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Lean dosing pros and cons

plantnoobdude

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uk
Hi, @Happi . I used to use tropica specialised nutrition with very good results. Co2 was lower but plants still did well, co2 was maybe 20-25ppm. but when I switch to EI with micros EDTA. first month or so was ok, but then I have continuos issues with plants such as ammania, eriocaulon, tonina, Rotala Wallichi, Macrandra. I have good O2 from skimmer and very good flow from 1200lph from 3 pumps placed in a circle in 45liter tank, and very high co2 over 40ppm. Despite this I still struggle with plant health issues with Lythraceae family and even the easier plants are showing issues.
No matter how much flow/co2 I throw at the tank I still have plant health issues and algae. to even have the tank looking semi-decent i must clean the filter twice a month and vacuum substrate like crazy, any minor hiccup and everything goes wrong very quickly. I want to switch back to leaner dosing and get back my colourful healthy plants I used to have with tpn, but this time from dry salts. what recipe would you recommend? I have some ada aquasoil ready for the tank when I swap to lean dosing, as my current soil is already exhausted.

I was thinking tropica micro clone with 0.1ppm Fe dtpa proxy and
2ppm N (1/2 urea-N 1/2 Kno3-N). per week
3ppm K per week
and 0.8ppm ppm po4 per week.

do you think above recipe would work well? if not what else do you suggest? and what Calcium and magnesium ppms do you aim for (target dose).
my light is chihiros wrgb2.
any input would be greatly appreciated, cheers.
 

Happi

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15 Jan 2012
Messages
478
Location
UTAH, USA
Hi, @Happi . I used to use tropica specialised nutrition with very good results. Co2 was lower but plants still did well, co2 was maybe 20-25ppm. but when I switch to EI with micros EDTA. first month or so was ok, but then I have continuos issues with plants such as ammania, eriocaulon, tonina, Rotala Wallichi, Macrandra. I have good O2 from skimmer and very good flow from 1200lph from 3 pumps placed in a circle in 45liter tank, and very high co2 over 40ppm. Despite this I still struggle with plant health issues with Lythraceae family and even the easier plants are showing issues.
No matter how much flow/co2 I throw at the tank I still have plant health issues and algae. to even have the tank looking semi-decent i must clean the filter twice a month and vacuum substrate like crazy, any minor hiccup and everything goes wrong very quickly. I want to switch back to leaner dosing and get back my colourful healthy plants I used to have with tpn, but this time from dry salts. what recipe would you recommend? I have some ada aquasoil ready for the tank when I swap to lean dosing, as my current soil is already exhausted.

I was thinking tropica micro clone with 0.1ppm Fe dtpa proxy and
2ppm N (1/2 urea-N 1/2 Kno3-N). per week
3ppm K per week
and 0.8ppm ppm po4 per week.

do you think above recipe would work well? if not what else do you suggest? and what Calcium and magnesium ppms do you aim for (target dose).
my light is chihiros wrgb2.
any input would be greatly appreciated, cheers.
it would be hard to give the perfect working recipe because everyone's water is different. if you look at those recipes and how Marchner and Tropica ratio works, you will already have most of your questions answered. the reason you might see the problem are likely due to the following:

1. using KNO3 alone as N, not using NH4/Urea liquid fertilizer or NH4 based soil.
2. using CSM+B or something similar
3. not having enough Mn, Mg but too much Fe
4. too much potassium

things you can try:
1. try using Tropica Premium for your Micro/Fe
2. use any of the Macro recipe that I have posted or something similar, the goal is to focus on Urea/NH4 based N rather than NO3
3. try to use similar ratio to either Marchner or Tropica
4. if you want to clone the micros, give Tropica or tenso cocktail clone a try.
5. Calcium and Magnesium, if you have more than 1 ppm Ca and 0.4 ppm Mg in your water, its already enough to handle one week of plant growth even when fully planted.
6. if the GDA appear with KNO3+Urea recipe, take out the KNO3 and replace it with Urea and K2OSO4 instead.
7. Tenso Cocktail can be found in UK and aim for 0.1 Fe weekly with Tropica clone Macro made from Urea+K2SO4+MgSO4+KH2PO4 and report back. plant like Rotala Wallichi will respond within day or two and it might even become weed, you will observe that it grows normal without any deformation which some people believe its lack of Calcium, you will observe the same for several other plant species. Ammania family is little tricky to work with, it grew best under Marchner ratio and grew somewhat ok under Tropica clone. keep in mind that we can only clone the listed ppm from tropica or other brand, the true ratio or chemical they use are unknown, we can only guess on what they use or possibly what they likely to use.
8. if everything fails, you can always go back to Tropica if you want beautiful plant
 

John q

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6 Jan 2021
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Lancashire
Low KH more co2
Higher GH less N and P
I'm confused.. Currently going down the rabbit hole of lean dosing (that's my perogative) and will report my findings.
What I can't understand is why most folks with soft water (low gh as well) seem to do well with this regime. In layman's terms, is nutrient uptake reduced in hard water? Or is the nutritional availability via water chemistry reduced in harder water.

@JoshP12

In soft water should one be dosing more or less npk?
 

JoshP12

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Canada
I'm confused.. Currently going down the rabbit hole of lean dosing (that's my perogative) and will report my findings.
What I can't understand is why most folks with soft water (low gh as well) seem to do well with this regime.
This is good sign. I'm always confused!

We need to establish something: ferts in water does not mean ferts in plant. They are different. Just because you put 4N in, it doesn't mean that the 4N is going into the plant.

KH --> infuence the ability for the plant to get CO2 from the water column. If it is lower, then CO2 is more easily extracted. Most costly solution to all problems with plant health is to switch to RO - hands down. The reason people remineralize RO to KH ~ 3 instead of leaving it at 0 is because it makes each adjustment on your CO2 regulator "less". KH is a buffer. So you can use very poor machinery in high high high KH because so much CO2 is required to shift the carbonate equilibrium and obtain enough free CO2 in the water such that it can be acquired by the plant (because of relative salt concentrations).

In other words, lower KH, easier to get CO2 into the plant. The GH component is extremely nitpicky and just let GH=KH -- the difference it makes is when you are obsessed with plant forms. AND fish aren't used to 1KH and 7 GH. It doesn't make sense with nature. If your fish is used to 10GH, they probably have specific organ adaptations that need the KH as well.

The entire game of a plant is to get enough CO2. The rest doesn't matter (within reason right?)? Everything you can do to make CO2 acquisition easier the better. Grow plants emersed. LOL.

So the reason it's easier is because the demand for CO2 is easier to fill.
In layman's terms, is nutrient uptake reduced in hard water? Or is the nutritional availability via water chemistry reduced in harder water.

@JoshP12
I'd say ya. I don't have the studies on hand (it would take a long while to curate since there is so much involved in it), but its consistent with every conversation, finding, report, I have ever read AND if you use the concept, you can predict problems with certainty ... . And I get what you mean when you say those words. Someone who is reading this, out of the context of this conversations, may start poking into it (and even half the stuff I write, that's why I go on qualifying everything because I don't want obvious retorts). But I get it. And if I understand what you mean, then I agree with it.
In soft water should one be dosing more or less npk?
For sure. Happi's targets are good. PPS-Pro is rich dosing too. ADA is bang on. EI is good too -- you just need more CO2.

Remember you can just pump more CO2 in to compensate for any NPK. I've dosed EI targets in soft water.

There is the other piece of using a Urea source and feeding your fish in conjunction with KNO3 ... the ammonia has it's own uses in the plant and urea will yield CO2. And when you don't give Ammonia, the plant has to convert NO3 to it ... and that uses CO2 as energy so you increase your demand on CO2 even further.

The entire game of the planted tank is to get enough CO2 into the plant.
1) Gas <-- Flow
2) Ferts <-- this will lead you to 3
3) Different N sources <-- that's why all the "experiments" that people down the rabbit hole find stuff about N.

The plant can adapt to less N/P AND it can pull it from the substrate. It cannot pull the amount of CO2 it needs from the substrate. CO2 and light are the main drivers of all growth - but we need to make our lives easier by playing with 1-3.

The most obvious thing is to grow plants under candle light. The problem is plants look ugly without high light - it's just a fact. They can turn red and other pretty colors to moderate light intake -- and light makes dialing in CO2 easier (when you have ruled out flow).


Hope I answered it without rambling too much.

EDIT:
I don't think you need to be using laboratory scales to measure things. tsp etc are fine. And so is CSM.

But what you need to realize with CSM is that to get the right relative ratios, you need to use a super concentrated solution. 1/64 of a tsp just isn't good enough. You need to use a solution with like several tsp and then dose a little bit of that. It just makes all of the ions in the desired ratios available in the water due to the error of your scoop.

KNO3 and KH2PO4 is fine. I'd never put urea in my house - it was banned for a reason. Urea Formaldhye. If I went urea, I'm buying Tropica.

Ammonium Nitrate I haven't looked into.
 
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Happi

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@John q
"is nutrient uptake reduced in hard water? Or is the nutritional availability via water chemistry reduced in harder water."

Its both, this is why it gets much more complicated when you give the same working recipe to everyone, it will work for some and fail for some. while it will work well for 75% with soft water and it wont work for the rest 25% with hard water. however, if those 25% make some small changes, say 75% soft water people had no Fe and Mn deficiency but 25% hard water people did, they might need to make some small changes to their Fe and Mn, they might also need to Chelate their Micro/Fe, where 75% soft water people will be fine even if their stuff is not fully chelated or not Chelated at all. this is why I have always said that those using CSM+B and adding 0.5 or more Fe as proxy might not have Fe deficiency but might be suffering from Mn deficiency, this case is even worse if your water is hard.
 

John q

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Hope I answered it without rambling too much.
Answered my questions perfectly Josh, thank you.
For sure. Happi's targets are good
Time will tell, I'm going to put faith in this approach and see where it takes me.

Was unsure about adding the full 6g of urea out of fear over the livestock @Happi Went with 2.5g and increased kno3 to 30g, other than that I've followed recipe to the letter.
 

Happi

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Answered my questions perfectly Josh, thank you.

Time will tell, I'm going to put faith in this approach and see where it takes me.

Was unsure about adding the full 6g of urea out of fear over the livestock @Happi Went with 2.5g and increased kno3 to 30g, other than that I've followed recipe to the letter.
Try using good Micro/Fe such as tropica premium with this approach. I know csm+b won't be very effective from my personal experience. If that is what you are using.

I know people don't give much importance to micros but it could make a day and night difference in plants.
 

MichaelJ

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9 Feb 2021
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Minnesota, USA
Currently going down the rabbit hole of lean dosing (that's my perogative) and will report my findings.
Hi @John q ... care to hold hands while we descent? :lol:

I am essentially cutting my very high NPK dosing in half in one of my tanks for starters (not exactly amazonian lean but gotta start somewhere...) - the tank where I keep shrimps as I want to make a big dent in my TDS for the sake of my livestock and possibly enable some more challenging shrimps - if it works for my plants I will apply the same to my other tank and possibly dial it down further... (I have two extremely similar densely planted tanks and will keep the other tank as is for now).

Cheers,
Michael
 
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dw1305

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Hi all,
Or is the nutritional availability via water chemistry reduced in harder water.
Yes, it is for a lot of nutrients.
  • The large excess of calcium (Ca++) ions can interfere <"with the uptake of other cations">.
  • Many <"calcium compounds"> are insoluble, so Ca+= ions can remove orthophosphate (PO4---) ions etc. from the water column.
  • Hard water has a high pH and will remove ferric iron ions (Fe+++) from the water column. Some plants will be very good at sequestering iron ions (and using HCO3-) as their carbon source, <"but some won't">.
In other words, lower KH, easier to get CO2 into the plant. The GH component is extremely nitpicky and just let GH=KH -- the difference it makes is when you are obsessed with plant forms. AND fish aren't used to 1KH and 7 GH. It doesn't make sense with nature. If your fish is used to 10GH, they probably have specific organ adaptations that need the KH as well.
I believe that as well dGH and dKH are nearly always linked in natural waters because <"they both come from dissolved limestone"> (CaCO3) and that gives a 1 : 1 ratio of dGH : dKH.

cheers Darrel
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
By those metrics, would 30 ppm of Ca be considered "large excess" ?
I'd think that should work for most plants, real blackwater plants would probably be better with less. @Roland is <"the person to ask">.

I don't have any experience of starting with RO water and then adding calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg). I've always <"used rainwater"> and then cut it <"with some hard tap water"> to get a consistent conductivity value. In recent years I've added <"magnesium and iron (Fe) on a more regular basis">, mainly because I've been using a fertiliser mix without much of either.

cheers Darrel
 

plantnoobdude

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uk
it would be hard to give the perfect working recipe because everyone's water is different. if you look at those recipes and how Marchner and Tropica ratio works, you will already have most of your questions answered. the reason you might see the problem are likely due to the following:

1. using KNO3 alone as N, not using NH4/Urea liquid fertilizer or NH4 based soil.
2. using CSM+B or something similar
3. not having enough Mn, Mg but too much Fe
4. too much potassium

things you can try:
1. try using Tropica Premium for your Micro/Fe
2. use any of the Macro recipe that I have posted or something similar, the goal is to focus on Urea/NH4 based N rather than NO3
3. try to use similar ratio to either Marchner or Tropica
4. if you want to clone the micros, give Tropica or tenso cocktail clone a try.
5. Calcium and Magnesium, if you have more than 1 ppm Ca and 0.4 ppm Mg in your water, its already enough to handle one week of plant growth even when fully planted.
6. if the GDA appear with KNO3+Urea recipe, take out the KNO3 and replace it with Urea and K2OSO4 instead.
7. Tenso Cocktail can be found in UK and aim for 0.1 Fe weekly with Tropica clone Macro made from Urea+K2SO4+MgSO4+KH2PO4 and report back. plant like Rotala Wallichi will respond within day or two and it might even become weed, you will observe that it grows normal without any deformation which some people believe its lack of Calcium, you will observe the same for several other plant species. Ammania family is little tricky to work with, it grew best under Marchner ratio and grew somewhat ok under Tropica clone. keep in mind that we can only clone the listed ppm from tropica or other brand, the true ratio or chemical they use are unknown, we can only guess on what they use or possibly what they likely to use.
8. if everything fails, you can always go back to Tropica if you want beautiful plant
all 4 of the problem points apply to me.
my substrate is quite old and i dose KNo3 Exclusively. because I am using Kno3 my water has a lot of oPttasium, 20ppm per week. am using something similar to csmb, and too much fe but very little Mn in ratio, not even close to 2:1 that i see suggested.


1.I think I would like to try making micros because I think there would be a lot to learn.
2. the macro numbers I planned above were from a post on TPT made by you a while ago
Simple Macro Recipe Version #1, based on 500 ml solution, 20 ml per 50 gallon
"17.08 grams KNO3
NO3 2.2100
N 0.4992
K 1.3935

5.072 grams Urea CO(NH2)2
N 0.5000

2.765 grams KH2PO4
PO4 0.4
P 0.133
K 0.17

N 1
P 0.13
K 1.56"

do you think this is too much K? i can swap out the kno3 for some CaNo3 and add pottasium sulphate. and reduce CaCl. so to my understanding K should follow marschner ratio?
1ppm N, 0.13ppm P, 0.66ppm K. with N as proxy and 2-3ppm N per week.
for marschner ratio I understand i need different micro than tropica clone? any recipe suggestions? and i assume this is 0.1ppm fe proxy per week?
5. am using RODI water so i need to dose atleast a little calcium and magnesium. how much do you suggest? to my understanding more Ca:Mg allows a bit more flexibility w/ ratios.

6. noted, i will do this if i run into problems.
7. any leads on where to find tenso? if price is reasonable I may try it, but I can't seem to find it.
8. this is really a last resort as tropica is quite expensive haha
 
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Happi

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UTAH, USA
all 4 of the problem points apply to me.
my substrate is quite old and i dose KNo3 Exclusively. because I am using Kno3 my water has a lot of oPttasium, 20ppm per week. am using something similar to csmb, and too much fe but very little Mn in ratio, not even close to 2:1 that i see suggested.


1.I think I would like to try making micros because I think there would be a lot to learn.
2. the macro numbers I planned above were from a post on TPT made by you a while ago
Simple Macro Recipe Version #1, based on 500 ml solution, 20 ml per 50 gallon
"17.08 grams KNO3
NO3 2.2100
N 0.4992
K 1.3935

5.072 grams Urea CO(NH2)2
N 0.5000

2.765 grams KH2PO4
PO4 0.4
P 0.133
K 0.17

N 1
P 0.13
K 1.56"

do you think this is too much K? i can swap out the kno3 for some CaNo3 and add pottasium sulphate. and reduce CaCl. so to my understanding K should follow marschner ratio?
1ppm N, 0.13ppm P, 0.66ppm K. with N as proxy and 2-3ppm N per week.
for marschner ratio I understand i need different micro than tropica clone? any recipe suggestions? and i assume this is 0.1ppm fe proxy per week?
5. am using RODI water so i need to dose atleast a little calcium and magnesium. how much do you suggest? to my understanding more Ca:Mg allows a bit more flexibility w/ ratios.

6. noted, i will do this if i run into problems.
7. any leads on where to find tenso? if price is reasonable I may try it, but I can't seem to find it.
8. this is really a last resort as tropica is quite expensive haha
this recipe will work fine too if your water already have some N to begin with, usually its present in form of NO3, in most cases 5 ppm NO3 is almost always present. if you were to keep the N:K ratio at 1:0.8 or less, you will notice several plant will grow better.

1. I think I would like to try making micros because I think there would be a lot to learn.
you will be glad that you did, not only you will learn new things, but not all the micro nutrients are in your control and you can add however you want and at whatever ppm.

2. the macro numbers I planned above were from a post on TPT made by you a while ago. do you think this is too much K? i can swap out the kno3 for some CaNo3 and add pottasium sulphate. and reduce CaCl. so to my understanding K should follow marschner ratio?
N 1, 0.13, 1.56 this one works very well too, but you will see better results if this was lower to something like N:K at 1:0.6 or 1:0.8, you should also observe that there is almost no more GDA or GSA under this scenerio.
long as the K remain lower than N, that is the ultimate goal. remember its not only K that need to balanced but other nutrients too. but, as of now lets focus on the one that can be easily corrected. you can use CaNO3, CaCl etc if you want but it cannot mixed with this recipe because it will form CaSO4 if they are in the same solution, Ca and P together is also a No No. keep it simple with Urea+KNO3+Kh2PO4 or Urea+K2SO4+KH2PO4

1ppm N, 0.13ppm P, 0.66ppm K. with N as proxy and 2-3ppm N per week.
for marschner ratio I understand i need different micro than tropica clone? any recipe suggestions? and i assume this is 0.1ppm fe proxy per week?

keep in mind that Marchner ratio might be influenced by your tap water and some small ppm of nutrients might need some adjustment, especially the Micros.

Fe 0.1
B 0.014
Mn 0.067
Zn 0.014
Cu 0.014
Mo 0.003

I never had to cross this limit per week, but again your tap water might influence these numbers, but this weekly dose should provide you with all the Micro/Fe you need, if anything we might have to adjust it would be Fe/Mn at some point.
5. am using RODI water so i need to dose at least a little calcium and magnesium. how much do you suggest? to my understanding more Ca:Mg allows a bit more flexibility w/ ratios.
if you only added some Ca from Cacl/CaSo4 then thats all your truly need, you can add anywhere from 2-10 ppm Calcium if you want but like i said the plant will only need very little. in some cases i add 5-10 ppm Calcium and my Mg and K comes from my Macro or micro mix. honestly there is no need to add Mg at water changes if you choose that. i choose to add the Ca at this level because i dont do much water changes and its ok to have Calcium at this level. less the better
6. noted, i will do this if i run into problems.
yes, you should observe the same
7. any leads on where to find tenso? if price is reasonable I may try it, but I can't seem to find it.
someone from this forum might have to help you on this, if you were in the USA, i would have sent you all the needed chemicals to make your own.
8. this is really a last resort as tropica is quite expensive haha
yes, but your results already suggest that there is something going on after making the switch. so going back to tropica at some point could help if everything else fails.


here is the recipe for Tenso cocktail, the true Tenso cocktail use both EDTA and DTPA Fe but i feel the recipe with DTPA Fe alone works even better.

500ml solution, 20ml per 50 gallon or 189.27 liters
start with 400ml of Disitilled water, add Vinegar and potassium sorbate, Mix. now add 20 ml from Recipe #2 into Recipe #1 and mix, add more distilled water till 500 ml,

Recipe #1
Add 5-10 ml white vinegar
Add 0.2 gram potassium sorbate
Add 4.3 Gram of Fe DTPA 11%
Add 0.38 Gram H3BO3 17.48%
Add 2.44 Gram Mn EDTA 13%
Add 0.44 Gram Zn EDTA 15%
Add 0.44 Gram Cu EDTA 15%
Add 3.08 Gram Ca EDTA 10% (optional)

Recipe #2
500ml solution, add 20 ml from this solution to Recipe #1
Add 5 ml white vinegar
Add 0.2 gram potassium sorbate
Add 0.9 gram Na2MoO4*2H2O 39.658%
Add 0.53 gram NiSO4*6H2O (optional)

Fe 0.1
B 0.014
Mn 0.067
Zn 0.014
Cu 0.014
Ca 0.065 (ignore)
Mo 0.003
Ni 0.001 (Optional)

for those who are in the USA, all chemicals can be found here:
MBFerts Bulk Wholesale Hydroponic Equipment Dealer | Mbferts | Wholesale Hydro Store | Indoor Garden Equipment Plant Foods
Welcome to Custom Hydro - Water Wise Hydroponic and Organic Fertilizers and Bio-Stimulants
 
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MichaelJ

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9 Feb 2021
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Minnesota, USA
Hi @Happi I am following this with interest - and cant wait to hear what people who go down this route thinks. I can't really go all-in myself as I am mostly in it for the lowering of my TDS but my shrimps needs quite a bit of Ca and Mg... Anyway, what level is your TDS at? Just curious.

Cheers,
Michael
 
Last edited:

Happi

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15 Jan 2012
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Location
UTAH, USA
Hi @Happi I am following this with interest - and cant wait to hear what people who go down this route thinks. I can't really go all-in myself as I am mostly in it for the TDS and my shrimps needs quite a bit of Ca and Mg... Anyway, what level is your TDS at? Just curious.

Cheers,
Michael

my TDS vary on the experiment that I am doing but its anywhere from 40-100, in most cases it stays around 40-60.

I am not a shrimp keeper but I do keep on hearing that TDS for shrimps needs to be this or that, but sometime I wonder if its the TDS that is important or the mineral that the shrimps needs that are important, such as Calcium, Magnesium, Iodine, Chloride etc. because if the goal was to raise the TDS to 100,200,300 ppm. we could have just done that by adding KNO3 alone. again am not a shrimp expert but this shrimp and TDS thingy doesn't make any sense to me, at least not from the chemistry point of view.
 

MichaelJ

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my TDS vary on the experiment that I am doing but its anywhere from 40-100, in most cases it stays around 40-60.
Geez thats almost amazonian levels :)
I am not a shrimp keeper but I do keep on hearing that TDS for shrimps needs to be this or that, but sometime I wonder if its the TDS that is important or the mineral that the shrimps needs that are important, such as Calcium, Magnesium, Iodine, Chloride etc. because if the goal was to raise the TDS to 100,200,300 ppm. we could have just done that by adding KNO3 alone. again am not a shrimp expert but this shrimp and TDS thingy doesn't make any sense to me, at least not from the chemistry point of view.
Well, I think in general the idea is that shrimps needs quite a bit of Ca and Mg to build their exoskeleton and help with the molting process, but they also prefer relatively low TDS for osmotic regulation (which unlike fish, shrimps have a very hard time doing) - especially bee, cardinal or crystal shrimps are sensitive. My goal is great plant health and be able keep sensitive shrimps. That's all :)

Cheers,
Michael
 

JoshP12

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You have to be careful switching to lean right after EI.

1) nutrient stores from rich dosing will give error in observation
2) co2 may be too high so be careful when you drop
3) nutrient stores in substrate are reduced from time - especially if you dosed hard, proper balance may be skewed in substrate
4) the first to be depleted is potassium because potassium is of the utmost important (it regulates photosynthesis related enzymes)

I would be careful pulling K down to nothing. There is a reason ADA doses it daily and/or to targets at water change. If you don’t have enough in substrate, the top up effect from roots will only last so long.
 

Happi

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Geez thats almost amazonian levels :)

Well, I think in general the idea is that shrimps needs quite a bit of Ca and Mg to build their exoskeleton and help with the molting process, but they also prefer relatively low TDS for osmotic regulation (which unlike fish, shrimps have a very hard time doing) - especially bee, cardinal or crystal shrimps are more sensitive. My goal is great plant health and be able keep sensitive shrimps. That's all :)

Cheers,
Michael
I understand that Michael, I was talking about in general. I see people talking about raising TDS for shrimps but no one ever wondered is it the TDS or the other minerals that are important. some people add Calcium Sulphate and Magnesium Sulphate for shrimps but they are more focused on TDS which is mostly coming from SO4 in this case.
 

Happi

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You have to be careful switching to lean right after EI.

1) nutrient stores from rich dosing will give error in observation
2) co2 may be too high so be careful when you drop
3) nutrient stores in substrate are reduced from time - especially if you dosed hard, proper balance may be skewed in substrate
4) the first to be depleted is potassium because potassium is of the utmost important (it regulates photosynthesis related enzymes)

I would be careful pulling K down to nothing. There is a reason ADA doses it daily and/or to targets at water change. If you don’t have enough in substrate, the top up effect from roots will only last so long.
This is the question for Tropica as well, why they choose to dose little K way before they even came up with the root tabs and why they choose to dose higher N than the K. Tropica never said to dose more K if you have a high tech setup, they simply said to dose more of the Tropica dose, which still ends up with less K than the N. its best to hear from Tropica why they choose to go this route.
 
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