Re: Current Dupla Research

From: James Purchase <jpp at inforamp_net>
> The reason I'm asking about this is not to criticize the company. George
> Booth obviously thinks their system works and has published wonderful
> articles and photographs proving his success with both Dupla's methods
> and their products. I hope it works (or else I'm going to end up with
> 120 gallons of stinking swamp in my living room). But when I think about
> all of the changes that have taken place in this hobby over the past ten
> years (anybody talked to a Marine hobbyist lately?) I find it hard to
> believe that a company like Dupla would just stop their research. Or
> maybe I'm just ticked that they no longer seem to take those of us who
> live on this side of the pond (and speak English) very seriously - hence
> their lack of recent published information in English.

You hit on something that is a source of irritation to me also.  I would
love to read some of the research Dupla has performed.  Their system works
and works well.  There are a lot of unanswered questions left after reading
TOA.  However, Dupla doesn't currently take the US aquarium market
seriously.  Possibly for good reason.  On the other hand, I sure don't see
much R&D from US aquarium product manufacturers either.  I've certainly
never seen any research published by SeaChem, Kent or Aquarium Products
explaining how they came up with their products or to explain how and why
they work.  Maybe we don't want to know.  I suspect they don't want us to
know that many of their products are inexpensive mixtures available through
non-hobbyist channels.  There are however a few companies that do publish
their research such as Thiel Aqua Tech.

I would guess that 99% of published aquarium literature in the US is
written by the  hobbyists.  Much of the content being anecdotal rather than
scientific.  This isn't necessarily bad, but this literature frequently
leaves a lot more questions than answers.

Back to Dupla literature, I spoke at length to John Burleson and he painted
a pretty dismal picture.  Dupla apparently has little interest in the US
market.  Dupla manufactures very high quality products.  They are also very
expensive.  Your typical shop owner can't afford to sit on a $900 pH
controller.  I suspect they just don't sell much product in the US save
heating cables, laterite and Duplaplant.

Now that $1000 Dupla pH controller is an amazing device.  All of the
aquarium pH meters/controllers available in the US (with the exception of
the Octopus) are analog.  Dupla's is a true digital product featuring high
accuracy, temperature compensation, etc.  Do you need such a device to
control pH?  Heck no!  Would you want such a machine?  If your a
techo-gadget freak like me, SURE!  However, you can build one much cheaper.
 I think in general many of the products we buy here in the US (especially
glass aquariums) are of questionable quality.  A lot of it, downright
garbage.  (If I never see a cheap pine stand again it'll be too soon) Of
course everything is market driven and the average US aquarium hobbyist
isn't going to spend $5000 on an aquarium.  For this reason, Dupla doesn't
market anything specifically for the US.  All of their products come with
German plugs for instance.  They use to offer their very attractive
Duplalux MH pendants for the US.  They were about $1000 a piece.  How many
people here would spend $1000 when you can get a perfectly good (although
hardly attractive)Coralife Pendant for under $300.  Thus, those lamps are
no longer available.  Another example of Dupla's Rolls Royce status: the
aquarium featured in Dupla's video runs about $20,000 for the tank and
stand.  That's the price of a car!  I don't quite understand how the
European aquarium market can afford such things.  Anyone on the list own
one of those puppies?

BTW, Mr Burleson should be applauded for his efforts in getting high
quality aquarium products here in the US.  If it wasn't for him, products
from Dupla, Tunze, and Aqualine would not be available at all.  The lack of
Dupla literature isn't due to the lack of trying.  Burlesons supposedly
presented a well thought out marketing plan to Dupla only to have it shot

I don't think Dupla is down right against publishing Aquarium Heute in
English.  They need to be convinced that it would sell.

> Does anybody think that a write in campaign to Dupla / AD Aquadocumenta
> would have any positive effect, i.e. get them to publish something in
> English which would document Dupla's (or any other European company's)
> current thinking about F/W aquarium maintenance?

I have already sent mail to a few of the addresses listed on the Dupla Web
site.  I received no responses, one bounced.

My suggestion, learn German. :)