I thought that this would be the best place to post this, but if not, mods feel free to move.
After lurking in several planted tank forums, I noticed that there was a bunch of hype about ADA Aquasoil. Everyone from plant gurus, experienced members, and even noobs were singing its praises. As a tester, this peaked my curiosity so I decided to take Aquasoil II for a test drive. The fact that I had a 10 gallon tank with a out of snail problem and never ending agae issues(despite all my attempts to defeat the problem) meant that I could tear that tank down and set up the 15 gallon high Aquasoil Experimental Tank. The plants from the torn down tank were soaked for 3 days in a solution of two tablespoons alum and 1 gallon water to kill snail and snail eggs. Unfortunately the snails survived the soak and the plants that I had to start with took a real battering because of the soak. The specs of the tank are:
Filter: Aquaclear 150 HOB filter with polyfibre, bag of Seachem Purigan, and bag of Seachem Matrix stones.
Lighting: 2 20 watt coralife colarmax compact fluorescent in a canopy sloppily padded with Mylar sheeting to increase reflection of useable light.
Plants: I had to work with what I had(basically cr*p), which included, Hygrophilia Polysperma, Cardamine Lyrata for floating plant, ambuilia, pygme anubias, anubias nana, java ferns, Crytocorne bronze and red and Ludwiga which I recently added. For those wondering, the narrow leaf chain sword in the rockwool was just recently purchased. I decided to fully leave it in the tank wiht the rock wool for a couple of weeks to allow it more time to acclimitize to the water before removing it from the rockwool and planting it into the substrate. I also have some Riccia fluitans floating and I plant to use it to fill the empty spaces in the substrate once I have enough. By the way the Riccia and Cardamine are pearling like crazy. And talk about a cardamine explosion. I statrted with a few cuttings of cardamine and find myself trimming the cardamine almost every two days. This stuff is just as bad as duckweed.
Fetilization: Tom Barr's Estimative Index full throttle.
C02 Injection: Using Hagen yeast sytem with diffusion going into the fiter intake and two additional 2 litre DIY yeast bottles. C02 diffusion is from one 2 litre is going into a Hagen ladder and the c02 diffusion from the other 2 litre is going into a Rhinox 2000 ceramic diffuser. The brew in each bottle is alternatively changed weekly. Drop checker is contant P*ss color showing 40+ c02. Why so much c02? Two reasons. (1) there are no fish in there and I wanted to provide additional C02 to jump start the weakened plants, and (2) the snails I tried to eradicate resurfaced despite 3 day alum and water soak. The plan was now to poison them with additional c02. So far it does not appear to be working, they seem to be enjoying the extra c02.
Lol, anyone have a loach or dwarf puffer that they can loan me for a while??
If I get time over the next little while, I plan to create a web page to track long term growth in this experimental tank and provide monthy updates.
Below are pictures of the tank as it appeared on Dec 26 2007 at start up.
Below are pictures of the tank as it appears as of Jan 16 2008
Based on the short term results vs Seachem Fluorite and Schultz Aquatic soil, I would say that ADA Aquasoil Soil seems to show better plant growth. The only thing that may skew this comparison is the difference in the level of c02 being pumped into the tank. I have never pumped this much c02 tank in any tank that I have set up, so that could well be the difference maker. Unfortunately as I will eventually populate the tank with fish, it is unlikely that I will be able to maintain this level of c02 over the long term. and will likely have to "gradually" taper back the c02 and even remove a couple of the c02 bottles. That is when things should get interesting.