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EI vs PPS - pros and cons?

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  • EI vs PPS - pros and cons?

    Hello all,

    I've been loosely familiar with the EI method of fertilizing for awhile, but I'm seeing mention of PPS. I tried to Google it but there is seriously conflicting information on various forums, and some members don't seem so nice (I'm glad there aren't any of those meanies here.)

    I think I've read that with one you dose daily, and aim to over-dose so that there aren't any deficiencies, and do water changes to balance the excess. The other I think you dose only a few times per week?

    Here are my tank's specs:

    55 gallons
    2x 54W T5HOs, on roughly six hours per day
    Aquatop cf-400UV canister
    Injected CO2, roughly 2bps
    Fish: six baby angels, eight neons, seven rainbows, four platies (rehoming to a lucky winner soon! ), two GBRs, one BN pleoc
    Plants: cardinal plants, Mexican oak leaf, wisteria, cabomba, java ferns, red ludwigia, anubias coffeefolia, anubias afzelii, hygrophila, dwarch chain swords, frogbit

    I use the GLA pack of ferts. I dose roughly 1/8th tsp CSM+B, 1/4 tsp sulfate, and 1/8th tsp nitrate every other day. I dose 1/8th tsp phosphate after a water change, but just a smidgen every other day after that, because it causes the phosphate to really jump. I'll admit I'm bad about testing, school just has me so busy. Once it's summer break in a few weeks, I'll have more time for that.

    1. Can you concretely describe the differences and in what applications are they both used?
    2. Which do you think is best for my tank and why?

    I've got some GSA and staghorn and some black stuff (not BBA, these are spots on the anubias) that won't go away, and I'd rather fix it with ferts than decrease the photoperiod or raise the lights, because the plants are all doing well.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  • #2
    Honestly after doing some self work and watching what others do NONE of the methods are full proof. To me I would start with some slow low doses and see what things look like. Post your results and then we can help you tweak your dosing out to the proper levels.

    I personally would love a covers it all dosing plan but none of them seem to work over the long term without modifications.
    -Jim-

    Originally posted by Albert Einstein
    If the facts dont fit the theory, change the facts
    Originally posted by Theodore Geisel
    Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind donít matter and those who matter donít mind.

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    • #3
      Hmm that makes sense. Unfortunate though! I'm fine with the growth of the plants, the only issue for me is the algae.

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      • #4
        then low dose some things to bring the tank into balance.
        -Jim-

        Originally posted by Albert Einstein
        If the facts dont fit the theory, change the facts
        Originally posted by Theodore Geisel
        Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind donít matter and those who matter donít mind.

        Comment


        • #5
          LOL I thought I was low-dosing! Too low maybe I really need to get back into testing; I'm just banking on the fact that what worked then will work now. But it's very likely that as the plants started growing better, they started needing more ferts. Sigh...

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          • #6
            Yup, as the plants start to take it up they need more lol its kinda like drugging your plants...
            -Jim-

            Originally posted by Albert Einstein
            If the facts dont fit the theory, change the facts
            Originally posted by Theodore Geisel
            Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind donít matter and those who matter donít mind.

            Comment


            • #7
              LOL good analogy. Awhile ago I accidentally put 1/8th tsp too much nitrate in, and it was weeks before I got the nitrates below 20ppm again. Recently I tested and the day of the water change, and they were only 5ppm! Looks like they're taking up more nitrates, and probably more of everything else, too.

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              • #8
                The concept behind EI is that it floods a tank with extra nutrients to avoid creating a shortage; and the necessary water change to reset the nutrient levels. And PPS follows the principle that you only need to dose enough for the plants and not OD the tank; hence less water needs changing.

                But, if you compare the target ranges for each plan you will find they are almost identical. And, this blows my mind. How is it possible to provide the minimal levels and OD a tank all at once?

                A conversation about this happened on the ferts article I had written: http://www.everythingaquatic.net/for...e-to-Dry-Ferts. Now that you are knee deep in figuring out which plan to follow that article and its comments might help you make up your mind.
                - Dena

                All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
                Walt Disney

                The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.
                Socrates

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                • #9
                  I knew I remembered seeing an article on dry ferts! Thanks for posting it. A few questions regarding the chart at the end:

                  1. Some doses have one or two asterisks after them. You explain what two asterisks signify, but what does one asterisk mean?
                  2. What is the frequency? Are these measurements supposed to be dosed daily? (I'm assuming so.) In one of your comments you mention dosing macros one day and micros the next; is there a problem with lumping them together and dosing both on one day, and nothing the next?

                  I've been dosing 1/4 tsp K2SO4!! I thought this compound was especially important for stem plants, and as I have quite a few (Mexican oak leaf, wisteria, cabomba, ludwigia, cardinal plant, hygrophila) I thought it would be good to dose two scoops rather than one (scoop = 1/8th tsp). I hope that isn't a problem...I do 50%+ water changes each week, so if it gets a little high that should help at least.

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                  • #10
                    Honestly, I have no idea what the single asterisk means. I will have to remove it.

                    When dosing a moderate or high light tank the macros and micros need to be dosed on different days; or at the very least one in the AM and the other late PM. The reason for this is because the ferts can bind and form compounds that plants are unable to utilize.
                    - Dena

                    All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
                    Walt Disney

                    The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.
                    Socrates

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ooooh. Well then. That might be a problem! I'll definitely stop doing that.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Here is some other info you may find useful re: macro/micro dosing including some correspondence from Greenleaf.:

                        http://www.everythingaquatic.net/for...dosed-together
                        __________________________________________________ _____
                        Try not to be a man of success but a man of value. -Albert Einstein

                        Wise men speak because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something. -Plato

                        Say what you mean and do what you say. -Alot of people
                        110G, 65G, 10, 300G Pond

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                        • #13
                          The way I see it:

                          EI you can adjust the levels needed on a daily basis for your plants. Takes a lot more monitoring.

                          PPS is basically beefed up liquid ferts. You dose daily (according to the GLA website) a predetermined amount based on how large the tank is.
                          ~Erin
                          10g, 20g, 29g, 55g

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                          • #14
                            Thanks for the link Matt! I wonder if that's why A) I still have green spot algae even when dosing phosphate, and B) I've never done well with ludwigias, which I understand need a lot of iron. Even if not, it won't be a huge problem to dose on opposite days.

                            Can someone explain how they make liquid solutions of the dry ferts? I currently spoon the powders into a mug, add some tank water, mix well, and slowly add. If I could just squirt the day's dose in, it would be easier Though there's always some powder that doesn't dissolve, and if I made a big bottle it would all just sit at the bottom.

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                            • #15
                              I was wondering the same thing. When I ordered mine I saw that they had a bottle for premixing the dry ferts. But if you have to dose different items on different days or at different times on the same day, what is the sense of making a big bottle of it up? And how do you know how much to measure out?
                              __________________________________________________ __________
                              Lori

                              30G, 5G

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