Cal Aqua black earth vs aquasoil amazonia - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 03:21 AM Thread Starter
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Question Cal Aqua black earth vs aquasoil amazonia

I am in the planning stages of returning to the hobby and am trying to make sure I do everything right this time. I really enjoy the look of the aquasoil but don't really want to deal with it turning to mud after 18-24 months (like all my research is telling me). So in my research I stumbled upon Cal Aqua black earth and it seems to be EXACTLY what I am looking for. The major problem I'm encountering is I cant find this stuff for sale online ANYWHERE. Is it worth the hassle of tracking down? (I see two places in the US carry it but neither have it listed on their websites)

EDIT:Alternatively black diamond blasting sand has been a strong consideration, but I don't really want to be dosing fertilizers all the time. How well can it perform with ONLY root tabs? Been doing a LOT of reading and there are a lot of factors to take into consideration. Ideally I really just want a black, low maintenance (after startup) substrate that some easy plants will thrive in. I really like the look of sand, just don't necessarily want extra work.

If it matters the plan for the tank setup will be a fluval flex 9 gallon, housing low to medium light plants (planning to use stock light), as well as a smallish school of some kind of micro-rasbora or tetra (leaning towards ember tetras or microdevario kubotai) and a male betta (hoping he wont be a jerk)

Last edited by AdamC13; 07-11-2017 at 05:23 AM. Reason: more info
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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Just to add a bit more information (it was late when i posted originally) I don't plan to keep any difficult plants, but I would like it to be heavily planted, and as low maintenance as possible once cycled. Aesthetically I really enjoy just black sand but dosing with fertilizers every day is kind of intimidating hence why I was leaning towards the aqua soil, but the whole turning to mush after a year or so thing scares me because then I'd have to completely break down and start over. Once I stumbled upon the cal aqua it seemed like the perfect blend of longevity, nutrients, and aesthetics but is impossible to find (and I'm assuming will be expensive but that isn't a problem given its supposed longevity)

So basically I guess I'm just looking for some input/opinions from the more experienced.

Last edited by AdamC13; 07-11-2017 at 04:23 PM. Reason: forgot something
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 04:38 PM
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These were the only two places I could find, sadly neither of them in the North East of the US.

Green Leaf Aquariums
5200 NW 43rd Street, Suite 102-264
Gainesville, Florida 32606-4486
USA
Telephone: (352) 327-3647
Website

The Wet Spot Tropical Fish
4310 NE Handcock St.
Portland, OR 97213
USA
Telephone: (503) 287-3339
Website

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by StevieD View Post
These were the only two places I could find, sadly neither of them in the North East of the US.

Green Leaf Aquariums
5200 NW 43rd Street, Suite 102-264
Gainesville, Florida 32606-4486
USA
Telephone: (352) 327-3647
Website

The Wet Spot Tropical Fish
4310 NE Handcock St.
Portland, OR 97213
USA
Telephone: (503) 287-3339
Website
Yeah I found that on their website, and neither have it listed online. Haven't gotten the tank yet so I haven't called to see if they would ship. I guess mainly I'm just wondering if this would be worth the hassle and expense to track down for my needs or if I should A.) go with the aquasoil and just deal with it after a year or two or B.) go with black diamond sand and just pony up and figure out a proper fert dosing regimen.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 05:35 PM
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Have you tried Controsoil? Its an aquasoil. I dry started my tank, and have recently filled it within the past week or 2 and I have no ammonia and my plants are loving it. I bought mine from SubstrateSource, and was cheaper than ADA.


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Last edited by freshestemo412; 07-11-2017 at 05:35 PM. Reason: Words
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by freshestemo412 View Post
Have you tried Controsoil? Its an aquasoil. I dry started my tank, and have recently filled it within the past week or 2 and I have no ammonia and my plants are loving it. I bought mine from SubstrateSource, and was cheaper than ADA.

I actually hadn't seen this one in my research. I've never had a fully planted tank before, I tried once with ecocomplete and 1.) couldn't get my plants to stay rooted and 2.) all my plants ended up dead after a heater malfunction anyways. I haven't had a tank since then (a few years ago)

The reviews say this maintains it's shape longer, do you have any timeframe on this? I don't see it on any of the reviews, but the idea of having to completely tear down and restart a tank when the dirt goes bad/mushy is......not appealing to me. I want to go for longevity first, ease of care second. I've had bettas that have lived 4-5 years before and don't really want to deal with setting up a second aquarium to totally re-do his home multiple times throughout his life. The micro rasboras and such I've been looking at also seem to live 3-4 years as well. At the end of the day I just REALLY want to avoid redoing everything.

TBH the sand is starting to look more appealing due to the fact it will last forever, it will just require constant fert dosing and that is intimidating.

Last edited by AdamC13; 07-11-2017 at 05:43 PM. Reason: typo
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 07:35 PM
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Ah gotcha!

Yeah did research on that and just went with it. As for the teardown part, I figured since I live in an apartment and could move when the lease is done (1 year) it would be worth it for me. If you want something to last I would definitely go with sand then.

Like you said, just be sure to pop some root tabs and have a good fertilizer plan and you will be all set!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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Ah gotcha!

Yeah did research on that and just went with it. As for the teardown part, I figured since I live in an apartment and could move when the lease is done (1 year) it would be worth it for me. If you want something to last I would definitely go with sand then.

Like you said, just be sure to pop some root tabs and have a good fertilizer plan and you will be all set!


I was definitely wanting to avoid having to use ferts daily but if that's what it'll take to avoid having to tear down every year or two I guess its not the end of the world.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-09-2017, 01:04 AM
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Any update on finding this product?

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