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Old 12-26-2005, 10:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Peat & Aquasoil & Powersand & Tourmaline BC & Bacter 100 & Clear Super 50

got a few questions here:

1. what type of peat should i use? is Keta-Peat Nuggets okay? is it okay to use peat along with Co2 injection because peat lowers pH?

2. what are the affects of using Aquasoil WITHOUT Powersand?

3. im planning on growing Glosso and Lilaeopsis Brasiliensis. do i need to use Bacter and Clear Super with Tourmaline? and how much do i need to use? i have a 75 gallon/284 liter.
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Old 12-28-2005, 02:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Plain garden center gound peat works dandy.

I have two tanks that use ADA soil without powersand, they have done better and grew the plants faster since I fertilize the water column.
(Use EI from day one).

I also use mulm to cycle any substrate on a new tank(live bacteria).
I've never had clouding issues with ADA soils ever.

If you want, you can use these, but they are not required.

Overall, I really like the soils, they cost about the same as the Flourite per volume of tank.

But you do not need the other stuff, some peat(not needed in the ADa soils) and some mulmn will take care of things, and then simply dose the water column for cheap.

Regards,
Tom Barr
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Old 01-13-2006, 11:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Power Sand w/ the Aqua Soil will have some real benefits for the beginner who perhaps is not as skilled/knowledgable about dosing the water column. Especially when the tank is new, water column dosing can take a pretty good eye/feel/parameter knowledge to do correctly (w/out over-dosing and getting into algae problems early on). If you know your way around the dosing, Tom's suggestion/methods obviously can work.
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Old 01-19-2006, 11:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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What is powersand and what is it's purpose?

-John N.
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Old 01-20-2006, 02:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsenske
Power Sand w/ the Aqua Soil will have some real benefits for the beginner who perhaps is not as skilled/knowledgable about dosing the water column. Especially when the tank is new, water column dosing can take a pretty good eye/feel/parameter knowledge to do correctly (w/out over-dosing and getting into algae problems early on). If you know your way around the dosing, Tom's suggestion/methods obviously can work.
Yes, the PS can help, basically it has the peat and macro ferts already in there.

The required skill has very little to dose the water column, whether or not you __forget to dose__ is the real issue for many, you have to dose the water column anyway whether you use the PS or not with some things, adding 10mls of this vs adding 10 mls of this and 1/4 teaspoon fo that does not imply difficultly. If someone is going to do an ADA complete line, they tend to know and research things first.

The problem is that folks tend not to dose enough, they do not add enough plants or CO2 in the start up phase.

I've done comparisons with and without these other products.
To the best of my knowledge, I am so far the only that has even done so........

Adding PS and the other does help/does not hurt and it does work following the entire routine layed out by ADA, but much like Dupla's entire line of products which also work............some things are worthwhile all on their own, negating the need to buy the entire product line.

I look to figure out which items are helping and why, not merely assume you need it all. One method works, another method works better(as implied with fast growth rates) and cost less. Some items are not easy to find locally, or for less $, the ADA soils are one such item. A good buy.

This is a two edged sword.
On the one hand I am suggesting the ADA soils are great, and they are, but on the other hand I am critizing on the other parts of the fertilizers such as PS and the brighty series. Ferts are ferts, plants use the same things, a NO3 molecule is still a NO3 molecule no matter how you slice it. KNO3 is always going to be KNO3 whether it says ADA and cost 100X more or if it says Grant's stump remover.

Some want me to say only nice things about product lines.
If it works, great, I'll say so but if not, I'll also say so.

Like any brand name or product line, you take the good with the bad, or the items that are useful and good, and those that really don't do much.

I've found no use for PS, Penac, tourmaline, bacter, Brighty etc.
I have found glowing use for ADA soils, tanks, some glass ware though.

We know baking soda and SeaChem's alkaline buffer do the same thing.
We know SeaChem's PO4 is KH2PO4 in water pretty much.

SeaChem and ADA are both great companies, no issue there either.

You can add the baking soda and KH2PO4 or you can pay for the SeaChem line, why don't we have folks suggesting this of me, but for some reason the ADA line is different all of a sudden?

A few endorse the entire SeaChem line, I personally don't, even though I've helped them, likely have helped ADA in many ways also, I look for stuff that works. The stuff that does not or we can get cheap and have much more control over, why pay more for SeaChem or ADA brand baking soda?

Seperating the chaff from the the products that work and worth the cost is something no one seems to have done or is willing to do. Dupla folks also had this same mentality, everything Dupla must be correct. That was not that long ago, but before many folk's time, that developed PMDD and many other good routines that followed and found out what algae were caused by what.

Of course folks could have stayed the course, buying the entire german Dupla products blindly.....

I've done that actually, and now with the entire ADA line.
I can also compare the ADA line with one of our local fish stores that carries all the products. I'm doing better than they are.

Both Dupla and ADA have both said that excess nutrients in the water column cause algae, we know this is hogwash.

Then I get 200 newbies asking me questions everytime an article comes out repeating the myth.

If you do not know which components work or not, suggesting what works for you in the past is wise, but it does not imply that each item works or not or is particularly useful. Still, there are many that will buy the entire line, but in the long run, folks no longer buy heating cables, Daily dupla drops etc much. But they popularize CO2 a great deal, so somethings are here to stay.

Same with ADA, SeaChem, etc

regards,
Tom Barr
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Old 01-20-2006, 02:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John N.
What is powersand and what is it's purpose?

-John N.
PS acts as macro nutrient base fert, so you will not need to add ferts to the water column other than traces and K+(or add Brighty series ferts) in the initial start up phase of the tank.

Or you can not add it, and dose the water column with macro's, you will have to at some point anyway, my plants grow faster with this vs the ADA method.
I add a little mulm to the gravel initially to seed the bacteria.

Results are great.
One includes the Penac, bacter, Tourmaline, powersand etc, the other uses cheap non brand name salts KNO3 etc.

End result was better with these for 2 tanks, now I'm going with 4, and the one with a full line of the ADa products, as well as a LFS that carries ADA products.

Regards,
Tom Barr
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Old 01-23-2006, 09:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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where can i find prices on aqua soil and powersand?
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Old 01-23-2006, 11:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Try www.aquariumdesigngroup.com.
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Old 01-24-2006, 01:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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I'd suggest placing an order with Jeff and get the soil and see what you think.

Do not judge the individual components without having tried them alone and together for a comparison.

Tourmaline:

http://www.root-cn.com/Tourmaline_sand.html

Same stuff, both are B, Li, Mg, Al. Only B and Mg are plant nutrients though, and the material is insoluble, so other than CEC, it cannot offer you anything, unless you believe in "crystal powers", Penac is even more dubious and questionable.

Bacter: use mulm, it's living bacteria and microrganisms and is free.
Squeeze a filter spone, add.

Super clear, Alum, so called aluminum sulfate is a common flocculent used in water treatment is sold at most garden nurseries to acidfy the soil.
There are ployflocculants of various types etc that are also sold, but water clarifty is addressed rapidly if you use mulm.

I've never had a clarity issue with ADA soils, I cannot say the same about Flourite. With harder waters, you may have some issues, but these go away quickly.

Peat is useful by adding a light dusting when you add a substrate.
This applies to any substrate in the start up phase.
Adding more will just make a mess. After a month or so, the bacterial layers have forms and the cycling starts. Peat just helps the intial phase.

I just use Scott's ground peat, Garden Nursery etc.

Simply using a sponge squeezings, a trip to the garden center will provide a life time supply of any of this should you feel they are useful, none are critical to making a nice display.
You can also buy Super Thrive for plant hormones, they do not do much for aquatic plants.

As far as the effects of using soil without powersand: I had less algae but both tanks balanced out after 2 weeks.
I add ferts like KNO3, KH2PO4 etc to the tank right away, using EI.
I use CO2 mist methods and this gives the best combination for aesthetics, growth rates and algae reduction I've seen.

It's also much cheaper and provides the same rotuine from day one, rahter the ADa method of adjusting as the tank ages.

So in this sense, it's simpler for anyone.

Mixing of peat, powersand etc when you uproot or pull the substrate back etc can be a real issue also. I like one singhle type of substrate material personally, and while I do suggest adding a dustinjg of peat, it's not much and never makes a mess. Adding a light layer on the very bottom does not muck things up later. Adding a 1/2" can.

Powersand is coated with peat FYI.

Regards,
Tom Barr
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Old 01-25-2006, 10:17 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I'd like to add some further speculations on the aquasoil/PS subject.
According to a recent analysis carried out on both the substrates (on local aquascape magazine), the results are as follows:

after 1,5 day
Aquasoil Amazonia:
PH: 6,5 (PH at day 0: 7,5)
NO3: <5 ppm
NO2: 0
NH4: >6,1 ppm
Fe (chelated): 0,05 ppm

Power Sand:
PH: 6,5 (PH at day 0: 7,5)
NO3: > 110 ppm
NO2: 0,8 ppm
NH4: >6,1 ppm
Fe (chelated): >1 ppm


after 12 days
Aquasoil Amazonia:
PH: 6,0 (PH at day 0: 7,5)
NO3: <5 ppm
NO2: 0
NH4: >6,1 ppm
Fe (chelated): 0,5 ppm

Power Sand:
PH: 6,0 (PH at day 0: 7,5)
NO3: > 110 ppm
NO2: 0,8 ppm
NH4: >6,1 ppm
Fe (chelated): >1 ppm

Tests have been performed by means of a bottle of RO water with a known quantity of hardening salts, so with a certain starting hardness/PH (that's the reason why I wrote PH ad day 0 = 7,5).
The results show that:
1- PS at first sight seems to be nothing but pumice + peat. The fact that PS has high amount of NO3 and NH4 (+ some Fe and probably many others nutrients) means that it has been enriched with N (in various forms) and other nutrients. The release of the micros/macros to the water column seems to be quite quick (within 3/4 weeks). Probably part of the added macronutrients are organic.
2- Aquasoil Amazonia is reach in NH4, but not really in NO3
3- Unfortunately PO4 tests have not been carried out.

My personal conclusion, as simple hobbyst and certainly not specific knoweldge-holder, would be that Power Sand is a kind of "start-up mega boost" which is active for the first few weeks but not really necessary in a second stage. What is for sure is that an extra fertilization of the water column in the first weeks of a tank with PS would surely lead to huge algae problems.
Any comment?
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