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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Questions about Aquasoil

Hello,

I had a couple of questions/concerns regarding ADA Aquasoil and I'm hoping someone here can give me some information to ease my concerns.

First, I've read that the stuff is pretty brittle and will break if you squeeze it between your fingers, but how does it handle being siphoned? Is it light enough that it gets sucked up the siphon? Does it break down quickly from regular substrate cleaning?

Does anyone successfully use ADA AS in a low-tech tank without CO2? Does it provide too many nutrients for plants without having CO2?

I'm under the impression that Aquasoil will lower pH and hardness, but does it do so in a safe (gradual) manner? For example, if I'm changing the water with hard/akaline water, will the tank experience unstable pH/hardness jumps?

Lastly, assuming it works fine in a low-tech tank- is power sand a necessity or a luxury? Without using power sand, does 5 - 9L bags sound about right for a 72"x18" low-tech tank?

Any help is much appreciated, thanks.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 03:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Catch and Release View Post
Hello,

I had a couple of questions/concerns regarding ADA Aquasoil and I'm hoping someone here can give me some information to ease my concerns.

First, I've read that the stuff is pretty brittle and will break if you squeeze it between your fingers, but how does it handle being siphoned? Is it light enough that it gets sucked up the siphon? Does it break down quickly from regular substrate cleaning?

Does anyone successfully use ADA AS in a low-tech tank without CO2? Does it provide too many nutrients for plants without having CO2?

I'm under the impression that Aquasoil will lower pH and hardness, but does it do so in a safe (gradual) manner? For example, if I'm changing the water with hard/akaline water, will the tank experience unstable pH/hardness jumps?

Lastly, assuming it works fine in a low-tech tank- is power sand a necessity or a luxury? Without using power sand, does 5 - 9L bags sound about right for a 72"x18" low-tech tank?

Any help is much appreciated, thanks.
i cant answer your other questions, but i sure hope it does work in a non c02 setup cause thats what im going with.

you will need 6 bags. as per ADAs recommendation, i needed 5 bags for my 60x18.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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i cant answer your other questions, but i sure hope it does work in a non c02 setup cause thats what im going with.

you will need 6 bags. as per ADAs recommendation, i needed 5 bags for my 60x18.
I wonder what substrate thickness the 5 bags will end up providing for you? I'm not looking for anything more than 3".
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 04:40 PM
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I wonder if that is just the bare minimum to have 2-3" of depth all around. What if someone wants to have it slope up towards a corner, or the back? I suppose it would require a couple extra bags.
I never heard about it being real brittle though. I know they sell it in the 'regular' and the 'powder' form, but I've heard that the powder is only recommended for nano tanks.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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I wonder if that is just the bare minimum to have 2-3" of depth all around. What if someone wants to have it slope up towards a corner, or the back? I suppose it would require a couple extra bags.
I never heard about it being real brittle though. I know they sell it in the 'regular' and the 'powder' form, but I've heard that the powder is only recommended for nano tanks.
I think you're right about the common depth all-around, but I have a suspicion that the "chart" is based on having minimum of 3" in the tank- maybe even 4" although I'm not positive.

Brittle might not be the best word choice, but if it can be broken between your fingertips, what does that say about digging a siphon into it on a regular basis?
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 06:07 PM
 
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I think you're right about the common depth all-around, but I have a suspicion that the "chart" is based on having minimum of 3" in the tank- maybe even 4" although I'm not positive.

Brittle might not be the best word choice, but if it can be broken between your fingertips, what does that say about digging a siphon into it on a regular basis?
im pretty sure 5 bags for 60x18 was for 2.5-3" depth.

email them and ask, they reply pretty fast
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 06:48 PM
 
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does anyone know if u can mix the ADA soil with natural gravel ? or is that not advicesable. any feedback would be great as the jeff who sells the soil told me no mixing. opinions on that?
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 09:22 PM
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its not too brittle but i dont think you want to be sticking a siphon in it and bashing it around too much. dont get the powder, its on the light side and moves around with any major water movement. i am trying a combo of ada capped by eco complete in a non-co2 tank (3wpg) but ferts, excel and plants. only set it up a day ago so cant say if it will work or not, but my m. umbrosium is pearling already. you will probably need 6 bags for your 72x18 if you intend to slope the substrate in any way. good luck, i love the stuff, and intend to use it in all my future planted tanks, HC just loves the stuff.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 09:53 PM
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you can mix AS with other soils.

and you certianly can use AS without co2.

think of AS as little tiny "plant tab"'s fert sticks, with the correct amount of ferts in it regardless of what quanitity you use in a tank.

using a first layer of AS underneath other soils is used widely in asia, where people seem to be more concerned with the cost of things than here.....


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 11:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Catch and Release View Post
I think you're right about the common depth all-around, but I have a suspicion that the "chart" is based on having minimum of 3" in the tank- maybe even 4" although I'm not positive.

Brittle might not be the best word choice, but if it can be broken between your fingertips, what does that say about digging a siphon into it on a regular basis?
their chart will actually give you less than 3" around your tank. Aquasoil is typically used with less up front than towards the back.


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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 11:15 PM
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Five, 9-liter bags will give you a flat depth of about 2" in a tank with a 72x18 footprint based on volume. It would take almost 9.5, 9-liter bags to create a 5"-to-3" slope (front to back).

One 9-liter bag of AquaSoil is approximately 549 cubic inches in volume.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-10-2006, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dhavoc View Post
its not too brittle but i dont think you want to be sticking a siphon in it and bashing it around too much. dont get the powder, its on the light side and moves around with any major water movement. i am trying a combo of ada capped by eco complete in a non-co2 tank (3wpg) but ferts, excel and plants. only set it up a day ago so cant say if it will work or not, but my m. umbrosium is pearling already. you will probably need 6 bags for your 72x18 if you intend to slope the substrate in any way. good luck, i love the stuff, and intend to use it in all my future planted tanks, HC just loves the stuff.
So how often do you siphon your gravel, or do you do it at all? A substrate that gives you difficulty cleaning it seems very impractical to me.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-10-2006, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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Five, 9-liter bags will give you a flat depth of about 2" in a tank with a 72x18 footprint based on volume. It would take almost 9.5, 9-liter bags to create a 5"-to-3" slope (front to back).

One 9-liter bag of AquaSoil is approximately 549 cubic inches in volume.
Sounds about right - 7 bags should produce approximately a 3" uniform depth in a 72"x18" tank.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-10-2006, 03:30 PM
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If the tank is heavily planted (which is a big reason why you'd use the AquaSoil in the first place) there's not a lot of opportunity to do deep substrate vacuuming...there are just too many plants in the way.

Most of us just carefully snake the syphon/python between the plants to remove any surface detritus and save the deep cleaning for when we overhaul/rescape the tank. But if you have a sufficiently long gravel-vac tube (I'd say at least 12" long), the AquaSoil should not be siphoned out of the tank

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-10-2006, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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If the tank is heavily planted (which is a big reason why you'd use the AquaSoil in the first place) there's not a lot of opportunity to do deep substrate vacuuming...there are just too many plants in the way.

Most of us just carefully snake the syphon/python between the plants to remove any surface detritus and save the deep cleaning for when we overhaul/rescape the tank. But if you have a sufficiently long gravel-vac tube (I'd say at least 12" long), the AquaSoil should not be siphoned out of the tank
So basically, discus + aquasoil = bad idea?
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