Amazonia layers have gone solid - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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Amazonia layers have gone solid

Five months ago, I replaced my Seachem Fluorite substrate with ADA Aquasoil Amazonia.

1. I find that if I disturb it in the slightest (such as putting in or taking out plants), it leaks a dust cloud that roams along the substrate.

2. It's no longer a loose soil, either. Everything under the topmost layer is solidified, it's nearly as hard as a brick and clumps together. If I'm not paying attention when I use my python and it sucks up substrate, inevitably it gets clogged by a thick clump of aquasoil.

Is this normal? If so, I can try to ignore it and place a topsoil of something else on top.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 08:47 PM
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Aquasoil will break down with time, but that sounds abnormally fast to get clumping.

I had a similar thing happen with STS, I didn't vacuum for a year (my shrimp survival rate went through the roof) but it compacted and clumped when I started deep vacuuming. But mine has been setup for several years, not less than 6 months.

I would cap it with something else. That's pretty disappointing though.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Ah, okay. I'll go ahead and cap it and leave it be.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-16-2019, 08:05 PM
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I would check it out a little further before capping. Substrate is supposed to have water flow through it. Are the larger clumps going to let that happen?
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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Several days ago I emptied the tank of its decor and fish, did a large water change, and ran my fingers through the substrate. I picked out all the clumps because the fact that I had them was really bothering me. I didn't know if they had root clods in the cente ror had been smashed together into clumps by heavy decor, or what, but just having them felt wrong.

I was really hoping I hadn't messed up by doing this, but your post makes me feel a bit more assured now. I also topped it off with some of the smaller version pellets of aquasoil. When the leaf litter gets in, I'm going to lightly cover the substrate with some of it.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 11:32 AM
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Remember that Aqua Soil will release quite a bit of ammonia when you add it to your tank. That will likely make it unsafe for your livestock until the ammonia dissipates.

Do you, by chance, have Malaysian Trumpet Snails? Sometimes they can cause clay-based soils like this to break down prematurely.
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