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[APD] RE: method/substrate/water column dosing

> Well, I agree. Having huge plants may not be desirable, but I do not see
> this as any issue with any relation to deciding if you want to follow a
> regime of mega dosing and mega water changes or a regime of heavier
> substrate fertilization with moderate water column ferts and moderate
> changes.To suggest that one way is the only right way is ridiculous.

Mega dosing is simply done the day before a water change, not as a routine.
Folks can further tweak things if they want to, most folks want better
conditions, some are resigned to take easy, if you want to, that's your own
We all do it and slack off at some point.
I also suggest Non CO2 methods and use LOWER LIGHT w/CO2.
There are other method and they work. But these are the better ones IMO/IME.
If you really want to take this idea and apply it fully to it's potential,
it would be much better if you simply lowered the light levels like George,
Karen, myself and many others have been telling folk for a long time. But
it really depends on the individual goals and needs of the aquarist which
method works for them.

Generally, mixing methods often gets new folks into trouble.Adding more
light certainly does for most folks.

 I will
> never do 50 to 60% weekly water changes. To me thats is absurd. I have
> Cryps, Crinums, Echinodorus, Aponogetons, and others to respond very well
> substrate fertilization without a goal of having gigantic plants.

Larger plants have never been my goal.
If you want smaller/slower growing plants, try less light or non CO2.

 It is
> possible to have robust growth, vibrant colors, and manageable algae
> without massive water changes or mega dosing the water column. 

You do not understand what "mega dosing" is.
It's only an added _option_ done right before the tank is going to get a
water change. It is not a daily, every 2-3 day routine etc. 
It's only something to tweak a tank into top shape if the owner wants too. 

I have a non CO2 tank that does not get any water changes for months at
I do not want "robust growth" for this tank but I have great colors and no
Depends on the method and routine the owner wants. 

> I personaly
> never followed PMDD either, but the whole idea behind it was to only give
> the plants what they need without excess, and substrate fertilization is a
> relatively safe way of helping to complete that need. 

So why do folks have troubles then, if this a solution? 
Why is excess bad? Does it cause algae?
Dupla said this years ago.
We know that it is a method, but the fundamental reasons were incorrect,
excess PO4 does not cause algae. Nor does moderately NO3's etc.
You can remove things that improve plant growth in many places, but some
will have a worse effect than than others.

I'd say lowering the light levels would be a better method if you want less
water changes, more dependence on the substrate for a nutrient source.  

Patience with
> moderation.  The Dutch have been doing this for years.

Well for them, try less _light_=> less dependence on inorganic
nutrtients(Good balanced fish load and regular feeding) and also add some
high PO4/NO3 tap water ansd guessy what? They do large (50% weekly)
frequent water changes also which adds the PO4/NO3 right back.
The only thing they are not doing is adding the PO4/NO4 since they already
have it in the tap. All they do is add CO2/Iron, do water changes(which
adds enough PO4/NO3 to make till the following week) and use less light(2
w/gal or less) to slow the growth rates down.
This is not the same as what you suggest.
Each case needs to be considered as to Why it works. What methods are
playing a role here. 

They had "magic tap water". We use to talk about that years ago, before
many folks were on the web(It did not exist then). 
A number of folks use to say that about my tap water in Marin County.
But we know what and why now.

> I have read Tom's estimated index,
> http://www.aquatic-plants.org/fert/est_index/est_index1.html and in it he
> seems to talk about a lot of experimentation. When did these experiments
> become absolute facts? When did it become the ONLY method instead of an
> alternative?

Well, I'm not saying it's the only method but for high light CO2 enriched
tanks...........about the time many folks stopped having algae problems.
Also about the time that folks tried themselves. About the the time folks
started winning contenst. About the time folks got sick and tired of
testing and guessing if their test kits were even correct. About the time
folks realized that the methods are reproducible.About the time folks were
looking for a good cheap method rather than RO water for changes, PO4
removers etc and about the time folks with rock hard water realized they
did not have to have soft water to have jamming tanks..
Yes, there are alternatives and grades in between, I have not suggested
this as the _only_ method (I suggest non CO2 often, and lighting), but it
is certainly one that works well.
If you are lazy, don't like water changes, do a non CO2 tank. 
Heck, at least be honest with yourself and habits.
If you are a busy body, water changes and frequent dosing and lots of

Or a method that works well with different light levels. What about the
plants with no roots? Substrate fert's are not going to help these plants
out one bit. 
Anubias, Bolbitus, Riccia, Java fern, Java moss etc are all used
extensively in aquariums and substrates provide no real contribution to
these plants when attached to wood/cork etc. 

You can whip a tank into shape and then "coast", I think this is what many
folks do. They neglect a little till things get bad, then work on the tank
a couple of weeks and then coast again for a few weeks. They might only do
one water change in 2-3 weeks etc. Forget to prune etc. We all do it.
But whipping a tank into shape and keeping it there for contest, or if the
person likes the tank to look good all the time etc, is another method for
some folks.

But changing 25% vs 50% does not take that much longer. Maybe 5 minutes and
it's not a hassle at all. You are already doing the water change etc
Fish and plants like it, algae hate it. 

Also I am not suggesting that nothing be added to the substrate, I am
saying that with higher light/CO2 etc, that you become increasingly more
dependent on the water column for dosing. Folks can add more the substrate
if they want, but it depends on their light, fish load and CO2 dosing etc.
Each case and person is different in what they want.

I add peat and mulm to all my substrate with the flourite. This works well
and would be considered semi rich since I am adding some organic matter. I
am certainly not independent of the substrate nor have a I suggested this.
I did plenty of experimentation with RFUG's to know the causitive effects
of substrate fertilization.
You need to do that first to have a base line control to compare water
column dosing without any other effects to that of a richer substrate(eg
one with iron added, OM, Jobes etc) You also should be able to handle the
water column well iof you want to compare methods fairly.

Tom Barr

> Robert Paul Hudson

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