Tropica Plant Nutrition + How do you dose it?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Fert Dosing' started by Aeropars, 10 Apr 2008.

  1. Aeropars

    Aeropars Member

    Messages:
    779
    Location:
    Leicester
    Looking at the instructions on the tropica website it appears that you only dose once per week and that this is sufficient. I jknow George is using it amongst others and haveing great sucess with it but i'm curious. Are they feeding only the stated amount or a modified amount?

    I'm concidering giving it a go at some point and i'm wonding what's so special about it that people are raving about it as much as the ADA stuff when that was released.
     
  2. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    You have to dose a partial amount, on my 180l i dose 5ml daily which is sufficient for my plant mass and their groth rate etc.

    It is so good because it doses the trace elements and N+P so it is the best all in one product, along with it being quality as it's tropica...

    I have been dosing for 3wks now, in the 1st week there wasnt much but now i am starting to see some better results than with my other fert - nutrafin plant gro & JBL ferropol
     
  3. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Member

    Messages:
    2,685
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    I 'very roughly' estimated it at 2ml per day per 1W per 100Litres

    Therefore in a 2WPG 200 Litre tank it would be 2x2x2=8ml. (2ml x 200/100 x 2W)

    I dose 4ml in a 1.5WPG 125Ltr and it seems to be doing fine.

    Once you have done a few weeks you can increase/decrease accordingly

    Andy
     
  4. Aeropars

    Aeropars Member

    Messages:
    779
    Location:
    Leicester
    Whats your thought on this compared to dry ferts? I'm currently doing PPS type dosing but i'm not seeing much difference in my plants.
     
  5. TDI-line

    TDI-line Member

    Messages:
    1,535
    Location:
    Yaxley, Peterborough
    I've been using this for about 6 months, i dose about 70-80 ml per week! (tank 720 L)

    Plant growth has improved very quickly.
     
  6. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Member

    Messages:
    2,685
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    If I rated it:

    EI (with the averaged amounts) 7/10
    PPS Pro (APC guide) 4/10
    PMDD+P (James C site) 8/10
    TPN+ (Just as good as above maybe a little less GSA) 8/10

    Andy
     
  7. JamesC

    JamesC Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    Location:
    Bexley, Kent
    Changing from one dosing stratergy to another won't suddenly give you better results. They are just different ways of adding the same ferts.

    Estimative Index is probably the best method to use, especially if you are new to dosing. The only criticism I have of EI is that it is so dependant on CO2.

    Leaner dosing methods like PPS-Pro and the PMDD + PO4 that I dose also work well and aren't so reliant on high CO2 and water changes. But they do have their problems as well. Too much light can cause stunting by driving the plants too hard and also Green Spot Algae is common due to low PO4 levels.

    TPN+ is good but is very lean on PO4. Remember that George has very high PO4 and NO3 levels in his tap water and does plenty of water changes to replenish these. If your tap is low in these or you use RO water then the chances are you are going to have to supplement them.

    ADA works well as a complete system but relies heavily on a nutritous substrate and has a lean water column. Great for people that don't mind the cost and want a system that works without having to learn the how's and why's.

    There are many routes to achieving a successful planted tank. How you do it depends on your lifestyle and finances.

    James
     
  8. Aeropars

    Aeropars Member

    Messages:
    779
    Location:
    Leicester
    Wow! You must be loaded! Lend us a tenner will you? :D

    Thats a massive tank!
     
  9. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    People rave about a lot of things without have any real science to back up the raving. What do you think is the difference between any of the commercial products, or between any commercial product and the dry powders? Concentration and price - that's it. NPK is NPK. The commercial products are made from the dry powder and are mostly water. As discussed in a couple of other threads many brands use either urea or ammonium salts in various relative amounts for their N source.

    Some brands have a low concentration so that if you dose per the bottle instructions such as once per week, under high lighting conditions your plants will suffer deficiency because they will use up the NPK rapidly. It's that simple. Some other brand may have higher concentrations but normally, in a high tech tank they will fail if dosed per bottle instructions. In a low tech tank the bottle dosing instructions can be followed with much less risk. Why? Uptake rates in a low tech tank are much lower and the bottled product serves to supplement fish waste.

    These branded nutrients therefore are mostly water and you are paying for water. Is it any wonder you have to dose TPN+ at a much more frequent interval? This is so that you are providing a sufficient amount of NPK to at least satisfy the daily uptake rates of the tank. Guess what? That's the principle of EI. Essentially dosing daily TPN+ is EI using a commercial brand. If you don't mind paying a premium for water then TPN+ (or any brand) is great in that you don't have to faff about with mixing powders. You are paying for convenience only.

    If you then try to make the leap and argue that somehow the "quality" of TPN+ is higher than that of dry powders, or that somehow plant growth is better and prettier, or, that you get less algae, then this would be seriously delusional. Neith plants nor algae care about the brand of NPK. Rating any of these products is also useless if you don't know what is in them. If you know the contents of, say, a Ferropol bottle, you can easily adjust the dosing amounts to compensate for whatever concentration the bottle contains. This will give you the same growth rates as any other product. I guess you could then "rate" Ferropol as lower due to lower concentration but that's about it. You can't rate the quality of it's NPK.

    It's necessary therefore to define what your priorities and values are if you are going to prescribe a "rating". To assess someone else's rating you have to understand what that persons values are and compare those values to your own. Don't forget also that "rating" also has a component of skill. A skilled plant grower will have a different rating system than an inexperienced one.

    If you dose a branded product do you really think that this will be the only determining factor in the look, growth or health of your plants and of the tanks ecology? What about maintenance practices, CO2, Filtration, lighting? If these other elements are sub-par do you think that TPN+ can erase the effects of that?

    My advice is to stick with your powders and learn how to grow plants successfully. Then, after your skills have increased to the point where you can grow them effortlessly, then, objectively assess whether another product complies more closely with your values. I guarantee you that you can cultivate a world class planted tank using nothing but the humble powders, regardless of ratings or ravings.

    Cheers,
     
  10. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Member

    Messages:
    2,685
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    I don't agree totally with this

    Yes buying an off the shelf fert means that you are paying for water BUT you are also paying for a recipe that in the case of the TPN and Seachem at least is proven to work.

    When we use it we are not 'having' to dose more frequently than EI due to it's leanness. EI can be dosed daily rather than alternately and TPN+ can be dosed weekly rather than daily.

    With the PMDD+P and TPN+/other off the shelf it also means you can do away with the 50% water changes which for me at least were peeing me off as I am quite lazy and even 5 buckets a week is too much really. Added to that I don't want to keep changing the parameters of my water by so much so I now do 10% on a Sunday (and sometimes if I remember or can be bothered) the same on wednesday.

    So at the end of the day EI is great BUT as James says the CO2 part bugs me because I don't like being borderline to deadly on the CO2 preferring to keep a darker green and 20-25ppm CO2 and getting rid of the large water changes is a definate decision that I made in this process.

    I shall probs return to the PMDD+P route when the TPN+ I have at the moment runs out because I have a load of the dry ferts left.

    No harm in trying out the different methods though before accesing them.

    Andy
     
  11. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi Andy,
    I'm not sure that TPN+ or The Seachem products are any more proven than dry powder or any other vendors product for that matter. Proven in whose tank and with whose tap water? As stated, George for example has tap that is already high in N&P so he can get away with X ml per day. Ed on the other hand uses RO water devoid of NPK so I reckon he would use higher dosages than George. Also, as you well know it depends on how much biomass is in the tank and how well lit the tank is. I'm afraid there is no one-size-fits-all. You still need to asses your tanks ecology as well as your desired growth rates and determine what TPN+ dosage is needed for your tank, which is exactly what you do with EI dry powders or any other dosing scheme or dosing products.

    I totally agree about the EI CO2 levels and the hassle of water changes - but as I said, this is a value system. You value your free time and you don't value so much the higher growth rates, higher maintenance and higher CO2 required of an unlimited scheme like EI. But again, this has nothing to do with the perceived quality of dry salts versus a commercial product like TPN+. In fact you can make up a reasonable facsimile of TPN+ yourself and dose in exactly the same way for loads cheaper. I think this is what Aeropars is trying to determine - whether the product TPN+ is any "better" than the dry salts. Ultimately the answer is "No", but there are some pretty darn good reasons for using it in lieu of dry salts. None of the reasons though have anything to do with whether TPN+ grows better plants than brand X or the powders.

    Cheers,
     
  12. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Member

    Messages:
    2,685
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    I quite agree with you here. I am not implying that it is better than dry salts at all. But for ease of use then for me it is No1 compared with dry ferts, and for the content then it seems to work better than all other premixed potions, and I'm not just judging from George's tanks (although living in the same county his tanks are a pretty good gauge of what will work in mine. lol)

    As for whose tank, what the water has etc. This applies to all ferts, off the shelf or dry and I accept your argument here.

    But it is much the same in that the EI 'instructions' give an estimated 'averaged' dosage just as the bottle instructions say and it is us, the 'end user' who has to determine wether this dosage is correct for our tanks and if not what to do about it.

    I can though accept also that with EI that the 'averaged' amount will virtually always be in excess of a users needs and therefore shouldn't need to be adjusted at all so it is the easiest for the inexperienced user although not for the lazy man like me. lol.

    Andy
     
  13. TDI-line

    TDI-line Member

    Messages:
    1,535
    Location:
    Yaxley, Peterborough
    I wish i was loaded, he he.

    But i really don't have time for making dry ferts with work commitments. But 5000ml of TPN+ should last a few months...

    DSC00128.jpg
     
  14. Egmel

    Egmel Member

    Messages:
    724
    Location:
    Guildford, Surrey, UK
    I did some calcs on how much I would save over a year and decided that although dry ferts were substantially cheaper I didn't want to splash out at the beginning when I was still only 'testing the water' with planted tanks.

    I'm currently dosing 2.5ml/day TPN+ on my 70l tank with 30-45w light and a fair few plants. I'm still going through the trial period though and it's likely that I'll change this amount and see what happens.

    As it stands, I'm still thinking of moving to dry ferts to make JamesC's all-in-one version when I finish the bottle of TPN+ that I have. That way I'll probably dose the all-in-one daily like I do TPN+ but if I notice any deficiencies appearing then I can spot dose to see if it solves the problem before altering my daily dose mixture. I've also noticed that you can get many of the dry ferts on ebay which may be a cheaper source. Though as always it's the delivery that pushes the cost up, I often find it's cheaper to get it all in one place at a slightly more expensive price than to get it from various places each with their own delivery costs.
     
  15. Superman

    Superman Member

    Messages:
    1,804
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    I received my TPN+ today in the post after posts in my journal thread.

    Just wondering how much I should start to add each day, given my algae problems.

    I've got a 180 litre tank with the 2x35W Juwel highlite tubes.

    The problem I have is that sometimes I'm away for the weekend, so can I add double one day if I'm not going to be in?
     
  16. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

    Messages:
    4,428
    Location:
    Leamington Spa, UK.
    I think Tropica's dosing says 5ml per 50litres, per week? Advice I've read on this forum and others suggests double the dose, but split it over several days, ie Mon-Weds-Fri.

    Going by this, you'd be looking at about 36ml a week for your tank, if my maths hasn't failed me?

    5ml per 50litres = 1ml per 10litres. Multiply that to suit 180litres = 18ml a week. Double that for double dose = 36ml a week. Devide by 3 = 12ml 3 times a week.

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong here :)
     
  17. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,091
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    I dose daily, 1ml TPN+ per 20 litres in all my set ups. 1/3 to 1/2 weekly water change.

    I have fairly hard water high in NP. Med-high light, 20-30ppm CO2.

    In softer water with less NP I'd probably dose the same and adjust if necessary. Tropica actually recommend dosing less with softer water.

    Dosing daily isn't essential, as the chelating agents are good in Tropica ferts. But it's easier for me to keep a track with daily dosing and I like routine.
     
    tigertim likes this.
  18. Egmel

    Egmel Member

    Messages:
    724
    Location:
    Guildford, Surrey, UK
    Know that feeling, I always forget if I'm on a dose day or not otherwise!I could probably manage a Mon-Weds-Fri routine but that's about as complicated as it gets!
     
  19. yodaman23

    yodaman23 Newly Registered

    Messages:
    3
    Hi all :?
    first time first post so be gentle
    I have a rio 125L Tank
    running Eheim external filter 2026
    CO2 JBL Profi 2 system
    Do a 30; Water change once a week
    dose tropica liquid fertz 15ml Once a week
    I have standard jewel lights not T5
    Lights On 12am - 4Pm on again 6Pm - 10 Pm
    CO2 on 11am - 3 Pm on again 5Pm - 9Pm

    is this correct or should I change dosing 8) :D
     
  20. nickyc

    nickyc Member

    Messages:
    208
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Hi Yodaman and welcome

    Is it TPN + or TPN? The difference is important

    I tend to split my weekly allowance and dose every other day rather than all in one hit. I also vary the quantity slightly according to how the plants look. 30ml sounds ok to me(others may disagree), but it depends on whether you're happy with how your plants look
     

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