Baking is an exact science.
You can bake a cake two ways:
1- Buy all of the ingredients separate and follow a recipe reform scratch. Usually requires skills earned by practice, depending in the complexity of the cake.
2- buy a cake mix, add water and be done.
- most people won't be able to tell if they taste your "from scratch" and compare with the "ready mix", they will probably like more the ready mix despite your effort to make "the real deal".... Depending on the source or brand of your ingredients the cake would taste different, different oven...
Ada products are designed to work if you follow their method. This is like the ready mix.
You can buy your own ferts and create a dosing regime... Get your own substrate from your worm compost, make your own light... and figure it yourself. This is the "real deal" but that is not Frank's point here. He is just showing you how to do it, the way he knows.
Chloro... I would love to see your "how to master iwagumi" thread with your own method, I would love to follow and learn. Most of us realize that companies need to sell you stuff.
The rest of us will enjoy to invest in a "ready mix" to experience a successful iwagumi scape.
Sorry to spam.
Hah I'm not a master at iwagumi so I wouldn't be posting anything like that, if I did the only rule would be no riccia! I hate riccia!
If you want to follow directions and feel safe then just do the ADA method. It will make you feel good, like the Easter bunny used to, but it isn't fool proof either. I see just as many hiccups with or without all the ADA stuff, most are generally from beginners with no experience or routine.
All the philosophy and habit forming stuff frank is talking about is most important in my opinion.
If someone gives you a roadmap it's hard to get lost, it doesn't mean the path you took was special or even the quickest or easiest. It just means you got there.
Others like to try to use their sense of direction.
My opinion is just that plant physiology is very well documented, we know what plants need to be healthy and vigorous and in nearly all cases vigorous plants are all you need to keep an aquarium from being sullied by algae, and isn't that all anyone is ever after in the end once you we are past the scaping stage?