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Dishonest Aqua Medic?

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by scottward, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Hi.

    I recently purchased an Aquamedic 1000 CO2 reactor. I have already written a thread on how I've set it up etc etc, and believe that what I have done is the correct way.

    According to Aqua Medic, this unit is for tanks up to 500 gallons. So, firstly, I would assume that this would mean that the unit is capable of comfortably producing the well-recognised 30ppm level of CO2 in a tank of this capacity?

    My tank is only 100 gallons, so only 1/5th of what the unit is designed for, yet, at my current bubble rate of somwhere around the 10 - 15 bubbles per second mark, gas builds up at the top of the reactor.

    The water flow through my AM1000 is provided by an Ocean Runner OR2500, and I checked with Aqua Medic before I bought the gear that this external pump would be ok for the water flow and I was told that it would be ok.

    As far as water flow through the unit goes, I feel it may be slighly on the 'fast' side even, as a few of the smaller bubbles make it out through the outlet in the tank.

    So - why is the gas building up at the top of the unit?

    If my tank were to be 500 gallons, I would need to run the CO2 even faster in order to supply enough - I'm certain that the unit would start to run dry at this rate!!

    I am aware of Tom's dual venturi mod, and I have my AM1000 hooked up using it.

    But - Aqua Medic designed the unit so that this extra outlet on the top of the unit is a 'false' gas valve; normally intended to be kept closed.

    With this false gas valve closed on my AM1000, I have the problem described above.

    If I open the false gas valve and let the CO2 bleed out back through the pump, sure, the gas gets churned up and fed back through the AM1000, but it's very noisy as gas is constantly churning.

    Basically, my interpretation of what's happening is that the AM1000 can only dissolve so much gas, the rest of the gas either builds up at the top of the unit, or, is dispatched to be used elsewhere via the false gas value (e.g. Tom's mod).

    I really don't think that the unit should be doing this though, given that my tank is only 1/5th the size of what the unit was intended for.

    I feel that I should be able to easily pump in as much CO2 as I need to get to the 30ppm mark and the unit should easily be able to cope with it.

    Based on my discussions with others, a bubble rate of 10-15 bps for my size tank, water temperature, lighting level etc, should be about right.

    Are Aqua Medic telling porkys or have I misunderstood or misconfigured something?

    Scott.
     
  2. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    BTW, I have emailed Aqua Medic about this today, but expect that it will be quite a while before I hear back from them.

    Please help!

    Scott.
     
  3. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Anybody?

    I'm sure it's just me not using the unit properly rather than any dishonesty on the part of AM.

    I know that manufacturers can exagerate the capabilities of their products though... but usually dividing by 1/2 should at least be a sure thing.

    My apologies to anyone from AM that reads this if I am just 'doing it wrong' (which is probably the case). :D

    Scott.
     
  4. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    I'd imagine their idea of "built for up to 500 gals" is similar to how Rena thinks their XP4 can run a 260 gal system. Meanwhile I'm sitting here strapping one to a tank 1/5th the size, and adding two powerheads.

    I trust most companies to be greedy and dishonest nearly every time, and so far I haven't been disappointed.

    -Philosophos
     
  5. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Scotward,

    IME and that of others, the rating is extremely optimistic. Just looking at the size of the inlet/outlet it is only 3/8 so flow is always going to be limited coming in or out.

    I don't think they are thinking in terms of delivering 30-40 ppm of c02. It does in fact diffuse c02 but not enough for a 500 gal full of plants. Good luck with that!

    I had one on my 180 and it couldn't keep up with an increased bubble rate.

    I think Tom has a couple on a client 450 gal(?) and he thinks they are a bit underpowered.

    I too used the venturi mod, but never had a gas buildup. I ran mine with a mag drive 300, 500 gph pump and then a 900. I tried both with and without the bio-balls with all 3 pumps.

    You may want to either add a disc (or 2) or go needle wheel and box up the AM1000 and sell it.....

    I personally would not use one on anything > 75 gals myself.

    A DIY reactor is much cheaper and can be made to size :)

    The AM1000 does work well just not for as large a size as they claim.

    Your c02 diffusion method is one of the most important choices you can make so don;t be afraid to try different methods to compare c02 used, pearling rate, etc.

    I tried many methods before settling down with my mazzei :)

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    I'm using the AM1000 too, except my tank is half size of yours. I'm using an 150 gph pump and 3 bps and have no gas build up inside the reactor. Last week I suddenly got 2 inch of gas build up every day. When I checked my pump, the capacity had gone down because of some small snails that were stuck in the opening. That implies that for every given amount of flow you can only dissolve a fixed amount of gas.
    If I put this into numbers it tells me that you need (at least with the AM1000) around 50 gph per bubble to keep it from building up gas inside the reactor.
    That would mean you need something like 750 gph if you want to dissolve 15 bps.

    Try to cut down your bps for a day and see what happens so you know where the limitation is.

    Maybe I'm overlooking things here, so pls correct me if I'm wrong. Anyway, I hope it helps.

    Regards,
    Dutchy.
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Everyone's comments seem fine, do not blame AM however, they are like any sales and marketing group.

    Reality is a bit different than labels claims.

    If you want to get mad, go after diet pill makers.
    Or the other hucksters selling snake oils, wonky water pruifiers etc


    Regards,
    Tom barr
     
  8. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Thanks for the advice guys. I'll have a bit more of a play around to get the best out of the unit.

    I disagree about not blaming AM though Tom.

    I think it's totally unacceptable that they can make claims about a product that aren't truly achievable; this is a simple case of false advertising.

    If you buy a product it needs to be able to do what the manufacturers tell you it can do at the point of sale.

    I am dissapointed with AM.

    But what can I do? About all I can do is take the product back....but I have it all rigged up now so I couldn't be bothered. ;-)

    Scott.
     
  9. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Few people use the 30ppm, except here and some forums inspired by Tom data. Many, or rather most, still keep with PH meter and a 15-30ppm approximative. They will never reach a lime-yellow-green. They will never look for optimized flow... For those people, the majority, the AM1000 will be claimed ok for its specs
     
  10. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Yeah, maybe AM just aimed for 15ppm or somewhere around there.
     
  11. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    I'm not so sure Tom, I think it's safe to be annoyed with inaccurate marketing, if all inaccurate marketing is unethical. It certainly isn't justifiable just because someone else is doing worse. It may be a waste of time going after it, but I certainly wouldn't pull any punches on the issue just because they make a product that contributes to the hobby. But there again, I'm not much of a utilitarian.
     
  12. Brian20

    Brian20 Guest

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    About inacurrate marketing im with Tom, Yeah it is bad making false promotions but thinks again. The 99% of companies makes false promotions, they want sell and if you dont make false promotions somethimes you will not sell and the other companies with false promotions will sell more than you. If the product claimed feturesis 80% true, is sufficient and people will continue buying that item.
     
  13. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    This is why I say I'm against utiliterianism. I don't believe in compromising my ethics to sell to someone. I believe in having a superior product and offering accurate education about both the product its self, and the competitors product. If we consistently tolerate being lied to as a society, I don't think we'll receive any differently. Expecting misinformation and constantly having to tolerate and look for it is a waste of our time, and says some pretty sad things about our society as a whole, if not the entire race.

    I've got a lot more to say on the subject, but some how I think it'd fit more into a philosophy forum or private messages. Maybe the off-topic board.

    -Philosophos
     
  14. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Please Do!


    Please do start a topic on ethics.

    I am interested in hearing what you have to say, obviously you have given this some thought.

    Biollant
     
  15. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I think if you folks fall for such marketing BS, they deserve what they get.
    It's hard for the companies, they have fly by night outfits doing it, then folding, starting a new companies and repeating it.

    Diet pill companies do this every few months.
    This protects the actual crooks that own the various companies.
    They declare bankruptcy and keep all the goods as well.

    While personal banrkruptcy laws have been changed to protect credit card companies, the business bankruptcy laws have still remained wide open;)

    Funny how that works.

    Still, hyperbole and false claims are two different things, you'd be very hard pressed to show in a count of law in the USA that AM was guilty.

    They could say all sort of things to justify the claim.
    Then your case would fall apart.

    Got 10,000$ to go after them?
    What? No? You do not? Want to deal with the legal BS and paper work?
    Then don't bother about it and wise up.

    It's easier and cheaper.
    Satire works well also when responding.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  16. Brian20

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    Thats right philosophos but the reality is other.

    Ex. I work at my small aquatic plant bussiness, I sell plants and products at low price (here in PR). And i think that everyone knows that I sell base substrate (mineralized soil, clay, peat, etc) And it works a lot better than eco complete ( I have both) and still eco complete is the winner seller because it have a nice bag with a lots of features that when i use it it not make anything, still I need to fert, It is like a gravel with not so nice colors because the white, red chunks. instead my substrate that I say that still need to use ferts but it can produce nutrients overtime that plants usually take it all but with time new nutrients is available. And the best, it last a lot, I have a 7 month old aquarium with sporadically dose with liquid ferts and the plants thrive.

    thats happends with plants, price, products, etc...

    You can sell more a mediocre product with nice features and package than a great product with real features and normal package.

    brian
     
  17. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Tom, I guess I must be one of those folks that fall for the marketting and deserve what I get. :)

    I know what you mean and know you didn't mean it as something to take personally.

    People that fall for phoney diet pills, fortune tellers etc, and intelligent people (like me) who buy specialised aquarium products aren't the same thing!

    So far it would seem that the bulk of contributors to this thread agree with me.

    Obviously doesn't matter what we're talking about, be it aquarium supplies, cars, kitchen appliances etc etc.

    Sometimes I think the manufacturer can get away with it, other times they can't.

    It seems in this case AM really just get away with it because all I can really do is take the product back, not worth trying to sue them over their false claims. And, to be honest, I'd rather just figure out how to make the best of it anyway, now that I have it hooked up. It was only a $100 odd bucks, if it were $1000's it would be a different story, much more worth going after.

    Part of the problem here is the old usual thing that we on this forum are so used to now, claims about this and that with no testing or supporting information to back up the claims.

    More the principle of it for me now, rather than the actual cost.

    If my wfie and I buy something and it doesn't do what we expect it to do, based on the manufacturers claims, we 'vote' by taking it back. Over the last 12 months or so, my wife and I have taken lots of things back to where we bought them from for a refund. Lots of things just don't do what they say they can do and often don't make it past the 12 month warranty!

    Lot of crap out there.

    Manfacturers should be able to justify their claims. There should be something to protect the people so we are the ones that have to fork out the $10,000 to sue the companies. If a product doesn't work, we lodge a complaint, it should get investigated by somebody, arses should be kicked. ;-)

    Again, don't care so much about the $100 AM unit, just the principle of it....

    I'm no mug. I expected the claims from AM to be *slightly* hyped, but not grossly hyped. That's not fair.

    Scott.
     
  18. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    That should be:
     
  19. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Brian20 - not talking about the same thing here - not talking about nice packaging etc.

    Talking about being honest about what the product can *do*.

    There are lots of examples of products out there that are BOTH well marketted and HONEST in their claims. The companies that make good, honest products and know how to market them do very well for themselves.

    Scott.
     
  20. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    I think someone else already brought it up, but if their product works within what they designed it for then they're set. The over the top ( by most accounts ) use of CO2 that we generally use is not the "intended use" of the product. If they're aiming for a more typical "generally accepted" "safe practice" of 15ppm amount of CO2 and they can meet it at least in some configuration of flow and surface ripple, then they can legally defend it.

    It's the same argument that your car's warranty is 75000 miles. That's nice. I can do that in a year and a half just based on my normal commute. My car SHOULD last 5 years but the warranty is gone in two at most if it's a used car. The car SHOULD be good for a family of 4 for 5 years. My use precludes that. It's marketed based on the "generally accepted" 12000 miles per year usage with the idea that the 5 year limit will cap it so the "little old lady driving only to church" can't nail them 25 years later.

    If AM is marketing to the minimalists out there with the pH controller running at 2 BPS who only uses a 5 lb tank of CO2 every 18 months or so then they've met their claims. You and I are edge case users and we're outside of the intended usage model. As such, we're in the like it or lump it catagory. :( We need to work in the high performance section and that usually invalidates the warranty. :)

    -
    S
     
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