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Lean dosing pros and cons

MichaelJ

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9 Feb 2021
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@MichaelJ
It's one of those debate which is a never ending debate and we are not going to get anywhere. I use to spend lot of time debating and it would go on back and forth without any outcome. So I just let people decide for themselves, if they were to use high light and lean fertilizer and succeeded then that's all the proof you need.
Hi @Happi I agree, these pro vs. con discussions tend to go nowhere fast and end up being unnecessarily heated - especially when its unclear what it is exactly that is being debated :) I don't really know enough from experience to debate "lean" vs. high. What I do know from experience is that lack of consistent fertilization is not working, and providing an abundance of ferts works and without any appreciable side-effects.

This myth is similar to high po4 solving GSA when GSA has nothing to do with this. If true then both myth should hold true when someone is using tropica fertilizer because not only it's lean, but it also adds very little po4.
You know a lot more about this than most, but I have seen, again from experience, that high dosing of PO4 eradicating a GSA outbreak in both my tanks. Granted, this was combined with lowering the light intensity, thus lowering the demand for CO2, and upping my WC %... so which factor(s) that had the biggest impact I do not know. Also, battle-tested experts around here consistently make the case about the correlation between PO4 deficiency (and poor CO2) and GSA

Cheers,
Michael
 
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have seen tank Crashes in both cases, but I don't blame the crash entirely on the nutrients, there are several factors from User errors to water chemistry and many more.
Agreed. I just personally believe having more nutrients with room for error is better for most aquarists than not enough. You can root out nutrients as a limiting factor. Certainly the biggest factor of all is CO2 I think we can all agree on that.
 

Happi

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UTAH, USA
Hi @Happi I agree, these pro vs. con discussions tend to go nowhere fast and end up being unnecessarily heated - especially when its unclear what it is exactly that is being debated :) I don't really know enough from experience to debate "lean" vs. high. What I do know from experience is that lack of consistent fertilization is not working, and providing an abundance of ferts works and without any appreciable side-effects.


You know a lot more about this than most, but I have seen, again from experience, that high dosing of PO4 eradicating a GSA outbreak in both my tanks. Granted, this is was combined with lowering the light intensity, thus lowering the demand for CO2, and upping my WC %... so which factor(s) that had the biggest impact I do not know. And battle-tested experts around here consistently make the case about the correlation between PO4 deficiency (and poor CO2) and GSA

Cheers,
Michael
Dear Michael,
I do agree with the consistent Dosing but it doesn't has to be the higher amounts that are being suggested.

far as GSA goes, just ask your self based on what I have explained earlier, is it really PO4 that is getting rid of the GSA or is it that adding more PO4 is doing something to the water chemistry that is doing the trick. because like I said PO4 itself has nothing to do with GSA if true then Tropica tanks should be fully covered with GSA.

I will give you another good example but its not related to this topic but it is related to Assumption and Myth.
have you ever seen a pin holes on hygrophila pinnatifida ? and most of these people were dosing 50+ ppm K and still had pin holes? they were suggested they don't have enough Potassium and they added even more potassium and still had the pin holes. it didn't make any sense but people been brainwashed to believe that they needed more potassium. on the other hand I have seen hygrophila pinnatifida growing well Under Tropica fertilizer without any pin holes and Tropica add very little Potassium. I added hygrophila pinnatifida in my tank while back to test this and it turned out I get the exact same results as Tropica while using the tropica clone. is it because Tropica is a better balanced fertilizer? Maybe. Is it because Tropica use different kinds of chemicals? Maybe. could it be Ratio? Maybe. but having a Pin holes at 50+ ppm and having none under less than 3 ppm is something to think about, Right?
 
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MichaelJ

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Minnesota, USA
or is it that adding more PO4 is doing something to the water chemistry that is doing the trick.
Hi @Happi Yes, that might be it I guess.
because like I said PO4 itself has nothing to do with GSA if true then Tropica tanks should be fully covered with GSA.
In the past I have been running tanks (moderately stocked), only relying on the ferts from Tropica Premium and the NP from food and fish waste without encountering GSA as well, but got into all other sorts of other trouble due to excessive light intensity and poor maintenance. So from experience I don't have a reason to believe that GSA always will happen with low PO4...so by that measure I agree with you. But I suppose IF you get GSA upping the PO4 levels might help - due to whatever happens to the water chemistry, as seen in my cases described above.

Cheers,
Michael
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
South Carolina
Dear Michael,
I do agree with the consistent Dosing but it doesn't has to be the higher amounts that are being suggested.

far as GSA goes, just ask your self based on what I have explained earlier, is it really PO4 that is getting rid of the GSA or is it that adding more PO4 is doing something to the water chemistry that is doing the trick. because like I said PO4 itself has nothing to do with GSA if true then Tropica tanks should be fully covered with GSA.

I will give you another good example but its not related to this topic but it is related to Assumption and Myth.
have you ever seen a pin holes on hygrophila pinnatifida ? and most of these people were dosing 50+ ppm K and still had pin holes? they were suggested they don't have enough Potassium and they added even more potassium and still had the pin holes. it didn't make any sense but people been brainwashed to believe that they needed more potassium. on the other hand I have seen hygrophila pinnatifida growing well Under Tropica fertilizer without any pin holes and Tropica add very little Potassium. I added hygrophila pinnatifida in my tank while back to test this and it turned out I get the exact same results as Tropica while using the tropica clone. is it because Tropica is a better balanced fertilizer? Maybe. Is it because Tropica use different kinds of chemicals? Maybe. could it be Ratio? Maybe. but having a Pin holes at 50+ ppm and having none under less than 3 ppm is something to think about, Right?
I will attest to this. I have come to the assumption that this problem is related to lack of flow, in turn the plant is not receiving enough nutrients AND CO2, and prob more importantly CO2. Both my 53B and kompakt varieties struggle with this especially in the lower leaves. They are also in areas that are more prone to dead spots.

In terms of GSA I am not convinced with the po4 theory either, and I do does quite high. I have come to accept some GSA and I think it’s pretty much inevitable. These tanks you see online from top scapers look great from a distance, as do our own. But if you get up close you can see the GSA on old growth and hardscape in certain areas.
 

jaypeecee

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21 Jan 2015
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Bracknell
I dont see anything misleading about lean dosing, people think its misleading because they misunderstand it. When done correctly no plant suffer and there is no algae, not only plants look vibrant but they also do well under such condition. They might grow bit slower but other than that high light and lean dosing will not cause algae. Most modern lighting is producing much higher PAR than ever and majority of people are still dosing lean and have great looking tank and they run their tanks at 20 ppm or so CO2. Most people who have high lights and dosing higher nutrients seems to have more algae problems. In year of 2021 they are still trying to fix their co2.
Hi @Happi

Very interesting. What do you consider to be lean dosing? As a relative newcomer to aquatic plants, are you able to qualify/quantify what some of these terms mean? And, when it comes to aquarium lighting, most aquarists do not own a PAR meter. So, again, one person's idea of low lighting may be another person's cue to don the safety spectacles. And, what is the optimum photoperiod that we should aim for? I have a few more questions but that'll do for now.

JPC
 

Happi

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15 Jan 2012
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UTAH, USA
@ Riverside Scaper

PROS:
Less CO2, Less Nutrients, Less Maintenance, Less water changes, Better plant growth, Better Coloration, No more Fish or shrimp death from High CO2 or Nutrients. Plant that were previously not growing will start growing better, plant that were previously stunted with twisted weird growth will start doing better. No More Algae, almost Non existing. No more GSA/GDA/BBA and tank overall algae free.

CONS:
Might require DSLR Camera
 

John q

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6 Jan 2021
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Lancashire
Less CO2, Less Nutrients, Less Maintenance, Less water changes, Better plant growth, Better Coloration, No more Fish or shrimp death from High CO2 or Nutrients. Plant that were previously not growing will start growing better, plant that were previously stunted with twisted weird growth will start doing better. No More Algae, almost Non existing. No more GSA/GDA/BBA and tank overall algae free.
I'm willing to listen to this. Please share your secrets.
 
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MichaelJ

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Minnesota, USA
Skimmed through the last few posts and sounds like a pissing contest tbh
Hi @John q These conversations always ends up being that unfortunately... I guess the best way is to just let it go, and keep on giving the advice you (we) know from experience that works. Regardless of what anyone says I am not going to deviate from my general advice and my high dosing regime (EI+) - which works in both my densely planted very healthy growing low-tech tanks, where I keep seemingly thriving fish, shrimps and snails - and I haven't lost a fish or shrimp for ages - and I have zero algae to speak of - what more can I ask for? Are their other approaches that might work? no doubt about it!

I think Darrel / @dw1305 recently summed up the situation very well, and his shades of gray reasoning seems productive as well.

Cheers,
Michael
 
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Riverside Scaper

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28 May 2021
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Alright, some of those posts went way over my head but I’m still new so don’t expect understand some of the more in depth stuff. I’m going to continue dosing APT Complete, keep my tank as stable as possible and continue with the maintenance. I’ll keep an eye on it and watch how the plants do. If any changes are made to switch to APT complete it will be once the tank is fully stocked with fish and it will be the only change I make so I can observe how the tank reacts.
 

MichaelJ

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Alright, some of those posts went way over my head but I’m still new so don’t expect understand some of the more in depth stuff. I’m going to continue dosing APT Complete, keep my tank as stable as possible and continue with the maintenance. I’ll keep an eye on it and watch how the plants do. If any changes are made to switch to APT complete it will be once the tank is fully stocked with fish and it will be the only change I make so I can observe how the tank reacts.
@Riverside Scaper That sounds like a plan. Again, your tank looks great. Keep it up.

Cheers,
Michael
 

PARAGUAY

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13 Nov 2013
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Lancashire
As above post really. You have a great tank keep up keeping up with whatever your doing. Basically all plants require fertilising with the same nutrients Read posts by (in Fertilisers) @dw1305 @Zeus and others. Most of the well known named fertilisers are the same and help is there to make your own.
 
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