5 year-old ADA aquasoil, time to replace? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-16-2011, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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5 year-old ADA aquasoil, time to replace?

Selling my 100 gallon and going down to an 80 gallon shortly.

The ADA aquasoil I have was bought sometime in 2006, and I topped it up in 2009.

It hasn't really broken down much, what did break down initially has long been vacuumed up.

Would I be safe reusing half of this substrate in my new 8 gallon and buying one or two new 9L bags of aquasoil to top it off? Or do you think the old substrate is totally exhausted of any nutrients?

I figured adding some of the old stuff to the new tank might help it cycle faster and get bacteria going quicker.

Thoughts?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-16-2011, 07:53 PM
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My ADA AquaSoil Amazonia II is 4+ years old now, and so far the tank is doing great. Note though that my tank has high light, high CO2, and EI dosing adjusted to my preference. So it's practically impossible for me to tell with 100% confidence whether or not the substrate is "exhausted". I will say that all my plants root just as crazy as it did when the substrate was still new.


(Pardon the cloudyness, pic was taken shortly after servicing the canister filter)

My other two tanks does have the new AS Amazonia Multi-type, and I find this to be easier to work with as it is lighter, and does not crumble anywhere near as quickly as my old substrate.

If the budget allows, I say just go with the new AS -- less crumbling, much easier to form desired slopes with dry AS, and "peace of mind" that you know your substrate is not possibly "depleted" when you start the tank.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-16-2011, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I shot Tom Barr a pm too, he recommended starting fresh while I was at it. He feels the new stuff doesn't leach ammonia as bad as the old stuff did. two weeks I can be fish ready with doing water changes every 2-3 days.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-16-2011, 08:18 PM
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Interesting - my 7.5g cube took 3 weeks to cycle, even with an oversized HOB filter that came from a 4+ yr old 20gal long. I didn't bother doing daily water changes with the small cube, though - so that might have played a (big?) role.

But yeah, it's impossible to change the substrate of a tank without breaking it down, so it makes sense for you to just use fresh aqua soil with a new setup.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-16-2011, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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well hopefully using my two existing eheim 2217s will help it cycle a bit faster.

i've decided i'll use about one bags worth (9L) of my old stuff on the bottom, then put three bags of new stuff on top. Saves me a little cash and puts a lil bit of existing bacteria in there to kick things off I guess.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-16-2011, 08:41 PM
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Sounds like a plan!

Do check the color of the old AS side-by-side with the new before you mix. Don't want to risk old AS granules getting pulled up and showing a nice contrast (like power sand and as).

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-16-2011, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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the old has definitely lost it's black color. it's more a dark brown black now, and has plenty of dead baby snail shells in it lol (loaches devour em).

I'm not too anal about it being perfect, I think i'll be fine laying down 1/2"-3/4" of the old stuff, and 2-2.5" of the new stuff on top.

how big is the tank you have pictured there zergling? looks great.

I'm so excited to get my 4 foot rimless. I wanted it back in 2009 when I bought my house but couldn't afford it so went with a standard 100gallon visio. Now it's time!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-16-2011, 11:27 PM
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The aquasoil in my tank pictured below has been in use since 2008. It still works wonderfully.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-17-2011, 05:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakeAronson View Post
well hopefully using my two existing eheim 2217s will help it cycle a bit faster.

i've decided i'll use about one bags worth (9L) of my old stuff on the bottom, then put three bags of new stuff on top. Saves me a little cash and puts a lil bit of existing bacteria in there to kick things off I guess.
Trick, use ammonia in a small bucket with a heater, crank to 88F etc and add about 8ppm NH4 and wait a week or two till you set it up on the new tank, the filters will be primed and ready to handle the loading.




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-17-2011, 05:13 AM
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Originally Posted by BlakeAronson View Post
the old has definitely lost it's black color. it's more a dark brown black now, and has plenty of dead baby snail shells in it lol (loaches devour em).

I'm not too anal about it being perfect, I think i'll be fine laying down 1/2"-3/4" of the old stuff, and 2-2.5" of the new stuff on top.

how big is the tank you have pictured there zergling? looks great.

I'm so excited to get my 4 foot rimless. I wanted it back in 2009 when I bought my house but couldn't afford it so went with a standard 100gallon visio. Now it's time!
The dead snail shells can get caught and scrape the new glass up when cleaning.




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-17-2011, 10:34 AM
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Thanks Blake. It's a ADA 120-P - 120cm x 45cm x 45cm (a little less than 48" x 18" x 18")

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