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Penac - out of the box thinking?

6549 Views 34 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  MiamiAG
Hello all,

DISCLAIMER: Admins, Mods, feel free to squash this thread if you like. People have become somewhat hostile when this topic has been discussed in the past. I'm attempting only to give some updates being that our friends at ADA seem to be carrying some of the Penac line now. Besides, I have my fire extinguisher handy in case I get flamed.;)

I have used some of the Penac products in the past and have had very good results. Better than when I didn't use the products? Hmm...probably. I can tell you I had less algae and the plants were stronger and brighter. Does that mean you should use Penac products? Well, no. What I hope you do is find out more about it. If it's interesting to you, test it out.

I found that Penac has a bad rap because of the "mojo-like" marketing pieces that are out there. One needs to understand that most of that was written for markets where people are much more receptive to such things than the US. Dig deeper and you may be intrigued.

Here is a piece on research that is being done: This website also has decent English descriptions:

Lastly, look into the use of organics and minerals in hydroponic culture.
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Well I'm a scientist and I have to admit that the world is a lot more complicated than anything science can predict.

There is a lot of interest recently in the power of prayer in medicine. The classic study was done in 1999. Here is a reference:

If prayer can improve the outcome of cardiac patients, I'm not surprised that penac can help plants.

OK here is a suggestion. Set up two identical aquariums. In the first, control all the inputs as carefully as you can but don't use penac. In the second, do the exact same thing but use penac. Report your results periodically. If there is a difference, note what it is. This way everyone can repeat what you did and decide for themselves if penac works.
I think ray has it spot on. If one has to prove that penac is actually of some benefit then you have to use a control tank which has everything exactly the same (or as close as possible) as the original tank with the exception of Penac. Without a control to compare against, any inferences from the behaviour of a single penac enriched tank is quite meaningless. Whether you like Tom Barr or not, he does carry out all his experiments using control tanks. Of course he could still have done them wrong, or if you don't wish to believe him, that is fine too, but you need to carry out the experiment for yourself, with a control tank and then prove to yourself (and everyone else) that the Penac was actually beneficial.

Art, you mention that your tanks seem to have done very well with Penac. However we all agree that planted tanks are extremely complex and plant health and growth is dependent on a vast variety of factors. Without having your control tank it is a little meaningless to ascribe the perceived better plant health to the single new variable of Penac since it could very well be down to a combination of other factors and have nothing to do with the Penac.

If we can't perform this experiment (lack of money and time are of course valid reasons) then an attempt at understanding it's effect can only be made if ADA were open about Penac and we could actually know exactly what it is. At least then we could try to deduce what possible advantages it could potentially have for planted tanks. But without that knowledge, the only proof can be from a controlled experiment as suggested by ray. Tom carried the experiment out and it didn't seem to do anything much for him. If others manage to do similar experiments and find that the Penac is actually beneficial then I will believe in the usefulness of Penac.
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Hey Art,

It could very well be that Penac does work and that it did help in your tanks. Of course you are much more experienced at planted tanks than a newbie like me. However, for the sake of establishing that Penac is indeed beneficial for planted tanks, more than one person needs to try to replicate such controlled experiments. Not just one person because it could very well be that one persons setup, while controlled might not 'work' for Penac, but in another person's setup (such as yours) it could work due to a combination of other factors. In the end I would highly encourage you to try such an experiment when you have the time and resources for it. You could prove everyone wrong after all and then we could have some more heated discussions ;)
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