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Going front loading full force

Ria95

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11 Aug 2021
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DE
Tend to agree with Hanuman in that front loading or a higher dose after water change would help 'stability' more. With a 20 ppm NO3 dose per week and 50% water change on Sunday you end up with a maximum accumulated dose of 40 ppm NO3. Sunday 40 ppm - Monday 20 ppm NO3, regardless of the actual ppm it's a 50% drop over one day. The high dose after water change helps lower that difference. I don't know if it matters that much in the big scheme of things, maybe plant specific or confirmation bias
 

Wookii

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13 Nov 2019
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Nottingham
Correct. But the WC% is irrelevant in this simulation as I am assuming that's the tank peak and one is dosing the WC volume not the tank volume.

Ah yes, you're right - intuitively it would seem the larger the water change, the more you would need to front load ferts to keep them stable, but you're right, I can see it's irrelevant now I've run it in Excel, as you'd increase the total weekly dose to compensate for the larger weekly water change which then sets it back to the same daily percentage change.
 
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South Carolina
Does front loading not negate the “lean” approach? This is where I feel it gets confusing, not knowing the actual uptake of the plants and relying on test kits that the majority of us agree are incorrect. Front loading would be providing the plants with the estimated weekly buildup of whatever your dosing regime is, which I think would align more with EI principles of providing unlimited nutrients. This of course would deplete throughout the week as your not replenishing until water change day. Not saying this is wrong either, just if this works then what is the benefit of daily dosing lean than just dumping it all at once. Unless there isn’t?
 

Hufsa

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Norway
I think to answer your question @Mr.Shenanagins the term lean needs to be defined better. I have seen "lean" used to describe anything between "as little ferts as I can get away with without killing my plants" to "basically anything somewhat short of full EI".
I do think front loading supposes that you want a little bit of excess in the water column, exactly how much can depend.
If the intention is for dosing to be less than or exactly equal to plant uptake then front loading doesnt really make much sense.
But if you want plants to have, say, slightly more than they need available at all times, then suddenly keeping the nutrient levels in the water column stable makes a lot more sense.
I think this is the area we are in for this discussion
 

GreggZ

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4 Mar 2022
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Novi, MI 48374
Correct. But the WC% is irrelevant in this simulation as I am assuming that's the tank peak and one is dosing the WC volume not the tank volume.
This brings up another crusade of mine from years back. For some reason the normal way people post dosing is based on the entire water volume. So if someone says my dosing is 12:4:15, they mean they are dosing those ppm based on the entire tank.

The problem with that is that it could mean a lot of different things depending on the water change percentage and frequency. Max theoretical accumulation is ppm dose/water change percentage. So 12 ppm dosing at 50% water change is 24 ppm max theoretical accumulation. But at 25% water change it's 48 ppm, and at 75% it's 16 ppm. So depending on the water change percentage12 ppm dosing can mean a lot of different things.

This really becomes important when someone tries to copy someone else's dosing. If they don't change water at the same frequency and percentage then the levels in water column could be entirely different.

I prefer to look at dosing as my "target". I remove 70 gallons of water, I dose the new 70 gallons to my target of 24 ppm. That is what I want to see in the water column. Reporting as target dosing takes the water change percentage out of the equation and relates to actual water column levels. If everyone did it that way it would be a lot easier to compare with each other, as it would relate directly to the levels in the water column with no additional calculating needed.


I think to answer your question @Mr.Shenanagins the term lean needs to be defined better. I have seen "lean" used to describe anything between "as little ferts as I can get away with without killing my plants" to "basically anything somewhat short of full EI".
I do think front loading supposes that you want a little bit of excess in the water column, exactly how much can depend.
If the intention is for dosing to be less than or exactly equal to plant uptake then front loading doesnt really make much sense.
But if you want plants to have, say, slightly more than they need available at all times, then suddenly keeping the nutrient levels in the water column stable makes a lot more sense.
I think this is the area we are in for this discussion
Yeah what do people mean when they say "lean"?? Normal EI is NO3: PO4:K at 22:4:22. I dose 12:4:15. Is that lean? For me it is.

APT Complete is 6:3:16. Is that lean? Who knows?

And front end loading or partially front end loading has nothing to do with dosing lean or rich. You can apply it to both. It just places more emphasis on keeping the water column levels stable. One thing I have found over the years is that plants love stability and hate sudden change. That's why people who play whack-a-mole with nutrients rarely succeed. They keep the target moving so much plants never settle in.
 
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