Originally Posted by dennis
Anyway, it sounds like the ADA is a similar clay type to the Soilmaster, especially their OilDri product.
No, it's different in the grain shape and the hardness, SM is baked, already hardened, this makes a significant different.
I assume based on your description Tom, that ADA is nothing more the a 2:1 smectite family clay what has been soaked in a nutrient rich, NH4+ solution which has replaced most of the Mg2+ or K+ cations between the clay sheets with the NH4+.
No, there's a mix of those in there, it's not replaced unless as the micro sites have the NH4 and K+ removed by uptake, they are replaced from the water column above.
This would also explain its "softness" and that it breaks down a little over time asthis type of clay has tendencies toward swelling and high CEC.
No, this ADA As does not swell, I know the clays you are thinking about, this is not that clay, kitty litter is that clay.
We do not want that for other reasons.
This would also explain Aquasoil's water softening habits. Incidently, this also makes sense as the smectites are an older, more weather clay that are more likely to be found in tropical or subtropical regions (ie, Amazon). Did you ever test the CEC of the ADA Tom? A high CEC would indicate a smectite type clay while a low one might indicate that the ADA is actually a very weathered Fe or Al oxide with a good (+) charge, ie AEC. Most clay colloids have a - charge(CEC) why only weathered tropical clays tend to have a (+) charge. |
Has anyone ever tested the hardness, Ca and Mg levels of ADA substrate before it was added to a tank?
I have done a CEC test, I have done AEC test for PO4, but these are only relative test, not absolute.
These will be posted when I get to the substrates on the Barr Report.
There are issues with how well CEC and growth are correlated and in aquatic plant horticulture. Hydroponics will have better research, but ......they also do not use many of the same methods we do and do not have anaerobic sediments. That changes everything.
This makes sense to me and it gives me a hypothesis, although I am sure you will be able to show I am wrong |
That's never the point nor intent, the intent is to learn and set up a better test or ask a better specific question.
From my learnin', most terrestrial plants prefer NO3- as their N source; hwoever, most aquatic plants prefer NH4+.
My observations suggest as trend......the aquatic plants prefer NO3........and the data present in Diana's books clearly suggest at applicable levels of NH4, that plants prefer NO3, it is not until you have 0.5ppm or higher that the species in the one test will prefer the NH4+. Do you have 0.5ppm or higher of NH4+ in your tank's water column, do you want to try and maintain that level?
Additionally, one plant such as Elodea is hardly an arguement for a consensus or a generalizaton. Barko et al have suggested simiklar findings, but I've not seem similar time based graphes. I'll be looking into it more later.
I've added NH4 to the water column, few folks really have except in the form of fish waste and few have measured that in any real way.
Lots of speculation, but no one doing any testing.....which is typical in the plant hobby.
I leave the door open for certain species having a preference and the option to get the different forms and at different locations.
We all slack off dosing at some point, nice to have a back up.
But I want a back up that works and is not the PITA a jobes is, nor do Jobes grow the plants like ADA nor do they add it all occluded and spread out evenly like the substrate rather than amendments.
Now, since most of our preferd aquarium plants would traditionally spend much of their lives with wet feet it makes sense that the roots would have adapted to using NH4 as a prefered source. The foliar parts growing in the water would likely never see NH4 in a healthy system (hence algae's foothold in "unhealthy systems")
Are you so sure of that assumption?
Is it safe?
Why do we have fish and no measureable NH4+ in the water column?
Plants most certainly remove the NH4 from the water column and roots most certainly leak out a fair amount into the sediments.
plus it would get bound very quickly in the submersed, clay based soil conditions; however, NO3 would be more likely available in the water column due to runoff/boilogical activities. |
Does that make sense?
NO3 is extremely mobile and less prone to bacteria reduction, ther NH4 is oxidized easily in the substrate by bacteria so they are nibbling away at it also.
I think it's supplying some of the plant species with more NH4 in a safe manner, a softer rooting texture, nice grain sizing, some peat mixed in the grains etc.
It's not so much or an either or situation, it never was.
That is a fabricated notion except in research type test.
In practical hiorticulture, the plants get it from the water column and the roots. It's just good to have a good supply in both places
, not just one.
I've stated this many times over the years, the thing is, so many folks over the years have whined, complained, said I'm wrong, presented weak arguements about algae when it comes to the water column nutrient levels and the forms involved.
So folks seem to think I am all water column, no, I've not discounted the utility of the substrate.
I've done that years ago abnd still hold it as part of a system, but ADa finally came up with what I once described on the APD years ago as an ideal substrate, well........except I wanted a white color for it.
But the black color is great