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EI and foreground plants

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by cazandchris, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. cazandchris

    cazandchris Member

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    Hi Tom
    Have been doing EI for 6 months I am really happy with my results.
    View attachment 552

    View attachment 553
    Up till this point foreground plants I've been using are just Blyxia and the Hairgrass and have been thinking about other foreground plants.
    What do you say to the ADA fans who believe that when the substrate is the main form of nutrients, HC, Glosso, etc, all grow low and along the ground but Water column fertilisation promotes these plants to grow in a Upward Direction?

    This seems to me to be hogwash but having had no experience with these plants I can't yet comment in EI's defence...

    Cheers
    Chris
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    All I have to do is look at about dozen tanks I've done, and 100's that other's have done with plain sand.

    Aquatic plants are opportunistic, they will get nutrients from locations, it also is important to specify which nutrient as well.

    So if you add very little to the water column, and add a rich sediment, of course, the plants have little choice:)

    Any beginning plant science person would tell you that.

    Say you do the reverse, add nothing to the sediment, but add a non limiting solution to the water column, modified Hoagland's solution etc is a standard method used in plant science for this non limiting solution used in growth studies.

    Then you compare the rates of growth.
    They will be slightly higher with Hoagland's.

    Now Hoagland's has NH4, we do not like to add that to the water dcolumn for a few good reasons.

    The ADA crowd never tests, anything near as I could ever tell.
    They do not set up test where the plants still have fertilizer available for the other case, where plants have access to water column ferts like the sediment.

    You have to compare them on equal terms for any test.
    Have a control, then try ADA AS + water column ferts(lean vs rich etc).

    Not one of them appears to have ever done that other than myself.
    So ignorance is hardly the measure of knowledge and experience.

    You can claim all day long, but unless you have set up and done a well out test, and your results support your claim, it's not much more than belief.

    Suppose you are limiting plant growth with say PO4, how might that affect things and your belief when you add PO4 suddenly and you get algae bloom?
    Why might that happen?

    If the CO2 was low to begin with, you did nothing else, and added PO4, that switched one limiting factor PO4, to now CO2.

    And we all know what happens when you have low CO2 suddenly..........

    However, if you make sure CO2 is high for both cases, then you do not get the same response.

    Simple controls are very very rarely done in this hobby.

    Low growth can be easily achieved using scissors:)
    That's what ADA does, and that's what they do at AF and that's what I do and have for decades.

    It's called pruning.
    HC builds up and needs pruned.
    Less light= less growth= less frequency in trimming.

    If you have mild limitations, you will have less growth also.
    Less light, less CO2 etc etc.

    Many variables these folks rarely , if ever, account for completely.
    You can still have a nice tank, make claims, and have absolutely no clue about plant growth or the parameters inside your tank also.

    I'd prefer not to go that route, I like to know why and be able to explain most of the variation in observations based on a sound model of plant growth.

    You can measure height, but you need to set up and proper test to make the claims they do.

    HC grows very well in ADA, it does well in mud and without any water column involved at all, most aquatic plants can grow well without water.

    Yet we see plenty of cases of HC and Gloss being grown nicely in plain sand.
    Maybe it's the grower and the water column dosing, rather than anything to do with plant preferences.



    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Then prune often, you can also try the ADA AS. That EI gives nice results for all species I've tried it in.

    Then you have both, not just one.
    If you believe their claims, then adding EI to ADA AS would yield really high, tall growing plants, but that is NOT the case near as I can tell.

    So they need to measure height on equal terms with plant biomass, light and nutrient status, which is a large undertaking.

    Then compare the two methods.

    I've done that with 5 sediment types and a control and upper range for one plant species.

    These plants are creeping, so it's hard to say what they are seeing, poor water column dosing, poor CO2, who knows..........maybe they finally started providing enough nutrients.

    Does not matter where.
    I do get better growth with aDA AS vs sand, but there's more nutrients.
    So even if there is a preference, I have both bases well covered.

    I do not argue this "either or" baloney, the reality is that uptake occurs in both locations and obviously pruning plays a huge role in gardening and the growth habit you want.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. cazandchris

    cazandchris Member

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    Thanks Tom
    Tis as I expected...
    thanks for detailed explanation..
    Cheers
    Chris
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well, with many plants, less growth= less height, so slower growth is what many want.

    also, the stage of growth of the plant, is it a baby plant?
    Juvenile?
    Adult plant?

    After they have established roots, HC, Gloss etc over grow and get frigging huge and mound on eachother using the entire ADA line......if you fail to prune, even Amano states this and shows an example in the ADA book 1.

    the Gloss is about 12-18" tall there.

    The evidence is right there from Amano himself.

    I'm not sure what other evidence they need.
    Seems more like ADA snobbery and whining about EI.
    FYI, I have an ADA tank and use the ADA AS a lot.

    Also, unlike any of them, I actually measured the consituents of the liquid ferts in ADA's brighty series and then had independent verification from an enviornmental lab. I know a lot more about what is being added than they do.
    That much is painfully clear.

    You can also reference the Cedergreen and Madsen paper from 2001:

    See this thread I posted:
    http://www.barrreport.com/articles/3635-madsen-cedergreen-2003-jackson-et-al-1993-a.html

    Now, the paper does not specify the species of aquatic plants of interest, but you can and folks have grown these pants in plain old soil, various other sediments besides ADA AS.

    It is grown in large amounts commercially in Asia now and not in ADA AS.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     

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