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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-30-2008, 03:56 AM Thread Starter
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ADA substrate

Would you recommend just the ADA soil or the complete package that ADA recommends the soil, power sand and Tourmaline BC. This is for a 58G tank with ro water and 2 96W bulbs. I do not plan to use co2.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-30-2008, 04:19 AM
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I have used AS and PS. Also I have used just AS numerous times. IMO, just AS works as well as the combo.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-30-2008, 09:05 PM
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personally i would stay away from the ADA aquasoil.

i used over $200 worth of their black aquasoil late 2006. i had originally used eco complete in my 40 gallon but was upgrading to a 110 gallon and liked the look of the ADA aquasoil and it had good reviews. i purchased enough bags to do 3" worth on a 60x18" foot print.

from day one the substrate clouds the water. pull one plant up, your water is cloudy the rest of the day. rearrange your driftwood = cloudy water. just having your loaches dig around looking for food = cloudy water.

2 years later the stuff its like mudd. still clouds ups really bad. you would think that after 2 years of vacuuming gravel that all the fine particles would be gone. nope, it just continually breaks down.

it really was a horrible decision. i will never use their products again.

downgrading back to a 50 gallon tank, will be using eco complete.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-30-2008, 10:43 PM
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Having run a number of ADA AS alone and ADA AS+PS combos, I'ver failed to see any significant differences. Soime seem to suggest that it may help at the initial phase if you also do not add any macros, but if it adds macros, which is does, you can simply add some Osmocoat and KNo3, lots cheap and no mess with pulling the stuff up later when uprooting. Cost less too. Some folks wen to the trouble of using screening to keep the Ps from burping up.
Why bother if it does not help and cost a fair amount relative to KNO3 which I can add anyway? You need to get something significant out of it to warrant the cost and dealing with the two part sediments which are blackish and soft and the other , is white pumic and hard. It looks tacky.

The Tourmaline BC is just quackery ...........that's the best I can say about that stuff. The holistic quack market has been trying to sell it for all sorts of things:

Skin care quackery:
http://www.beautynewsnyc.com/skin-ca...line-radiance/

Shower heads, mattresses, water treatment: just listen to these hucksters:
http://www.alibaba.com/product-free/...Cartridge.html

Read that type of garbage......

ADA sells wine, do you think they are not above getting in the market when they also sell Penac as well?

I'm not saying everything ADA markets and sells works or not, nor are they all quack products, I am saying you need to see if the products are quackery and if they have some merit or not.

Some things obviously work, whereas others are dubious at best. some common sense and when listening to other folks claim that Touramilne or power sand is great, needed, etc, ask them if they have tried the product with and without and see if they found a difference that they could confidently say was due solely to that product.

I cannot for the PS or the Tourmaline BC.
I can however say that the ADA As is very good and use it myself.
But, I have tried both combinations and found the real factor was ADA AS in 4 tanks I used both on. Since, I set up several tanks and have not found any differences I could support where due to the Ps or the Tourmaline.

Now if someone wants to argue for the support of Tourmaline/PS, that's fine, but you need to have done a simple test: try it without the PS over time.
If not, you cannot say a darn thing because you have not tested it. Additionally, you need more than a single tank to see.
4 is not a lot, but it's enouygnb alogn with the other tanks I've done since without to convince me pretty well that there's not much if any ebenfit to PS/ or the tourmaline.

Adding what all's been marketed for tourmaline, seems ADA just got on board, tourmaline will not provide any significant nutrients to plants(it's rather insoluble for one thing- not bioavailable). Many minerals hold a charge, does not mean they do a darn thing. Glass, SiO2 is hardly a source of oxygen, but using the rational of some hucksters, they would like to sell you some based on your geologic ignorance of minerals.

It will not hurt your tank, so those with success due to good basic care, good CO2, light and added ADA As etc, can say they added it and suggest it's "needed".

But their methods do nothing to support that Tourmaline or PS are the reason for success.

Other things go into this and unless you test and bother with doing some rather simple treatments, with and without, aquarist cannot say anything other than they think it's nice, or they felt better adding it etc (Plenty that know better often try). I ask them if they tried it like I suggest, then they get mad and poo poo on me for asking common sense questions instead of trying it/testing it.

In reference to some folks, ADA AS can make a mess if you are a chronic re arranger of scapes, are not more careful uprooting, some batcxhes of ADA As have been pretty varied, some turned folk's water murky, some leached a lot more NH4 than we might expect for long time frames, but most worked great.

You need to do more water changes initially, often 2-3x a week for a month or two(@ 50%), but after than the product settles and things go well.

No rinsing needed, good cost relative to other commercial brands, nice look, excellent growth characters. So it has trade offs, but overall worth it for many folks.

I really would have a hard time in support of the other two products.

Regards,
Tom Barr




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-01-2008, 01:14 AM
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I would reccomend AS if you can deal with its innitial ammonia fluctuations,

As for PS and Tourmaline, I dont know about those....cant really vouch for the usefulness either. Never used them, probably never will and I think my tank does just fine without them both.

hey...my algae pearls
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-01-2008, 02:22 AM
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I have no ADA AS let alone any experience with it but aquariumplants.com own substrate is a moderately fine gravel particle substrate as AS and is very iron rich. It has a nice dark color and does not cloud water (barely if anything). It has worked for me and I would recommend it highly. Its also fairly well priced. Sorry if you found this unnecessary or off topic as far as answering the original AS post.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-05-2008, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
Having run a number of ADA AS alone and ADA AS+PS combos, I'ver failed to see any significant differences. Soime seem to suggest that it may help at the initial phase if you also do not add any macros, but if it adds macros, which is does, you can simply add some Osmocoat and KNo3, lots cheap and no mess with pulling the stuff up later when uprooting. Cost less too. Some folks wen to the trouble of using screening to keep the Ps from burping up.
Why bother if it does not help and cost a fair amount relative to KNO3 which I can add anyway? You need to get something significant out of it to warrant the cost and dealing with the two part sediments which are blackish and soft and the other , is white pumic and hard. It looks tacky.

The Tourmaline BC is just quackery ...........that's the best I can say about that stuff. The holistic quack market has been trying to sell it for all sorts of things:

Skin care quackery:
http://www.beautynewsnyc.com/skin-ca...line-radiance/

Shower heads, mattresses, water treatment: just listen to these hucksters:
http://www.alibaba.com/product-free/...Cartridge.html

Read that type of garbage......

ADA sells wine, do you think they are not above getting in the market when they also sell Penac as well?

I'm not saying everything ADA markets and sells works or not, nor are they all quack products, I am saying you need to see if the products are quackery and if they have some merit or not.

Some things obviously work, whereas others are dubious at best. some common sense and when listening to other folks claim that Touramilne or power sand is great, needed, etc, ask them if they have tried the product with and without and see if they found a difference that they could confidently say was due solely to that product.

I cannot for the PS or the Tourmaline BC.
I can however say that the ADA As is very good and use it myself.
But, I have tried both combinations and found the real factor was ADA AS in 4 tanks I used both on. Since, I set up several tanks and have not found any differences I could support where due to the Ps or the Tourmaline.

Now if someone wants to argue for the support of Tourmaline/PS, that's fine, but you need to have done a simple test: try it without the PS over time.
If not, you cannot say a darn thing because you have not tested it. Additionally, you need more than a single tank to see.
4 is not a lot, but it's enouygnb alogn with the other tanks I've done since without to convince me pretty well that there's not much if any ebenfit to PS/ or the tourmaline.

Adding what all's been marketed for tourmaline, seems ADA just got on board, tourmaline will not provide any significant nutrients to plants(it's rather insoluble for one thing- not bioavailable). Many minerals hold a charge, does not mean they do a darn thing. Glass, SiO2 is hardly a source of oxygen, but using the rational of some hucksters, they would like to sell you some based on your geologic ignorance of minerals.

It will not hurt your tank, so those with success due to good basic care, good CO2, light and added ADA As etc, can say they added it and suggest it's "needed".

But their methods do nothing to support that Tourmaline or PS are the reason for success.

Other things go into this and unless you test and bother with doing some rather simple treatments, with and without, aquarist cannot say anything other than they think it's nice, or they felt better adding it etc (Plenty that know better often try). I ask them if they tried it like I suggest, then they get mad and poo poo on me for asking common sense questions instead of trying it/testing it.

In reference to some folks, ADA AS can make a mess if you are a chronic re arranger of scapes, are not more careful uprooting, some batcxhes of ADA As have been pretty varied, some turned folk's water murky, some leached a lot more NH4 than we might expect for long time frames, but most worked great.

You need to do more water changes initially, often 2-3x a week for a month or two(@ 50%), but after than the product settles and things go well.

No rinsing needed, good cost relative to other commercial brands, nice look, excellent growth characters. So it has trade offs, but overall worth it for many folks.

I really would have a hard time in support of the other two products.

Regards,
Tom Barr
Your post really helped and almost saved a lot of my $$!
As I am new to planted tank I thought the whole ADA package would suit me since they had made it sound so so easy to grow everything in it, as I am planning to save the bucks for the soil, sand and those 5 powders! Glad someone did an experiment on them
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-06-2008, 03:41 PM
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Well, I catch and lot of flack for doing test on things, however, these are not critical test either.

Nor do they need be..........they do need some common sense however.
If after a few set ups(not just one aquarium), I or another hobbyists set up using with and without the product, cannot tell, based on reasonable differences that we can safely say is due solely to PS, then we really cannot say that it does ANYTHING.

Now folks will surly argue with this point being ADA loyalist and have already spent the $ on PS and bought into the entire faith about the marketing.

But unless they bother to test(few do), they have no evidence, just faith, feelings, emotion..........

I tested because I heard the same marketing mumbo that I heard from Dupla about it some 20 years in the past(I guess they liked the old heater cable marketing and used part of it for PS), then tested the N, P, Fe, CEC, organic matter of both PS and AS here recently.

Now I know what is in it and can make predictions, remove some items and add amendments if I want(or not at all).

Others have added ADA AS alone without PS had no issues and similar results as with the combo. Much like the heat cable issues of past years. It works because you "believe" it works.

However, I have good things to say about ADA AS. So I am hardly bias against ADA or bias for them either.

Fair is fair.

ADA As has trade offs, leaches tannins into the water, you will need to do frequent large water changes for some time etc. But such trade offs are worth while to most that use it. Some not so much.

Regards,
Tom Barr




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-11-2008, 07:20 AM
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Hi Tom,

what exactly is powersand supposed to do? I only bought a small package of M because the store where I bought my AS recommended it. I have another small tank where I've only used AS amazonia for more than 2 years now without a problem. I've already half setup my 30g with PS + AS amazonia powder and the emmersion process is going pretty well. I have no idea what is going to happen once I flood it and I haven't yet taken any water param readings.

I know when I set up my first tank with AS 2 years ago I had a few problems in the very beginning, as it was my first planted tank. They also didn't mention to me the frequent water changes I should have been doing to begin with either. I hope to make a better go at it with my new tank.

To the OP - AS works pretty well for me, and I like the look. Cloudiness has not been an issue for me. One t hing you might think about is what type of plants you will be planting. AS is not that heavy and plants can easily float up before they're well established. Unlike this flourite substrate I have in another tank, you can't just be lazy and simply use the weight of the substrate to bury the roots of your plants. So planting small delicate plants can be an exercise in frustration.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-12-2008, 05:28 PM
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Aquasoil is nice, but for me it wasn't worth the trouble of the cloudy water. It was just too annoying whenever I put my hand in the tank, no matter how careful or slowly I planted dust still came up and clouded the water.

Also, I had some bottomdwellers and whenever they grazed and moved around, dust would come up. After about a month of headaches, I took it out and replaced it. There are too many other good products with rich nutrients to have to deal with the issues of AS.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-15-2008, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by number1sixerfan View Post
Aquasoil is nice, but for me it wasn't worth the trouble of the cloudy water. It was just too annoying whenever I put my hand in the tank, no matter how careful or slowly I planted dust still came up and clouded the water.

Also, I had some bottomdwellers and whenever they grazed and moved around, dust would come up. After about a month of headaches, I took it out and replaced it. There are too many other good products with rich nutrients to have to deal with the issues of AS.
Ive set up close to 10 tanks with AS and never had problems like you described.

As far as I know- there aren't too many other soils like AS....although flora base comes to mind.


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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-16-2008, 12:43 AM
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While I can only speak to the one 15 gallon high tank that I set up with the very controversial ADA Aquasoil II around Dec 07. To date, I have yet to see the cloudiness issues that others speak of. I have a very active kuhli Loach that is still alive and kicking and works over the substrate pretty well. Still no cloudiness. Water remains crystal clear. I do use Seachem Purigan in the Aquaclear HOB filter and maybe that is the difference maker. I don't really know. I just don't have the cloudiness issues that others allege.
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