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[APD] Re: dirt, moderate CO2, and moderate light
TB: "What is "moderate"? 15ppm? 30ppm? 2w/gal? 1.5 w/gal?"
Since 1WPG and less is considered 'low light' and 3WPG and more is
considered 'high light', then anything in between can be considered
'moderate light'. And once you're in the moderate light category, the
amount of CO2 doesn't make that much difference. There's less of a need to
squeeze in every last molecule using reactors, or turning it up until the
fish gasp. The 'one bubble per second per 40 gallons' rule of thumb does
well enough to get to around 20ppm.
TB: "PO4/NO3 test generally are poor. Unless you calibrate them and see if
they are good, I'd not even bother using them. Often they cause more issues
and take folks away from the plant's signals. Some have calibrated their
cheaper test kits, I still suggest using the best ones you can afford."
Eh, disagree, but you already knew that. The Aquarium Pharmaceuticals NO3
and PO4 test kits are accurate, cheap, and for me have always calibrated to
the enclosed chart. Testing NO3 and PO4 is fast and easy, and makes those
two 'variables' constants. With NO3 and PO4 held constant, you can adjust K
and traces and get a reaction that provides the needed clues for dosing
those. Keep a log for a while and you can see a pattern that lets you
reduce testing because you can generally just dose what you did before and
be close enough.
DP: "So, to summarize: from what I understood, Diana is more interested in
simplicity and minimal work after the setup, and a little science to see if
some of her theories make sense. In contrast, I'd say that Tom Barr is ALOT
more interested in the science and the proving of theories aspect of the
Looking at the posts in Walstad's section over at the AB forums, I see a
lot of people there having long term problems with her method. It appears
to me that those problems stem from the definition of 'dirt' and all the
results from variations of its composition. I see Tom Barr's approach as
being more reliable and simple because the variables can be identified,
quantified and controlled. To me, growing plants underwater seems to be
more closely related to hydroponics than houseplants. The professional
hydroponics folks remove the 'dirt' variable as well.
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