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Discussion Starter #1
Ordered a 9L bag of Aquasoil Amazonia on Amazon (lol) and the bag that came is different than any other bag of Amazonia I've seen. What I'm afraid of is apparently there are counterfeit bags sold out of China and a search revealed that ADA may have even changed their bag design because of it. Being this bag was over $50 I'd rather have the real stuff... Anyone seen this bag before? Anyone used it in 2020? The writing is gold - not yellow.

My guess is that this is either:
1) Counterfeit (https://www.adana.co.jp/en/release/detail?id=125)
2) Old stock - If this is the case it's just dirt, but this stuff seems quite crumbly. Here's their press release from when they changed the bag in 2015: https://www.adana.co.jp/en/release/detail?id=99 . The weird part is as far as I can tell the bag pre-2015 had the silver/gray background but used orange lettering in a different font. I don't see this particular bag anywhere.

20200418_144655 by aaron M, on Flickr

20200418_144639 by aaron M, on Flickr

20200418_163120 by aaron M, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Never seen that bag.
I always my ADA from the US distributor

https://aquaforestaquarium.com/
Yeah I might have to order from somewhere else. This stuff just seems really crumbly.

I've never used it (new to planted) but in the videos I've seen it comes out in pretty uniform size chunks with not a lot of dust and debris. The tiny amount in my hand just came out of a small rip in the bag.

Question, should it smell basically like potting soil?
 

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Looks to be the same bag as their website.

Maybe a new bag design of version 1? I am not up to par on their bags FWIW. Just saw someone else on face book ask the same question but got it from AFA.
 

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I have used this product and am unsure if your batch is old or fake. The bag art is new to me, but they could have had all kinds of changes by this point in the product's existence. I certainly wouldn't throw it out, got a smaller tank you could give it a shot in? And to your last question, it's never had more than a mild noticeable odor to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Looks to be the same bag as their website.

Maybe a new bag design of version 1? I am not up to par on their bags FWIW. Just saw someone else on face book ask the same question but got it from AFA.
Okay new twist - I went and checked on Amazon who the seller was and it says "Aqua Forest Aquarium"! It even has the same return address on the package (1718 Filmore St.) It looks exactly like the bag you link to on the ADA website (first place I've ever seen it) but I guess the question is why would they go back to an old bag style? And one that they previously had problems with? Seems like an odd thing to do.

I'll send a message and see what they know. Because it seems odd that a reputable shop would sell super old stock or counterfeit.
 

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Bag definitely looks authentic. Same for the substrate itself.

Problem with counterfeiters wasn't with packaging but with the product itself - fake stuff looks nothing like Aquasoil dirt.

A surefire way to tell you've got a fake: plastic isn't super-thick like with original ADA. Fake stuff is always in thin, crinkly plastic with low-grade inking.

Note: I moved this to the Substrate section since this thread is about substrate.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Here's a handful right off the top. Seems to have a lot of fine particulates - It seems like if I pour this into my tank there will be fine dust everywhere. Hmmmm.. I wonder if it got crushed too bad in shipping. The box was pretty banged up.

Ada Aquasoil Amazonia normal type by aaron M, on Flickr

Bump:
Bag definitely looks authentic. Same for the substrate itself.

Problem with counterfeiters wasn't with packaging but with the product itself - fake stuff looks nothing like Aquasoil dirt.

A surefire way to tell you've got a fake: plastic isn't super-thick like with original ADA. Fake stuff is always in thin, crinkly plastic with low-grade inking.

Note: I moved this to the Substrate section since this thread is about substrate.

Thanks much - Didn't realize there was a section for just substrate.

As for your comments - have you actually seen this bag before (like in the last year or 2)? It definitely isn't the thin crinkly plastic - it seems sturdy enough to handle the soil. It just seems odd to me that they would revert back to the same bag design they stopped using 5 years ago. I guess stranger things have happened (maybe a supply chain issue given the pandemic) but no announcement on their site either.

If it's authentic then it looks like shipping may have caused the crumbliness. Maybe if I can carefully put it through a strainer (Dry) that will get rid of most of the debris and leave me with just the little granules.
 

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Yep, I've seen the packaging. Have some of it myself.

You'd never - under any circumstances - just pour a clay-based substrate directly into a tank with water. You also would never rinse it. I wouldn't strain it dry, either. Straining it just means you're throwing away money. Just follow the directions recommended by ADA.

Place the soil in the tank with care - treat it like you paid a lot for it, get it planted, then slowly - SLOOOOOOWLY - add water. It may take you an hour to get enough water into the tank til you can then add it more quickly. I generally take my time until there's about an inch above the substrate. Then I begin using a container or lid of some sort to divert water flow in a way that doesn't disturb the substrate. But even then, I don't add water quickly. It's a slow process that's 100% worth it.

ADA didn't "revert" to old packaging. So I'm not sure where that confusion slipped into the conversation. ADA is based in Japan and has a global chain with multiple small distributors. Like any other responsible manufacturer of products, they're going to use up their old/older design until it's gone. Even if they've started using new packaging. I've seen multiple packaging designs for the same product in-person in recent years - at AFA, in a couple places in the UK and in the EU.

Their soil lines aren't products that sell super-duper fast like cheap aquarium gravel at Petco, so it takes time to work through's already in the supply chain.

And a note about old product: I have bags of Amazonia that I've had in storage/garages for easily a decade and it's just as good as the brand new stuff. It holds up well over time.

Here's a handful right off the top. Seems to have a lot of fine particulates - It seems like if I pour this into my tank there will be fine dust everywhere. Hmmmm.. I wonder if it got crushed too bad in shipping. The box was pretty banged up.

Ada Aquasoil Amazonia normal type by aaron M, on Flickr

Bump:


Thanks much - Didn't realize there was a section for just substrate.

As for your comments - have you actually seen this bag before (like in the last year or 2)? It definitely isn't the thin crinkly plastic - it seems sturdy enough to handle the soil. It just seems odd to me that they would revert back to the same bag design they stopped using 5 years ago. I guess stranger things have happened (maybe a supply chain issue given the pandemic) but no announcement on their site either.

If it's authentic then it looks like shipping may have caused the crumbliness. Maybe if I can carefully put it through a strainer (Dry) that will get rid of most of the debris and leave me with just the little granules.
 

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Looks legit to me. I've ordered bags of Amazonia before (like 2013) that look exactly like yours. I got them from Aqua Forest, so I know they were the real thing.
 
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