Aquasoil question - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-29-2019, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Aquasoil question

If I understand correctly, aquasoil disintegrates over time. To combat this couldn't you simply add like 1/2 a cup of it to the top every water change or something?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-29-2019, 11:03 PM
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I donít think it should disintegrate that quickly. I have Controsoil mixed with BDBS in my 40 breeder and itís been well over a year now, and the aquasoil is still just as together as the day it was delivered.


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-30-2019, 02:36 AM
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I've not dealt with the "disintegrate" aspect yet, but have two ADA tanks set up for two years now. It's very light substrate and I've managed to drop the soil level 50% from water changes and gravel vacs during that time but as far as I can tell it still buffers and "looks the same" as my newer tanks. Also the two brands I've used both raised ammonia so I don't think adding it periodically would be ideal. And a 1/2 cup per year would seem to be closer to the amount you lose than 1/2 cup per water change. Unless you have a really large aquarium or don't change much water. I'd think it's maybe a 1/4 teaspoon substrate lost per water change in my 10 gallon shrimp tanks. My understanding is that the hardness of source water has a lot to do with how long it lasts as well.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-30-2019, 02:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ridge Reef View Post
I've not dealt with the "disintegrate" aspect yet, but have two ADA tanks set up for two years now. It's very light substrate and I've managed to drop the soil level 50% from water changes and gravel vacs during that time but as far as I can tell it still buffers and "looks the same" as my newer tanks. Also the two brands I've used both raised ammonia so I don't think adding it periodically would be ideal. And a 1/2 cup per year would seem to be closer to the amount you lose than 1/2 cup per water change. Unless you have a really large aquarium or don't change much water. I'd think it's maybe a 1/4 teaspoon substrate lost per water change in my 10 gallon shrimp tanks. My understanding is that the hardness of source water has a lot to do with how long it lasts as well.
I have always been curious about this apect of aqua soils, if it's a sales gimmick to get people to replace substrate, or if it really does essentially become "useless" in terms of nutrients once it stops buffering. After all, dirt hasn't buffered my params, yet the plants still get a ton of nutrient delivery from it. Aren't aquasoils essentially fancy, baked dirt that doesn't need to be capped?
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-30-2019, 03:37 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ridge Reef View Post
I've not dealt with the "disintegrate" aspect yet, but have two ADA tanks set up for two years now. It's very light substrate and I've managed to drop the soil level 50% from water changes and gravel vacs during that time but as far as I can tell it still buffers and "looks the same" as my newer tanks. Also the two brands I've used both raised ammonia so I don't think adding it periodically would be ideal. And a 1/2 cup per year would seem to be closer to the amount you lose than 1/2 cup per water change. Unless you have a really large aquarium or don't change much water. I'd think it's maybe a 1/4 teaspoon substrate lost per water change in my 10 gallon shrimp tanks. My understanding is that the hardness of source water has a lot to do with how long it lasts as well.
Thank you for the detailed answer. Very helpful.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-30-2019, 11:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by varanidguy View Post
I have always been curious about this apect of aqua soils, if it's a sales gimmick to get people to replace substrate, or if it really does essentially become "useless" in terms of nutrients once it stops buffering. After all, dirt hasn't buffered my params, yet the plants still get a ton of nutrient delivery from it. Aren't aquasoils essentially fancy, baked dirt that doesn't need to be capped?
I have tried to find an article or video showing how it is made, but have never run across one. I do tend to think that "fancy baked dirt" encapsulates it pretty well though! We've seen at least one post here where someone had really old stuff (well, for how long these soils have been on the market) that had turned to mud more or less, but he was using it with hard tap or well water if I recall correctly, and had moved it a few times. General consensus does seem to support that it has a finite "tank life" so I've assumed this was correct.
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Thank you for the detailed answer. Very helpful.
I wish I had more tank time with it, and feel like my answer was way too vague but I don't have the details firsthand as to how it ages long-term. I thought long and hard setting my new shrimp tanks up about just keeping a bucket of it in the aquarium and replacing it every year or two, like I've seen shrimp-bros do but plants just do so darn well in it that I decided against.

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