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Lean dosing pros and cons

JoshP12

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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.
👍

Soil. Nature doesn’t have high K in water either. It’s in the soil.

You don’t need root tabs to do a planted tank.

But once the soil is depleted, and the scape goes downhill, you need to bring it back somehow or proactively.

All I’m saying is K is very important. And unlike N and P, you can’t get it from the system. We aren’t running our water through rocks on the way back remineralizing it.

What you put in is what you put in. But not for N and P.

I know locals who hate Tropica ferts - they have to top off with seachem K.
 

erwin123

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If you follow his instagram feed he has photos with Dennis Wong... but when it comes to Ammannia Golden, he has to use dilute "Tropica levels"... (i.e. he's probably modifying APT dosage to Tropica levels of K)

Myself, I am slowly dialing back the dosing to see whether A. Pedicatella can 'unwrinkle/uncrumple' itself - so far I have one crumpled stem that is able to uncrumple itself - and that is at 7.7ppm N and 10ppm K.
 
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JoshP12

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If you follow his instagram feed he has photos with Dennis Wong... but when it comes to Ammannia Golden, he has to use dilute "Tropica levels"... (i.e. he's probably modifying APT does to Tropica levels of K)

Myself, I am slowly dialing back the dosing to see whether A. Pedicatella can 'unwrinkle/uncrumple' itself - so far I have one crumpled stem that is able to uncrumple itself - and that is at 7.7ppm N and 10ppm K.

The root tabs with micro won’t toxicify substrate if you pull them out with rich water column N and P like EI.

Everything he has said is consistent with the framework.

Thanks for sharing - appreciated - hadn’t seen this post before. And pretty photos. :).
 

Happi

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at this point people are also interested in making their own fertilizer to save money, which is a good thing, I am always down to help people whenever i can. the more people we have working on this as a team the better for this hobby. i know for fact those who are trying these approaches, some will fail and some will succeed. whenever that does happen, i hope we don't just give up and immediately come to some kind of conclusion. at that point we need to explore why it worked for some and why it didn't for others and see how we could improve things. the final goal is to keep the plant happy along with those living in the water, also reducing the waste of water and fertilizer, which is also a problem for our world.


Soil of your choice (preferbily ADA Aqua soil or similar) with added root tabs:
TROPICA NUTRITION CAPSULES
N 21,000%
P 7,000%
K 11,000%
MG 2,000%
Cu 0,010%
Fe 0,100%
Mn 0,060%

weekly Dose:
N 1.34
P 0.1
K 1
Mg 0.4
Fe 0.1
B 0.014
Mn 0.067
Zn 0.014
Cu 0.014
Mo 0.003

am quite confident that this approach will give you very good results. if someone is down to try this one.
 

Happi

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If you follow his instagram feed he has photos with Dennis Wong... but when it comes to Ammannia Golden, he has to use dilute "Tropica levels"... (i.e. he's probably modifying APT does to Tropica levels of K)

Myself, I am slowly dialing back the dosing to see whether A. Pedicatella can 'unwrinkle/uncrumple' itself - so far I have one crumpled stem that is able to uncrumple itself - and that is at 7.7ppm N and 10ppm K.

we have talked about the Micro toxicity for some time now in the water and in the substrate, but people never truly believed in it. the soil truly should be enriched with NPK that's all and Trace/Fe etc. should be added to the water and should be avoided in the substrate. except Fe/Mn in the substrate can be beneficial.
 

MichaelJ

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I understand that Michael, I was talking about in general. I see people talking about raising TDS for shrimps
Hi @Happi, Not sure I've seen many shrimp keepers wanting to raise their TDS... but anyway let me not askew the conversion... The key for me is to lower my TDS but keep fairly high Ca and Mg dosing, but everything else can go as low as possible while maintaining great plant health. How can I dose my Ca, Mg, N, P and K without getting all those "unnecessary fillers" ... such as SO4, Cl, CO3. I tried with Ca Gluconate, Mg Gluconate but it turned my tank water into skim milk.

Ok, I get that this is not exactly part of this lean dosing conversion, so perhaps we can discuss this at another time or here for instance.

Cheers,
Michael
 

erwin123

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unfortunately, i don't have access to the type of osmocote that only has NPK. So I have to do my own cost-benefit analysis - is my osmocote/starxcote helping the plants NOW. If yes, I'll continue with it.
The root tabs with micro won’t toxicify substrate if you pull them out with rich water column N and P like EI.

Everything he has said is consistent with the framework.

Thanks for sharing - appreciated - hadn’t seen this post before. And pretty photos. :).

I'm leaning towards agreeing with you over Happi's view - but that is based on the use of Terrestrial gardens to filter water runoff in order to reduce stress on the water treatment system. I have spoken to someone working on the project and they do not see the soil toxicity increasing, so presumably the plants are pulling it out. On the other hand this also means we shouldn't overdose the Osmocote (too much and the plants can't pull it out).... instead of a capsule full of osmocote, we should be inserting one pellet per square inch.

For those interested in this area: https://www.pub.gov.sg/Documents/ABC_Waters_Design_Guidelines.pdf
 

Hufsa

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Just wanted to say im following this thread with great interest, even if I am not doing lean dosing right now. I am pretty sure I will experiment with it at some point, theres too many things about it that makes sense for me not to.
Thank you for the micro ratios in particular @Happi

This is partially off topic but especially @erwin123's work with the Lythraceae family is of great interest, as I find this family of plants difficult to grow well under EI (or my implementation of EI anyway).
This is a long thread and it might have been mentioned already, but I assume everyone here has seen Vin Kuttys AGA2019 presentation? I feel like it fits into this framework in a way.
 

plantnoobdude

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Urea+K2SO4+KH2PO4
in this case having N fully from urea will not bring any issues? if I make a different solutions for calcium salts can i dose them at same time in to the tank? is the issue because cacium salt will precipitate with so4?

2-10 ppm Calcium if you want but like i said the plant will only need very little.

i forgot to mention i have crystal red shrimps so i think minimum 3-4 gh? maybe i should move the shrimps to a different tank...
how much Mg do you add to macro/micro?
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.
well i use RO so the marschner number should work well with minimal adjustments?
if i use this number:
Fe 0.1
B 0.014
Mn 0.067
Zn 0.014
Cu 0.014
Mo 0.003
with 1ppm N, 0.6ppm K and 0.12 P, should work well? also how about Nickel for Urea uptake.
thank you very much for helping happi.
 

plantnoobdude

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can you calculate how much K were you dosing when you were using Tropica? weekly dose
it was 3-4ppm K per week. i was dosing quite high over recommended dose.
 

Happi

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@plantnoobdude

3-4 K is more than enough per week and that is why you were seeing great results, also the way tropica works, it mainly uses NH4 or urea and 0 NO3. far as the calcium goes, you can always dose it separately on the same day if you like, I usually keep the calcium and Po4 solution separately just like you see in the recipe below.

again, am not a shrimp expert and not sure about their requirement but these recipes are more focused on plants. if you were to add some minerals for your shrimps such as Ca, Mg, Cl, S etc. these recipes will still give you good results similar to Tropica which you were using previously. far as urea goes, it is completely safe to use even if you were adding high doses of it, I sometime dose 1 ppm N from urea in a single dose, but you will see better results when this is dosed daily in smaller amount such as 0.4 ppm N from it. Nickel can be added to the recipe if you want, I can edit my post to add some nickel in those recipe if you like.

like I said even if someone had 30 ppm Ca or the Marchner ratio is completely off in their aquarium, they should still get good results if they were to switch to Urea/NH4 based ferts and reduce their over all NO3 and K. Marchner ratio is not mandatory

if someone truly want to explore while using 100% RO water and doesn't have any fish or shrimps, they can use this recipe as a good starting point, this is all you will be adding to your 100% water, do not add anything else except the following :


500 ml solution, 50 ml per 100 liter (26.41 Gallon) water
Solution #1
4.27 g NH4HCO3
2.85 g K2CO3
0.23 g NaHCO3

Solution #2
4.64 g NH4NO3
2.88 g MgSO4*7H2O
1.19 g MgCl2*6H2O

Solution #3
6.38 g Ca(NO3)2*4H2O

Solution #4
1.84 g KH2PO4

This will give you the following concentrations of nutrients:
4.72 ppm HCO3 (= 0.27°dKH), 3.14 ppm N (= 2 NH4 + 7 ppm NO3), 2.14 ppm K, 1.1 ppm Ca (= 0.15°dGH), 0.43 ppm Mg (= 0.1°dGH), 0.42 ppm P (= 1.3 ppm H2PO4), 0.38 ppm S (= 1.1 ppm SO4), 0.41 ppm Cl, 0.06 ppm Na

you need to add 0.02-0.05 ppm Fe from Tenso Cocktail weekly or use Tropica Premium to reach similar dose while using this recipe, start with smaller doses at a time, such as 10-20 ml per 100 liter. keep in mind that this is a experimental recipe which worked well for us and you can play with it if you like.

 

John q

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Hi @John q ... care to hold hands while we descent?
Lol, why not.. although I suspect we're both passed the hand holding stage. 🥴

Ei has worked well for me, let's not suggest it doesn't. I just want to see if other ways work. All roads lead to Rome, there's more than one way to skin a bullfrog with elongated feet.

Take a deep breath @MichaelJ ... the truth is out there..
 

Wookii

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Nottingham
Lol, why not.. although I suspect we're both passed the hand holding stage. 🥴

Ei has worked well for me, let's not suggest it doesn't. I just want to see if other ways work. All roads lead to Rome, there's more than one way to skin a bullfrog with elongated feet.

Take a deep breath @MichaelJ ... the truth is out there..

C6FF19FB-0945-4C5D-A7A5-EDD70A52BA56.jpeg
 

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JoshP12

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Lean to nature - the soil in nature has it all.

The water flushes by rocks and those also slow release - based on equilibrium which dictates need. So the water has + stuff constantly flushing by and being replenished to a pseudo-steady state —— the organic stuff presumably dictates the rate that this dictating equilibrium forces + stuff to release.

So you have a perfect balance where stuff moves equilibriums, equilibriums get corrected, stuff stays in a balance.

Those plants have adapted to the balance and top up whatever they need from water column.

Constant chaos, constant adapting.

Toxicity is another word for nutrients not been used or accumulation interfering with uptake. It just means Coulomb’s law.

The easiest way to circumvent toxicity, more light or more water changes. Toxicity in the soil will be alleviated via stronger growth - the best cleanse is plants. Turn the toxicity into plant matter by driving growth rates with light and co2. Turn up temperature - metabolism - bacteria will go crazy and use oxygen so you need to pair it with light and photosynthesis.

You can see why EI works now. Josh sim 3x weekly back to targets inert substrate. Of course it will work. Do 7x weekly 100s back to targets that work - the perfect values - and everyone is happy.


I spent a lot of the past year extremely confused. And I hope in this compilations of the thoughts that I shared you can see that my conclusion is a hybrid of EI and anti-EI. Because EI teaches us about growth, water changes, husbandry, co2 application. And anti-EI teaches us to think about nature.

Amidst all this is a set of words that are poorly defined: toxicity, deficiency, healthy, excess, lean, limited, high, low etc

It’s a system. Each piece is interconnected.

Each thing you do triggers a cascade of responses contingent on the history of what you’ve done. And the influences that all your historical actions - and inactions - have on the tank.

Try all these things but find ways of thinking that allow you to predict properly.

Those of you with very poor substrate health/old/spent/depleted right now who use low K in column will have issues. And if you don’t, I am sure we can trace back and explain why.

It won’t be in a week or even a month (you have e nutrient stores), but in time, you will need to intervene.

And those of you who ease of N to nill and don’t feed high fish loads, will end up with gorgeous plants and then finally cyano. This will be exacerbated if K is not dosed.

I am not trying to confuse anyone by sharing these thoughts and you need not accept my thoughts. I simply want to share so if these experiences happen, they are validated.
 

MichaelJ

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Lol, why not.. although I suspect we're both passed the hand holding stage. 🥴
:lol:
Ei has worked well for me, let's not suggest it doesn't.
Agreed. I have had zero issues with my abundant NPK/trace dosing.

I just want to see if other ways work. All roads lead to Rome, there's more than one way to skin a bullfrog with elongated feet.
When I set up my current tanks a couple of years ago my dosing regime was Tropica Specialized and Tropica Premium a couple of times a week and that was it - moderately hard water (KH/GH 6/6). That actually worked well for quite a while. When the GSA arrived I started upping my P dosing with Seachem Phosphorus and dialing down my light intensity. Totally worked for me and I kept the Tropica dosing as well... Eventually, I got tired with Tropica, not because it didn't work but because it was expensive and not that easy to find here in the US and I decided to roll my own with cheap dry salts which eventually became full EI with extra PO4 and K (due to my KCl softened water)...

Take a deep breath @MichaelJ ... the truth is out there..

I can't really go all in on the homeopathic fertilization approach :) ... at least not yet - I do not doubt it works given the right circumstances. I do have the perfect setup for it with two very similar tanks. For now I am just reducing everything in half except for Ca and Mg, which I only reduced a bit, in my shrimp tank. If I don't see any adverse effects on my plants over the course of 2-3 weeks, I will reduce everything again... and so forth... eventually I will get down there unless I see things starting to go south.

Cheers,
Michael
 
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