mixing AS amazonia with other subs & sand areas - The Planted Tank Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 01:49 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: 2713 Del Monte Avenue, El Cerrito CA
Posts: 7
mixing AS amazonia with other subs & sand areas


I am fairly new to this forum and planted tanks, although I have kept aquariums with plants for years. I finally pulled the trigger and got 2 ADA tanks, a 90p and a 120p and want to scape them. I went a bought 1 9L bag of amazonia, some UP aqua shrimp sand, Mr. Aqua water plants soil, natural light colored sand and gravel, and have some black tahitian moon sand too.

My question is can I layer AS with these with other soils/substrates or is this always a mess? My preference being that it's on the bottom to reduce mess upon cleaning and planting.

I do like that the amazonia does do some buffering, as my water is 8.2 out of the tap, but I am not planning on keeping soft water fishes. And am concerned if I go all amazonia that each W/C (with tap) will cause a ph roller coaster so I'd rather it buffer the water more slightly to deal with the increasing hardness I get from evaporation on open top tanks and maybe bring it closer to 7.5 ish. My water is moderatately hard and the kh is is about 5-6 and gh about 6-7.

I do not plan on CO2 but may add it later if necessary.

My livestock planning is:

These I already have:

2 varities of endlers
L-144 bristlenose plecos & super reds
**maybe betta or aquatic frogs from other tanks for population control
**maybe painted red cherry shrimp culls?

And these I have yet to obtain:
and either p. gertrudae, p. furcatas, and/or oryzias woware

My ideal would be to use some aquasoil on the botttom, UP shrimp sand on top (because I find it doesn't cloud) and at least in a part of the tank(s) a sandy river bottom type area. Is there some structure I can create underneath to at least keep the sand area and aquasoil separate?

Complicating matters, one tank cannot wait (due to endler explosion & fast growing plecs) months to cycle. I have seeded material from many established tanks, many small extra seeded filters and plants, but I know that won't be enough for a full AS tank to be ready quickly becuase each tank will have a large virgin canister filter that will be their main filter. If I just use a smaller amount of AS in each tank does that make the cycling process and ammonia leaching quicker?

And I am sure this may have been asked before but I have not found it, so links to other peoples experience with photos would be awesome.

Thanks for reading!
lessandler is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 03:10 AM
Carpe Diem
OVT's Avatar
PTrader: (144/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: NorCal
Posts: 7,555
Do yourself a favor and do not mix AS with anything. That's the short answer. And u have Tao water almost identical to yours.

AS will take some work and time to cycle and you do NOT want any fish/shrimp in the tank untill it does.

I would use any other of your innert substrates in the tank that you have to put the fish in and leave AS for the other one.

GZ on the tanks, I am sure you will love them both.

On using 2 different substrate colors can look great but takes preparation, work, and on going maintenance.

via Droid DNA Tapatalk 2

Courtesy * Integrity * Perseverance * Indominable Spirit * and Self Control
Tenets of TKD
OVT is offline  
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 06:13 AM
Algae Grower
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Florida
Posts: 61
As far as having separate areas with different substrates. It really is hard to keep them separated especially if you have decent flow and plecos, cories, or any other bottom dwelling fish. I find I have to pretty consistently suck out all of the aquasoil that has made it's way to my sand then add more sand. This is with a pretty soild barrier of seriyu stone in between the two substrates. It really becomes a maintenance nightmare however for me it is worth it in the end as it does look great when done right.
GeraldStringham is offline  
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 06:54 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: 2713 Del Monte Avenue, El Cerrito CA
Posts: 7
Thanks guys for the response!

Bummer about the light sand area never working. I really don't want a difficult tank.

And what about water changes and AS with my high ph? Anybody with similar stats that can predict how low my ph will go based upon gh kh and ph? I am concerned that everytime I change the water with my tap the tank will go on a ph roller coaster.

Or does AS work like that? Do I then have to do many small water changes? I really do not want to go the RO softwater route.

If I mix it with the UP aqua sand and Mr.Aqua water soil (whic look very very similar but black) with the AS to reduce the buffering capacity and ammonia leaching, would that cause unforseen problems?

Or if I used dark gravel as a cap to the amazonia would that also prevent some of the cloudiness people speak of? I guess I should also state I am not planning to go heavy on planting stem plants (just in the back) and not really finding a lot of foreground cover that is non CO2. That means some of the substrate would be exposed. Do people even use Amazonia when they are not planting heavily?

As far as the ph not dropping too far for my livebearers and rainbows, would seriyu stones (I have a bunch I bought before I realized they would up the ph and tds) do the trick to keep it a bit closer to neutral? I thought I would rely upon the substrate mixing to keep it from dropping too far, but now that it is recommended I don't mix substrates I am not sure what to do.

Thanks again!

Last edited by lessandler; 07-12-2013 at 07:32 AM. Reason: more questions
lessandler is offline  
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 07:28 AM
Carpe Diem
OVT's Avatar
PTrader: (144/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: NorCal
Posts: 7,555
This should answer your buffering and # of bags questions:


My tap is 8.4 pH 3-4 kH and 6 gH. I have 5 tanks with AS, from first to last generations. One of the tanks is 120-P that houses Cardinals, Diamond Tetras, GBR and such.

I do water changes from the tap, the fish is just fine. I also agonized over my pH for a very long time and finally just made do with what I got. I don't remember the last time I measured tanks' pH. I believe it settles around 7.2. As tanks mature, pH drops due to decay.

I personally do not know (or any longer care) how AS buffers the pH or for how long. My tanks with age-old Flourite and AS all settle within a close pH range. I do know that PowerSand comes loaded with organics, including peat.

My Diamond Tetras and GBRs breed in two of my AS tanks. That is good enough for me. Plants? I sell and give away a lot of them here on TPT.

Droid DNA Tapatalk 2

Courtesy * Integrity * Perseverance * Indominable Spirit * and Self Control
Tenets of TKD
OVT is offline  


Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome