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Re: [APD] Newbie Question

Ah, a breath of common sense amid the clacking of relays, twinkle of gears, and rainbows of test strips. 
Test kits can help one get roughly "zeroed in" on a range or gain confidence that they're heading in the right direction, but it's them there plants that say the most. ;-)
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----- Original Message ----
From: Liz Wilhite <satirica at gmail_com>
To: aquatic plants digest <aquatic-plants at actwin_com>
Sent: Friday, July 14, 2006 5:40:03 PM
Subject: Re: [APD] Newbie Question

On 7/14/06, Jim Vincent <jumbotron at adelphia_net> wrote:
> Can you all recommend a) a good (cheap) test kit and b) a
> place to get it? Thanks!
> Hi Jim,

I recommend that you do what has been suggested and use KH and pH.  Well, if
you want to bother with it at all I recommend that approach.  And I'd get a
pH meter rather than a kit since amateur test kits are a joke.  The color
difference between 6.6 and 7.4 is negligible on most of them.

I'm sure you want to test and get a number -- most of us do that when we
start out.  Honestly though I doubt many of us do any testing of CO2 levels
unless we are trying to push the envelope or are a little, errr, obsessive.
I just look to see if the plants are growing and healthy and if the fish are
happy.  Unhappy plants mean I need to add CO2;  unhappy fish mean decrease
the CO2.

Test kits and numbers are, in my opinion, highly overrated.  I have grown
gardens for 40 odd years, and done container gardening for at least 20 years
without testing soil.  A planted aquarium is just an underwater container
garden.  The only real difference I can tell is that you have to add an
additional fertilizer to the aquarium -- CO2.

Of course, I am one of the laziest people on the planet so I suppose you
could say I keep a slack tank.  Looks good though.
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