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Old 09-19-2002, 12:07 PM   #1
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Options on Black Powder, Spectra Vital and Combo Vital

I have heard people have excellent growth with corals and they attribute their success to a combo of the products by Weiss. Specificly the Black Powder and Spectra Vital.

Has anyone here had first hand experence with these products? If so what are you options on their benifit or harm to the closed aquarium system.
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Old 09-19-2002, 01:01 PM   #2
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I don't think they are necessary and may even add harmfull amounts of (who know's what) since the ingredients/amounts are not listed on the bottles. I think some of these concoctions are akin to snake oil in the number of results claimed. Testimonials are rarely useful since, in most cases, a scientific study was not done but rather they are based on anecdotal evidence. I propose that, in an otherwise healthy environment, coral growth would have been as good or better without the use of the additive. But that's just my opinion as is all of this post. It's been said here before, don't add anything you don't test for. If you feed your tank heavy with a variety of foods, then you are adding a plethora of trace ingredients that you don't even know of. Heavy feeding puts a lot of food in the water column for the filter feeders. Scraping the algae off the glass puts a lot of phytoplankton in the water column. IMO you can get outstanding coral growth without the additives.

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Old 09-19-2002, 04:40 PM   #3
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Ok, first let me make a disclaimer, I do not like Weiss products!!!!! So take this with a grain of salt. If you want Weiss' products, go to the drug store, buy some glucose (the kind that diabetics carry around), mix with some vinegar and allow to ferment! For faster fermenting put it in the sun!

This is my opinion of the value of his products. I think the main ingredient in any of his Vital Products is glucose, I believe after prolonged use you will have an algae problem that can be directly traced back to his products. I have never tried anything but his Vital products and not all of them, but the ones I did were enough to sour me! FWIW, I never noticed any difference in my tank, or the stores tank after it's use for 6 months, nor did I see a difference after it's discontinuation.
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Old 09-20-2002, 10:31 AM   #4
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With such great info I will know not to waste my money on these high prices additives.

What additives if any do you add to your tanks?
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Old 09-20-2002, 12:02 PM   #5
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Happy Friday!

Aaron,

I add Kent's recommended coral supplement trio, calcium, iodine and strontium/molybdenum to my tanks. I also use DT's Phytoplankton (especially because I have tubeworms and a flashing/flame scallop in my tank. The latter is a challenging critter to host.). I have been adding Ecological Labs' Special Blend Microbe-Lift, a product recommended by a LFS manager I trust for advise, for almost month. All supplements are added according to manufacturers' directions.

FWIW...

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Old 09-20-2002, 12:18 PM   #6
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I add only limewater.

I used to add Iodide but quit several months ago since I saw no benefit.
I used to add Thiel's Vital Gold but quit several months ago after seeing no benefit. Here's a list of ingredients in his snake oil:

Vitamin B1, B2, B6, B12 (hydroxo-variety), C, Bioflavenoids, Folate, Choline, Biotin, Pangamic acid, Soluble A and E, Pantothenate, Niacin, Nicotinic acid, Inositol, PABA, Dimethylglycine, Chromium (GTF and picolinate), Antioxidants (Cysteine, CoQ10, C, Citrus bioflavenoids), Papain, Bromelain, Amylase, Protease, Lipase, Octacosanol, Leucine, Valine, Alanine, Tyrosine and other amino acids, Calcium, iron, zinc, copper in less than 0.01 ppb, Cholecalciferol, Boron, Lithium, Molybdenum, Strontium, Kelp extracts, Selenium, Vanadium, Rare earth minerals, Procyanadins, some calcium, Catechins, Allicin, Garlic extract, Capsicum, Herbal extracts, all elements normally found in trace element suplementation (76), GHF, Selenocystine, low sulphur selenocysteine, SGOT animal extract, polyunsaturated fatty acids, potassium, magnesium, glutathione, methionine, citric acid, gluconic acid, aspartic acid, arginine, carotenoid extracts, omega-3 fatty acids, capsicin, other anti-oxidants than the ones mentioned, many herbal extracts in non alcohol form, Chorella extract, Suma, ginger root extract, lecithin, and organic complex nutrients as found in fish meal extracts.

If you have a spare kitchen sink, you could throw it in to make it complete. :P
I still have most of a bottle left in the 'fridge...

Mark
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Old 09-20-2002, 05:25 PM   #7
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At this point in time, I am simply doing water changes and adding CaCl, if needed. Once I have tested and the CA & Alk are in balance, I will use Kalk to maintain levels, if it becomes problematic dosing Kalk to a small tank I will probably use B-ionic with occassionaly Kalk addition, to precipitate phosphates. I purchased some Lugols solution after getting the xenia, but have seen no need to use it yet, I'll probably keep it around in case I need to make a dip for a sick coral. Anyone using it for dipping corals or as an additive should know you can get it from the drugstore, much cheaper. I saw it advertised fromm one of the online retailers for 1 oz for 9.99, I got a pint from the pharmacy for 15.00.

Do not add anything to your tank that you do not test for!
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Old 09-21-2002, 02:34 AM   #8
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FWIW, always shop around, and do not buy impetuously, may I suggest.

I inherited a 1-once bottle of Lugol's and clearly marked on the container is the price $19.69. Sheesh! I have not used the solution, thus far, finding no reason to use it. I am leery of adding anything to my tanks.

I am interested, Kevin, that you mentioned Lugol's and Xenia in the same breath. Would you elaborate, please. (Other than an Encrusting Gorgonian, the only coral doing less than perfectly, IMO, in my tank is a small piece of P.Xenia. Any hints to bring these two corals up to speed? Would this indicate I am missing a supplement in my water?)

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Old 09-21-2002, 06:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliGal
FWIW, always shop around, and do not buy impetuously, may I suggest.
Actually I don't think I did buy impetuously, Online it was 9.99 per ounce, I paid .94 per ounce. I think I came out ahead 8)

Quote:
I am leery of adding anything to my tanks.
That is a good thing!

Quote:
I am interested, Kevin, that you mentioned Lugol's and Xenia in the same breath. Would you elaborate, please. (Other than an Encrusting Gorgonian, the only coral doing less than perfectly, IMO, in my tank is a small piece of P.Xenia. Any hints to bring these two corals up to speed? Would this indicate I am missing a supplement in my water?)
For some time it has been believed that iodine/iodide was necessary for xenia to thrive and in tanks with no iodine addittion that the xenia did poorly, this has pretty much been debunked over the last few years. I bought it, mostly because the reefer I got it from was dosing it, and I fell into the old xenia=iodine trap. I have not used it, unless the xenia begins to do awful, btw, it is doing great , I will not. I like having it onhand for dips if necessary. Lugols is very strong iodine and is very easily overdosed, it is actually a mixture of iodine and Potassium Iodide. It should not be used unless you are testing for iodine/iodide. I am sure Guy and Mark can go into any other benifits or detriments of adding iodine, but I should point out, one of the reasons it is a good dip for sick corals, is that it is an antiseptic. Not exactly the ideal of what you want to add to your reef....
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