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There is a proper way to setup a planted tank which leads to a very stable and thriving system.
Correction: There are multiple ways to setup a planted tank which lead to a very stable and thriving system.
 

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75gallon, 3 54watt T5 bulbs, pressurized CO2, EI ferts, ecocomplete and flourite substrate, homemade poret filter/sump, variety of mostly easy plants, medium hard water (ppm~250), discus and blue rams, weekly 50% water changes, running 3+ years with minimal algae and excellent plant growth, occasional glutaraldehyde dosing to eliminate any beard algae that should pop up.

140 gallon multisection aquarium, 4 bulb CP over some sections, 2 T5 blubs over other sections, single CP bulbs in clamp shop lights over other sections, no CO2, no ferts, plain topsoil covered by plain aquarium gravel, same medium hard water, one pump circulates water through the tank/tanks and pushes water through poret foam sheets, water changes every 6 months (if that often), variety of mostly easy plants, housing a variety of breeding dwarf cichlids, shrimp, and breeding pearl gourami, occasional algae that goes away with benign neglect or occasional manual removal, running 3+ years with good plant growth.

These 2 tanks (along with others I have or have had) have produced good results with minimal hassle. There are other ways to have a successful planted aquarium beyond the 2 ways above.
 

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I probably shouldn't ask, but...

Why should we care if the tank is "polluted" or "stable?"

In my EI tank I have beautiful, healthy, sometimes spawning fish (discus and rams as of now, many varieties of apistos in the past). I get great plant growth with minimal algae. I'm achieving my planted aquarium goals, so what am I missing?

As an aside, the most beautifully planted natural stream I've come across up here in the cold midwest was chock full of natural vegetation. And guess what? It was a run off creek from several horse farms with signs posted not to drink the water. Those plants were thriving in that polluted water.
 

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So to sum up your response. EI works, but if you stop following the EI strategy it won't work.
 

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Except if he ever goes on a 7 day vacation upon his return things will be ugly, very ugly
Just a silly statement. I go on vacation and leave my EI tank with no maintenance for 7 to 10 days regularly. Sometimes when I get back a little algae has developed. I get back into my normal routine and the algae regresses. No big deal. I've never come home to a disaster.

Niko has a fine point in this discussion about one planted aquarium strategy, but attacking other strategies and making over generalized statements only hurts his argument.

The fact is there are several planted aquarium strategies that work well. And each aquarium is unique. For example I have 2 adjacent 30 gallon NPT's in my fishroom. They were set up to breed apistos. They have the exact same light, same filter, same substrate, same water chemistry, they were started on the same day (over a year ago), I never add ferts to either one, and both house apistos only (a pair in one and a trio in the other). One tank has excellent plant growth with very little algae. The other is covered with cyanobacter.
 
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