UP aqua soil, an ADA alternative
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Old 09-26-2013, 03:55 AM   #1
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UP aqua soil, an ADA alternative


I got some of the plant soil from the Taiwan maker. A bit smaller than the ADA AS, darker black color, less dust for sure. Does not have all the NH4, so you need to add KNO3, or if you like NH4, add some Osmocoat etc. Or add (NH4)2SO4 to your liquid mix etc.

It's a bit harder than the ADA, but has a nicer finer look.
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:37 AM   #2
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Good. Given that my AS Africana 'sand' went to dust after ~1.5 years and now the original AS Amazonia is following suit after 2.5 years, I am ready for something new to try.

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Old 09-26-2013, 04:30 PM   #3
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The size is now smaller than the old UP aqua soil.

Same nice black color, smaller grain sizing than the ADA AS, I'd say about 3-4 mm, good for finer foreground plants.

I redid a tank and did not even remove the soil recently using this product for a client. Very impressed with the lack of mess. Longevity is yet to tested, but the results so far seem much better than ADA when it comes to turning to mush/muck.

The trade off there is less NH4, but that's a simple solution to add more/KNO3 etc.

Some might suggest the harder grains are harder for plant roots to enter, but roots are pretty tough and bore right into rock. I doubt plant roots would have any problem with this, and it seems that it will hold together and last longer.

They also seem to have a better quality control system than ADA does on the soil which if viewing the past post over the years, has been variable/not without issues. I've yet to read a less than glowing review on this product line. Some in other countries have used it for about 3-4 years now without issues.
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OVT View Post
Good. Given that my AS Africana 'sand' went to dust after ~1.5 years and now the original AS Amazonia is following suit after 2.5 years, I am ready for something new to try.

v3
AllSeas and Panocean should be able to get it, Marinedepot also on line.
VIV also for the glass stuff if you like the ADA line.

Much of these products have the same OEM
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Old 09-26-2013, 05:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OVT View Post
Good. Given that my AS Africana 'sand' went to dust after ~1.5 years and now the original AS Amazonia is following suit after 2.5 years, I am ready for something new to try.

v3
I'd be willing to guess that it'll last just as long. Though the new Amazonia should be better.
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:05 PM   #6
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If the size is smaller, will it not turn to mud faster? My AquaSoil not even a year and I can see it turning into mud. I don't even uproot plants.

Can one reuse AS if you keep it constantly wet?
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:58 PM   #7
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Thanks for taking the time to really get your hands into this stuff Tom, Still on board with testing enviroments you were planning?
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:02 PM   #8
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Well,

I've redone so many ADA AS tanks and I can tell you, this stuff is far better and makes MUCH less mess if you redo or reuse anything. Clarity is better etc.
If you uproot, you do not get nearly as much haze afterwards. I've tried many tricks to avoid the haze and the muck, but the Up Aqua stuff has not had even 1/4 the issues.
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Old 09-27-2013, 03:25 AM   #9
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Yes, the haze and the mud really gets annoying but I been told this is common with all nutrient substrate. I was also made to believe that AquaSoil would not turn into mush but mine is breaking down pretty fast.

I have Flourite Red, Flourite Black and those still look brand new. Of course they both don't have any where near as much nutrients.

Do you recap your tanks with AquaSoil? How does one rescape with mush AquaSoil?
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Old 09-27-2013, 04:32 AM   #10
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ADA AS mush can be deep vacuumed and whatever is not siphoned off, the larger grains and fines will remain.

Any clay like chunck,s mud balls etc, those are removed by hand. Like the new bags of soil, the grains should fall between your fingers without sticking or clumping. Anything else? Toss it out.

I have a new bag of it looks like 3 different Mr Aqua plant soil products from Seven Seas, there are a few distributors like Marine depot. I spoke with John and they have a fair amount of products from them and the VIV glassware, the Mr Aqua 120 cm tanks are really cool. Not sure about the retail places selling them, but they should be able to tell folks where to get it.

My assessment is not based on sales etc, I can get ADA locally and have gotten a lot over the years. No issues with that. But if the product performs better, has less baloney on the bag about miracles, looks better, better grain size, made less mess when redoing a tank while leaving the sediment in the tank, I am game.

No, I am not/do not sell sediments.
I never have nor ever will.

As far as inert sediment,s Black Flourite sand is still my favorite for a commercial brand. I wish they have the same thing in white and then a slight off tan white color. Some of the clay based products like Mr Aqua and the ADA have multiple colors you can buy I recall seeing in Asia and in Australia. But more the tacky colors, less of the natural colors.

Mostly I want new stuff and products that have some of the traits of the ADA AS, but not the mess. If it had higher density, the Mr Aqua soils would be prefect. Right grain size. Right color, seems to hold up better than ADA AS.

I need to do a plant growth test, but it's coming on fall here and cooler weather. 8 weeks it'll be Dec and not much light and fairly cool, so I'm not so sure outdoor or greenhouse growth studies will do.
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Old 09-27-2013, 10:42 PM   #11
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Last year when I was looking into purchasing ADA Aquasoil, I saw this version as an option. I do recall seeing post that it broke down faster than ADA Aquasoi thoughl. Some it worked out for and others it didn't.
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Old 09-27-2013, 11:50 PM   #12
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The UP Aqua Aqua Sand will come in a red clay color as well, it looks like we will supplying that version to Green Leaf for sure.
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Old 09-28-2013, 03:38 AM   #13
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I really wish there were more info on AS turning into mud. I am not looking forward to redoing a lot of tanks, expense and hassle... Bleah Why am I feeling deceived?

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Old 09-28-2013, 03:49 AM   #14
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^ Because like you, I too read about it maintaining it's shape. If I pick up a AS pebble from my tank, I can crush it with my girly hands.

I can't do that with Seachem Flourite.
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Old 09-28-2013, 03:59 AM   #15
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Any word on the pH buffering on the up aqua?
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