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Author Topic: Perpetual Preservation System - PPS Pro  (Read 27266 times)
jason baliban
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« on: May 30, 2007, 04:58:39 PM »

What is PPS-Pro?

PPS-Pro is the latest generation of the Perpetual Preservation System developed by Edward from www.aquaticplantcentral.com

The goal of PPS-Pro is growing healthy plants with minimal effort.

Isn?t this just fertilizer?

Yes, it is just fertilizer.  The importance however is the ratio in which the nutrients are added to create a balance and promote growth.

What do plants need to grow?

Light, carbon, nutrients (macro and micro), and proper water.

What kind lighting of lighting do I need with PPS-Pro?

PPS-Pro works with lots of different lighting setups. The general guidelines are:

Low Light ( Under 2 wpg) 10-12 hours a day
Medium Light (2.0 ? 3.0 wpg) 8-10 hours a day
High Light ( 3.0 ? 4.0 wpg) 7-8 hours a day
Very High Light (4+ wpg) 6 (Expert level)

What do you mean by wpg?

?wpg? stands for Watts Per Gallon. Basically take the number of total watts of the fluorescent bulbs over your tank and divide by the number of gallons the tank is.

This a very loose sort of formula to determine light levels above your tank.

Why do plants need carbon and how do they get it?

48% of a plant?s mass is carbon, it is the basic building block of plant life (actually most life).

Plants in nature and in most aquariums get if from CO2 (carbon dioxide) in the water. Plants take the CO2 and release O2 (Oxygen) back into the water via a process called photosynthesis during hours of sufficient light


How does the CO2 get in the water?

CO2 gets in the water several different ways.

From the air: There is CO2 in the air we breathe and lots in the air we breathe out, many other sources as well.

From the fish: Fish taken in O2 and release CO2, just like a human. Since the fish are breathing in water the CO2 is released into the water.

From us: In most medium to heavy planted tanks, we add supplemental CO2 to the water via pressurized CO2 (100% recommended) or DIY (yeast/sugar brew).

How much CO2 do I need in the water?

Long ago we targeted in the teens for co2 levels.  The last few years have pushed co2 higher and higher to deal with the excess nutrient approaches.  PPS - Pro is bringing the pendulum back and targeting the teens again.  I usually start at a bubble a sec per 25 gallons.

Even a tank planted with low light plants can benefit from added CO2

What happened to the ?30 ppm Ideal??

Maintaining 30ppm can be challenging and risky for the fish. Moderate levels about 15ppm are natural and provide plenty of carbon for the plants and allows a much greater safety margin.

What nutrients do plants need to grow?

Plant nutrients breakdown into two categories: Macro (Larger quantities) and Micro (small quantities)

Macro: Nitrates, Phosphates Potassium, Calcium, Carbon, Sulfur, and Magnesium

Micro: Manganese, Iron, Zinc, Copper, Boron, Nickel and Molybdenum

Is there where you give us the formula?

Yes!!

Macro Solution

In 1 liter bottle:
59 grams K2SO4 (Potassium Sulfate)
65 grams KNO3 (Potassium Nitrate)
6 grams KH2PO4 (Mono Potassium Phosphate)
41 grams MgSO4 (Magnesium Sulfate)
Fill with distilled water and shake well. Let sit overnight.

Micro Solution - if you dont have Seachem flourish or TMG

In 1 liter bottle:
80 grams of CSM+B or equivalent trace element mix
Fill with distilled water and shake well. Let sit overnight.

How do I dose PPS-Pro solutions?

Dose 1 ml of each solution per ten gallons of tank size. Dose prior to lights turning on.

***If you are using TMG or Flourish for your micro nutrients, start with the recommended dosing from the bottle.

Do I need a scale? Can?t I just measure the stuff with a spoon?

You need an accurate scale The scale needs to measure to the gram. Dry chemicals are very powerful and quantities need to be specific.

Where can I get a scale?

Ebay

Where can I get the chemicals?

There are many options, but a common one is here:
http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com/

Can I mix the two solutions in one bottle?

No. The solution must be kept separate. The trace elements in the Micro mix react badly with the Macro components of the other mix at the concentration present in the solutions.


Why is my macro mix cloudy and stuff settle to the bottom?

A couple potential reasons:
? Impurities in the ingredients
? Did not use distilled water
? Did not let sit overnight
? The container is not a chemical resistant plastic or glass.

No worries, just shake well.

Why do I need to add them in the morning?

The goal is to have the nutrients in the water ready to use when the lights come on. An hour before the lights come on is good.

What do you mean by proper water?

Good water is water that has consistent water parameters, such as pH, hardness, etc. without a build up of potentially toxic chemicals. Ironically the parameters we worry about with fish the most: Ammonia and Nitrites, don?t matter that much to plants.

What do I need to test the water for?

For most part nothing more than you test for when you just have fish. PPS-Pro does not really require any additional testing. If you want to measure KH and GH fine, but no real need.

Do I need to do regular water changes?

No ? Maybe ? Yes

No: PPS-Pro does not add excessive nutrients to the tank, so I plants only tank no water changes should be required.

Maybe: In a tank with high fish load like discus fish, the waste from the fish and food could lead to less than desirable water quality. Watch your NO3 nitrate levels. That will give you a good idea.

Yes: Certain substrates leach into the water and require the water to be changed.  Leaching KH for example.

Water changes do not hurt. So if you have fish go for it.

If I do Water Changes, how much?

I personally recommend 30% a week.  It is a balance between refreshing water for fish health, and conditioning altering effects of large water changes. 

Do I need to shut off my CO2 at night?

No. CO2 is available in the water full-time in nature, no reason to change that here. Since we are dosing at a lower level (15ppm) we have plenty of safety margin. And stable levels help plants and fish, making it harder on algae.

Yes.  Plants do not use CO2 at night....plus it conserves co2. 

Beginners should NOT turn off their co2 and maintain consistent co2 levels 24/7.

The dosage seems awfully small?

The dosage seems to be is small, the goal is to give the plants what they need, not to overfeed and have nutrients build up in the water.

I am planning on doing a massive water change tonight and then start dosing tomorrow. Should I add a larger dose to start?

No. The dosing should always be the same. The goal is to feed the plants what they can use in a day.

Special Thanks!!!

Thank you Edward - For all your tireless effort to make our lives easier and answering all of our questions.

Thank you Snickle - For assembling such a great FAQ for everyone to start:)

jB
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jason baliban
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« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2007, 05:00:17 PM »

History

Over the last year, i have been approaching this hobby from a very controlled perspective.  My first effort in doing this was to study PPS classic very closely.  The basic premise behind PPS is to give your plants the nutrients they need, but do it in a way that was easily controlled and modified as the needs of your tank changed from week to week. 

I sort of adopted this approach and mixed up precise solutions for each of my macro nutrients.  Mind you, this was actually a more complicated approach then what PPS intends. 

My goal was to maintain a level of nutrients with precise dosing.  I targeted 30ppm of CO2, 10-20ppm of NO3, 20-30ppm of K, and 1-2ppm of PO4.  I dosed daily and tested often to reach a fairly solid level of nutrients. 

At that point in time, most of my aquariums were scaped.  Maintaining higher levels of nutrients still produced fast growth.  I had to slow the growth.  I accomplished this by limiting the amount of light over the tank.  I did this by not changing the intensity, but rather the duration of lighting.  I was running some tanks as low as 7 hours of lighting a day.  This worked for me for about 6 months, but I was still perplexed with how many people in the hobby were running their tanks with very low levels of everything?..light, co2, nutrients?..

I decided to try a more radical experiment with a freshly set up tank.  I studied the parameters of many of amano?s tanks and attempted to have success with similar parameters. 

First was co2.  I couldn?t believe how low his co2 levels were, but I targeted similar levels for my experiment.  I ended up at roughly 8-12ppm of co2.

Next were my nutrients.  I targeted about 1-5ppm of N, .5ppm of P, and 5-10ppm of K.

Next, lighting.  Well, I didn?t see anything over powering about my lights, so I just set the timers to 10 hours a day.

Over the next 3 months I watched my levels closely?..

What I found

My plants grew just as healthy, and perhaps even more healthy.  I know my fish were happy with the low levels of nutrients and co2.  I achieve full growth at a much slower rate.  This was great for aquascapes.  And as a positive side effect, my fight with GSA was FINALLY long gone. 

Along came PPS Pro

PPS Pro is almost exactly what I was targeting except I was dosing individually.  In a dark lab somewhere Edward determined the ratios of each nutrient and put them all together in one solution.  Perhaps the most powerful thing about the new method is the timing of dosing?  That is yet to be determined.

I mixed up the PPS solution and started?..

I have been dosing PPS Pro for about a month and a half now.  So far my results have been very positive.

Here are some tips:

Testing?

Everyone loves the phrase ?No testing required?, but lets be realistic here.  Even if we were just keeping fish, we would need to test to some degree.  Every hobby has its tools and steps.  Testing is an important part of our hobby.  Even if you never have a problem, understanding your water and your test kits will help you understand why you are NOT having a problem and help you address things when you DO have a problem.

CO2?

Edward recommends constant co2 (do not turn off at night).  Even as I write this, I just received an email from him explaining that PH levels are more consistent if co2 is consistent. Smiley

Then of course there is the amano camp.  Turn of co2 at night and aerate your water.

My take on this?.  I turn my co2 off at night.  I don?t worry about ph swings because I really use very little co2.  Will I change this?..most certainly.  I very often change something to see the effects.  I am like all of us?.looking for the perfect growth.  The hardest part is to have the patience to change one thing and wait weeks to see the effects.

I recommend that beginners target 15ppm of co2 and keep it steady night and day:)

Pressurized vs DIY?

There is no question for me.  Pressurized!!!  If you think you cant afford it, then buy less light, run your lights less for lower electricity bill, buy a smaller tank, save a dollar a day for three months.
 
How to deal with tap water issues ? high N or P?

Do smaller water changes.  Instead of 50%, do 30%.  PPS ? Pro allows this because of limited nutrient build up.  Also, smaller water changes prevent your tap from making drastic changes in your aquarium.  My first mistake was to adjust the formula of PPS- Pro to handle the nutrients in my tap.  If your tap water is off quite a bit, do smaller water changes.

Nutrient deficiancies?

Yes, PPS-Pro is a lighter system of dosing.  It was developed with the aquascaper in mind.  It was designed for slower more controlled growth.  I found that the initial recommended dosing of 1ml per 10 gallons to be a pretty good start, however, you will find that you may need to add some more depending on your light intensity and your plant mass.  My one tank is growing fantastic with the recommended dosing, my other tank has some stronger light and higher plant mass.  I had to cut my light a bit and up my dosing a few ml?..so far so good.

How to deal with needing more nutrients?

You could always increase your dosing.  Or decrease your lighting.  The solution is balanced and the idea of dosing in the morning really prevents you from getting into trouble quick, but you should always be mindful of your plants conditions and the parameters of your water.

Conclusion

I am always moving things around in my travels in this hobby.  So far, PPS-Pro has been the closest thing to great I have found in a system for aquascapers.  I would imagine it is very close to the ADA step method, but Edward gives us all the numbers and the explanation so we can learn and adapt.

Please feel free to ask any questions.  I hope this has helped at least one person:)

jB
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cindy
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« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2007, 05:04:16 PM »

Wow!  Awesome info...

Any chance of letting this be moved to the library eventually?  So that we never lose it?
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jason baliban
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« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2007, 06:41:05 PM »

Of course Smiley

As Edward would say, "PPS is free to all" Smiley

jB
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brad
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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2007, 08:33:44 PM »

Gotta come back to read all that.

I've gotta say I never thought you'd choose the darkside. lol.
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jason baliban
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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2007, 09:25:33 PM »

Whats the dark side?

jB
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brad
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« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2007, 09:47:40 PM »

PPS. Weren't you a EI follower?
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jason baliban
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« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2007, 10:04:15 PM »

Nope....never worked for me longer then a few months.  While it certainly taught me a lot and got me past the not being able to grow anything blues, i never liked the idea nor saw any sustainability in it.

I threw away my dosing spoons long ago Smiley

jB
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brad
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« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2007, 10:29:32 PM »

Nope....never worked for me longer then a few months. 
jB

What went wrong?

Why do you not see EI as being sustainable?
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jason baliban
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« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2007, 07:02:00 AM »

Hey Brad,

The first couple weeks of EI always had explosive results for me.  My plants would grow inches a day.

Unfortunately, after a few months, my plants would slow and often stunt.  The nutrient levels in my tank would be through the roof.  I would have to jack my CO2 in order to balance this, and i could NEVER EVER go a few weeks without scraping the front of my tank of GSA.

Why is this?  I suspect that the reason is a limiting nutrient not addressed.  Dump 4 tons of NPK in a tank and forget about the other nutrients plants use.  This is the problem.  Plants use, iron, mg, ca, and many other micro nutrients.  How can any grower expect to sustain a tank without putting those nutrients in as well?  In order for it to be sustainable, you would need to dump mass amounts of ALL nutrients in at the same time.  And on top of that, Barr's formula states that there is enough K getting into the tank from the K in potassium nitrate and potassium phosphate.  As far as I know.....Tom Barr is the only person I have heard of that has continued success with EI over spans of years.

Personally, I have always thought EI was a hack of a method.  I think its irresponsible of a hobbiest to dump all those nutrients into a tank.....jack the CO2 just enough to distress the fish then back off a bit (this is a suggestion heard in most EI camps).

Now, there are certainly people who have success with EI....i am not trying to say there isnt.  Frankly, even if it worked for me, i could still not use it.  It just grows plants too fast and my approach to this hobby is aquascaping.  EI has very little place in aquascaping.

jB
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Tee
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« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2007, 07:53:15 AM »

Err guys ... what does EI stands for? Extreme Intensity?
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jason baliban
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« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2007, 08:32:15 AM »

HAHAHA

It could be called that, but it stands for Estimative Index.

I posted some more on this here....http://www.badmanstropicalfish.com/forum/index.php/topic,7087.0.html

jB
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« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2007, 08:34:12 AM »

 lol Just saw that.  Should have waited a wee bit longer.
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brad
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« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2007, 10:41:20 PM »

I understand your point about the explosive growth not being your goal with aquascapes. EI is about getting the maximum growth out of your plants.

As for sustainability, I can't comment. I can't keep up with the dosing for months on end without missing a few days or weeks and having to trim and start from scratch. Nor would I be able to keep up with the testing involved in PPS.

What I did learn from EI is how fast plants can grow, and what I need to add to get them there. I also learned what to watch for and how to play with what I added to get just what I wanted from my plants. I never had algae problems so long as I added my ferts.

I think if you took a poll of seasoned plant growers, even at a place like theBarrreport, you'd find very few people actually following the exact guidelines or EI, but rather their own modified version of it to get the growth they want, and no need to test.

I'm done with aquascaping. I just can't do it. I can hold a picture in front of me and still can't recreate the image. Just not my thing. I like to grow plants, whether it's using EI, randomly dumping ferts in, or testing, all I want is a tank full of plants. Starting with EI helped see that I CAN grow them, and then modified it to suit me needs.

I stand-by by opinion that EI is a good method, especially for beginners who are a little baffled over how to get started. I won't say it's the best way to grow plants, and certainly not to have great aquascapes, or even the best idea for your prized fish, but if you wanna see some plants bust the seams of your tank, EI will do it.

(I may edit some of this stuff out and make a sticky of the 2 threads. It's just a little too late at night right now)
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