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Re: Ryan Stover's defense of ADA
I see that Ryan Stover just posted some comments about his experience with
various ADA products. I was hoping that he would, as he is just about the
only person on the list to have mentioned that he has used them for a while.
Ryan, don't get the impression that I'm dumping on ADA, I'm not. I only know
what I read, and as you correctly stated in your letter, there is very
little available in English to read about ADA products. The ADA "hardware"
that I have (some of the CO2 equipment) is so beautifully made that I doubt
the company's "software" products (i.e fertilizers) are given any less
attention by the company.
I, and many others, don't buy the notion that a company should keep it's
fertilizer ingredients secret for any reason, much less the ones you gave. A
Prada handbag is made of the same materials a lot of other handbags are made
of - the cachet of the "name" is what people are buying. If ADA ever hopes
to make it in North America (and I do hope that someday they do come back)
they are going to have to understand that about this market. Snob appeal
might work with some products in some markets, but it ain't gonna fly in the
North American aquarium hobby market.
Quality, on the other hand, WILL work - look at Tropica and their experience
with TMG. The ingredients ARE public knowledge, yet I don't see a whole raft
of cheap knock-offs - probably for the simple fact that Tropica doesn't try
to gouge the public in the pocket book to get their product. They have a
good fertilizer, they are glad to tell you what it's makeup is, and sell it
for a fair price, end of story.
Americans don't have the luxury of being able to get Tropica branded plants,
but as a Canadian I do. There are now lots of other nurseries selling their
plants in pots after the Tropica fashion - some are good, some are not so
good. A lot are less expensive, but I've rarely seen any (only once, as I
can recall) company which has a nicer product. As a consumer, I'm willing to
spend the money on genuine Tropica plants because I know that I can depend
upon the quality of the product. That's as close to "status seeking" as I
care to get.
I'm sure that a lot of the ADA fertilizer products are properly formulated,
but we North Americans are an odd lot - a lot of us like to know what is IN
the things we introduce into our tanks. No amount of "snob appeal" is going
to get us over that - if a company fails to agree they run the risk of being
"run out of town" as consumers fail to support them with purchases of their
Where I think ADA gets dicey, is the fact that Amano is the Japanese rep for
the Plocher System, something that was throughly debunked here quite some
time ago. Again, this may be a North American thing, but most of us don't
put much stock in "vibrational energy", and those that do tend to be
concentrated on the West Coast (sorry Steve, Olga, and Erik <g>). In a lot
of minds, this association calls into serious quesiton a lot of things about
the "worth" of the ADA "software".
Now, I fully expect to get another flurry of "hate mail" from European
adherents to the Plocher System (it happened the last time I voiced my
opinion on here).