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Practical application of lean fertilizer dosing

MichaelJ

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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

View attachment 186869

Thanks for hammering this home @Happi ! - Remember I started a thread on this last year;
It was a revelation to me quite honestly! @Happi and other added lot of good insights to this on that thread.

Yup 👍🏽

Everyone’s slowly catching up with what @JoshP12 has already said in the last thread. He’s way ahead in this conversation.
I always like @JoshP12's posts. I am just a humble research engineer and apparently not smart enough to be able to immediately decrypt his condensed writing, but I love a good challenge and often I think I eventually get it. Takes a bit of effort.

Cheers,
Michael
 
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aquanoobie

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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.
I guess they don't have the same understanding how things work. I am not saying one is right and the other is wrong, they simply don't share the same mythology. As I posted before, Tropica fertilizer is very close to Marschner's plant tissue analysis. So maybe they prefer this path.

And the ADA approach is far from Tropica and Marschner as it can be. Can you imagine Amano studying Marschner research? I don't. He was interested in bicycling and photographing nature and the art of it. So he brought home a bucket of fertile local river mud and some plants. Then he had to figure out what was missing the most to keep his tanks going. It was potassium, and ADA was born.

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.
My explanation is ADA starts dosing urea later to compensate for the previously rich substrate to keep the balanced ecosystem rolling forward without much distraction.

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

View attachment 186869
Your first example of the river is
N 0.0544 to 0.2485
K 0.2 to 2.2
This comes to ratio of N : K of 0.27 to 0.11

Tropica ratio of N : K is 1.3 and Marschner is 1.5.

We can see Tropica and Marschner are very close, almost identical. But the river ratios of N and K are very different than Tropica and Marschner plant tissue.
 

Geoffrey Rea

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this is the question only ADA can answer, why they choose to add more K in the water?

Think Sudipta has already taken a pretty good stab at this question:

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.

Applying additional K after root tabs also mitigates problems. Problems that are blamed by many on root tabs, rather than inadequacy between the interplay of substrate and water column nutrient availability. The total ammonia nitrogen leaching from substrate into the column at start up and after root tabs is high.

As for ADA’s current guidance with their substrate systems….

Only water column K and micros whilst soil is new. First six to nine months.

Really simple dosing instructions: more plants, dose more per day.

1650182525378.jpeg


This increase also covers you if you add root tabs incidentally. They’ve done the thinking for the aquarist.

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.

Then as @aquanoobie mentions:

My explanation is ADA starts dosing urea later to compensate for the previously rich substrate to keep the balanced ecosystem rolling forward without much distraction.

Most stick to root tabs and keep soil dependency for N thereafter. Then focus on tank cleanliness to limit organic buildup in the substrate.

The main use for water column N supplementation on top of root tabs in ADA’s system would be for epiphytes. If you look at ADA’s traditional setups they tended to go with a lot of fish in their scapes with Amazonia 1. This has changed slightly with Amazonia 2 being used more frequently now. Folks mix and match dosing strategies these days so A2 plugs that gap.

Once again, just like the TPN+ question regarding which version of Tropica dosing was being referred to, over a thousand posts ago… when you’re talking about ADA dosing it matters what time period you are referring to. They’ve changed their method several times, for example, from Special LIGHTS/SHADE series to the Green Brighty Series. Need to be specific to work out their intended system of nutrient delivery across time.
 

Happi

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I guess they don't have the same understanding how things work. I am not saying one is right and the other is wrong, they simply don't share the same mythology. As I posted before, Tropica fertilizer is very close to Marschner's plant tissue analysis. So maybe they prefer this path.
this part I can agree on that they have different mythology

We can see Tropica and Marschner are very close, almost identical. But the river ratios of N and K are very different than Tropica and Marschner plant tissue.
the ratio doesn't have to be the exact, but they are somewhat similar. my point was that if you have 0.3 ppm NH4 in the water, you don't need lot of K to counter the toxicity if that was the case. again, if someone is adding 8-10 ppm K weekly, this is not going to stop the plant from growing.
 

Happi

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Only water column K and micros whilst soil is new. First six to nine months.
this is why I continue to use NH4/Urea instead of NO3, NH4/Urea is constantly being uptaken by the plants and the aqua soil as it attract + charges and mostly ignore - Charges. some people add Osmocote or Ammonium based root tabs to achieve the same effect.
 

Hanuman

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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)
Simple answer. High light. Then limit nitrate to finish it off. APT EI is also not limiting nitrates so things will tend to turn greener. Your plants look healthy though.
 

MichaelJ

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Week 2: Good growth already, still a bit scrawny looking as mentioned (Boo APF...!) By this time in the past these stems would be starting to loose their leaves and withering away!

Parameters: NO CO2, GH ~4.0, KH <1.0, pH ~6.2, 73F/23C, TDS 80 ppm (yes TDS is coming down...), Much higher light, Targeting ~1 ppm of N - or lean like Mother Nature intended it - weekly with Tropica Specialized. (Still zero signs of algae)

LeanTankWk2.jpg




Cheers,
Michael
 
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erwin123

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Week 2: Good growth already, still a bit scrawny looking as mentioned (Boo APF...!) By this time in the past these stems would be starting to loose their leaves and withering away!

Parameters: NO CO2, GH ~4.0, KH <1.0, pH ~6.2, 73F/23C, TDS 80 ppm (yes, coming down...), Much higher light, Weekly ~1 ppm of N with Tropica Specialized. Still zero signs of algae!

View attachment 186877



Cheers,
Michael
Apart from posting photos here, pls do start a separate journal if you haven't already! I find following regular photos of "work in progress" more valuable than a single 'instagram perfect photo' as it shows me the steps I need to take.

Thats why if there is a journal or thread that shows a Pantanal (eg: emersed form) converting from green leaves to red leaves, that would be more helpful than a photo that just shows me a totally red Pantanal (which may also raise questions whether photoshop was involved...)
 
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Hanuman

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Thanks for hammering this home @Happi ! - Remember I started a thread on this last year;
It was a revelation to me quite honestly! @Happi and other added lot of good insights to this on that thread.
Read carefully that screenshot below. The substrate is loam. Highly rich susbtrate. Soil is continuously replenished with new organic matter being deposited in the river floor.
In a 6-month + heavily planted tank, substrate will be depleted to the point where you need to either compensate by dosing water column more heavily or fertilize the substrate with osmocote or whatever you fancy or both depending the plants you have. That's the reason why we are dosing more after a certain point in time.
@Sudipta Here is what Christel says about L. inclinata in the new edition.
View attachment 186822 View attachment 186812
 
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Yugang

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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

View attachment 186869

Slightly off topic ..... I see several rivers/measurements with virtually 0 Mg? What do I miss, as in my tank it is really hard to be successful without Mg?
Beginners question ... Are we sure there are plants growing at these sample locations anyway?
 

MichaelJ

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Read carefully that screenshot below. The substrate is loam. Highly rich susbtrate. Soil is continuously replenished with new organic matter being deposited in the river floor.
In a 6-month + heavily planted tank, substrate will be depleted to the point where you need to either compensate by dosing water column more heavily or fertilize the substrate with osmocote or whatever you fancy or both depending the plants you have. That's the reason why we are dosing more after a certain point in time.
Hi @Hanuman I hear you and I mostly agree! I do not think you can do this ultra lean water column without substrate rich on microbial activity etc. (soft acidic water and all that jazz...). My substrate was originally "inert", but now after two years its highly mature and rich in microbial activity (I Assume!), so my lean column dosing should work, but only time will tell... crossing my fingers!

Cheers,
Michael
 
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Hanuman

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Slightly off topic ..... I see several rivers/measurements with virtually 0 Mg? What do I miss, as in my tank it is really hard to be successful without Mg?
That is exactly the problem. Picking up one set of information (water column data) and then deriving quick conclusions about ferts. What you see is only part of the equation. You need to consider the soil. Look at the screenshot of Christel book above.
Beginners question ... Are we sure there are plants growing at these sample locations anyway?
Yes. Those are the biotopes from where the plants were collected. That data is taken from Christel's book from the older edition book. The new edition has no updates on this matter.
 

Hanuman

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Hi @Hanuman I hear you and I mostly agree! I do not think you can do this ultra lean water column without substrate rich on microbial activity etc. (soft acidic water and all that jazz...). My substrate was originally "inert", but now after two years is highly mature and rich in microbial activity, so my lean column dosing should work, but only time will tell... crossing my fingers!
I suspect your inert 2 years soil will be far from enough. You grew plants during these 2 years yes? Unless you didn't and dosed heavily and your substrate has a high CEC those plants also sucked up some of the nutrients so your soil will not be as heavily fertile as you think. Note that Sudipta used Amazonia light then also added some Amazonia I. Those are heavily fertile substrates.
In my tank, I can tell you that after 1 year using Amazonia + Black Earth I could see some plants struggling and instead of using osmocote or the like I simply sucked sections of substrate and added new one. Within the next month plants in those sections would rise to fame.
Anyway, you got to try else you'll never know. And yes please do that journal 😬
 
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Hanuman

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So perhaps my point is that it is more relevant to compile data on successful planted tanks than data on river systems?
Well it is important to have the plant's natural habitat information but reality is that natural habitats are always far more complex than a tank can ever be so we will always miss some infomoration. We do have A LOT of good examples of people growing those plants successfully in an artificial environment (tanks), CO2, No-CO2 etc etc then yes you can use successful planted tanks as a baseline.

The plants cited above have been grown for many many years already, they are no where being new to the hobby so we have a fairly good knowledge on how to grow them nicely.
 

JoshP12

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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!
Appreciate it. Just learning like everyone :).
I always like @JoshP12's posts. I am just a humble research engineer and apparently not smart enough to be able to immediately decrypt his condensed writing, but I love a good challenge and often I think I eventually get it. Takes a bit of effort.
Again, appreciate it. But when writing is inaccessible it is always the fault of the writer.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
This article says not all freshwater tanks share the same microbial diversity.
There are <"some papers"> on this.
There are a number of recent scientific papers specifically on the nitrifying organisms in aquarium filters, which suggest that their assemblage shows a fluid response to varying ammonia loadings, with a stable core of Archaea and an ever changing cast of nitrifying bacteria.

This is described in <"Freshwater Recirculating Aquaculture System Operations Drive Biofilter Bacterial Community Shifts around a Stable Nitrifying Consortium of Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaea and Comammox Nitrospira">, Bagchi et al (2014) <"Temporal and Spatial Stability of Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaea and Bacteria in Aquarium Biofilters"> & <"Kinetic analysis of a complete nitrifier reveals an oligotrophic lifestyle">.
Thanks to @Sudipta , that is a good one.
I should have linked in our <"conversation with Tim Hovanec"> for newer members. I think generally it would be fair to say I'm not keen on Bacterial supplements etc. but I've got a lot of time for Dr Hovanec.

cheers Darrel
 
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