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Re: LFS vs APD wisdom

Roger Miller said:

> From all the responses to Kirk's original question you
> would think that this 
> list regularly advised people to use UGFs, good aeration
> and circulation and 
> to avoid adding CO2.  In fact, that hasn't happened in a
> long time.
> The approach that Kirk's LFS advises is low cost, low
> maintenance and 
> successful.  It seems like the best method for people who
> want low cost and 
> low maintenance planted tanks.  So why is it that people
> on this list don't 
> promote that approach or anything even remotely like it?

I think you are confusing the contradictory with the
contrapositive.  But that's a swift swing of the blade on
my part and perhaps totally off the mark.

There are a few different things in the discussion.  There
was what appeared to be a general point that what the lfs
was doing was not possible if what a number of folks (no
one specifically pointed out) on APD had said was true -- a
general inconsistency.   Several folks were quick to point
out that's not the case with their own views about aquatic
gardening.  Every now and then a number of folks will
advocate slow grow tanks.  I don't recall how recently it
came up before this -- maybe they aren't discussed much
because they cause so little trouble (that's my view, too).
 For myself, I think that the most recently that I did
advocate them was within the last few months, after helping
to set up some tanks for some others.  I guess that is a
long time -- but how often are advocations requested?

Several specific things, such as UGFs, circulation, and
aeration were discussed.  Again, it was pointed out in the
specific cases that there were no inconsistencies in
principle, but differences in style, effects, and

For my part, I think UGFs are a bad choice for newbies for
the reasons I stated, even if their use is not
contraindicated specifically for plants.  That's different
than saying they can't work for plants.  In my view, fwiw,
if someone needs to be told how to filter a tank, I think
they are newbie enough that UGF is not a smart move -- A
UGF is cheap, yes, but generally it's likely to disappoint
unless the fish load and UGF flow rate are very low.  At
least one of those things is something most newbies are not
likely to hold to.  Heck, I like adding fish too.  UGFs are
intolerant of excess detritus.  So are back filters but
they are much easier to clean.

Airstones.  I've been known scoff at airstones.  My bias on
airstones is this and I refuse to be reasonable about it
;-)  : while they do have their uses, I think general
application in aquaria is a holdover from the mythical days
of yore, when lfss told you that the air pumps provide air
by blowing it into the water.  Now, I'm not saying O2 isn't
important for plants , fish, and other living things; I'm
saying airstones & air pumps are usually unnecessary or not
the best choice for circulation and/or oxygenation in a
planted tank.  Of course, I'm not an expert on water
conditions or water chemistry -- it's just that I don't use
them and despite that lack of use,  haven't come upon a
need for them in my slow grow tanks.  I think there are
better ways in most circumstances.  Put another way, for
what powerheads cost these days, I don't think I'd
recommend bubbles as a circulation method except is certain
circumstances; there's more bang for buck and more water
movement per amp, with the centrifugal pumps.

Scott H.

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