Help me choose.....
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Old 06-23-2013, 11:11 PM   #1
Shawn123
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Help me choose.....


I have a 40b that right now has I bag of eco complete topped with 2 bags of inert gravel. Well......I have decided I am not really crazy about the light natural gravel I chose and want to switch to a dark substrate. I am trying to decide between eco complete and Amazonia. I am not looking for another "which is better" thread because I know that has been discussed several times already, but I do need some help.

Right now my ph is around 7.6. The threads I was reading said eco complete raises ph, but they were from a few years ago and most said it was just a bad batch. I do not want my ph getting any higher so that is my concern with eco.

I like that Amazonia is supposed to lower ph some....but my tank is already stocked....so is it ok to put it in another on trainer to leach the ammonia first, and about how long would this take?

Basically I don't want my ph going up and will probably go with eco complete right now if this will not raise my ph, and maybe switch to Amazonia if I ever decide to HO high light with co2.

Advice please...
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:51 AM   #2
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Advice: You definitely need to do more research before making a big substrate swap. Read all you can here on the forum.

Since your tank is stocked, it's not a good idea to consider Aquasoil.

Stop stressing about pH. It's water hardness that matters. What's your GH? KH? What kind of livestock are you keeping?

Most livestock - sensitive shrimp aside - will be absolutely fine in the majority of tapwater that's available.
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:33 AM   #3
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Whoops...looks like auto correct got me.....with the aqua soil, would it work to put it in Another containerto leach the ammonia then put it in my tank.

Plus is it true that aqua soil breaks down after a few years?
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:35 AM   #4
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Ok another question....I thought ph was an indicator of water hardness with below 7 being soft and above being hard. Are there test kits for gh and kh?
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:31 AM   #5
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Nope, pH indicates how acidic or basic something is. 7 is neutral, above 7 is more basic/alkaline, below 7 is more acidic.


KH and GH indicates the hardness. There are kh/gh test kits. Sera kits are apparently more accurate and better than API kits, but I'm fine with API ones.
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:13 AM   #6
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If you do go with amazonia there are two options I see.

(best choice)You can do a live swap, doing it in sections and over periods of time (like 1/4th one week, another 4th next week) but you will have to keep testing your parameters to make sure it doesn't get too bad. I personally did this and had great success, the ammonia barely showed up and my oto's seemed to be healthy over the 3 sections I did (mine is only a 6 gallon tank, so ALOT riskier than a 40b)
** WARNING: i wouldn't do this method if you have real sensitive shrimp or fish **

(ok choice)You can setup another container with the substrate and let it leech out but it will typically take a month or so with some sort of filtration and W/C's. This doesn't void it from still causing a spike of ammonia in your main tank but it will lessen the blow. I have done this as well in my 6 gallon and I didn't see any ammonia spikes from the rescape.

(sensitive fauna choice) doing both together - let it leech in a container for a month or so, and adding it in sections to your tank. Definitely a PITA scooping old substrate and adding new in.

I can't say anything about eco because i've never used it. I'm no advocate of ADA - It's just if it aint broken, dont fix it kind-of motto.
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:17 AM   #7
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There are ways to do that, as has been suggested on this thread. It's not for anyone new to the hobby, I don't think. Please don't take this the wrong way but if you aren't super-familiar with the nitrogen cycle and using Aquasoil, it's better to use another substrate.

As for Aquasoil breaking down? Some people have had it in tanks for 7-8 years. I have one tank that's at least four-years-old.

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Originally Posted by Shawn123 View Post
Whoops...looks like auto correct got me.....with the aqua soil, would it work to put it in Another containerto leach the ammonia then put it in my tank.

Plus is it true that aqua soil breaks down after a few years?
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