Perpetual Preservation SystemTM

The most accurate Aquatic plant fertilizers

 

TE too low / high

What is the recommended trace element dose?
Some time ago, there was a system called PPS-Classic. It was analytical system able to give us details about plant consumptions. At that time, the average trace element mix, referenced to Fe level was established at 0.01 ppm.

Shortly after, based on the PPS-Classic results PPS-Pro was developed. At the same time “smart” high CEC Cation Exchange Capacity substrates became available and some people started to experience trace element deficiencies. The PPS-Classic was developed with inert substrates which had low CEC. Because we didn’t expect this to be an issue we have had decided to use ten times more trace elements referenced to Fe at 0.1 ppm to assure effectiveness.

In the following years, doses of 0.01 and 0.1 ppm Fe have not created problems when conditions were met. Conditions like 100% planted, CO2 enrichment and conductivity maintained water column parameters.

Recently, I have learned about trace elements toxicity from Solcielo Lawrencia, who if true, should get the Nobel Prize for finding aquarium toxicity issues and CEC substrate implications. For this reason I have reconsidered the PPS-Pro recommendation on trace elements levels of 0.1 ppm TE (Fe) back to the safer zone of 0.01 ppm TE (Fe).

The recommended PPS-Pro #2 micros solution is 1/10th of 1 ml or 2 drops per 10 gallon or 40L daily.
May need to dose more when pale new growth appears.

Solcielo Lawrencia has posted many interesting observations regarding this issue.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/11-fertilizers-water-parameters/962425-nutritional-requirements-aquarium-plants-15.html#post8937602
Solcielo lawrencia
Low calcium is a problem if everything in relation to it is high, but low Ca is not a problem if all other nutrients are proportionately low. Nutrient ratios matter a lot. E.g. Plants can grow in just 1ppm of Ca, as long as the other nutrients are in proportion to it. If there's excess, then Ca deficiency may result or toxicity of the other nutrients.
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http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/11-fertilizers-water-parameters/996506-high-nutrients-promote-algae-growth-toxic-aquatic-life-17.html#post8934121
Solcielo lawrencia
In chemistry, there is a phenomenon called the 'anion effect'. It makes cations less toxic due to the affinity of positive and negative ions. In other words, dosing high levels of anions reduce the toxic effects of excess heavy metals cations that are essential in minute quantities (but very toxic at higher concentrations, e.g. 1ppb of Cu is toxic to many life forms, including algae and crustaceans.)

Dosing excessive PO4 also increases the likelihood of metal precipitation, rendering them inert and non-toxic. It also helps alleviate toxic metal stress once plants have absorbed metal cations.

Dosing high levels of NO3 and PO4 anions also helps improve nutrient balance between the macros and the micros, especially more so if micros are excessively high as occurs when dosing EI levels of micros.

So is it typically necessary to dose such high concentrations of anions even though plants don't ever use so much? No, unless you are dosing excessively high concentrations of micros and need a way to neutralize or balance that toxicity. FYI: hydroponics use only a minute fraction of the traces needed to grow food crops, yet EI suggests dosing far in excess of what even these terrestrial crops require for fast and healthy growth. Logic should dictate an error in this approach.
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http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/11-fertilizers-water-parameters/996506-high-nutrients-promote-algae-growth-toxic-aquatic-life-12.html
Solcielo lawrencia
Another thing to note is that the substrate is a high CEC substrate, which will quickly adsorb cations from the water column which reduces it's potential for toxicity. As long as there are plenty of adsorption sites available, severity of toxicity is reduced. However, after a few months or so, the adsorption sites diminish to the point where it can no longer adsorb anymore. This results in metals remaining in the water column, resulting in very obvious signs of toxicity. Therefore, you should expect in a few months, there will be an inevitable decline in plant health and algae will most likely run rampant if the current dosing is not decreased. So high CEC substrates provide a buffer against toxicity by its ability to remove metals from the water column.
So the high CEC substrates is probably the reason why people indicate initial success with EI, because of its ability to reduce toxicity. But then after a few months, things start going downhill. Those who use sand as the substrate (which has almost no CEC), have issues with plant growth immediately.
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http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/11-fertilizers-water-parameters/962425-nutritional-requirements-aquarium-plants-14.html Solcielo lawrencia
On UKAPS, when Marcel presented evidence that plants don't need what EI claimed they needed, I was very skeptical and critical because it contradicted everything I've learned about EI. E.g. Marcel stated that plants can use just 10-15ppm of CO2. Blasphemy! Because from experience, if I used that little CO2, I'd have an algae farm, not a planted tank. That was last year. Today, I use 10-15ppm of CO2 with high light (100+PAR at substrate) and I don't have an algae farm. The difference? I'm not dosing EI levels of traces which causes algae to proliferate. This directly contradicts the claim that CO2 is of utmost importance and explains why CO2 is so critical in EI: because without enough CO2 (and light) the trace nutrients will not be absorbed fast enough which results in toxicities and algae growth. Algae grows partly because of those excess nutrients.

If the system doesn't work for most people, if it doesn't live up to its claims, then there's something wrong with it. But instead, believers make excuses and attack those who dare challenge it. Then they further make claims that fit the model, distorting the original idea so that it's no longer the original idea.
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http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/11-fertilizers-water-parameters/853001-csm-b-toxicity-experiment-42.html#post8968682
Solcielo lawrencia
My conclusion is inconclusive due to the following confounding variables. I discovered that:

1. High CEC substrate became toxic which results toxicities.
2. Adsorbed metals desorb back into the water column.
3. Plants can retain nutrients in their stems for later use.

1: If the substrate is high CEC, then it will have built up a layer of heavy metals. Just like the hard-water deposits that build up on shower doors and tubs over time, the substrate also builds up heavy metals. This can be toxic if roots grow in it. E.g. H. pinnatifida grew really well, but once it developed roots and it touched the substrate, toxicity occured: roots brown, pinholes and necrosis of older leaves, stems die and rot.

2: The metals that adsorbed onto the substrate will desorb into the water column. This will occur much faster if there's a concentration differential, like when you ceased dosing traces. It will also occur much faster if the water is acidic, either through natural acids or by CO2 injection. The lower the pH, the faster the rate of desorption. When it desorbs, the water column will have a higher concentration of metals which may result in excess metals that cause plant issues. This is partly the reason why no amount of water changes can eliminate toxicity because the metals will easily desorb into the new water.

3: Since plants can retain nutrients for a few days or weeks, it's unlikely the health problems observed 1-2 weeks after ceasing traces is due to lack of dosing but actually due to the nutrient imbalance within stems. If one depletes more rapidly than another, then toxicity of the excess can result.
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http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/11-fertilizers-water-parameters/853001-csm-b-toxicity-experiment-43.html#post8976513
Solcielo lawrencia
The problem with stating an absolute concentration of toxicity in plants is that it ignores nutrient ratios, which matter greatly. In very soft water, 0.1ppm of Cu is toxic and can kill plants (and definitely harm and kill shrimp and sensitive fish) while in hard water, it's safe (but not necessarily safe for shrimp or sensitive fish.) So in those studies, all other nutrients are held static while the concentration of Cu is varied to determine plant response.
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http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/23-algae/999786-need-some-algae-help.html
Solcielo lawrencia
High CEC substrates adsorb metals. When the substrate is new, there will be plenty of adsorption sites. But over time, the adsorption capacity diminishes. This results in the substrate unable to chemically bind to the metals which will stay the water column.
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http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/9-equipment/947618-rys-mad-lab-test-n-p-k-ca-mg-fe-zn-cu-using-hanna-hi83200-photometer-2.html
Solcielo lawrencia
I aimed for 0.10-0.12ppm of Fe daily. At the end of the week, total Fe is under 0.9ppm so all other metals are relative to this. After 50% WC, that drops to 0.4ppm. Add another 0.9ppm for the week and that results in 1.3ppm total. 50% WC=0.6ppm. +0.9=1.5ppm. 75% WC=0.4ppm, which is close to the tested water sample. If the concentration is accurate, then that means plants use a lot less iron than EI levels indicate. Almost none.
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