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[APD] RE: Malate

> I have to ask: do you have a lot of ethanol in your tank, and if so how do
> you know? Are you planning on adding malate to help? I'm just really
> curious as to the context of the question. For what it's worth, I've added
> quite a lot of acetic acid to my tank deliberately (as a pH reducer)
> without noticing any ill effects.

The questions are purely for academic interest on my part although I hope
that I provoke some interest. I have used organic substrates and we are told
by those who should know, that ethanol is a by-product of anaerobic
decomposition. Out of the substrate it would convert to acetic acid but
lacking free oxygen, it will probably remain as alcohol within the

Malate is a common adaptation of some plants which must survive anaerobic
soil conditions. See
or <http://www.wetlands.com/coe/87manapc.htm>.

I would be curious to know how universal it is to aquarium plants. I think
we should be aware of the possible consequences of alcohol formation in the
substrate. I'm not proposing a new treatment, rather to stimulate discussion
to help us to understand how plants cope under water and to guide us in our
choice of substrate materials. Does that clarify the intent of my question?

I thought this might be common knowledge for the biologists among us.

It is a difficult question to answer using a web browser alone HOWEVER
somebody with time & curiosity can find out a lot using the Google search
engine. I'm wondering why some folks aren't trying to discover things using
Google, participate in technical discussions & provide a fresh perspective?

Steve P

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