My speculation: Vibrant has some fluconazole in it...

taricha

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Hope everyone had a nice thanksgiving. I wanted to circle back and update this with a little more detail and precision. It's a bit involved but illuminating, I think.

The response of various QAC detecting methods (Bromophenol Blue, Commercial Quat Strips, Saltwater/fresh bacterial growth, etc) was so close in AlgaeFix and Vibrant that I proposed a guess of convenience that the 3.5% "other" in Vibrant might actually be the same or similar active ingredient as the polyquat in AlgaeFix that is 4.5%.

My guess was wrong. The "quat" response to Algaefix and Vibrant is far too similar for a 3.5% vs 4.5% difference. It's much closer than that.

I used a LaMotte QAC titration kit. The indicator gives the "quat" response to both AlgaeFix and Vibrant, but the titration step does not work because precipitate forms instead. So I did analysis of the color change from the quat indicator solution to see if I could find a nice dose-response relationship to AlgaeFix and/or Vibrant.

The QAC indicator in the kit is a mix of Bromphenol Blue and Methyl Orange that both move differently in response to quats than they do for either acids or bases. Quats cause a shift to from a brown to green color.
Quat_AF.jpg



The spectrum shows two peaks in the "No quat" - the right peak at 591nm wavelength is Bromphenol blue, and the left peak at 464nm is Methyl Orange. Both peaks decrease in response to addition of a quat.

I ran a wide range of concentrations of AlgaeFix and Vibrant to look for a dose-response and figure out what the range of concentrations for useful info is. Below is the response of the indicator vs (log scale) concentration of product.
AF_Vi_indicator_log.png

Blue is AlgaeFix and Red is Vibrant. Stars are the absorbance at 464nm (Methyl Orange) and X's are the absorbance at 591nm (Bromphenol Blue).
Bromphenol Blue seems responsive at very low concentrations, and once it stopped responding, Methyl Orange responded nearly linearly. Using this info I drilled down on the range of concentrations of interest and compared the response of the quat indicator to AlgaeFix and Vibrant.

The results are below: The amount of the "quat" response from the Lamotte indicator is exactly identical between new bottles of AlgaeFix and Vibrant.
AF_Vi_indicator_smallrange.png


The X's showing Abs at 591nm (Bromphenol Blue) is super linear with concentration up to 0.100uL of product, and the stars showing Abs at 464nm (Methyl Orange) is nearly as linear from 0.100 to ~0.200 uL. Both chemicals in the indicator respond identically to the same concentrations of AlgaeFix and Vibrant.

AF_Vi-COLLAGE.jpg
(Top or bottom is AF and the other Vibrant)

This is such a phenomenal coincidence that it is unlikely to be a coincidence at all.

(If anybody still has a bottle of Vibrant that has caused serious losses in their system, it would be straightforward for me to check the concentration of the quat-like substance in it, to see if it's an anomalously high "bad batch" or not.)
 
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Hope everyone had a nice thanksgiving. I wanted to circle back and update this with a little more detail and precision. It's a bit involved but illuminating, I think.

The response of various QAC detecting methods (Bromophenol Blue, Commercial Quat Strips, Saltwater/fresh bacterial growth, etc) was so close in AlgaeFix and Vibrant that I proposed a guess of convenience that the 3.5% "other" in Vibrant might actually be the same or similar active ingredient as the polyquat in AlgaeFix that is 4.5%.

My guess was wrong. The "quat" response to Algaefix and Vibrant is far too similar for a 3.5% vs 4.5% difference. It's much closer than that.

I used a LaMotte QAC titration kit. The indicator gives the "quat" response to both AlgaeFix and Vibrant, but the titration step does not work because precipitate forms instead. So I did analysis of the color change from the quat indicator solution to see if I could find a nice dose-response relationship to AlgaeFix and/or Vibrant.

The QAC indicator in the kit is a mix of Bromphenol Blue and Methyl Orange that both move differently in response to quats than they do for either acids or bases. Quats cause a shift to from a brown to green color.
Quat_AF.jpg



The spectrum shows two peaks in the "No quat" - the right peak at 591nm wavelength is Bromphenol blue, and the left peak at 464nm is Methyl Orange. Both peaks decrease in response to addition of a quat.

I ran a wide range of concentrations of AlgaeFix and Vibrant to look for a dose-response and figure out what the range of concentrations for useful info is. Below is the response of the indicator vs (log scale) concentration of product.
AF_Vi_indicator_log.png

Blue is AlgaeFix and Red is Vibrant. Stars are the absorbance at 464nm (Methyl Orange) and X's are the absorbance at 591nm (Bromphenol Blue).
Bromphenol Blue seems responsive at very low concentrations, and once it stopped responding, Methyl Orange responded nearly linearly. Using this info I drilled down on the range of concentrations of interest and compared the response of the quat indicator to AlgaeFix and Vibrant.

The results are below: The amount of the "quat" response from the Lamotte indicator is exactly identical between new bottles of AlgaeFix and Vibrant.
AF_Vi_indicator_smallrange.png


The X's showing Abs at 591nm (Bromphenol Blue) is super linear with concentration up to 0.100uL of product, and the stars showing Abs at 464nm (Methyl Orange) is nearly as linear from 0.100 to ~0.200 uL. Both chemicals in the indicator respond identically to the same concentrations of AlgaeFix and Vibrant.

AF_Vi-COLLAGE.jpg
(Top or bottom is AF and the other Vibrant)

This is such a phenomenal coincidence that it is unlikely to be a coincidence at all.

(If anybody still has a bottle of Vibrant that has caused serious losses in their system, it would be straightforward for me to check the concentration of the quat-like substance in it, to see if it's an anomalously high "bad batch" or not.)
I still have the original bottle from around 2018. Kills or stresses sps almost over night every time I tried it. I have no idea why I still have it laying around but here it is.
75FFE1D3-B542-4C17-B941-A0BD47F4BC4F.jpeg
 

DrZoidburg

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Still by this test purely coincidental. You still don't get that using indicators and absorbance is not going to tell you jack. The ph's of these bottles are near identical. So using indicators that change absorbance vs ph will be identical. All your really doing is testing the absorbance of the indicator.
the titration step does not work because precipitate forms instead
Doesn't tell you jack either if test kit isn't working properly. At what point does it precipitate, and which?
 

taricha

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I still have the original bottle from around 2018. Kills or stresses sps almost over night every time I tried it. I have no idea why I still have it laying around but here it is.
excellent. sent you a PM.

The ph's of these bottles are near identical. So using indicators that change absorbance vs ph will be identical. All your really doing is testing the absorbance of the indicator.
right, I also wondered if I was just moving the pH.
In the chart linked below you can see that there is no pH that causes Methyl Orange to shift left from 464nm, nor is there any pH that causes BPB to shift right from 591nm.
MO is (B) and BPB is (D) in this chart

And in my post you can see the spectrum I measured that shows both of those things happening, as expected from a quat.
additionally pH effects just don't make the LaMotte indicator turn green.
20211203_083935.jpg
left is default brown. low pH (HCl) shifts to orangey pink, neutral or high pH (NaOH) leaves it brown. low pHs in between give intermediate colors between orangey pink and brown.
No pH turns it green like quats do.
 

JCOLE

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Hope everyone had a nice thanksgiving. I wanted to circle back and update this with a little more detail and precision. It's a bit involved but illuminating, I think.

The response of various QAC detecting methods (Bromophenol Blue, Commercial Quat Strips, Saltwater/fresh bacterial growth, etc) was so close in AlgaeFix and Vibrant that I proposed a guess of convenience that the 3.5% "other" in Vibrant might actually be the same or similar active ingredient as the polyquat in AlgaeFix that is 4.5%.

My guess was wrong. The "quat" response to Algaefix and Vibrant is far too similar for a 3.5% vs 4.5% difference. It's much closer than that.

I used a LaMotte QAC titration kit. The indicator gives the "quat" response to both AlgaeFix and Vibrant, but the titration step does not work because precipitate forms instead. So I did analysis of the color change from the quat indicator solution to see if I could find a nice dose-response relationship to AlgaeFix and/or Vibrant.

The QAC indicator in the kit is a mix of Bromphenol Blue and Methyl Orange that both move differently in response to quats than they do for either acids or bases. Quats cause a shift to from a brown to green color.
Quat_AF.jpg



The spectrum shows two peaks in the "No quat" - the right peak at 591nm wavelength is Bromphenol blue, and the left peak at 464nm is Methyl Orange. Both peaks decrease in response to addition of a quat.

I ran a wide range of concentrations of AlgaeFix and Vibrant to look for a dose-response and figure out what the range of concentrations for useful info is. Below is the response of the indicator vs (log scale) concentration of product.
AF_Vi_indicator_log.png

Blue is AlgaeFix and Red is Vibrant. Stars are the absorbance at 464nm (Methyl Orange) and X's are the absorbance at 591nm (Bromphenol Blue).
Bromphenol Blue seems responsive at very low concentrations, and once it stopped responding, Methyl Orange responded nearly linearly. Using this info I drilled down on the range of concentrations of interest and compared the response of the quat indicator to AlgaeFix and Vibrant.

The results are below: The amount of the "quat" response from the Lamotte indicator is exactly identical between new bottles of AlgaeFix and Vibrant.
AF_Vi_indicator_smallrange.png


The X's showing Abs at 591nm (Bromphenol Blue) is super linear with concentration up to 0.100uL of product, and the stars showing Abs at 464nm (Methyl Orange) is nearly as linear from 0.100 to ~0.200 uL. Both chemicals in the indicator respond identically to the same concentrations of AlgaeFix and Vibrant.

AF_Vi-COLLAGE.jpg
(Top or bottom is AF and the other Vibrant)

This is such a phenomenal coincidence that it is unlikely to be a coincidence at all.

(If anybody still has a bottle of Vibrant that has caused serious losses in their system, it would be straightforward for me to check the concentration of the quat-like substance in it, to see if it's an anomalously high "bad batch" or not.)

@taricha I still have my bottle from 2019 that I used right before my crash if you would like it.
 
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excellent. sent you a PM.


right, I also wondered if I was just moving the pH.
In the chart linked below you can see that there is no pH that causes Methyl Orange to shift left from 464nm, nor is there any pH that causes BPB to shift right from 591nm.
MO is (B) and BPB is (D) in this chart

And in my post you can see the spectrum I measured that shows both of those things happening, as expected from a quat.
additionally pH effects just don't make the LaMotte indicator turn green.
20211203_083935.jpg
left is default brown. low pH (HCl) shifts to orangey pink, neutral or high pH (NaOH) leaves it brown. low pHs in between give intermediate colors between orangey pink and brown.
No pH turns it green like quats do.
1B75E309-6113-427C-BF0B-DA65F98C934D.jpeg

Heading your way next week @taricha
 

taricha

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@taricha I still have my bottle from 2019 that I used right before my crash if you would like it.
sure do. check PM.
Absolutely fantastic work. Rarely do we see anything tested to this degree and with this dedication.
Thanks for complement. Even if it all turns out to be correct and somehow could explain bad hobby outcomes, it still feels (to me) really wasteful of time, energy etc, since they could have simply told us what was in it.
guess I wouldn't learn near as much that way though. :)
 

hart24601

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sure do. check PM.

Thanks for complement. Even if it all turns out to be correct and somehow could explain bad hobby outcomes, it still feels (to me) really wasteful of time, energy etc, since they could have simply told us what was in it.
guess I wouldn't learn near as much that way though. :)
Yeah you’re not wrong, but I suspect discovering the secret sauce here and any admission may potentially lead to labeling and registration issues which I really doubt they want to do, but might be inevitable at this point costing them money. It’s not right of them of course but as it might end their product I can see their motivation to keep silent.
 
REEFTIDE

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At this point, they probably just should shut up. Who would believe them anyway? If there is any potential for a EPA violation here, then this could destroy a medium business let alone a small one so probably any good environmental lawyer or general counsel would likely have told them to shut up.

I never wanted to out UWC even though I knew what was in it. I was hoping that they would do the right thing, but I am too naive, I guess. I do want hobbyists to know what is in the stuff so that they can make the best decisions for them and their tanks. I am going to put a link in my signature to this thread and encourage everybody else to do the same thing. Everybody knows that I am full of opinions, but anybody who has lost something in their tank should do this to try and help next person perhaps not have that loss. You can link to the google doc that I made and linked in my signature, if it works.

Once honesty and integrity has gone, or is even in question, watchdogs are super important. Let's set our current political culture aside and just remember that these type of actions with all of the testing is necessary to keep people and companies honest. Somebody recommended a contributor badge for trachia, but a Hobby Watchdog badge is probably more fitting.

UWC was last seen 15 minutes ago browsing this thread.
 

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no pH that causes Methyl Orange to shift left from 464nm, nor is there any pH that causes BPB to shift right from 591nm

MO is (B) and BPB is (D) in this chart
This chart you linked shows you how ph can change color. Around ph 5+ is green then to yellow. 550 nanometers is green. If starting low ph just methyl orange (acidic) is orange, goes up to ph 5 is green, continued additions of acidic additives with an acidic indicator makes it go back to orange. It is what is in these additives that is making it go back to orange. Ie vinegar in one. The addition of more hydrogen to the balance can make it go back to orange.
 

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DrZoidburg

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@taricha If you would like I could explain maybe why this absorption spectrum you witnessed is not a good way to see if this compound is in there. To me this is a spectrum based on how methyl orange would behave to ph.
 

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a.t.t.r

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@taricha If you would like I could explain maybe why this absorption spectrum you witnessed is not a good way to see if this compound is in there. To me this is a spectrum based on how methyl orange would behave to ph.
However if the results of every test match up 1:1 it is safer to assume that if it quacks waddles and swims its a duck... Also notice they were fine stating what it WASN'T but are not willing to say anything about this despite visiting this thread multiple times.
 
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I probably forgot somethings here. 1: Absorbance spec overpowered by methyl orange. Trace 3-4% aspartic acid/any polyQ is over powered by methyl orange/bromo combo because the intensity of MeOH orange is higher at similar peaks. 2:Useful spectral data to id pure polyquat species(numerous) is outside of 400-750 nm.(not what is in given chart) Some in uv range and others in infrared. 3: When your talking about organic molecule absorption is not always going to be representative of the color you see for reasons. Ph, charge, double bonds, double to single bonds, mixing colors etc...
 

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zuri

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I think I'm going to have to disagree here. If it contained fluc, then it would work on bryopsis, yet bryopsis flourishes in tanks that are running vibrant(as vibrant has no effect on bryopsis). I would think even if it had a small amount of fluc in it, it would have some effect on bryopsis.

I have no idea what vibrant is, or isn't either. I have used it in the past, and it actually does work as described.
ditto vibrant has no effect on Bryopsis had it in my tank while dosing for months great for bubble, hair and somewhat hit or miss for turf. one dose of reefhd had immediate effect I was also double dosing the vibrant twice aweek nope
 

a.t.t.r

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Not when chemistry is involved. If you guys want to take the easy way out and say something based on ph indicators go for it.

Let us recap what we know and draw a logical conclusion.
3.5 percent other listed apx the same amount of quat in algaefix.
Company will what is not in it but has not said anything about polyquat.
Behaves like a polyquat.
Test results between other bacterial products, algaefix, vibrant only vibrant and algae fix behave the same.
Bacterial growth near identical between the two as well.
No signs of living bacteria in the product.
Total silence since he started narrowing down the suspect of what it is.

And the biggest one yet... What seems more feasible a aquarium service company paid for tons of research on bacteria, Found a way to grow bacteria in small doses for internal company use only(at first) while being financially feasible with no intent to release it for sale or company went to a pool store and started experimenting with dosages.....
 

a.t.t.r

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This is my new favorite R2R thread.
Same and I love people demanding truth in labeling and driving out scammers. Not sure many of you remember the ecoaqualizer that made bank in the early 00's off hobbyist falling for some pretty techojargon..
At least this product does work but people have a right to know what they are handling.
 
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