I think I am now about ready to go - just need the aquascape! Just one thing you said which confused me - you say below to 'crank the CO2' but I am planning to go down the non-CO2 route.
If you go that route, you still can at sometime in the future if you come to that bridge. The same applies for using Excel. Use it well if you use it.
I see where you are coming from with the DIY substrate, and will investigate locally. I still have a notion of going with the ADA Amazonia but this might be because I have been reading so much about it. Seemingly it leaks a bit of ammonia at the start but the dry start method should take care of this. My water has a pH of 7.4 and a hardness of 8 German degrees, 14 French degrees or 142 ppm as calcium carbonate - I don't know what units you use: this is slightly hard. Maybe I need Amazonia 2 - does it leach ammonia too.
You read about it because the CO2 and the pretty pics, not because it will give you some greater effect than wetland clays/loams.
Those have peat and NH4 as well. ADA AS takes less work, it's easy to use and you can do the Dry start method without adding anything. The NH4 is gone in a few weeks due to mineralization, the filters are primed and ready to go, the plants are nice and well rooted, sediment has not moved.
The KH and GH will gone way down, do not use the ADA AS II. Use the plain old original version.
Again thanks for you thoughts. I wouldn't mind hearing your views on eutrophication sometime.
It's pretty much the same opinions express by the aquatic plant folks at IFAS.
Crisman and Bachmann, Brenner, Hoyer, Haller, Bowes, Reddy etc.
Florida has 7800 Lakes 4 hectares and over. That's a lot of data. They have low nutrients, medium and high nutrient systems, various loading rates, aquatic macrophytes, or not................examples where Pi loading is high and the results for those systems, which are generally not the same.
But this is stable sub and tropical shallow lake systems, not northern deep, highly dimetic lakes with 2 turnovers per year. Wind, temp, water inflow, seasonal changes(dry vs wet seasons) causes all sorts of changes.
You argue that nutrient excess is not a cause of algae but yet a vast amount of legilsation is based around limiting nitrate discharge to the marine environment and P discharge to the freshwater environment to prevent algal blooms.
I'm not so sure such legislation is well placed scientifically, ethically I'm more than willing to look the other way and leave things the way they are
It depends on each system and the presence of aquatic macrophytes.
I do not like seeing human source change done to natural systems.
Let nature reclaim the ecosystem and we should stop our pollution input.
In some systems in northern lakes, this is true, but in others, adding more PO4 will result in more weed growth, neither of which is good really.
This is distinctly different from horticulture in aquariums however.
These are very different goals and the ability to change things like lighting, CO2 are impossible. Not so in an aquarium. Very easy there.
See the Florida lake example vs water level.
Some folks in legislation did not like that paper after they started spending lots of $ on how to reduce PO4
The experimental lakes area in Canada have done some great experiements on this. I am not an algal biologist so take their word on this - and use it as an argument to justfy my research into ways of biologically removing P from wastewater! But you might have an alterative view.
Well, P itself is not a toxicant, the secondary effects MAY BE. Depends on the system.
Crismann argued what I'd argued without any real rebuttal(they agreed with me and where sort of surprised, but not really, at my view), that limiting P is not how to best manage Lake Okeechobee, one of the largest wetland pl;ant covered lakes in the world. I do not grow plants from Canadian lakes, nor do my light durations changes almost 2 fold seasonally, nor are my tanks that deep, and they actually have 30-50% or more surface coverage.
If you add nutrients, you will get more production, but what type? Macrophytes or algae? Depends on what is already there to start with. and the level of disturbance, the water levels stabilization etc.
Water levels stabilization has caused massive aquatic weed problems in many countries, but the trade off is irrigation water, flood control to prevent loss of life and property damage etc. Then we blame the weeds
I'll cite a paper for you where he goes into it.
The everglades is a different system with different issues, adding more P causes periphyton changes and also Caldium native grasses get replaced by Typha at higher P loading. The natural levels of P are about 3-10ppb or less, beyond testing detection ranges for most places. How do restore such massive ecosystems with PO4 removal methods technology we have today? They have Billion's$ in funding.
So there's a great deal of neat well funded research in Florida, and it's also a 50 million $ a year aquatic plant trade, and plenty of lake replicates of arious trophic status.
Here's some good references, I encourage you to contact and communicate with these folks.
And trophic status.
These papers might blow your mind some and change your view.
So...they are good reading for students to show and challenge their views and what we traditionally think to be the case.
So it's just not me alone in the wilds, there's good research that's been done and looked at, reconsidered etc.
Another often cited paper in Philips 1978, a mechanism for the decline of macrophytes due to eutrophication.
Philips wrote an awesome paper, however, they skewed the PO4 data. They included the fraction of PO4 from the pytoplankton in their water measurements, they did not add the same fraction of the macrophytes, so the high intenral PO4 in the algae biomass was included, and not the high PO4 inside the plants.
This showed no correlation when you add the macrophyte % of the PO4 in there.
If you take the PO4 out locked up in the plants, then it looks liek that low PO4 in the water is well correlated to good macrophyte growth!
So there where methods issues with the paper, and skewing that occurred.
Maybe it was lake level like in the above paper, not PO4, that's really the issue.
I am more observational, I like to look and think a long time first. If a theory claims one thing, then I try and induce the result. If that does not work, I will want to know why and start questioning the hypothesis put forth critically.
Here's IFAS's researcher listings, they have pdf's of many of their papers.
Great bunch of folks and they have a lot of industry funding , governmental funding and private/academic funding.
Here in California, we only have 4 % of our native wetlands left.
Florida HAS WELL OVER 50%, BUT A LOT MORE.
Good news is that many wetlands can be restored and rather quickly compared to many other ecosystems. It might take a long long time for the critters and inverts to come back however, but the function and plants can come back fast.
So we can take back some of the destroyed lands and provide flood plain control, nutrient reductions, riparian forest, habit, pollinator habitats, natural parts for recreation and increased land values etc.
Even large rivers can dramatically reduce the loading by 40-50% for even the Mississippi river by adding adjacent wetlands and flood control measures.
After the 1993 flood and the Hurricanes, folks are seriously considering it and spending the $.
Marine coastal systems really can take a beating from it though, they are much different than wetlands.
This is why good mitigation before it gets there, good delta/estuary preservation is good as a buffer. That is a sustainable approach that benefits more folks and nature over time.