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Traditionalist's and Reformers
Christopher Coleman said recently, in response to his perception of the
>> the traditional APD montra is not to mess. But how than I ask is the
>> to move forward?
Tom Wood interjected...
>> Hoping not to enrage the respective gods of laterite and clay substrates,
>> I must admit that I am a sinner.
>> While the plants are doing better than ever, the trouble is, I can't
>> determine which, if any, of the components is responsible for the
I have to agree with Tom - I think most of us are guilty of toying with
things in an effort to improve on our tanks. I know that I do tend to
tinker. And I make a big admission here - the main problem with it is that
sometimes I have no idea of what I'm doing! Finding the culprit when a
witch's brew goes bad is well nigh impossible and it's almost as bad when it
works. The problem is repeatability.
As I found out when I set up a few tanks to study various commercial product
lines, there is a lot more to experimentation than that which initially
meets the eye. For an experiment to have any value, it must have
reproducible results and a control. There are just _so_ many variables at
play within our aquariums that to attribute the success or failure to one
component is a really iffy issue.
But should that stop us? I rather doubt that it will, or that it should.
Perhaps it might make us do a bit more homework and testing of our ideas in
a more controlled manner. Again, as I'm fast finding out for myself,
experiment design can take more time than the actual experiment itself - and
people, myself included, tend to be impatient at times.
As for the ADP being resistant to new ideas, or being "traditionalist" as
Christopher suggests, I don't really think that is a fair assessment. There
are a wide variety of people here, with an equally wide range of experience.
There isn't a "means test" to subscribe to the APD, everyone is welcome, so
it can be difficult to judge someone else's experience and ability level
when responding to posts. Especially when answering a question from someone
who has not posted frequently.
When someone like Karen suggests that a first timer or inexperienced person
stick with the tried and true rather than the exotic for their first one or
two planted tanks, that is being responsible, not traditionalist. Continued
participation in any "hobby" is dependant upon achieving satisfaction from
the endeavour. Karen (and a lot of others) obviously gets a great deal of
personal satisfaction from the hobby and she seems (to me anyway) to have a
gift for being able to communicate her enthusiasm to others - I love reading
both her articles in various magazines and her posts here.
The people who recommend simplicity to "newbies" _want_ people to succeed -
and the easiest way to that end is to suggest a path which is well trodden
and one which has few hidden "gotcha's". After a few successful tanks and a
couple of years of learning how to deal with the inevitable little problems
which always crop up, then is a good time to start varying the mix.