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Erin
Moderator
Username: shay

Post Number: 1021
Registered: 04-2004


Posted on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 - 04:03 pm:       

I've moved some of a prior thread as it was off-topic. You guys will have to excuse me the sloppiness with which I'm handling this but I've yet to figure out how to do this in the admin section.

****

I like EI for fertilizing (Erin, I`m intrigued with your comment about long term). Get doing that. Your biggest issue is keeping your co2 steady.

(Message edited by shay on March 21, 2006)
Member of Delaware Valley Aquatic Gardener's Association (www.dvaga.com)
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Erin
Moderator
Username: shay

Post Number: 1022
Registered: 04-2004


Posted on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 - 04:04 pm:       

LOL. Brad, I'm not surprised your intrigued by that comment. I've been comparing notes with a few other people locally who have been having problems while dosing EI. Largely related to stunted growth and increases in algae after about 9 month to one year.

We all understand the theory. Increase the dosages so that there are no limiting factors. Change enough water (50% or more) so that there is no large accumulations in the water column. What we don't know is how much the plants utilize or absorb and how increased uptake of certain nutrients might effect the plant. For example, excess uptake of Fe can damage a plant. Also, if we increase the dosage of one nutrient might that create a need for an increased dosage of another nutrient, beyond even the EI dosage, thereby leading to a deficiency?

I don't have the answers here. Tom may. I do have increased suspicions about the long term effect of massive nutrient dosing though.
Member of Delaware Valley Aquatic Gardener's Association (www.dvaga.com)
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Erin
Moderator
Username: shay

Post Number: 1023
Registered: 04-2004


Posted on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 - 04:06 pm:       

This is Brad's response:

Alright, we`re getting off topic here, but you`re the mod so, who cares.

Why would expect it to change after 8-9 months? Why wouldn`t these problems appear sooner?

Say my ludwigia is absorbing more iron than it should, to the point it will eventually going to be lethal, do I really need to be concerned seeing how I trim the oldest growth of it at least once a month if not more?

What is the EI dosage you`re worried of exceeding? The idea is to play with the dosage until you know your plants aren`t limited. That can change given biomass and fish population. As far as I know, there are only rough guidelines given as starting points, and those, based on other people`s experiences. Varying your dosing, to me, is a neccesity. Experience will tell you what you need to vary and how much.

Even if you run your water colomn lean, you still need to have an excess. I don`t even want to think about what it`ll take to get everyone to add exactly what the plants need daily, and I`ve seen what happens when I try to run my tank a little too lean.

I know you don`t have answers to everything, but maybe just give me an idea of where you`re going with it, and the reasoning behind it. What would the possible solution be?
Member of Delaware Valley Aquatic Gardener's Association (www.dvaga.com)
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Erin
Moderator
Username: shay

Post Number: 1024
Registered: 04-2004


Posted on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 - 04:22 pm:       

Don't know Brad. May be a build up in the substrate. May be a build up in the plants themselves. We do know that plants will move stored nutrients around from place to place depending on the need or lack thereof. Maybe the excess nutrients are not stored in the leafs you are trimming. Maybe there are not any excess nutrients at all.

I have played with my dosages until I knew the plants weren't limited at the time. Part of my supposition was that increasing the dosage may create new limitations and new needs.

Where I am going with this is that I believe stunting I am seeing in my plants may be related to the long term massive dosing recommended by EI. I may also be completely off track too. I think, however, that we will start to see more and more people asking the same questions as time progresses.

The solution would be to use another dosing regime. Plenty of people keep sucessful, algae free tanks, without overdosing the tanks. EI is just one method.
Member of Delaware Valley Aquatic Gardener's Association (www.dvaga.com)
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Brad
Advanced Member
Username: brad

Post Number: 1744
Registered: 03-2005


Posted on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 - 04:32 pm:       

Alright, so you think the massive dosing has caused an increased need for nutrients which has caused the stunting? What would be the alternative? If you didn`t massive dose, you`d either have stunting from day 1 or be walking a very thin line. Unless you rely more on the substrate, which I think is good, but also has it`s drawbacks. Is there any evidence that providing a fertile substrate is won`t produce the same long term effects as a fertile water colomn?

What other fert regimes are good ones? There are a ton. Every commercial company even has their own. But truley good ones, a little more rare.
Ever feel like you`re flying and drowning at the same time?
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Erin
Moderator
Username: shay

Post Number: 1026
Registered: 04-2004


Posted on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 - 04:51 pm:       

That was one supposition Brad. The other was that massive dosing is causing a build up somewhere in the tank or in the plant that is toxic.

I'm not sure that the comment "[i]f you didn`t massive dose, you`d either have stunting from day 1 or be walking a very thin line" is accurate.
Member of Delaware Valley Aquatic Gardener's Association (www.dvaga.com)
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Brad
Advanced Member
Username: brad

Post Number: 1748
Registered: 03-2005


Posted on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 - 07:55 pm:       

So what would be an alternative method? If you weren't dosing to far exceed what the plants need, what's your guide? EI can theorically be run as lean as accurately as any method (aside from El Naturel) that I know of.

How do keep the plant from stunting, but not provide an excess of nutrients?

(I'm not arguing, just looking for a good conversation
Ever feel like you`re flying and drowning at the same time?
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Erin
Moderator
Username: shay

Post Number: 1028
Registered: 04-2004


Posted on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 - 09:16 pm:       

Allright, well I'm not ignoring you either. Just passing by. Actually, I'm too tired to formulate a good response. If you don't mind we can continue this "conversation" tomorrow. :-)
Member of Delaware Valley Aquatic Gardener's Association (www.dvaga.com)
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sully
Ancient Plus
Username: sully

Post Number: 8434
Registered: 01-2003


Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 09:25 am:       

help the "noob". what the hell is EI?
"I usually read the obituaries first. There is always the happy chance that one of them will make my day." -- Richard Ames
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cindy
Ancient Plus
Username: cindy

Post Number: 9677
Registered: 05-2003


Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 09:29 am:       

"estimative index"

I've tried to figure it out, but apparently, if we weren't in on the ground floor, so to speak, we will never figure out what they are talking about. This is in our library, and it won't even help: http://badmanstropicalfish.com/discus/messages/27480/41847.html?1118000301

"The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve." --- Albert Schweitzer

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Brad
Advanced Member
Username: brad

Post Number: 1751
Registered: 03-2005


Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 09:31 am:       

Estimative Index. Tom Barr`s big thing.

Erin, I guess I could let you get away with that.

Seriously though, it`s not exactly a pressing matter, I`m just interested in hearing your experiences and ideas. Whenever you please.
Ever feel like you`re flying and drowning at the same time?
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sully
Ancient Plus
Username: sully

Post Number: 8435
Registered: 01-2003


Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 09:33 am:       

cripes. the Tom Barr approach to ferts. man it is way to complicated for me--lol. i just toss in some of this and some of that. guess i won't add much to this one. i estimate by looking at the tank and the plant growth.
"I usually read the obituaries first. There is always the happy chance that one of them will make my day." -- Richard Ames
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Brad
Advanced Member
Username: brad

Post Number: 1752
Registered: 03-2005


Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 09:44 am:       

Sully, I think you nailed EI right on the head. You learn what your plants need, and add that each week. Do a water change to make sure there`s no accumulation beyond double.

EI isn`t about making sure you add this or that. It's about knowing that excesses don`t cause algae. From there, you follow plant growth, and experience tells how much to add.

I do know plants will absorb metals that they don`t need, which would support Erin theory. For example, some plants will absorb gold from the substrate. Now we know plants don`t use gold, so why do they absorb it? Everyone knows that plants need a nitrogen source IE, ammonia to grow, but it also doesn`t take much to kill the plant. So if I understand Erin theory correctly, there`s a possibility that plants are, over the long term, storing more nutrients than they need, to the point it eventually becomes lethal.

So, how true is this, how do we get around it, and how applicable is it in our tanks?
Ever feel like you`re flying and drowning at the same time?
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g3H2O
Regular Member
Username: g3h2o

Post Number: 284
Registered: 08-2005


Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 10:34 am:       

I've hesitated from posting because I truly have no idea what I am talking about in this matter. Let me ask this then, so that I either learn something or add something useful to the conversation.

Is it possible that plants retain some tendencies (for lack of a better word) from their natural environment in regards to consumption of nutrients? I'm struggling with how to phrase this so that my train of thought is understandable (too early in the morning, not enough coffee yet).

In their natural environment, most of these plants are going to experience "dry spells" in which the level of nutrients is diminished, such as when flows are low or it hasn't rained in awhile (washing silt and minerals down into the body of water). They also deal with changing amounts of light, be it due to a cloudy day or seasonal changes to the length of the day.

Those plants in the wild, as an adapted way of survival, might have learned to soak up things they don't normally use in anticipation of the times when nutrients are less available.

If fish bred in farms retain habbits / eating preferences / spawning rituals their species has in the wild, isn't it possible plants could also retain characteristics from the native habitat even if raised in tanks?

Where I am going with my babbling is I guess one explanation for Erin's findings could be that a plant has it in its genetic makeup to take in more than it needs so that it has what it needs if nutrients become scare. But in an aquarium where we change the bulbs every 6 months to maintain a constant light and dose with ferts on a never-changing routine, the plant never uses up those stored nutrients because there is never a lack.

Could that build-up lead to problems eventually?

[Why would expect it to change after 8-9 months? Why wouldn`t these problems appear sooner?]

Perhaps at that point the plant has reached a saturation point, and it takes time to get to that point. Maybe the plant has been used to storing for 6 months and then using reserves for 3 months. I don't know. I wish I knew more about plants in general.

Sorry for rambling, and I apologize if what I am saying has been proven wrong on every beginner page out there. I haven't had a chance to read up much on plants, I'm still trying to learn how to keep the fish happy! Just trying to add to the discussion and learn at the same time.

For the teachers out there, excuse my poor sentence structure, I'm horrible at composition :-)
- Mike in Arizona
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Erin
Moderator
Username: shay

Post Number: 1029
Registered: 04-2004


Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 04:27 pm:       

Mike, don't apologize. Your comments were well thought out and articulated. Although I will add that I don't have any "findings" only theories.

Brad, here is a passage out of one of Hiscock's books that may help elucidate my theory.
"A good indicator of whether a particular problem is caused by an excess of a certain nutrient can be seen in the difference in symptoms between slow growing and faster-growing plants. If there is an excess of a certain nutrient, faster growing plants may not be effected because they can essentially 'dilute' the nutrient through fast production of new leaves. Slow-growing plants have no choice but to increase their buildup of the nutrient until signs of excess begin to show...Plants will generally take up more nutrients than they need and simply store them in the cell tissue for later use. Problems ocurr when the storage capacity of the plant is exceeded and the nutrient buildup becomes toxic, affecting the function of the cells."

(Message edited by shay on March 22, 2006)
Member of Delaware Valley Aquatic Gardener's Association (www.dvaga.com)
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Brad
Advanced Member
Username: brad

Post Number: 1755
Registered: 03-2005


Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 09:34 am:       

Ah, another book to add to my library. What`s the name of it? Worth buying?

Have you asked Tom about any of this? I`m curious what his rebuttal would be.
Ever feel like you`re flying and drowning at the same time?
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sully
Ancient Plus
Username: sully

Post Number: 8442
Registered: 01-2003


Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 10:59 am:       

so, we should take casual ganders at the plants--especially leaves--to see what is going on. if they start to appear "funky" we should maybe cut back on ferts and possibly do an extra water change here and there to get everything back in balance. Basically using the two techniques to force the plants into using up what they store.

Another thought is about aerials and their function in the process of "storage". Have you noticed how they proliferate, actually slowing down plant growth. think the aerials act as mini storage units to help the plant "off load" nutrients to a safer place for storage? My plants tend to get better growth if i stay after the aerials--that is why i was wondering about their functionality beyond simply sucking stuff out of the water column..
"I usually read the obituaries first. There is always the happy chance that one of them will make my day." -- Richard Ames
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Brad
Advanced Member
Username: brad

Post Number: 1758
Registered: 03-2005


Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 11:14 am:       

I think if we go that route, it`ll be tricky. How do you tell if it`s a deficiency or an excess? Do we need to look at micro solutions like Flourish to make sure they`re mixed exactly right? We may be building excesses of one, and be running dangerously low on another.

I remember what happened when I stopped dosing wondering how long I would get good pearling without adding ferts. Same day the pearling stopped was the same day I got hair algae. You won`t get me to stop adding ferts again.

IMO, 999 times out of 1000, people are dealing with deficiencies. Most people remove the plants, trim the old, restart the aquascape often enough that even if it`s true, is it really affecting that many people?

There are a handful of people who have have been doing EI since before it was called EI. Long before Tom Barr ever started his own website.
Ever feel like you`re flying and drowning at the same time?
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