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Old 01/17/2018, 11:11 AM   #11
elegance coral
They call me EC
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: central Florida
Posts: 6,232
Originally Posted by Twinfallz View Post
Only this doesn't happen in reality; quite the opposite!
I know it isn't politically correct to admit this on forum boards, but it does indeed happen, and happens often.
This is a link to a thread just a few threads down from this one, right here in the advanced section, describing how hair algae migrated from the sump to the display.

It amazes me that people actually believe that algae, especially turf algae, can spread from one section of the system to another, but only in the direction they want it to.

"Turf", of all kinds, both in the water and out, have been sooooo successful evolutionarily, due to its incredible ability to spread and conquer new territory. We build tools like weed eaters, and edgers. We build barriers like landscaping timbers, concrete blocks, and plastics. We produce chemicals like "round-up". We spend millions and millions every year in this country just to fight back "turf" and keep it from taking over.

I know, I know, I know....... "Turf algae in the oceans and our tanks is different."
No it's not.... Especially not in the way that it spreads and conquers new territory. It produces nutrient rich fragments of itself that drifts off to nourish new territory. On land, the wind is used. In water, water flow is used. Reproductive material, like seeds and spores, fallow this same path. Through this process, and others, "turf", both in the water and out, is constantly attempting to conquer new territory, and it's VERY efficient at doing so.

Here's a pic of what happens when we don't constantly put forth the effort to fight the spread of "turf". Before long, this entire street will be completely engulfed by turf.

In our tanks, in the ocean, and on land. Anywhere turf is found, it will be using the same strategy it has for millions of years. It will constantly be attempting to conquer new territory. Like our display tanks if it's allowed to grow anywhere in the system....

A little history about ATS's.
Dr. Adey, a scientist at the Smithsonian Institute came up with the ATS method. He gave speeches to people from all over the world about his ATS. These people went back to their public aquariums and research facilities and implemented Dr. Adey's method. We in the hobby, myself included, did the same. ATS's were very popular for quite a few years. Then, over time, the same symptoms began to appear in systems all over the world. Turf algae would show up in small areas of the display. More herbivores would be added, and manual removal would be done. This fight just slowly progressed until delicate creatures, like stony corals, began to die. With time, many, if not most, of these systems became a complete failure. Everyone started to abandon this method and our ability to keep these animals improved. Dr. Adey refused to give up. He would go on to build, stock, and kill the reef tank at the Smithsonian over and over and over again. I have a pic of the sign they posted outside the reef tank, while the exhibit was closed, after one of these tank failures. I just can't get it from my PC to this forum any more...
We went for years with virtually no one running ATS's. During this time this hobby advanced by leaps and bounds. Then someone came up with a sales pitch and began to spread lies and misinformation about ATS's to all the forum boards. Slowly, more and more people jumped on the bandwagon. Now we're slowly seeing the same demise of the ATS, and the animals that are forced to live with them, that we did before. At first, this was the end all be all of aquarium filtration. You didn't need anything but an ATS and you could keep what ever you wanted with no problem. Then people started running into problems. They put their skimmers and other filtration back in use. Returned to doing water changes. Then the delicate creatures like stony corals, especially SPS, began to die. Now most people with SPS tanks have abandoned the ATS idea, like they did years ago. Naturally, many many many corals had to die before this realization occurred. Sadly, there are a few SPS keepers that can't learn from others mistakes, and won't abandon this ATS idea until it kills their SPS as well.

What worries me about today, is that people are making money off of this. Back in the day Dr. Adey was about the only one making money off ATS's. When these systems failed, we abandoned them and moved on. We didn't have the love of money propping up this idea. Now, if people speak up about the failure of their ATS's it will be them that gets the blame for the failure and not the method. Just like what happened with Dr. Ron Shimek and his largely debunked DSB. ATS supporters get angry when someone speaks negatively about ATS's. Even when whats being said is factual. People that make money off of this will argue and fight as long as they can to keep this going. The people they persuade will become loud supporters as well. This will only prolong the inevitable demise of the ATS method. At least I hope the truth can still come out and we can once again put ATS's on the trash heap of this hobby.

"Most of the failures with marine aquaria are due to lack of knowledge of the biological processes that occur in the aquarium." Martin A. Moe, Jr.
"A scientist seeks the truth, wherever that may lead. A believer already knows the truth, and cannot be swayed no matter how compelling the evidence."

Current Tank Info: I'm trying to see how many tanks will fit in my house before the wife loses it.
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