JBL 'Manado' All-in-one substrate?

Discussion in 'Substrates' started by dsandson, 28 May 2009.

  1. dsandson

    dsandson Member

    Messages:
    99
    Location:
    Belfast, NI
    After reading this...

    ...in this thread http://ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=6309... I thought I'd start a new thread rather than hijack someone else's.

    So I was looking through the June PFK magazine and I saw an ad on page 17 for JBL 'Manado' substrate. Never heard of this before, and google brings up nothing relevent. I didnt see anything on the JBL website either.

    The ad shows what looks like a fine clay based substrate. It actually looks a litlle like Red Sea Flora Base, but a little darker. The blurb doesnt elaborate much, saying...

    Supports the filter
    Optimises plant care
    Stores nutrients
    Does not reduce Carbonate hardness
    Decorative natural colour

    Anybody know anything about this? Sounds interesting to me. Aquabasis is quite good, so lets hope this is as good at an equally reasonable price!

    Dave
     
  2. Nelson

    Nelson Member

    Messages:
    2,583
    Location:
    Norfolk
    hi,
    did hear mark(saintly)mention a new jbl substrate,but don't think it's out yet........hush...hush ;)
     
  3. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Expert

    Messages:
    6,492
    Location:
    newark notts.
    my collaboration with JBl has given me inside knowledge that this forthcoming product does not contain nutrients (NPK) but it has the capabilities to store nutrients introduced via the water column. i'll be getting some soon to try, so I'll report back on this one soon.

    i'd like to see JBL really push them selves in trying to produce a product such as oli knott NS or ADA AS.

    The aquabasis plus substrate is really proving itself to me, MA 120 scape is flourishing :D
     
  4. nry

    nry Member

    Messages:
    1,239
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    I was very impressed with AquaBasis Plus in my tank before I re-did the whole thing and went for Tropica Substrate.

    It held together very well, even under coarse gravel, and moving plants around didn't cloud the water much at all.

    Plants did very well with it, even under the original 1wpg from the OEM Juwel hood setup on my Rekord60. I'd go for it again, ever over Tropica stuff.
     
  5. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Mark, how is this being assessed? And on what basis can you draw this conclusion? I assume the tank you are citing is having the water column dosed and has CO2 injection? If that's the case how can one attribute the performance to the substrate alone without accounting for nutrient transfer across the leaf cell walls?

    We must be very careful when analyzing substrate performance. It's simply not good enough to say "I have this substrate in my tank and the plants grow well". The reason is that growth performance is a composite of the various pathways through which aquatic plants can feed. If a substrate product dose not contain NPK how can you assess it's ability to "store nutrients introduced via the water column"? How can you separate the products ability to store nutrients and pass them on to the plants versus the ability of the plants to uptake those nutrients via the water column directly?

    If this product claims to translocate water column nutrients then there is only one possible way to test this; the roots must be isolated from the leaves in a way such that the leaves are submerged in a nutrient poor water column while the roots are submerged in a container which contains only the substrate and high nutrient content water. These two containers must be isolated such that the nutrient rich substrate water cannot penetrate up to the area of the leaves. The experiment must also have a control in which a competing substrate is tested in a similar fashion with identical specimens. After several weeks of growth the weight of the plants can then be measured (really, the dry weights). At the end, if the mass of the plants grown in the new product significantly exceeds the weight of the plants grown with the control substrate, then one can conclude that the new substrate has higher performance.

    Cheers,
     
  6. nry

    nry Member

    Messages:
    1,239
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    All I know for the AquaBasis Plus is that I was only dosing trace to the aquarium, but plants grew very very well.

    I'd be inclined to agree that if we dose as much as we do into the water column, a nutrient rich substrate is perhaps far less important than it used to be.
     
  7. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Expert

    Messages:
    6,492
    Location:
    newark notts.
    clive, my conclusion only consists of saying it does not have NPK. which is straight from JBL. they also told me that it has the ability to eventually start storing nutrients. that's it. i don't feel that i've stretched the boundaries of making my own assessments. :D if JBL stretch the truth, well....

    after all, most substrate manufacturers claim wonderful things.in fact, every product in the world lays claim to something, my car manual claims i can get 34MPG...... i've never done it. we live and learn.
     
  8. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi Mark,
    Yeah that's precisely why we need to question all claims. People who are researching what products to spend their money on need to understand whether what they spend give value compared to something else, so for example, if someone is trying to decide between the JBL product and Akadama, EC or AS or whatever, they need to understand whether it's worth paying for this product over a cheaper product or whether a more expensive substrate has better value despite a possibly higher price. I'm not trying to slam this product, it may be a fantastic product, but only trying to make people aware of when it sounds like truth is being stretched. For example, kitty litter and may other inert substances have the ability to "store" nutrients. This is the fundamental principal of CEC (cation exchange capacity) and AEC (anion exchange capacity). These principals are hardly revolutionary, and the way in which JBL describes it's capabilities seems opaque to me. I mean, maybe you could ask them to describe the technology use to "store nutrients" or confirm whether what they are referring to is actually a high CEC/AEC. That would be a much more transparent way of describing the product's capability. If in fact this is the method, then JBL need to supply the actual quantitative CEC value via the industry standard format, i.e. milli-ion equivalent per 100 g so that it may be directly compared to other inert or semi-inert substrates claiming to have high CEC. Of course, if there is some other revolutionary technology at work, then JBL should give us the benefit of the doubt that we are at least somewhat intelligent enough to understand the basic way in which the product works without revealing trade secrets of course. :D

    I'm also trying to remind our members to be careful with the rationale used to assess a products performance. If you are good at growing plants they you can easily obtain high performance using substrates as simple as sand. Cleanliness, water column dosing, CO2 injection, lighting and filtration/flow/distribution as well as substrate performance all contribute to growth performance. That's why saying that the plants grow well using the substrate is, by itself, not necessarily a valid barometer of a product's performance, unless one can systematically isolate the product from the effects of these other variables. Barr's 4 week experiment has already shown that AS short term performance is slightly less than simple combination of sand+potting soil, yet there is no question that the ergonomics of AS makes it a better choice. The same stringent requirements of proof we use to determine performance of commercial dosing liquids versus dry powders must be applied to substrates because similar biochemical dynamics are at work. One need only study JamesC's exploits with the inert Akadama to understand this mate. ;)

    Cheers,
     
  9. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,091
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    Sounds like the new JBL substrate is a regular clay-based pellet-style product with good CEC.

    No doubt it will work well in combination with good water column nutrients, but ironically if you relied on the JBL liquid fert range, you may very well run into deficiencies, especially with moderate to high light and CO2 injection.

    It will be a big day when JBL produce NPK products full-stop. JBL are huge in Europe and I'm surprised they haven't joined the likes of Dennerle, Tropica, Seachem, ADA, Easy-Life etc. and embraced NPK dosing.

    They are still of the school of thought that NP are algae inducers in planted aquaria. Even their daily fert product is NP-free and they're proud of the fact (according to the product labels). As they are of their heater cables.
     
  10. gratts

    gratts Member

    Messages:
    267
    That just isn't the case. This was explained to me by one of their product reps, and it makes perfect sense.
    JBL aren't stupid - they're well aware that plants need NP.
    But look at the market they'd be producing for - very dense planting in the tank, CO2 running at full welly, and comparatively fewer fish than many other peoples non planted tanks, so less NPK entering through fish food and fish waste. That market, as a % of the total aquatic market is maybe say 0.1%, as opposed to the majority which have much sparser planted tanks which grow a lot slower under less than optimum conditions, and a lot more fish in the end - hey presto - lots of NP generated and an excess for plants.
    At the moment it doesn't make economic sense for JBL to invest time and money in such a small market. Maybe that will change in the future as the hobby grows.
     
  11. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,091
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    Some interesting points there, thanks.

    I always considered JBL one of the plant 'specialists', with their comprehensive 7-step system etc. etc. but I think you're right when they're catering for the majority rather than the minority 'hi-tech' aquascaping enthusiasts. Thankfully the other manufacturers I've mentioned do provide very well for us.

    I guess time will tell, and with JBL 'collaborating' with saintly who is, I think, one of the 0.1% you mention...
     
  12. CeeJay

    CeeJay Member

    Messages:
    945
    Location:
    Surrey UK
    Hi all
    I can vouch for that.
    I got some CO2 'O' rings sent to me from them, and they chucked in a load of fishkeeping handbooks. One book even states that light plays very little part in the production of algae :wideyed:.
    I popped the quote on here. Needless to say, Clive went into one, citing that it sounds like it was taken from the cartoon channel :lol: .
    You can read it here viewtopic.php?f=37&t=6841&start=10 (last 2 posts on page 2)

    Chris
     

Share This Page

Facebook Page
Twitter Page
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice