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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V4 #309

Gitte Wrote:

This morning, in the June issue of FAMA, I read an ad containing a sales
pitch for something called "Natural Aquarium Vital", apparently a carbonator
for freshwater aquariums.  It claims to provide liquid, time-released CO2
production without the need for cylinders, controllers or monitoring
devices.  BTW, I am not in any way affiliated with this product or the
advertiser, but I must admit to being curious about it.  Does anyone know
anything about it, or has anyone used it?

What it very likely is, (if it has anything at all in it that releases CO2)
is a sugar solution.  There was a long discussion on this product about 3
years ago on the APD, and I think I recall someone who actually bought some
of the stuff saying that one of the ingredients was dextrose.  Dextrose is
just another name for glucose.  Put some sugar in your aquarium, and
bacteria will rapidly break it down, releasing CO2.  However, if you put in
enough sugar to release a significant amount of CO2, you will have cloudy
water and fish gasping at the surface.

There are lots better ways to provide CO2 than adding sugar.  Just feed
your fish.  If you don't have fish, throw in a few flakes of oatmeal.
(Don't throw in too many, or you will get low oxygen, low pH and dying
plants.  Adding CO2 directly gives higher levels than you can get by having
organic matter break down in the water.  You can't add very much organic
matter without using up the oxygen, but you can add lots more CO2 from
yeast cultures, or one of the various regulated systems that supplies CO2
from pressurized tanks.  See The Krib for all the details.

Paul Krombholz, in dry central Mississippi, where we got about half an inch
of rain last night.