To mix or not to mix? Aquasoil and SMS - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-21-2007, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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To mix or not to mix? Aquasoil and SMS

I have acquired about 1/2 bag Aquasoil Amazonia. I have 60+ lbs of SMS. I have a 30gal tank (30 x 18 x12) that this will be used in. I really don't think that 1/2 bag of AA is going to be sufficient for depth (please correct me if I'm wrong, I have no experience with the stuff). So, I was thinking I should use all the AA, and fill in what's needed by mixing in SMS. I guess the other option would be to use only SMS. I think that the plants could really benefit from the AA though, as I'll have 2x24wt T5HO lights over the tank. I got the Aquasoil at an auction, and it was real cheap. I had only planned on using SMS, but I figure that I could enhance it by adding the Aquasoil. I've already put (plenty) of money in the stand and canopy for this project, and really wasn't looking to ad more expense (more Aquasoil).

Thoughts?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-21-2007, 01:51 PM
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I'd put the AS on the bottom, sort of like Laterite.
then cover it over with a thick layer of your SMS.

SMS is a very light weight, so you'll need
to decide between having bottom feeders,
having fine rooted plants. it may be hard
to keep both in the same tank without the
plants getting uprooted regularly unless you
are able to introduce the bottom feeders a
Month or two after the fine plants take root.


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-21-2007, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Yeh, I know SMS can be light, that's what I replaced the substrate in my 120g with... that was a blast.

I kinda figured that AA would be rather heavy, and wondered if the layered approach would be best. I haven't fully decided on fish stock. I will be ordering apistogramma cacatuoides for sure. I'm going to throw some RCS from my colony in there, to see how those do, before I chance attempting to put (lower grade) CRS in there.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-21-2007, 02:35 PM
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I haven't used either but keeping the AS on bottom should help keep the (reported) eventual replant dust cloud to a minimum. It will mix some time later due to replant but pick your hardscape early and focus the AS where your heavy root feeders are planned. Cap it with the SMS where needed for your appropriate depth. Keep in mind a flat substrate front to back and side to side is boring visually. You can create visual effects in subtle ways sloping or creating stepped separation prior to planting.

If you just spread it all over and then push around SMS it's going to get mixed for sure at startup.

Might be how I used some AS and 3mm sand in the near future. I have both but need another tank to give it a shot.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-21-2007, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evercl92 View Post
I have acquired about 1/2 bag Aquasoil Amazonia. I have 60+ lbs of SMS. I have a 30gal tank (30 x 18 x12) that this will be used in. I really don't think that 1/2 bag of AA is going to be sufficient for depth (please correct me if I'm wrong, I have no experience with the stuff).
it would probably form a layer of just about 2 cm in depth.

and i dont know about SMS but AS is initially light. (air bubbles on the grains or within the grains itself). so to make planting easier, just fill it up with water and disturb the grains.

this will make your water cloudy but just live with it because even if you remove this initial cloud, AS will always have this bacterial bloom where your whole tank will be cloudy again for a day or two, not forgetting the yellowish tint that AS amazonia creates. and don't bother using activated carbon to remove that tint. i've tried and it doesnt work very well at all, just use purigen instead.

the dust/bacterial bloom cloud will dissapear onces your tank is cycled. it might come up a few times but after a month or two it won't reappear unless theres a really great change to the flora/fauna.
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