Originally Posted by FlyingHellFish
You have poked my feelings with a knife good sir.
i hope it was only a slight prick, rather than a brutal stab and twist.
i was simply illustrating why root tabs are the better option...and having a little bit of fun.
I'm going to go on a limb here, but I think the point that Frank is trying to make is that the best way to set up a planted aquarium is by promoting the entire ecological system that emphasizes the establishment and use of microorganisms.
All of the ADA products that he uses are mainly for trying to get the microorganisms established in order to help (1) filter the water, (2) establish plant growth and (3) fight algae.
i absolutely agree that ADA tries to promote bacterial growth, and that that is the way to go. and let me also say i love ADA quality, and am particularly fond of their tanks, AS, and glassware.
however, i am skeptical that all of the additives are really necessary. if you have a good substrate, such as AS or topsoil (mineralized or otherwise), and plants in that substrate, you have a complete niche for mutualistic microbes. the plants also provide an innoculation, and boom, you get healthy bacterial colonies. ADA products may speed up the process, which is great, but they are pricey, and once you have colonized the tank, it makes little difference.
To me the root of the problem in this "discussion" is that most people haven't used or evaluated the entire ADA line. Why would that be important? Because this entire thread is supposed to be an avenue as to the *BEST* way to grow aquatic plants, not whatever method works. As Frank has said before - there are lots of ways to set up a planted aquarium and be successful with it. However, has everyone who has commented here set up an aquarium using the ADA method and products versus using another method and products? I highly doubt it. There's a big difference between saying "this method works" and "this (other) method is the best", esp. when you haven't even used the (other) method.
that is why i am carefully reading the thread and evaluating franks results to see how big of a difference the additives make, and then be able to pit that against their cost to determine if they are worth it to me
(other people will likely have varying conclusions on the cost-benefit).
Here's an analogy of how *I* think of the ADA method versus the other methods (let's use EI dosing as an example). The ADA Method is the equivalent of Organic Lawn Care and EI dosing is the equivalent of Conventional Lawn Care. Both methods will give you a nice green lawn, but the Organic Lawn Care system is a better method. (If you don't understand this analogy, I would highly suggest reading the book "Teaming with Microbes" by Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis - It will change the way you view organic techniques and conventional fertilizers and methods...)
you have fallen into the pit you mentioned earlier. EI is a system of dosing, and just dosing. something ADA necessitates as well. if you are referring to all the things Tom Barr does, and lumping them all as EI, then your analogy is very wrong. Barr often tells people how the bacterial colonies are the most important thing in the tank, and how they need to maintain their filter and substrate. in many posts he appears frustrated by how people focus entirely on the fertz dosing, and a bit on light:CO2, and not at all on the bacteria.