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Re: Debates and Crypts

There is much debate in APD- thats good!. Too much descends into insult.
It is difficult for mere humans not to respond in kind- thats bad ;(.
APD provides a forum we can _all_ participate in, through the excange of
knowledge, observation, & equally importantly, polite debate. The APD
has a huge advantage over printed media in this respect.
Each of us has _specialist_ knowledge be it plant botany in general or
observation and experience of a single tank.
Profound changes in understanding are frequently brought about by those
who are, or at the time were, amateurs. Einstein is an outstanding
The maintainence of aquaria is both an art and (less so) a science. Like
science  our understanding and achievement with aquaria can only be
improved by moderated debate. Physicists no longer believe the atom is
indivisible, aquarists no longer believe carbon filtration is always

P.Sears & K.Conlin's work with PMDD, G.Franks reinterpretation of
Dupla's results, The huge contributions by the TAG team, the gifted
summaries in the FAQ's ... have greatly benifited us all. I'd like to
believe that all these authors share with me in the hope that their work
will be steadily improved, by themselves or with the contribution of
others. The hobby (like science or theology) cannot advance if our
beliefs become Dogma. Newton himself (facectiously) refered to 'standing
on the shoulders of giants'. Many fields of endevour benefit most,
though indirectly, by those who play the role of 'Devils advocate'.
Sometimes it is useful to argue for a position you may not personally
hold, and let the facts come out. Passionate defence of ones beliefs is
both healthy, normal and necessary.
For most of us rigorous experimentation is not an option. Those who can
afford the time and expense can most easily contribute. Note however
that a single observation can, and must, overturn what may appear to be
a conclusive body of evidence. Witness the dual nature of light and the
birth of quantum mechanics.
The majour strength _and weakness_ in any human pursuit of knowledge is
our desire to generalise, be it science or politics. There is rarely a
single cause for any phenomenon, moderating our theories as necessary
can only improve them.

It is exceedingly difficult to unambiguously explain one's position in a
forum such as this. Neither knowing each other personally nor being able
to see their reactons and promptly address any misunderstandings, debate
easily becomes a flame-fest. We are oblidged to over generalise or
simplify. Writing a lengthy academic dissertation is not an option- few
would wish to read it even were they in a position to follow the
argument. We must accept the very real possibility that we have
misunderstood the import or intent of each others postings and _try_ to
never descend to the level of insult. Stifling debate, though
guaranteeing a pleasant read for all, would destroy one of APD's
greatest potential benefits.

Whatever your level of expertese please contribute. Your ideas or
interpretations may be flawed, but your observations never shall.
Ultimately all scientific understandings are flawed as its its history
proves daily. Any 'expert' who ignores or abuses the observations of
amateurs, wether tribal lore or the thoughts of an Einstein, is foolish.
Like any open forum APD will periodically descend to a level of argument
none enjoy. With restraint it can flower again as it has in the last
I hope this doesn't sound too pompous or hypocritical. None of you are
perfect, neither (bugger it!) am I.

Heaps of you will disagree with this opinion, I reckon that's also good
You may be relieved this'll be my last post for a while- duty calls :(.
Keep up the good work- I for one will enjoy reading it and learn.
Gimme _more_ Sister Agnes!.

ObQuestion: I find Cryptocorynes seem to suffer with a large population
of Malaysian trumpet snails. They dont like root distubances. Is it
plausible that they prefer an anaerobic substrate?. If so, might it be
part of the reason they prefer long-established tanks?.