Does this sound right... Aquasoil vs Eco vs Flourite - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-16-2006, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
 
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Does this sound right... Aquasoil vs Eco vs Flourite

I am to the substrate part of planning for my next tank. I used the substrate calculator here and it spit out 310# of Eco Complete, and 193# Flourite. Is Eco really that much heavier than flourite? I used the actual internal dimensions of the tank and an average depth of 5". Dont want much less than 4" and probably will scape it up to 6" in the back. Its an X-tall tank so I have plenty of vertical to work with.

Seems like I can get Flourite for $14 / bag and eco for $18 / bag. At these prices that puts Flourite at $182 and Eco at $270 (yikes!) and thats not including shipping. But I have Flourite now and would much rather have the black color of Eco.

ADA Amazonia was my other choice which I calculated out 10 bags (88.6L) which at $26/9L works out to be $260. So ADA Aquasoil is actually cheaper than Eco Complete?!?

I have heard all three grow plants just fine, so it more or les comes down to looks which I know I like the Eco, but not sure how black tha ADA Amazonia is compared to Eco. Also the extra weight of Eco should help to keep plants down better. Looking for any input....
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-16-2006, 07:04 PM
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Eco is very heavy, dense, and has a fine texture - so your calculations really don't surprise me at all.

Have you looked into Soilmaster Pro Select "Charcoal"? It has the same dark color as Eco and ADA, roughly the same CAE as Flourite and Eco, and grows plants very well. You can find it at a local Lesco store for about $11-$16 for a 50 lb bag!!! If you're looking for an economic way to go - that is it! The only problem is that it isn't nearly as dense and heavy, so until your stems get some roots on them it is easy to pull them out of the substrate. It does water-log and compact down a bit the older it gets, which helps. The weight has only been a problem for me when I have rambuncious fish in with them though. My 10 gallon killie tank has rooted everything with no problem at all.


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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-16-2006, 07:13 PM
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I think it's fairly well established that ADa AS grows plants better than the other two.

Given a choice, I'd go with ADA AS.

It sort of depends on some personal preferences and plant types.
Still, given the trade offs, ADA As is very hard to beat on most fronts.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-16-2006, 07:29 PM
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has anyone quantified how long these soils remain nutrient active?
does somewhere down the road each substrates reach a point
where they are drained of nutrients and are basically inert?
if so, how many years of "average" plant use would that be?
would that time be significantly different were the tank not
to receive a regular supplement of water borne fertilizers?


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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-16-2006, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
 
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Jen - i have looked at SMS charcoal but the problem you addressed with it being light is the main reason I have decided against it, and I have heard its much lighter grey in color compared to Eco. This is going in a deep tank that I dont want to have to get into much so I want a heavier substrate - that and its kinda a peeve of mine when the dang plants cant stay rooted lol. But I am sure the stuff grows plants well.

Tom - ADA Aquasoil is probably my first choice since of all the talk on the forums, and especially now since it is the same or actually cheaper than Eco. But I still havent figured out how black it really is, like compared to Eco.

And also what is Aquasoils weight per volume? Anyone know?

This is kinda my 'dream tank' that i want to be getting the best stuff for so I dont mind spending a little extra money. Basically when it comes to substrate here are the few things I am concerned with... how well it grows plants(nutrient properties, etc.), how well it holds them down, how well it will hold its shaped when scaped (like making mounds or ramping up towards the back), and how it looks visually (color).
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-16-2006, 08:00 PM
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Well, speaking from experience, plants will continue to grow well in flourite for 5+ years.


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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-16-2006, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
how well it grows plants(nutrient properties, etc.), how well it holds them down, how well it will hold its shaped when scaped (like making mounds or ramping up towards the back), and how it looks visually (color).
WELL! I agree with Tom 100% then - your best bet is ADA Aquasoil by a landslide.


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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-16-2006, 08:22 PM
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I would go with the ADA stuff, having had the others. Don't know the weight, it's probably 1/3 less weight that flourite or eco. It's just easier to plant stems in and grow ground covers like HC and I think it looks better.

def

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-16-2006, 11:37 PM
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I think the answer to the original question here "Is Eco really that much heavier than flourite? ", kinda got lost. The short answer is:
Yes it is. But that is primarily because Eco-Complete ships wet - soaking wet, where the other product ship fairly dry. I believe the calculator calculates weight for you because that is how these products are often sold - by weight.
Subsequently any value comparison of the products should be in price/volume - not price/weight.

Steve - 33g reef and a 180g planted in need of a re-scape.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-17-2006, 01:11 AM
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Eco is not heavier/denser than flourite.
It's lighter and harder to plant stems and roots in.

It shippes and arrives heavier because you pay for water and the shipping cost for that water.

The up side is that you do not need to rinse EC, flourite is quite dirty but 3 good bucket rinses and you are done.

I have some tanks going on 11 years with flourite.
EC is good for black color aesthetics, but I do not think it grows plants any better than flourite and I've had more planting issues with it than Flourite or ADA AS.

Some like it, I personally do not. The grain size is the most inconsistent as well.

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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-17-2006, 01:37 AM Thread Starter
 
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So then the substrate calculator here takes into account that Eco weighs more because of water, I hope, and that makes sense now since its sold by wieght with this extra amount of water so that would have to be included. Guess I have pretty much made up my mind then, since its actually $10 cheaper than Eco, I'll go with ADA Amazonia.

I still dont know why flourite and Eco and others go by weight when your trying to fill a volume. No wonder so many people have to ask how much gravel they need for thier tank, and we need calculators and such. With Aquasoil it was a breeze in 30 seconds to calulate it knowing my tank dimensions - and half that time was sipping coffee.

One more question... how bad is aquasoil for rinsing? I have a fine mesh sifter like thing I built for rinsing flourite which works on everything so far except the really fine sand-like things like onyx sand and the sugar-sized aragonite.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-17-2006, 02:36 AM
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You do not rinse ADA soils ever.

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-17-2006, 02:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spypet View Post
has anyone quantified how long these soils remain nutrient active?
does somewhere down the road each substrates reach a point
where they are drained of nutrients and are basically inert?
if so, how many years of "average" plant use would that be?
would that time be significantly different were the tank not
to receive a regular supplement of water borne fertilizers?
ive been using mine for OVER A YEAR NOW and it is still going strong. infact, i just quit dosing all together a few weeks back (except roughly 1/16tsp K2SO4 weekly) as recommended to me by others using aquasoil, and the plants have never looked better.

my guess is it will eventually stop working, but it hasn't happened yet.


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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-17-2006, 03:06 AM
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Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
You do not rinse ADA soils ever.
Ding Ding Ding and the winner is AquaSoil in the black

def

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-17-2006, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
You do not rinse ADA soils ever.
You just sold me. Done deal.


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