Yep, I've seen the packaging. Have some of it myself.
You'd never - under any circumstances - just pour a clay-based substrate directly into a tank with water. You also would never rinse it. I wouldn't strain it dry, either. Straining it just means you're throwing away money. Just follow the directions recommended by ADA.
Place the soil in the tank with care - treat it like you paid a lot for it, get it planted, then slowly - SLOOOOOOWLY
- add water. It may take you an hour to get enough water into the tank til you can then add it more quickly. I generally take my time until there's about an inch above the substrate. Then I begin using a container or lid of some sort to divert water flow in a way that doesn't disturb the substrate. But even then, I don't add water quickly. It's a slow process that's 100% worth it.
ADA didn't "revert" to old packaging. So I'm not sure where that confusion slipped into the conversation. ADA is based in Japan and has a global chain with multiple small distributors. Like any other responsible manufacturer of products, they're going to use up their old/older design until it's gone. Even if they've started using new packaging. I've seen multiple packaging designs for the same product in-person in recent years - at AFA, in a couple places in the UK and in the EU.
Their soil lines aren't products that sell super-duper fast like cheap aquarium gravel at Petco, so it takes time to work through's already in the supply chain.
And a note about old product: I have bags of Amazonia that I've had in storage/garages for easily a decade and it's just as good as the brand new stuff. It holds up well over time.
Here's a handful right off the top. Seems to have a lot of fine particulates - It seems like if I pour this into my tank there will be fine dust everywhere. Hmmmm.. I wonder if it got crushed too bad in shipping. The box was pretty banged up.
Ada Aquasoil Amazonia normal type
by aaron M
, on Flickr
Thanks much - Didn't realize there was a section for just substrate.
As for your comments - have you actually seen this bag before (like in the last year or 2)? It definitely isn't the thin crinkly plastic - it seems sturdy enough to handle the soil. It just seems odd to me that they would revert back to the same bag design they stopped using 5 years ago. I guess stranger things have happened (maybe a supply chain issue given the pandemic) but no announcement on their site either.
If it's authentic then it looks like shipping may have caused the crumbliness. Maybe if I can carefully put it through a strainer (Dry) that will get rid of most of the debris and leave me with just the little granules.