After a lengthy talk,
Ugh, well, we are removing all the ADA aqua soil, it just makes way too much mess for the client's taste. I agree also. Replanting and corys etc make it a mucky tank even if you run 5 micron filters, tons of current, daily 50% water changes etc.
No way to remove it even if you have 2x the filters etc.
So we will siphon it out and replace with Eco complete.
At least I can step on that and it does not degrade and cloud.
ADA As is fine for smaller tanks, but damn, it does stink for the larger systems. No more using it for larger tanks than 200-300 gal.
Jeeze, after all the headaches that stuff gave us, I really had higher hopes for it, but cloudy, dusty mulm was all we ever really had at this scale.
In smaller higher flow/filtered tanks, it can work out well, but not at this scale and tank depth.
Everything just keeps getting covered with lots of ADA mulm, a royal PITA.
It's not the wood, adding more filtration will not help either.
So siphoning it out and slowly working my way from one end to the other while refilling with tap and adding a sump pump at the far end will be the process.
I'll add EC on top of that and any critical areas where the hardscape cannot be moves, the ADA AS is solid clay in those spots and we will simply cap it.
I am looking forward to the result and redoing the planting in the much easier EC.
I've touted the merits of ADA AS, but not in this case, it's been the biggest PITA I've dealt with on any tank. Water clarity is critical to me and when you have 4-12 ft distances, it needs to be clear.
Well, back in the tank I go, probably the following weekend
At least I'm tenacious.
But it's a learning process and can be applied to many other larger scaled systems in the future.
Issues/failures etc are very useful also.