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Several folks suggest that you do not fertilize a new plant tank for the first week/month. My question is **why** not?

I've done it that way for a number of years, I fertilize the first day, sometimes only 1/2 the norm, the plant biomass is low etc and I know the plant's needs are being met.

But I see advice on sites suggesting not to fertilize for the first month etc, Amano included I recall(?).

I see no reason for this. In terms of cycling, very much like the "silent cycling" we see in our tanks with respect to NH4/NO2/NO3, if you add enough plant biomass and plant heavy from the start like all the good advice suggest, then there's no NH4 anyway. Add enough CO2 and that addresses that issue.

So that rules that out.

So unless you assume NO3/PO4/Trace "excesses" etc cause algae in and of themselves, why would this make any difference and wouldn't this help the plants to get on their feet and pump up their reserves better?

Crank the CO2 and nutrients and keep up on water changes etc. Maybe doing 2x a week water changes for the first month seems like a better method and advice to me rather than "starving" plants for a month.

I did not know that starving plants grew any better:)

I think it gets back to the orginal premise here.
Take care of the plant's needs and you do not have problems.
Why would this be any different at the start?
Seems to be more important actually.

Peat/mulm will take care of the bacteria/substrate, the nutrients/CO2/light will take care of the rest. Adding lots of plants will remove the NH4.

I find this type of advice to contradict with the basic notion that you do not avoid algae by not dosing ferts. This selects for algae, not plants.

Adding more plants, lots of plants at the very start, gives any tank a leg up.
Providing the new plants with good CO2 and nutrients will give them even more of a leg up.

So can someone please explain to me why no ferts or less ferts is somehow preferable in and of itself at the start if the other issues such as enough biomass and mulm etc is added?

Why would this cause algae or be somehow "bad"?

Rotting plant material from new plants will not be that great if you trimmed them, got decent stock, have good CO2 etc.

I think getting the CO2 in good shape is much more important at the start, but excess nutrients(NO3, PO4 etc) are being blamed here and not NH4/poor CO2.

Deficient plant/stunted growth will cause algae.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Yes, this works for me too. A new set up needs Ca, Mg, NO3, PO4, K and CO2 present all the time. There will be some algae on the beginning, but not for long.

The only objection I have is about the way some people dose TE trace elements. There is no need to confuse trace elements with macro elements. TE are called trace elements for a reason. Only very small unmeasurable quantities are needed for plants to be happy. Any excess may cause problems. One of them is a strong and long algae bloom on new set ups.

Learn how to dose TE. Dose only when you see deficiencies, like white new growth. You will have faster start up and less problems.

Edward
 

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I agree that dosing from day 1 is ok.

But on the other hand I've had 3 or 4 tanks in which the plants grew like there's no tomorrow the first 4-5 days after set up. They were not "loaded with nutrients from the nursery" or something like that - just plants taken from my existing tanks.

So maybe there is some good reason to postpone the fertilizing if the plants are doing good.

--Nikolay
 

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always dosed fert and co2 from first day (even before i turn on the lights on the first time) and never had any problems but small algae bloom on the front glass - thing that ive never worried about - the magnet and the algae eating fish always solve this problem in a matter of a few days.
i think that we must agree that all the above is true on high tech tanks only and in a low tech tanks with low light and no co2 we can start dosing ferts after a while - only when the NO3 and PO4 kits shows low values.
 

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Adding more plants, lots of plants at the very start, gives any tank a leg up.
It's all in the preparation. All except the highly experienced fail in one way or another to properly prepare for a new planted aquarium. The difference between the masses and the experienced (for instance, Mr Amano, Jeff Senske, Oliver Knott....) is that they have on hand all the equipment and plants needed to get things right from day one. Making changes as one goes along reduces the process to a reactive one - reaction to problems such as algae.

Many people advise the heavy planting of a new tank with expendable plants which can be replaced at a later time when the tank has settled down. I am much more in favor of working out a design in advance and then acquiring all the plants needed to fill that design properly. If, for example, one decided to use Eleocharis parvula for a foreground, I would buy more than needed to properly cover the foreground - rather than have odd tufts here and there and wait for them to spread out. Replacing plants is not easy, sometimes. It can entail ripping up substrate and causing large disturbances. It is much better to have a very good idea of what one wants planted to begin with and to make sure you have all of those plants on hand when it comes to the set up.

Fertilizing, be it CO2, NO3, PO4, TMG, Flourish, or whatever, is then a requisite of such a new set up. Plants are first and foremost. Don't save money by not buying enough.

Andrew Cribb
 

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Thank you Tom. I have been trying to get this idea across on a couple of forums for a long time. People say things like "the plants need to use their reserves before they will use the fertilizers". HUH?

If you start a tank with fast growing stem plants and have the light and CO2 in place some of these stem plants can double their bio-mass in less than a week. How much reserve do they have?

I have always added a half dose of nutrients to a new tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, I kept hearing this, Amano suggest something like this, I can not find a good reason to do it and I am looking for one.

If none is found and stands up to the critique, I'll go after this issue in a more agressive manner.

So why did I bring this up to begin with?

Ahhhh.........

Folks, namely newbies and even seasoned sourdoughs have trouble with the new tank breakin peroid.

I hear this and sort of scratch my head.
While I am good at growing weeds and killing them(on purpose), I do not have a magic wand.

There are reasons for my success and another's failure/s.

I've talked a lot about mulm to get away from Fishless cycling, NH4 dosing, good start ups.

This notion that challanges algae bloom when there are excess nutrients sort of chaps my hide.

So I think the end result of this issue for me and why I bring it up is mainly to get folks to have the most probable chance at success from day one.

If this occurs, then we have more successes and better methods.
The other thing is cheaper methods that can be done anywhere in the world with whatever is available.

The more of you all that learn how to start up a tank right, the more folks will learn about how to and why it works.

I just don't like to accept things because someone says so. That never got me anywhere.

Tom Barr
 

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Yes, Amano suggests that some of the ADA liquid fertilizers should be used for the first time after 3-4 weeks from the initial set up. However, one must understand the basic difference between an Amano set up and a set up which is fertilized by liquids only before making this suggestion a general one. An Amano set up is heavily based on substrate fertilizer called Power Sand. This substrate is rich of everything which plant needs. It is so rich of these substances (e.g. NH4) that the first weeks are used only to dilute the overdose in the water column. This is done by frequent water changes and filtering with active carbon. After 3 weeks NH4 drops and you can put in fishes and get rid of the algae from the glasses and remove active carbon from the filter. This is the point you start dosing liquid fertilizers. So it is clear that you cannot follow this regimen when the only source of fertilizers is from liquid additives. If you do not have a rich substrate which needs time to settle, you should start dosing your liquids from the start. That's exactly the same thing that Amano is doing (i.e. fertilizing his plants from the start), his substrate is only more than enough to do the job for the first weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sorry, we do not know what is in the power sand etc.
It may be filled with nutrients, it may not.
It's a clay product, there might be a small amount in there, not a lot.
I've used cat litter with similar results.

That's clay also, a bit messier though. You could add some moisture, some macro's, peat etc and cook it a little and like get something much more definiable.

But the notion that it prevents algae is a crock. Water column ferts don't cause algae when the plants have enough nutrients to begin with.

Why would the NH4 be high unless you added it to begin with?
Duh....

It would not matter if you added NO3 and the other nutrients or not, NH4 is the key problem and good plant growth can easily be achieved via water column dosing without any algae issues.

So this entire theory is crap.

I've said this for close to 10 years and no one has ever come even remotely show me that I'm wrong.

You don't limit the algae by adding things to the substrate.
Doesn't matter if it's a new tank or not.
What does that have to do with it?

Nothing.
Plants will take the nutrients from the water column first, not secondarily.
Numerous studies show this.

You can believe you limit algae all you want and the method will still work, but to say it(nutrients in the water column) causes algae is patently incorrect.

NH4 is the exception, but unless you add it, it can't cause algae.

I don't sell sand, gravel etc, Amano has business interest and makes $ at this. So he has a reason to do this.

Adding a tad of soil to Flourite will do the same thing also.
A month or so supply.

.....But........ you gain nothing from this.
Just another way to dose but you may as well start doing the water column since you are going to anyway. Plants will take it from the water column first and therefore give better growth from the start.

NH4 will be removed anyway no matter which method you wish to do no matter what with big weekly water changes.

Regards,
Tom Barr

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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plantbrain said:
Sorry, we do not know what is in the power sand etc.
It may be filled with nutrients, it may not.
Tom, didn't you pay attention? Mr. Amano cleary stated that Power Sand was infused with "power". Power sand is disrespectful to algae due to the addition of super power nutrients. :D

The real reason I posted was in response to an earlier comment I read, that excess trace causes algae, I disagree with this, I could basically do a water change with Flourish and not have a problem. However, and this is a big however, I think my water company is adding a lot of phoshpate to combat pipe corrosion, iron and phosphate react quite quickly to form insoluable salts, so high PO4 might suck up a lot of that trace, but thats for another thread...

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hehe,
Yep, that's an Amano comment for sure:)
One day I need to sit down and talk to him about nutrients.
Wim and I know he's not big on the science part, he's huge on the art part.

Europeans have this anti macro school of thought that macro's = algae and the Japanese seemed to have inhereted it as well.

Neither has done the research to show that this is true/not true.
Both assume things without actually testing them carefully.
That bothers me. I have to ask what else did they miss?

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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I would like to clarify a few points of my previous text. I meant that after 2-3 weeks from the start up of an Amano tank you get rid of the algae on the glasses MANUALLY by scrubbing it off. So no magical substrate fertilizer effects here. However, after 2-3 weeks from the start no NH4 is anymore dissolving from the Power Sand straight to the water column, since the layer of ordinary sand above the Power Sand has got full of nitrifying bacteria. Thus, after this point there is no significant algae problems in an Amano tank, because the nitrogen is already in the form of NO3 when it gets from the Power Sand to the water column. I think this is completely compatible with the ideas presented by Plantbrain here and elsewhere. Thus, when you understand the nature of Amano's set ups, you understand that the notion that Amano is waiting a few weeks before he starts fertilizing his plants is wrong. I think this was the question of this thread and I tried my best to answer it.

Moreover, I can confirm from my sources (i.e. Amanos magazine Aqua Journal (english issues) and his books in German) that the Power Sand is the main source of nitrogen in Amano set ups. The nitrogen seems to be mainly in the form of NH4. This view is further supported by my own measurements with the Power Sand. I am not trying to say that Power Sand is something special you must have to get a succesful planted aquarium. On the contrary, I am sure that it can be replaced by liquid fertilizers, because I cannot think any reason why not. However, I must admit that best plant health and plant condition in AGA's 2004 aquascaping competition was clearly achieved when Power Sand was used. A good example of this was "the Best of Show" by Mr Knott.

http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org/2004.cgi?&Scale=3&op=showcase&category=0&vol=3&id=8

You can find other examples too, if you look closely to the pictures and read the specifications. However, this of course does not prove that you cannot get same results with a different approach.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yuschka said:
I would like to clarify a few points of my previous text. I meant that after 2-3 weeks from the start up of an Amano tank you get rid of the algae on the glasses MANUALLY by scrubbing it off. So no magical substrate fertilizer effects here.
I seldom have any algae.
My tanks have been set up recently and I still have not needed to touch the glass, been 6 weeks.
All methods that are taken to high level need pruned and cleaned often to keep in good shape.

But that is not an artifact of the method.
Non CO2 tanks may not need algae cleaning for 6-12 months.

Yuschka said:
However, after 2-3 weeks from the start no NH4 is anymore dissolving from the Power Sand straight to the water column, since the layer of ordinary sand above the Power Sand has got full of nitrifying bacteria. Thus, after this point there is no significant algae problems in an Amano tank, because the nitrogen is already in the form of NO3 when it gets from the Power Sand to the water column. I think this is completely compatible with the ideas presented by Plantbrain here and elsewhere. Thus, when you understand the nature of Amano's set ups, you understand that the notion that Amano is waiting a few weeks before he starts fertilizing his plants is wrong. I think this was the question of this thread and I tried my best to answer it. .
Well, try this is want even better results:
Add mulm and peat.
Then you will not have either.
You can add carbon also to remove NH4.

I get the plants growing from the first day and focus on their needs.
I don't use NH4, nor suggest it.
NO3 dosing does not cause algae, perhaps you disagree?

I still stand by my original premise, dosing from the first day does not cause algae.

Water column or substrate, it still should not cause algae.
The substrate can supply the macro nutrient source for awhile, but Amano's method switches to water column soon thereafter and assumes macro's cause algae in the water column which is simply not true excpet for NH4 related issues.

By giving the plants what they need from the start, the NH4 never builds up enough to cause algae blooms.

Yuschka said:
Moreover, I can confirm from my sources (i.e. Amanos magazine Aqua Journal (english issues) and his books in German) that the Power Sand is the main source of nitrogen in Amano set ups. The nitrogen seems to be mainly in the form of NH4. This view is further supported by my own measurements with the Power Sand. I am not trying to say that Power Sand is something special you must have to get a succesful planted aquarium. On the contrary, I am sure that it can be replaced by liquid fertilizers, because I cannot think any reason why not. However, I must admit that best plant health and plant condition in AGA's 2004 aquascaping competition was clearly achieved when Power Sand was used. A good example of this was "the Best of Show" by Mr Knott. .
Last year someone else did something quite different:)
Best of show does not mean the method works or not.
Substrates are not particularly critical when the water column is dosed well.
Art vs horticulture are also two entirely different issues.
I can force a nice looking tank with any method:)

FYI, I've used power sand back 6 years or so ago. I'm not impressed vs the other substrates. I also don't like things with NH4. I seem to know that it causes algae, something others just don't seem to get.
NO3 is fine. NH4 is not the best thing to add. He could eliminate the algae in the start and up have the tank do better by switching to NO3 instaed.
At low levels, plants prefer NO3, not NH4.
See Diana Walstad's graph on Elodea for an example. NO3 rate is still high at low levels, NH4 flat lines.

Yuschka said:
You can find other examples too, if you look closely to the pictures and read the specifications. However, this of course does not prove that you cannot get same results with a different approach.
It does prove that their assumptions about algae ARE incorrect though about algae and the water column.........

If I lower the light, go non CO2 and slow the growth rates down, I can rely on substrate and fish waste exclusively. So is that method better?

Less light + CO2 can also produce a similar result.

Still, you never addressed the issue at hand, why wait for dosing the macro nutrients(, NO3 and PO4, K, not NH4)?

Does it cause algae?
That's what you are saying, that's what Amano is saying.

It's wrong.

Long term tank set ups with macro dosing does not in anyway imply dosing the substrate from the start helps produce a better tank.
You need to do the start ups and look for plant health/algae, not look at the aquascape, which is what Oliver's tank won based on.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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plantbrain said:
Still, you never addressed the issue at hand, why wait for dosing the macro nutrients(, NO3 and PO4, K, not NH4)?

Does it cause algae?
That's what you are saying, that's what Amano is saying.
Well, I think I did address the issue at hand by saying that Amano does dose macronutrients from the start. The initial dosing just happens through the substrate which is added at the start-up. Consequently, no liquid fertilizers are needed during the first 2-3 weeks.

I was not saying that dosing macros (and/or micros) from the start cause algae. I was just describing how Amano's set-ups work. He just happens to use NH4 in his substrates. I think that Mr Barr has made a good job by disclosing the algae's dependance on NH4. I have nothing to add to that. I have similar experiences. Now, the question rises: why on earth Amano is then using NH4 in his substrates. The answer, I think, lies in the binding properties of soil and clay particles. They bind only cationic ions (positively charged ions). Only nitrogen containing ion which is cationic is NH4. So if you want to make a substrate with high nitrogen content, you need to use NH4. Other forms of nitrogen are leached from the substrate too fast to be practical for long-term fertilization.

The genius in Amano's substrates is the fact that although the nitrogen in the bottom layer of the substrate (i.e. Power Sand) is in the form of NH4, the nitrogen ion which dissolves to the water column is NO3, since NH4 ions are oxidized to NO3 while they travel from the bottom layer of the substrate to the top and finally to the water column. The only drawback is the time which is needed for growing enough bacteria for the substrate to work. This seems to take 2-3 weeks. Until then you get NH4 to the water column and, consequently, algae problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You can take a little out, place it in a sealed container, pack it full, add water, wait a day or two, bacteria will not have formed in 1-2 days, so you should get some NH4 and/or NO3 out of it.

Bowes(2004), Barko(1981), Cargreen(2002) all found independently that plants will take the nutrients from the water column first, not the substrate given the choice on non limiting conditions in both locations.

These were controlled studies.

NO3 binds to negative layers in clay matrices and can be chelated and complexed as well. I'm not so sure it's NH4 that's in there, but I know a simple test to find out.

If someone uproots this before the bacterial layer forms, SOL.
Any macro substrte method does that.

So why not add KNO3 down there instead?
NH4 does not increase plant growth that much if you have good NO3 levels.

You guys want to figure this stuff out? Do friggin controlled test and try adding KNO3 or NH4 down there.

I've done that already.
I've done the water column.

I just ain't seeing the benefit from substrate fert's.
I also have the top researchers in controlled studies for support. Amano?
"power"........nice guy, great artist, but come on......many folks that have met him etc have said he's no plant physiologist. I would not even ask him about any of that, you'd never get an answer. I've hung out with him a couple of times and listened.

What I have not done: added/soaked NH4 to kitty litter, capped with sand, tested the ADA stuff in the jar test. Flora base is made by the same company that makes Amano's substrates also from what I've read and heard.

Clay by itself will bind ions from the water, PO4, NO3, NH4 etc.
1/2-3/4 Baked clay will be somewhat like Flora base.
I suppose I can dig up the info on that and see how it's made.

But back to the original issue:
Why not fertilize from day one?

Even if Amano adds NH4 to the sub, adding KNO3 to the water column is not going to change that. NO3 excess does not cause algae. He does not add NH4 to the water column (except fish).

BTW, you can get around that pesky bacteria issue by adding mulm, what is better than adding wht is precisely from an established tank full of active bacteria? Nothing I know of.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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plantbrain said:
You can take a little out, place it in a sealed container, pack it full, add water, wait a day or two, bacteria will not have formed in 1-2 days, so you should get some NH4 and/or NO3 out of it.
Well, I have just done that with ADA's Power Sand and got high NH4 levels. I admit that my experiment was not a controlled study, but I think it is indicative enough. However, it must be pointed out that my result was not a surprise, since high NH4 levels (as high as 2 ppm) at the start are openly documented by ADA. Please see the following link

http://www.vectrapoint.com/main/manual/bm14.html

plantbrain said:
Bowes(2004), Barko(1981), Cargreen(2002) all found independently that plants will take the nutrients from the water column first, not the substrate given the choice on non limiting conditions in both locations.
Of course, I can only agree with that statement. However, Mr Amano seems to prefer substrate fertilizing. I have tested his basic set of liquid fertilizers and found only very low concentrations of nitrogen and phosphate which could not be enough to grow such densely planted aquariums as his are.

plantbrain said:
I'm not so sure it's NH4 that's in there, but I know a simple test to find out.
I'm not sure either. In the above link the following is said:"During the initial stage of setup, the large organic substances from the substrate is dissolved and turned into ammonia." What are those "large organic substances"? Maybe organic substances from peat?

plantbrain said:
Amano?
"power"........nice guy, great artist, but come on......many folks that have met him etc have said he's no plant physiologist. I would not even ask him about any of that, you'd never get an answer. I've hung out with him a couple of times and listened.
You said the magic words: Amano surely is a great artist. However, we should know that to be a great artist you have to be a great technician in your art too. I guess that if we now knew what Amano knows, the scene here would be totally different. I think he still has a few aces in his sleeve, because his plants flourish under conditions in which we often fail. For instance, he frequently uses very soft water, about 1 dGH (corresponding to about 20 mg CaCO3 per litre).

plantbrain said:
But back to the original issue:
Why not fertilize from day one?

Even if Amano adds NH4 to the sub, adding KNO3 to the water column is not going to change that. NO3 excess does not cause algae. He does not add NH4 to the water column (except fish).
I agree.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yuschka said:
plantbrain said:
You can take a little out, place it in a sealed container, pack it full, add water, wait a day or two, bacteria will not have formed in 1-2 days, so you should get some NH4 and/or NO3 out of it.
Well, I have just done that with ADA's Power Sand and got high NH4 levels. I admit that my experiment was not a controlled study, but I think it is indicative enough. However, it must be pointed out that my result was not a surprise, since high NH4 levels (as high as 2 ppm) at the start are openly documented by ADA. Please see the following link

http://www.vectrapoint.com/main/manual/bm14.html
Thanks, I suspect it, no need for a controlled study, it told you what you needed to know and why and where the source of nutrients was coming from.

Jobe sticks added to the substratye can do the same thing, try uprooting the ADA stuff at 1 week's time, bet you get Green water and other algae.

If you pull upo a jobes, this causes issues as well, I suspect the NH4 etc is weak.

I doubt Amano/ADA knows about NH4 - NO3 dynamics and algae.
So they decided to approach it this way not knowing what each individual N form would do or not do.

So they went and put the N in the substrate to avoid this much like adding a jobe's in there as well, although I'd suspect it's not as concentrated.

plantbrain said:
Bowes(2004), Barko(1981), Cargreen(2002) all found independently that plants will take the nutrients from the water column first, not the substrate given the choice on non limiting conditions in both locations.
Of course, I can only agree with that statement. However, Mr Amano seems to prefer substrate fertilizing. I have tested his basic set of liquid fertilizers and found only very low concentrations of nitrogen and phosphate which could not be enough to grow such densely planted aquariums as his are.[/quote]

Well, adding more of his ferts with low amounts is the idea:) Sells more:)
But many folks tend to add more than recommended amounts, so conservative concentrations are par for the course if...........
You assume they cause algae..............

But you end up buying Amano's water and little on the nutrients.

Sorry, but for large growth rates etc, what goes in, must come out, there is a relatively finite amount of nutrients available from a substrate, after that runs out............it has to come from somewhere..........
This is a simple two box moidel and you are simply not going to get around that with magic or myth. You can slow the growht rates down and use less, less light, slower growing plants, less plants etc, but this two model you cannot escape.

plantbrain said:
I'm not so sure it's NH4 that's in there, but I know a simple test to find out.
I'm not sure either. In the above link the following is said:"During the initial stage of setup, the large organic substances from the substrate is dissolved and turned into ammonia." What are those "large organic substances"? Maybe organic substances from peat?[/quote]

Naw, peat takes a long time and is low in N/PO4 and it's organically bound, eg unavailable to plants, but it is available to algae.

plantbrain said:
Amano?
"power"........nice guy, great artist, but come on......many folks that have met him etc have said he's no plant physiologist. I would not even ask him about any of that, you'd never get an answer. I've hung out with him a couple of times and listened.
You said the magic words: Amano surely is a great artist. However, we should know that to be a great artist you have to be a great technician in your art too. I guess that if we now knew what Amano knows, the scene here would be totally different. I think he still has a few aces in his sleeve, because his plants flourish under conditions in which we often fail. For instance, he frequently uses very soft water, about 1 dGH (corresponding to about 20 mg CaCO3 per litre).[/quote]

You got it. I can force any method with diligent work........
But the parameters do not produce the same results.....
This is something that needs to be reproducable based on the environmental methods, that is repeatable..............in science we don't accept that type of research if many cannort reproduce the same conditions.........

There are many reasons he might not tell you(business interest) or he simply may not know..........

plantbrain said:
But back to the original issue:
Why not fertilize from day one?

Even if Amano adds NH4 to the sub, adding KNO3 to the water column is not going to change that. NO3 excess does not cause algae. He does not add NH4 to the water column (except fish).
I agree.[/quote]

Me too:)
Thanks for the feedback, Jeff is sending me some to play with when their order comes in.

Also, see old osmocoat, soil, Jobes, etc etc additions to the substrates off the APD. I discussed having a specifically coated product that had everything except NH4 in there to add as based that would slowly release things.

I can say the same thing about soil substrates also:)
They are, well, dirt cheap too:)

If you read and look at Amano's method, it includes activated carbon to remove any NH4 and by products that might turn to NH4.
Lots of shrimp are also added a bit later.

Various compounds such as Urea will quickly turn to NH4 in water also, I suspect that might be the source of NH4.

So none of this seems particularly insightful or special once we understand a few things, which the NH4 test, simple as it was showed.

Comparing the ADA soil to other soilds, substrates etc shows similar things.

Adding cabon or NH4 remove to a regular soil based substrate would work just fine as well. That would be a nice comparison for a substrate test I have planned over at UC.

If Amano had the substrates boiled prior to packaging, this would remove the NH4=> NO3.

So the activated carbon would not be needed, then again, he could not sell the carbon then either:)

Thanks for the feedback and discussion.
Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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WOWZERS! That was quite an exchange.You guys are good. Real good. Just remember- Amano is trying to put it all together on a neat little package so anyone so can take it home and do a nice plant tank. He doesn't want you to have to worry about all that stuff, so he's tweaked it a bit. If I had to cook up kitty litter and osmocote to do a layout, i probably would have given up by now just out of the sheer pain-in-the-butt factor. I want to open a bag, pour it in, follow some simple instructions and aquascape, baby!
Tom, you said man- "more than one way to skin a cat." For sure!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yep,
Most folks would like a one shot non DIY approach and if you do what we do as mainteance set up folks........heck..........."I ain't time to bled" one famous Gov once said...........
Flourite make a great ex foliator though:)
But there is a market for ADA items, it's all high line and classy.

I think Dennerle and Dupla had the same idea(and have a huge marketing line of products) as does Diana Walstad's approach. I wish more folks would attempt to scape with non CO2 approaches(not Excel either).

But most folks have this same goal about getting folks to approach this simply without issues, the method can be simple. The why is far more my goal, I'm not selling a product line nor is Diana Walstad.

Florabase and ADA substrates are made by the same company from what I understand. Luis and myself have complaints about that substrate, perhaps Amano has altered some aspects about Amazonia.

I will try the jar test on the Flora base also.
So many substrates, so little time:)

Years ago I did a couple of full Dupla systems for clients. Ehheeh, it did okay, a few years later we re worked one and replaced the substrate with existing mulm and floruite, the client has been in very happy since.

While Amano says they last, there is only one way to see if they turn to mush like Florabase does after about a year. I'm not the other person to state this.

But the intial issue is the start up phase, seems to work well there by all accounts.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 
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