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Practical application of lean fertilizer dosing

plantnoobdude

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17 Mar 2021
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uk
I was not monitoring the pH in my 20 gal tank for almost 11 months after I setup the tank. However, I did notice pH drop (when I checked pH after 11 months) before the lights turn on.
I did check the pH of my 5 gal shallow tank when it was 2.5 months old and I noticed pH fluctuations as you can see below, low pH before the lights turned on, high pH after lights turned on as most of the available CO2 was consumed by photosynthesis.


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have you considered a siesta period so that co2 can accumulate again, perhaps a couple hours in the middle of the photoperiod?
 

GreggZ

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4 Mar 2022
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Novi, MI 48374
Hello Gregg,
Out of those 95% people, how many do you think have ALL of these points covered?
Not many. And that is the point. You have to have a LOT of things dialed in just so to make it work.

And I think you know me well enough to know that my comment about the 95% is not stated as an argument, but rather an observation based on interactions with others over many years.
 

Easternlethal

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15 Mar 2016
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Hong Kong
Sorry if this has been covered - how do you guys get low kh water? I think this will be the next variable I try to play with.
 

Sudipta

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3 Mar 2022
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Minnesota
Not many. And that is the point. You have to have a LOT of things dialed in just so to make it work.
Yes that is absolutely true and that's the reason I stopped using the term "low-tech" for my setups. However, I do see several advantages of a system like this especially when it comes to growing some of the most difficult stems in the hobby such as Ammania pedicillata golden, Cuphea utriculosa, Rotala tulunadensis etc.(I agree that I can't grow some species in these systems and that's why I also run a high-tech tank). I also agree that plants do struggle occasionally in my non-CO2 supplemented tanks but they come back nice and healthy most of the time.
And I think you know me well enough to know that my comment about the 95% is not stated as an argument, but rather an observation based on interactions with others over many years.
Yes I know that and that's why I respect you when it comes to discussing and troubleshooting with regards to planted tanks. 😀

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ElleDee

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12 Mar 2022
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Location
Southeastern US
@Easternlethal My tap water is just over 1 dkh. I'm dark cycling my first tank with aquasoil right now, so it's buffered down to 0 for the moment. I wonder how long that will be the case and how much new soil I'd need to add to keep it going? Questions for the future. I feel like that's going to be more effective than botanicals at least in anything bigger than a nano tank.

I've considered stuff like humic and fulvic acid too, which maybe could be an additional organic carbon source as well, but I didn't get deep enough into the research to decide if that was a worthy line of inquiry.
 

plantnoobdude

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17 Mar 2021
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Location
uk
Yes that is absolutely true and that's the reason I stopped using the term "low-tech" for my setups. However, I do see several advantages of a system like this especially when it comes to growing some of the most difficult stems in the hobby such as Ammania pedicillata golden, Cuphea utriculosa, Rotala tulunadensis etc.(I agree that I can't grow some species in these systems and that's why I also run a high-tech tank). I also agree that plants do struggle occasionally in my non-CO2 supplemented tanks but they come back nice and healthy most of the time.

Yes I know that and that's why I respect you when it comes to discussing and troubleshooting with regards to planted tanks. 😀

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wow, hands down best ultriculosa I've ever seen. amazing!!! the trade name is red cross correct?
 

Sudipta

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3 Mar 2022
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55
Location
Minnesota
@Sudipta Here is what Christel says about L. inclinata in the new edition
Thanks @Hanuman
Really nice information. I am thinking about getting the book.
I have been growing three variants of verticillata (Pantanal, Cuba and Meta) in my 20 gal non-CO2 supplemented tank. All of them do stunt in this tank from time to time (quite natural for a fast growing plant without pressurized CO2 injection). However, it is still a mystery to me how they always bounce back after I trim the tops and replant them (these are the plants that I don't generally just trim and leave the bottom to grow, they do sprout new side shoots if I do that but my tank is quite small to keep a large bunch).
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ElleDee

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12 Mar 2022
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Location
Southeastern US
@Sudipta - Do you have any theories about why those certain species do better in your non-injected tanks?

Also with regard to Ludwigia inclinata var. verticillata variants I have read that Cuba and Meta are easier to keep happy than Pantanal. You mention that they all occasionally stunt, but do you find that there are any differences in how they are to grow?
 

erwin123

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4 Mar 2021
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Location
Singapore
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One of my challenges with Pantanal is that only the top leaves turn red while the leaves in the middle and lower remain green... I would like more of the plant to turn red (this photo was taken when I dosing APT EI at the recommended dose)
 
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plantnoobdude

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17 Mar 2021
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uk
ai0q9450-23-dec-21-processed-web-jpg.178841

One of my challenges with Pantanal is that only the top leaves turn red while the leaves in the middle and lower remain green... I would like more of the plant to turn red (this photo was taken when I dosing APT EI at the recommended dose)
I have the same problem, and also, my pantanal has very curly leaves that point downward.
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my goal is something like this.:)
 

Sudipta

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Location
Minnesota
@Sudipta - Do you have any theories about why those certain species do better in your non-injected tanks?
Hello @ElleDee
My knowledge about plants is quite limited. Although I have been growing flowering plants and vegetables for quite long time (more than 25 years) but I was never interested in understanding about how they work on a molecular level (I still regret that, I could have learned a lot when I was studying in school/college). This changed quite significantly since I started my first planted tank (keeping fishes since my childhood) in the summer of 2018. It has become quite a fascination to me now. I have been trying to fill that knowledge gap but I think I am still in kindergarten 😄.
However, I can still share few things what I have learned so far.

All of these plants that people struggle with are not true aquatic plants, infact most plants in the hobby are like that. That's the primary reason why we inject pressurized CO2 in planted tanks. However, people still struggle to keep some of these plants (Ammania pedicillata golden as a perfect example), no matter how much CO2 they inject. Vin Kutty has done a great job experimenting with these plants.
His primary findings; these plants do better in softwater (low KH) and low water column fertilization (especially with hard water) with rich soil based substrates. According to him, the stems/leaves are quite sensitive to excess nutrients, more so in hard water.

I think some of the transporter systems present in their leaves/stems of these plants are not very specific when it comes to importing ions such as nitrate, phosphate etc. When the plants are growing slow (less CO2 injection/non-CO2 system like mine) then there is less pressure on the transporters. They take their time and import the correct ions. However, when the system is pushed with CO2 injection then these importers have a hard time distinguishing these ions. They import the wrong ion (probably HCO3- instead of NO3- or HPO4-2 or H2PO4-1 or some other similar ions).

This is just my hypothesis and I don't have any proof of this. However, I can provide supporting argument from my current research. I am currently working with high-affinity bacterial phosphate binding protein which has a remarkable ability to distinguish between phosphate and extremely similar anion arsenate (most enzymes can't differentiate between these two ions and that's why arsenate is toxic). The protein from Pseudomonas fluorescens can differentiate between these two ions by a factor of roughly 700 folds. Protein from a strain of Halomonas (found in arsenate rich environment of Mono lake in California) has a differentiation factor of roughly 4500 folds. This particular protein in these bacteria help them to survive in harsh conditions rich in arsenate. Organisms lacking this mechanism won't survive in this environment.

I know I am stretching it too far by making a comparison here, however I can give another example from research done on plants (not aquatic plants). I don't think that most people in the hobby actually know that ammonium ions can interfere with potassium uptake in plants.
Most people struggle when they use fresh ammonia rich substrates (plant melting). There is a decent chance that if they add more potassium during the initial period (while the substrate is releasing decent amounts of ammonia), they might experience better results, less plant melt.

You can read this paper on this topic.

I still have a lot to learn. 😅😅
 
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Happi

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when the system is pushed with CO2 injection then these importers have a hard time distinguishing these ions. They import the wrong ion (probably HCO3- instead of NO3- or HPO4-2 or H2PO4-1 or some other similar ions).
this is something Marcel has also talked about at some point and some of the the dosing was created based on this hypothesis, where plant were provided nutrients in such manner. the hypothesis was that if there was excess of one nutrient, plant spent too much energy uptaking that nutrient and then rejecting it till it picked up the correct one to balance it. but this hypothesis should be further investigated.

However, people still struggle to keep some of these plants (Ammania pedicillata golden as a perfect example), no matter how much CO2 they inject. Vin Kutty has done a great job experimenting with these plants.
this is exactly what I been talking about on the other thread. co2 isn't the only solution for all the problems, its much more complex than that when it comes to these plants.
 

aquanoobie

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Canada
I know I am stretching it too far by making a comparison here, however I can give another example from research done on plants (not aquatic plants). I don't think that most people in the hobby actually know that ammonium ions can interfere with potassium uptake in plants.
Most people struggle when they use fresh ammonia rich substrates (plant melting). There is a decent chance that if they add more potassium during the initial period (while the substrate is releasing decent amounts of ammonia), they might experience better results, less plant melt.
Hi @Sudipta
It sounds like ADA got it right with high K in the water column and NH4 leaching substrate.
 

Geoffrey Rea

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It sounds like ADA got it right with high K in the water column and NH4 leaching substrate.

Yup 👍🏽

Everyone’s slowly catching up with what @JoshP12 has already said in the last thread. He’s way ahead in this conversation. Smart chap!
 

Happi

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It sounds like ADA got it right with high K in the water column and NH4 leaching substrate
then we would expect Tropica to increase their K levels in their liquid fertilizer, on top of that they add more NH4 in their liquid fertilizer while using NH4 rich ADA soil. this is the question only ADA can answer, why they choose to add more K in the water? they too add more NH4/Urea in their liquid fertilizer, if their concern was NH4 being released from the substrate and need for more K, then they wouldn't be adding more NH4/Urea in their liquid fertilizer to begin with.

even the data from those rivers that most of these plant originated from shows both NH4 0.07-0.32 range and K around 0.2-2.2 range present in the water all time, this is rather similar to Tropica level, none of the data shows very high amount of K in those waters. #3 with possibly high in organic decomposing resulting in higher Co2 32.4, NH4 0.32, K at 1.54

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