AF Life Source

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Saltyanimals

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lol I’m not an expert, just a weekly user!

No, I do not believe that they are similar enough to be used interchangeably. Life source is more like raw clay, whereas MM is more like sand/gravel.

Add a scoop of MM (stirred with tank water beforehand) to your tank and it’ll settle to the bottom pretty quickly, with minimal fines being distributed Add a scoop of life source to your tank (again, stirred), and I’ll cloud your whole tank for a few hours with minimal larger pieces sinking to the bottom.

The typical grain size of the two products is vastly different and is, IMO, the limiting factor that prevents them from being used as substitutes.

These two videos show each product -- notice the difference in grain size (Full video for Life Source to show dosing, MM video starts at view of grains):




Bingo. Those videos helped and the call outs on the grain size. It does appear based on the particulate size the AF is designed to mix and mostly dissolve into something that can be dosed into high flow to disperse. Opposed the MM sand like particles that likely will never dissolve besides settle down somewhere physically. I've heard of horror stories with MM where it broadcast accidently in the sump online to cover everything in the DT through return pumps. The AF actually might even benefit from dumping into the return section to have it distribute.

I would have thought particulates like this would end up as a physical irritants causing issues, but it appears in Parker's that it did not in his soft, fish or SPS. I can see the irritants stressing the nem to split.

Guess it's worth a try as we continue to put more voodoo into our tanks. Thank you for the good discussion.
 
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Saltyanimals

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I've no concerns. Though, I'm planning on taking a quick trip to the beach to collect some amphipods for my tank soon. I might be a bit less concerned with parasites or "Bad things" than some on here.


I've been tempted to do this several times. Just last week I was on a beach in Malibu eyeing a large piece of seaweed/kelp washed ashore. Wondering if I should grab some and throw it into my sump. Complete with anything and all things that might hitchhike. I weak-sauced out.
 

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Bingo. Those videos helped and the call outs on the grain size. It does appear based on the particulate size the AF is designed to mix and mostly dissolve into something that can be dosed into high flow to disperse. Opposed the MM sand like particles that likely will never dissolve besides settle down somewhere physically. I've heard of horror stories with MM where it broadcast accidently in the sump online to cover everything in the DT through return pumps. The AF actually might even benefit from dumping into the return section to have it distribute.

I would have thought particulates like this would end up as a physical irritants causing issues, but it appears in Parker's that it did not in his soft, fish or SPS. I can see the irritants stressing the nem to split.

Guess it's worth a try as we continue to put more voodoo into our tanks. Thank you for the good discussion.

I decided to adopt the AF probiotic method prior to filling my tank. The method doesn't require the use of Lifesource, but I figure that they probably develop their product line to be complementary. So if it has AF on it, I probably use it. It might be voodoo, it might not. But it's part of my overall plan so I'm going to continue to use it. Stability promotes success, right?



I've been tempted to do this several times. Just last week I was on a beach in Malibu eyeing a large piece of seaweed/kelp washed ashore. Wondering if I should grab some and throw it into my sump. Complete with anything and all things that might hitchhike. I weak-sauced out.

I admire Paul Baldassano (@Paul B) and his decades long experiment, and part of that experiment involves collecting flora and fauna from the waters off of NY/Long Island. While he'll be the first to caution "don't do what I do" simply because he tends to break a lot of guidelines/rules, the success he's found is undeniable. I really need to read his entire thread here as the last I read about his tank (in detail) was back during the hay-day of RC.

If he can collect from the (relatively) cold waters where he's at, I think my (comparatively) tropical waters here in central FL should yield some level of success. I found a user here that collected amphipods for his tank from close by which only solidified my desire to do the same. I'll probably try to find some smaller chunks of coquina rock to add while I'm collecting -- if only for the microfauna/bacteria present. I doubt I'll keep it in the tank long-term, instead using it as sort of a periodic inoculation of wild organisms.

I mean, the worst that can happen is that I bolster the revenue stream of my LFS because I need to replace all my frags, right? 20 years ago when most everything was wild-caught, I'd have thought twice. But given most coral is sustainably cultured these days, the potential tank crash doesn't carry near the same level of threat of ecological damage as it used to.
 
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Hooz

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If I'm using Life Source strictly to boost biodiversity in my tank, how long and/or how many times should I dose? I'm not sure I want to dose it indefinitely, but that 1000ml will last me 2 years if I weekly dose the recommended amount. :D

I was thinking weekly for a few months or so and then sharing the leftovers with my buddies with bigger tanks.
 

Saltyanimals

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That's a good question. "Dosing" suggest a regular addition, but think of this from a different perspective: Biodiversity suggesting introducing a wide range of bacteria, biome, etc so there is enough diversity in your tank. It has been researched that a tank will eventually get to its own equilibrium and balance over time. Reasons are countless, but mainly about certain bacteria being able to replicate at a faster rate than others in your given tank. The population will overtake others and eventually find balance.

The reason we dose these biodiversity products is because we believe in some strains in the bottle that we want to actively be in our tank. ...just in case it was overtaken by the dominate existing strain, we add a little more to keep it active.

I throw all kinds of bact in my tank, but don't do it regularly. Every fews months or so "just because". There's really no way I can measure results as too many other things change in my tank regularly.
 

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That's a good question. "Dosing" suggest a regular addition, but think of this from a different perspective: Biodiversity suggesting introducing a wide range of bacteria, biome, etc so there is enough diversity in your tank. It has been researched that a tank will eventually get to its own equilibrium and balance over time. Reasons are countless, but mainly about certain bacteria being able to replicate at a faster rate than others in your given tank. The population will overtake others and eventually find balance.

The reason we dose these biodiversity products is because we believe in some strains in the bottle that we want to actively be in our tank. ...just in case it was overtaken by the dominate existing strain, we add a little more to keep it active.

I throw all kinds of bact in my tank, but don't do it regularly. Every fews months or so "just because". There's really no way I can measure results as too many other things change in my tank regularly.

That's what I was wondering... Once I've introduced it to the tank(s), how often do I need to augment it? I'm sure there are bacteria in the ocean that may never make it into some tanks, so I see the benefits of adding it for sure. Both of my current tanks have been running for 2 years and 14 months respectively, and both are very stable at this point. But I'm interested in providing as diverse a biome as I can.

My real issue is just spending that kind of money (currently only finding it for $60+) for something that I only really need a fraction of. The recommended "dose" for one of my tanks would be 2.5ml, the other 7.5ml. Even if I dosed every week, I just can't justify buying a 1000ml bag of the stuff at a time.
 
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Saltyanimals

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I don't think anyone can really answer the question because it's about which types of "bio" are in the product vs what is in your tank today. Let's say the product contains A-B-C-D types in equal parts. You'll have to run a biome test to see which types exist today in your tank to know if what you're adding is to a dominate population and thus very little benefits or to an existing with little to zero existing population today. The latter would imply that you need to dose more often and longer to build up this population hoping to get a foot hold in the tank over the dominate type.

Short answer is I would keep it up if you're seeing benefits and not change. Don't break what's not broken.
 

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I was thinking would putting ocean water in your tank occasionally hurt it because of pollution or the things living in it? Or would it give it a boost like af life force.
Every tank and every water change I’ve ever had or done is with water straight from the ocean.
now i do avoid collecting when it’s winter and the migratory sea birds are here, but our area tests the water for coil forms.
 
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Gatorpa

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I decided to adopt the AF probiotic method prior to filling my tank. The method doesn't require the use of Lifesource, but I figure that they probably develop their product line to be complementary. So if it has AF on it, I probably use it. It might be voodoo, it might not. But it's part of my overall plan so I'm going to continue to use it. Stability promotes success, right?





I admire Paul Baldassano (@Paul B) and his decades long experiment, and part of that experiment involves collecting flora and fauna from the waters off of NY/Long Island. While he'll be the first to caution "don't do what I do" simply because he tends to break a lot of guidelines/rules, the success he's found is undeniable. I really need to read his entire thread here as the last I read about his tank (in detail) was back during the hay-day of RC.

If he can collect from the (relatively) cold waters where he's at, I think my (comparatively) tropical waters here in central FL should yield some level of success. I found a user here that collected amphipods for his tank from close by which only solidified my desire to do the same. I'll probably try to find some smaller chunks of coquina rock to add while I'm collecting -- if only for the microfauna/bacteria present. I doubt I'll keep it in the tank long-term, instead using it as sort of a periodic inoculation of wild organisms.

I mean, the worst that can happen is that I bolster the revenue stream of my LFS because I need to replace all my frags, right? 20 years ago when most everything was wild-caught, I'd have thought twice. But given most coral is sustainably cultured these days, the potential tank crash doesn't carry near the same level of threat of ecological damage as it used to.
Beware coquina can have loads of PO4
 

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I really want to give this stuff a go, but I've decided not to spend almost $70 on 1000ml, just to only use the tiny amount I'd need for my tanks. :(

If anyone has some and would like to bag up and sell me a little (like 6 tablespoons full), I'd be happy to pay for it and postage.
 

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I have been using this stuff for nearly 2 months now to see if it makes any difference on my what I can only assume is lynbya. Only thing it's accomplished is it made my wallet $70 lighter. In my opinion it's just anther bottle of crap the industry/hobby has conned us into dumping in our tank.
can't get rid of this stuff
vDHvdO9.jpg
 

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I have been using this stuff for nearly 2 months now to see if it makes any difference on my what I can only assume is lynbya. Only thing it's accomplished is it made my wallet $70 lighter. In my opinion it's just anther bottle of crap the industry/hobby has conned us into dumping in our tank.
can't get rid of this stuff
vDHvdO9.jpg

PM me. I'll take some off your hands.
 

Saltyanimals

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I also saw the in-stock alert and ordered some to try. Given what I'm seeing here with the metal sediments, I do plan to run a magnet over the stuff before mixing to avoid getting it gummed up in my pump magnets.

Will see what it does which will of course take time to see any real benefits. General statements apply here: I added X and my tank looked better. =) Was it the voodoo or was it just stability over time ;)
 
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Saltyanimals

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Got my bag from BRS and mixed up to a muddy dark green brown cocktail and ran a neo-magnet through it. Below is what stuck to the magnet after a rinse through the faucet. We can see whatever the deposit gunk is, it stayed stuck to the magnet. Matter of fact it was actually hard to get off the magnet. Maybe this is the strength of the neo magnet vs a regular one, but not easy.

This obviously made me think twice about adding directly to my DT given what this would do to my various power heads. Instead I added to my sump over sump rocks with the main pump off hoping to minimize the gunk getting to the return pump allowing it to settle onto the rocks. I didn’t even use the full mix allowing it to settle a bit to the bottom of the mixing container.

I'll leave the return pump off for 30 mins hoping to let it settle into the sump. Skimmer will remain off for half the day as well to not remove. Maybe I'm overthinking this product and should just trust since Aqua Forest has a reputation for quality. @Aquaforest comments please.

Thoughts?

EB0FC896-69A2-46A2-BD8F-457672F22F83.jpeg
 
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livinlifeinBKK

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I feel like a lot more people are gonna start using this now just because it was promoted in the BTS series... I started using it a long time ago and like the product but don't expect any miracles guys...
 

Saltyanimals

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I feel like a lot more people are gonna start using this now just because it was promoted in the BTS series... I started using it a long time ago and like the product but don't expect any miracles guys...

That's the reason I tried it. I thought it was a new product, but appears that it has been around awhile since you've been using it. Any thoughts on my mini experiment? Did your equipment gum up from the magnetic deposits in the product? It was a pain trying to get it off a simple magnet. I can't imagine how one gets it out of pumps over long term use.
 
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livinlifeinBKK

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That's the reason I tried it. I thought it was a new product, but appears that it has been around awhile since you've been using it. Any thoughts on my mini experiment? Did your equipment gum up from the magnetic deposits in the product? It was a pain trying to get it off a simple magnet. I can't imagine how one gets it out of pumps over long term use.
I liked your mini experiment because it's always interesting when a product contains metals (I highly doubt they would be harmful to livestock in any way though)...tbh I haven't had any major issues with it though as far as pumps go although I don't dose nearly as often as they state you should. I do think it's a good product though and helps promote biodiversity and revives minerals that you may be lacking.
 

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Got my bag from BRS and mixed up to a muddy dark green brown cocktail and ran a neo-magnet through it. Below is what stuck to the magnet after a rinse through the faucet. We can see whatever the deposit gunk is, it stayed stuck to the magnet. Matter of fact it was actually hard to get off the magnet. Maybe this is the strength of the neo magnet vs a regular one, but not easy.

This obviously made me think twice about adding directly to my DT given what this would do to my various power heads. Instead I added to my sump over sump rocks with the main pump off hoping to minimize the gunk getting to the return pump allowing it to settle onto the rocks. I didn’t even use the full mix allowing it to settle a bit to the bottom of the mixing container.

I'll leave the return pump off for 30 mins hoping to let it settle into the sump. Skimmer will remain off for half the day as well to not remove. Maybe I'm overthinking this product and should just trust since Aqua Forest has a reputation for quality. @Aquaforest comments please.

Thoughts?

EB0FC896-69A2-46A2-BD8F-457672F22F83.jpeg
Sever with Aquaforrest said yes there is magnetic material in life source, however this magnetic material is natural and not toxic in any way for our inhabitants, and it will not damage any powerheads as the total hardness of this material is much less than what the material our powerheads are made out of.

so in reality it would be no different than slime caking on our powerheads
 
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How have you used eggcrate in or around your aquarium?

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  • Other (please describe in the discussion)

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