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Old 03-23-2012, 05:07 AM   #181
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Because most companies would be throwing their money away packaging those sorts of things.


And yes I crafted my statements with a purpose, but not to be argumentative.




As for people asking me to buy the products and test them myself, I have the facilities to perform thorough bioassays on the ADA products.
It's just a guess, but I think that's the last thing ADA wants or they would have data on their products.
That's why an American company couldn't sell these kinds of things, the majority of our companies don't have the kind of apple-esque appeal and following to turn a profit without proof, data, ingredient lists, msds, etc. (does ADA have msds sheets? Seems like they would have to have something like it)

But no I'm not going to buy them and test them, send me something and I'll ask some of my professors for greenhouse space.
Your continued grudge crusade is adding nothing to the discussion.
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:20 AM   #182
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Your continued grudge crusade is adding nothing to the discussion.
Okay, then I'll stop.
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:21 AM   #183
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Originally Posted by Chlorophile View Post
Because most companies would be throwing their money away packaging those sorts of things.


And yes I crafted my statements with a purpose, but not to be argumentative.

As for people asking me to buy the products and test them myself, I have the facilities to perform thorough bioassays on the ADA products.
It's just a guess, but I think that's the last thing ADA wants or they would have data on their products.
That's why an American company couldn't sell these kinds of things, the majority of our companies don't have the kind of apple-esque appeal and following to turn a profit without proof, data, ingredient lists, msds, etc. (does ADA have msds sheets? Seems like they would have to have something like it)

But no I'm not going to buy them and test them, send me something and I'll ask some of my professors for greenhouse space.
Hey - if you don't want to use them, great! Good on ya. Take the lessons I've laid out here and use them to the capacity that you can. Don't waste your money on makin' the same old mistakes to any capacity. More importantly I would encourage you to not waste time on difficult methods.

Afterall, the reason for the thread isn't so much about product as it is about technique and methodology - product is a byproduct of that for making the job easier and being an effective tool that works.

I'll be honest with everyone in two respects: one, you would be very, very surprised at the stuff that American aquarium companies get away with selling - much worse than the evil additives. Two: the primary market for ADA is Japan, so the majority of the information is based on that market's demands. Take that for what you will.

The only honest assessment here is: the products don't need to be proven, they've already been proven time and time again. This isn't a new line fresh on the market.

I totally encourage you to go start a fundraiser, buy the products, do the testing and publish the results. I'll happily welcome whatever data comes about.
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:46 AM   #184
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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.
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:41 AM   #185
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pejerrey View Post
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?

:]
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:58 PM   #186
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...
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..
That is really not true IMO. It might be in general aquatic plant husbandry, but I don't think it's applicable to all aquariums. If you have a sparsely planted tank in terms of mass, even if the plants are healthy it's probably not going to be enough to keep the tank from attracting algae. How would it? To rely only on healthy plants to keep a tank algae free would be very limiting in aquascape design.
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:30 PM   #187
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No you are completely right I should have said "lots of healthy plants."
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:52 PM   #188
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There's been too many unfounded assumptions and not enough pictures in this thread. Frank, I want a day 7 update.
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:56 PM   #189
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No you are completely right I should have said "lots of healthy plants."
Makes a big difference. Just wanted to put it out there. Now about Riccia. You know they say if one can master Riccia Scape, he can accomplish anything.
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:16 PM   #190
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To Mix things up for today, I've included a few quick iPhone videos I took last night, viewable:

Overall Video

Panning Video (apparently youtube is -so- upset by the shakiness of my hand, that it's taking measures to correct the shake factor. Sorry!)
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:42 PM   #191
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A Sneak Peak at The Next Tutorial Session

The aquarium is growing in great, and now we're about to bridge an important process of the aquarium: trimming. While it's still a week or two away, with the heretofore lack of algae and other things to cover extensively, it's a good opportunity to give you a brief overview of some techniques which may help you in your existing planted tank.

Trimming the ole' carpet

Once you've gotten a carpet up and running and to that picture perfect moment, it's gone in a flash. Why? Because your plants are growing! So in the long term, proper trimming techniques are the most important.

Each Plant has Different Trimming Requirements and Growth Rates

An important step in mastering mixed carpets is knowing how each individual plant responds to trimming, how quickly it grows and in what pattern it grows in.

So what you want to do is master at least one plant at a time and it's trimming technique, and as a result here is an older video I took trimming eleocharis acicularis to keep it: short, dense, and growing viral.

Trimming Eleocharis Acicularis

The proper tools: for trimming a carpet you want a pair of curved scissors to enable you to cut evenly across a wide surface. For this purpose, my favorite all around tool is the Wave Scissors type - as it allows to bend around rocks and hard to reach places due to it's shape. Aside from that, the good turn around is the Curved Type scissor which allows the same function across more open fields. This is the type I've used so far in the Mini M for the trimming of dead plants.

Technique: trim evenly as close to the root as possible with eleocharis acicularis. This will prompt fresh green growth that will appear as if it were 'sparkling,' (old leaves tend to be dark green, you always want to shoot for that "sparkling" green). If you have it, dose Green Gain to aid in the regrowth phase and help prevent algae.

I'll cover more in depth trimming techniques once this tank has gotten a little more mature, but for now, I hope this tidbit of information has been valuable for you for your current aquariums.

P.S. Feel free to continue asking questions! As Dollface answered earlier in this thread "some of the most valuable insights and techniques come from the questions of hobbyists."


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Old 03-23-2012, 08:19 PM   #192
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Elocharis acicularis looks like a lovely plant but how does its size scale in relation to the size of a Mini M tank? Is it more suited as a background plant when compared to naturally shorter/smaller species like Elocharis belem?
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:58 PM   #193
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Elocharis acicularis looks like a lovely plant but how does its size scale in relation to the size of a Mini M tank? Is it more suited as a background plant when compared to naturally shorter/smaller species like Elocharis belem?
imo, e. belem is a superior carpet in almost every tank. the point of a carpet is to be nice and low. plus e. belems leaves curve out after a bit helping to cover up more substrate per leaf then e. acicularis which has relatively straight, vertical leaves.
but they are very similar, and are both true grasses, so you can trim the leaves themselves without killing the leaves.
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:05 AM   #194
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imo, e. belem is a superior carpet in almost every tank. the point of a carpet is to be nice and low. plus e. belems leaves curve out after a bit helping to cover up more substrate per leaf then e. acicularis which has relatively straight, vertical leaves.
but they are very similar, and are both true grasses, so you can trim the leaves themselves without killing the leaves.
Makes sense. Sounds like a better choice. There is significant lack of Frank today...wonder where he is and if he caught my email. I'd love his opinion on plant choice.
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:02 AM   #195
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Alrighty, let's move straight on to Day 7!

I went ahead and changed the water volume to the same degree that the past few days had been, so you can imagine the change in water volume.

However, this morning I did do one thing different: I decided I wanted some extra oxygenation at night, so I lowered the water during lights off to this level:



Allowing the aquarium to run at this level at night (or raising the lily pipe) helps to maintain oxygen levels in the aquarium and prevent surface film from developing.

The ever-popular bucket shot (i'll continue to post these until you have a thorough understanding of the importance of water change for prevention!) :



After the water change today, I added another fertilizer to the Step program:



Green Brighty Step 1. So beginning today the dosing regime is Brighty K + Green Brighty Step 1, one squirt each. I also dosed Green Bacter, 7 drops. From here on, Green Bacter will be dosed only after water changes (so every 2nd day for the 2nd week).

And here's the full tank shot after the complete water change:



Something that might be hard to notice, is this particular shot:



If you notice the bronze leaf of the E. Tennellus, this is an extremely good sign: this means that there is potent light penetration, adequate Co2 and proper nutrient supplies. The normal coloration is Green, only under a synthesis of great conditions do the leaves turn bronze. This will add a nice touch of color to the tank later.

I will note one thing:

I am not happy with the way the Riccia is growing - well no, I'm happy with the way it is growing, but this SP. of Riccia Fluitans is too broad leaved. What this means is that I will likely be swapping out for Riccia from another source for a more micro leaf structure. I'll give it a few more days to see what it does, but at current the leaves are too large for me to achieve what I want.

This process is totally okay to go through in setting up the tank.

Earlier I spoke about tools and gave a brief overview, now I'll show you a little more about the proper tool set

At minimum, you should have three tools to properly maintain your Nano. This is utterly important to long term maintenance of the aquarium:



From top to bottom you have: Curved Scissors short, Pincettes M, and Straight Scissors.

These tools perform very vital roles and it's important to have a diversity on hand to do the job you need them to do:

Curved Scissors: for getting around corners, and more importantly trimming evenly across a carpet of plants. This is very hard to do without the curve, since they provide the extra leverage you need to make an even cut at an angle, as opposed to trying to level out the scissors themselves.

Straight Scissors: These are "surgical strike" scissors, which are ideal for trimming stems, or in this application, for cutting single yellowing or dead leaves from the plant with precision. This makes that job much easier than the curved type scissors.

Fine-tipped pincettes: a must for planting. I can't imagine being able to plant without pincettes. That would be a nightmare! Having a set of ones which are fine tipped allows for you to plant smaller plants (like HC) with greater ease, additionally letting you plant deeper without taking a lot of soil or plant matter up with you.

A note on choosing quality:

Quality is extremely important, for scissors you must absolutely have scissors which have very sharp blades and are perfectly jointed to leave no space between blades, as pictured:



If the blades of your scissors are not sharp, they are worthless. You will waste time cutting and cutting and recutting the same plants and be unable to get a proper cut evenly across surfaces (the most important aspect in sculpting your aquascape).

If they joints are not properly aligned and there's any spacing what so ever between blades, then you will suffer from similar problems as if you had a dull blade.

For Pincettes, they should have proper bends that almost feel like they have a spring in them for the best ability to plant firmly doing as little damage to the plant as possible. Pincettes that end up laying flat together when you press them together with no resistance lessens your gripping power on the plant while also making it more difficult to put the plant in place.

Don't add extra hurdles to your maintenance!

For Long-term maintenance, you want to invest in the best grade of stainless steel you possibly can to prevent rusting, while keeping their performance consistent over their lifetime. Always make sure to wipe them down with a towel afterwards. This will ensure they last as long as possible. The first tool set I ever bought was about a $20 one from China, and believe me, it made my life miserable when it came to trimming. You don't need to go with ADA, but get the best quality ones you can afford - with proper maintenance they'll last you for years and years.

P.S. As the layout grows, and we begin moving into the transition between growth and stability, I'll be giving more detailed information as to application and when what tool is used where.
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