Aquariums. They are getting better all the time, but we still bog down trying to construct the totally in situ system. "In situ" meaning in the natural or normal position. We have become good students of the natural mechanisms concerning benthic ecology. New words have been invented to describe some of it, e.g., "bio-geochemical" pathways. Holistic approaches like energy has been applied to reductionism observations about cell metabolism to explain and develop our quest. We want a type of aquarium technology that controls itself more than our intervention as maintenance. Can we create practical aquarium maintenance based on academic natural science; can it be done?
Over the past couple of years we have kept ourselves busy trying to learn what a "PLENUM" is and how it works. Bob Goemans is currently illustrating that with an in depth summary. However, we cannot get away from the fact there is trouble maintaining a large biomass load in a reduced nutrient environment , e.g., a large fish population in a reef tank. Attempts to do so have stretched all the superior traits of a plenum system to their limits.
Our emphasis on nutrients has had good outcomes, even though the term is a little ambiguous. We can now better understand where nutrients come from and how to remove potential excesses. And we also understand the necessity of nutrients to maintain and promote the production of energy, growth, and reproduction. Our vocabulary has expanded to describe the living processes of benthic ecology, and how it defines natural equilibrium. Hence, we accept, understand, and enhance the essential energy cycles. We understand how stabilizing the microorganisms that form the inextricable foundation may conceivably produce in situ filtration. The bottom line is the equilibrium of shared energy has become a realization. After all it's part of life's balance.
From the MACNA IX conference (which I attended), one conclusion could be drawn we have learned more about corals and natural systems, but there wasn't much new going on about system equilibrium. Why is that since we do better understand how nutrients lead to our successes and failures. We also better understand how nutrients depend on balance between important constituents like carbon and nitrogen. And we better understand important ways to maintain important equilibrium factors for macro cultures. For example, in nature the natural balance between carbon and nitrogen is about 7:1. By some, this is called the Redfield Ratio. If we remove too much carbon or inversely create too many nitrogen compounds, then nitrogen has a tendency to shift toward storage. Storage takes forms like primary production, also known as nitrogen fixation or algae growth. It's a general flux from the water to the sand or benthic substrate. Often this will create a temporary shift or decrease in pH and alkalinity. The maintenance reaction is to supply buffers and/or calcium, which precipitate phosphorous at the same time. The result is stored nitrogen and phosphate. You have an algae problem, you say?
The answer must lie in being able to treat excess nutrient flux contained by the water without changing/impairing energy metabolism in the sediments. And what about the high load that exceeds metabolic rates and capabilities? This kind of shoots down our hopes to achieve "in situ" filtration in aquarium science.
We have a new concept that provides change to our pessimistic prospects.
The concept hinges on two primary elements; light and water. Light is the most essential source of energy, and water is the containment medium through which it must travel. That in itself is not new and is pretty standard. However, to think of water as a liquid crystal, and light as a transformation energy source is perhaps new.
Life has a balance in every event from microscopic to macroscopic. We observe balance as conducive to our way of life and the sustaining events of things or creatures we wish to preserve. If you are trying to maintain an aquarium, you must consider the main culture you wish to preserve and then understand that countless microscopic events must happen to maintain the macro cultures. The best way to understand the system is to understand the single cell and what it needs to promote its equilibrium. Understanding the elements of the containment medium is essential, such as water, carbon, and light. Each has many variables and when all three are associated, an exponential capability exists and the complexity of the results are usually taken for granted.
A drop of water! What is it? Who cares, it is just a drop on my windshield or a bucket full of them for my aquarium. Actually, water is a solvent. Anything it comes in contact with regarding an organic nature, the water is either absorbed or it itself absorbs. Cationic, Anionic, or nonionic reactions occur. Individually or in combination. A unit of structure built up from polymeric molecules or ions is termed micelle. Micelles represent these phenomena. Most generally micelles are accredited to man's design, like rayon. However, nature is a series of interactive micelles. Micelles containing specific compounds create an association of polar bodies, and when the magnetic fields are associated with an appropriate ion array, photon emission takes place. Lightning Bugs are a demonstration of this phenomena, as well as bio-luminescence in algae. We are discussing liquid crystals, a specific type of micelle.
As we look at an aquarium filled with water, this equates to a bunch of drops. Let's say that the water is pure, therefore with the absence of salts, no reaction can occur. At the same time the water droplet is a type of optic film. This film can pass specific light waves without dissipating them. The water evaporates because of the nutrients in the water. If some of the water evaporates, then the solvent action of that water is lost and the nutrient settles to the next lower layer of water. If the next layer is nutrient loaded, elemental and molecular stacking take place. The concept of liquid crystals has been around for a long time. If you are using a laptop computer to read this, you're probably looking at liquid crystals. Water has structure, but with random movement in the medium of micelles. Together the situation is a little chaotic. However, if the water molecule can somehow be given orders to line up with other molecules in the same orientation, then the structured liquid crystal condition becomes more formal. Also the intramolecular attraction to other neighboring molecules is abated. This alone would allow better light transmittance.
Turning water into a liquid crystal sounds like a neat trick, but how could that be done? This introduces an important contributing concept. Magnetic fields can be used to dictate water as a formal liquid crystal. By manipulating the characteristics of the magnetic field, variations to the water liquid crystal can be achieved. This includes its interaction with light.
Magnetic technology has been around for years. The concept is commonly used for water treatment. It's general knowledge that it can be used to soften
water for domestic use. The drawback has been that the condition of diamagnetic change to the water is short lived. This has now been revolutionized and the benefits are applicable to the marine aquarium environment. We can now use the word polarization.
The importance of light is more than transmittance. It contributes favorably to magnetic field effects. Magnetic fields can be produced from electrons in motion, but they themselves do not emit electrons – energy without mass. Light is infinite (does not decompose) and has mass. When acting together you achieve energy without electrons, but having the benefits of mass that is infinite. Okay, so what?
Applied to an aquarium this would first mean light would penetrate better through the nutrient stacking. This is particularly important if there is inhibition of PAR values for organisms like small polyped stony corals. Better penetration means less absorption of red band, which is bad for nuisance algae and good for light loving cnidarians.
The liquid crystal can be programmed to use light to enhance some effects and limit others. By changing the polarization of the water molecule in the liquid crystal, target molecules can be effected. Ionic balance can be achieved while instantaneously changing troublesome molecules like nitrate. The important thing in this case is that it is done without adding electrons or removing molecules. Ionic balance shifts to equilibrium of the system. For example a steady pH and redox are maintained while nitrate disappears, and there is no change in conductivity (ion levels). Conductivity is the potential of charge whereas the Millivolt (redox) is the field charge exchange.
To consider the aquarium as a multitude of water drops composing a medium of micelles, is perhaps new to conceive a vision or model. However, to reduce it to this level has produced a new concept and means to better obtain the "in situ" aquarium. This can be done in a place where nutrient stacking can be controlled for the benefit of total energy to the system that we wish to maintain, "in situ". The containment medium must obey the laws of physics, but we can now program desirable ones for our advantage.
There has been found a way to take advantage of the micelle and the phenomena of liquid crystal concepts. Water drops are composed of molecules made by hydrogen and oxygen atoms. They create the situation that can be enhanced to change negative factors caused by high concentration of nutrients in a finite space. We just have to strong-arm them a little bit. It can be done! It can be done with very positive effects.
First let's apply the thinking to the conditions we have in aquariums. The environment we create is by placing water in a container that is well illuminated. Before we can add the organisms we wish to observe, we have to provide for their waste products that result from taking care of their energy needs. We add a nutrient and waste removal system. By doing so we are also adding to the micelle of the water. With increasing amounts of compounds and elements the containment medium becomes denser. With heat and evaporation the interaction of constituents becomes even more complex. Elements begin to interact in ways that normally are not a first choice. But because of density and all the factors of increased contact and interaction other results evolve. This is where equilibrium and balance start to become forfeited. This will happen in spite of the fact that the filtering system is working at its maximum capacity to remove the compounds and elements they have produced in conjunction with metabolism.
The containment medium of uncountable water drops of H-O-H (water) begins to change its relationship for balance to the organelles in the system. There is a shift in the way water, carbon, and light normally act, and some of the other exponential possibilities become evident. Nutrients become loaded with elemental and molecular stacking taking place. Light transmittance and PAR values decrease. Water becomes laden with nutrients that are available to the wrong users. The relationships between flux, storage, and utilization become unbalanced.
Liquid crystal technology and magnetic field effect changes the unbalanced condition to again favor equilibrium. That's a fact. The characteristics of the water molecule can be changed to form a liquid crystal that allows better passage of photon energy and less absorption by nutrient effects. The nitrate molecule can be changed to other forms to facilitate construction of cell and genetic material without metabolism. Both of which strips nuisance algae of its competitive edge. This is not a dream. It is a reality. A new concept. We can create practical aquarium maintenance based on academic natural science. I think it's possible and am currently involved in bringing this technology forth.