ADA Aquasoil came apart in 8 months
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Old 05-29-2011, 04:32 PM   #1
DaveK
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ADA Aquasoil came apart in 8 months


I set up my 90 gal planted tank using ADA Aquasoil Amazonia II. Today I moved a few plants and I see where much of the Aquasoil has broken down into light brown pebbles and fins silt. It sort of looks like the product was made be taking the pebbles and coating them with the actual soil, sort of like small malted milk balls.

I wouldn't mind it breaking down so much, but those light brown pebbles really look ugly over the dark soil.

Has anyone else had similar issues with the product? If so, what did you do about it?

Right now, I'm seriously thinking about tearing down the tank and replacing the substrata, and trying real hard not to start a thread with a title something like "Aquasoil [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted]". (file in your favorite profanity) However, tearing down the tank is a major job, and I'd like to avoid that.
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Old 05-29-2011, 04:47 PM   #2
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this is a very common problem with ASII. There is a new one coming out that is suppose to not break down as fast, or as easily. ASI doesn't break down as much either. Speak to Francis
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Old 05-29-2011, 05:04 PM   #3
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its actually already out, New Amazonia Improved


I haven't gotten a chance to use it yet though so i don't know if it for sure solves the problem..
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Old 05-29-2011, 05:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickztahone View Post
this is a very common problem with ASII. There is a new one coming out that is suppose to not break down as fast, or as easily. ASI doesn't break down as much either. Speak to Francis
Yes, I did see that on the web site, but here is my big issue, the original product didn't work too well. It was also extremely expensive, roughly double what any other substrata would have cost me. So after one bad experience that cost me a lot of time and money, I am extremely hard pressed to purchase another "new and improved" product from the same people.

It's kind of like if you have a bad experience with one brand of car. If you can help it you'll never buy that brand again, no matter how much better it seems to be.
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Old 05-29-2011, 08:36 PM   #5
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I agree with you on that Dave. I was looking at AS soil but after reading about some of these issues it turns me off. For the price I would expect something a little better, actually a lot better.
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Old 05-30-2011, 12:28 AM   #6
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To be fair, there are some good points about Aquasoil. I did find it fantastic for growing plants. It also look very natural and nice before this event.

On the downside, when it was new it did throw a lot of ammonia. I got very high ammonia readings while the tank cycles. These were even higher that I got cycling live rock for my reef system, where you get some die off. I didn't find this too big an issue, since I had time, but I could see where Aquasoil is not a substrata you use to replace something else over a weekend.

As of now it looks like a road trip to a "famous big time" LFS tomorrow, and pick up a replacement substrata, so I've been reading up on the brand x verses brand y threads.
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Old 05-30-2011, 01:24 AM   #7
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Can you just layer something else on top to avoid tearing down tank.
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Old 05-30-2011, 01:30 AM   #8
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I just ordered two bags of the new one about 2 hours ago. I am going to cap the 4 bags of as2 I have in my 120, that was mixed with powersand ( its all exposed and looks horrid). I was thinking about getting the Fluval Stratum. I heard its great.
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Old 05-30-2011, 01:30 AM   #9
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You can throw another layer but you must first pre-soak the new aqua soil for at least 2 weeks. It leaches ammonia for a while.
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Old 05-30-2011, 01:31 AM   #10
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Unless you have no live stock in there now then go ahead.
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:13 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psalm18.2 View Post
Can you just layer something else on top to avoid tearing down tank.
I considered that, but the thing is, all that does is hide the problem. It will come back to haunt me. This is because the pebbles in Aquasoil are very light. Over time any heaver substrata, which is almost everything else, on top would sink down, and I'd get the ugly pebbles back on top.

IMO, I'm better off taking the hit now, and fixing the problem.
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:29 AM   #12
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I'm planning on capping mine with Tahitian moon black sand.. It doesn't get the tank cloudy, comes with bacteria built in to help handle the ammonia, and I haven't had a problem with it sinking to the bottom or anything in over a yr of use..
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FDNY911 View Post
... I was thinking about getting the Fluval Stratum. I heard its great.
I have not seen Fluval Plant Stratum being sold in any of my LFS, but that could be me. If your not in the market for substrata, you don't pay much attention to those products.

I did try finding more about it on the net. There doesn't seem to be much information on it. Even Hagen's website doesn't say too much - (I quote from http://www.hagen.com/usa/aquatic/pro...01126920020101 )
- Fluval Plant Stratum is the ideal substrate for planted aquariums, featuring a light non compacting porous structure.
- Its ideal properties as an aquarium substrate are highly beneficial to nitrifying bacteria which rapidly colonize the vast porous surface, providing optimal water quality for fish.
Stimulates strong plant growth.
- Plants flourish as their roots easily spread and take advantage of available nutrients.
- Help support a neutral to slightly acidic pH.
- Will not discolour water and helps to control organic discoloration usually present when natural driftwood is used.
Now I'm all for motherhood and apple pie too (grin), but this copy tells me nothing. I think I could put more hype into the description. They didn't even bother to tell me something like "Welcome to the 4th generation of planted tank substrata. Fluval Plant Substratum is so clearly superior to previous products that you have got to try it to believe it. etc etc etc" I'm kind of disapointed. (grin)
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:52 AM   #14
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LOL! I got you Dave, I had to search around a bit too. Talk to Mordalphus he actually sells it. I heard it is actually pretty decent. Some members here have been using it instead of AS.
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:55 AM   #15
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I use the fluval stratum substrate, and I love it. It doesn't leech ammonia, doesn't break down super fast. It's light weight, so you may have problems planting some stem plants, but other than that, I cannot complain about it.
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