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[APD] RE: substrates/water column

I relaized towards the end here that our ideas of substrate fertility are
really very close. 

> >>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 ... 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.
> <<
> Well I would like to hear from more dutch people to see if they are doing
> to 60% water changes every week. I don't believe it. So your system is
> for lighting above 2 watts per gallon? Starting at what, 3 watt/gallon? I
> think you failed to mention that before.

Well go talk to Guy. Go check out the tap water parameters for most of
High NO3,s and PO4's. Check out the scene in Europe. Ask Claus.

Less light = less nutrient demand, therefore less reliance on the water
2w/gal was/is high light for many Dutch tanks(In Europe and elsewhere in
the past before PC lighting etc became popular)

> >>Well, I'm not saying it's the only method but for high light CO2
> 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..<<
> About what time exactly? Are you saying all the AGA and ADA contest
> are using your system?

Of course not. I am saying that many of the recent winners in the last few
years have used the method.
But it's more than simply a nutrient routine, there are many other things
that helped as well.
And it's not my system.
PMDD and SFBAAPS have a lot to do with it and take more credit than I do.  
I tweaked it and brought it to many list.  

> When a lot of people were using PMDD, many people
> claimed they had very minimal algae problems.

Yes. But there were a few problems with certain plants, nagging issues with
some algae in some waters etc. 

 Were people being less than
> honest back then?

No, of course not, but relative to the other methods and results at the
time, it sure was less algae.
Each part that completes the whole moves you one step closer to having a
better tank.
It was a large jump and it was not that far removed from my own slight
modification of the system. 

> Jeff Dietsch was one of the first people to try and
> convert me to PMDD. His tanks were algae free. Cathy Hartland brought PMDD
> to the masses by her simple interpretation of the paper. Many people
> reported that the program had an immediate affect on their algae control.

Yes. It addresses most of the plant's needs for growth.

> >>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.<<
> But you called Giancarlo a newbie. :) I have seen pictures of his tanks,
> they look pretty darn impressive!

I did? Where? I seldom ever call someone a newbie by name Robert. 
I can force any method to work well, but that's me and a lot of work, not
the method itself so much.
Anyway James won both your and the AGA contest, he's a newbie:-)
A nice one willing to work and has a good creative mind.
So whether you are a newbie or not is really not an issue.

> Thats where I would disagree. Even with C02 and moderate to bright light,
> you can achieve an equalibrium without having to do weekly ridiculously
> large water changes. 

What is "ridiculous"? Go pick on Amano while you are at it. He does large
water changes also, almost the same as I suggest.
Maybe his method needs work too.
I can easily say your method requires too large of water changes(say 20%
weekly or every two weeks) and use another method.
What is moderate lighting? 2 w/gal?, that might be high light according to
George Booth.
I only do once a week dosing for a 55 gal with 80 w/NO FL's on it. That's
all it needs.
But I still do large water changes, there is nothing wrong about doing 25%
vs 50%, it doesn't hurt and it doesn't take any longer once the
buckets/hoses are out. 
I do it out of a good habit and to know I have good conditions, can I get
away with less? Sure. Can I learn more about my tank over time and get a
good feel for it so that I may want to reduce the water change volume?? Yes.

Since you are talking about all this Robert, where are your prime examples
of YOUR OWN tanks?
Not other folks, just yours? The proof is in the pudding.

Stop telling me what other folks are doing and tell/show me what you are
Heck, this hobby is your life's work.

Hypotheziers, speculators, arm chair aquarist, doubters are a dime a dozen
on any list. 

Folks that try and figure things out and share methods are much rarer.
We use to have many on the list.

Substrate fertilization can play an important role. The
> arguement of a rich substrate being detrimental to aquascapes that are
> changed, re-planted frequently because of releasing unwanted nutrients
> the water, does not hold up for me either. 

Well, it does depend on what is being released. NH4 for example and Jobes
sticks. I think I can easily argue that these certainly do cause a number
of algae outbreaks.  Rich subs that produce toxic levels of H2S also can
cause some issues but rarer. 

 Early on in my own experience, I
> used to be constantly re arranging plants and changing the aquascape, even
> moving the substrate around. I had constant algae problems and even fish
> deaths. It was NOT however from releasing ferts into the water. It was
> releasing mulm, DOC, gunk and nasties. Whether the substrate was rich or
> not, the constant disturbance threw the whole system out of wack.  So even
> with a Flourite only substrate, the tank is better off leaving it as
> undisturbed as possible.

Up to a point. Got to prune sometime. But moving the plants around is not a
nutrient method issue.

> My concern is more on how disruptive it is for the ecco system of the
> the fish, and allowing the tank to mature.

It's not. Many folks have attested to this time and time again. I've done
it for 15 years with planted tanks. 30 with fish tanks. 
I'd bet my mortality rate is lower than almost anyone's for a wide range of
But this could be from a number of things such as food, stocking levels etc.

Moving the plants around is far different than a nutrient method.

 Having a more fertile substrate,
> (and by fertile I mean all the traces, not just iron, and a little macros.

Well I think we agree on the substrate part Robert.
After all, I do suggest adding peat, mulm and flourite together. The peat
and the mulm do have traces and are good for binding/releasing the cations
through lowering the redox slightly but not too much.

I've stated that Tabs are not needed, but will they hurt?
I have never said that. Jobes? Yes, I have said these can/do cause probelms.
I also stated why they cause problems.

Same for cables not hurting by adding them. 

> Mostly I use Seachems Flourish tabs, which has traces, calcium and other
> macros.) means I can be more lax on the water column without being
> disruptive to the tank enviornment and not dependent on frequent big water
> changes. If I go away on vacation, I have a hard enough time finding
> to feed my fish nevermind finding someone to change 60% of the water. I
> no doubt that many people are following your dosage levels, but I think
> are also adapting that plan to their own schedule and monitoring it by
> either what test kits are available, or Chuck Gadds calculator, or simply
> look and feel without the big water changes, or even your elevated iron
> levels. 

I hope and expect so. That's why a method works well, it needs to have some
flexibilty and range to it for it to be successful. 
Everyone's tap is different, fish loads, distance from light to water's
surface, tank depth, temperature, substrate depths/types. 
That's why I suggest some playing around with things. 

But the one underlying theme: what makes the plants grow well(not the same
as fast). There are many factors that control this. No method will narrow
that down precisely.

>But even if this is not the case, and I am in the minority, I still
> feel more comfortable with what I am doing.

That fine and that's your goal.

> Robert Paul Hudson

Tom Barr

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