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Re: [APD] Tom Barr's Estimative Index

Tom out of the mainstream? You might be in the wrong stream
;-) His article basically lays out moderately strong dosing
to ensure you have enough to keep the plants happy if not
downright giddy, which is then kept in check by large water

Lots of folks do this. Lots of folks also dose in lighter
amounts and change water less often. Some dose at even
higher levels -- but hey keep a very close eye on things

Tom's suggestions in the article are neither farfetched nor
uncommon. Although, good aquatic gardening techniques might
fly inthe face of some of the pernicous myths that linger
in the aquatic hobby communities. Tom was one of the first
to champion the use of phosphate, working against the myth
that any phosphate in an aquarium will cause algae. Other
experienced gardeners knew this, too, but Tom got out there
and really rang the bell, helping lots of newbies get
better results faster. PMDD was originally offered as an
alternative to Dupla's very expensive fertilizer (Poor
Man's Dupla Drops) although the name changed a bit (Poor
Man's Dosing Drops) when Dupla lost its shine ("You want me
to put wires where?"). The idea behind the Dupla and PMDD
stuff was the misapplied notion that presence of phosphate
in aquaria caused algae, so, the thinking was, dose up the
other stuff and keep the phosphate very low. In fact, if
you try, you'll find it much easier to generate algae with
huge amounts of nitrates than with phosphates. Further in
fact, if you have excess nitrates, it could be because you
don't have enough phosphates for the plants to be able to
use up the nitrates. You can maybe starve a cold, but you
should feed a plant.

The need for testing fertlizer/nutrient levels depends on
how much things might be building up. With 50% water
changes weekly, you don't have to worry about that so long
as you're dosing isn't insanely high. The levels Tom and
others have recommended are reasonable so long as you are
doing the water changes. Fine tune to suit your particular
tankful of plants.

Without the big weekly water changes, you need to be more
careful about dosing too much and you need to watch your
plants closely or use test kits. Most aquatic gardeners I
know of don't do a lot of testing, at least not once they
get some experience under their belt -- testing isn't as
much fun as viewing the plants to see how they're doing.

What about dosing too little? Well, you can test for that
too but starving plants are a good sign; they are wimpy,
weak, and generally degrading in quality.


--- Saugata Banerjee <saugatab at gmail_com> wrote:

> Hi! All,
> Sometime back I was reading Tom Barr's Report on
> "Estimative Index". It is
> quite an interesting article. In a nutshell this is what
> he suggests for a
> 20G planted tank with pressurised CO2 injection &
> sufficient light (4 w/g):-
> KNO3 - 1/4th of a teaspoon
> KH2PO4 - 1/32th of a teaspoon
> Trace Elements - 5 ml per dosage
> Seachem Equilibrium during weekly water change
> Weekly water change of 50%
> Now, KNO3 & KH2PO4 is be dosed on Day 1 followed by Trace
> Elements on Day2
> and then repeat the process. On the day of water change
> only KNO3 & KH2PO4
> to be dosed along with Seachem's Equilibrium.
> Now what I would like to know is that has anybody tried
> out this mode of
> dosing? If yes what was the result? He also says that in
> this way there is
> NO NEED for test kits! What Tom Barr suggests seems to be
> diametrically
> opposite to what is generally felt right. For eg:- he
> maintains that "excess
> Phosphate doesn't lead to algae bloom". His dosage
> routine is also not in
> line with PMDD as he advocates KH2PO4 instead of K2SO4.
> What are the comments of experts (planted tanks) on his
> theory?
> Regards,
> Saugata
> _______________________________________________
> Aquatic-Plants mailing list
> Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com
> http://www.actwin.com/mailman/listinfo/aquatic-plants

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