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Old 04-03-2012, 03:41 AM   #316
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Originally Posted by FlyingHellFish View Post
Dumb question but, if you got a high CEC like flourite black, can't you just inject the diluted fertilizer into the substrate?
sure. and then a little more 2" over, and then a little more 2" over...
and do that every day, one day macro, one day micro. just like with water column dosing.
or just use slow-releasing root tabs.
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:56 PM   #317
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sure. and then a little more 2" over, and then a little more 2" over...
and do that every day, one day macro, one day micro. just like with water column dosing.
or just use slow-releasing root tabs.
You have poked my feelings with a knife good sir.
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:55 PM   #318
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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.

In his previous post, Frank commented that people are too caught up with the "what" to buy and not "why" you should buy it. In a nutshell, he's saying that you should buy or use items (and techniques) that will help to establish the microorganisms in the aquarium. Is it possible to set up an aquarium without the use of the specific (ADA) items he suggests / uses? Yes... but if you do so, then the chances of having the wrong microorganisms or algae establish themselves is greater, leading to more problems than you want.

As an example, he mentions eco-complete; you can certainly grow plants in it (nobody is disputing that fact), but eco-complete is not as ideal a substrate for the promotion and development of microorganisms (in comparison to Aqua soil... or Aqua soil + Power sand... or esp. Aqua soil + Power Sand + other additives).

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.

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...)
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:47 PM   #319
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...
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...)
Personally I think this is a poor analogy. ADA is a complete method and EI is pretty much dosing. There is more to lawn care then just feeding the lawn.
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Old 04-03-2012, 03:51 PM   #320
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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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffyFunk View Post
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffyFunk View Post
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).

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffyFunk View Post
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.
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:29 PM   #321
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I have not seen Tom put much interest on bacteria.

Well, I would like to read more from Frank than debating about this.
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:34 PM   #322
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I have not seen Tom put much interest on bacteria.

Well, I would like to read more from Frank than debating about this.
He also focuses on good oxygenation and maintenance habits as well as watching your tank and adjusting different levels as needed. The most successful planted tank keepers (and tank keepers in general) are simply the ones that adapt to what is occurring in their tanks and do the required maintenance work. I think that's what Tom/Frank are getting at on a basic level but I could be wrong.
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:45 PM   #323
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No, the more O2 is just because to be able to inject more CO2.
Tom has never been focusing on bacteria. He focuses more on plants.
He has kept saying plants look nicer than bacteria for years.

Nicer than bacteria
http://archive.reefcentral.com/forum....php?p=1422063
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ge...-when-you.html
http://fins.actwin.com/aquatic-plant.../msg00622.html
http://archive.reefcentral.com/forum....php?p=1422063

Better than bacteria
http://www.aquariacentral.com/forums...p/t-22815.html
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...t-84157-4.html

Hey, I'm not saying if his (Tom) opinion is right or wrong. But he's never paid
MUCH attention to bacteria, just a little.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:01 PM   #324
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffyFunk View Post
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.
Quoting because I think you hit the nail right on the head, and it needs to be reinforced.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:09 PM   #325
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To Continue on the Planted Aquaria discussion from my last post...

Last time, I discussed how everyone is focused on equipment versus the "why," and forming technique. This is a continuation of that line of thought.

We left off with talking about different pathways to results more or less being the same way of doing things, but to different results.

Specifically the eco-complete example: ultimately, you buy eco-complete to perform the same duties of Aqua Soil. However, to get eco-complete to perform to the same level of effectiveness as aqua soil, you would need to use probably about four fistfuls of root tab fertilizers. Even then, there are other issues: such as softness of soil particles to allow roots to spread quicker and better.

Let's go with another example: the so-called "Natural Planted Tank" method. Here there's absolutely no special reason to try here. You're literally just better off going with even the lowest-quality of planted substrates and rigging something together to make it work than shooting for the 'purist,' method of Natural Planted Tank. All I really need to cite here is, have you ever seen a beautiful NPT layout (don't confuse 'low tech,' with the 'pure' NPT)? If you have, then I would submit that you are either blind, geeking out on the process and not the result (which is fine to geek on the process), or you've found the tank that's touched by the god(s) and should do everything in your power to steal said tank setup for it's magical, ambrosia of the gods elixir and monetize that thing as an immortality potion.

Moral: do not waste your time with the NPT. It's a nifty high-school experiment, but that's about it.

In regards to the low-tech

Okay, here's the thing on low-tech. The current interpretation of a low-tech aquarium is kind of BS.

More or less someone's idea of a low-tech tank right now is "well, I'm not going to do co2 (because I can't afford it), so I'm going to go low-light and hope for the best."

Then we get a list of plants together that grow in lower light levels, and you have a moss anubias tank. Which kind of stays idle. For a long time.

There are two points to stick two on this topic:

1.) If you really want a low-light tank, stick to something cool growing emmersed in a bowl similar to wabi-kusa fashion. You'll save yourself a lot of head ache and still get something that looks great.

2.) The fundamental premise of low-tech is off. It takes a ridiculously low amount of light to really grow almost anything. What people are doing right now is just using the wrong lights.

I totally respect operating on a budget. I understand the idea that what you want is something great - you have a passion for it, but you just simply don't have the money. Not having the money doesn't make the feeling of wanting to do it go away.

If all you were to do is stick to core principles, and stop defining tanks as low-tech or high-tech, you would open yourself up to a whole world of possibilities.

There is no such thing as a high tech tank. There is no such thing as a low tech tank.

There is only one methodology and one planted tank that works. One that follows rules and secrets to success.

Takashi Amano successfully grew layouts that make the highest tech tanks today look like absolute jokes back in the late 80's early 90's, before the ADA product line was really developed, more or less using a sand gravel bed.

What were the few things that really carried over from those days? Bacter 100, Clear Super, Tourmaline BC, 8000K (flourescent at the time) lighting, Co2.

So if you have the low-tech mind set, stop it.


Your budget constraints shouldn't in any way, shape or form, limit your ability.

Really when we talk 'low-tech,' we're talking Co2 and lighting. Get yourself any cheap fixture that will hold an ADA 27w 4 square pin bulb (on a nano) or 36w 4 square pin bulb (need 2 for a 20 gallon, 4 for a 40 gallon).

Always, always, always use Co2

Even if you cannot afford a pressurized unit, rig up a DIY yeast system and just make it work until you can afford a pressurized unit. Don't even bother trying to do a layout without Co2. It's not worth the hassle.

If you can't afford Aqua Soil, get yourself some basic gravel-like substrate, get some root tabs, Bacter 100 & Clear Super and you've at least got something that will work efficiently (efficiency being a measure of doing the job, effectiveness being a measure of doing the job well).

So now I've put together a basic lighting system, a co2 system, and substrate system on the super-cheap.

Congrats. You're now "high tech." Are you starting to see how silly it is to pre-determine yourself as "low tech" or "high tech."

I'll continue on later, but I hope by now you are beginning to understand where I'm going with this, and why you should start focusing on "why," and "how" techniques.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:15 PM   #326
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Just a quick word on bacteria (not product, bacteria) :

If by now you have read this thread and you do not understand at a basic level their importance (that they are important) to the overall system then either A.) I am not explaining it well or B.) you are an idiot.

I do not mean just nitrifying bacteria for cycling.

This isn't directed at anyone or in response to any particular comment. It's a stressing of the point!
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:05 PM   #327
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Originally Posted by Francis Xavier View Post
In regards to the low-tech

Okay, here's the thing on low-tech. The current interpretation of a low-tech aquarium is kind of BS.

More or less someone's idea of a low-tech tank right now is "well, I'm not going to do co2 (because I can't afford it), so I'm going to go low-light and hope for the best."

Then we get a list of plants together that grow in lower light levels, and you have a moss anubias tank. Which kind of stays idle. For a long time.

There are two points to stick two on this topic:

1.) If you really want a low-light tank, stick to something cool growing emmersed in a bowl similar to wabi-kusa fashion. You'll save yourself a lot of head ache and still get something that looks great.

2.) The fundamental premise of low-tech is off. It takes a ridiculously low amount of light to really grow almost anything. What people are doing right now is just using the wrong lights.

I totally respect operating on a budget. I understand the idea that what you want is something great - you have a passion for it, but you just simply don't have the money. Not having the money doesn't make the feeling of wanting to do it go away.

If all you were to do is stick to core principles, and stop defining tanks as low-tech or high-tech, you would open yourself up to a whole world of possibilities.

There is no such thing as a high tech tank. There is no such thing as a low tech tank.

There is only one methodology and one planted tank that works. One that follows rules and secrets to success.

Takashi Amano successfully grew layouts that make the highest tech tanks today look like absolute jokes back in the late 80's early 90's, before the ADA product line was really developed, more or less using a sand gravel bed.

What were the few things that really carried over from those days? Bacter 100, Clear Super, Tourmaline BC, 8000K (flourescent at the time) lighting, Co2.

So if you have the low-tech mind set, stop it.


Your budget constraints shouldn't in any way, shape or form, limit your ability.

Really when we talk 'low-tech,' we're talking Co2 and lighting. Get yourself any cheap fixture that will hold an ADA 27w 4 square pin bulb (on a nano) or 36w 4 square pin bulb (need 2 for a 20 gallon, 4 for a 40 gallon).

Always, always, always use Co2

Even if you cannot afford a pressurized unit, rig up a DIY yeast system and just make it work until you can afford a pressurized unit. Don't even bother trying to do a layout without Co2. It's not worth the hassle.
This is where I disagree with you. If you thoroughly plan a "low tech" or non-co2 tank, you can have fantastic results. You can do it with budget being a limiting factor as well. I am not talking about Java Moss and Anubus either. As long as you have some fast growers in there, and you light is right, you can really branch out into other plants that supposedly need high light and massive amounts of CO2. I have grown some seriously colorful plants with no co2, no ferts, not even root tabs.

Here are two examples of my own:
I don't particularly like the rock scape but this had the traditional low tech approach



This one never matured and had more color than the pictures show




I have done more than this (and better) but I don't have pictures of all my tanks. Neither tank had growth problems, neither seemed to limit the plants I used, and neither had any algae issues through the entire life of the tank, not even on the glass. I am talking about as close to zero maintenance as it gets.

I am not saying that you shouldn't put co2 on any tank but I personally feel that if you plan right, you can be very successful without it. The second tank had Petco gravel so it only got nutrients from fish.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:29 PM   #328
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Previously:

I had covered why using the terminology of why the concept of an NPT and low-tech is more or less cockamamie.

The core idea might be a little unsettling. This is because it is derived purely by a monetary standing. The classic idea is that if I have no money, then I make a low tech tank.

Really, money has nothing to do with it. That is purely a human factor in what we can do and how we think we can do it. Because everything is so product oriented, we get clouded by either being a have or have not. Allowing this to be at the forefront inherently prevents your success.

I've already covered that Takashi Amano, has already done absolutely amazing layouts in what we would call today "low-tech."

I've emphasized that all you really need to focus on that end is: proper spectrum lighting (8,000K), proper technique, and a form of deliverable Co2, whether that has to be DIY or more preferably (due to consistency), pressurized.

The idea of high-tech is, also, BS.

High-tech really only means that I have more gadgets than you and come over and take a look at my hardware.

Over focus on the what I have, versus the aquascape that I've created, is entirely not the point. If all you want to do is show off hardware, then go buy yourself a fancy car and do whatever it is you've gotta do to justify the purchase.

Aesthetics do matter - but function and aesthetic is more important than function. Aesthetics are a function of what's pleasing to our eye. Function is the effectiveness with which it does it's job.

Of course an ADA Co2 Advanced System is always going to be better than a DIY system. Not because it looks better, but because it's better on a functional level.

Only buying stuff because it's stuff, does not enhance your aquascaping skills.

Buying an ADA Cube Garden doesn't by default make you a better aquascaper. Just like buying a Ferrari doesn't make you a better driver by default.

What is high-tech then?

High tech is at best, only stuff that does the job more effectively.

Equipment helps lessen the learning curve and make the job easier. The gap between a badass layout done in 'high tech,' and 'low tech,' is technique and knowledge.

If you can grow plants in 'high tech,' setups, you can grow them in 'low tech,' setups and vice versa.

So the whole idea of "I can't do this, because I have a low-tech setup," is only an excuse.

So, what then?

There are not multiple ways to skin the cat.

There are not high tech and low tech setups.

There is only one way to have a successful aquascaped layout. Everything else is based on this all-encompassing one way. This one magic formula.

But Frank, my tank is different!

No, it's not.

A small preview of what's next:

The foundation of all things planted tank:

1. Gases, Molecules, etc.
2. Food Sources (nutrients, fish food, etc etc.)
3.
Bacteria & Micro-organisms
4. Plants
5. Fauna (fish, etc)

The Big Secret:

The debate between E.I. and ADA, or ADA and whatever dosing, is utterly idiotic. They are "grades," or measures of effectiveness and efficiency of the same universal method. E.g. one is the kindergarten version, junior high, etc etc to think about it.

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Old 04-03-2012, 08:39 PM   #329
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There are lots of opinions in this thread. That is good. However, this tends to cause some unrest and aggressiveness. If you feel you are right and the others are wrong and you just have to prove it you need to step away from this.

Frank - consider taking your language down a notch. If you keep calling anything that isn't in agreement with your approach "BS" and "idiotic" you (and this thread) will not succeed.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:54 PM   #330
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I think the whole drama thing makes it a bit more interesting. By the end of the day it could be helpful to delete all useless posting to make it easier to read later.
Forums are like that, right?
Although you Frank keep it together , don't let your anger stain your efforts, I'm very grateful of your thread, thank you for keep posting despite the negative inputs.
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