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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to get ahold of some of this stuff for a 2.5 gallon nano that I want to do inverts in. Does anyone know of a place to buy smaller portions online? I really don't need a 9 L bag.
 

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The powder type has less nutrients than the regular kind, so I would recommend you stick with the regular aquasoil over the powder type as it will serve you better in the long run. The powder type is only helpful in the beginning stages of setting up a tank and planting (suppose to be easier to plant with). But after that, it's not really worth it anymore... Not sure why they charge more for the powder type. Less nutrients, smaller quantity, minor enhancement for planting. Not worth it in my opinion :)
 

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I have the regular ADA Aquasoil and am VERY unhappy with it! I got it to slightly lower my pH for the sake of the plants and the shrimp. I've had it for 2-3 months now and the effect is gone! I have pH 7 out of the tap, had pH 5.8 at cycling time, then it was at 6.6 for a while and is now back at pH 7 - same as tap water. So to me this stuff is pretty pointless and a total waste of money. Go with some other plant substrate instead!
 

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I just bought some off someone here on the forums. perhaps someone else may have some they'd let go of, try swap and shop. I used it to top off my eco-complete. I really like the looks of it better - the baby dwarf tears i had didn't do well because i think the eco-complete grain size was too big for the little roots.
 

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I have the regular ADA Aquasoil and am VERY unhappy with it! I got it to slightly lower my pH for the sake of the plants and the shrimp. I've had it for 2-3 months now and the effect is gone! I have pH 7 out of the tap, had pH 5.8 at cycling time, then it was at 6.6 for a while and is now back at pH 7 - same as tap water. So to me this stuff is pretty pointless and a total waste of money. Go with some other plant substrate instead!
I also partly bought AS to lower my pH, and that affect is now gone after a year. I'd say don't by it for this reason, unless you just need your pH temporarily lowered, or you are willing to replace AS every year or so.

What I like about AS is the look and it is easy to plant in. It also initially gives great growth to plants like Swords, but that too wears off within a year, and it's only recently that I've realized I need to start using fert tabs in the substrate.

I also have flourite in a smaller tank. I actually like its look better than AS, but it is not as easy to plant in. However, the water is a lot clearer in the flourite tank than the AS tank, but that could have something to do with other factors like bio-load, filtering, or the fact that one is a high light and the other low light.
 

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what initially attracted to me to eco-complete was that i thought it was all black... well, when i got it set up under the lights, it wasn't uniformly black... there are other colored rocks in there including white! I felt it was a little bit of a let down.
 

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Less nutrients, smaller quantity, minor enhancement for planting. Not worth it in my opinion :)
Actually you get the same volume, but more weight, so there is more substrate there, and it takes more material to produce, which is why it costs more, but supposedly it does have less nutrients like you said, which is why I would chose normal type over powder, unless you like the aesthetics of powder because a 2.5 is so small (I chose the powder type for my 2.5 for this reason)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Actually you get the same volume, but more weight, so there is more substrate there, and it takes more material to produce, which is why it costs more, but supposedly it does have less nutrients like you said, which is why I would chose normal type over powder, unless you like the aesthetics of powder because a 2.5 is so small (I chose the powder type for my 2.5 for this reason)
Yup I chose the powder for scale reasons. I thought the regular would look a little big in a tank so small :).
 

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I can't say I agree with the two posters who said it is useless. It's packed full of nutrients, and is one of the best substrates for plants to grow in. It allows for great root structures, holds carpet plants better than any other substrate I've used before, and honestly I love the color it has under the water and light. And you should never use the Aquasoil as your only mean for lowering pH. You should look into a Co2 system if that is your main goal..
 

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I can't say I agree with the two posters who said it is useless. It's packed full of nutrients, and is one of the best substrates for plants to grow in. It allows for great root structures, holds carpet plants better than any other substrate I've used before, and honestly I love the color it has under the water and light. And you should never use the Aquasoil as your only mean for lowering pH. You should look into a Co2 system if that is your main goal..
Didn't say it was useless. I said don't buy it to lower your pH. I was disappointed the pH lowering affect was relatively short lived, since at the time I bought it this was often cited as one of the big advantages of AS in high pH tanks.

Also, water clarity with AS may be an issue. I don't like my water clarity in my AS tank compared to all my other non-AS tanks. But as I pointed out, it's possible this might not be due to factors other than AS, although others have had similar problems.

I do like the look, how well plants *initially* grow in it, and how easy it is to plant in.

The ample nutrients in AS that give you great initial growth also seem to be relatively shorted lived. I'm not sure how it stacks up long term with other substrates, but you should at least plan on using fert stakes within the first year. I'm not sure if there are some nutrients in AS that do last long term. I just know my sword growth nearly stopped after a year.
 

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Didn't say it was useless. I said don't buy it to lower your pH. I was disappointed the pH lowering affect was relatively short lived, since at the time I bought it this was often cited as one of the big advantages of AS in high pH tanks.

Also, water clarity with AS may be an issue. I don't like my water clarity in my AS tank compared to all my other non-AS tanks. But as I pointed out, it's possible this might not be due to factors other than AS, although others have had similar problems.

I do like the look, how well plants *initially* grow in it, and how easy it is to plant in.

The ample nutrients in AS that give you great initial growth also seem to be relatively shorted lived. I'm not sure how it stacks up long term with other substrates, but you should at least plan on using fert stakes within the first year. I'm not sure if there are some nutrients in AS that do last long term. I just know my sword growth nearly stopped after a year.
Didn't mean to come off as attacking there or anything, sorry. I agree that it shouldn't be used by itself for only the pH and nutrient benefits. Personally I start dosing ferts two weeks after initial setup, and run Co2 to maintain a steady pH. And as lauraleellbp stated, the ASII was made with the pH lowering in mind, which makes it a better choice for people trying to lower their pH initially, such as in a shrimp breeding tank or the such.
The cloudy water I've found is a hit or miss. In my M, I had cloudy water for a good two weeks or more with constant water changes. On the other side, I set up my S about a month ago with brand new fresh ASI and it's still been clear as crystal with only one or two water changes thus far.
You just can't expect any substrate to maintain its advertised benefits for too long. Eco-Complete and Flourite are generally inert clay substrates that will provide nutrients for a month or so. The big benefit I see in most of the substrates we use is their porousness and the great ability for most plants, especially finicky carpet plants, to grow great root systems.
Again, I apologize if I came off as attacking or anything.
 

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My tap water (pH 7) isn't so different from what I wanted to achieve (about pH 6.6-6.8), but that pH lowering effect is now gone after only 3 months! Many aquarists get ADA with the intention to lower their pH to keep sensitive shrimp such as Crystal Reds, Blue Tigers and such. And I cannot use pressurized or DIY CO2, because my aquarium sits in a kitchen bookshelf-cabinet and I would hate to have any kind of cylinder sitting in the shelf with all the tubing and such or drill holes in neighbouring cabinets.

ADA advertises the acidifying properties of Aquasoil to benefit plant growth - but mine is no more after only 3 months... I am just mad that I paid so much for something that is now totally and completely useless to me.
 

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Vanessa

You haven't said a word about how your plants are growing. Are they growing well or not? Are you keeping a shrimp only tank? We get that your pH is not where you want it but the product was not designed to solely lower pH, it was designed to grow plants well. If you are only concerned with lowering your pH you can easily and safely do so using RO or distilled water mixed with your tap. I use and like aquasoil but would never advise someone to use it if all they wanted to do was lower pH.
 

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My plants are OK, some seem stunted although they were doing great the first couple months. This could also be due to lack of other liquid fertilizer I might not know about as I don't test everything. And that's why I didn't state anything about what it does for my plants or doesn't.
 

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The ADA Amazonia II was developed in part to help lower pH and hardness. How much it might or might not do that is very much dependent on the water you start off with.
There seems to be some confusion in this regard. I know a year ago when I was looking into whether to get Amazonia or Amazonia II, the available info was not real clear. It looks like II was designed for high alkaline water, but for the purpose of reducing the incidence of cloudiness people were seeing with Amazonia. The ADA site does not mention it will keep pH lower any better than regular Amazonia.

What I recall reading a year ago was that there was speculation or anecdotal evidence that Amazonia II actually had less pH reducing abilities, or maybe people were just having bad experiences with Amazonia II at the time. I know based on what I read I was swayed towards Amazonia even though I have high alkaline water. I haven't really paid any attention to the Amazonia or Amazonia II debate the past year, so I'm not sure what is now generally accepted regarding the difference between the two.

In any event, pH reduction is a prominently advertised feature of Amazonia, and I think this is misleading given the relatively short amount of time it does this.
 
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