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[APD] RE: redoing the 75 gal

"Indeed! Actually it's funny that while we're discussing this topic I am
discussing similar issues on an Italian group where the general consensus
over there is that phosphates and nitrates are a bad thing to have. Everyone
is using RO and resins to hit rock bottom with these elements. And this is
coming from people with high light and CO2! Personally I feel it's due to
the companies not indicating the contents of their fertilizers over there."

Well I can assert that PO4 and NO3 are not bad relative to the tanks folks
Is Lucia still producing that nice magazine?

"Perhaps it's easier after all for a newbie to come in, adopt the Tom Barr
method and have a successful tank than it is trying to let go of older
beliefs and experiences that have led to now questionable conclusions from
the past."

Well, like many, we in the sfbaaps groups tried that, it did not work, so
we switched to something else.
We were like a bunch of faithful cult followers, chanting "Potassium!
Potassium!", next month, "PO4! PO4!" Or "Add more TMG Add more TMG!"

Suddenly what we had been lead to believe was not holding up.
They are welcomed to see any of my hardwater tanks and many others that use
high PO4/ moderate NO3, lots of traces etc. 
I am not sure what's easier, I do know generally what works depending on
what the newbie wants to do.

 "What's the saying,....... it's harder to teach an old dog new
tricks :-)  I feel it's no secret anymore how to grow plants, the winners of
these contests and future aquascaping contests are going to have to be real
artists in layout to stand out of the crowd. Take me for example, I can grow
plants but I'm not very artistic, so if my 16" crypt is sitting in front of
my lobelia, as long as both are healthy I don't move them :-)  I think James
brought together both healthy growth and a very nice and unique layout that
shows talent beyond the ability to just grow plants."

Yep and that's what I want to see, so I am bias to that end.

"Although I have yet to have a problem with overdosing the substrate, I wait
until I see deficiencies in some of the plants before adding more to the
substrate. I have obviously also gotten used to a trend with my tanks,
keeping logs really helps with this, and I know when time is coming to
replenish the substrate."

Well that IS VERY good that you do this log.
That does help.

">>You don't need Flourish tabs if you use Flourite?
I'll stand behind this."

"I knew you would :-)
Just like I would never completely abandon substrate fertilization in my
low-medium light tanks ;-)"

Sounds good to me.
I don't suggest that you do. I tell folks to add things like peat, mulm
both of which are very safe amendments.

>"Let's figure why it works. Tap water? NO3 and PO4 and water change

"I think I already mentioned most of it. I do weekly 40% changes on my high
light CO2 tank, tap water contains 5ppm NO3 and no trace of PO4. Water is
very soft and I bring it to KH4 and GH6 using baking soda. CO2 levels are in
the 20-30ppm range, I dose Flourish, KNO3, K2SO4, Fleet Enema, Epsom Salts
and CSM+B a day after water changes. I bring levels close to your levels, I
then maintain them using an automatic doser (3 daily doses) filled with a
mixture of the above. "

Ah hah!
Got you now:)
You already add everything I suggest, the only difference is adding more
substrate tabs.
You add:
K, Traces
The doser can maintain lower residuals than the dosing 2-3x a week method I
I really don't see anything different here between what I suggest and your
tank suggest.

"But I'm mostly interested in any improvements I can make to the high light
tank, it's growing plants just fine with no problems at all, but
improvements are always welcomed :-) and testing new methods are always fun.
The substrate is a little over 2 years old and about to be torn up and moved
to a new 75 gallon tank. The new tank will have a lot more lighting too so
perhaps I will see the benefit of dosing only the water column more so than
I do now.
Giancarlo Podio"

Well you are doing things well as it is. Try adding mulm and peat to the
new substrate, whatever it might be(Snad laterite/Floruite/Dennerle
I promise it will start up and settle in very fast if you do. 
Tell you what, you have 10+ years in, you can try the dosing routine for
the 75 gal I suggest and then try what you would normally do. Give each run
at least 3 weeks time. Try mega dosing also right beofore the water change,
double the dosage 12 hours before the water change or so.

This "spike" can be used as a method of dosing then having the levels
reduced after the plants have had their fill for awhile.    
Try it and see.
Eventually you'll wear down:)
Even George is tired of cable jokes:)

Tom Barr

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