New tank with ADA Aquasoil and ferts - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-25-2018, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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New tank with ADA Aquasoil and ferts

Do any of you dose ferts when starting a new tank with ADA Aquasoil? I'm currently on the second week and I have read some conflicting reports on when to dose ferts using this soil.
Right now I use Thrive+ in my other tanks but when starting those tanks I dosed Thrive+ and had some nasty hair algae. One was from my lights being on too long and the other I had a 6 hr light cycle. Both had hair algae galore. I also didn't use the ada soil in those tanks either.
My new tank is on a 6 1/2 hour light cycle with CO2.

Edited:
My tank is a UNS 60s. It's a low 10 gallon tank that's 24" long by 14" wide and only 7" high.
It's mostly planted with carpeting plants like dwarf baby tears and a little bit of hair grass. Some s. repens also. Most of the tank volume is taken up by rocks however. I have guestimated about 5 to 6 gallons of actual water. I do run co2 and high light. My concerns are my plant mass is not enough to really absorb what's needed to crowd out algae growth because of how much space the rocks take up. Its a new tank that's been setup for about 3 weeks. I finally got the cycle finished and ammonia isn't present in amounts I can test with the API kit. I followed the water changes ADA recommends. I have seen plant growth but also starting to see hair algae. I clean it out as soon as I see it with a toothbrush and that's really been helping keep it down. I am pretty sure the Thrive might be to blame as I don't really need the Nitrogen at this early of a stage like jbvamos mentioned. I don't do full doses of Thrive and usually cut it in about half the recommended amount which I still believe adds to much N.

Last edited by Format32; 08-02-2018 at 06:18 AM. Reason: more info needed
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-25-2018, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Format32 View Post
Do any of you dose ferts when starting a new tank with ADA Aquasoil? I'm currently on the second week and I have read some conflicting reports on when to dose ferts using this soil.
Right now I use Thrive+ in my other tanks but when starting those tanks I dosed Thrive+ and had some nasty hair algae. One was from my lights being on too long and the other I had a 6 hr light cycle. Both had hair algae galore. I also didn't use the ada soil in those tanks either.
My new tank is on a 6 1/2 hour light cycle with CO2.
sup from reddit

I would dose as normal in the beginning. maybe a little more since the water is fresh.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-25-2018, 09:22 PM
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In my opinion you didn’t supply enough info to suggest anything about ferts.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-25-2018, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by houseofcards View Post
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Originally Posted by jbvamos View Post
In my opinion you didn’t supply enough info to suggest anything about ferts.
Then your probably not that familiar with ADA Aquasoil.
6 months without ferts? Does he have a 60 watt light bulb over the tank or 150 par at the sub? Is his co2 10ppm or 50? Is he growing java fern and anubias or fast growing stems. Your right though, I’m not familiar with aquasoil...... more info about his tank would be helpful
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-25-2018, 11:27 PM
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My 180 with high lighting, Rich co2 and fast growing stems would have been a disaster if I followed your advice. Again, we know too little to give advice but it’s interesting how you start new tanks with aquasoil. I had to dose massive amounts of P from day 1. Zero algae issues from day 1, no ugly stages

My 40 gallon with same lighting, co2, plants I dosed just K and micro went through serious ugly stage.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-26-2018, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by houseofcards View Post
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Originally Posted by jbvamos View Post
My 180 with high lighting, Rich co2 and fast growing stems would have been a disaster if I followed your advice. Again, we know too little to give advice but it’s interesting how you start new tanks with aquasoil. I had to dose massive amounts of P from day 1. Zero algae issues from day 1, no ugly stages

My 40 gallon with same lighting, co2, plants I dosed just K and micro went through serious ugly stage.
You seem to be intent on comparing other setu that didn't use aquasoil regardless of what I say. As far as "we know too little" it's actually, you know to little since you've never used aquasoil and don't understand the product.
. https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...-whistles.html Like I said, if I followed your advice with this AQUASOIL tank, it would have experienced issues like my 40 gallon tank WITH AQUASOIL that only has K and micro dosing. I did this experiment to see what would happen with high lighting, rich co2 and fast growing stems and dosing only K and traces. The OP can supply more information about his tank and get more accurate information then "don't dose ferts for 6 months" and skip the ugly stages or he can go through the ugly stages many aquasoil tanks go through. If he has moderate to high lighting, rich co2, and fast growing stems, He WILL go through an ugly stage that he doesn't need to. It might turn around for him, It might not and he may give up before it does.
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Last edited by jbvamos; 07-26-2018 at 10:28 AM. Reason: spelling
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-26-2018, 08:11 AM
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@Format32

This is what I would do if you have moderate-high lighting, rich co2, and fast growing stems.
1. Follow the water change schedule to a T
2. Get your CO2 correct and stable, make sure your flow in the tank is good.
2. Ditch the thrive and buy a 1lb bag of KNO3, KH2P04, K2S04, and a commercial trace mix like seachem flourish
3. The bag of KNO3 is going to sit on the side for a couple months, This is why the thrive is no good because it will add N along with the other things you need. You don't need any N right now. Daily you are going to add 5ppm KH2PO4, and the trace mix. aquasoil absorbs alot of P, if you have a powersand layer it will absorb even more. I've been adding 5ppm P per day for 4 months and if I test right now it will read 2ppm. At water change you are going to add 15ppm K. Depending on your GH you may need to buy a bag of CaSO4 and MgSo4. If your GH is low I would add 10ppm Ca and 3ppm Mg at water change. This calculator will aid you in figuring how much of each nutrient to add. https://rotalabutterfly.com/
4. Stay on top of pruning and maintenance religously. do not skimp on this!
5. adding purigen is a good idea because there will be alot of organics in the water

The problem with aquasoil is the water column will be P limited with a very rich N source. This obviously works for amano and 1000's of other tanks, but when you add higher lighting and richer CO2 then they use it can become an issue.

If you have low lighting with heavy root feeders you could probably Just add K and micros for a long time, but the addition of P will only help things.

The ugly stages a new aquasoil tank goes through do not have to happen if you understand what is going on. There is no need to reduce lighting to avoid these issues, you just need to give the plants what they need in the water column because it's not good to run a nutrient limited tank. To clarify, by dosing just K and micro, you will have everything needed in the water column except for P, this is bad for plants and great for algae. Happy plants= Happy tank. If you supply more information about your setup, more people will be able to give you more detailed advice.

Good luck.
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Last edited by jbvamos; 07-26-2018 at 10:25 AM. Reason: spelling
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-26-2018, 11:56 AM
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People's experiences and practices and reviews vary not only because of differences in tanks but also because they used distinctly different products. Thank ADA's marketing for that. I can recall at least 4 different ADA "AquaSoil Amazonia" .I used all of them except the last one:

1. (original) AquaSoil: this one was a mess for multiple reasons. Tom Barr has a write-up on this version somewhere. He used it on a large scale customer project. In the end, he went with a different substrate. My personal experience was only slightly better.

2. New AquaSoil: this one was slightly better as it did not fall appart once it hit the water. Still very high in loose organics and subsequent crazy ammonia numbers. This lasted me about 4 years in a high tech tank with alcaline tap befure it turned to mush. I was pissed. The "New" tag was dropped about 6 months later and it became just plain Amazonia again.

Most of the negative on-line reviews are on the 2 versions above.

3. AquaSoil II: finally a version usable by an average person: cut organics way down, much firmer grains with average ammonia around 2 ppm. I am still re-using this version, with multiple washes in between, for some 4--5 years now. My first tank with it was 24"x24" footprint low tech with a measly Finnex PX-360 seeded filter. After scooping the brown foam and floating dead twigs off the surface, the tank was clear in 24 hours and with ammonia at 0 within 6 days. The "II" designation was dropped again, back to plain AquaSoil label.

4. AquaSoil Multi: a limited run of #3 with 50/50 regular and sand mix. I am still using it today.

5. Back to AquaSoil in silver bags. Looked the same as #3 and I got 3 bags right before it got phased out. The one bag I used had about 20% of light grey small granules. No idea what it is or even if it was contaminated. No end of problems for 6+ months and I am finally pulling it all out.

6. Back to plain AquaSoil but now in a black bag. Seems to be identical to #3 - no issues to cry about.

7. AquaSoil Light: no personal experience.

What? So much typing all for nothing?

Initial water changes: Starting with #3 version, I personally let the tank be and settle down for a month or so. No water changes. Ammonia? Let the plants pig out. ADS's water changes is a corporate safety valve for "my first AS fish cycle tank" folks. Looking forward to daily 50% water changes? No real harm in that but why dump the good stuff and sweat for a month.

Initial fertilization: I start fertilizing the day I plant. Low / high P? K? N? Who cares? I test for ammonia and N until the tank cycles, add fish after. When N hits 40 ppm, is when I start establishing a fertilization regime for that specific tank.

Disclamers: I plant heavy and diversely on day 1. I use the same methods on hi tech, low tech, no tech tanks. I currently have 4 tanks with AS of various ages.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-26-2018, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by jbvamos View Post
. https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...-whistles.html Like I said, if I followed your advice with this AQUASOIL tank, it would have experienced issues like my 40 gallon tank WITH AQUASOIL that only has K and micro dosing. I did this experiment to see what would happen with high lighting, rich co2 and fast growing stems and dosing only K and traces. The OP can supply more information about his tank and get more accurate information then "don't dose ferts for 6 months" and skip the ugly stages or he can go through the ugly stages many aquasoil tanks go through. If he has moderate to high lighting, rich co2, and fast growing stems, He WILL go through an ugly stage that he doesn't need to. It might turn around for him, It might not and he may give up before it does.
this is why I left this community for reddit. too much negative energy on planted tank. net
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-26-2018, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by IntotheWRX View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbvamos View Post
. https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...-whistles.html Like I said, if I followed your advice with this AQUASOIL tank, it would have experienced issues like my 40 gallon tank WITH AQUASOIL that only has K and micro dosing. I did this experiment to see what would happen with high lighting, rich co2 and fast growing stems and dosing only K and traces. The OP can supply more information about his tank and get more accurate information then "don't dose ferts for 6 months" and skip the ugly stages or he can go through the ugly stages many aquasoil tanks go through. If he has moderate to high lighting, rich co2, and fast growing stems, He WILL go through an ugly stage that he doesn't need to. It might turn around for him, It might not and he may give up before it does.
this is why I left this community for reddit. too much negative energy on planted tank. net
right on sgt oddball.that was a great movie!
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-26-2018, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by OVT View Post
People's experiences and practices and reviews vary not only because of differences in tanks but also because they used distinctly different products. Thank ADA's marketing for that. I can recall at least 4 different ADA "AquaSoil Amazonia" .I used all of them except the last one:

1. (original) AquaSoil: this one was a mess for multiple reasons. Tom Barr has a write-up on this version somewhere. He used it on a large scale customer project. In the end, he went with a different substrate. My personal experience was only slightly better.

2. New AquaSoil: this one was slightly better as it did not fall appart once it hit the water. Still very high in loose organics and subsequent crazy ammonia numbers. This lasted me about 4 years in a high tech tank with alcaline tap befure it turned to mush. I was pissed. The "New" tag was dropped about 6 months later and it became just plain Amazonia again.

Most of the negative on-line reviews are on the 2 versions above.

3. AquaSoil II: finally a version usable by an average person: cut organics way down, much firmer grains with average ammonia around 2 ppm. I am still re-using this version, with multiple washes in between, for some 4--5 years now. My first tank with it was 24"x24" footprint low tech with a measly Finnex PX-360 seeded filter. After scooping the brown foam and floating dead twigs off the surface, the tank was clear in 24 hours and with ammonia at 0 within 6 days. The "II" designation was dropped again, back to plain AquaSoil label.

4. AquaSoil Multi: a limited run of #3 with 50/50 regular and sand mix. I am still using it today.

5. Back to AquaSoil in silver bags. Looked the same as #3 and I got 3 bags right before it got phased out. The one bag I used had about 20% of light grey small granules. No idea what it is or even if it was contaminated. No end of problems for 6+ months and I am finally pulling it all out.

6. Back to plain AquaSoil but now in a black bag. Seems to be identical to #3 - no issues to cry about.

7. AquaSoil Light: no personal experience.

What? So much typing all for nothing?

Initial water changes: Starting with #3 version, I personally let the tank be and settle down for a month or so. No water changes. Ammonia? Let the plants pig out. ADS's water changes is a corporate safety valve for "my first AS fish cycle tank" folks. Looking forward to daily 50% water changes? No real harm in that but why dump the good stuff and sweat for a month.

Initial fertilization: I start fertilizing the day I plant. Low / high P? K? N? Who cares? I test for ammonia and N until the tank cycles, add fish after. When N hits 40 ppm, is when I start establishing a fertilization regime for that specific tank.

Disclamers: I plant heavy and diversely on day 1. I use the same methods on hi tech, low tech, no tech tanks. I currently have 4 tanks with AS of various ages.


Excellent advise here.


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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-28-2018, 05:49 PM
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Initial water changes: Starting with #3 version, I personally let the tank be and settle down for a month or so. No water changes. Ammonia? Let the plants pig out. ADS's water changes is a corporate safety valve for "my first AS fish cycle tank" folks. Looking forward to daily 50% water changes? No real harm in that but why dump the good stuff and sweat for a month.
.
I’m pretty new here; but not new to aqua soil. You do water changes I’m pretty sure to cut the ammonia way down not to “remove the good stuff” otherwise you will have an algae farm. ASII is still loaded with ammonia amongst other things. At the initial start there isn’t much going on. If you look at ADA they use carbon as well to reduce organics in the water column. I think they know what they are talking about and it’s not just spin.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-29-2018, 01:30 AM
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I’m pretty new here; but not new to aqua soil. You do water changes I’m pretty sure to cut the ammonia way down not to “remove the good stuff” otherwise you will have an algae farm.
Ammonia is the good stuff. Is having an "algae farm" is such an absolute in your experience? Cool, enjoy.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-29-2018, 03:19 PM
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I’m pretty new here; but not new to aqua soil. You do water changes I’m pretty sure to cut the ammonia way down not to “remove the good stuff” otherwise you will have an algae farm.
Ammonia is the good stuff. Is having an "algae farm" is such an absolute in your experience? Cool, enjoy.
Leaving a soup of ammonia will only unleash a crazy amount of algae since this is what the spores look for. The plants wont help in the very beginning. The more light the worse it will be. This is very well established.


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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-29-2018, 06:48 PM
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Water changes don't completely eliminate ammonia. It just gets knocked down a lot, but there's still plenty to jump start plant growth and bacteria. Even ADA recommends, as noted above, daily water changes to remove excess ammonia and all of the other "stuff" that's released on start up of a new tank before the bacterial filter is established. I assume being the manufacturer and from looking at their tanks that they know what they're talking about. I've also read of others who don't bother with water changes and had no major issues.
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