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Discussion Starter #1
I don't expect many replies, but is there anyone out there that knows what exactly is in ADA ECA. All I can tell so far is that it has iron of some form in it.

thanks!
 

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You can add a number of acids to your tank and claim is helps chelate iron and most cations better and therefore claim it improves plant uptake, thus growth.

Most of these ideas" etc are good in theory and very poor in practice.
Spend your $ and time pruning and doing the basics(water changes, dosing, making sure the CO2 etc is fine.

These little enhancement products are marketing ploys to get your money, not some "new research" break through.

Once you realize that, every new thing that comes down the pipe is much less "inticing".

You could add peat and claim the same thing.
I could call it a variety of things and cook up some justifcation to get your $.

Work on the basics, NPK, traces, CO2 and good basic maianteance/observation.

That is what will give an Amano tank/plant health, not some miracle additive or his entire line of products.

If the company is not forth coming about how it works and plays the BS game, I'll pound them to death unless they can offer up some sort of proof, justification other than "their word".

This was the same thing that was done with RO's and planted tanks, Heat cables, and lighting/Hormones etc.
A few folks swear by them, but I ain't one of them. No one has done a decent debate on those to convince me or most folks that they are needed or a benefit.

I'll gladly take this product to task as well.

do you have a link to it or ingredients etc?

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Here is a direct quote from my ADA Product English Manual:

"Plant color-loss is a commonly observed problem in planted aquariums. In most of the cases, this is caused by deficiency of iron in the aquarium water. ECA. rich in iron in a form which does not easily combine with other ions, prevents color-loss and improves the condition of aquatic plants. Also contains various natural organic acids."

If this product sounds like a gimmick, then Flourish must be snake oil. It sounds pretty reasonable to me.

Carlos
 

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Okay, it's just iron and a chelator based on that statement. And some organic acids(aectic, humic, fluvic etc)

So what is special about that?
How is it different than Flourish then?

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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I don't see any difference between this BS and Flourish Iron, except Flourish Iron doesn't cost you an arm and a leg. Here's an excerpt for Flourish Fe: Flourish Iron™ is a highly concentrated (Fe+2) gluconate supplement. It should be used in those cases for signs of iron deficiency appear (such as short and slender stems or yellowing between veins.) Plants are able to much more easily derive a benefit from Flourish Iron™ than from EDTA-iron sources because all EDTA iron is in the ferric (Fe+3) state. Since plants require iron in the ferrous state, additional physiological energy must be expended in order to extract the ferric iron from EDTA-iron and then convert it to the ferrous form.
Use as needed to combat signs of iron deficiency (usually seen in new growth) which include: chlorosis (yellowing) of tissue between veins and short and slender stems.

I think you get the point, it's basically the same thing probably even better...I don't see whats all the hype about Amano products!? :?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wow, such passionate words...

I agree that ECA isn't some new technology or anything, and ECA definitely won't make or break an aquarium at all. Nobody has any problems growing gorgeous and healthy plants without any of the ADA fertilizers, and my intention of the thread wasn't to refute that. There's tons and tons of useless crap out there, but it is hard to determine if something is useless crap if you don't even know what is in it. I was just wondering if anyone out there knew the chemical make-up of this product because I bet there are already products in the U.S. that are very similiar like Flourish Fe, products that many of us may already use or discard as useless crap. Some people claim that ECA helps certain soft-water South American plants, and that is all I was wondering. I am not planning on running out and spending 20 dollars for a 50mL and then having it shipped ot the U.S. anytime soon.
 

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I bet if I take the sticker off of a bottle of Flourish and call it something else, and make some untested claim or use any famous person's name, I would still attract a lot of helpless customers... :wink:
 

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Untested claims? These attacks on Takashi Amano's ADA brand of fertilizers is TOTALLY UNFOUNDED. I don't think people have a right to attack the quality of the products when they haven't even seen the bottle. However, I can see the results through the internet. They DO work.

The contents and potential of ADA products are very well known in Japan. In his Aquajournals, Amano explains the hows and the whys on how each product works. He explains that each product is scientifically tested in their ADA labs.

Furthermore, the ADA products have been tested by hobbyists in Asia with promising results.

Amano's products may be very expensive here due to high tariffs and shipping, but in Japan they are one of the most affordable, according to hobbyists who live or have lived there.

Carlos
 

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I didn't mean to say Amano's products are a hoax. I'm just saying people tend to buy products that famous people use, even without knowing if it's better than the local fertilizers available readily...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Raul-7 said:
I didn't mean to say Amano's products are a hoax. I'm just saying people tend to buy products that famous people use, even without knowing if it's better than the local fertilizers available readily...
that is the exact point of this thread...I am trying to find out what is in ECA
 

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The usage of a product without contents, anaylsis etc makes it very difficult to suggest/know what is going on.
Hummm.....

I don't like products that do not give the low down, I'm not attacking Amano, I'm making a point about products and so called "scienctific development."

If they REALLY were doing that to advance the hobby rather than the product line, we would have seen macro nutrient dosing and PO4 a long long time ago. I see a lot of justication for hair brained products and some pretty myth filled claims seemingly written by used car salesman.
Each claims "scientific research".
After hearing this for 30 years, it does get old.

Cables, RO, PO4/NO3 removers, light color, algae cures, fish health/breeding, etc

Every few months, another product comes out.
Keeps the public hungry, ready to try something else new.
Not because it works, but because it's "new".

I guess someone sees something in the research that seems like it makes sense, adds it to justify the claim and off they go to make the product.

It's like the K+, Ca++ issue in the research, it acts on a completely different level than what people were suggesting.
There is very little research specific on aquatic submersed plants on many issues. I could support my product line with many things/ref's but not really specifically on submersed aquatic plants.

As far as soft water plants, name one that is a soft water plant, I don't know of any, what is meant by soft? How soft is soft? 50ppm? GH or KH?
Just becuase they are found there does not make them "soft water plants". This is an old myth I've been pounding on for a long time.

If you decided to used a weaker chelator because you have softer water(say 2-3KH/GH 2-3), that would be fine.
Say Gluconate(Flourish) vs DTPH(Tropica) but could you tell scientifically and quantitatively the differences specifically on aquatic plants that we use?

I think that would be very tough and it would take a lot of work to show this. I have serious doubts when someone claims research in some of these products for very obvious reasons to me, I know what is required to do this research.

I am crochety after 30 years of seeing the same old crap in a new package, partly because I know what is needed to grow plants, whether it's marine, FW, brackish, CO2 or not, partly due to the practical aspects without a business agenda involvement. I get more so when they claim science but no ref's and no support.

That's making Aquatic science look bad.

But back to this issue of what is in it, I think that's been answered, how much or specifics really is some what mute if you know what it does in terms of plant health and growth.

Then you can have an idea about how significant the product may or may not be.

As far as cost, Tropica and ADA, DEnnerle etc have trouble importing here and the cost for sending small amounts is high, the USA market is fickle/Cheap also.
Tough to get in here.

I'd like to see many of these products though, but it's unlikely we will.

That's why knowing the basic elements that grow plants is important and not the brand names.

That way you can grow the plants anywhere well.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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So again, how is it different than say Flourish?
A mag to explain it and how it works?

That never got answered and folks in SG use ADA stuff a lot, but they also use SC stuff also. They don't report better/worse stuff than what we see here. The differences are in tending/aquascaping, not in dosing.
I've helped many folks from Asia out over the years. A good aquascape does not imply a good product. That is an assumption.

I think many of the products sold by ADA could be simplified and get down to a few basic componets rather than marketing all these other things. But it is a business...........

Give it whirl, traces take a long time to note subtle differences and these are very prone to subjectivity, not science.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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I talked to some Chinese folks and some other's that have used it.

Nothing special.
Sounds like marketing, not "new" research or anything that would be anything more than "subtle" at best.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Who did you ask, Tom? Wayne, Eric, Jerry, or Harry?

I'm using a bottle of Green Gain right now (I got it for free, please don't scream at me) and am impressed with the results. I am using small amounts of it in my emersed setup and 55g. I've definitely seen an improvement in the C. parva's growth rate.

Maybe just a fluke, I guess.

Carlos
 

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Discussion Starter #16
oops, my bad...I should have said thanks to everyone that participated, Tom just posted a lot

I still do believe that the extra iron in ECA and other cheaper products may help some plants in some situations...but maybe I am just a sucker, oh well that is my loss if that is the case.
 

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Wow, I missed this topic.

I hear what Tom is saying and it is my personal opinion that companies should list their ingredients on their bottles. That being said, I can confirm that ADA products do have extensive research behind them. ADA has a team of experts (botanists, chemists, and hobbyists) developing products. They are not snake oil.

As has been said many times, there is more than one way to have a good looking planted aquarium. ADA gives you a very regimented way to do that. Can you do it only with PMDD or the Flourish line or the Botanica line? Sure.

It is unfortunate that the Aqua Journal is no longer being printed in English as it provided a lot of background on ADA products. Some of the mystery that surrounds them is dispelled if you are able to read the ADA Lab reports and other articles they contain.

Perhaps we should ask our Japanese friends to do us a favor a translate some of them?
 

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I had a chinese friend do it for me.
Not much to it.
Nothing special.

Art, all that research etc sounds great.
But if there was a real concerted effort, they would have figured this stuff out many years ago.

Not one of them suggested more CO2 than 15ppm, PO4, NH4 as the caustive agent for algal blooms, hard water is fine for Aquatic plants and where some of the best growth occurs ....on and on ad nauseum...........

Everyone of them said something quite different prior.

It sounds good to a consumer and sounds more like a marketing ploy, not real research.

I ain't no genius, I was a poor student, just one person and few hobbyist for feedback.

Sure, anyone can try and make a routine work for them with strict guidelines using ONLY their products, most of which get even more and more extensive as time wears on.

But that's business protection/sales, not research.
It's similar to making it a "secret ingredient" that you have to pay extra for.

I could refomulate all sorts of products and say it enhances this or that.
I could add a little Fluvic acid in my trace and make a big hodo over it.
I could make a plant "NO3/NH4 uptake accelerator" and just have it be KH2PO4 and water.

I wanna see something that shows that heating cables work.
Neither Claus nor myself have found any support for many of these claims.

You wanna trust them, put faith in their team of "researchers", be my guest.

But I will be critical of this so called "research".
Doesn't mean I dislike the company or Amano, I like him a great deal.

No, this is not snake oil, but it's not the cat's meow either.
It's just some traces with some Humic acid etc in it.

As mentioned, SeaChem's Flourish could be considered similar.

But I can get info from Greg, he'll be invasive in some areas, but I get enough to know what is occuring and if it works etc and why.

These product lines keep growing etc, but there are only a few simple things plants need, light, CO2, nutrients.

More stuff is not better.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Tom,

Nobody is arguing with you buddy.

plantbrain said:
Art, all that research etc sounds great.
But if there was a real concerted effort, they would have figured this stuff out many years ago.
Come on, Tom. You being a student of science will appreciate the fact that aquatic botany (especially that defined by the confined space of our aquariums) is far from being an exact science. There are a number of things that science has yet to fully understand or explain. Ongoing research is necessary and will lead to new and novel ideas and methods.

The study of aquatic plants dates back well into Egyptian times, but it wasn't until relatively recently that we truly began to understand nutrient uptake and plant requirements.

plantbrain said:
Not one of them suggested more CO2 than 15ppm, PO4, NH4 as the caustive agent for algal blooms, hard water is fine for Aquatic plants and where some of the best growth occurs ....on and on ad nauseum...........

Everyone of them said something quite different prior.
Tom, we all thought very differently back then. I call it the evolution of a hobby for the better. There are plants that do better with hard water, but there are those that do not. I can name various Crypts that prefer one side or the other.

As you know, there are those even today who use very different methods and still achieve excellent growth with little visible algae.

plantbrain said:
It sounds good to a consumer and sounds more like a marketing ploy, not real research.

I ain't no genius, I was a poor student, just one person and few hobbyist for feedback.

Sure, anyone can try and make a routine work for them with strict guidelines using ONLY their products, most of which get even more and more extensive as time wears on.

But that's business protection/sales, not research.
It's similar to making it a "secret ingredient" that you have to pay extra for.
Now Tom [-X Lets clarify some things here. I don't believe ADA (or other reputable company) ever said ONLY my products work. No one claimed to have a magic ingredient. Certainly there is good marketing behind Seachem, Tropica, Dupla, ADA, etc. but that's good business.

Don't dismiss the research that you have not seen.

I could refomulate all sorts of products and say it enhances this or that.
I could add a little Fluvic acid in my trace and make a big hodo over it.
I could make a plant "NO3/NH4 uptake accelerator" and just have it be KH2PO4 and water.

I wanna see something that shows that heating cables work.
Neither Claus nor myself have found any support for many of these claims.

You wanna trust them, put faith in their team of "researchers", be my guest.

But I will be critical of this so called "research".
Doesn't mean I dislike the company or Amano, I like him a great deal.

No, this is not snake oil, but it's not the cat's meow either.
It's just some traces with some Humic acid etc in it.
I won't buy into something until I understand it. I understand what they are doing with their fertilizer line, additive lines and substrate lines. I also understand why their products are made the way they are. If there is something I don't understand, I will ask for some substantiation before I purchase the product. If I don't get it, I won't buy it.

However, don't discount research you've never even seen. I think if you took the time to investigate ADA's research, perhaps you will at least be a little less critical than you are being. You don't have to agree with every product a company put out.

You bring up Claus Christensen of Tropica. He is one of the world's most respected aquatic gardeners. You may be interested to know I one of the Dupla tanks in Tropica has their heated cables. Both Claus and Holger have had many conversations with Amano and his team and I know they hold them in high regard.

Tom, lets just ask questions before jumping to conclusions. APC is a wonderful forum for this.

Tell you what, I will contact Nozomi Hayakawa at ADA and ask him to provide us with some background on ECA. Maybe that can begin an interesting discussion on humic acids and their impact on plant physiology. That reminds me on an interesting discussion I had with Kaspar Horst of Dupla. Well, that's another story...

plantbrain said:
These product lines keep growing etc, but there are only a few simple things plants need, light, CO2, nutrients.

More stuff is not better.
Enjoy the diversity available to us now, Tom. I, for one, would be tremendously bored if all I had were NO flourescents, yeast, and a bunch of bags of dry chemicals. For a long time, that's all we had!

All the best!
 
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