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Re: Heck I'm Lost

Ellen wrote:
"I don't want to figure this out myself, and I'm not very interested in why,
just how,..."

I think that might be a very common attitude, and there is absolutely
nothing wrong with approaching the hobby in this way. Just as long as there
are _some_ people who are interested in the why, because that's the only way
you can be sure that the "how" is really working and/or you are attributing
a visible effect to the correct underlying cause.

For example, in a later post, Ellen quotes Tom Wood's conjecture:

">* * * I propose that the major CAUSE of a lot of algae problems is the
 >presence of dead stuff in the tank. Driftwood qualifies as dead stuff."

That would qualify as a hypothesis Tom arrived at from his observations, one
that may or may not be true. I've seen plenty of algae in tanks which didn't
have driftwood, but I haven't tried to keep any tank devoid of "dead stuff"
for years. The closest I can think of would be the old "sterile" approach of
keeping marine fish tanks. I had one of those, and saw algae problems there
too. So I might question drawing a line from A to C, using B as the route,
in this particular case.

Depending entirely on observation, in isolation, can sometimes lead to us
making incorrect assumptions and arriving at the wrong conclusions. Both the
how and the why have to be addressed, again, at least by _someone_.
Dismissing science and proper experimentation from the hobby would leave us
all dealing with alchemy. Of course, sellers of "snake oil" would be

James Purchase