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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 8:36 pm 
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Hi Dave,
Very soft water obviously has less buffering caoability than water with a higher hardness (especially carbonate hardness) so you'd expect it to a lot take less to alter the ph. I suppose that's why people keeping fish in such soft water tend to end up doing a lot more water changes than those using harder water. (Like me when I had my discus in bare tanks, in fact right now I do 50% per week with my angels, almost on principle, and I still wonder if that's optimal. Guess it really comes down to trial and error.
TDS should show some interesting information, but it'll still come down to finding a feeding / cleaning / water changing regime that the fish find acceptable.
My own experiences with electronic ph meters haven't been good at all, no matter how careful I was with them, so I gave up on them in the end. When I used 'eiken extract' to adjust my 75% RO water to a ph around 5.8 it seemed to upset the meters. Anyway they soon gave false readings no matter how much I rinsed them. Maybe I should try one of the newer ones, but I only test ph about every two to three weeks so it doesn't seem worth it.

Have you to recalibrate the tds meter frequently Dave? How does it work?
I guess I'm sort of asking in other words can you trust what it's telling you?

Regards
Alec


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 5:00 pm 
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Good question, Alec.
I have heard the continuous pH meters have some glitches to them, and you have to be careful to make sure they are right if you use them to dose co2.
Re: the TDS meter, it is quite simple to test for accuracy, as you get or make a solution of known TDS, and compare the readings. They test at various concentrations, such as 800 ppm, and 2oo ppm. My meter is right on at 200, and only slightly off at 800. The slight amount at 8oo is nothing to worry about.
My RO is putting out water at a very good low TDS, better than to be expected. 5ppm, from around 180ppm tapwater. Some days 6ppm. Such slight differences that you are miles ahead of test kits. Now, the TDS meter doesn't read GH. But if you do it with RO and minerals, it is a known rise of GH as stated on the package. If you remix tap with RO, then it is a mathematical relationship.
As far asd the relation between conductivity and TDS, in the case of RO, the TDS equals the conductivity. In the case of tapwater, the relationship changes due to various conductivities of the dissolved solids. It becomes about .5 to .64 on average, if I understand.
I think the electrodes or the meter has to be replaced in maybe a year, which is much less cost than the GH and pH and KH test kits run for the year, with better accuracy. I can take the 5ppm water, and add a measured weight of buffer or minerals, and it can't be too wrong. Once you know the reaction of the buffer to your water, and the pH and alkalinity resulting, it won't change next time.
As you see the TDS go up, you know that the water is getting dirty.
That's what I understand of the thing, but time will tell if all that is true.
Now I'm very interested to do the tests with peat, as it is my interest re; spawing aids and health for the fish.
Dave


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:09 am 
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Location: Toronto Canada
Update:
After a couple of years on NLS, with periods of sole feed and some periods of supplemented feeding, I'm trialing a new food called Ultracolor as soon as I can get some delivered. Bev Newcomer got me interested in it when she told of her good experiences with it.

I'll have a go at selling it here if it has good results, and so far there are some good reports.

The idea is to remove the cheaper and less nutritionally sound element of carbohydrate base for foods, that has been the aim of industry to promote, in prepared pet foods, since the inception.

My budget can't handle purchased live foods and blooodworm as main diet - and keeping live food production going, is not my forte.

So I'll report on how the change goes.

D


Last edited by rag on Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:55 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:36 am 
Rag that will be great, I will keep an eye out for updates Ed


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:30 pm 
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Ed, my Ultracolor arrived. It smells real, and the altums ate it greedily, even though they had already been fed a few pellets a good ten times today. Judging from the ingredients, the gross analysis, and recommendations from users, this is a good food.

all foods from China have been turned back at our borders, and even Hikari U.S. is being refused. Either they meet our onerous requirements that our own inspectors OK the Chinese manufacturing factories, or it's a "no-go".

so half the food might disappear from shelves. Online ordering from the U.S. is not in the works anymore either...need certificates to do that even for a hobbyist buying retail.

some bubbling in the beer going on up here. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:11 am 
Hi Rag I have been getting my foods from Kens and the altums seem to be fine with it. I am always looking for something better and you mentioned Bev has used it so someone has some feed back on it. Let me know how your fish react to it after some feedings and can you post the make up of the food. thanks Ed


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:39 am 
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tacks wrote:
Hi Rag I have been getting my foods from Kens and the altums seem to be fine with it. I am always looking for something better and you mentioned Bev has used it so someone has some feed back on it. Let me know how your fish react to it after some feedings and can you post the make up of the food. thanks Ed
Ed, this is the kind I'm feeding them.


Cichlid Sinking Fish Food
Quality Ingredients Make The Difference
Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude Protein (min) 54%, Crude Fat/Oil (min) 9%, Crude Fiber (max) 3%, Moisture (max) 10%

Ingredients:
Herring Meal, Squid Meal, Kelp Meal, Spirulina, Chlorella Algae, Garlic, Yeast, Yeast Extract, Marigold Extract, DL Methionine, Paprika Oleoresin, Brewers Dried Yeast, Lecithin, L-Threonine, L-Tryptophan, Choline Chloride, Isoleucine, Betaine Anhydrous, L-Ascorbyl-
2-Polyphosphate (Source of Stabilized Vitamin C), Rosemary Extract, Mixed Tocopherols, Astaxanthin, Beta Carotene, Canthaxanthin, Inositol, Vitamin E Supplement, Biotin, Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (source of vitamin K3), Manganous Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Iodate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Selenium Yeast, Dried Bacillus subtilis Fermentation Product, Bacillus Licheniformis, Bacillus Pumilus, Bacillus Coagulans, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:50 am 
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Dave I recently got some of this food from Bev too. So far I am impressed with it and the more and more I read the ingredients, the more I become impressed with it.

A few things that really stand out to me when compared with New Life Spectrum (NLS) are first and foremost the probiotics in there. Things like Dried Bacillus subtilis Fermentation Product, Bacillus Licheniformis, Bacillus Pumilus, Bacillus Coagulans, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae all have a role in normal gut flora and fauna, and do things like out compete nasty bacterias for space, help with the processing of foods in the colon and produce B vitamins to name a few. I also like the Astaxanthin in the product, lots of discussion in other forums about its color enhancing properties.

The question to ask about these being in there are: are these native flora and fauna found in the the GI tract of fish? Are they processed in a way that allows them to reactivate in the gut? Meaning - was the food baked after having these cultures added in? Can these bacterias (and a yeast too) make the journey through the acidic environment of the stomach and upper intestinal tract without being completely destroyed?

This food is produced by a rather large exotic pet food company. I do not know much about the company or their R & D or where they are sourcing alot of their ingredients. This too needs to be considered when determining the quality of a product. Take the pet food recall of a few years ago, some of the biggest name brand foods were hit the hardest because of who produces and sources the ingredients for their products.

I don't know if we would ever be able to find the answers to all these questions. The food has promise and seems to have taken a novel and interesting direction - one that I don't think anyone else is doing so far. This is a food I might be making the switch too in the future.

--Steve

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:57 pm 
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Well that's weird, I didn't write the response above. The even weirder part is that the response I actually wrote is not there, but whoever used my log-in to write the post above, managed to quote my response.

--Steve
(This is the real Steve)

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:54 pm 
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Location: Toronto Canada
bigphish wrote:
Well that's weird, I didn't write the response above. The even weirder part is that the response I actually wrote is not there, but whoever used my log-in to write the post above, managed to quote my response.

--Steve
(This is the real Steve)
Sorry
Steve...it was me...my moderating Super Powers exceed my Carefulness Quotient. I meant to hit the "quote" botton, but hit your "edit" button. In fact I did it again, but corrected myself this time. Sheesh. And even with my glasses on this time. I can't handle the responsibilities any more... :lol:

I think it's back the way it should be now, and I'll add my response post


Last edited by rag on Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:59 pm 
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bigphish wrote:
Dave I recently got some of this food from Bev too. So far I am impressed with it and the more and more I read the ingredients, the more I become impressed with it.

That's it. It's impressive in what it has and in what it doesn't have.
I'm into bleevin that the flouide content of krill is much too high to have as first ingredient, and the fish don't need that minimum 20 % of grain binders that Pablo NLS says are necessary to make pellets ( and it's usually more for flakes ).

Quote:
A few things that really stand out to me when compared with New Life Spectrum (NLS) are first and foremost the probiotics in there. Things like Dried Bacillus subtilis Fermentation Product, Bacillus Licheniformis, Bacillus Pumilus, Bacillus Coagulans, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae all have a role in normal gut flora and fauna, and do things like out compete nasty bacterias for space, help with the processing of foods in the colon and produce B vitamins to name a few. I also like the Astaxanthin in the product, lots of discussion in other forums about its color enhancing properties.

The question to ask about these being in there are: are these native flora and fauna found in the the GI tract of fish? Are they processed in a way that allows them to reactivate in the gut? Meaning - was the food baked after having these cultures added in? Can these bacterias (and a yeast too) make the journey through the acidic environment of the stomach and upper intestinal tract without being completely destroyed?

This food is produced by a rather large exotic pet food company. I do not know much about the company or their R & D or where they are sourcing alot of their ingredients. This too needs to be considered when determining the quality of a product. Take the pet food recall of a few years ago, some of the biggest name brand foods were hit the hardest because of who produces and sources the ingredients for their products.

I don't know if we would ever be able to find the answers to all these questions. The food has promise and seems to have taken a novel and interesting direction - one that I don't think anyone else is doing so far. This is a food I might be making the switch too in the future.

--Steve

good questions. i have some sketchy answers on the safety issue for all pet foods,
The recalls were blamed extensively on chinese factories doing melamine additions...widespread practice...but the deadly effect was when they used dirty melamine.

Even in the U.S. the big big sellers or middlemen like zeiglers and ChemNutra ( If I recall the name correctly)who sell to the guys that we know as Fishfood Sellers, who repack it....these big suppliers of grain products , fishmeals, and finished feeds admitted adding melamine too.
Their big bags of feeds generally cost retail 65 cents per lb. up to $1 or so
resold online and in stores for about $4 an up per lb. under private label.


Not only did Chemnutra admit melamine was knowingly added to boost protein readings, but Zeigler admitted they added it for it's binding properties.


Seems the cheapo grain supplies present a few problems, eh ?


Last edited by rag on Sat Oct 10, 2009 3:07 am, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:00 pm 
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I was only able to find this, it's about their bird feeds...PrettyBird is Ultracolor's manufacturer.
Quote:
Quality is our primary concern in food, packaging, and customer service. We operate an in house quality assurance lab with a microbiologist on staff. An independent laboratory runs continual analysis to assure consistency in composition. Our in house toxicology lab screens all incoming grains for toxins. This ensures the purity of any raw materials in the manufacture of our feeds. Our breeding and research facility in Florida is always using the food which is currently being sold providing an additional quality assurance safeguard. We do it ourselves to make sure it's done right.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 7:37 pm 
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So now along with all the small fish food brands from Asia,it seems that Hikari is being turned back at Canadian borders - apparently because we have placed a ban on Chinese foods ( and others ) unless they comply with inspections of their facilities.

This extends not only to foods made in China, but to the Japanese and American based brands which source ingedients from China.

No more online shopping for us without permit, paperwork and inspection with compliance from the manufacturer, as well as the seller.

Hikari says everything is fine, to talk to your local retailer for accurate information. Retailers report that they hear there is a supply problem ongoing, and that their orders were seized.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 10:19 am 
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bigphish wrote:
Dave I recently got some of this food from Bev too. So far I am impressed with it and the more and more I read the ingredients, the more I become impressed with it.

A few things that really stand out to me when compared with New Life Spectrum (NLS) are first and foremost the probiotics in there. Things like Dried Bacillus subtilis Fermentation Product, Bacillus Licheniformis, Bacillus Pumilus, Bacillus Coagulans, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae all have a role in normal gut flora and fauna, and do things like out compete nasty bacterias for space, help with the processing of foods in the colon and produce B vitamins to name a few. I also like the Astaxanthin in the product, lots of discussion in other forums about its color enhancing properties.

The question to ask about these being in there are: are these native flora and fauna found in the the GI tract of fish? Are they processed in a way that allows them to reactivate in the gut? Meaning - was the food baked after having these cultures added in? Can these bacterias (and a yeast too) make the journey through the acidic environment of the stomach and upper intestinal tract without being completely destroyed?


--Steve
Steve, the use of these products is widespread. Here's a bit more information on a bird product that is similar http://www.niteowlaviary.com/PB_Ultimate.htm

and general information ( NCCAM info may be biased of course )on probiotics with a list of studies attached.

http://nccam.nih.gov/health/probiotics/

I think that the addition to fish food may also serve the pupose of helping with digestion of carbs and difficult proteins by establishing a population of organisms capable of digesting them somewhat, like one might take cultures that help with dairy food digestion.
I think that the products are dried, and contain spores that withstand processing and stomach acid.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 6:00 am 
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Dave, thanks for the links - both are quite interesting.

The pretty bird one makes for some pretty good sounding support for the use of their food. I do worry about the hard science and statistical analysis that was done (if any) on the groups. It is easy to count numbers and compare groups, but the data often times has a lot more (and sometimes more accurate) information when looked at through a careful statistical analysis.

This may have been done, but I wouldn't blame them for leaving this off their consumer website - it probably would confuse the majority of consumers anyways, and really doesn't make for good advertising. None the less this makes for decent anecdotal observations, which is usually where and how most scientific research begins. It would be interesting to to see how the conclusions were drawn.

The NCCAM link shows another support for using probitoic supplements. We used them in the clinic I worked in for many years, and I really like them. There is research going on in this area, for instance Nestle Purina dog food company is currently producing a probiotic for use in dogs and cats. Good research going on there, Nestle is long known as being global leader in nutritional research. The data was convincing enough for them to okay production of this probiotic line.

--Steve

_________________
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