Swing in substrate popularity? and a terracing/circulation question - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-26-2006, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
 
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Swing in substrate popularity? and a terracing/circulation question

Wow... Not even a couple of months ago I was researching substrate for a failed aquarium project, and now I'm trying again, only to find that aquasoil is now the best and flourite has fallen to the wayside - of course I have the flourite already.

This hobby is more fickle than any I have ever seen.

Anyway, the reason I am posting is that I found a thread that indirectly mentioned HC cannot be grown in flourite. Just looking for more opinions than just one. I do plan on seperating the flourite and using the smaller grain for the pickier plants.

Another thing I'm pondering is a terrace/slope like structure I'm going to build out of either mesh or that plastic hoby mesh. Whats going around in my head is an enclosed elevated area with substrate on top of it, leaving an open area underneath. The walls of the open area would be covered with some type of moss.

Would it be beneficial to have some kind of circulation going through this area? I know co2 has no business there, but what about intake/output of the canister filter underneath the elevation, or air from an air pump?

I'm sure there will be circulation under there on it's own, but while I'm still planning, I'd like to get some opinions.

Thanks!!
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-26-2006, 09:14 PM
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Are you describing a "cave" formed in the side of an elevated area? If so, I don't think moss will grow there unless some light gets in there too. And, I would think water circulation would be very important, to flush out any dying critters, if nothing else. As far as substrate goes, ADA soil is a softer clay substrate, so it can be molded into steeper slopes than Flourite can, and still remain where you put it. People are reporting that it is grows plants a bit better than Flourite, having fertilizers included. And, HC, I'm sure has been grown in Flourite successfully, but planting it is harder because of the bigger grains. Just because a new substrate becomes the favorite of many doesn't mean the old substrate isn't as good as it always was. ADA soil is lighter per cubic inch, so you need to buy less of it for a given volume of substrate, so economic factors may favor it too. Personally, I still like my Soilmaster.

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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-27-2006, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Hoppy!

My idea is not so much a cave where critters can get into, but just an enclosed, raised area where "viewer facing" walls would be covered with moss vertically I suppose. And it would support a terrace with substrate (and whatever plants), then vertical drops on two adjacent sides covered with moss - no substrate. The other two adjacent walls would be the tank glass. Like a moss covered sheer cliff.

Just wondering if there would be a need to take advantage of the under terrace dead space, where I think the moss walls would allow flow. If I do something like this I'll be using an Eheim 2232, and I'm trying to picture the flow of things with co2 and all.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-27-2006, 12:51 AM
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ADA AS has been out for a while now, its just that now that the early users already made the jump, more people are willing to try it after hearing so many positive things.

ADA AS grows plants more than just "a bit better than Flourite", its far more superior and price wise its just as affordable.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-27-2006, 02:10 AM Thread Starter
 
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So if you already have flourite and don't have ADA AS, you might as well just pack it up...
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-27-2006, 02:27 AM
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I have Flourite in one tank, Eco in another and ADA Aquasoil Amazonia in my newest.

I think Eco looks the best, followed by ADA then flourite.
I think ADA works the best for growing with eco and flourite being fairly similar.
Flourite is the easiest to replant and gravel vaccume/move around for me. Gravel Vacume Eco and you suck up sand, gravel vac or move around ADA and you get cloudy water.

My plants are growing well in all 3 tanks, they just seem to grow faster in the aquasoil. IMO ADA is the most like soil, you can take a granual of it in your hand and smoosh it into dust. It also released alot of amonia when I put it in,(I used this to start cycling my tank) and apparently lowers PH. It is lighter weight and I'm afraid it will eventualy brake down...

Around me Eco is probably the most expensive, because ADA weighs less than Eco. It weighs less per volume so the bags of ADA are larger for the price.

I have ET for ground cover in my flourite tank, it grows pretty nice in there IMO, put some in my ADA tank as well, it seems to be growing a bit different but too soon to tell.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-27-2006, 05:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edacsac View Post
So if you already have flourite and don't have ADA AS, you might as well just pack it up...
You could.

Or just use flourite and work harder to make things grow and accept that some things wont grow well or as easily.
Then when you want to try something new, try ADA AS and then see if its really better or easier.

I had fluorite and grew lots of plants and did EI and all of that. Now I use ADA AS and the flourite sits in a bucket in the basement. Flourite does work and with EI I was successful with many plants. With ADA AS I can grow more plants with less work. That means I can spend more time enjoying my tanks and less time wondering do I have the right ppm of this or that and do I need to do a water change for the 3rd time this week.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-27-2006, 07:11 AM Thread Starter
 
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Are you saying that EI isn't necessary with ADA AS? That would be a huge benefit!
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-27-2006, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edacsac View Post
Are you saying that EI isn't necessary with ADA AS? That would be a huge benefit!
I would not go that far, it just has good stuff in the soil for plants that require a rich substrate.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-27-2006, 10:35 PM
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Some people haven't liked that ADA AS affects the water chemistry. My impression is that it is more work when you first start a tank with it, but less urgent work later on. I think we all need to remember that people have very successful tanks with many different substrates. Much of the benefit of a particular substrate is in the user's perceptions, rather than in absolute better performance. Natural tanks, using soil as a substrate layer, give very good results for many people too. So, there is no "right substrate", just a number of choices. A Mercedes Benz automobile is "better" transportation than a Chrysler PT Cruiser, but I get where I am going and enjoy the trip with my PT Cruiser.

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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-27-2006, 10:43 PM
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Exactly hoppy. There are SO many variables in this hobby that very seldom is substrate your only issue. People love to find something to blame when the isht hits the fan (flourite anyone?) I've used both. And when i used flourite my tank sucked. But that was because i was using DIY CO2, crap PC lights, not enough stems....the list goes on.... My point being don't worry so much about substrate. Spend your time worrying about light and CO2

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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-27-2006, 11:55 PM
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But things plain grow better in AS. I am not saying that you can't grow things in flourite or eco-complete. When I had eco-complete I had to stay on top of my dosing or things would not grow. With AS and powersand I at most fertilize at water changes and even at that its just potassium most of the time. Substrate is one thing I would worry about. The hardest thing to change after the fact is your substrate. Substrate is not the only issue, but with all things equal which substrate grows plants the best. For me and a lot of others hands down its Aquasoil.


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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-28-2006, 12:26 AM
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My plants in Aqua Soil do much better algae wise with regular (albeit slightly lower) EI dosing. Also, I have plants that grow quite a bit better in Flourite too. I think Flourite is better for folks with very soft water. But my Flourite tank is more established, so it may be an unfair comp. When I build a 120 - 180 gallon someday, I'm pretty sure I'll use flourite. I can get higher CO2 levels that way. I just hope Seachem releases the new black flourite soon. So to sum it up, IMO, there's nothing wrong with Flourite at all, except its red color.





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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-28-2006, 05:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edacsac View Post
Are you saying that EI isn't necessary with ADA AS? That would be a huge benefit!

Yes I am. I have a tank with ADA AS, about 2 years old now. No dosing, no EI. Ive grown pounds (thats right, Pounds) of rare plants in it many times over. Toninas, erios, HC, pantanal. Currently I have a 2 inch thick HC mat in it. NO DOSING. Pressurized CO2 and 28 watt CF bulb on it. Low maintenance.
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-28-2006, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by ianiwane View Post
But things plain grow better in AS. I am not saying that you can't grow things in flourite or eco-complete. When I had eco-complete I had to stay on top of my dosing or things would not grow. With AS and powersand I at most fertilize at water changes and even at that its just potassium most of the time. Substrate is one thing I would worry about. The hardest thing to change after the fact is your substrate. Substrate is not the only issue, but with all things equal which substrate grows plants the best. For me and a lot of others hands down its Aquasoil.
They wont drink the Koolaid man!
People should take a look at Ians tank in the picture forum. And not that he is telling you that he barely even doses and not all the rigid standard EI methods. The proof is in the pudding, look at the plants in his tank and then tell me that ADA AS still needs EI. Im growing HC with no dosing in a 2 year old ADA AS tank, no EI. Over and over again you hear people who have experience with ADA AS and other substrates say that hands down ADA AS is the best theyve used. It really is just that great of a substrate and like Ian said, its pretty hard to switch after the fact.
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