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Lean dosing pros and cons

I know these tanks the most, because I have visited many portals around the world
@ Handy8888 tank is beautiful
but @Pikes' rotala kill tank topic was very interesting to me.
LOL it's a small world isn't it. Yes both friends of mine but Vin's tank is not one of the pics. He does have his Dutch back in pretty good shape right now. I've seen it but he hasn't posted it yet. A couple of the pics are of Burr740's (Joe H.) Dutch entries. Both dosed at somewhere around 18 NO3, 3-4 PO4, and 25 K at the time.

Hendy was dosing closer to EI but has been experimenting with a Masterline Clone for a bit and it is going well.

And I am pretty certain I recognize your friends tanks as well.

Do I know you? If not I think I should! I always like to pick the brains of those who demonstrate success......and from what I have seen I would put you squarely in that category.
 
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HI @macek.g additional questions: How do you do your (weekly?) dosing of macros (N in particular) ? all upfront or throughout the week? also, what traces do you use (and what Fe target) ?

Cheers,
Michael
 
There were many beautiful tanks, e.g. Alan tank from Australia


I remember a tank, it was 13-15 years ago, from a Dutch forum, a person from Belgium.
Plants of excellent quality.

Nice.

LOL I could do this all day long. I love seeing beautiful tanks. These all have some things in common. They manage to do this without following Marschner ratio and none that I posted use Urea or NH4. Once again just saying there are many ways to manage very successful tanks.
 

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They manage to do this without following Marschner ratio and none that I posted use Urea or NH4. Once again just saying there are many ways to manage very successful tanks.
Hi all
From your experience, is Tropica Specialized well designed fertilizer? i am asking because there are many successful tanks using it. You are aware Tropica Specialized fertilizer is based on the Marschner ratios right? And it also has NH4 as you know.

In your experience, what would you recommend, what tank style should Tropica Specialized work well with?
 
@Hufsa. I am rather surprised by your comment. I will say this though, if there is something I really do not appreciate is my comments being distorted in such a way to achieve an objective.
Sorry I have argue that. If you go down that road then it would probably be fair to think that most companies that produce fertlizer obviously know something or two about plants, yet they all have very different concoctions.
This isnt really fair. We cannot lump "some guy mixing up fert ratios in his garage business" into the same category as Tropica, who have physically produced a large percentage of the plants we have in our tanks. One of these has a bit more experience when it comes to propagating and growing plants, and therefore carries much more weight when it comes to their fertilizers and ratios.
If for you other companies = people's garage then I guess I haven't much else to say. There are plenty of reputable companies producing fertilizers around the world all of which with different recipes and ratio. Tropica does absolutely not have the upper hand on anything and claiming such things is just preposterous. As for the second part of your comment, do note that Tropica mostly produces emmersed plants... and in case that is also not clear, Tropica is a business and the first objective is profit. Same like all others. No one is talking about home made ferts in garages.

That's it. That's all, specially with all those recipes being thrown around by a someone whose background is pretty much unknown to the public. He also commented (and then deleted it) in his last post that he didn't have time to make a journal.... I find that pretty insulting to anyone following his recipes. You shouldn't be giving people advise if you can't show what you are advising long term. There are literally thousands and thousands of tanks using the opposite regime, so why not with lean dosing on high tech with a diversity of plants in today's standards? Just asking questions.

EDIT: I realized I talked too fast. That part was not deleted. Yet it is always good to accompany ones word with action, else no much point. He claims he has carried out experiments but reality is I would like to see actual tank pictures through time. Not just some random zoomed picture of a plant. At the end of the day we are talking aquascaping here, not underground experimentation.
I must point out the double standard here.
Happi is not allowed to post individual pictures of plants but Clive is?
Happi is not allowed to post pictures from x years ago but Clive is?
Everyone should be held to the same standards, it cannot be different rules for different folks.
Again, you are totally distorting my comment. Not sure why you would come to such conclusions. There is absolutely no double standard in what I said. No one is preventing anyone from posting individual pics or whatnot. If anything I am the one asking for evidence of all those ratio claims and what better than pictures and concrete evidence.
So let me put it this way: have you seen any journal or long term progressive pictures from the person providing fertilizers recipes and trace ratio's advises? I haven't other than a few random pics of specific plants with no context. If you look that person postings everything is mostly in the fert section.

Please read carefully what I said before turning my words to fit a narrative.
 
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Hi all
From your experience, is Tropica Specialized well designed fertilizer? i am asking because there are many successful tanks using it. You are aware Tropica Specialized fertilizer is based on the Marschner ratios right? And it also has NH4 as you know.

In your experience, what would you recommend, what tank style should Tropica Specialized work well with?
Do we know that Tropica was specifically using Marschner ratios? Is this something they have discussed in some capacity?
 
@macek.g nice to see you post on forum, hope you have a journal for the new tank:)
Hi all
From your experience, is Tropica Specialized well designed fertilizer? i am asking because there are many successful tanks using it. You are aware Tropica Specialized fertilizer is based on the Marschner ratios right? And it also has NH4 as you know.

In your experience, what would you recommend, what tank style should Tropica Specialized work well with?
nice to see new people joining, as far as marschner goes, I don't think tropica is based off of marschner, the ratio is different. It is always nice to assign tanks to a username, could we see yours and what you're dosing. in "journals" if more relevant.
 
Thank you ElleDee and plantnoobdude
i don't have much experience, simply trying to understand what and how things work. This is not one fit all i suppose and it can become little unclear. What i need to know is how good Tropica Specialized is because i can get it locally and maybe want to try it.

Here is the thing, to me Tropica Specialized has almost the same ratios as Marschner, so this is why i am hasitant to use it. Some say it is great and others say it's not so good.

This is how i see it

Marschner
N=15000:2000
NO3 : PO4 =66402:6132
Ratio of 10.8

Tropica Specialized (rotalabutterfly.com)
N=0.2251:0.0168
NO3 : PO4 =0.996:0.052
Ratio of 19.3

Marschner NO3 : PO4 =10.8 and Tropica NO3 : PO4 =19.3. Not exactly the same but closer than most fertilizers out there.

Now we go to NO3 to K
Marschner
N:K=15000:10000
NO3:K=66402:10000
Ratio of 6.6

Tropica Specialized (rotalabutterfly.com)
N:K=1340:1030
NO3:K=5932:1030
Ratio of 5.8
These two ratios are almost the same.

Most commercial and DIY fertilizers have so many ratios and dosing amounts it makes it no easy task to know what to start with.

Thank you all
 
Most commercial and DIY fertilizers have so many ratios and dosing amounts it makes it no easy task to know what to start with.
Reality is most aquarium centric fertilizers out there will work. Don't get caught in the this one is better than the other. If Tropica is what you have on hand or is the easiest to get your hands on, then go for it. All fertilizers Tropica included will claim theirs is the best and they all have their own ratios, Tropica included.
 
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Hello everyone,

I am looping in the admins in on this one (@LondonDragon @Tim Harrison). Now listen, this thread has now gone to +1030 posts mostly on topic of actually discussing the application of lean dosing and the most active participants on this thread have mostly been here to educated and learn (primarily from Happi and other lean'ers) about this approach and possibly applying it to their own tanks and some are indeed actively doing so, including myself, and are not here to dispute or poke holes in the idea. For some reason this topic just stirs up so much controversy that it is hard to believe (must hit a nerve?) - even most of the opponents or nay-sayers think most fertilizers will work - why even bother then? Yes, fertilizer is just a (small) piece of the puzzle that makes a planted tank successful, but we rarely discuss anything else with this sort of passion... are we really that bored? :)

Lean dosing might definitely not be for everyone. It's currently a somewhat questionable niche approach quite frankly, mainly because all the prerequisites and limitations are not very well understood by everyone, including myself. It goes up against the stream and in some ways defies what in the hobby currently by most is considered the gold standard of fertilization.

Some of us are ready to dispense with a bit of disbelief to try out new ideas and approaches - that's mostly where progress are being made. We are all relatively smart people here, but some are probably too entrenched to accept anything that on face value sounds a bit crazy, illogical etc. instead of exploring if the steps further down the road - or rabbit hole - may actually make sense. I've been in a room full of engineers back in the early 2000's saying a touch screen and no physical keyboard was the dumbest idea ever... well, I don't think I need to take this line of reasoning much further..

I will just very politely suggest that unless we are in on this thread ready to play along, have an open-mind and are ready to dispense with a bit of disbelief and are actually interested in possibly trying out the lean approach, that we instead spend our energy on helping fellow hobbyists with Q&A's or something else. We have a ton of sitting duck questions here on UKAPS that all of us can jump in on with our varying degree of expertise and help out. A more productive path in my opinion if we are not really in on this... Or alternatively set up a new thread to post counter arguments to lean dosing and just leave alone the Crazy Ones of us who want's to learn, experiment and focus on the specifics of lean dosing :)

Some of us have actually considered taking this conversion "somewhere else" (beyond PM'ing each other, which is already a loss for the community) and I hardly think anyone here is really interested in that to happen.

Thank you for listening,
Michael
 
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I agree with the above in general. I suppose you are referring to me and Gregg and perhaps some others when you are referring to "opponents or nay-sayers". I think you are missing the point entirely. In fact I'm not even agains't "lean dosing" per say. I am simply waiting for factual evidence in modern setups where this regime works long term, that's about it. Some evidence has been given by some members as of lately which is a good thing. I will speak for myself but I have been clear and expressed reasons for my doubts. Being critical doesn't mean being against something. Also no one is stopping anyone from doing their own little house experiment. This is just a forum not the school where teachers will give grades.
I will just very politely suggest that unless we are in on this thread ready to play along, have an open-mind and are ready to dispense with a bit of disbelief and are actually interested in possibly trying out the lean approach, that we instead spend our energy on helping fellow hobbyists with Q&A's or something else. We have a ton of sitting duck questions here on UKAPS that all of us can jump in on with our varying degree of expertise and help out. A more productive path in my opinion if we are not really in on this... Or alternatively set up a new thread to post counter arguments to lean dosing and just leave alone the Crazy Ones of us who want's to experiments and focus on the specifics of lean dosing :)

Some of us have actually considered taking this conversion "somewhere else" (beyond PM'ing each other, which is already a loss for the community) and I hardly think anyone here is really interested in that to happen.
The title of this thread is rather clear "Lean dosing pros and cons". Looks to me we are at the heart of it and if some contradiction is not tolerated because it goes against the feelings of some then I guess this is going nowhere. Although I have been rough in some instances I always do so to "shake up the tree" while always remaining polite. Also, I do not distort other's words or ignore people questions and requests.

I am happy to stay away from this thread and come back in a few months times see the evolution of things.
 
The problem with experiments is maybe one is trying too hard. If I had two high tech tanks I would happily run one with APT EI dosing and one with APT complete levels of dosing and just enjoy the result. Dennis Instagram shows he gets good results with both.
 
I agree with the above in general. I suppose you are referring to me and Gregg and perhaps some others when you are referring to "opponents or nay-sayers". I think you are missing the point entirely.
Hi @Hanuman, thanks for your reply. Quite frankly, what I am really missing entirely is being able to follow @Happi's (who actually have very limited time for this) and his cohords recommendations and reasoning without having them constantly distracted by counter arguments that has zero benefit to us who wish to apply this method and learn more about the specifics... I am critical about this as well, but I have decided to play along and try it out following the recommendations as mentioned in previous posts. PM'ing with each other on a public forum is just completely counterproductive, but we have only been doing so because of the recent accumulation of clutter here - I want to have this conversion pedal-to-the-metal out in the open for everyone who is genuinely interested, to benefit and make their own assessment.

In fact I'm not even agains't "lean dosing" per say. I am simply waiting for factual evidence in modern setups where this regime works long term, that's about it.
That is totally what I want as well - thats why I am trying it out. This is a long haul experiment - I don't except miracles in a couple of months. And when/if it works I want to see it work long term - month after month. If so, I will convert my second tank to the same regime.

Some evidence has been given by some members as of lately which is a good thing.
Anecdotal yes, but I agree.

The title of this thread is rather clear "Lean dosing pros and cons". Looks to me we are at the heart of it and if some contradiction is not tolerated because it goes against the feelings of some then I guess this is going nowhere.
Unfortunately yes. This is why I early on suggested the admins to set up a Topic where this could be discussed in a fashion that didnt encourage those less than productive pro/con discussions. Wouldn't it be terribly annoying if we who are not CO2-users would trample on the CO2 topics all the time telling everyone that CO2 is an unnecessary and expensive complication to the hobby, instead of actually helping people choose the correct regulator or fix their flow or whatever... I think so.

Although I have been rough in some instances I always do so to "shake up the tree" while always remaining polite. Also, I do not distort other's words or ignore people questions and requests.
We all have our own style and temperament and that's fine and the way it should be in my opinion.

I am happy to stay away from this thread and come back in a few months times see the evolution of things.
Yes, that would be my humble recommendation for now.

Cheers,
Michael
 
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we rarely discuss anything else with this sort of passion... are we really that bored? :)
There has been tremendous value in getting to the bottom of these answers, and that goes right back to the 1950s when people first began adapting Hoagland's solution for aquatic plants.
The passion is closer to stress because new hobbyists are struggling to control algae and it is often an expensive hobby.
 
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I generally agree with your thinking @Simon Cole, but any real experiment also needs replication, so we need, like, 6 tanks in each group, otherwise it's just more anecdote. That's obviously not practical, but I'm not kidding either. This is the real reason people have been fighting about this for years - we don't have any real research on the specific topics the hobby is most interested in.

But honestly I don't even have a firm idea of what counts as "lean" and what doesn't. I understand the principle of the thing of course, but I mean in numerical terms. I suspect there are too many different nutrients and other factors (CO2, light, plant mass) and it gets tangled with talk of ratios that it difficult to pin down. But if you want to do a proper experiment you have to get that all in order as well.
 
any real experiment also needs replication, so we need, like, 6 tanks in each group, otherwise it's just more anecdote.
Not in my opinion. What we want is replicability.
Take two tanks, grow plants three times and you would have two groups with three data sets and maybe 50 plants as the population size.
You could certainly use one tank with enough controlled variables (inert substrate, deionised water, etc), but the problem would be using that to describe a more complex system. That is why two tanks is ideal.
With two tanks you can also test bivariate or multivariate analysis with two or more variable. It also gives a direct comparison over time. This is useful because your substrate has the same age, ambient lighting conditions are equal etc., and you get the option of using tap water and regulating conditions that are temporally-bounded. For instance, you could vary the light and the carbon dioxide enrichment of both aquariums equally, meeting the flexibility of adaptive-EI but also producing statistically valid evidence.
Reliable water testing is out the window, unless somebody has a proper laboratory. You would be looking at biometric data like @JoshP12 suggests. There are two classes of biometric data: algal growth and plant growth.
Water quality would need to be controlled with regular water changes.
Complex variables like filter maturity and substrates could be standardised to enable control.
Sorry for the rant, but with one tank you can replicate and test one variable. With two you can test multiple variables simultaneously. Both would work. Can we be bothered...... ummmmmm
 
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Hi all,
I honestly think we are back to <"re-arranging the deck-chairs"> on the Titanic.
That's obviously not practical, but I'm not kidding either. This is the real reason people have been fighting about this for years
Replication is a real issue, you also have the <"multi-factorial nature of the variables that govern plant growth">. It is why I've referred to <"shades of grey"> and <"Donald Rumsfeld"> a lot.

I would give the disclaimer that I've never kept a high tech tank or ,<"done aesthetics">, but from a <"luddite viewpoint"> I think these are the important factors:

Plants
Fertilisers
cheers Darrel
 
This threads intense. These experiments are pet projects on our end. It’s too hard to control and perform excellent empiricism.

As hobbyists, I think it’s the wrong track to be honest.

I think we need to define our goals - which are dynamic and changing … like our tanks.

We get consumed by this glass box. It drives us mad. It’s chaos. But it is chaos, a dynamic equilibrium of interconnected variables, a spiders web intricately woven - a snowflake. Sorry feeling poetic with an early morning coffee.


i don’t want to create a newbie guide/progression guide for a nice path to take - but ultimately what the hobbyists needs is a set of tools/know how to maneuver the situations that arise. How to recorrect a tank after coming back from vacation. The way you do that is not the same as how to re correct a tank after dropping in biscuits and/or loads of fish food.

How to recorrect after you run out of co2.

Most people struggle to get it to the point where you are doing re correction.

It’s ironic - when you see the recorrections and see all the ways you could approach a situation , you can see why all the methods work.

This threads crazy long now … and I haven’t read it all … but everyone is right whether we like it or not. For each argument, we need to trace back why the observation could have happened from first principles.

Plant need food, plant get food.

The leaf is more sensitive to changing parameters since it doesn’t have the same environment and structure as a root.

So use highest probability agreed upon targets based on the shoulders of giants from the past 100 years.

They made a mistake about ferts and algae because their co2 sucked. And we’re now making a mistake about light. Turning down your light simply makes the inefficiencies of your system unseen - the algae dont get to exploit the system because you maintenance before it gets the chance since you’ve choked the energy in the system. And plants are ugly relative to high light.

Tom Barr made EI for fun. He was curious. He wanted to test boundaries. To achieve plant forms we all love, it’s hard mode - plain and simple. And as @Simon Cole has stated - an anecdote on water changes. Increasing water change frequency increasing control - plain and simple. The more times you reset to control, the less change - the leaf sensitivity can adapt via genetics etc … to an extent because of N/P pathways under rich conditions … and I don’t want to bang on about this I already did 50 pages ago.


Terrestrial plants literature use soil ratios.

Do you see something? Aquarium hobbyist talk about water column dosing. Terrestrialist talk about root dosing. They both are facilitated with water but have a different interface: a root and a leaf.

And they are physiologically different.

We need to harness the learning of the past - and guess who beat us to the chase our friend Dennis Wong.

He toned down EI, kept the potassium from ADA, and uses osmocote while at the same time advocating for low KH and moderate GH? Basically he favours leaf sensitivity - picks the middle road - give K for root nutrition mobility … then blasts the root with super cheap soil doped with osmocote (terrestrial research shoulder) … no wonders half the world literally uses his line.

The die hard ADA are old - they’ve been using it since before Wong came into the picture. And they are sponsored or they have money and are pleased with the results so don’t care to change.

Now I’m rambling … oh ya … everyone is right … and I love UKAPS. ❤️

Josh
 
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