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[APD] Re: Barr Method

Thanks, Tom. Your summary and the clarification that followed were most excellent! Please be patient with those who may not know that NO3 and PO4 are anions. Translating scientific terms into common language is critical to overcoming strange and even superstitious practices, not to mention dubious marketing of questionable products. I think the dry volume measure for fertilizers is a good one, albeit less than scientific. More in the way of cooking. When I left the laboratory, I also left those great electronic pan scales behind. Teaspoon and tablespoon are quite handy in the kitchen, where most aquarium chemistry takes place anyway.

You didn't mention fish load in your prototypical 20 gallon set up. I would assume an average load of an inch of fish per gallon or so? I ask this because you add phosphate on a regular basis.

I'm trying a little "Barr method" experiment. I have a 10 gal set up in my office that's alternately a little gem or a cesspool. It has recently undergone a dreadful bout of hair algae. Most of the algae is now dead, probably due to lack of nutrients. So are all but the toughest of the plants. I was tempted to tear down and do a clean restart, given its small size. But I hate restarting tanks, so I'm going to replant and put it on the "Barr regimen." My experience is that algae is to fish tanks as weeds are to lawn and garden. Healthy plants and maintenance make for fewer weeds. And we never start with sterile gardens.


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