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Recommend/ Why hasn't anyone done a comprehensive video about all the chemistry of a planted tank?

castle

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I have a lot of spare time. I can grow algae, so I must be able to grow plants.

Can anyone recommend a video that’s going to tell me all I need to know?
 

castle

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Honestly I’ve read lot of posts on here, but I still don’t really have a clue.
 

zozo

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All you need to know is achieved by years of trial and error and still there will remain many questions... :)

Concerning video's about it, in the nowadays social media hype, you can't see the forest for the trees... And many shared knowledge out there still is a theory often presented as something universal. But unfortunately, it isn't...

Anyway IMHO a nice start would be looking at Dennis Wong's Youtube channel. He goes quite a long way trying to explain.


 

jaypeecee

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I have a lot of spare time. I can grow algae, so I must be able to grow plants.

Can anyone recommend a video that’s going to tell me all I need to know?

Hi @castle

For reasons that have already been mentioned, I wouldn't ever expect to find a video that comprehensively deals with the complex topic of aquarium chemistry. But, there are some very good books out there that provide a lot of valuable information and there are one or two websites from which you can also obtain useful information. It's difficult to make recommendations as it will depend on your knowledge of chemistry in general. You may have done some basic school chemistry or, for all I know, you may be a University chemistry lecturer. So, with these provisos, here's some stuff to get you going:

[1] Book - Ecology of the Planted Aquarium by Diana Walstad

[2] Website - https://aquariumscience.org

[3] Website - Seachem - Articles

JPC
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
So, with these provisos, here's some stuff to get you going:

[1] Book - Ecology of the Planted Aquarium by Diana Walstad

[2] Website - https://aquariumscience.org

[3] Website - Seachem - Articles
<"Aquarium Science"> is an interesting one. I think he is very good on what you require to keep Rift Lake Cichlids in non-planted tanks, but when he strays away from "hard water/no plants" things begin to break down a bit. What I like about both Aquarium Science and the <"Ecology of the Planted Aquarium"> is that they include experimental data and are referenced etc.

<"Seachem"> I have all sorts of issues with.

cheers Darrel
 

castle

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Thanks for the suggestions, I'll circle back. 



I should say, I can grow plants, but co2 enriched tanks aren’t my kind of thing so I am forever on the backfoot. I’ve read Ecology of a planted tank, but this question came about as I’d like to watch a video on this as I drown in the bath. 
Perhaps it's about to become more than that.

I don't think this subject is impossible to break down; for me this is best shown as a decision tree. I’m trying to get a knowledge dump in a format that works for me. I can painfully get someone to turn this all into a video :)



Imagine, me - an 8 year old boy - I would ask a series of questions to get to an eventual answer. Assume I know nothing. 

Let me give an example:



about 3 layers down

Qa - What is TDS?
Aa - This is the total amount of dissolved solids
Qb - What are the solids? 
Ab - Solids such as calcium and metals.
Qc - Do I need calcium in the aquarium?
Ac - Yes, (more questions about Calcium)
Qd - What would my target TDS be?

Qe - 



…this would go on for a while, many branches…


Questions are short, answers are short. 



Who are the most knowledgable plant people around, maybe I could just hire them for an hour to answer all my questions and then try and use that data as a starting point to share.

Any legs in this idea?
 
Last edited:

Karmicnull

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That feels a bit like <5 whys>. I've also been thinking about some form of beginners guide to planted tanks, and I seem to recall @shangman saying she was too. There is a ton of info on this site, but it's not organised in a way that makes it easy to access.
I started off thinking about some FAQ-style format, but gradually gravitated towards a wiki for a couple of reasons. First-off, it enables that sort of 5-whys approach @castle suggests that lets the reader double-click into areas of interest, and secondly because it lets many people contribute. Then I wondered about how to prevent trolling - whether you should have some sort of qualification to give you write/edit privileges (a little like the 20+posts to access the sales forum we have here). In then end my conclusion was that walled gardens eventually wither and die when all the gardeners leave, and it would be better to follow Eric S. Raymond's approach in <the cathedral and the bazaar> and leave it completely open to all. In particular his observation "given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow" always sticks with me.
So that's where I was a week or so ago, when I discovered <the aquarium wiki>, and in particular the somewhat sparse planted tanks section. I made one test change <here> (adding a link to UKAPS), and waited to see whether it survived or got trashed. To-date, it remains untouched, so my current plan is to try and add or improve a page every week or so on that wiki, giving an explanation about some aspect of planted tanks, with references to relevant posts / threads mostly on UKAPS, and occasionally elsewhere, and gradually cross-link those pages to build a resource that is helpful, easy to navigate, and reasonably data driven.
That said, if there is a better suggestion, I'm willing to get behind and push that instead (to what extent I can in my commitment-rich, time-poor lifestyle)!

Cheers,
Simon
 

LondonDragon

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That said, if there is a better suggestion, I'm willing to get behind and push that instead (to what extent I can in my commitment-rich, time-poor lifestyle)!
We have a nice articles forum where this sort of information can be kept, rather than posting this all over the internet would be beneficial to UKAPS members if it's all contained in the site, after all, all the information is here like you said, just needs to be collated, digested and put into an easy to understand form ;)
 

Karmicnull

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We have a nice articles forum where this sort of information can be kept,
Is there a way that I can write an article that is then open to anyone else to edit and improve? Or update with better links to keep it fresh over time? The power of a wiki is in its open nature. I'd much rather do something in-house, but I don't want to write a guide or explanation that can only be maintained by me. That's not a sustainable mechanism.
 

LondonDragon

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Is there a way that I can write an article that is then open to anyone else to edit and improve? Or update with better links to keep it fresh over time? The power of a wiki is in its open nature. I'd much rather do something in-house, but I don't want to write a guide or explanation that can only be maintained by me. That's not a sustainable mechanism.
We can potentially create a new category of users, called something like "Content Moderators" and allow editing of any post in the articles section like our Global Mods have edit rights to all posts on the public forum.
There is also the option to add a Wiki Style option to the forum (at extra cost) and migrate the articles to that and then again allow certain member groups to edit the content, it is never a great idea to allow just anyone to edit any post, then it's extra work to go through every change everyone makes to ensure integrity.
 

PARAGUAY

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I dont think you could easily edit or change a article tutorial easily anyway. I like the fact that people can comment after and the writer has right of reply ( eg Plantbrain input to The Soil Substrate and Dirt planted Tank) it extends the knowledge. One thing l like the idea of (eg again) Contest competitors UKAP members after the results are in small article how they got there sort of mini journal
 

zozo

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Qb - What are the solids? 
Ab - Solids such as calcium and metals.
Qc - Do I need calcium in the aquarium?
Ac - Yes, (more questions about Calcium)
Qd - What would my target TDS be?


Calcium is a metal... The solids you measure as TDS are the salts all salts are a chemical composition from a Metal element and a Non-Metal element. Such as (Metal)Natrium (Non-Metal)Chloride makes table salt. Or (Metal)Potassium (Non-metal)Sulphate) makes a fertilization salt.

All salts are thus partially metals, and metals dissolved in water makes water conductive, more salts = greater conductivity. Then if we use a conductivity meter which a TDS meter actually is it gives you a low or a high number in return telling you the relative salinity of the water in micro siemens. The type of metal in the Total Dissolved Solids is rather irrelevant because you can't know without a chemical analysis what solids it refers to. This makes it a rather meaningless and fairly useless number.

If you do the recommended weekly water change any way you do not need to know the TDS because it actually tells you nothing useful.

Then coming to this conclusion all the time spend doing it and or watching videos about it is more or less a waste of energy if you are not planning to become a chemist and build a laboratory to do the analysis to know what it all means. :)
 

castle

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Calcium is a metal... The solids you measure as TDS are the salts all salts are a chemical composition from a Metal element and a Non-Metal element. Such as (Metal)Natrium (Non-Metal)Chloride makes table salt. Or (Metal)Potassium (Non-metal)Sulphate) makes a fertilization salt.

All salts are thus partially metals, and metals dissolved in water makes water conductive, more salts = greater conductivity. Then if we use a conductivity meter which a TDS meter actually is it gives you a low or a high number in return telling you the relative salinity of the water in micro siemens. The type of metal in the Total Dissolved Solids is rather irrelevant because you can't know without a chemical analysis what solids it refers to. This makes it a rather meaningless and fairly useless number.

If you do the recommended weekly water change any way you do not need to know the TDS because it actually tells you nothing useful.

Then coming to this conclusion all the time spend doing it and or watching videos about it is more or less a waste of energy if you are not planning to become a chemist and build a laboratory to do the analysis to know what it all means. :)

Sorry Zozo I think you missed the point, that was an example and I missed "other". Good response though :D
 

zozo

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Sorry Zozo I think you missed the point, that was an example and I missed "other". Good response though :D

Yup, and thank you... :)

I think I'll never get the point I gave up finding it after 45 years of experience in keeping aquariums and alike that in a way more often only contradicted each other in what I thought I knew. Been there done that, wanting to know it all, with questions that only can be answered with more questions. Driving one nuts overcomplicating things and realizing we actually don't know. Then I felt like that famous proverbial fool asking more questions than 10 professors can answer. I don't feel like I know more now than I did 40 years ago. The most important rule of thumb I learned and know that definitively work is doing good husbandry and water changes...

Take for example Humic substances in the water, we know already for many decades that this is something all aquatic organisms mysteriously react very positively to. But we actually still don't fully understand why that is and how it works... It's still very recently that a university in Germany picked this study back up trying to find the answer. I believe there still isn't a conclusive answer other than we still don't know but evidently we can not have enough of it in our tanks.

I guess the best comprehensive approach for the hobbyist in keeping a symbiotic biochemical complex such as an aquarium is...

The K.I.S.S. principle.

I once did read a rather thick book about Biochemistry and Neural junctions etc. and after I was done reading the very last page of the book stated the anticlimax in one sentence.

"All this is based upon generally accepted theories and plausible hypothesis and it may not be interpreted as absolute truth."

I thought what the hell did I read all this for then? :eek: And then I looked at my fish tank and I saw one big Synaptic Cleft... I did learn more from that last sentence than I did from the entire book.

I guess it's the big mystery and all questions that only can be answered with more questions is what makes this hobby so great to be into it and stay in it for a lifetime... Knowing it all spoils the challange.
 

John q

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We have a nice articles forum where this sort of information can be kept,
Just a thought ~ wouldn't it be easier for people to find if say karmicnull did an article on TDS and that was then added as a sticky in the water chemistry forum.

I was actually surprised that with all the knowledgeable members in the forum there wasn't more of these stickies explaining some of the basic things that's mentioned above.

Of course this would require time and effort from forum members, but would imo create a useful knowledge-base.
 

shangman

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Just a thought ~ wouldn't it be easier for people to find if say karmicnull did an article on TDS and that was then added as a sticky in the water chemistry forum.

I was actually surprised that with all the knowledgeable members in the forum there wasn't more of these stickies explaining some of the basic things that's mentioned above.

Of course this would require time and effort from forum members, but would imo create a useful knowledge-base.
This would be nice, especially as the ones we do have are super useful, and then can further utilise the vast range of specialist knowledge people have here. I love going down long post rabbitholes on UKAPs, there always seems to be a new thread full of fascinating information, but a lot of it is old and so really hard to find.

##
That feels a bit like <5 whys>. I've also been thinking about some form of beginners guide to planted tanks, and I seem to recall @shangman saying she was too. There is a ton of info on this site, but it's not organised in a way that makes it easy to access.
I started off thinking about some FAQ-style format, but gradually gravitated towards a wiki for a couple of reasons. First-off, it enables that sort of 5-whys approach @castle suggests that lets the reader double-click into areas of interest, and secondly because it lets many people contribute. Then I wondered about how to prevent trolling - whether you should have some sort of qualification to give you write/edit privileges (a little like the 20+posts to access the sales forum we have here). In then end my conclusion was that walled gardens eventually wither and die when all the gardeners leave, and it would be better to follow Eric S. Raymond's approach in <the cathedral and the bazaar> and leave it completely open to all. In particular his observation "given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow" always sticks with me.
So that's where I was a week or so ago, when I discovered <the aquarium wiki>, and in particular the somewhat sparse planted tanks section. I made one test change <here> (adding a link to UKAPS), and waited to see whether it survived or got trashed. To-date, it remains untouched, so my current plan is to try and add or improve a page every week or so on that wiki, giving an explanation about some aspect of planted tanks, with references to relevant posts / threads mostly on UKAPS, and occasionally elsewhere, and gradually cross-link those pages to build a resource that is helpful, easy to navigate, and reasonably data driven.
That said, if there is a better suggestion, I'm willing to get behind and push that instead (to what extent I can in my commitment-rich, time-poor lifestyle)!

Cheers,
Simon
Yes I am still thinking about doing that! I would like to work on it with others if people are interested (message me if you are interested :) ). I wasn't thinking of anything big like a wiki, but more like a simple clear guide to a first planted aquarium that clearly explains the concepts you need to understand to not kill anything accidentally in a clear encouraging way, with links to more guides, tutorials and further reading for more depth if people want it, and to let them know of some of the possibilities. Personally I think it would be good if the guide was pretty (I am a designer after all lol!) with some illustrations to help people visual concepts, as a dyslexic person it's easy to get confused when all the science gets involved (I managed to read Walstad's book and completely miss all sorts of essential info). I think it's also good to attach it to UKAPS, as people here are always happy to help, and it's nice to contribute to the site and the community, cos really everything I know I learnt from you all. :)
 
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