Not too long ago I had an issue with a vendor who happens to be a sponsor here at TPT. I showed documentation in the form of emails and photos about the product that was shipped to me. I was basically ignored, all they did was blame the manufacturer and passed the buck.
Someone posted on my thread about not bashing the company without having the slightest clue of what they were talking about. Needless to say the thread was outright removed.
Frank represents ADA, which just happens to be a sponsor at TPT as well. He should be afforded the same courtesy as the other sponsors. If anyone disagrees with anything he says, it can and should be discussed on another thread so he can continue to provide countless others with the information he’s taking the time out to provided.
Now that that’s out of the way, here is my question, where is the proof that it doesn’t work? I’m not being facetious, I would like to see the scientific results debunking the “ADA Substrate System”. Here is why I ask, I quote Frank here, “You can actually sprinkle Bacter 100 on top of the substrate if you get cyanobacteria or other problem algae’s and over night the cyano bacteria will be eaten away by the bacteria and will likely not show up again.”
That actually has been proven to work, so why is it that the total “ADA Substrate System” is said not to work by so many? We know many metals, chemicals, minerals and acids are stable and harmless until mixed with something else, like Ammonia and Clorox for instance. How do you know that a reaction doesn’t occur that benefits the substrate?
Is it because you grew plants without the additives? So what, that alone doesn’t debunk the “ADA Substrate System”. Many people have grown plants implementing the “ADA Substrate System”. Did anyone measure the substrate, take samples, record any data and analyze the amount and health of the bacteria in the substrate?
Allow me to put this into perspective and at the very least bring light to what I have observed on many forums.
We have 10 people using the entire ADA Substrate System. All of which are excited to implement said system. They all range in age and experience. We go from complete novice to expert.
1. Has no clue what he/she is doing and gets algae – claims the ADA Substrate System doesn’t work, a waste of money.
2. Same as above.
3. Adds a couple of plants, D.I.Y CO2, feeds fish too much gets algae. Hardly any water changes gets algae – water stinks - blames ADA Substrate System and claims it doesn’t work.
4. Brand new tank, very little plants, doesn’t change filters like he/she should, debris in tank, not enough ferts gets algae - blames ADA Substrate System and claims it doesn’t work.
5. Too much light, not enough ferts, not enough CO2 (swears they do have enough CO2 because the drop checker says so) doesn’t change from mechanical filtration to biological filtration, tank dirty, little to no filtration maintenance, gets algae - blames ADA Substrate System and claims it doesn’t work.
6. Same as number 5
7. Same as number 5
8. Same as number 5 however at this stage they may start making the connection… maybe. This may apply to number 7 as well. Less light, not enough CO2, gets algae - blames ADA Substrate System and claims it doesn’t work.
9. Think they know it all, constantly trying to get people to follow their methods or you are doing it wrong, egotistic, narcissistic, won’t admit to being incorrect, in fact they’re never wrong, may still be battling CO2 issues. Thinks they are too good for the “ADA Substrate System” or claims it doesn’t work, shows no proof (tangible data, evidence). Did I mention egotistic…
10. Debunks methods with proof (tangible data, evidence), shows proper methods of correction, explains cause and effect, understands and admits that there exist many roads leading to same results. Open to new methods and ideas etc… at this stage they are less critical until tests are conducted until proven correct or incorrect, doesn’t let emotions dictate results. However there are exceptions to this, after all we are human.
I would also like to mention that people become lazy, neglect the tank then blame something else as oppose to looking in the mirror.
From the examples listed above, mostly all have high light, ignore CO2 and CO2 distribution and lets not forget oxygen or lack there of but somehow claim that the "ADA Substrate System" doesn't work. Don't get me started about the obsession folks have claiming fert deficiencies when it's really CO2.
What I learned is that 99% of the times, it is user error. It’s not the method that doesn’t work it is the way it is being implemented and carried out. There are so many variables that can throw an entire system off that you cannot blame one thing.
The “ADA Substrate System” may very well create a reaction in the substrate that benefits it, may benefit it a lot, very little or not at all, I simply don’t know. I say show me the data proving either or.
Now just because you don’t/can’t see what the billions/trillions of bacteria in the substrate are doing doesn’t mean that the system isn’t working. Again I say, show me where you measured the substrate, took samples, recorded data and analyzed the amount and health of the bacteria in the substrate with and without the “ADA Substrate System”.
I will admit I did purchase the "ADA Substrate System" for my son Connor. After he used it I started to research, looking for answers about the substrate system. I didn't find one piece of hard data/evidence that showed it doesn't work. I did find an endless source of critique, attacks, emotionally charged hatred toward "The System". Why does it invoke such a powerful emotional response from individuals? I'll never know.
I look forward to the data.
I feel this needs to be said, this isn’t an attack on anyone nor is it intended to offend anyone’s delicate sensibilities.
p.s. I apologize for the lengthy post Frank, hope it doesn't detract from your thread.