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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, ADA Amazonia is no longer available due to scarce raw materials. I have been looking for it for a few months. I don't know if it will go away forever or what...but...I'm wondering what I should use instead. Here's my situation:

I'm currently running an Eheim 2217 filter on my 17-gallon tank; it's too large. Flow is too powerful, and I want to switch it out for my old Eheim 2213 next month, as soon as my smaller lily pipes arrive. Ideally, I can switch the Eheim 2217 right over to my 45-gallon, which is not set up yet. I'll move half of it's Seachem Matrix to the Eheim 2213, and fill it with new Matrix. That way I seed my new tank from the get-go.

BUT. I really want to use Amazonia in my new tank. My water is 0-1 dKH, so I need a buffering agent. I could use crushed coral. But Amazonia (+CO2) also dropped my pH to 6.2 and provided humic acid, which my licorice gouramis (in my 17 gallon) really need. Crushed coral will raise my pH (which is already 7.4 out of the tap) and all the fish I enjoy like acidic, soft water. I don't know what to use instead of Amazonia (in my 45-gallon). I'm considering not even setting it up.

Other aquasoils seem to be the same price but don't offer the same buffering capacity and don't have the same level of nutrients. I just wanted to solicit suggestions from you all...what would you do?

I know Amazonia is a contentious subject, but it really has been a lifesaver for me. I don't fight it; I let it do its thing...and my tank is so stable and my plants so healthy. I feel super depressed and concerned that it will disappear forever. (It is available at one place, apparently, but it's not local and shipping costs $100...I don't want it quite that badly, LOL).
 

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Amazonia is just processed volcanic dirt. There are many sellers out there doing the same thing. Not the identical thing its true but I'm confident you can easily get good results doing the same thing you would with amazonia with another substrate. I've used Fluval Stratum, Denerele Scaperssoil and the random brand Nicolg sells. If there is a real difference between them once you add your own ferts to the water column I honestly can't tell.

All will provide buffering properties when they are new. If you want to raise your kh you can use seachem equilibrium with water changes or thrive's kh booster..
 

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Tropica is the closest thing. I agree. Also you could use the version 2. I would avoid stratum and other non-enriched soils if you want the effect of ADA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Are you talking about the original Amazonia or all Amazonia? Amazonia ver. 2 works really well imo and should still have the same buffering capacity.
I'm talking specifically about Amazonia original version (the one that causes ammonia spikes; hence contains the most nutrients). It seems like every other brand/version (e.g. Amazonia version 2) gives you LESS nutrients for the SAME price. I don't CARE about the ammonia spike...I'm completely fine managing that and I'm never in a hurry to add fish anyway. So, yeah...my issue primarily is I don't feel like I should be paying the same or more for a product that offers me less (e.g. ADA Amazonia version 2, Tropica, UNS Controsoil, Dennerle, etc.) If I am mistaken about how these work and thus my logic is flawed, I'd love for someone to correct me!

Amazonia is just processed volcanic dirt. There are many sellers out there doing the same thing. Not the identical thing its true but I'm confident you can easily get good results doing the same thing you would with amazonia with another substrate. I've used Fluval Stratum, Denerele Scaperssoil and the random brand Nicolg sells. If there is a real difference between them once you add your own ferts to the water column I honestly can't tell.

All will provide buffering properties when they are new. If you want to raise your kh you can use seachem equilibrium with water changes or thrive's kh booster..
So, Amazonia causes the "dreaded" ammonia spike (which I managed just fine), while all the other "processed volcanic dirt" products seem to not. (In fact, they use that as a selling point). So, I'm under the impression that the "process" in ADA Amazonia is actually different from the process in other "processed volcanic dirts." Is that true?

What I like about Amazonia, and what I want to replicate with something else since it's no longer available, is:
  • Plant nutrition from the soil (I don't want to do method that relies heavily on water column fertilization; it's easier for me to achieve balance with a nutrient-rich soil and a little bit of water column feeding)
  • Buffering capacity (keeps my pH from swinging since my tap water has 2 dKH) - I don't really want to raise it; I keep soft water fish. I just want to keep it stable
  • Fairly easy to plant in and doesn't compact
Sounds like all the aquasoils will achieve the buffering, at least while new, so that's good. Not sure what I'll do as they age, but since my KH in the water is so low I think they'll last awhile? It seems like it's just the quantity/availability of nutrients that I'm unclear about among the various aquasoils.

Tropica is the closest thing. I agree. Also you could use the version 2. I would avoid stratum and other non-enriched soils if you want the effect of ADA.
Two votes for Tropica. Thanks. I have been thinking that Tropica (and the other aquasoils) is most similar to Amazonia version 2, and all of those have less nutrients (or less available nutrients?) than Amazonia original. George Lo from Aqua Forest Aquarium recommended I try version 2 (he's the one who told me Amazonia is unavailable for the foreseeable future), but when I replied and asked him about the real differences between the original and version 2 he ghosted me. I'm sure they're busy, so it's fine. And I have read just about everything I can find on the web...but holy moly there are a lot of voices and it's tough to separate opinion from hearsay from personal experience, etc.

I'm actually thinking of nilocG's aqua soil because it's the least-horribly-overpriced choice. Tropica is sold out in the 9L size just about everywhere in the US. Buce Plants is asking $40 for 3L and that's insane. One 9L bag of Amazonia is $52 here.
 

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So, Amazonia causes the "dreaded" ammonia spike (which I managed just fine), while all the other "processed volcanic dirt" products seem to not. (In fact, they use that as a selling point). So, I'm under the impression that the "process" in ADA Amazonia is actually different from the process in other "processed volcanic dirts." Is that true?

What I like about Amazonia, and what I want to replicate with something else since it's no longer available, is:
  • Plant nutrition from the soil (I don't want to do method that relies heavily on water column fertilization; it's easier for me to achieve balance with a nutrient-rich soil and a little bit of water column feeding)
  • Buffering capacity (keeps my pH from swinging since my tap water has 2 dKH) - I don't really want to raise it; I keep soft water fish. I just want to keep it stable
  • Fairly easy to plant in and doesn't compact
Sounds like all the aquasoils will achieve the buffering, at least while new, so that's good. Not sure what I'll do as they age, but since my KH in the water is so low I think they'll last awhile? It seems like it's just the quantity/availability of nutrients that I'm unclear about among the various aquasoils.
That big ammonia spike bothered so many people that ADA created v2 that doesn't have it. Anyway whether you use EI, PPS-PRO, or some other method for fertilization after adding soil doesn't matter too much, in that, all can produce great results. This is where my point comes in. After you start fertilizing the water, which aquasoil you are using stops mattering. And since no aquasoil is good all by itself without adding ferts in even the medium term, to my mind its not worth getting too wrapped up in brand names. But /shrug, its your tank so if you really like ADA Amazonia v1 you can wait till it comes back in stock. I doubt its been discontinued so much as the supply lines have been severely hampered due to the 1, 2 punch of covid slowing down supply creation, and more people at home staring at their walls wanting to install fish tanks. You can pre-order it on aqualabaqiaria.com at least and probably from other locations as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That big ammonia spike bothered so many people that ADA created v2 that doesn't have it. Anyway whether you use EI, PPS-PRO, or some other method for fertilization after adding soil doesn't matter too much, in that, all can produce great results. This is where my point comes in. After you start fertilizing the water, which aquasoil you are using stops mattering. And since no aquasoil is good all by itself without adding ferts in even the medium term, to my mind its not worth getting too wrapped up in brand names. But /shrug, its your tank so if you really like ADA Amazonia v1 you can wait till it comes back in stock. I doubt its been discontinued so much as the supply lines have been severely hampered due to the 1, 2 punch of covid slowing down supply creation, and more people at home staring at their walls wanting to install fish tanks. You can pre-order it on aqualabaqiaria.com at least and probably from other locations as well.
Ok, yep I see your point. Also, since what I primarily am interested in is the buffering capacity that will prevent pH swings (without raising pH like crushed coral will), it really doesn't matter which brand I go with. Whatever the cheapest soil that contains buffering agents should do.

aqualabaquaria.com is currently pretty low on my listed of "companies I'd love to do business with again." I did them an enormous favor. They shipped me someone else's package and I contacted them, went back-and-forth a bunch of times (what does the box weigh? how big is it? etc.), printed the shipping label (challenging, because I don't own a working printer at the moment), and got it in the mail to the appropriate recipient. They offered me a 10% coupon, which was nice of them, and I said actually I'd like it if someone could look into the status of my order from January which still hasn't been completely fulfilled, and for someone to see about an estimate of when ADA Amazonia will be back in stock. They've totally ignored those requests for now...not even a reply to say, "We're still waiting on those plants and we have no idea about Amazonia." So...I mean that's completely beside the point. I'll just go with soil, and plants, from someone else. Their plants are great quality most of the time, but that interaction has made me a little sour.
 
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