Alternatives for power sand? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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Alternatives for power sand?

I'm looking for something to provide micro and macro nutrients under ADA soil. I read that you can put earthworm castings for the macro nutrients and certain plant micro mixes for micro. Has anyone had experience with this? A ny other cheap alternatives to power sand you can suggest?

Second question: any suggestions for plastic barriers for holding up sloped substrate? I'm having trouble finding it online.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 03:21 PM
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crushed pumice stone would offer the high surface area.

Seachem matrix, eheim substrat are also viable alternatives.

for plastic barriers, these are the material you'd find in staples/officemax/office depot used in plastic folding folders. they are trimmed to size.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 03:52 PM
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As I posted in your other identical thread:

If you're using Aquasoil, you honestly won't need to add anything or quite a while unless heavy root feeders deplete your soil. At that point, you can add root tabs of your choice.

I've never, ever had an issue not using Power Sand or fancy additives.


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 03:58 PM
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I'm curious, What is the value of power sand?

is it simply a less expensive filler?

Coarser to increase water flow?
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 11:23 PM
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I believe that the additives do contribute to a healthy substrate system. Actually before I discovered ADA Nature Aquarium, I had done prior research on soil, agriculture and the like, which taught me the importance of building healthy soil to keep growing plants. So this concept was not unusual to me when I got into planted aquariums. I also examined the ADA literature closely about exactly what each product does, compared other products and also people who use these products and what they thought.

Powersand- This is used for those who plan to keep the layout a long period and also those who plant plants that like extra nutrients like Crypts and Downoi. An extra punch of fertilizer for the substrate like long term root tabs basically.

Bacter 100- Contains over 100 types of substrate bacteria. These help establish the tank with beneficial bacteria . Shrimpers also report good success when using this and other products I find. Bacteria in a bottle does work.

Clear Super- Food for the bacteria, pretty simple, , they need something to feed on, some do not use this though.

Tourmaline BC- This is Bamboo Charcoal, which has many benefits as a water purifier, etc, shrimpers often use logs of this as well, so I think it is beneficial as well.

Penac P and W - They help prevent the substrate from turning anaerobic and also help rapidly oxygenate the water at start up. If you gass your fish you can pour some to save them as they add oxygen rapidly to the water. These results are visible.

There is also Bacter Crystal, Boost P and Balance from Borneo Wild which are similar products and a little cheaper.

In the end it comes down to giving your planted tank the best start and chance from Day 1. I would also recommend Green Bacter (build good bacteria ) at water changes, Green Gain (good for plants) and ECA (easy Iron supplement).
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-05-2013, 12:22 AM
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Thanks for your explanation!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-05-2013, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies everybody. I actually posted this in the wrong section originally so I made a second post.

Green_Flash, thanks for your informative post. I've noticed amano/greenleaf, etc.. using the additives from ADA. Of everything you listed, what gives me the best bang for my buck? What do you think is essential? Are there any natural alternatives to these things that I can get cheaper?
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-05-2013, 02:05 PM
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I've been experimenting on this and there's two corrections to the below:

Tourmaline BC is a mineral compound of iron, aluminium, iron, sodium, boron, lithium and magnesium which are gradually dissolved, enriching water of important elements. Tourmaline BC is an electrostatic mineral that increases roots plant nutrition. it is not bamboo charcoal.

Super clear is bamboo carbon.

In the absence of the Bacter100, superclear and tourmaline BC, Penac P and W are actually more beneficial as the other three only pre-seeds the tank to jumpstart the beneficial bacteria layer on the powersand in the tank. It would be a natural occuring event nonetheless but the additives pretty much accelerates and trumps the process.

im currently conducting tests on two tanks with a combination of the aforementioned. Need a control group using the actual aquasoil and ADA additives to do a true comparison.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Green_Flash View Post
I believe that the additives do contribute to a healthy substrate system. Actually before I discovered ADA Nature Aquarium, I had done prior research on soil, agriculture and the like, which taught me the importance of building healthy soil to keep growing plants. So this concept was not unusual to me when I got into planted aquariums. I also examined the ADA literature closely about exactly what each product does, compared other products and also people who use these products and what they thought.

Powersand- This is used for those who plan to keep the layout a long period and also those who plant plants that like extra nutrients like Crypts and Downoi. An extra punch of fertilizer for the substrate like long term root tabs basically.

Bacter 100- Contains over 100 types of substrate bacteria. These help establish the tank with beneficial bacteria . Shrimpers also report good success when using this and other products I find. Bacteria in a bottle does work.

Clear Super- Food for the bacteria, pretty simple, , they need something to feed on, some do not use this though.

Tourmaline BC- This is Bamboo Charcoal, which has many benefits as a water purifier, etc, shrimpers often use logs of this as well, so I think it is beneficial as well.


Penac P and W - They help prevent the substrate from turning anaerobic and also help rapidly oxygenate the water at start up. If you gass your fish you can pour some to save them as they add oxygen rapidly to the water. These results are visible.

There is also Bacter Crystal, Boost P and Balance from Borneo Wild which are similar products and a little cheaper.

In the end it comes down to giving your planted tank the best start and chance from Day 1. I would also recommend Green Bacter (build good bacteria ) at water changes, Green Gain (good for plants) and ECA (easy Iron supplement).


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