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Re: [APD] CO2

Like the CO2 bubbles floating around being counter productive, wasteful even...........
Everyone suggested excess PO4 caused algae for decades and still today. 
I went the other direction.
But ruling out PO4 was rather simple and easy in a tank, what was actually causing algae was more elusive(and thus required the more controlled isolated test).........
CO2 mist, tiny bubbles etc often were considered bad since it meant there was some "waste".
Yet my observations with the Venturi reactor design showed otherwise.
I did not give it that much thought till recently.
Why did they do so much better than the others even though they appeared to waste gas?
Like PO4, we learned by showing what something was not..........
That seems strange to many folks.
But rather than doing this carefully control experiement, we simply added more PO4 to our tanks and watched. Results from this sloppy experiement:
No algae, plants pearled like mad, no green spot algae, able to grow virtually any so called "difficult" species. I later went back and measured things and found uptake rates and looked into why this myth had been suggested in the past. Many folks slopply added PO4, no one got algae. We got lucky that it's a wide range, same for NO3, traces etc. 
By going down this same path with our tanks, we rule out light(w/gal rule), then we rule out nutrients, (dose EI) and then we rule out CO2 (Misty CO2). By ruling out one thing at a time, you improve your control, you know what is significant and what is not and how it influences the tank/growth etc, and adding all of the individual things you rule out together, you are left with only a small limited number of possibilities. Leave no stone unturned.   
Now nothing is limiting growth now except perhaps light(I used very high light when I came up with EI for this reason).
The bioassay, the plants and their production/growth rate, is certainly messier in some respects, but very useful since we add all the elements together to achieve a goal. Using a DO meter is a good way to measure better growth rates between two samples.
Now I learned how to do good plant growth before I tested my PO4.
Many folks have green thumbs without ever having test nuthing.
They observe the plants.
All the control, micro management and parameters in the world will not make up for good observations of what your goal is.
Good plant growth/health.
Isolating with test helps, but we do not need to do full blown experiments at the research level to figure out a great deal.
Something as simple a decent test kit, referencing the test kit against a standard, then adding PO4 to see etc.
Algae, yes or no?
Plant health? Better worse.
I suppose you could call "better or worse" quantifiable, more or less pearling etc.
For many, that is good enough.
I am much more curious though...........I also know what plants can look like under many routines and conditions. I know the nutrient status of most tanks without testing and many times I can figure out what is wrong with their tanks without even seeing it and with no test parameters at all.
Simply saying they have "X algae". 
Every experiment has a set of assumptions, a wise scientist makes good assumptions. 
I can assume I have non limiting nutrients with EI, I can assume I have max CO2 with tiny Misty Bubbles and a CO2/pH/KH of 30ppm+(with ref's test), I can assume I have good lighting at 3 w/gal of PC lights evenly spread.
While I may be a scientist, most here are not, they want to find ways to grow their plants better, they want less, not more work. They want less algae, they want simple methods to grow weeds. They do not want such control and it would not be practical for a wide group of users.
Then they can spend more time playing with the aquascape or being a grower.
But the CO2 observation is very interesting and just when you thought folks knew everything there, I say something that seems like a wasteful approach, is actually very likely an excellent approach to drive the bejesus out of the plant growth rates.
I've ruled out:
Water changes
Temps differences
Tank to tank variabilty, high number of trial tanks
Light differences(done over a wide range of w/gal)
Nutrients, non limiting
Wimpy Plants(Most of the plants are the so called hard to grow weeds, Tonias, R wallichii, L "cuba", D diadra, Blyxa, lace plant, HC, Eirocaulon + weird weeds I collect, and all in plain flourite or onyx sand.
What bugs folks sometimes is that it seems like basic question about CO2 but that it is often over looked and assumed to be wasteful.
Think outside the little glass box.
Tom Barr

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