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Amanos dosing regimen

Discussion in 'General Planted Tank Discussions' started by Ian Holdich, 19 Aug 2011.

  1. Ian Holdich
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    Ian Holdich Moderator Staff Member

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    Whilst reading Amanos complete works the other night, it struck me that he hardly doses anything. Maybe a bit of K and some trace. Only on a few tanks does he appear to dose special lights, which is the NKP. Do you think this is his true dosing regimen?
  2. Tom
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    Tom Member

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    Yeah, he doses pretty lean. With the amount of N and P in Amazonia, he would probably only dose Lights in extreme tanks, or tanks with Malaya or Africana. I used his regime first time round with Malaya, Brighty K, Step 1 and Spec Lights and it worked well. I didn't get on so well with Amazonia, K and Step1 only though, but that's probably my own fault.
  3. Ian Holdich
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    Ian Holdich Moderator Staff Member

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    Most of the time he's just using power-sand though. The only reason i had a close look was because i'm using special lights at the moment (ps this doesn't make me a fanboy!lol), and i wanted to see what tanks he used it on and there was about 3 or 4 tanks. He claims to be doing once a week water changes as well, so the N can't be coming from the new water.


    ps I must admit, the special lights seems to be doing the job.
  4. viktorlantos
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    viktorlantos Aquascaper

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    Yup that's the true dosing.

    I think i did not used the lights and shade ferts before. But used all others.
    Worked perfectly to me in many tank including the HC beast with Amazonia and PS
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/viktorlant ... hotostream

    And an interesting thing about the upper scape. We kept this tank with ADA ferts for 6 months. None of the stones had any algae on it. Never had to brush etc as this looked super clean. We switched to our mixed EI ferts. Plants did well as with the ADA ferts too, but all our stones turned green super quickly. Since then we had to brush it every week. Same light, same maintenance, same water (RO), same pollution by fishes, food. How's that sound?
  5. GillesF
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    GillesF Member

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    AquaSoils are generally rich in fertilizers because they absorb the fertilizers dosed in the water column. Moreover, it has been proven by someone on BarrReport (maybe Tom Barr himself, I forgot) that the reflectors used for his lamps are quite bad, so basically he uses much less light than we think.
  6. Ian Holdich
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    Ian Holdich Moderator Staff Member

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    yes, i think it was Tom, that proclaimed that Amano doesn't use as higher light as once thought (i'm sure he'll come along and tell us). However, yes his light may be lower than we think, but he still doses C02 which in turn, will put more demand on the plants, and the need for the N and P...

    Viktor, what lighting and C02 was you using over the scape in the pic? and were you dosing any N and P at all?
  7. viktorlantos
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    viktorlantos Aquascaper

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    We do have 6x54Watt above that Iwagumi. But using 4x54W mainly. Still pretty decent with ATI lights.
    We're dosing there only Brighty K and Step 2. At trimming Green Gain.
    Adding Easy Carbo daily too. 10ml/day. CO2 injected with AM1000 reactor.

    Their fert regine works excellent with low and high light too. Does not matter you use Solar or T5 with super reflectors.
  8. nayr88
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    nayr88 Member

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    Good info, I done the Ada thing and had great success with it, but I always thought wouldn't cause that much agg to step right onto step 2? What's the difference between the 2?
  9. Ian Holdich
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    Ian Holdich Moderator Staff Member

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    so, why the no N and P??
  10. nayr88
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    nayr88 Member

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    I think the idea is that aqua soil is loaded with n and p
  11. Ian Holdich
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    Ian Holdich Moderator Staff Member

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    as said though, a lot of the time he's just using powersand (that's a different argument!lol) and sea gravel??, sea gravel surly can't be packed with N and P can it?
  12. nayr88
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    nayr88 Member

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    Good point, I did notice the mention of sea gravel and thought it was a bit odd.
  13. Ian Holdich
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    Ian Holdich Moderator Staff Member

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    anyone have anything else to add on the lack of N and P in amanos tanks?
  14. ceg4048
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    ceg4048 Expert/Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, I mean, are people mostly interested in drawing conclusions based on real data or are they mostly interested in supporting an attractive cache based on legend?

    All dosing schema have to be compared within the proper context, and the relative advantages of each scheme must be assessed. Reality cannot be based on "I heard this" or "I think someone said that". Lets get real facts and then perform an analysis based on these facts. Then lets look at all factors associated with the tank in order to assess absolute performance - and to assess value based on performance.

    As had been pointed out by several posters, Amazonia Aquasoil and Powersand (for a much lesser duration) are packed with NPK + traces, and the concentrations within the sediment are up to 100X EI concentration levels. The long term stability of these concentration levels are excellent. That's what makes Amazona a champion sediment, because it does via substrate feeding what water column dosers do with powders and liquids. As far as I'm concerned, it is THE substrate by which all other substrates are judged. As a result, it hardly matters whether you later add Special "X", or Special "Y" or Brighty This or Brighty That. The main horsepower for growth performance is resident in this soil. Essentially you are just topping up the nutrient levels with the liquids.

    I don't understand why people have so much difficulty with this concept. Who cares if "Lights" only delivers less than 3ppm per week of PO4 - when there's about 100 ppm PO4 in the sediment? Therefore, someone dosing with these liquids can hardly be said to be dosing "lean" if using Amazonia and/or Powersand. Besides, are there fish in the tank? Do they get fed? Do people not consider that fish poop and uneaten food are packed with nutrients and that they work their way down into the sediment to accumulate? This supports and maintains the nutrient store. If the tank does not have Amazonia, then nutrients have to come from somewhere other than the fish, unless the tank is a non-CO2 or very low CO2 enriched. Growth rate demands MUST be met by an appropriate nutrient loading. This fact is irrefutable.

    As long as we have a nutrient store somewhere in the tank, whether that be in the water column or in the sediment then the plants will be fed. The question is this: Do you want to pay a unit price of over £500 per liter for the same stuff you can get at the nursery? EI Freedom Fighters say "No!" to high prices. EI fan boys do not have a showcase with awesome scapes, or star power with celebrities carrying tremendous marketing appeal - HOWEVER, we will compare the health of our plants and tanks against ANY. Then we will compare our monetary expenditures in order to determine value per dollar.

    At the end of the day, it doesn't matter whether you use ADA, TPN, Dry Powders, Tobi's Spezial Pumped Up Domination Mix, Seachem, whatever - just as long as you use enough of it to satisfy the plants needs for your particular CO2 and lighting level, because these are all exactly the same stuff. You just have to decide how much money you want to spend.

    Cheers,
  15. Ian Holdich
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    Ian Holdich Moderator Staff Member

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    cheers Clive...I did mention that the substrates weren't Amazonia. They were power sand and caribbean sand, and i was under the impression that power sand didn't actually contain anything special. To quote Francis Xavier (ADA)

    ^^i know all sands do the last bit, but that's another discussion.

    I think we all also know that fish waste and food produce N and P, but surely not in the proportions needed in Amanos tanks. This is why i started this discussion.

    I can only go on what i have read in a book. There no reason or need for the book to lie as Amano produces both products, trace and NKP.
  16. ceg4048
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    ceg4048 Expert/Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi mate,
    Well you see, the marketing departments of companies lie all the time. Just have a look at any advertisement on the tele or in magazines. How about that latest shampoo & conditioner? Will it make your hair really look like that of a supermodel, or did they just hire a supermodel and spend thousands of dollars at a famous hair designer and then shoot the scene of that lovely flowing hair with top notch photography? Is that top notch toothpaste brand really any better for your teeth than the Tesco brand, or does it simply come in a prettier, multicolored, sparkling tube?

    The world is built on a foundation of lies. So much so that people are no longer able to discern fact from fiction, and this confusion is a perfect breeding ground for selling product. Since the consumers are presumed imbeciles I can lay any marketing idea out there and because it's on a fancy label paraded down the runway by a Top Model then it must be true.

    Look at this excerpt of a clever product description from Profitos Trace mix fertilizer:
    So NO3/PO4 are described as "unwanted", and their "removal" from the water column is advertised as some sort of fringe benefit of using this product. The Ad implies that it's the trace elements alone that are responsible for growth performance. I mean, we know this to be total rubbish. We know that it is NPK that are responsible for growth performance.

    OK, so in the case where the substrate was not Amazonia, is there any indication of what specifically the dosing program was? Do we actually have a factual account of whether the tank was, for example dosed with extra pumps of "Lights"? Do we know what the CO2 injection level was? How about the content of the water, was it tap or RO? How long did it take to produce the resutls that are being advertised. If you look at some of the brilliant low tech tanks by Dusko it's easy to see that a lean dosing program can produce exxcellent result - but not at the speed of a high tech tank. It's simply not possible.

    Barr independently tested Powersand, which is just Pumice. his results show that Powersand is packed with nutrients, but that due to the high porosity, the nutrient load dissipates within a matter of weeks. Other than the nutrient boost there is no demonstrable evidence that Pumice is any better of a biological filter substrate than any other porous clay. If that was the purpose then you should be able to use activated carbon or sintered glass media as a substrate with superior results, because these materials have orders of magnitude more surface area than pumice.

    Additionally, the method of soil oxidation is a direct function of the plants. How do we assume that oxygen gets to the substrate? Because of pumice? How about the fact that plants produce oxygen in the leaves and that they send oxygen to the roots, which then disperses the oxygen into the substrate thereby feeding the aerobic bacteria. I don't use pumice and I've never had compacted sediment. Any clay sediment will be fine.

    If you think that the explanation given is true - or even if you think it's just marketing, then the best way to be sure is to actually go and test this yourself. It's easy to do. You don't need a large exotic scape, a couple of small nanos will do. Setup the tanks with everything identical except that in one tank use the suggested Powersand. In a third tank, use some other material such as activated carbon, Zeolite or sintered media in place of the Powersand. Check the results over time and see what the differences are.

    You know, in the past, for years, people were told about the benefits of undergravel heating cables, how it was vital for flow in the substrate to avoid compaction and anaerobic areas. When challenged, it was discovered that there was zero benefit to heating cables. I also remember how Latterite clay was supposed to be THE substrate for plants because of it's Iron content and how plants needed soft water, how special "plant bulbs" were necessary for optimum growth. In the end, we discovered that these were all marketing ploys. Veterans of the psychic wars are immune to modern day marketing hype. The only defense we have against the barrage of marketing hype is our knowledge of the truth and our experience. We had to learn it the hard way.

    Again, we're not saying that any of this stuff is necessarily bad, just that they are not as important as other things. So the idea is to figure out what things are important and to concentrate on those while ignoring the things that don't make much of a difference. So if you can afford Zimbabwean Sand and Powersand, then sure, go for it. They won't hurt, but you had better be keenly aware of the nutrient requirements of your tank within the context of your lighting, flow and CO2. Then make the adjustments from there.

    Also, have a look at JamesC's UG - Utricularia graminifolia grown with nothing but clay substrate and which many others using mega price substrate often have difficulties...

    Cheers,
  17. plantbrain
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    plantbrain Expert

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    ADA's tap water has 0.5ppm PO4.........and with frequent large water changes..............
    ADA AS also is loaded with N and P, N runs out after maybe a year or so...........
    Light is relatively low compared to what the W/gal ranges may suggest.

    So this seems to all fit fairly well to me.
    As long as there is enough ferts SOMEWHERE, it makes sense.

    MTS, worm castings etc, can achieve similar results, but why brag or something over not adding N or P to the water when it's clear that we gain nothing from it? A method does not define an aquascape, many have tried and failed to play that card.

    If you wish to slow the growth, then it makes sense to use light, not ferts to do so. It is far more stable and easier to adjust.
  18. plantbrain
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    plantbrain Expert

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    Perhaps in the past, but the UK seems not to use much rich sediments. I would strongly encourage folks to use them in addition to good water column dosing. This might be a function of the added cost, but combining both sediments and the water column affords the best management no matter if you use non CO2 set ups of very high light CO2 enriched methods.

    Then the ferts are not an issue and you rarely worry about them. Then light and CO2,once that's mastered, then it's all aquscaping and gardening. Which was most of you folk's goal to begin with.... no?
  19. plantbrain
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    plantbrain Expert

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    That's 2x the light I use, I guess I know why I do not get any algae on my rocks or wood and you do:)
    I do not use Glut either.........that alone can keep things clean, ADA does not use glut. This suggest that too much light and not enough CO2, rather than ferts was the issue.

    I can add gobs of ferts to any of my tanks without any algae response of any kind......till I run them too lean, but this takes serious no dosing and about 1-2 week's time before plants respond. The soil provides most everything, and the high fish loading provides enough N. I still add 15 ppm 3x week, but I could add less, since I know there's no risk, doing so does not matter.

    So I have less draw from the soil and far more plant biomass, and uptake from the water as well. If I forget to dose? the sediment is the back up as well as the fish waste.

    I cannot lose this way nor get algae.
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Fish breed like flies, Fire shrimp breed like flies, Cards are larger than anyone's I've seen......I've got a massive pack of 300 darting about........

    This is a non nutrocentric view, you must consider plant physiology as the entire plant and all of it's needs, not merely the nutrients like N and P. Light and CO2 must be measured and considered as they are far more responsive to growth and algae. Frankly, nutrient worries are for folks that are stuck in the past myths of planted aquariums of yesteryear.

    I also extend this approach holistically to the fish as well, their culture and health are given the same priority as the plants and the scape. This is a different philosophy and one I am not marketing as a business or a brand. But then again, I do not eat Whale meat :lol:
  20. plantbrain
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    plantbrain Expert

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    Well, the point of the facts are no method defines the aquascape. Algae/growth are factors.........and can detract from the aquascape...........but art is not beholden to any one method, any method can be forced and with enough effort, made to work for a particular aquascape. The real questions are is there Risk? Correlative vs cause? What is the bets management for a given goal/s? I am not an EI fan boy..........I freely suggest non CO2 methods, or hybrid methods. If some wishes to explore lower nutrients...........I'm fine with it, but as logn as they under stand the best management approaches. Some of us simply have to try things ourselves to be convinced of the results, I gladly welcome doing this. Such honest approaches and repeating the test often builds support for such things like knowing "excess" has no impact if the light and CO2 are well managed.

    I would prefer folks spend more time on light and CO2 measure and tweaking, use both sediment and water column sources, use less light in general.............then focus on their original goal. I'm not here to hoke a brand or sell something. Well, I do sell wood.......but that's part of the end goal of finding good high grade aquascaping materials.

    Still being too much one way or the other is generally not good. While I know Excess does not algae.or issues, larding it on also I know does little good as well :thumbup:

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