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Re: Tropica & dupla
Ryan Mills wrote:
"I read on the Tropica website about why their plants
are not sold in the United States, but found their
explanation somewhat lacking. Could someone explain?"
Most countries with major farming industries have restrictions on the
importation of anything which could harbour disease and/or pests - this is
quite reasonable and is the reasoning behind the USDA ban on the importation
of any plants other than those which are barerooted (i.e. no soil).
Unfortunately, the regulations treat the rockwool used by Tropica as "soil"
and thus the ban. The archives of the list has more details - this has been
discussed many times - run a search.
"I find it very frustrating trying to order a specific
plant. I ordered Ludwigia arcuata awhile back and got
Rotala rotundifolia. It's not the dealer's fault, the
same distributor sent him some unknown silvery
cyprinid instead of SAEs."
It IS the dealer's fault. There are many aquatic plant sources, both in the
U.S. and in the far east, who know what they are selling. Your dealer is
just not willing to pay a bit more to deal with such a company - probably
because the majority of his customers are not willing to spend the extra to
get plants which have been reliably identified. It's also, to some extent,
YOUR fault - if you ordered a particular plant and that was not what was
delivered, you should have refused to accept it and taken your money
elsewhere. It wouldn't take too many customers closing their wallets to make
the retailer sit up and take notice.
The economy of North America is consumer driven - you really ARE in control.
You just have to realize that fact and demand what you want. The flip side
of that statement is also true - you have to be willing to pay a fair price
for quality. It doesn't take too long on a list such as this to realize that
a lot of people are incredibly cheap and will accept all sorts of excuses
and/or substitutions for the sake of saving a few pennies. For example, they
will spend a fortune on hardware and then look for the cheapest brand of
kitty litter to use for a substrate - the archives are FULL of posts about
how to shave a few pennies by making sometimes questionable substitutions.
"What about Mastergrow? Even if the plants can't be
imported, why not that stuff? Why isn't it on the
shelves just like eveything else?"
It is imported. Tropica's web site gives two U.S. sources - both of which
are here on the APD - Dave Gomberg sells it as does Monolith Marine Monsters
(m3). Here in Toronto we can go into any Big Al's store and buy it (they
also do mail order to the U.S.)
"And what's the story with Dupla? I don't know
anything about that at all except that their products
are expensive but supposedly superior."
See the above rant about "cheap consumers".... Dupla was the company which
popularized the high tech approach to aquarium management and it appealed to
a lot of people because their approach seemed to have been backed up by
solid research. Their book "The Optimum Aquarium" is still very highly
regarded, even though it is out of print in English. Dupla is brought into
individual countries by official distributors and there currently is no
distributor in the U.S. Therefore, you can't get it, unless you can find a
retailer who has remaining stock from when it used to be distributed here.
Both Dupla equipment and their fertilizers are high quality, high end items.
Nobody NEEDS to go that route, but those that WANT to appreciated Dupla's
level of quality. I'm sure that same could be said of ADA, Dennerle, or any
of a number of other full line manufacturers which are no longer available
in North America.
Product wise, consumers generally get what they deserve.... if they want
high quality, high end products and are willing to pay the $$$ for them,
someone will sell it. If they aren't willing to spend the money, the
companies trying to eek out a living at the upper end of the hobby will
continue to fold and disappear silently into the night.
Notice that I make no claims that any of this high tech material is required
to have a beautiful aquarium, full of healthy plants. Then again, nobody
_really_ needs a Porche to drive to work or church either.