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In a way we are talking about different things, doing basic research is not the same as a production process. Do keep this in mind. We are talking about a microscopic biosystem, one without the huge sinks that nature has to smooth things out. If you can achieve a steady state what you say is fine. You know that a given airflow with a given CO2 concentration and a given nutrient density at a given temperature and pH with a given light output will produce a given flow of useable biomass.

But this is the real world we're talking about here, with many variables, and when something goes whacko we need the tools to figure out what's going on fast. I've just been reading "Life Under Glass" a biographical account of the Biosphere 2 project. After seeing some of the things they went through and the resources they had available to them I can better appreciate the concept of a closed ecology. Now we may not have to or want to achieve a completely closed ecology for long periods, but there may be periods of time when outside conditions are so bad that we want to be as closed off as possible. Then stuffs got to work right. I'd rather be over prepared if that is at all feasible.

That's why I'm doing this now. We can feed off the results of others research and print out stacks of data and reports from their findings, but it will not be useable if that cannot be translated into our rather unique application. It is certainly not fine science I am doing, I'm just trying to figure out how to make it work, and learning a lot in the process. I hope there are others out there doing the same thing.