Have I bought into the Hype of ADA? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-23-2017, 07:50 AM Thread Starter
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Have I bought into the Hype of ADA?

I recently had my 12 gal planted aquarium crash due to too many ferts, not enough water changes. My tank filled with algea and destroyed many of my plants in the process. I opted to tear it down and start a new. I decided on a Dutch Style scape and aimed it to look just like the experts on YouTube. After watching countless hours of GreenMachine videos I decided that, just like James Findlay, I too would use all the substrate additives, power sand, Amazonia and powder soil on top- you know for the dwarf baby tears. I followed the ADA directions and then planted all my new plants and some old ones hoping for a Dutch-Style inspired finish. Dutch-Style it is not however as my plants have began to melt.

My new setup is about a week old. I seeded my tank with media from older tanks. I'm not currently using any ferts, but I have need using my mini Fluval co2 while I wait to upgrade to a larger set-up.

I don't think lighting is the problem. I have a Mr Aqua M3 LED light which is quite bright I need sunglasses and my plants are still melting.

I know sometimes replanting, moving, or panting previously emersed plants can cause some issues but I don't believe it's the problem in my case because I had left-over reinekii mini that I planted in an old shrimp tank. The AR in my 12 long turned green before it began to melt while the AR in my shrimp tank stayed red and thriving.

Has my YouTube planted tank education not paid off? Did I skip a video along the way? What can I do to immediately stop my plants from completely melting into oblivion?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-26-2017, 07:31 AM
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In my experience plant melt has been a temporary issue. Once the plant acclimates to the new conditions it should bounce back.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-26-2017, 12:43 PM
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The Green Machine is an ADA reseller so yes they will use all the products. That being said the most important item from ADA is the Amazonia. The other components can be had or you are getting in other ways. Nothing wrong with them they just might be redundant or not necessary.

What kind of plants are melting. You could have some melting of emersed plants, but if your providing good light, co2 and nutrients (in this case the aquasoil) you should get new growth pretty quick to make up for the melting.

Are you changing the water daily for the 1st week, every 2nd day for the 2nd week and so on?
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-26-2017, 12:44 PM
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What are the NH3 levels in the tank?


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Growing is not that difficult.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2017, 04:18 AM
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Too many factors to tell what the cause of the melting is. I would start with the water and testing all the necessary parameters.

I had issues with my very first planted tank so I started over and used 100% RO/DI water in order to control the parameters better and add only what I wanted.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2017, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by houseofcards View Post
...Are you changing the water daily for the 1st week, every 2nd day for the 2nd week and so on?
That was going to be my question also. Amazonia puts out a lot of ammonia for the first few weeks and that could be contributing to the plant melt if you're not doing water changes.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 02:00 AM
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That was going to be my question also. Amazonia puts out a lot of ammonia for the first few weeks and that could be contributing to the plant melt if you're not doing water changes.
This is probably the case. The ammonia levels are probably sky high and is causing the plants to melt. ADA Amazonia requires you do water changes until the ammonia levels completely drop off. Otherwise you are most likely going to kill any plant you put in there.


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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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During the first week and a half I was doing 50% water changes. I might have skipped a day or two in between. In the fist week or so I was injecting CO2 using the Fluval mini system 20g that dispenses the gas into this bell. I was not using any fertsilizers. I was under the impression that Amazonia is rich in nutrients that I wouldn't not need for initially for a few months. I was keeping my lights on for about 6-8 hours per day. I have a Mr Aqua 40w LED light. I was also using 4 inch risers hoping that they would help to prevent the formation of algae or keep it down at least. In the first first week Ammonia levels read though the roof at 8ppm, nitrite was at 5ppm and nitrate was at 80-160. I didn't change the water for a couple of days mainly due to personal schedule, but began dosing with macros and also cleaned the melted and cut damaged leaves from plants uprutting everything and may have disturbed bacteria in the substrate. I did lose some plants completely of which I only had one or two stems. Things seem to have stabilized. I did an 80% water change and have began replanted some of the plants. My readings are ph: 6.8ish, ammonia: .5,nitrite: 0, nitrate: 20.

Thanks for your feedback!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 01:33 PM
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I would just be sure to keep up with those water changes. ADA Aquasoil needs time to settle in and stop leeching ammonia, and until it does, you're kind of on a roller coaster. Keep up with the water changes until it stops leeching ammonia, which could be several weeks.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 03:33 PM
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i would say get only the ADA tanks and soil.

everything else ADA is a good product, but a straight up rip off.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 07:46 PM
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I would just be sure to keep up with those water changes. ADA Aquasoil needs time to settle in and stop leeching ammonia, and until it does, you're kind of on a roller coaster. Keep up with the water changes until it stops leeching ammonia, which could be several weeks.
I wouldn't say that....

https://imgur.com/a/aNkTi

No water changes for the past three weeks, just some topping off of evaporated water.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 08:29 PM
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The only way, IMO, the substrate would have contributed to plant melting would have been through ammonia levels not being controlled during the start up phase through regular large water changes. The ammonia serves a purpose in kick starting plant and bacterial growth, but too much is going to melt your plants.

Other than that, you need to consider that emersed plants are going to melt while they transition to being submersed. You also need to look at light and CO2 levels. Aside from the aforementioned possibility of really high ammonia levels, the substrate isn't the problem.

Just to be a bit more specific on water change routines, what seems to work for most people, myself included, when starting out with AS, is at least 50% daily for the first week; 50% every other day for week two; 50% every third day for week three; 50% twice a week beginning with week four and continuing for a month or so before settling on weekly water changes. I got this from Tom Barr, just in case it helps to toss a name around. I know some people change water less with no problems. Nothing is set in stone and everyone's tank is different, but it's a good starting point that you can modify to suit what works for you, kind of like EI .
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 10:29 PM
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..I know some people change water less with no problems. Nothing is set in stone and everyone's tank is different, but it's a good starting point that you can modify to suit what works for you, kind of like EI .
.
That's really funny I was about to say the same thing. The 50% every day 1st week, and so on are ADA guidelines for their own product. It covers most tanks and is a preventive measure. You don't know if you need less or maybe even more until a problem happens. It's much better to prevent a problem then to deal with a tank of algae or dead fish.

As mentioned by @Jeff5614 EI is a good example the dosing is estimative as well as the water changes for most tanks. You won't go wrong by changing 50% of the water out and dosing a good amount. Some tanks will only require 1/2 or even 1/4 of the dosing and water change, but the 50% covers all.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-06-2017, 02:16 AM Thread Starter
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THEN
The first picture shows the graveyard of babytears the first week's devastation left behind. I will never try growing them again!

Somewhere in the second picture I had been growing Rotala Florida, Rot. mini type 1 and 2. All completely melted!

NOW
3rd picture shows plants that I salvaged along with recently purchased ones. I even have a few stems of Cuphea Anagalloidea! I've never been able to keep cuphea longer than a week. It's not as colorful as the online pictures but the fact that it hasn't melted is a feat in of itself!

And the last picture shows various rotalas that badly melted but slowly coming back. I just haven't figured out what's what yet.

This hobby truly takes a lot of patience. I really appreciate the feedback and reassurance I've received in this post and others in this forum. Thanks!
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-08-2017, 10:40 PM
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That's really funny I was about to say the same thing. The 50% every day 1st week, and so on are ADA guidelines for their own product...
Speaking of which, here's a pretty good video with Juris mit JS. He speaks about the water change frequency, along with other things, and even has a nice little ADA graph in the background showing the water change frequency.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRULvcWZ3Lk
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