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Bob Vivian 09-27-2004 06:25 PM

Aqua Soil, what's the latest?
Hello folks,
I've found only brief mention of Profile's "Aqua Soil" in past posts and I'm hoping that someone who's had experience with it will offer comment.
I'm looking for an attractive substrate to cap off the open areas in my aquascape.
My existing substrate is Flourite and, though it grows plants well, I'm not pleased with its appearance.
The Aqua Soil intrigued me because of its tan color and smaller grain size.
Is there a problem using Aqua Soil in this application?
Is it inert? Will it effect my water chemistry?
How available is it?
Any alternate suggestions?


Bob Vivian 09-27-2004 07:15 PM

OK! I just did what I should have done before I opened this topic. I searched Profile's product site.
It turns out that the correct name is "Aquatic Plant Soil". I found it in the "lawn & garden" section.
Apparently, it is inert, neutral, and will not break down or leach. It "stores and exchanges nutrients directly to aquatic plants".
Though it's obviously intended for outdoor ponds it sounds ideal for my application.
Any thoughts?


Rex Grigg 09-27-2004 08:11 PM

Well it's more orange than tan in my experience. Also some people have reported water chemistry problems using it.

dennis 09-27-2004 08:17 PM


I have used Shultz's Aquatic Plant Soil, it also has the Profile name and logo right on the bag. Is this the look you are wanting? I have had the tanks setup now for 3 weeks and everything is growig wonderfully. I have no issues thus far with the substrate, granted I did not use it the way you are but it is inert and quite suitable for the aquarium. I would recommend that you do rinse it a little though. It does have some dust, although very little. One interesting thing to observe about it is that the SAPS is so dry that it actually "steamed" (broke down the water so fast it evaporated the H2O) which I thought was neat. Small things amuse smal minds though:) Hope that helps:)

Rex Grigg 09-28-2004 04:28 AM

If one needs a large amount of this stuff look for Profile or Turface. Call around to the local baseball coach. They will have a line on where to obtain it. It's used for drying out baseball fields after a rain.

MiamiAG 09-28-2004 04:40 AM

Aqua Soil is a product from ADA. Shultz makes Aquatic Plant Soil as you mentioned. They are two different things.

pineapple 09-28-2004 05:16 AM

Judging by the use that Rex mentioned above and that it is capable of absorbing so much water, I would guess this substrate is based largely on clay minerals such as Montmorillonite otherwise classified as follows:


The Montmorillonite/Smectite Group
This group is composed of several minerals including pyrophyllite, talc, vermiculite, sauconite, saponite, nontronite and montmorillonite They differ mostly in chemical content. The general formula is (Ca, Na, H)(Al, Mg, Fe, Zn)2(Si, Al)4O10(OH)2 - xH2O, where x represents the variable amount of water that members of this group could contain. Talc's formula, for example, is Mg3Si4O10(OH)2. The gibbsite layers of the kaolinite group can be replaced in this group by a similar layer that is analogous to the oxide brucite, (Mg2(OH)4). The structure of this group is composed of silicate layers sandwiching a gibbsite (or brucite) layer in between, in an s-g-s stacking sequence. The variable amounts of water molecules would lie between the s-g-s sandwiches.
Andrew Cribb

tsunami 09-28-2004 05:59 AM

I have never used Schultz Aquatic Plant Soil for submersed applications, but it makes a stupendous planting media for emersed plants. Cryptocorynes, stem plants root very well.

It may be a little too light for planting underwater, though.


HanshaSuro 09-28-2004 09:08 AM

I agree with Tsunami that it is quite light and can difficult to work with in totally submersed applications. Combine this with the fact that I use MTS in my tanks and well, it is tough to get things rooted initially.

For that reason I have been experimenting with a 50/50 Schultz/Flourite mix. The flourite gives the substrate some added weight and the Schultz gives it some added cheap. :) Additionally, they're similar in color and size, so I don't feel like it comes off like a mix of media.

Just my 2 cents.

plantbrain 09-28-2004 03:31 PM

You can mix flourite etc with MPV turface.
TYou can also mix a similar colored sand with MPV also to add weight to deal with the light weigh issue.
Eco complete was a tad heavier, but a bit too much like MPV for me but has a nice color.

Tom Barr

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