Amazonia- the substrate from H**L! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-05-2009, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Amazonia- the substrate from H**L!

"Live and learn" - it would sure be nice if it didn't take a disaster to teach me lessons about improving my little 16gal. bow front tank. About two weeks ago I tore it down to add the much ballyhooed Amazonia AquaSoil to the already "conglomerate" (some flourite dark, some flourite red, and some river gravel) substrate. What a disaster! My water is still yellow and cloudy even after eight 30% changes in the last 13 days, and now I read (from Barr and others) that with hard water (like mine) this condition may well be permanent!! I am now forced to consider my second tear down in two weeks to try and remove this horrible blight from my previously nice tank. If anyone knows of a less drastic solution, I would love to hear it-
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-05-2009, 06:38 PM
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Hmm.. It sounds like you didn't set it up correctly.

1. Take Bowl or bucket ( doesn't matter ).
2. Fill with water.
3. Use hands to mix the substrate ( this gets rid of the floating, dust, and basically most of the stuff that clouds the water the first month or so)

4. Now you have most of the contaminants out but I like to run the water and mix at the same time.

5 Keep mixing until you can see the water with the Amazonia soil getting clearer (more transparent)

Note: be gentle with the substrate (it breaks up easily thus crating the bad looking water.

6. Now you can place substrate inside tank.

7. Fill up slowly!!! (As slow as possible)
8. Water should be semi clear.

Perform water changes as necessary to your specific requirements.

Basically you need to treat your substrate carefully. When setting up, and also when performing water changes.

As for it being permanent I cannot answer as you have introduce unknown elements like the substrate from the river and such.

I hope this helps a little at least.

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-05-2009, 06:50 PM
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What were the details?

1. Did you take out all the existing plants and pour the AS in with your old substrate, then mixed it?
2. Did you just leave it as a top layer?
3. If it was mixed, did you rinse the old substrate before adding the AS?

I know for sure that in a 16g tank with pure AS (I), it wouldn't have caused what you have. Also you need to follow the fill rules as theif stated above.


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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-05-2009, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by speedie408 View Post
What were the details?

1. Did you take out all the existing plants and pour the AS in with your old substrate, then mixed it?
2. Did you just leave it as a top layer?
3. If it was mixed, did you rinse the old substrate before adding the AS?

I know for sure that in a 16g tank with pure AS (I), it wouldn't have caused what you have. Also you need to follow the fill rules as theif stated above.
+1...except for the fact that washing ADA AS usually make the problems worse.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-05-2009, 07:06 PM
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+1...except for the fact that washing ADA AS usually make the problems worse.
I didn't say to wash the AS haha. Unless you were referring to theif's post. However I referred the OP to theif's post so shame on me. haha

I used AS(I) in my 10 G (about 3/4 of a big bag) and didn't rinse. Just used my hands to prevent the water from splashing when I was pouring. Everything was clear after the first day of running my HOB filter.


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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-05-2009, 07:09 PM
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I didn't say to wash the AS haha. Unless you were referring to theif's post.
That I was.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-05-2009, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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I was very careful in placing a layer of AS on the part of the existing substrate I included in the re-do. As for the river gravel, that's just how I describe the coarse pebble substrate I originally purchased at the LFS. My information comes from a link that took me to one of Barr's postings about having to clean out all of the Amazonia from a very large tank after trying every other conceivable method to clear it. He indicated that with hard water (which I have) the Amazonia discoloration and cloudiness might be a permanent issue. Obviously, I don't want to do a complete tear down again (especially so soon after the last one), but I don't know how much longer my plants can handle the reduced light, and even if the fish don't seem to mind, it just looks terrible. I think we all do this partly to create something beautiful, and my current situation is about as far from beautiful as it is possible to be. Unless someone knows a "fix" for this, I guess I will spend my Saturday in an attempt to remove the dreaded AS.

1. Did you take out all the existing plants and pour the AS in with your old substrate, then mixed it?
2. Did you just leave it as a top layer?
3. If it was mixed, did you rinse the old substrate before adding the AS?

1.NO
2.YES
3. Everything came out, and the old substrate was rinsed before replacing, then the AS added as a top layer.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-05-2009, 08:44 PM
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If you are trying to add AS to an established tank, it might be best to soak it in a bucket with a powerhead for a couple weeks, changing the water every day or two.

It is a pain, but you can vacuum it out with a tube, 1/2-3/4 ID will probably work best.

AS will leach a ton of tannins and ammonia for a while when new, so adding it directly to an established tank really isn't the best. It works much better when it is the first thing in a tank so it can run it's course prior to adding plants, fish and light.

Sorry you have to find that out the hard way


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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-05-2009, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Minsc- thanks for your response. I believe you are right on all counts (even though they tell you not to rinse the AS). Looks as though I'm stuck trying to undo what I thought was a good idea.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-05-2009, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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By the way, [http://www.barrreport.com/general-pl...qua-soil.html] is where I read about hard water vs. AS, and the seemingly eternal difficulty.

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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-05-2009, 09:14 PM
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I have hard water back home and I was always with issue till I bunged 3 bags of purigen into my filter.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-05-2009, 09:15 PM
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Also, every day water changes of 50% every day for 2weeks are amazing for getting a tank really bedded in.
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-05-2009, 09:22 PM
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There is an AS for high pH water, Amazonia II, to reduce the leeching that occurs when Amazonia is used in that environment.

I understand that you're saying hard water, but it may be the alkalinity that's getting you. I'm about an hour and a half south of Nashville, my tap water has a pH of 8.2 or so.

-qt
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-05-2009, 09:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by comatoast View Post
By the way, [http://www.barrreport.com/general-pl...qua-soil.html] is where I read about hard water vs. AS, and the seemingly eternal difficulty.
No offense but the report you quoted is in reference to using ADA AS in a "massive" tank. I could be wrong, but ADA AS is Tom Barr's choice of substrates and he recommends it for smaller tanks. A 16 gallon tank would hardly fit the definition of massive. I think Tom's main point in that article was to dissuade people from using ADA AS in "massive" tanks. Either way it would be interesting to hear from Tom himself, so hopefully he will chime in to clear the air.

IMHO, your biggest mistake was likely adding ADA AS to an established tank over an established substrate. It was really meant to be used on its own.
IME, I have used ADA AS II which is even more controversial and deemed problematic, then ADA AS, I have yet to see the kinds of issues that you experienced either in my 3 gallon as per my signature or the 15 gallon high tank that I previously setup. https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/su...erimental.html

H*ll, I even used some to start an emersed 5 gallon with HC, bacopa, and cryptocorne and plant growth is incredible. The same with the 3 gallon emersed I started with pearlweed, rotala indica, HC,and dwarf hairgrass. Again the plant growth is incredible. I doubt that I could achieved similar results with any other substrate based on other peoples' emersed setups. My tap water is considered harder than average and some say like "liquid rock," although I would not go that far.
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-05-2009, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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What I picked up from the Barr post was the problematic combination of hard water & AS. And gee, I thought my 16gal. was a behemoth (really now, LMAO).
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