1. Closely follow a method you decided to use, be loyal to this method but without really understanding it, defend it until you are exhausted and created enemies.
I follow the Western approach. There are a few issues with it:
1) More nutrients, more CO2, and less light is the answer to everything. Simply browbeat any problem into submission; rather than trying to isolate and understand the cause, then correct it with a more targeted approach.
2) That answer is often a kneejerk reaction, given by people who don't even bother to read the specifics of your setup. As an example, at one point I was told this for three months, and my protests that it wasn't working led only to circular arguments. When in fact I had plenty of nutrients and CO2, and my only problem was that I had insufficient
light to grow healthy plants; even though I repeatedly gave my lighting specs for everyone to see.
3) And if that answer ultimately fails you, and you try to seek other answers or discover something new, you too must be browbeaten into submission. With people regurgitating the same dogma, that anyone in the hobby for a few years had heard hundreds of times, until any productive discussion is impossible. I think at this point some of the same folks who made the biggest breakthroughs and initially helped us advance, are now only holding back advancement through their aggressive posting tactics. I've been self-censoring on this forum for years now. There are things I do that I never
mention, and others that I only bring up when feeling particularly adventurous.
The Eastern approach of root-feeding seems superior in many respects. It's only logical the plants will like it more, and the algae like it less. Though I can only speak from limited experience here, what keeps me away from it is:
1) Ironically, I hate terrestrial gardening, and anything that resembles it too closely. Making mudpies for a month (MTS) is not my idea of a good time. Neither is digging in my substrate to add ferts or other amendments. Playing with dry or liquid ferts and tests reminds me only of chemistry, which I like. I suppose I'm a bit weird.
2) Ready-to-use substrates, like Aquasoil and such, lose performance with time, or break down and become messy. Others start messy. All substrates can become depleted. Soil can become anaerobic. Layers become hopelessly mixed. I prefer to redo my tank when I choose, and spend reasonable amounts of time with my tanks every day; rather than having my substrate dictate large, unexpected demands on my time or wallet, which may lead to rapid deterioration if I ignore.
3) When I do have time and inclination, I like to rescape, adjust parameters, and experiment far too much to be practical for these kinds of substrates.
4) I also like high light tanks, and fast growing stem plants, as I believe they contribute much to providing a healthier enviroment for fish. But they require frequent trims. With water column ferts, they're still getting nutrients when you cut their roots off, and they just keep on going with little effect. Although I haven't tried it, I doubt the same applies with substrate ferts only.
5) This approach attracts the naturopaths, homeopaths, conspiracy theorists, and every other kind of irrational and superstitious people. Just a few can ruin any discussion. Not much different than the Western zealots really, but they at least pretend
to be grounded in science.