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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V4 #835

 > The
 > article also suggests that the often-photographed "Asian natural aquariums"
 > are hostile environments to fish. As an alternative, Marc Weiss offers 
 > product, which they classify as an optically active conductive polymer
 > (OACP). Among other claims, this product is reported to offer "liquid,
 > time-released CO2 production as needed..." >>
Of course, an optically active conductive polymer is just a plastic like 
material that polarises light and conducts electricity. Not much to do with 
dissolution of CO2, unless the product contains micro-pouches of this 
material full of CO2 gas that slowly dissolve in water. 
Even then, they'd float. 
What it probably is, is an alkali metal hydrogen carbonate in a gel solution. 
That *will* add CO2 to the water (we use in our biology department for plant 
physiology experiments), but it will also increase pH by adding alkali metal 
hydroxide. And with the amount of the stuff you'd need to add to get a useful 
increase in CO2, the water would become inhospitably alkaline for most fishes 
(each molecule decomposes to one molecule of CO2, and one of metal 
hydroxide,eg NaHCO3 --> CO2 + NaOH). And the CO2 wouldn't counteract this 
rise in pH, because it is not in itself acidic, and the alkali is being 
evolved as fast as the CO2. If I have this all wrong, someone fax me a hat to 
End of Chemistry 101. (I don't think Marc Weiss passed this class.)
There are always people prepared to take advantage of the gullible public for 
their own ends. See also pirhana, Oscars, red white 'n' blue glass cats, bog 
plants, freshwater sharks, saltwater Discus,etc,etc...aargh.