Is ADA Aquasoil ok for low tech?
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Old 10-16-2014, 11:48 PM   #1
kevinmichael77
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Is ADA Aquasoil ok for low tech?


Still planning out my 40b build and am leaning towards Aquasoil as a substrate. Will this work fine or is it overkill? Part of my
Thinking is that it could very likely end up a high tech tank in a few years or so. Don't want to do soil and can locate black diamond leonardite besides another brand that only comes in a 50lb bag. By the time I add onyx sand it would cost similar to the ada substrate.

Let me know

Thanks
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Old 10-17-2014, 12:35 AM   #2
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I use ADA AquaSoil in my low tech 55 gal shrimp tank. The shrimp love it as does the low/med light plants. It works great.
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Old 10-17-2014, 01:23 AM   #3
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It will only help.
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Old 10-17-2014, 01:57 AM   #4
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Sweet. Would 3 9l bags work for a 40b?
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Old 10-17-2014, 03:08 AM   #5
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Did we say in another thread that aqua soil is a finite lifespan substrate ?

If so I'll never use it that sounds like no good plan

I thought from another thread Eric was talking about having to redo the tank every few years due to exhausted soil

Heard by someone with a 13 yr old planted substrate that is inexhaustible it sounds like a no fun thing to have to do...starting over because substrate characters changed or broke down
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Old 10-17-2014, 04:31 AM   #6
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Any substrate that has lots of nutrients in it that are available to the plants will only last a finite time. Those nutrients get used up by the plants, and some of them leach into the water to be removed during water changes. Substrates that are inert can last forever, but are not as good for growing plants - good enough, but not as good. But, the depleted aquasoil is at least as good as an inert substrate, so why not enjoy the advantages of aquasoil while it still contains nutrients, then enjoy it as a good looking inert soil?
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Old 10-17-2014, 07:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
Any substrate that has lots of nutrients in it that are available to the plants will only last a finite time. Those nutrients get used up by the plants, and some of them leach into the water to be removed during water changes. Substrates that are inert can last forever, but are not as good for growing plants - good enough, but not as good. But, the depleted aquasoil is at least as good as an inert substrate, so why not enjoy the advantages of aquasoil while it still contains nutrients, then enjoy it as a good looking inert soil?
Agree
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Old 10-17-2014, 08:14 AM   #8
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One can alway's get more life from soil by adding some clay or peat to the mix.
They both have good capacity for retaining /holding nutrient's which would make nutrient's available longer.
I get about two year's from this type of amending the soil before I need to consider root tabs.
Dose the water column as well with nutrient's,and tanks can go much longer before replacing substrate becomes a consideration for me.
Some of the aquasoil I hear ,can leach ammonia for some time initially,so some folks perform two to three water changes a week for first couple month's ,to help prevent the ammonia from possibly feeding an algae bloom which could possibly engulf the leaves of plants.
I have not used the stuff ,am only relating what I have heard from those who have/do use it.
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Old 10-17-2014, 11:37 AM   #9
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I took a different path in my substrate which I feel (and so far have measured) to be non exhaustive

We may be speaking in terms of decades to reach exhaustion, but im thinking it will not due to variables below

put two pounds of laterite powder in the bottom of my tank in 2002 I think it was, the API laterite


Then a full bag of flourite red on top which is rather inert at the time, but not a collapsible structure like I read Amazonia to be
I haven't owned it, but some posts Ive read show it breaking down into dirt in time and away from the ball structure? Not sure if thats the case but its what I read here. Amazonia certainly does look cooler than my old flourite.

This is a five gallon tank where the bed volume is much lesser than the avg larger tank, and with a larger than normal plant loading should really test the exhaustion at two years thing.
due to its small size and excessive plant loading a five gallon is a great way to test bed longevity theories

So then I put in a bunch of wild type guppies and some amano shrimp, fed them normally and didnt change the water for seven years while putting up vids that show this sequence
only topoffs and the occasional squirt of the fertilizer du jour with a metal halide blasting plant roots into the bed and I let it overgrow with plants and fish to the point you could only see one inch into the tank. The 2009 vid shows how jacked with plant loading and fish it was, couldn't even see in the tank.

There was a plan, this was dirting my tank from the top layer down and I was taking my time. I was making the plants and system accumulate and rely on fertilizers I knew we could keep inputting indefinitely, fish and snail waste, considering the bed structure is rather porous and doesn't physically break down it was clear in time that the sediments and advection action were bringing the waste down deeper into the bed, we could see it happening

A few times during that decade I'd add a layer of more flourite on top of the last which raised my bed another few inches over this many years. Ff to a couple years ago when it was time to get serious w shrimp and I removed the guppies and trimmed back the plants and capped it one last time with some standard white epoxy gravel (for color stand off, to be able to see things like RCs)

Now the system doesn't use added ferts, has plants ten feet tall shooting out the top, and still gets continual advection for predictably more decades off a hundred or so inbreeding now brown RCs lol

Nothing physical regarding the flourite chips degrades in the bed to slow advection, its continually self dirting which covers my co2 needs and micro macro needs since the buildup was slow and planned.

Its ncredibly long lived, such that I'll be posting update vids when I'm a sr citizen

I think you can make a substrate that doesn't have to be changed and still grows massive plants but mine is mostly stem plants and mosses, I put in some Hc once and it didn't take off. Finding what does grow and concentrating on that kind of density was the trick for my tank, I think its possible to make a system depending on ones goals that is truly inexhaustible.

guess the only way to know if exhausted Amazonia can still advect and self replenish is to find some pics of a tank using the untouched bed for maybe 5-10 yrs but i haven't seen any online.
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Last edited by brandon429; 10-17-2014 at 12:27 PM.. Reason: Sp
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Old 10-17-2014, 04:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brandon429 View Post
I took a different path in my substrate which I feel (and so far have measured) to be non exhaustive

We may be speaking in terms of decades to reach exhaustion, but im thinking it will not due to variables below

put two pounds of laterite powder in the bottom of my tank in 2002 I think it was, the API laterite


Then a full bag of flourite red on top which is rather inert at the time, but not a collapsible structure like I read Amazonia to be
I haven't owned it, but some posts Ive read show it breaking down into dirt in time and away from the ball structure? Not sure if thats the case but its what I read here. Amazonia certainly does look cooler than my old flourite.

This is a five gallon tank where the bed volume is much lesser than the avg larger tank, and with a larger than normal plant loading should really test the exhaustion at two years thing.
due to its small size and excessive plant loading a five gallon is a great way to test bed longevity theories

So then I put in a bunch of wild type guppies and some amano shrimp, fed them normally and didnt change the water for seven years while putting up vids that show this sequence
only topoffs and the occasional squirt of the fertilizer du jour with a metal halide blasting plant roots into the bed and I let it overgrow with plants and fish to the point you could only see one inch into the tank. The 2009 vid shows how jacked with plant loading and fish it was, couldn't even see in the tank.

There was a plan, this was dirting my tank from the top layer down and I was taking my time. I was making the plants and system accumulate and rely on fertilizers I knew we could keep inputting indefinitely, fish and snail waste, considering the bed structure is rather porous and doesn't physically break down it was clear in time that the sediments and advection action were bringing the waste down deeper into the bed, we could see it happening

A few times during that decade I'd add a layer of more flourite on top of the last which raised my bed another few inches over this many years. Ff to a couple years ago when it was time to get serious w shrimp and I removed the guppies and trimmed back the plants and capped it one last time with some standard white epoxy gravel (for color stand off, to be able to see things like RCs)

Now the system doesn't use added ferts, has plants ten feet tall shooting out the top, and still gets continual advection for predictably more decades off a hundred or so inbreeding now brown RCs lol

Nothing physical regarding the flourite chips degrades in the bed to slow advection, its continually self dirting which covers my co2 needs and micro macro needs since the buildup was slow and planned.

Its ncredibly long lived, such that I'll be posting update vids when I'm a sr citizen

I think you can make a substrate that doesn't have to be changed and still grows massive plants but mine is mostly stem plants and mosses, I put in some Hc once and it didn't take off. Finding what does grow and concentrating on that kind of density was the trick for my tank, I think its possible to make a system depending on ones goals that is truly inexhaustible.

guess the only way to know if exhausted Amazonia can still advect and self replenish is to find some pics of a tank using the untouched bed for maybe 5-10 yrs but i haven't seen any online.
Neither Flourite nor laterite is a nutrient loaded substrate. Both are about as inert as you can get. They start out inert, and remain inert however long you use them.
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Old 10-17-2014, 05:02 PM   #11
kevinmichael77
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Interesting stuff here fellas! I've pretty much decided that Aquasoil is what I'm going to use.

How long does the ammonia leach out if the substrate for? Does this mean I shouldn't add livestock right away once it's up and going? I plan on using mulm and bacteria from my other tank to cycle it quickly. I'm just not sure I can change the water 3-4 times a week.

Also would 3 bags be enough for the 40b.
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Old 10-17-2014, 06:11 PM   #12
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hoppy

I mentioned that and talked about the continual source of nutrient.


The flourite simply holds up channels that can be continually filled with natural organic wastes and its proven to work longer than many tanks have been around at this size im seeing. its fair to say it was prepped in an atypical way that went unacknowledged




it is not intended to sway your opinion on amazonia or bed use, just posting dates from actual bed longevity experiments.
The same limitations were also placed on nano reef dsbs in web posts.

this half gallon nano I tried some pseudo amazonia from livewithnature.net

and its breaking down to dirt which I guess time will tell if that shortens the life of the bed but I did want to try a different look.


Regarding bed longevity there's flexibility, we don't have to use sub decades exhaustible substrates was my point. This tank is adapted mainly to water column feeding due to size so the attempt was to rely less on substrate like a walstad setup. if I have to take this down in any way in 5 yrs I won't use this type of soil again. if turning to pure mud blocks ingress channels that may play a role in bed exhaustion and I won't be repeating that limitation again for sure
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Old 10-17-2014, 06:21 PM   #13
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Aqua soil is the best substrate I have used in a low tech tank. I won't use anything else now.

In my 10 and 2 g it took about 3 weeks to finish the cycle enough that I was comfortable adding shrimp.

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Old 10-18-2014, 01:51 AM   #14
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Which would last longer in terms of nutrient content, MGOC or ADA?
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