Tired of my ADA AS degrading so fast - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-10-2010, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
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Tired of my ADA AS degrading so fast

I sucked up over half of it six months or so ago and now its back to this...

I have hard water so as far as I know this is the only substrate that I can use to grow the plants I want to keep. I dont know what to do.

You can see the sediments on my plants.






Where it lands its like a breeding ground for BBA.



6 months.


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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-10-2010, 01:31 AM
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Is this AS, or AS II?

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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-10-2010, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
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ADA AS I Ammazonia.


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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-10-2010, 01:34 AM
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Are you using amazonia II? It almost looks like detritus.

Wish I could give you a clue as to what is going on. I'm blessed with super soft water here. I still use the original AS I that I started with in my 20 long from '07 and I sifted it/dried it before the last re-scape. I'm sure I lost a little doing that but its never flat broken down like that.


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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-10-2010, 01:36 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrJG View Post
Are you using amazonia II? It almost looks like detritus.

Wish I could give you a clue as to what is going on. I'm blessed with super soft water here. I still use the original AS I that I started with in my 20 long from '07 and I sifted it/dried it before the last re-scape. I'm sure I lost a little doing that but its never flat broken down like that.
It's AS I. It does look like detritus but then again what would anyone expect a dark brown clay substrate that has broken down into a powder/mud to look like on plants?


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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-10-2010, 01:37 AM
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I had the same issue with my ADA Amazonia. I capped it with pool filter sand and that helped for a couple months and then it got bad again. I finally said screw it and trashed all of it. My water is extremely hard as well.. I think I read somewhere that ADA substrate actually breaks down in hard water. My friends that use RO dont have this issue. So it makes sense. I also had the same issue with BBA.

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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-10-2010, 01:42 AM
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Wonder if the substrate that GLA is now carrying has a better track record with hard water...


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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-10-2010, 01:45 AM
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Supposedly AS II works better in hard water

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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-10-2010, 01:50 AM Thread Starter
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I actually was corresponding with Orlando about the new subs he has the last time I freaked out about this. I thought the only difference between I and II was that it had less nutrients causing less ammonia spike and less clouding. My first stint with ADA AS was with II and this was around the time of the bad batches and that was what I attributed this (it braking down) to and Jeff from ADG was more then nice and gave me a free bag of ADA AS I.


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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-10-2010, 01:57 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fshfanatic View Post
I had the same issue with my ADA Amazonia. I capped it with pool filter sand and that helped for a couple months and then it got bad again. I finally said screw it and trashed all of it. My water is extremely hard as well.. I think I read somewhere that ADA substrate actually breaks down in hard water. My friends that use RO dont have this issue. So it makes sense. I also had the same issue with BBA.
I wonder what causes this? You would think there would be more instances of this issue then since the AS is used to make hard water more habitable for these soft water sp.


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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-10-2010, 02:26 AM
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Sort of breaking it down and having to start over with a new substrate, you could consider trying taking out your plants/fish and give it a good vacuum cleaning. Maybe even do the vacuuming in sections over the course of a few weeks.
I've had my Amazonia for about 18+ months I think now and I've been able to keep it from doing this, but I also give it a good vac every so often. I also use RO water so my experience may be different then using harder water like you have.
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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-10-2010, 02:28 AM Thread Starter
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I vacuum it lightly every week with my water changes. I could try to do more but this always ends up in me having to replace the substrate I sucked out after a few months so it kind of gets me to the same spot.


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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-10-2010, 02:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsmith View Post
ADA AS I Ammazonia.
Just lightly and gently vacuum it like you might sand in a fish only tank, do this for 1/4 of the tank and replant each water change. Do say 2x a week 50%.

I've reused my ADA As 3x now.
About 3 years old and keep it fluffy and clean.
The issue you are having are not related to the sediment from the looks of things. KH and CO2 more than likely.



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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-10-2010, 03:30 AM
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I've had a similar problem and I usually do a vacuum on the substrate lightly. Eventually the detritus will be gone and you'll be left with the aqua soil.
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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-10-2010, 05:20 AM
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i have moderately hard water and my AS1 from 2006 is still fine, it lacks nutrients now, and i need to dose more liquid and plant tabs, but it hasnt broken down like yours. i have had that breakdown with AS2 and while i like how it doesnt have as extreme ammonia spike and zero tea colored water ala AS1, it doesnt seem to last at all, even in tanks where i use only RO. and i have gone thru maybe 6-8 bags purchased at different times of the year and from different stores.

i have been using the GLA AZOO soils on a test basis for a couple of months now in my restarted CRS tank and it has ZERO ammonia release, and water was clear from day one. cloudy water from adding it to the tank at startup (2 bags in a 20L), was gone by the next morning with no water changes. i still left it for a month before adding test shrimp but couldnt measure any ammonia. from experience though, it seems to lack some nutrient, some plants do great, while others that can survive anything yellow and stunt. i dont dose as this is a crs tank ,but it does have a CA 2x24w t5ho fixture and presurized co2. if you dose water column, you should be fine though. it holds up pretty well and i havent had any of the breakdown i experienced with AS2. i would try a bag and see how it works with your water then decide if you want to go that route. to my eyes, it looks identical to AS1. though for my planted tanks, i will still use AS1, the azoo is for my soft water invert tanks.
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