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Re: EZ-Serpent Extract

On Fri, 8 Jun 2001, Ivo Busko wrote:

> See, I'm not a believer in that thing, I also think it's snake oil. I also
> laughed at first at the "no chemicals" statement. But the "test report" I
> pointed out before offers an alternative: an ion exchange resin. That woud
> qualify IMHO as a "no chemical" based on the popular use of the word
> "chemical" to refer generically to ionic solutions. We don't use normally
> the word "chemical" do refer to particulates in suspension. Or, in an
> alternative wording, things that can be removed with plain mechanical
> filtration.

I read the same material that Ivo read.  It would be consistent with the
reviewer's observations and the product description if EZ-Life consisted
of something like a finely ground zeolite (mineral) exchanger in a mildly
buffered solution.  In a well-filtered tank the exchange medium would stay
mostly in suspension, clouding the water until it was picked up and
removed by the filter.

That sort of product could certainly have some effect.  I don't know what
effect, but some effect.  To the extent that it does have an effect --
like removing metals, for instance -- that might be construed as a bad
thing for planted tanks.

Some of the effects reported in the review article are things that can
happen spontaneously when tap water is stored (decrease in Cu content, for
instance) and others are insignificant (i.e. a small percent increase in
oxygen content).  It's difficult, without using an actual control, to say
what effect the EZ-Life really did have.  The article also had *way* too
many exclamation points in it for me to take it seriously.

Besides, I don't recognize any of the people or publications involved.

I think the product is almost certainly over-sold, but just listing a lot
of possible effects doesn't make it snake oil.  As Davy asked when he
originally posted about the product, try to keep and open mind.  Look at
all of the uses and effects of baking soda; it's good for everything from
leavening your bisquits to extinguishing grease fires to brushing your
teeth and it adds alkalinity to your tank, too.  Are we going to accuse
Arm and Hammer of selling snake oil in a box?

Ok, my mind is all open and accepting now.  Do I think that EZ-Life is
going to revolutionize aquarium keeping?

You must be pulling my leg :)

Roger Miller

Who notes that EZ-Life is probably a bit off-topic for a plant list.