Bentley Bashes Seachem!

Stan510

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He's one of the better aquarium experts on youtube. I've only used Seachem's iron and got good to very good results. As far as iron causes BBA or BGA?..Not sure. I would guess that if iron is good for higher plants,it's also a boost to lower plants. So,less fish adding more phosphates,more water changes and amount, and the rest are the way to get around that imo.
But few on youtube take on the big companies and a caveat that Bentley is in tight with co-op. Still,his rant digs deep!
 

Myraan

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Doesn't the competitor his buddy sells contain more nitrogen?

Which I would assume is more likely to lead to lead to algae problems if you're not careful...
 

Byron

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This is a very good example of why you cannot trust most of what you find on YouTube.

I listened/watched this video for five minutes, and the amount of inaccurate information was astounding. I do not have sufficient time left in my life to even bother with someone like this. It might help him to get some education in botany. But it is certainly a black mark against Aquarium Co-op if they endorse this individual [and it is not the only black mark, that's another whole issue, but at least it is consistent with other issues].

Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium...he is correct that not all nutrients are present, but he does not seem to have the intelligence to understand why this is good, not bad. The only three nutrients (of the 17 that plants need) not in FCS is carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. Now, why would anyone even remotely think oxygen and hydrogen need to be added in this liquid form to an aquarium containing oxygenated water? That is just absurd in the extreme. I am not aware of any fertilizer containing oxygen or hydrogen as nutrients. As for carbon, it is more than amply available in an aquarium with fish that are being fed. It may be limited, but that brings us to another of his misunderstandings...for what these products are intended.

FCS is--as the name should suggest to anyone with half an ounce of intelligence--a supplement, not the source, of nutrients. Granted some of the micro-nutrients may be available only through such an additive, but FCS is not intended to be a source of macro-nutrients but a supplement. And there are a couple of reasons why this is significant. But first it may help to list the 17 nutrients.

Macro-nutrients: calcium, carbon, hydrogen, magnesium, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, potassium, and sulphur.
Micro-nutrients: boron, chlorine, iron, nickel, copper, manganese, molybdenum, and zinc.

The macro's in most any quality comprehensive supplement will partially be supplied from other sources. I have already dealt with oxygen, hydrogen and carbon. Calcium and magnesium (the primary minerals in GH) is often found in source water so these are replenished with water changes; it is a bit different for those of us with very soft water, and additional supplementation of these two may be necessary depending upon the fish load/feeding and plant species.

Nitrogen...only a total fool would want to add nitrogen to a tank with fish. Most species of aquatic plants we keep use ammonia/ammonium as their source of nitrogen, and they can assimilate a lot of it day and night. They are faster at this than the nitrifying bacteria (the "silent cycle" aspect). And any tank with fish being fed is not going to be short of ammonia/ammonium insufficient for the plants in a natural or low-tech system [high-tech is admittedly a very different ballgame, outside our scope here]. Fast growing plants especially floating are not termed "ammonia sinks" for no reason.

As for phosphorus, there is more than enough for plants in fish foods. It should never be added (again, talking natural or low-tech here, which is what FCS is dealing with).

BrightwellAquatics' FlorinMulti is basically the same as FCS. Another identical product is The Nutrient Company's TNC Lite (this has no nitrogen and phosphorus) or their TNC Complete (has nitrogen and phosphorus, but minimally like the other two); TNC is only available in the UK so far as I know. There may well be other similar comprehensive supplement products just as good, but these three/four are top of the line. Assuming you use them as they are intended to be used.

I didn't watch any more, there is no point; I had more than enough to discredit and discount this fellow.
 
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realzalio

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a brilliant man and an even more brilliant comment section of self-proclaimed "experienced" fishkeepers
 

JennySolano

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This is a very good example of why you cannot trust most of what you find on YouTube.

I listened/watched this video for five minutes, and the amount of inaccurate information was astounding. I do not have sufficient time left in my life to even bother with someone like this. It might help him to get some education in botany. But it is certainly a black mark against Aquarium Co-op if they endorse this individual [and it is not the only black mark, that's another whole issue, but at least it is consistent with other issues].

Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium...he is correct that not all nutrients are present, but he does not seem to have the intelligence to understand why this is good, not bad. The only three nutrients (of the 17 that plants need) not in FCS is carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. Now, why would anyone even remotely think oxygen and hydrogen need to be added in this liquid form to an aquarium containing oxygenated water? That is just absurd in the extreme. I am not aware of any fertilizer containing oxygen or hydrogen as nutrients. As for carbon, it is more than amply available in an aquarium with fish that are being fed. It may be limited, but that brings us to another of his misunderstandings...for what these products are intended.

FCS is--as the name should suggest to anyone with half an ounce of intelligence--a supplement, not the source, of nutrients. Granted some of the micro-nutrients may be available only through such an additive, but FCS is not intended to be a source of macro-nutrients but a supplement. And there are a couple of reasons why this is significant. But first it may help to list the 17 nutrients.

Macro-nutrients: calcium, carbon, hydrogen, magnesium, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, potassium, and sulphur.
Micro-nutrients: boron, chlorine, iron, nickel, copper, manganese, molybdenum, and zinc.

The macro's in most any quality comprehensive supplement will partially be supplied from other sources. I have already dealt with oxygen, hydrogen and carbon. Calcium and magnesium (the primary minerals in GH) is often found in source water so these are replenished with water changes; it is a bit different for those of us with very soft water, and additional supplementation of these two may be necessary depending upon the fish load/feeding and plant species.

Nitrogen...only a total fool would want to add nitrogen to a tank with fish. Most species of aquatic plants we keep use ammonia/ammonium as their source of nitrogen, and they can assimilate a lot of it day and night. They are faster at this than the nitrifying bacteria (the "silent cycle" aspect). And any tank with fish being fed is not going to be short of ammonia/ammonium insufficient for the plants in a natural or low-tech system [high-tech is admittedly a very different ballgame, outside our scope here]. Fast growing plants especially floating are not termed "ammonia sinks" for no reason.

As for phosphorus, there is more than enough for plants in fish foods. It should never be added (again, talking natural or low-tech here, which is what FCS is dealing with).

BrightwellAquatics' FlorinMulti is basically the same as FCS. Another identical product is The Nutrient Company's TNC Lite (this has no nitrogen and phosphorus) or their TNC Complete (has nitrogen and phosphorus, but minimally like the other two); TNC is only available in the UK so far as I know. There may well be other similar comprehensive supplement products just as good, but these three/four are top of the line. Assuming you use them as they are intended to be used.

I didn't watch any more, there is no point; I had more than enough to discredit and discount this fellow.
Terrific post as always, Bryon
 
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Stan510

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I knew this was controversial from the title of the vid ,but I didn't expect Bentley to be so angry at the big aquarium company.
I had heard only Seachem Excel as being something to use with care- it could melt plants. But my use of iron has been with good results. It's so concentrated and is used fast by plants..some in 3 or 4 days are greener and sendout bigger leaves. Tiger Lotus and Sword especially. Fast growing plants become faster.
 

Ch4rlie

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The man’s a silly nicompoop!

Kinda proves it when he bought all those Seachem products from LFS and actually forgot the one thing he went into the store for, flourish! :lol:

But honestly, after watching some of this video, did not watch the whole thing as it did not fully make sense at all from the get go and that is very telling imho.
 

StevenF

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I fully agree with the video. with the exception that he should have cost out or reduce his early error of not have alll the product. the rest about the seachem dosing chart and bottle labels is however correct.

Keep in mind that each tank is different due to different water, different stocking. With all the differences is is very difficult to make one product to do the job. for example:

Nitrogen...only a total fool would want to add nitrogen to a tank with fish.

As for phosphorus, there is more than enough for plants in fish foods. It should never be added (again, talking natural or low-tech here, which is what FCS is dealing with).

That is true for SOME TANKS, but not all. In my small tank it has never been true. I did run out of nitrogen at one point and at another point I ran out of phosphate. So never a assume someones advice will absolutely worker your tank. There is always a god chance it will not work in your tank.

Also some products don't have all the nutrients your plants need or are so out of ballance with typical plant needs that you will frequently run out one nutrient while everything else is pressent. And if you fix that one deficiency with another product you will quickly find you are now running out of something else. Requiringyou to now add a second bottle to correct that.

So the reason Seachem product line has so many product is that you need the other products to fix a problems with flourish or you need to make adjustments due to your water and or stocking.

Also when the Estimative index fertilizer methode was published. Seachem was worried they would loose customers and as a result created the dosing chart the video showed. The dosing chart is not referenced on any bottle and it is also hard to find on the web site. But basically the chart is a guide to how to use there products together to achieve good plant growth without doing your own experimenting. Unfortunately the chart also includes product such as advanced and eecel which are not really fertilizers. Also some product contain nutrients that are in other bottle. So with the seachem chart you may does some nutrents eat several time over what your plant needs. Possiblycausing a toxicity issue for your fish.

When I was using Seachem Flourish I ran into (one at a time) 4 different macros deficiencies and one micro deficiency. And after fixing all of that my pants still wouldn't grow. It took me some time to figure it out but Seachem is also deficient in zinc, and copper. Since most to these nutrients are in your tap water (from the metal pipes in your home) and I washing RO water Flourish would never work for me.

Now the video does mention easy green fertilizer and yes I would agree it is much better thanFlourish but it also is not perfect. It has no copper in it. So it would not work with RO water or a home made with plastic water pipes.

Also the original EI dosing methode also isn't perfect but GLA and others have made corrections to it to address issue people are seeing and some of the fixes people haves to fix it. GLA has changed the CSM + B product to now include extra zinc since it didn't originally have enough . They also added iron DTPA so the product will work at a much wider ranch of tank PH. The previous version of CSM+B worked at aPH of 6.5 or less. The new version works up to 7.5 and maybe up to 8. If your PH is higher than 7.5 you might have to use iron gluconate (seachem iron).

So if you want a fertilizer that works better than Flourish The GLA CSM product and threir macro recommendations is a very good place to start. And you can costomize the macro fertilizer levels to compensate for tap water with high nitrate and or phosphate levels. And if necessary add a GH booster if you have very soft water.
 
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Myraan

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Because the problem we all have in our aquariums is lack of nitrogen and phosphorous.

For the average user we only see plants as our way of getting rid of nitrogen. A supplement is what we use to allow the plants to remove more nitrogen than they might have been able to otherwise. I guess he may have a point that Seachem are bleeping over the target audience for all those silly bottles normal people won't bother with.

The video was a blatent advert for his buddy co-op, trying to confuse people into adding nitrates to their aquarium for no reason.
 

StevenF

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Doesn't the competitor his buddy sells contain more nitrogen?

Which I would assume is more likely to lead to lead to algae problems if you're not careful...

I have seen a number of post about tanks with high nitrogen and phosphates with no algae issue.

Historically tests for nitrate and phosphate have been easily to get and easy to use. So when people have an algae issue and then see high phosphate and nitrate readings they assume the nitrate and phosphate caused the issue. But now there is a lot of evidence to support the statement that algae is caused by a difficiencyin any one of 14 plant nutrients.

When people have plant growth issues the cause is often a nutrient deficiency. IN water with 13 of the 14 needed plant nutrients about the only thing that can grown is algae. Since algae is a single cell organism it can grow in water with nutrient levels down to part per thrillion levels of nutrients. Multicellular plants cannot do that.
 

Byron

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That is true for SOME TANKS, but not all. In my small tank it has never been true. I did run out of nitrogen at one point and at another point I ran out of phosphate. So never a assume someones advice will absolutely worker your tank. There is always a god chance it will not work in your tank.

@StevenF we have tossed this back and forth a few times. But it is an important issue. Nitrate should never be added to any tank with fish, period. Ideally, the water should test zero for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Many who have natural/low-tech planted tanks have zero nitrate, while some nitrate may be present for many of us; my own tanks always test in the 0-5 ppm range using the API liquid test, and I have no idea if this actually is zero or closer to 5. But regardless, I would never add any form of nitrogen because it is just not in the fishes' best interests to do so.** And with fish that are fed, it is never necessary unless the bar is higher because of light/plant species.

I maintain a QT for new fish acquisitions. It runs permanently, with chain swords planted in the sand and a good cover of floating plants, primarily Water Sprite. This tank can go for months, even up to one and two years, without fish in it. I do fewer water changes (usually one every two or three weeks) since there are no fish, and I do not dechlorinate the water in this tank (when there are no fish). I use Flourish Comprehensive Supplement usually once a week, sometimes it goes two or three weeks. The plants have remained alive, though clearly not thriving, and I am certain this is due to the lack of ammonia/ammonium. There is still some from the biological processes, there are small snails in this tank like the others, just no fish. When I acquire fish they go into this tank for a few weeks as a QT, and without question the floating plants do perk up, I presume due to the increase in ammonia/ammonium (nitrogen).

My first concern is with the fish, the plants have to manage, and I stay with those species that do. I have posted photos of some of the tanks in other threads we have been involved in, and you cannot honestly say the plants are not growing very well, perhaps even thriving. And as for phosphate, if fish are present there is more than sufficient phosphate in the foods they are being fed. I have never seen factual evidence to the contrary.

**Edit to make this clearer...I do add nitrate obviously when I use the Flourish liquid (not sure about the tabs having nitrate) but it is so minimal; but if I were in the UK and could get TNC Lite which has no nitrogen and phosphorus, I certainly would do so.
 
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Byron

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I am new to the hobby but read extensively & have never heard anything said about adding nitrogen to any tank. My tap water tests at 5ppm nitrate & so it is in the tanks.

Aquarists running high-tech planted tanks do need to add nitrogen, and they use nitrate which is somewhat safer than ammonia/ammonium or nitrite for fish. These people maintain nitrate levels that are without question detrimental to most, if not all, fish species we keep in aquaria. Leave the fish out and have a beautiful aquatic garden, fine. But not with fish present.
 

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You need clean water to have healthy fish. Plant can clean the water but if they cannot grow they cannot clean the water. And they cannot grow without nitrogen.

When I first set up my tank with fish and pIants had ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate were all at Zero but I had no plant growth and in fact they were slowly dying. And I couldn't figure out why. Looking for clues I purchase a Phosphate test kit. I was shocked at the reading OVER 30PPM. I did more a water change but after a few of days Phosphate was again off scale. Water changes were not working.

The only conclusion I I had was that the plants weren't taking in any nutreints. Which would mean my micro and Macro nutrients were building up possibly to hazardous levels.. But if so why were all my nitrogen readings zero?

So I went to the store and baught a Seachem nitrogen bottle. After I added nitrogen so that my nitrate was not zero. After that phosphate levels started to drop and the plants then started to grow. It took many weeks to get the phosphate levels down and then phosphate went to zero.

Also in forums about high tech tanks I noticed something. They all had fish. And very rarely did anyone report health problems with there fish. However on this site request for advise to treat X Y and Z diseases are very frequent. Why?

I strongly suspect that you may not have healthy water if you don't have healthy plants and if you don't have any plants you also may not have healthy water. Plants clean the water. But they cannot do that if they cannot grow and for growth you need nitrogen. Not much, 5ppm is fine but it is probably not a good idea to stay at zero nitrate. If your Ammonia, nitrite are zero and your nitrate is not zero but still low then you nknow your plants are consuming most of the nitrogen leaving a little bit of nitrate behind. But if all are zero you might be out of nitrogen..

Many sites I have looked at recommend keeping Nitrate below 20. Lower if you can get it there but most don't say it should always be zero. And in fact there are a lot of people that can not getting it down to zero due to tap water or or their stocking or their plants or other issues.

Also later when I had good plant growth in my RO tank I noticed my shrimp were not breading. and very slowly the population would drop. Same for the pond snails. So I did some research and added sodium, lithium, iodine, Bromine, cobalt, vanadium, and selenium to my RO water. all are Animal specific nutrients. My shrimp population went for 5 to 30. And now occationally pond snails are a problem.

As long as everyone is just looking at PH, kH, Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate we will never be sure why our fish are sick. We need to look at the full spectrum of nutrients. at N, K, Ca, mg, S, Cl, Fe, Mn, B, Zn, Cu, Mo, Ni, Na, li, I, Br, Co, Vn, and Se. And some of the symptoms listed for NO3 toxicity to me look a lot like issues that have been obererved with too much or to little iron, not enough Na and Vn.
 
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xxBarneyxx

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Aquarists running high-tech planted tanks do need to add nitrogen, and they use nitrate which is somewhat safer than ammonia/ammonium or nitrite for fish. These people maintain nitrate levels that are without question detrimental to most, if not all, fish species we keep in aquaria. Leave the fish out and have a beautiful aquatic garden, fine. But not with fish present.
I'm someone that has run high tech planted tanks for years. With sensitive fish species in them, that live at least their expected captive lifespans (before being re-homed), having many spawning with no illness or fish loses.

I have used "lean" dosing with things like ADA products and heavy water column dosing with things like EI. On multiple tanks.

Despite the fact that in some of these tanks I was adding TONS of nutrients, Nitrate and phosphate levels always remain low (<10ppm Nitrate even in heavily dosed tanks soon after dosing). Most of them basically run with no detectable Nitrate or phosphate in them on the test kits I had access to.

If you have a high tech planted tank, with bright enough lighting, enough CO2 and a big enough plant mass/growth rate then nutrients are removed from the water incredibly quickly. Even running with no filter and no water changes (though smaller fish loads).

I know how strongly you disagree with this. I have not doubt that you are probably a hell of lot more knowledgeable about it than me, but my direct experience, over a period of years, with multiple species, has shown me that these "high tech" planted tank methods do no harm at all to the majority of the common tropical fish species we keep. In fact I have had better water quality and healthier looking fish in some of these "toxic" high tech tanks then I have in some low tech or bare tanks.
 

Byron

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I'm someone that has run high tech planted tanks for years. With sensitive fish species in them, that live at least their expected captive lifespans (before being re-homed), having many spawning with no illness or fish loses.

I have used "lean" dosing with things like ADA products and heavy water column dosing with things like EI. On multiple tanks.

Despite the fact that in some of these tanks I was adding TONS of nutrients, Nitrate and phosphate levels always remain low (<10ppm Nitrate even in heavily dosed tanks soon after dosing). Most of them basically run with no detectable Nitrate or phosphate in them on the test kits I had access to.

If you have a high tech planted tank, with bright enough lighting, enough CO2 and a big enough plant mass/growth rate then nutrients are removed from the water incredibly quickly. Even running with no filter and no water changes (though smaller fish loads).

I know how strongly you disagree with this. I have not doubt that you are probably a hell of lot more knowledgeable about it than me, but my direct experience, over a period of years, with multiple species, has shown me that these "high tech" planted tank methods do no harm at all to the majority of the common tropical fish species we keep. In fact I have had better water quality and healthier looking fish in some of these "toxic" high tech tanks then I have in some low tech or bare tanks.

I won't "argue" over things like this, once I have made a relevant comment to help whomever is asking. How you treat your fish is your business obviously, and my suggestions are not likely to have much impact with most people particularly if their minds are already made up. I can however assure you that the fish are being impacted by excess fertilizers including CO2. Whether you see this or not is irrelevant, since most of the time, if not all the time, it is not evident externally. Fish have a strong will to survive (as all animals and even plants do) and they will do their best to survive whatever conditions we throw them into--but that does not mean they are doing well. Relating to a fish is much more difficult for all of us than relating to mammals like dogs for example. Understanding the fish's physiology is important. I personally do not count experience as being of anywhere near the same value as knowledge. When the knowledge develops into experience it is valuable; but if I try "x" and the fish do not die, that does not mean that they have not been impacted.
 

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