Rex's Planted Tank Guide

Your Source Of Information For Planted Tanks, Lighting, CO2, Fertilizers and Substrate.

Bad Science

Ok, so we are going to scientifically debunk the Eco-Aqualizer. Their claims will be in Blue, the rebuttal in red. Note that the first part of this article is based on the old web site and the second part will address some claims on the new site.

Eco-Aqualizer Claims: ECO-Aqualizer restores this reactivity using electromagnetic energy and far infrared waves.

Electromagnetic energy? Well that means there is electricity generating a magnetic field. And since the Eco-Aqualizer doesn't require batteries or even plug into the wall and has a claimed useful life of 20 years (note that they now claim it has a life of 10 years, wonder where they other 10 years went? Maybe they found out that the fuel in the teeny tiny little nuclear reactor runs out faster than they thought) that makes me wonder where the electricity comes from. Does it have a very small internal nuclear reactor? Or does it draw power from the air? Without a source of power you can't have electromagnetic energy.

Far infrared waves? Pure and simple that's heat. And again, you need some sort of power to get heat. It can be from chemical means which would include the burning of a fuel, electricity, or radioactive decay, or mechanical energy (think friction). But once again we are stuck with the fact that the Eco-Aqualizer doesn't require any power. So I guess we are back to the small internal nuclear reactor.

Eco-Aqualizer Claims: These combined forces in a vacuum sealed chamber, create ionization reactions in water molecules.

Hmm.... vacuum sealed chamber. How does the water get into this chamber and out again? Or how do the “far infrared waves” travel though this vacuum? Think thermos bottle here folks.

Eco-Aqualizer Claims: As water flows through the ECO chamber, it's bombarded with photons and polarity energies.

Photons? A photon is a distinct “chunk” or particle of electromagnetic radiation. Again unless you have some sort of energy available you are not going to have photons. And what the hell are “polarity energies”? I guess this is where the magnets come in. And there has never been a scientific study yet that has proven that magnets in any way affect or improve water.

Eco-Aqualizer Claims: The Earth's Magnetic Field and Far Infrared Waves are natural forces which contribute to the missing links in achieving aquarium perfection.

I don't know about you but I already have a heater in my aquarium and last time I checked the Earth's magnetic field ran through my neighborhood.

Far Infrared , an advanced technology developed by NASA , is a combination of bioceramic elements which are found to emit far infrared waves and produce a resilient photon energy.

NASA says it best:

These ceramic materials do not emit any more infrared rays than any other material of the same temperature. Infrared rays are just natural heat radiation and depend on the temperature of the material. While locally applied heat has always been considered useful under some circumstances to improve circulation near the skin, you can get all the heat or infrared radiation you want just by raising the temperature. There may be some bioceramic materials in the Space Shuttle, but they are not there for any health benefits.

– David Morrison NAI Senior Scientist 10 October 2003

Eco-Aqualizer Claims: Scientific Research: The far infrared wave length energy, when applied to water has a vibrational frequency effect. This causes hydrogen bonds to bend or stretch and weaken the H2O structure.

Sorry here guys. When you weaken the water molecule you get hydrogen and oxygen. You don't get a smaller water molecule.

Eco-Aqualizer Claims: ECO-Aqualizer uses rare earth neodymium magnets and produce the strongest magnetic field known to man.

I wonder if the people at CERN with their particle accelerator that relies on TRUE electromagnetic fields know about these magic magnets? Hell I wonder why my health care provider spends all that money on MRI machines when a few of these magic magnets would work even better! Damn! the secret is out. It seems that everyone has these magnets now.

Check out this link to see one example. But NOTE!!! Those are not electromagnets! Do you know what Electromagnets are? Well it's the production of a magnetic field using electricity. Think about the crane you see in the junk yard on movies picking up cars. That's an electromagnet.

Eco-Aqualizer Claims: The entire Earth has a magnetic field at ground level. This magnetic field naturally charges the water in all oceans and lakes which increase the interraction of water molecules.

Then why the hell doesn't the Earth's magnetic field work in my aquarium? Does the Earth hate me? Or is someone hoping I can't see the glaring holes in their claims and will send them money for a worthless piece of junk?

Eco-Aqualizer Claims: Scientists have proven that water magnetized changes the molecular structure resulting in special biological properties in water.

Where and when? Please site sources. I have asked for the sources and any published peer reviewed scientific studies they have to back up their claims. So far no such studies have been provided.

Now, here are some sticky little points I have yet to receive answers about. If you go to the Eco-Aqualizer web site you will find a link for Articles. It appears that almost all these articles are in fact paid advertisements. On the main page there is this link “Fish Mortality Rates Decreased 80% – click to see case study” again the page that it links to is part of a paid advertisement. And the advertisement is full of anecdotal evidence.

In a proper study the incoming fish would have been broken down into a minimum of two groups. One would be the 'control' group that would be handled in the normal manner. The second group would be the ones placed into tanks in which the Eco-Aqualizer is running on. Then you could study the effects versus the control group. In fact to really make it a true study it would be a double blind study in which the researchers did not know which group of fish were in the treated tanks and which were not.

Part II

Eco-Aqualizer Claims: “Will ECO-Aqualizer destroy or kill beneficial microorganisms? NO. In fact, it provides a more stable homeostasis environment to help the maintenance of a constant rate of concentration in the blood of certain molecules and ions that are essential to life.”

“Does ECO-Aqualizer need to be cleaned internally like UV sterilizers? NO. It's maintenance-free. Their are no moving parts, no light bulbs to replace, and no cleaning involved. ECO-Aqualizer's specific magnetic polarity kills algae growth and impedes bacterial slime from forming on the internal walls of the ECO-Aqualizer.”

These two items were taken right from their FAQ on June 7, 2005, note the slight problem here. The product doesn't kill beneficial microorganisms but does kill algae and impedes bacterial slime from forming on the internal walls of the product. That's one smart product. It can determine the difference between bacteria you want in the tank and the ones that form slime on the walls of the product. Never mind that they are actually one and the same. Also it will kill algae growth. I wonder from how far away it kills algae growth. I mean if I have a bunch of black brush algae attached to one wall of my 55 gallon tank and the product is on the other side will it kill the algae 4 feet away? Will it kill the algae in both tanks if I have two tanks in a double stand? Will it kill the algae in a tank across the room? And just how does the unit differentiate between single cell algae and bacteria? Let alone “good” bacteria and “bad” bacteria?

Eco-Aqualizer Claims: Is ECO–Aqualizer beneficial for salt water and reef tanks? Fresh water? YES. It is specifically designed to improve water quality for all aquatic environments.

Hey wait a just a damn minute here. If this thing can weaken the hydrogen oxygen bonds in water then why doesn't it have a similar effect on all the molecules in salt water? Oh yeah! It's smart enough to tell the difference.

Eco-Aqualizer Claims: Reduces “surface tension” so that carbon dioxide and other harmful gases can escape more readily.

Now I love this claim. We planted tank people spend large amounts of money injecting harmful gases into our tanks. And this product will help eliminate it. That makes sense to me. And if it reduces the “surface tension” to allow “harmful” gases to escape would it also not allow oxygen to escape? Or is this another example of the intelligence of this product?

Eco-Aqualizer Claims: Toxins to become more free floating for easier and effective removal.

What damn “toxins” are we talking about here? And what removes them?

Eco-Aqualizer Claims: Nutrients and trace elements to be diffused for easier selective uptake.

In a planted tank many of these “nutrients” are the same thing as the “toxins” in a reef tank. Again, this is one smart unit. And here I thought that water movement is what diffused the nutrients and trace elements in the water column. And isn't carbon dioxide a nutrient in a planted tank?

Eco-Aqualizer Claims: Prevents helps cure all diseases while sustaining appetites during infestations.

This would be an easy claim to prove. Take two tanks. Cycle both tanks. Stock both tanks with the same number and species of fish. Introduce Ich in both tanks. One tank has the product installed. The other doesn't. See what happens in each tank. I'm willing to be there are any number of undergrad's out there that would be willing to do this research. But again, how the hell does this unit kill the “bad” bugs while leaving the “good” bugs unharmed?


Still want to try one? Well how about making your own? I had a link (It's not working now, you can use The Way Back Machine to find it or just click on this link) to a site that took one apart. So with just a few dollars you can make your own magic water conditioner. (If the link is broken let me know).

Note that I did challenge the charlatan that runs this company to back up his claims with either peer reviewed scientific studies. Or even a better test. I would take an aquarium and add various "toxins" to the tank. We would run his product on this tank for 30 days. He could then drink the tank water. Of course he never bothered to respond to either offer. That should tell you how much CONfidence he has in his product. Note that the apperance of CONfidence is deliberate. Because his product is nothing more than a con.