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Hi, Nikolay,

In the recent thread on the Amano tank stats I queried Penac but no takers. Seems that it is not in use in the USA. It's easy to talk plants because one prunes, plants, replants them day-by-day. But when it comes to substrate issues such as Penac in the substrate the once-a-year-maybe dealing with substrate issue is not at the top of the mind. Once it is in there, it's in there and there is not a lot one can do about it without a complete tear-down.

Anyway, Penac, that link was the best that I have found (a South African link I think). I was wondering where to get some Penac in the USA. I would like to give it a shot.

Andrew Cribb
 

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I want to try it to, what is this stuff? The website didn't help at all and i cant read the pdf file until after work.
 

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THe PDF file didn't work for me, but hunting thru every page of their WEB site, I don't see a clear application for aquatic plants, a clear definition of what it is or what it does. On this page:

http://www.organicsa.co.za/Knowledge_Base/PenacP_ProdInfoPlants6-99.htm

it says it is available in two base forms, 1 is calcium carbonate, 98%, and the other is Molasses! I do not think I would want large amounts of either in my substrate. It's primary use seems to be to make the plants more disease resistant and resistant to bugs without pesticides. It also mentions larger root growth, but no where does it talk about using with aquatic plants.

Their Penac water product does mention aquariums, but it is to treat the water and somehow cut back algae, not to benefit plant growth. The same product is used as a sewage treatment. Their "plant" Penac is what contains calcium carbonate and is a soil treatment. As far as I could tell, Penac W (water) is a liquid for treating water quality. Where do you see an application for us?
 

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Folks,

I missed the comment on the Amano stats thread.

The Penac line is used by Amano and many people in Japan. As you may have learned, it is made in Germany and also popular their.

It is not a substrate amendment in the sense that we think. It is meant to correct the biorythm of the aquarium through the use of certain powders and wood sticks. This is thought to increase the health of plants and the overall aquarium.

We never imported the line because we thought nobody in the US would buy into it. Snake oil comments would run rampant as we are not accustomed to such things here.

Anyway, it is certainly NOT available here. However, the Aqua-Equalizer may be something similar that some reef hobbyists are using.
 

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Grey Coast Calcite= Onyx sand
Same stuff

Raises KH, has iron etc.

I use it in Marine, AF rift and FW.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Vincent,

What's your experience with Penac. Anything you can relate? Is it mainly of aid in starting up a tank or has it some sort of long-term advantageous effect? Is it expensive in Singapore?

Andrew Cribb
 

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the Aqua-Equalizer may be something similar that some reef hobbyists are using.
Well that thing is totally different, it is a supposed science that uses the energy of magnets that is supposed to have some affect on water quality, and has been severly raked over the coals as a bunch of hooey! If this stuff is as ambigouis as the Aqua equalizer, it would be laughed out of the market in no time. Biorythms in an aquarium heh? Biorythm in human health hasn't been taken very seriously either. Since this is the substrate forum I thought this was being discussed as something to add to the substrate. That was what I was looking for on their WEB site.
 

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It is used on the substrate. It is a powder and the sticks are buried in the substrate.

I likened it to the Aqua Equalizer because, IMHO, the science behind it is questionable as far as aquarium use. However, I have not thoroughly researched either item so can't really comment beyond this.

If anyone has tried either product, let us know.
 

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Well, if you read the web site carefully you will find a reference to a device that is similar to the Aqua Equalizer.

I personally have no doubt that in the US Penac and the like would be quickly labeled "snake oil". That of course is no statement that I believe or don't believe in those products.

--Nikolay
 

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Hi all,

New on APC, I see this thread and I 'll like to make my contribution. In France, product Penac is debated enough.
Some used them with success, the others for which it has no effect. It is true that product Penac bases on no precise science, they seem improve the health of plants and aquarium at long term. There is a certain numbers of french websites talk about penac and the opinions are always mitigated according to the users.

At the moment those who used them regularly seems to see improvements in tank (better grows of plants, better health of plants and fishes, more crystalline water)

I hope that it was able to help you, if need I'll add the links of french websites who talking about penac.

note : In france, is very easy to find Penac products but it's more expensive.
 

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Okay, I dug some stuff on it, it's "bioenzyme enhancers/batceria digesters, aerobic bacteria, sludge digesters", folks sell these bio digestors for drains, helping ponds etc, I've seen pond folks try it and lake management people in CA try it.
Some tried to claim it would kill an algae lake problem if we bought 1000 gallons of it. Other person did buy if for their lake I recently consulted with.

Does it hurt? Maybe your wallet.

Long term improvements sound like cable talk to me. Cables work if you believe enough that they do.

If the effects are that subtle, it's hard to say if they work or not, controlled studies will tell, but if some have not had it work, some have, the observations seem to say in controlled case, it does not work.

Folks said excess PO4 causes algae, in a controlled study, it doesn't.
I do applied lake management for both algae and weeds. I'm very skeptical about this. We see this type of stuff every few months and someone trying to sell it or other variations of witch craft, moon bean lazers. Show me a controlled independent study on it.

I use the primary produces to balance the system, plants. That's the base of the ecosystems.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Hey if Amano uses it - I'M GOING TO USE IT! Why not? :drinkers:

Seriously, though- it certainly doesn't harm the aquarium so I am currently using the PENAC P (Plants) on the 90cm (58 gal.) ADA tank here at ADG. I am afraid it will be hard to assess it's efficacy because of all the other variables on this tank (ADA substrate, HQI lighting, etc.) that are fairly unique to this tank versus others I've done with other similar plants/dimensions. So far the tank is doing wonderfully and making faster progress than any tank I have ever done, but I can hardly attribute that to just the use of PENAC. I can say the product has been around a good while if that means anything to anyone. I would think if it was just a total scam people would have exposed it by now. I have some difficulty believing also that Amano would attach his name to something that was just totally bogus. I think it simply falls into a "supplemental"-type category of products-- not necessary to do great work/grow great plants, but perhaps helpful in some capacity.
 

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Cables are not totally bogus.
Many still believe they work.
Many sell them.
Many buy them.
Many said I was naughty boy for saying not so nice things about them.

The stuff will not hurt though.
It's not a plant nutrient either.
I have a tough time seeing how non plant nutrients will increase growth of a plant.

Organics, symbiotic fungi, bacteria etc will improve cycling and availabilty of nutrients, but if those nutrients are in non limiting conditions available to the plants, those are non issues in terms of plant growth.

I know of at least 12 different fugal associations with SAM's, many you have kept. But if you provide a stable high nutrient tank, they do well eitherway.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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As you can see from that link above the first post was made by me back in '98 when ADA first started using the Plocher Energy System.

I remember talking to the owner of my favorite LFS in Japan years ago about this and he was a little unsure of the effectiveness of it. At that time Aqua Journal was publishing a whole section to promote it. The LFS owner said he tried it, but cannot say for sure if it had any positive or negative impact on his 90cm tank.

I believe there were some controlled studies done by ADA and published in Aqua Journal. Take this for what it is worth. Amano is a businessman, but he also knows how to grow plants. I don't believe Amano would use it just to sell a new product unless it had some benefits other than monetary.

Nonetheless, I put this in the category of Supplements. I can't honestly knock it unless I have tried it.


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Generally, if I cannot get any positive effect, enhancement out of it, it's snake oil.

"Depends...." on what then?

Your methods.

If you have different methods and protocols, you might be limiting something and that will influence your results. This is most of the problems folks have when testing.

I rarely/seldom find folks that are able to do that and folks that ask about snake oils often have issues to begin with.

PO4 is a very good example. If you make sure the other parameters are non limiting, then it's not an issue dosing large amounts, this has held true for non CO2 tanks IME as well.

You can see a positive plant growth effect.
Dupla also said the same crap about cables and present "who knows what" as data for support.

Look, if it improves the "long term health" of the tank and is "subtle", heck, I can sugar and say the same thing.

That was the arguement for heat cables.

Something less subtle?
How about regular routine maintenance, water changes, filter cleanings, removal of any left over leaves, excess mulm............
Those don't cost 9$ an ounce.

If I already have awesome growth, no algae and rapid growth, why would I want or need a subtle product for enhancement?

Many people that do not use these products grow plants as nice if not nicer.
Green spot algae on Anubias is very common in a number of ADA's tanks. I know why.... and it's not a lack of Penac...

Nothing new, so what is it that this product will actually do for my tank under a controlled set up?

Is it going to growth the plants better? Help the bacterial cycling?

I add PO4, it'll help reduce glass algae, it'll help increase pearling, growth etc.
Same for CO2 and other nutrients.

Unless the methods address these other issues, I will remain skeptical.

Why would folks have issues and no results and some might?
Same was sdaid for Algone and other algicides.

This seems even less supportable.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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It is so interesting- all the chatter on this product does not go away even though everyone makes fun of it and calls it bunk, junk, snake oil and totally useless. I use it and I can get it anytime if anyone wants to try it for themselves.

People tell me I look younger and more radiant- when they ask my secret I say, "why it's PENAC, of course!".
 
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