Eco-Complete or ADA Aquasoil? - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 06:23 PM
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to save some bags of aqua soil i would recommend doing first layer of lava rock.
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post #32 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 06:29 PM
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That's a lot of money for dirt. Aquasoil will run through it's nutrients and need to be replaced in about 2 years or supplemented with root tabs anyways, right? Please correct me if I am mistaken.


What about about plain organic potting soil capped with a good volcanic sand or other inert sand that matches the characteristics you are looking for? This has been working great for me so far.
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post #33 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 06:46 PM
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^+1 exactly my point, nutrients will not last forever.
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post #34 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 07:32 PM
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Aquasoil is wonderful, it also is a LOT cleaner than dirt when rescaping because its more solid and less granulated it also has more water flow through it which means more surface area for aerobic bacteria
plants do provide oxygen to their roots but a lot of space in soil will be comprised of anaerobic bacteria.
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post #35 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 08:12 PM
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It's quite simple to add pumice, sands, etc to organic potting soil to prevent it from becoming compacted and anerobic. The mix I buy even has perlite in it, and I just leave it. Sand cap keeps it down. Sinking egg-crate into the dirt will also help, but make sure you don't want to move plants after they get their roots wrapped around it.

With the plethora of cheap materials available to add to potting soil to prevent compaction, I stand by my assertion that aquasoil is friggen expensive dirt, and both wind up sapped of nutrients in the end.

I agree that aquasoil is cleaner to work with, but is that worth $300 when $10 of potting soil can get the job done? Maybe for some, but I would rather spend that money on plants and equipment if I end up needing to use root tabs or replace the substrate in 1-2 years anyways.
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post #36 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 09:27 PM
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^+1 once again, could not of said it better myself.
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post #37 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 09:47 PM
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If I choose to go with Aqua soil, I would have to purchase power sand as well? So there is no benefit if I just used the aqua soil by itself?
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post #38 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 10:50 PM
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I believe plenty use aquasoil by itself, and this choice comes down to personal preference.
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post #39 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 11:57 PM
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I just torn down a 55 gallon tank that had MTS capped with Eco complete. I could not tolerate the nitrate levels from the MTS. I researched other substrates, even bought saf t sorb. After trying to work with the STS and get it,rinsed I parked that idea and busted open some NEW Amazonia II. I have it for my shrimp tanks and the tanks have the best growth. I wouldn't hesitate to use it.
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post #40 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-26-2012, 12:05 AM
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I dont believe MTS, if done properly, should be adding any nitrates to your water column. I use straight organic potting soil and skip the entire mineralizing process. With a cap and letting plants root during dry-start, have never had an issue with nitrates.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/al...p?albumid=9522

Dirt in that tank. Last test <10 ppm nitrates.
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post #41 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-26-2012, 03:23 PM
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So,then where are they coming from?? I was getting high nitrate levels before I started dosing EI. I have 0 bioload on this tank. It is a plant farm tank. I just did my first wc after swapping substrate, NH4/NH3 .5 mg/L, NO3 <.5 MG/L. My last test was NO3 50 MG/L. I am convinced it was problems with the MTS. What do you think??
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post #42 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-26-2012, 03:46 PM
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Really depends what your setup and goal is, but for overall ease of use, plant growth, flexibilty (low to high light) that allows some rearranging Aquasoil is to me the best choice. I've done setups with AS, Eco and soil and you are very limited with a soil setup in terms of scaping, light intensity, etc.

Aquasoil-based setups could go 6 months without adding anything and still get very good growth, but I would add K since this seems to run low. As long as you do regular water changes and do a medium EI-based dosing routine I have found testing unncessary unless your having serious issues. Regular water changes are the key along with a replenishing ferts on a regular basis.
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post #43 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-26-2012, 04:04 PM
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Could be the MTS, depending upon what's in it. Could be you making too many changes over a short period of time without allowing anything to settle down.

Tough to say either way.
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post #44 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-26-2012, 05:22 PM
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I changed from plain gravel to Eco-Complete in my 75gal about 3months ago. The plants still do not grow like they did with plain gravel and one bag of florite. The pics show what the plants look like. It seems like they are lacking in something, but I haven't been able to figure out what.
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post #45 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-26-2012, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiptail View Post
I changed from plain gravel to Eco-Complete in my 75gal about 3months ago. The plants still do not grow like they did with plain gravel and one bag of florite. The pics show what the plants look like. It seems like they are lacking in something, but I haven't been able to figure out what.
Are you dosing? Did you stop dosing because your using Eco?
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