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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-09-2010, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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ADA Power Sand & Amazonia Aqua Soil

I'm planning to buy ADA large grain powersand, amazonia aquasoil normal, and amazonia aquasoil powder. I plan to have HC in the foreground, so will have normal aquasoil, topped with aquasoil powder, and the background with stem plants will have powersand and aquasoil normal, and maybe a bit of aquasoil powder on top.

From what I have heard disturbing the substrate ruins it? I'm really worried about this. I am hoping not to disturb the soil, but if I have to remove the driftwood, I'm sure the substrate will get disturbed. Also, if I decide the rescape it will disturb the substrate....how do others deal with this?

Also, whats the deal with aquasoil powder, is it more sensitive to being disturbed? I was told the powder was good for growing HC, which is the main reason I am buying it!
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-09-2010, 01:20 PM
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Powersand isn't a substrate to grow plants per se like Amazonia. It's large and porous - the primary purpose of it is to serve as a great biological filter by offering more surface area for it to grow in and as a method to keep the substrate oxygenated (since most soils like amazonia get compacted over time and can lead to oxygen being cut off and anaerobic bacteria growing (which is really bad!)), it also serves as an excellent substrate level for roots to get nice and rooted. Ideally you'd place a thin layer over the entirety of the tank.

Amazonia normal and amazonia powder are the same thing compositionally - powder is just really really tiny, which enhances aesthetics as well as making it easier for smaller plants, like HC to get planted in.

So once you lay down the substrate system it's going to be mixed and won't be able to be separated again You're layering powder on top of a medium sized substrate on top of a large grained substrate. You will see the occasional piece of Power Sand drift it's way up to the top of the soil bed since it's less dense than aquasoil. These can be individually removed when they pop up with a pair of tweezers easy enough.

The key, when you're laying down the aquascape, is to put down the thin layer of power sand, then lay down a medium to thick layer of amazonia normal and finalize your hardscape then. Once it's finalized, top it off with a decent layering of powder. Finesse and slow pouring is key.

With driftwood - if you intend for it to be removed without causing massive disturbance, the best bet is to lay it on top of the substrate without digging it into it. However, once you get a thick carpet of plants going, it's really really difficult to cause massive soil disturbance since the plants will be very very firmly rooted into the three layers of substrate. But again, when removing pieces like that just take it slow, be careful and surgically remove it, then put it back in just as carefully. I've removed rocks embedded in the substrate for various reasons after a near-full carpet is in without disturbing the substrate and was able to put it back in no problems.

However, for rescaping, it's kind of difficult to re-use the soils. You can definitely re-use the soil just fine - i've done it before, but the soils will be mixed together and you'll probably have to hand push the power sand back down into the depths of the soil again with a pair of tweezers, which takes time and patience, and then apply a new layer of powder type for aesthetics / easier planting.

In a rescape scenario it's best to just use a fresh batch of power sand, aquasoil normal and powder, and just use the old stuff to grow some stuff emmersed in a farm setup or put it in a planter or something.

Just Plan ahead, do your aquascaping heavy lifting before putting any soil in the tank, get a relative final picture in your head for the scape, put down the power sand and normal amazonia, then place your hardscape in the tank and finalize it. Once it's finalized fill the tank in with powder type. Generally, it's too late to do big rescapes once you've filled in soil and water without redoing your whole setup (regardless of substrate choice).

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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-09-2010, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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My main worry is, since this is my first attempt at a planted tank, algae is quite likely. What if algae grows on my plants, it would be really hard to remove algae from HC & hairgrass. Also, if i screw up my stems and want to remove it and start over with a new batch, will it mess the substrate? Thanks a lot for the comprehensive info!
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-09-2010, 01:45 PM
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First: You will get algae. The best aquascapers in the world get algae. It is -exceedingly- rare that you don't get algae at all in a setup ever and something that's treasured as pretty lucky. I've had it happen once on my Mini S setup - and I know that system by -heart- and know what exactly I need to put into it when since i've just had it and scaped it so much.

The best way to deal with algae is to have a conservative light period (8 hours or so a day) with consistent lighting schedules, consistent water parameters, and algae eaters. to help. I found that it works really well to grow things emmersed for the first few weeks to let the carpet plants grow in nice; more plant density = less algae potential as a basic formula.

When algae does get on your plants, depending on type - algae eaters (amano shrimp, otocinclus catfish, nerite snails (the do more glass work though)) are great. Otherwise spot dosing with h202 (hydrogen peroxide) with a syringe will also make algae literally fizzle away.

Removing plants when they're newly planted is easy - they haven't rooted yet. But whenever you remove firmly rooted plants, especially plants with really really deep roots (like stems) you're going to disturb the substrate, sometimes it's even really difficult to get them out. HC for example will grow really compact and firm in the substrate so when it's a full carpet you can pull it out in one clump and roll the stuff like grass sod.

Just take it easy, don't worry too much, do your research. It's a learning curve but you'll get the hang of it. Take it a step at a time, be patient and thorough.

Also - when you fill the tank with water, fill it very very slowly, I always got (for a Mini S) a piece of airline tubing and drained water out of a bucket into the tank over a rock or plate on the powder. You need to gently fill the water in so you don't cause the powder to go everywhere.

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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-09-2010, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Cool, thanks for the info. Was very healpful. Will look up info on how to grow HC emmersed.
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-09-2010, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francis Xavier View Post
Powersand isn't a substrate to grow plants per se like Amazonia. It's large and porous - the primary purpose of it is to serve as a great biological filter by offering more surface area for it to grow in and as a method to keep the substrate oxygenated (since most soils like amazonia get compacted over time and can lead to oxygen being cut off and anaerobic bacteria growing (which is really bad!)), it also serves as an excellent substrate level for roots to get nice and rooted.
Are any of these claims stated by ADA in the least real or are marketing muckery? Don't plant roots have aerenchyma which allows them to grow in anaerobic soil? Where do plants grow naturally? In anaerobic soil
Does this have ANYTHING to do with compaction or lack of O2?
Have you measured O2/Redox in lake sediment or river sediments? Aquariums?
Why does DIY soil, Worm castings, and plain old ADA As alone do so well without ADA PS? Bio filtering: is this not the job of the filter and the plant's themselves? Is the surface area on the clay ADA AS not much higher than the pumice power sand?

I've never, I mean never..........had any issues with anaerobic conditions producing sulfides in any ADA AS sets where power sand was not used, even at 14" depths over several years. Nor have I ever heard of it happening.

So why do folks repeat this baloney from ADA's marketing group when it has no merit either biologically or at the more practical hobbyists level?
Not going after you personally or anything, but the issue in general.

Why repeat this manure?
This is the same marketing rubbish that Dupla claimed with their heating cables.

Quote:
Amazonia normal and amazonia powder are the same thing compositionally - powder is just really really tiny, which enhances aesthetics as well as making it easier for smaller plants, like HC to get planted in.
Aesthetics could be argued, but rooting is fine for HC in normal ADA AS. I've grown plenty over the years. The powder is.....well, dust like pwoer and ends up settling. What about that whole thing about transfer of O2 to the root zone? Adding a fine compacted tiny grain sediment will enhance this, so it's counter to the power sand "logic".

Quote:
So once you lay down the substrate system it's going to be mixed and won't be able to be separated again You're layering powder on top of a medium sized substrate on top of a large grained substrate. You will see the occasional piece of Power Sand drift it's way up to the top of the soil bed since it's less dense than aquasoil. These can be individually removed when they pop up with a pair of tweezers easy enough.
If you keep the tank for long time, or decide to rescape things, then it does make a mess eventually, then you end up having to buy all new stuff.
Since I use only ADA AS alone, I can and have reascaped about 4 times and should get 5-10 years life out of the ADA AS. Others' have layered stainless steel mesh between the layers, but this is a PITA IMO/IME.
If you uproot things much and are not careful , it becomes a tacky mess, but importantly, why bother with power sand to begin with?

ADA tells us we should buy it, but my plants sure do not.

Quote:
The key, when you're laying down the aquascape, is to put down the thin layer of power sand, then lay down a medium to thick layer of amazonia normal and finalize your hardscape then. Once it's finalized, top it off with a decent layering of powder. Finesse and slow pouring is key.
I'd say the key is figuring out which part of the sediment is really doing the job over time and then questioning whether or not you should even mess with the power sand and dust added to the top. If you test this, you will not find any significant difference because the long nutrients are contained in the ADA AS. PS has a general fert, but this does not last long, maybe 1 month or so.......anyone can add a general ferts to the bottom or osmocoat etc and not deal with pumice/PS cost etc.

Quote:
With driftwood - if you intend for it to be removed without causing massive disturbance, the best bet is to lay it on top of the substrate without digging it into it. However, once you get a thick carpet of plants going, it's really really difficult to cause massive soil disturbance since the plants will be very very firmly rooted into the three layers of substrate. But again, when removing pieces like that just take it slow, be careful and surgically remove it, then put it back in just as carefully. I've removed rocks embedded in the substrate for various reasons after a near-full carpet is in without disturbing the substrate and was able to put it back in no problems.
Yep, me too........but would it not be nicer not to hassle with it?

Quote:
However, for rescaping, it's kind of difficult to re-use the soils. You can definitely re-use the soil just fine - i've done it before, but the soils will be mixed together and you'll probably have to hand push the power sand back down into the depths of the soil again with a pair of tweezers, which takes time and patience, and then apply a new layer of powder type for aesthetics / easier planting.
Yes, certainly a PITA. So my question goes to what I initially said about why bother with PS?

Quote:
In a rescape scenario it's best to just use a fresh batch of power sand, aquasoil normal and powder, and just use the old stuff to grow some stuff emmersed in a farm setup or put it in a planter or something.
Or not use power sand and dust to begin with

Quote:
Just Plan ahead, do your aquascaping heavy lifting before putting any soil in the tank, get a relative final picture in your head for the scape, put down the power sand and normal amazonia, then place your hardscape in the tank and finalize it. Once it's finalized fill the tank in with powder type. Generally, it's too late to do big rescapes once you've filled in soil and water without redoing your whole setup (regardless of substrate choice).
Yes, but the problem is ...few folks plan that far ahead, most are works in progress, we change our mind often, rescape etc. We should have this option without dealing with Power sand and there seems to be no trade off against not using powersand or the dust. I used the dust in the nano tanks I use to keep, but water changes had it all over the place, in larger tanks, it can stay put a little easier or if I was much more careful, but if I did it, most other folks will have the same type of experience a few times as well.

I started off using PS, then tried a few tanks without it, lo and behold.......a test.......and the results showed no difference, others also did this, again, similar results. The group supporting the use of power sand seems to have always used it+aqua soil, so there's no way they can say either way and must reply on the marketing claims from ADA and whatever the bag says........

Ignorance is not a good argument.

So have you used ADA AS alone and if so, what where the results that you could attribute solely to the differences of powersand? I could not and no one else have I've spoken or emailed in quite a few years. Die hard ADA fan boys/girls........folks selling ADA.......but they do not test the stuff like this either. They do whatever ADA complete system suggest, whether one part is the source of the difference or not, and do not question.

Others question it, modify and test. Sometimes ...things do not turn out well, other times like this, they do and we see we can make the system cheaper, easier and simpler. This benefits all, but maybe raises doubts about believing 100% ADA statements and marketing. But you should not believe everything marketing companies tell you anyway

Regards,
Tom Barr




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-09-2010, 06:05 PM
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Geez Tom-- still on the "stop the use of Power Sand at all costs" campaign I see.
I'll grant you being theoretically right on every scientific point, no arguments, as I don't do the type of research your do, I just aquascape. But Amano himself is not a "marketing company" and there's no "marketing companies" ordering people to use Power Sand. This discussion is old as dirt itself and I refuse to perpetuate it, but all it is is Amano's way of doing it based on his experience and belief as to what works and why. Perhaps he is "wrong" in some technical or theoretical (and potentially accurate) way, but he's not trying to trick anybody or deceive, rest assured. Your proposal generally suggests something sinister with the incessant references to "marketing companies telling people what to do."

Hardly anyone in the U.S buys or uses Power Sand anyway so don't worry, your campaign is already a success.

I will go on the record saying here: NO, you do not need nor require Power Sand to grow nice plants using Aqua Soil. But it was designed with the idea that Power Sand is a beneficial complement to Aqua Soil, and Amano was using Power Sand long before Aqua Soil, but whatever on all that.
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 06:06 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
Are any of these claims stated by ADA in the least real or are marketing muckery? Don't plant roots have aerenchyma which allows them to grow in anaerobic soil? Where do plants grow naturally? In anaerobic soil
Does this have ANYTHING to do with compaction or lack of O2?
Have you measured O2/Redox in lake sediment or river sediments? Aquariums?
Why does DIY soil, Worm castings, and plain old ADA As alone do so well without ADA PS? Bio filtering: is this not the job of the filter and the plant's themselves? Is the surface area on the clay ADA AS not much higher than the pumice power sand?

I've never, I mean never..........had any issues with anaerobic conditions producing sulfides in any ADA AS sets where power sand was not used, even at 14" depths over several years. Nor have I ever heard of it happening.

So why do folks repeat this baloney from ADA's marketing group when it has no merit either biologically or at the more practical hobbyists level?
Not going after you personally or anything, but the issue in general.

Why repeat this manure?
This is the same marketing rubbish that Dupla claimed with their heating cables.



Aesthetics could be argued, but rooting is fine for HC in normal ADA AS. I've grown plenty over the years. The powder is.....well, dust like pwoer and ends up settling. What about that whole thing about transfer of O2 to the root zone? Adding a fine compacted tiny grain sediment will enhance this, so it's counter to the power sand "logic".



If you keep the tank for long time, or decide to rescape things, then it does make a mess eventually, then you end up having to buy all new stuff.
Since I use only ADA AS alone, I can and have reascaped about 4 times and should get 5-10 years life out of the ADA AS. Others' have layered stainless steel mesh between the layers, but this is a PITA IMO/IME.
If you uproot things much and are not careful , it becomes a tacky mess, but importantly, why bother with power sand to begin with?

ADA tells us we should buy it, but my plants sure do not.



I'd say the key is figuring out which part of the sediment is really doing the job over time and then questioning whether or not you should even mess with the power sand and dust added to the top. If you test this, you will not find any significant difference because the long nutrients are contained in the ADA AS. PS has a general fert, but this does not last long, maybe 1 month or so.......anyone can add a general ferts to the bottom or osmocoat etc and not deal with pumice/PS cost etc.



Yep, me too........but would it not be nicer not to hassle with it?



Yes, certainly a PITA. So my question goes to what I initially said about why bother with PS?



Or not use power sand and dust to begin with



Yes, but the problem is ...few folks plan that far ahead, most are works in progress, we change our mind often, rescape etc. We should have this option without dealing with Power sand and there seems to be no trade off against not using powersand or the dust. I used the dust in the nano tanks I use to keep, but water changes had it all over the place, in larger tanks, it can stay put a little easier or if I was much more careful, but if I did it, most other folks will have the same type of experience a few times as well.

I started off using PS, then tried a few tanks without it, lo and behold.......a test.......and the results showed no difference, others also did this, again, similar results. The group supporting the use of power sand seems to have always used it+aqua soil, so there's no way they can say either way and must reply on the marketing claims from ADA and whatever the bag says........

Ignorance is not a good argument.

So have you used ADA AS alone and if so, what where the results that you could attribute solely to the differences of powersand? I could not and no one else have I've spoken or emailed in quite a few years. Die hard ADA fan boys/girls........folks selling ADA.......but they do not test the stuff like this either. They do whatever ADA complete system suggest, whether one part is the source of the difference or not, and do not question.

Others question it, modify and test. Sometimes ...things do not turn out well, other times like this, they do and we see we can make the system cheaper, easier and simpler. This benefits all, but maybe raises doubts about believing 100% ADA statements and marketing. But you should not believe everything marketing companies tell you anyway

Regards,
Tom Barr
Thanks for the info, always good to hear conflicting opinions! Hate forums where everybody says the same thing!

From what I understood of Francis Xavier's post, Power sand was helpful for bio filtration and not for plants. So did you compare tanks with power sand and tanks without power sand based on time taken to decrease ammonia readings? I'm new to this hobby, but I feel this comparison may be better. Correct me if I am wrong.

I have read several posts of people growing HC quite well without powder, although people who do use powder praise it for growing HC...Have you noticed much difference? In Australia Powder is VERY expensive, and I wonder if it is worth it. Powder is $103 AUD + shipping for 9l compared to $49 AUD + shipping for 9l of normal amazonia. Does powder justify the extra $54?
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 06:33 AM
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I've grown plants in aquasoil with power sand and aquasoil without power sand.
Power sand is not required (I would get the size that is intended for your aquarium), but aquasoil for whatever reason was designed to be used in conjunction with it.

This being said, I bought two 6ltr bags of medium power sand special for my tank (iwagumi w/ hc carpet). I also skipped the powder form of amazonia aquasoil. HC does just fine in normal amazonia, plus you don't have to worry about mixing all the soil.

about algae:

for the first two or three weeks do 6 hour lighting periods, then work your way up (1 hour more per week) till you reach 9-10 hours.

I also do daily >50% water changes daily for the first few weeks.

Plant densely from the start.

If you do these things religiously, you shgouldn't have too much of a problem with algae.

in short: use power sand if you'd like or skip it. I'd suggest using all amazonia normal type (rather than using powder type).
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 06:50 AM Thread Starter
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So if I used only normal amazonia, would it be more forgiving to rescaping? The only reason I am worried about rescaping is, I'm not sure if I can truly visualize what i want my tank to look like, until it develops a little.

Last edited by shaman; 06-10-2010 at 06:51 AM. Reason: additional question
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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 07:15 AM
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I've used aquasoil normal alone, powder alone, I've used them all together, and I've used them just aquasoil normal + power sand. But my average scape life hasn't really lived past a year either, I rescape on a semi-regular basis for no other reason than the pure enjoyment of rescaping a tank. When it comes down to it my true passion in this hobby is stone arrangements and creation.

I'm not a scientist, a horticulturist or an agriculturist. I don't even take a particular enjoyment in measuring my water parameters. I mean sure, I'll do it when I absolutely have to, but at the end of the day taking measurements doesn't interest me that much. I also don't have the time, resources or want to make the most accurate test of the system.

If you want to set up multiple tanks with all the same universal parameters with the only variance being the consistency of the soil system and measure the results over a period of 3-5 years (that'd be a lot of tanks!), then by all means go for it and let me know how it goes. I'd probably read the results for the sake of knowledge and be very interested, but doing that kind of testing itself isn't my passion. If you're going to make this a question of exact science, I would just assume that that would be the starting point for a real experiment, not the thing that forms the final conclusion.

Here's what I do know. Using Power Sand isn't some great Amano innovation or secret, it's just old gardening tradition. I mean, even my mom and uncle, who are both avid gardeners, use some kind of porous 'substrate' whether it's pebbles or what not at the bottom of all of their planters, or in their gardens outside, or in any container they plant something in (whether it has a drainage ditch or not). Those pebbles don't serve the purpose of -growing- the plant through nutrient supply, but rather, as I understand it, as an ideal layer for roots to get firmly rooted, provide for drainage, and keep the soil aerated.

While there are differences between aquarium plant growing and traditional gardening, power sand is just that same medium as it's gardening equivalent.
Of course your plants will still grow with just aquasoil. Power Sand is just a root system substrate, it just supposed to help roots stay oxygenated support 'flow' and stay healthy. It just helps things stay firmly and healthily rooted and is supposed to be a long-term solution. I mean, technically you could probably just use pebbles to serve the same purpose.

Am I wrong? Maybe, but you know what? the system worked the first time I did it, it worked the last time I did it, and I've never had to worry about whether or not it worked from start to finish. That has real value - it works...why go out of my way to lambast the system if it...works? That just isn't my gig. There was a question about Power Sand and the system, and I answered it. There is no greater conspiracy here.

As far as powder type is concerned - it just refines the look of the aquascape and helps with getting smaller plants like HC planted in. If i'm planting individual nodes of those small plants, I for sure love to use powder for that very reason. Powder definitely changes the aesthetic appearance of a fresh aquascape, but that's really up to individual preference, at the end of the day if your goal is to have a full carpet it -probably- doesn't matter too much if you need to save money. If you're kicking up too much powder type soil when you fill your tank, you are doing something wrong and filling the tank too quickly or putting the hose just straight in the tank...thats why you put down something to break up the impact of the falling water.

In regards to people not planning their aquascapes ahead - that's fine, but really, when working with any soil-based substrate, home made, aquasoil, eco-complete, whatever; it doesn't matter. Re-doing a scape with -any- soil system is a royal pain. Thats why whenever anyone asks for aquascaping advice post-filling I always kind of groan because it's usually too late to do it easily.

If your thing is just to get on a soap box about the issue and call Amano some evil marketer, fine, that's cool. I dig it. I've got things that I'll get up on a soap box about too. (I know this translates horribly in text, I'm not being sarcastic or rude or anything). So if you want this to be a debate about marketing being 'evil' or if you want to make this debate about the precise science behind this stuff, cool. Just pick one or the other and I'll play ball.

Frankly, marketing is a great thing when it has substance behind it. Marketing is only evil if it has nothing to back it up. ADA marketing, whether we'd like to admit to it or not, is what has gotten the hobby to where it is today. Precisely because it has substance behind it.

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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 07:21 AM
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Shaman - no matter what you use, if it's soil based, and your rescape involves moving big things around at early stages, it's going to make it annoying. Regardless if it's the full system or just aquasoil normal or any other soil substrate. It'll always be a bit of a pain.

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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsenske View Post
Geez Tom-- still on the "stop the use of Power Sand at all costs" campaign I see.
I'll grant you being theoretically right on every scientific point, no arguments, as I don't do the type of research your do, I just aquascape. But Amano himself is not a "marketing company" and there's no "marketing companies" ordering people to use Power Sand. This discussion is old as dirt itself and I refuse to perpetuate it, but all it is is Amano's way of doing it based on his experience and belief as to what works and why. Perhaps he is "wrong" in some technical or theoretical (and potentially accurate) way, but he's not trying to trick anybody or deceive, rest assured. Your proposal generally suggests something sinister with the incessant references to "marketing companies telling people what to do."

Hardly anyone in the U.S buys or uses Power Sand anyway so don't worry, your campaign is already a success.

I will go on the record saying here: NO, you do not need nor require Power Sand to grow nice plants using Aqua Soil. But it was designed with the idea that Power Sand is a beneficial complement to Aqua Soil, and Amano was using Power Sand long before Aqua Soil, but whatever on all that.
I agree with you on the addition of PS to ADA AS later on, since PS came long before.

I do not think he is trying to trick anyone either, but I've never said he is either. I'm harsh on Penac as well, but I've got a reasonable argument against Penac, as well as power sand. Marketing is being done here by using old heat cable statements about flow and risk of anaerobic areas etc. Some of these statements read almost verbatim from the days of old cable debates.

Selling products to the hobby based on this has to have come from somewhere and some had to add that to the marketing label, does not matter if it's me in the garage or a multinational, marketing is still marketing.

We all do it if we sell anything. I do it to sell weeds.

I like ADA AS and use it and suggested quite often, I'm not out picking on ADA nor Amano or you. I just question this and Penac, maybe a few other homeopathic additives that are suspicious. I think many do.

Tanks, the AS, good stuff..........
See??It's fair, I am critical of some things, and supportive of others.
I'm not on any campaign ......I suggest folks to buy ADA AS tanks etc...and go to your site and other ADA vendors. I quite actively support you more than you think, perhaps you see it, maybe not, you love the hobby, so does Amano, that's enough reason for me.

Folks can also DIY PS as well and get around the issues of it coming up via stainless steel mesh etc. If they chose to get the PS, then I tell them to be careful uprooting and help from there.

While I might tell folks a plant is easy, many do not have the same ease, so my own marketing hyperbole can get the better of some folks as well. No one is immune from it.

Regards,
Tom Barr




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by shaman View Post
Thanks for the info, always good to hear conflicting opinions! Hate forums where everybody says the same thing!

From what I understood of Francis Xavier's post, Power sand was helpful for bio filtration and not for plants. So did you compare tanks with power sand and tanks without power sand based on time taken to decrease ammonia readings? I'm new to this hobby, but I feel this comparison may be better. Correct me if I am wrong.

I have read several posts of people growing HC quite well without powder, although people who do use powder praise it for growing HC...Have you noticed much difference? In Australia Powder is VERY expensive, and I wonder if it is worth it. Powder is $103 AUD + shipping for 9l compared to $49 AUD + shipping for 9l of normal amazonia. Does powder justify the extra $54?
Well, you are in Oz.........I know some about the products and folks there, ADA AS is good, but cost a fair amount. There's the UP AQUA which is really good IME that folks use down there. It is similar to ADA AS but they add some activated carbon and it's really clear start up. See Aquarium life forms, there's plenty of folks that will help you locate and evaluate products on that forum.

http://www.aquariumlife.com.au/forum.php

Here's some HC grown without PS in my tank:



180cm x 25 cm worth

I still have the same ADA AS, some 3 years old now. It's still got most of the stuff, just missing N mostly, so I dose KNO3 to account for it.

I think it'll last a good 10 years or more if you add some N, or have a good size fish load + lower light. We do not have this other brand in the USA, so ADA AS is the main option for a commercial brand here.



Regards,
Tom Barr




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Fisher View Post
I've grown plants in aquasoil with power sand and aquasoil without power sand.
Power sand is not required (I would get the size that is intended for your aquarium), but aquasoil for whatever reason was designed to be used in conjunction with it.

This being said, I bought two 6ltr bags of medium power sand special for my tank (iwagumi w/ hc carpet). I also skipped the powder form of amazonia aquasoil. HC does just fine in normal amazonia, plus you don't have to worry about mixing all the soil.

about algae:

for the first two or three weeks do 6 hour lighting periods, then work your way up (1 hour more per week) till you reach 9-10 hours.

I also do daily >50% water changes daily for the first few weeks.

Plant densely from the start.

If you do these things religiously, you shouldn't have too much of a problem with algae.

in short: use power sand if you'd like or skip it. I'd suggest using all amazonia normal type (rather than using powder type).
+1 follow this advice.

Regards,
Tom Barr




Regards,
Tom Barr
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