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[APD] RE: the only method and cheap test kits

> "Well, I'm not saying it's the only method but for high light CO2 enriched
> tanks..........."

Well there are others, such as Dupla, but they don't work AS WELL IMO.

I can force any method I care to and make it look great, but...this is more
the person than it is judging the method itself.

I've tried low water nutrients and richer substrates.
I've been down both paths here.

There's not some secret or some stone that I have not looked under along
that path.

> I know you have tried all those methods, but I assume by the "Barr" method
> we are talking about the heavy water column fertilization, high CO2
> flourite
> substrate, and 50% weekly water changes... no?

Well, I'm a bit hesistant to call it my method.
Flourite is not mine. 
Water column fert's=> PMDD
Higher CO2 levels, well okay....
Putting bits and pieces together, adding PO4 yes. 

But this works quite well on ALL light levels.
Not just high light tanks.

I would not call it that heavy of water column dosing, once a week with a
80 watts on a 55 gal, or with 2-3w, 2x a week is typically enough.

> Of course. Plants need their NPK, Fe, and traces. :) We aren't talking
> magic
> water or magic plants. They are obviously getting it from somewhere...
> how?

I gave fish load, tap waters.

Look many folks have terrible NO3 test kits, they also have terrible PO4
test kits.

This I do know.
Many folks have stated here and elsewhere that have no PO4, NO3, then they
get a Lamott kit and suddenly bam! They have 10ppm of NO3 or their Tap is
loaded, same deal for PO4.

Never underestimate the measurements that you take.
What good are they if you have little confidence in them?

PO4 limited tanks are not that difficult to deal with. Low PO4 slows plant
growth and slows NO3 uptake, you can see this with good kits. 

I doubt a great deal of this low/no NO3/PO4 tank talk unless they use good
test kits/testing methods.

Otherwise you base everything on some cheap kit. 

> I have been a little reluctant to uproot plants in this tank but...
> I have been pulling and scrounging around in my new 20g long with
> plus capped with 3 inches of Eco-complete (nice thick substrate). No
> and
> the water is crystal, sparkling clear... more so than my flourite tank
> was no
> matter how many micron cartridges, water changes, siphoning, etc I did on 
> the
> much older flourite tank. So it is looking good so far.

Well that says a little something.
Why is your Flourite tank not clear?
Mine are.

> I used to use flourite coupled with heavy water column fertilization of
> P, K, Fe,
> and micros. I have been doing this for a few years now. But I was 
> disastisfied. With
> the high light levels (4 w/g), high CO2 tanks... I found it to be a
> balancing act
> (because I tried very hard to also run the water column very lean) 

Well that's not part of the method I suggested you do and I have repeatedly
warned folks not to drive their nutrient down too low, you do not gain much
by doing so.

You bend the rules, you pay the price.
But it's not the method's fault you had issues.
That was your own insistence on doing it your own way.

Perhaps this substrate gives you, at least for a little while, an easier
routine that fits your habits.

Why do you believe you need 4w or more lighting?
I can grow any plant healthy you can name at 1/3 to 1/2 that light.

> the plants
> pulled down nutrients so quickly. Water column dosing with only 2 w/g is
> no brainer
> though... MUCH more laid back, but not quite what I was looking for.

Well try 3w gal.
Why add more than you need?

You are having issues with balancing higher light rotuines.
The substrate can play a role, but I'd bet it's less than you think.

Look, if someone is doing a routine and it's working, then there's
something to it.
You need to find out why you are having trouble.
You also need to find out why tyou are having success with one and not the

Maybe you don't care but if you want to discuss why, you need to focus on
it in a more critical fashion. 
I can do a Dupla method without knowing any other ansd stick with it.
Undertstanding why it works, or why something works better is a key to
improving you and the methods you use.
Maybe you are fine with water sprite floating in a goldfish bowl, maybe

> The growth seems to be really high quality, and from what he has sent me,
> can't
> imagine wanting it any healthier. Heck, at some point, it's not just the 
> quantity of growth
> but the quality of the growth...

Yes, that's what I look for.

> I do imagine though, that at some point, he will have to add NO3 and PO4.
> know Amano
> does something similar. Rich substrate/Fe,K,Traces in the first year 
> followed by a gradual
> ramping up of the other two macros.

Everyone has to do it at some point.
The substratee cannot hold a forever supply.
Then what? You need to replace the substrate?

That's something I really don't care to do.
I'd rather dose 2-3x a week and not fret.

But they can do both methods if they want too.
I'm betting the test kits suck.
They think they have nothing but at low NO3, most all test kits stink.
This is a large critical point I'm willing to bet is a big issue here.

> I grew plants "like crazy" using water column fertilization, but I found
> as a compromise. Keep
> everything green or make everything nitrogen deficient/sickly. 

Errr, add some fish/increase feeding when you run it lean with NO3.
Add enough not to cause algae, but enough to supply enough waste to the

With a richer 
> substrate, I can
> lower the macros in the water column, get excellent coloration, and keep
> green plants
> from suffering. Now my Ludwigia arcuata isn't wispy and orange...

Whoa..........wait a minute.
I know for a fact I can get the reddest darn L arcurata that you can
possibilty imagine using my method with flourite.

It has nothing to do with the differences in the substrate, you just are
not doing something right. I don't know what it is, but I know my plants
are in great coloration with my method. You also say things about a plant
someone sends, well they might have sent you the prime or the plant off to
one side they did not want. 
But bottom line: it's not the substrate, I have it and my plants are deep
red as can be.
Look elsewhere for the issue.
BTW, the red color issue has more to do with the water column than the
I've used substrates with nothing in them in the past ansd slowly added
different things using the same water column dosing routines.
I can test the water column, but you cannot test the substrate:)
A big point.
So when you want to compare the two, you need some standard to go with, and
it AIN"T the substrate.

 it looks 
> much more robust
> with blood red colors and a healthy sheen to the leaf. The tank, overall, 
> has much more "sparkle."

I can say the same thing aboput my tanks using the method I suggest.
I have these plants and I'd say they are as red as red can be in a plant.
As red as my Daysa macro algae.

It's you, not the method.
I know because I felt that way in the past.
It's something you are doing.

You need to figure out what it is.
Likely running the nutrient down to much.

> Now, I am beginning to understand and get closer to how those in East
> get bright greens
> coupled with very deep reds in their fine leaved Ludwigia/Tonina tanks.

Many do the same thing I do there in Asia.
Some of the advice looks just like what I would suggest.

As far as plant health/looks etc, Amano's tanks are all very able to
achieve as plant nutrients etc are concerned using the methods I suggest.
What I cannot teach folks is design and art of aquascaping easily.
I can lead a horse to water, there are other slightly different paths, a
couple of very different paths depending on their goals, but I cannot make
them drink.

> To be honest with you, I still don't understand how the "Navarro" method 
> works. By all account,
> those amazingly high light levels coupled with no macro dosing should
> in an algae farm and
> not a sparkling aquascape. I was skeptical at first, but after I trying
> I have been VERY impressed.

Well we shall see how long they last, the N&P has to come from somewhere.
You cannot escape this fact.
Keep looking till you figure things out.
There's no magic.

> I would like to hear about these. I am just starting to grow
> emmersed and
> would need any pointers I can get to get them to flower. I have been
> them
> hydroponically for a few months now, but although I get a lot of
> propagation,
> I don't get any flowers. The ones I am using are 3 wendtii var.,
> and walkeri.

See the Crypt's pages/digest.

> Other than stating the fact that these tanks use ridiculous quantities of 
> light,
> Fertiplant capped with Eco-complete or Florabase, and daily Fe/micro/K 
> dosing...
> I will let the tanks speak for themselves:

I don't want to hear the tanks, I want to know what the tap water, the
testing kits they use etc. 
If you claim something, you need to make sure it is correct, guessing based
off what someone else says as second hand is not a good arguement and gives
no support.
Go in and look, test, check the test etc.

Yea, it's work to really figure out why stuff works or not.
It's not arm chair aquarist, hypothesisers, philiosophers, speculators etc.
We have plenty of those.
We need folks that look at things more critically to get ahead and remove
the myths. 
Those seem to few and far between.

Tom Barr 

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