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Re: MarsalaSix (was: Aquarium Vital)

MarsalaSix (Rachael?) worte:

"I have only been using the Vital for two weeks now.  I was very impressed
by it's description so I am trying it out.  CO2 devices are over my expense
edge right now and I'm pretty excited to see the results of Vital.  As for
other fertilizers, I listed the ones I use.  Leafzone is used by the online
live aquatic plant distributors "Arizona Aquatic Gardens" which was how I
my recommendation for that.  I use the Root Tabs to get iron to the roots
since I'd prefer tablets then a clayish mixture or anything.  And I add a
droplets of Flourish twice to benefit the leaves.
  I'm pretty happy with them all but unfortunately something is up lately
with my plants (maybe administering the wrong amount?) and they are
 Too bad nobody here knew what was wrong, I'll look around.  Good luck with
the Vital."

I checked back through the archives, looking for posts by Rachael, to get a
better feel for what the source of her problems might be. When she first
joined the list, last year, her main problem was an inability to maintain
her plants caused by limited light. The only thing that seemed to grow were
diatoms. She solved the problem of the light by getting a 175W MH - more
than enough light for a 29 gallon tank.

However, she is making a common enough mistake and one a lot of us are prone
to make - she's listening to too much free advice and attempting to pick and
choose which to follow based upon limited experience.

Plants need a number of things in order to grow and prosper. They do best
when these things are present in a balance that will allow the plants to
grow and outcompete algae for the nutrients available.

You are providing around 6 w/g of light, and I suspect that your plants most
pressing need right now is for CO2. The urgency for supplemental CO2 goes up
as a function of the light level - many people are able to get good plant
growth in low light tanks without having to artificially supplement CO2. But
this is rarely the case in high light situations. Depending upon the species
of plants that you have, some may be more sensitive to the lack of CO2 than

For your size tank, adding CO2 need not cost you very much - an empty 2L
Coke bottle, a bit of silicone sealant, some airline tubing, a few cups of
sugar and a packet of yeast.... there are many variations described in great
detail on the KRIB. The DIY system has its drawbacks, but cost is not one of
them. You should be able to get by with a DIY solution until you can afford
to buy a pressurized set-up. I ran a 130 gallon tank for more than a year on
DIY yeast, so I know that it's possible.

Living Water Vital is NOT going to do squat for your plants' need for CO2,
except perhaps by enhancing bacterial growth and the resultant respiration
by-products produced by the extra bacteria.

Also, two weeks experience with something, be it a tonic or a fertilizer, is
not enough time to form a valid opinion about it. Have you been jumping from
one brand of fertilizer to another this often, depending upon who gave you a
recommendation most recently? Sometimes it can take you a couple of months
of using a single fertilizer, slowly learning how your plants react to it in
conjunction with the other conditions in and around the tank. This is a
hobby which sometimes benefits from patience.

James Purchase