Learning from each other

"Allan Tomkinson" wrote:

>>> It would not be too hard for a person to put plants in a tank, and take
a photo after the >>> water has cleared.  

I wrote:
>> And anyone with any experience with plants could quickly see the
>> difference between a tank freshly set up (even with full grown plants)
and one where
>> the plants have settled in well, and the tank has started to mature.

>I know.  But I figured that it would be a good starting point for what I
>wanted, which I'll explain later.

So you start your argument against Amano with a known falsehood? Doesn't do
much to strengthen your position.

>I have read enough of Neil Franks messages to know that I'd probably trust
>what he says also (some of his posts and yours have helped me and my

Well, I'm glad to see that you'd probably trust him, and  that you can
appreciate _some_ of the people who have enough experience to help out a
novice aquatic gardener ;-)  You'll find there are many others.

>The main text I was refering to was how he decided what color of light to
>use.  The article talked about how he was scuba diving and the color of his
>wet suit changed colors underwater, so he figured that the color missing
>was not as important...  Or something like that at least. <G>  Anyways, it
>did not impress me much.  If he later went back to the lab and tested it,
>fine and GREAT, but he does not mention if he did test it or not...

Precious little of what we _know_ works in aquariums has come from
"scientific" sources.  Most of it has come from curious and dedicated
hobbyists. This is as true for aquarium fish as well as for aquarium
plants.  What is particularly "unscientific" about making an observation in
nature, trying to duplicate that observation in the aquarium and observing
the results?  I've never heard Amano say that this is the _only_ lighting
that will grow aquatic plants.  There are so many conflicting opinions on
lighting that I no longer even get involved in the discussions.  My
personal opinion is that _any_ light will work as long as it's bright
enough.  That said, I have come to that conclusion through personal
observation of _MY_ plants, under _MY_ tank conditions, not through any
"scientific process.

>> Take into consideration the language barrier too.  I suspect that a good
>> part of the seeming lack of scientific method is actually lack of good
>> translation. (a little tiny bit of the problem could be the publisher as
>> well ;-)
>True.  Shouldn't be that hard to get a good Japanese to English translator
>now a days.  

It might not be "hard" but it _is_ expensive.  Last time I checked,
translations were running about $400 per typed, double spaced page.  On top
of that, you are basically at the mercy of the translator.  Look at TOA.
It's a crummy translation, but I suspect Dupla _thought_ they had chosen
someone who could do the job properly.

>> I'm not sure that _just_ because a product isn't labeled the way I'd
like it to
>> be that I'd call it "hocus-pocus".  
>I didn't call it "hocus pocus" (hence the quotation marks) but several
>others on the list have.  

Can you give me a reference?  I've never read anything on the list about
_Amano's_ products being "hocus-pocus"  Please make sure you're accurate
when you repeat things.

>> >Amano does not have a track record long enough to satisfy me.  
>> Actually, Amano is not new, he's just new to the U.S.  He's been working
>> with planted aquaria since 1972, how 'bout you ;-)
>1972.  Pretty cool.  Now, I'll change that to:
>I have not seen Amano's track record, so I'm not satisfied. <EG>

Ignorance is no excuse, and certainly doesn't give someone the right to
slam a company person or product.  Do your homework.  If you have his book,
read it.  The biographical information is in there.
>> >Tropica has
>> >a track record of growing beautiful plants for many years, and selling
>> >world wide with many people praising the quality of plants they recieved
>> >from Tropica. 
>> Did you know that Claus Christensen is quite proud that Amano uses
>> plants in his work?
>Nope...  That's cool.  

Again, these people are available, and perfectly willing to respond to the
public.  Both Tropica and ADA have web pages with Q&A sections.  If you
have a question, ASK.  If you have a complaint, don't you think it's fair
to bring it to them for their response first?

BTW, what has made you decide that Tropica are the "good guys" and Amano is
not?  (everyone here, I think, is aware of my strong regard for Claus and

>How good is
>that place in California that uses Tropica's methods (BTW)....  Only thing
>that bugs me about them is that you can evidently not choose what you want.
> You just send them $$$ and they send you a buncha plants...  

IIf you mean Horizon Growers, don't know.  I don't buy many plants.  I
_have_ heard that if you talk to them directly, you can choose specific
plants.  I don't know whether the price goes up if you do.  I've also heard
that you can specify aquatic plants only (they also sell hydroponically
grown terrestrials)

>Yea...  I want to know everything though, and I guess that's where part of
>my problem lies.  I have such a thirst for knowledge in this area (and
>others such as breeding guppies and discus) that it detracts from my
>college home work in many instances....  Such is life tho...

As I said in my response to your E-mail, the best way to learn is to take
in as much information from as many sources as possible and make your own,
informed decisions.  Be careful before making unsubstantiated negative
claims that you _really_ want to burn that bridge.  ADA surely doesn't need
you, but are you _sure_ , that you'd never like to learn from them?  You
will find that the "big guns" in the aquatic plant world, Amano,
Christensen, Windelov, Horst etc. all respect each other and work
_together_ to improve our hobby.  The more experience people on this list
do the same.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association