Balance and Lighting
Re: Balance and Lighting
> It is true that "balance" has no wide-spread biological
> definition. If I was forced to define it, I would probably
> state, "Balance is that point when all factors in the system
> become the limiting factor simultaneously." Of course, this
> is a somewhat arbitrary definition based on preference. That's
> my definition because I'm a tight-wad and I don't like the idea
> of wasting too much of any one factor. For me, the system isn'
> in balance if I'm wasting too much of any one thing.
That works for me.<g>
> An equally
> valid definition would be, "Balance is that point when system
> deltas (system changes) are minimized or severely restricted, as
> the result of at least one limiting factor other than time".
> This is a little more esoteric, but probably more appropriate
> to the universal scientific audience.
Trouble here is that most keepers of planted tanks are _not_
scientists. They are enthusiastic amateurs like me, trying to
make sense of the bits and pieces they pick up as they go.
> The REAL problem here is, "What do we want to balance?" This
> is *not* something we can universally define. We must go throug
> the exact same process that one would go through to determine
> the *personal* economic "opportunity cost" of any action or
> inaction, which (of course) is different for each individual.
> "Do I balance plant growth with the highest possible fish
> population?" That *might* be measurable. How about "Do I
> balance these two plant species, (with different light and spac
> requirements) and what is most visually pleasing to me,
> against the highest possible fish load?" Forget it. It can't
> happen. You will never quantify that in any reasonable manner.
I think that's very close to what I was trying to say.
> Most biologic resource managers don't ever address the concept
> of "balance", but prefer to refer to the dynamics of a system wi
> a concept of "state-shifting", or "steady state". The reason
> for this is simple: When we are not (readily) capable of
> measuring the end result, we must revert to measuring the
> deltas (the changes) that we are able to observe in the system.
> When there are no deltas (no "state shifts"), then we must have
> achieved the end result (a "steady state"). Take-home message:
> DELTAS ARE SCIENTIFICALLY MEASURABLE.
See, you scientist-types _can_ come in handy. I like that. I
think this is what I've been trying to say all along, without
knowing the exact words to say it.
> This concept of "state-shifting" is not purely academic; it
> is tremendously practical. Because my ears have grown sensitiv
> to the accurate selection of precise terminology, I would prefe
> to hear people mention they have, "...reached a steady-state
> that is particularly desirable, GIVEN THE SYSTEM INPUT
> PARAMETERS" as opposed to state they have "reached balance".
> That's just me, though--I can get by with any terminology,
> usually. :-)
Now the problem is to get the terms into common usage. I started
using the term "balance" for lack of a better term. What ever we
call it, IMO it is this CONCEPT that is so important. And doesn't
change no matter how "high tech" or "low tech" the tank.
> > Is balance to you a yes/no proposition (i.e., either there is
> > or there isn't)? If so, how do we determine from a set of con
> > (light, CO2, nutrients) whether we have balance or not?
> Personal preference. :-) How much work do you have to do to
> get what you have? I can make a good argument for the following
> if( work_and_inputs_required < benefits_achieved )
> /* We think we have balance. */
> /* We don't think we have balance. */
Again, I agree.
Thank you once more for a very enlightening and thought provoking
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.