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Hi

Someone told me that HUMIC ACID can make the plants to absorbs the fertz and nutrients from the water with a better way so can this help us with anyway in our hobby ?

i have some and it is a gray\black powder
 

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Walstad writes a bit about potential benefits of humic acids, but she's referring to stuff that occurs just from breakdown of plant materials.

I think it would be difficult to determine an appropriate amount of powdered stuff to dose, and get that to work. On the other hand, just having plants in the tank will end up producing a constant source of humic acids.
 

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Some may act as natural chelators for metals.
They also acidify the water, which can influence some balances of algal populations. Some fish seem to have less health issues with peat water etc.
 

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Saddletramp
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Humic acid is not something many aquarist fool with or should fool with. Yes, in layman's terms, humates can "tie up" some of the metals in tap water and lower the pH.
One low molecular weight humate fraction is fulvic acid. According to the manufacturer of Fulv-Power, it acts to facilitate the transport of molecules through the cell wall. Thus, such things as fertilizers, etc. move into the cell more easily. They suggested using about half the normal amount of fertilizer when starting with Fulv- Power as it might shock the plant with too much ferts entering the cells.
Anyway, I used it for a while and have not been able to scientifically or practically see any difference in my emersed Crypt collection (they stand in about 1 1/2" of water).
Perhaps someone would test it in some stem tanks. Crypts do not grow fast enough to note rapid growth changes.
Bill
 

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@saddletramp. Just curious, sounds like you recommend that aquarist not fool with it. but why not? is it dangerous for fish or something? b/c i just put some into a rescape, so far no problems.
 

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Saddletramp
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Well, it is fine if you know you have fishes and plants which benefit from it. It all depends on your water parameters vs the flora and fauna you keep.
Why are you adding it? Once you know why YOUR system will benefit from it, then go for it.
There are not many humate experts around.
Keep us posted.
Bill
 

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Saddletramp
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Thanks for your to the point reply.
It sounds like you could offer some details regarding the function and use of various humates and their use and benefits in the aquarium. I am trying to learn.
Bill
 

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It sounds like these acids do to trace metals what every acid does: lower the pH. Doing this makes metals more available in the water column. Put HCL on a spot of ferric oxide (rust) What happens? It dissolves the iron and makes it possible to clean the rust.

Lower tank pH's will "dissolve" metals. I'm not saying that these things don't actually bind to the metals and make it easier for them to cross cell walls, but for that to happen there needs to be iron in the water column to begin with.
 

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Thanks for your to the point reply.
It sounds like you could offer some details regarding the function and use of various humates and their use and benefits in the aquarium. I am trying to learn.
Bill
Experience(decades) trumps speculation?

Adding to that, a copy of Steinberg's Ecology of Humic substances in Freshwaters: specifically Ch 6,7 and 8.

What do you think produces said humic substances? Plants.
Plants cannot run away, move around etc, they have to deal with what is there. Humics are common in aquatic submersed systems. The Santa Fe River in FL is an extremely rich Humic system and it is full of aquatic plants.
Same with the lower Suwanee Refuge, most of the Everglades.

Natural/lakes/river studies do not support closed aquarium systems however.

But as Hobbyists, we have a long history of using peat for plants and fish.
I've used it for maybe 20 years?

the other issue is that no one really has any idea at what concentration the HS(Humic substances) are nor what type, but we can know a bit by using the same source material for HS, eg, pear moss. Driftwoods leach considerable HS as well.

Need a control? add Activated Carbon.
Water changes can be done also, but add different issues to plant growth etc.

These things can be done by aquarist (and have) over many years.
I see no evidence that they are detrimental other than aesthetics of pee colored water.

Steinberg's table 8.9 and 8.10 do not detail the various researcher's experimental methods, clearly they are NOT all the same and the depth and other factors come into play. He states that the evidence is circumstantial.

There is other discussion in the text as well.
Without knowing specifics about the HS in question and that we use, it's a bit tough to relate that information to our aquariums.

But............if a company is selling something, they will misuse such information in most cases to get your money in this hobby.
That is also something learned over time and based on a lot of experience also:wink:

Stick with good old peat moss. Driftwood etc.

It sounds like these acids do to trace metals what every acid does: lower the pH. Doing this makes metals more available in the water column. Put HCL on a spot of ferric oxide (rust) What happens? It dissolves the iron and makes it possible to clean the rust.

Lower tank pH's will "dissolve" metals. I'm not saying that these things don't actually bind to the metals and make it easier for them to cross cell walls, but for that to happen there needs to be iron in the water column to begin with.
They do have some ligand complexing properties. Pages 245-256. This prevents uptake for fish/inverts of metals across their gills. Basically longer lived but lower toxicities. This is good for plants and metal requirements.

So the Humics can be both good and bad for different organism. A little is good, a lot of anything tends to be bad if I were to guess. So driftwood, plants etc= good, yellow water= not pretty, but not a problem either.
Plants really do not seem to care that much, but it's not an aesthetic most like.

So it's unlikely to be an issue for most planted hobbyist and the nuggets and all the other items Vendors sell you? They are only going to sell something pretty watered down. As many hobbyists find great ways to over dose and lard things on..........

So, save your $. By a sack of Peat if you wish.
 

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Humic acid has immense benefits, and I want to highlight some of them. It helps
  1. Increased Nutrient Uptake (the most prominent one)
  2. Decreased Toxins.
  3. Increased Water Retention
  4. Improved Microbial Growth
  5. Better Overall Soil Structure
But the most important thing from the seller. I want to recommend you to stay away from fake sellers and buy from humic harvest. Their humic acid is 100% pure.
"Fake" humic acid? Really? It's really not that hard to find it ag stores....
 

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That poster is just spamming. They are reviving an ancient thread to hawk a specific seller and list they posted is not related to planted aquariums at all. Increased water retention? Of all the worries we might have, our substrate drying out is not on the list.
 

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I won’t comment on the post-reviving members’ motives or statements, other than to say that I don’t accept the premise that the vendor mentioned should be assumed to be legitimate.

However, I do happen to believe that humic substances can be good for both plants and livestock, but keep in mind that some is constantly generated within our tanks and these “organics” often can be part of a negative impact in terms of cleanliness. I dose Fulvic acid (a humic substance). I cannot say that it helps, but I can say that it doesn’t hurt. I have tried withdrawing it and adding it, several times, and I do see the plants going through a mild adjustment when withdrawn. I don’t know how much of a coincidence this may be or not.

I have been doing this for about 6 months, after a discussion with @happi. I have also found that the hydroponics industry claims to have many studies supporting the use of humic substance for plant health and use these substances often.
 
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