for what the plants consumed and the collateral damage you caused by doing the water change, and add extra just to make sure plants never starve (EI).... I don't think it needs to be more complicated than that. The tank will "tell" you if you are not doing enough water changes and maintenance or expect too much from your plants with inappropriate high light levels (vs. available CO2) or inadequate filtration/flow.
But what if we could control how much maintenance we have to do ... instead of the other way around. < This tank >had 30ppm NO3 and 10 ppm PO4 dosed weekly along with loads of iron from Plantex: great growth, healthy fish, lots of trimming, a nice state of inertia. TDS didn't change -- but I decided that I didn't want to change water every week (make time for other things) ... and I noticed on day 8/9, crinkling was induced on some plant species. To correct this, implement 2x water change weekly ... as time passed, 2x weekly was required (burnt through nutrients in substrate) ... it's too much. So I reduced dosage ... voilla: less water change was required BUT still crinkling if I postponed ... When I stopped daily dosing and dosing all at once at water change ... it lasted longer ... stability, consistency ...

Run EI without water change and the system breaks. Add no GH booster and in 1Ca/.1Mg soft water, EI breaks. It obeys Leidbigs ... it must be assumption 2.

EI is just another word for: the tool of water column fertilizer and water changes acting in symbiosis with each other; the numbers are "relatively arbitrary".

Don't get me wrong though, I certainly appreciate the fact that some people are thinking and researching deeper into this hobby than happy campers such as myself, that just want to see happy fish and enjoy nicely thriving aquactic plants... your the people we rely on when we screw up and need help, so keep up the good work! :)

Cheers,
Michael
:).

If you turn to Barr's booster 3:3:1 ... by gram ... you end up with a close enough approximate to sacred 3:2:1 PPM ratios by the magic 120 TDS in RO ... or the magic GH 5 .. 7 ... nothing is different.

The booster increases the probability that plant acquisition of nutrients will fall into the sweet spot of the dependency web. Compound with water changes to prevent the accumulation of STUFF (nutrients, organics etc) and voilla -- magic trick: Empircally confirmed approximate values ... on the shoulder's of giants we stand.

Further, we cannot say that the buildup of organics causes issues but the accumulation of nutrients do not: this is Coulomb's law. And we need not accept Coulomb's law (charged species interact) ... but ... lol.

All of this CANNOT JUST APPLY TO water column ... must also apply to substrate ...

Josh

**also depends on species ... not all species crinkled ... some didn't care ... but the ones that didn't care crinkled LATER as the more sensitive species were screaming at me.
 
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JoshP12

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Hi all,

Fundamentally all "successfully running" tanks obey Assumption 1 ... and at its crux being the acquisition of nutrients, neccesarily assumption 2.

In some ways, it seems that we have:

1627145530682.png


EVERY single "fix" that I have ever read/followed/applied has been a change in HOW nutrients are acquired AND/OR reducing the nutrient demand (this includes reducing light) --> neccesarily reducing the acquisition requirement ... alleviating the POTENTIAL negative effects of water chemistry/flow ...

Woah ... this is how it works.

Obviously we can associate a weighted probability to each influencer as to how LIKELY it will help the issues we have (the mantra that you HAVE to change water/Flow importance/GH5-7 etc ... BUT many people disprove lots of "sacred things" and seem to be "anomalies").

COOL!

Gonna get back to changing some water.

Josh

EDIT: Should also add that each nutrient will have a unique weight of its influence on nutrient demand ... and neccesarily growth rates.

Hence why the growth rate difference between ADA and EI is truly minimal. The reason is that Potassium can drive nutrient just not as much as N or P. CO2 can also drive nutrient demand ... just like anything else ... especially if N and P are in substrate for the roots to choose.
 
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jaypeecee

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Hi @JoshP12

I remember when you first signed up to UKAPS and the speed at which you accumulated information. You are indeed a deep thinker. Your logical mind - no doubt the result of a physics/mathematics background - is very evident from your reasoning above.

BTW, did you get your water changed? :lol::lol:

JPC
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Bit rude. This isn’t Reevoo buddy 😂


EVERY single "fix" that I have ever read/followed/applied has been a change in HOW nutrients are acquired AND/OR reducing the nutrient demand (this includes reducing light) --> neccesarily reducing the acquisition requirement ... alleviating the POTENTIAL negative effects of water chemistry/flow ...

There is a fixation on new plant growth that sort of acts as the outcome in most folk’s models @JoshP12

In addition, there is the overall ability to maintain existing growth in equilibrium with the needs of new growth. This appears in stems with health from root to tip. The opposite being the tip of the stem being healthy, associated with decaying lower growth.

Suppose what I’m postulating is the plant is an actor and has behaviours. We are just the keepers of the water parameter inputs. These ‘fixes’ are attributed to what we do when there’s a whole other layer of complexity in the biology of the plants reorganising to survive. All are intertwined.

Keep going Josh interesting read 😉
 

Zeus.

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Been giving it some thought and still struggling with the conclusion -Everyone is right.

By everyone do you mean-
1. Every person that has a tank ( this is what I have the issue with)
2. Everyone with a healthy tank
3. Every dosing regime combined with WCs, substrates and livestock feeding
 

Wookii

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Hi all,

Fundamentally all "successfully running" tanks obey Assumption 1 ... and at its crux being the acquisition of nutrients, neccesarily assumption 2.

In some ways, it seems that we have:

View attachment 172259

EVERY single "fix" that I have ever read/followed/applied has been a change in HOW nutrients are acquired AND/OR reducing the nutrient demand (this includes reducing light) --> neccesarily reducing the acquisition requirement ... alleviating the POTENTIAL negative effects of water chemistry/flow ...

Woah ... this is how it works.

Obviously we can associate a weighted probability to each influencer as to how LIKELY it will help the issues we have (the mantra that you HAVE to change water/Flow importance/GH5-7 etc ... BUT many people disprove lots of "sacred things" and seem to be "anomalies").

COOL!

Gonna get back to changing some water.

Josh

EDIT: Should also add that each nutrient will have a unique weight of its influence on nutrient demand ... and neccesarily growth rates.

Hence why the growth rate difference between ADA and EI is truly minimal. The reason is that Potassium can drive nutrient just not as much as N or P. CO2 can also drive nutrient demand ... just like anything else ... especially if N and P are in substrate for the roots to choose.

Interesting thought process @JoshP12 but I don’t think your second rule is necessarily relevant, as I don’t believe nutrients drive or affect growth unless they become limiting (your rule 1) - they are a passive servicer of growth. Nor do I necessarily think that relative quantities of nutrients are important in any practical sense, as long as no one nutrient becomes limiting.

CO2 I just class as another nutrient; it’s just much more difficult in its application, and requires more consistency to prevent it becoming limiting, but ultimately problems only occur when it becomes limiting from a given steady state injection rate (either tank wide due to injection rate or plant consumption or locally by distribution). The steady state point is what sets CO2 apart from other nutrients, and you can argue that different levels of steady state CO2 level can arguably drive growth.

However really the main driver in a tank is light - everything else services the growth of the plants for the given light level - the less the light, the slower the growth, and the lower the nutrients uptake requirement of the plants, and vice-versa. So light determines growth, which determines the nutrient requirement, which will decide whether any brick wall nutrient limits are hit.

All very over simplified I know, but it shows why standard advice, particularly for beginners, works so well. Don’t set lighting too high, dose EI, so all nutrients are in excess, inject and thoroughly distribute CO2 to 30ppm, so CO2 is in excess.



Only boring people get bored! 😉
 

JoshP12

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Hi @JoshP12

I remember when you first signed up to UKAPS and the speed at which you accumulated information. You are indeed a deep thinker. Your logical mind - no doubt the result of a physics/mathematics background - is very evident from your reasoning above.

BTW, did you get your water changed? :lol::lol:

JPC

:). Thanks John.

I did ... I actually implemented auto water change as well --- so I could literally just change water (not manually remove anything) and spend my energy observing how the plants behave and interact with algaes etc. Try to induce an algae and watch the war of the worlds!

Very good thread Josh .
:) thanks.

Communist manifesto is boring for proliteriats too ... absolutely rivetting for a capitalist though ;).

There is a fixation on new plant growth that sort of acts as the outcome in most folk’s models @JoshP12

In addition, there is the overall ability to maintain existing growth in equilibrium with the needs of new growth. This appears in stems with health from root to tip. The opposite being the tip of the stem being healthy, associated with decaying lower growth.

Suppose what I’m postulating is the plant is an actor and has behaviours. We are just the keepers of the water parameter inputs. These ‘fixes’ are attributed to what we do when there’s a whole other layer of complexity in the biology of the plants reorganising to survive. All are intertwined.

Keep going Josh interesting read 😉
The plant is living an can make adaptions! - agree 100%. This is also why I feel it is unfair to withhold light ... when we do not withhold nutrients: under the visage that a plant can moderate its own nutrient uptake/intake, it can surely do the same for light -- and so we need not withhold it.

That intertwine is the web perhaps.


Been giving it some thought and still struggling with the conclusion -Everyone is right.

By everyone do you mean-
1. Every person that has a tank ( this is what I have the issue with)
2. Everyone with a healthy tank
3. Every dosing regime combined with WCs, substrates and livestock feeding

Sorry for my lack of clarity Zeus. In reality, I think there are two camps in this hobby: 1) EI 2) Anti-EI ... anyone in between is probably just following ADA scheme or Dennis Wong scheme, and making beautiful scapes and not thinking too much about it. So I suppose my everyone is simply that EI and anti-EI are both operating under the same framework and the articulation - connection between the two - simply hasn't been procured yet.

Interesting thought process @JoshP12 but I don’t think your second rule is necessarily relevant, as I don’t believe nutrients drive or affect growth unless they become limiting (your rule 1) - they are a passive servicer of growth. Nor do I necessarily think that relative quantities of nutrients are important in any practical sense, as long as no one nutrient becomes limiting.
I actually began to wonder if the second was simply a result myself. But the crux is that nutrient acquisition. Some examples of peoples experience that I can't explain using Leidbigs are:
1) EI users have excellent growth for the first 6 months to 1 year with fresh aquasoil, then suddenly growth gets wacky (substrate must have been topping up something and if everything is in column, then acquisition must be an issue).
2) EI without water change begins to break (demonstrated by crinkling/deformed growth on plants) ... if we attribute to "organic overload", then the question is simply why ... and at its core we are letting "organics interact with life" ... but that is not fair to inorganics --- everything is charged species and by definition must interact.
3) Leidbig's operates IN the plant - assuming the plant has the nutrient (no doubt) -- but how did it get it?
4) Anti Plantex-CSM+B camp: some people struggle with this but not sulphate salts ... turn to USA: Burr, Gregg, Daniel Decau ... etc --- people rolling their own micros -- why? These are good aquariasts.
5) EDTA chelate accumulation camp: some people switch out CSM and alleviate issues

These are the things that befuddled me and led me to keep assumption 2.
CO2 I just class as another nutrient; it’s just much more difficult in its application, and requires more consistency to prevent it becoming limiting, but ultimately problems only occur when it becomes limiting from a given steady state injection rate (either tank wide due to injection rate or plant consumption or locally by distribution). The steady state point is what sets CO2 apart from other nutrients, and you can argue that different levels of steady state CO2 level can arguably drive growth.
Totally. But there are also camps of CO2 implementations: stable with lights vs turn on with lights.

Under Liedbig, both work. The demand of CO2 is relative to the time -- there is a time when the plant sucks up all the CO2 it can (fill up point) and stores it in a sack: these sacks also allow CO2 to be gulped massively when exposed to air and used for the day. The demand of CO2 in the first "ramp up" period of the plant is simply less than during full blown photosynthesis ... so we need not deliver it. The demand of CO2 is relative to the plant -- and so yes: stable from lights on is correct, but so is turning CO2 with lights. Seemingly contradictory implementations though not at all -- at their core, just leidbig. The second assumption comes into play when we discuss KH and CO2 -- they are related and why is on the acquisition of CO2 from the column. Further, CO2 can be grabbed to "top up demand" from the substrate, so we need assumption 2.

Despite all this narrative, I am still trying to remove assumption 2. Can't seem to rationalize it all yet.
However really the main driver in a tank is light - everything else services the growth of the plants for the given light level - the less the light, the slower the growth, and the lower the nutrients uptake requirement of the plants, and vice-versa. So light determines growth, which determines the nutrient requirement, which will decide whether any brick wall nutrient limits are hit.
But the plant can moderate it's own intake of light, in the same way it can moderate what nutrients it takes from substrate ... or ADA plants should look like mutants due to N in substrate.

If we degenerate chlorophyll, we simply allow less light to trigger photosynthesis ... let the plant choose how much light it needs.

I think we can argue that the main driver of any tank is the limiting nutrient (including light, co2, ferts, temp) . Temperature dictates metabolism ... neccesarily the demand for everything else. But the plant can moderate itself - to a certain extent - to the limiting nutrient.

Lard on N/P with high light, get massive, fast growth, then stop dosing N and watch the plant color up and change - take the photo. The light hasn't changed, no algae has bloomed, so the plant adapted itself to lower N and P - it used up its stores ... eventually if you don't intervene bring on the algae, bring on the cyano, bring on the crash. Intervene, and bring the tank back to sexy, then pull the plug take the photo call it a day.

The only way that this cycle makes any sense (and Green aqua does it all the time - you can see it when their rotalas suddenly turn bright red and have this deterioation point of old leaf growth) is if the plant can moderate light intake.
All very over simplified I know, but it shows why standard advice, particularly for beginners, works so well. Don’t set lighting too high, dose EI, so all nutrients are in excess, inject and thoroughly distribute CO2 to 30ppm, so CO2 is in excess.
Totally. As long as we don't perpetuate a fear of light, temperature, etc or discredit the validity of other methods which are equally “good”.

Thanks for pushing my thinking!!!

Josh

edit: I think we also turn to aquarist like Edward (pps pro founder), zapins, hoppy … lots of good work being done from them. And to explain their experience is a necessity.
 
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