DMS works quite well for non CO2 tanks and start ups. Diana tried this method and really liked it. So whether you use sediment rich ferts or water column, or better yet, both.........I think you will be fine.
The real question is the goal here, is the non CO2 approach the best management for your goal?
It might be, or it might not be.
thanks everyone for your feedback. Great to see such an active group of people
I definitely may be mixing approaches.
It's been a while since I was conversant on the aquatic plant literature.
@Mistergreen While I agree labels aren't always accurate, I feel credit should do to those that formulate an idea/process. I'm sure Mr. Barr will agree that many of his thoughts are an amalgam of information from prior aquarists as well as his own observations but I feel that by using that label, I hopefully get across my concept of what I want to do
My understanding of the Barr CO2 method was:
1/2" peat and mulm with Flourite
light 1-2 w/
dosing small amounts of GH/KNO3, PO4 and trace elements 1-2 times/wk
using the fish as the source of macronutrients.
A heavy pruning every 3-4 months, at which time a modest water change is done.
My light (3-4 54 W t5s) would amount to 1.5-2 w/gal with the actinic bulb really not providing much usable spectra for aquatics plants (more for the fish)
I was hoping to substitute the Aquasoil for the suggested substrate in the original experiments since most people like it's long term ability to feed plants via the substrate.
A nice aquascape for a large school of cardinals and a group of some other type of cichlid as well as a good environment for the shrimp
2-3 plant species predominantly. I don't necessarily want to have the toughest to keep plants or the rarest plants
ease of maintenance. I travel extensively, have a toddler, and a job that takes up 70-80 hours. I don't mind spending a little money to do something well but I can't afford to spend a great deal of time maintaining a tank. I also would rather spend the 20-30 minutes I get watching my reef and watching the new planted tank as I feel my tanks do better when I observe them carefully. The tank isn't in a location with easy access to my RO/DI and I don't have the ability to put a auto water change setup on this tank (as on my reef).
I don't have a problem with using CO2 but I don't necessarily want to be in the tank pruning constantly. I'm fine with being patient and letting things grow in. I've got a co2 tank, regulator and controller sitting in my garage so if that's going to be congruent with my goals, I'm fine throwing it on the tank.
So, with those goals in mind, what do you guys think?