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Ada Amazonian 11

john starkey

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ADA have just released AMAZONIAN 11 substrate they claim it does not cloud the water, lowers ph, and lowers kh, also Can some of you experts give me your advice on your fav substrate and why you use it , Are there any side effects to your chosen substrate, and what is the everage life span of most substrates available on the market today. :unsure: :thumbs: :fish:
 

cheesy feet

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On another thread corin castle said that it would depend on what plant load and what type of plants you have.It could last 1-5years apparrently!
 

George Farmer

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Nutrients in substrates will last a very long time if you keep the water column rich i.e. using EI. In fact it is possible to grow plants well in an inert substrate using EI. JamesC does this with excellent results using silica sand.

ADA Aqua Soil is excellent and widely regarded as the best substrate available. The Mk.2 version sounds ideal for harder water. It will last years if maintained appropriately.

The main issue with Aqua Soil is murky water when moving any plants about or disturbance through tank maintenance. So if you are one to experiment often with different layouts (like most beginners) then perhaps you would be better off with another less "messy" substrate.

Another important aspect is its influence of water chemistry in the first few weeks of installation. You will see significant pH and hardness reduction and also ammonia and nitrite spikes. This is an important cosideration when stocking fish. Many wait 3 or 4 weeks until the tank has stabled. Big water changes and filtration with carbon/zeolite are recommended if you do decide to stock fish earlier.

Other "complete" substrates widely used with good results are Caribsea EcoComplete and Seachem Flourite. EcoComplete looks more attractive IMO and has a wider range of nutrients than Flourite.

The cheapest option is to use a substrate additive. I am using Tropica Plant Substrate and growing crypts (heavy root-feeders) in it very well indeed. This has no affect on water chemistry. 1cm layer toppped with 4cm+ fine gravel or coarse sand.
 

zig

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The clouding of the water when you disturb the substrate is a real issue with aquasoil, if your uprooting plants or moving things around the tank the water will cloud quite badly, but nothing that a couple of water changes will not put right, I would not let this put you off aquasoil though after the first month or so of using it you will get great growth using it, it is definitly the best substrate out there atm, just make sure you have your hardscape and planting worked out beforehand and try minimum disturbance thereafter, like George says that may be hard for a beginner.

My second choice would probably be the Tropica substrate, disturbing this substrate will lead to particles floating in the water column but nothing you cannot fish out, again though a good idea to have the hardscape worked out before you add water.

Eco complete can be very expensive because the coverage from each bag is not great, for one bag of aquasoil you would probably need 2 bags of eco complete (or maybe even more) to give the same depth of substrate, this cost can mount up quickly for a larger tank.

I wouldnt buy flourite myself, I think the gravel particles are to big.

Laterite and a small gravel mix is a good beginner substrate, it can be changed around with no problems, plants can be uprooted etc with no issues, I have had good results with a substrate like this and for a beginner its a good choice IMO.

I would go with either the laterite mix or the eco complete both of these would be fine for a beginner, one just works out a lot more expensive than the other, with both of these you can disturb them as much as you like with no issues of clouding etc although the aquasoil and Tropica substrates will give you better growth.
 
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john starkey

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Thanks George and Zig for your replys very helpful, Would it be benificial to use powersand with any of the other substrates you mentioned ? or are they good enough on there own.
 

Dave Spencer

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I have just started using ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia powder, but have not had any clouding of the water, not when filling the tank or when grubbing about. I don`t know whether that is specific to the powder or not.

Dave.
 
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john starkey

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Personally i am really taken with the ada soil eveything ive read about it sounds great and this has not just been written by ada people, OLIVER KNOTT uses ada soils regular and his results are great, On the subject of moving this and that about the tank after set up , i will choose a design and try to maintain it by pruneing only, This is why i am taking my time to choose my tank size,lay out, and plants, i want to make sure i get it right first time .
 

zig

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Surprised to hear the ADA powder does not cloud so much, heres a shot from a few days ago half way through some uprooting and changing around in my 60cm tank, eventually I emptied the water because it became very difficult to see what I was doing, 2 water changes later and the tank was back to normal, I use just normal ADA aquasoil.

 

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Zig, with 10X the water flow and 100x less water, this issue was horrendous with the Behemoth tank.

I changed out 45x9 liter bags of ADA aqua soil out a my client's tank and added back 90 bags of Eco complete.

Let me tell everyone, the difference was night and day.
It's fine if you do not uproot and just top etc, do not change things much once set up.

But if you do, it's a PITA x 10.

I'll never use ADA on larger tanks ever again.
I like it and know it grows plants well, it also holds the shape 3D, does not flatten much, but the stuff gets funky and falls apart into mush if you mess with it much.

Jeese....I spent 4 days from 8 am till 2 am straight to fix that tank with another good worker.
Stunk.

The EC is super and worked great.
I have complained about EC in the past and it is the most costly. Probably learned my lesson all too well, but we learn and evaluate and move on.

For smaller tanks that are not reworked often, ADA AS is still super.

For the 1600 Gallon behemoth, it was nothing but pain and a disaster.
I do not think the new stuff will address those issues, just it'll have less peat and affect hardness less.




Regards,
Tom Barr
 

George Farmer

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Does EC affect water chemistry at all? I've heard conflicting reports, including some of massive PO4 contamination. I'm sure that's sorted by now though.
 

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Never used it but I believe it raises KH and GH a bit. The contamination was a little while ago now so all affected bags should be long gone.

James
 

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i would be careful with ada aqua soil if you have a low gh/kh, it dropped the gh in Ian's tank down to 0 and it's been a bit of a PITA becuase of it.
 

zig

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Zig, with 10X the water flow and 100x less water, this issue was horrendous with the Behemoth tank.

I changed out 45x9 liter bags of ADA aqua soil out a my client's tank and added back 90 bags of Eco complete.

Let me tell everyone, the difference was night and day.
It's fine if you do not uproot and just top etc, do not change things much once set up.

But if you do, it's a PITA x 10.

I'll never use ADA on larger tanks ever again.
I like it and know it grows plants well, it also holds the shape 3D, does not flatten much, but the stuff gets funky and falls apart into mush if you mess with it much.

Jeese....I spent 4 days from 8 am till 2 am straight to fix that tank with another good worker.
Stunk.

The EC is super and worked great.
I have complained about EC in the past and it is the most costly. Probably learned my lesson all too well, but we learn and evaluate and move on.

For smaller tanks that are not reworked often, ADA AS is still super.

For the 1600 Gallon behemoth, it was nothing but pain and a disaster.
I do not think the new stuff will address those issues, just it'll have less peat and affect hardness less.




Regards,
Tom Barr

I hear you Tom, I didnt want to overstate the problem I had to put people off using aquasoil, but it got so bad that I could stick my hand in the tank 2 inches from the glass and I couldn't see my hand, it was bad, I needed to plant in the patches where I had moved the rocks so I emptied the tank to about 1 inch of water and still couldnt see properly what I was doing, it was like mud, had to literally drain 100% of the water in order to plant again, but lesson learnt, I know what to do now if I want to change things around and in a small tank its not a big deal, it was more of a surprise to me because I had not read that much online about the problem.

I was going to change my 40 gallon over to aquasoil but Im in two minds now, I do like to mess around with hardscape particularly when I have new setup going, don't always get it right first time, don't fancy lots of water changes each time I want to change something around.

I cannot imagine what it was like in the 1600 gallon tank, I'd say virtually impossible to work with given the clouding problem.

I will say though so far and its only a few weeks Im impressed other wise with aquasoil, if I had gotten the hardscape correct in the first place the tank would be way ahead, in places where I didnt upset the HC its going gangbusters, so Im going to stick with it, just see if I can learn to live with it warts and all.
 

Dave Spencer

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Will having the Ammonia off scale for a period of time cause burning of the plants? On a couple of occassions I have dipped my hand in to the tank and felt a tingling sensation in any small cuts I have, almost like an electric shock. I only feel it when I have a cut though.

I ask because some of my HC has turned brown, but I am not sure whether it is diatoms or possibly chemical burning.

Dave.
 
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