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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do most people use as an Aquasoil alternative? I see ST International making a popular line of aquarium soils?

The Aquasoil comes in different granular sizes so I am not sure if other brands offer different sizes. I need enough to do a 5 gallon tall (small footprint) and a 15 gallon long, I plan to only use the normal size granules in the 5 gallon but wanted to build up areas in the 15 with a large granular size, then top with the normal.

I currently have a dirted tank capped in gravel, I used Miracle Grow Organic Choice soil but I seem to have issues that potentially arise from the dirt.

I need cheap alternative recommendations available in a few granular sizes.
 

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Lot's of folk's, use miracle grow organic choice without issues (just sayin).
For no more than you need,I would try the aquasoil with the knowledge that it can also create issues initially, unless frequent water changes are performed.
I have not tried the aquasoil for it is too pricey for larger tank's I have, and I get good result's with the miracle grow or just plain topsoil from Lowe's.
Much easier/cheaper to find the topsoil and or miracle grow without paying for shipping of the pricey stuff if you care about such thing's.
Understanding of organic matter, and it's potential affect on water chemistry,plant growth,is undervalued. IMHO
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am not sure how Organic Dirt would do in a tank without a gravel cap which I am not going to use in the 15 gallon.

Well on the price it seems like (at least through eBay) no matter what I buy (ADA, Mr.Aqua, or ST International) it is $55 shipped.

ADA - 9L

Mr.Aqua - 8L

ST Int. - 11lb.

I am not sure how many L 11lb. converts to but I might as well buy the ADA. I can make it work for both tanks, I may be just a little shy on the 15 gallon tank. I was thinking about building up mounds using clay hydroponic pellets then capping it with the ADA aquasoil but the clay balls float so I am not sure if I should do that. It would help the deepest parts of the substrate breath I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just as a side note - I have never scaped with aquasoil before, I have always used gravel capped soil (which I am now realizing is not natural looking). If I do not plant on all the surface I know it will turn green with algae growth. How do you vac your tank if there are no plants on the surface? Suck up the aquasoil like gravel? Maybe I should carpet the blank areas with something not only for aesthetics but ease of maintenance?
 

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Just as a side note - I have never scaped with aquasoil before, I have always used gravel capped soil (which I am now realizing is not natural looking). If I do not plant on all the surface I know it will turn green with algae growth. How do you vac your tank if there are no plants on the surface? Suck up the aquasoil like gravel? Maybe I should carpet the blank areas with something not only for aesthetics but ease of maintenance?


I prefer a natural looking sand in my open areas; this is not always the easiest to maintain but, provides a nice contrast to the Aquasoil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I decided to dirt the 5 gallon and aquasoil the 15 gallon. Only thing is I will need to use gravel in the 5 gallon now, I can not see how I could use it without the gravel. I found a new product I am going to try, its called Just Natural Organic Mix 0.06-0.09-0.06

It has less nitrogen than Miracle grow organic choice, but more phosphates, so at least I may get less of an initial algae bloom with a slightly lower nitrogen content. Miracle grow organic choice has 0.10% nitrogen, with 0.097% water insoluble nitrogen (Just Natural is 0.048% water insoluble nitrogen). Only potential issue I see is that the Just Natural contains 0.006% ammoniacal nitrogen.


 
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