Tds its not always what ppl think, it contains all debris in water column, its not always about minerals, If You have really high TDS, add extra sponge filter and You'll see how dramatically TDS go low. Your params can be right, but if filtration system suck, TDS is huge
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It would be good to clarify debris since a food flake does not show up in TDS until it starts dissolving completely into ammonia, phosphate, etc. If you can lower your TDS using mechanical filtration, that only exposes that your previous filtration was inadequate.
I don't understand why this is the case, but tannins (or maybe related acids) from driftwood, leaves, and cones tend to increase TDS while peat moss actually absorbs many things causing TDS to decrease.
While TDS by itself is pretty useless, it is very helpful in a somewhat closed system where you are trying to gauge changes you are making (such as adding fertilizers or watching nitrates).
I care because it gives me a quick glance at where I was, where I am, and helps me know where I'm going (TDS increases as water evaporates and I add ferts, so if my TDS is dropping, I know I'm not adding enough ferts).