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ADA aquasoil questions

5598 Views 10 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Tex Gal
Firstly, this is my first post EVER on this forum!

I'm redoing my 100gal tank when I move house. I'm turning it into a planted tank - CO2, T5 lights, proper substrate...

From reading the forums it appears ADA aquasoil is the current favourite on the market.

I have three concerns: 1 is the price. For a 100 gal tank, it's going to cost just under £200 for SOIL!!

Second concern is the ammonia. When I move house, all my fish are going to be put into my spare 180litre tank while the big tank heats up and I get the plants sorted. Obviously, this tank is too small for all my fish if I kept them there long term. I have read that I'm meant to leave the Aquasoil to settle (and for ammonia to go away) for a few weeks. Can I get round this? Really, I want to put my fish in ASAP after setting the big tank up. As I have a lot of filtration on this tank, and my filters are VERY mature, would that be enough to handle the ammonia spike? There's also a product on the market that kills ammonia - or stops it being harmful to fish, it's a liquid you put in.

Third concern is pH. I use RO water and my pH is pretty low already. Would aquasoil lower it further? I'm thinking about using half and half RO and tap water but I'm concerned about the nitrates in tap water. But don't plants eat up nitrate anyway? So would that be a good idea?

Also... does anyone keep aquasoil with catfish? ie: corydoras, plecs, striped raphaels. How is it on their whiskers? I currently just have sand, which they like, but is a rubbish plant substrate.

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#1 Price - this soil is excellent. You can probably be able to earn back a lot of your cost by selling the plants it will grow.
#2 Ammonia - you must let the ammonia spike go away. I relocated my fish for a few weeks into a rubbermaid bin. I only had 2 ottos die, and 2 khuli loaches commit suicide. People have said you can put your fish in IF you do water changes, but I don't believe it. I planted HEAVY and changed water and still my ammonia was off the charts. I waited to put my fish it.

#3 If I were you I would use tap water. The plants will love the nitrates. Your fish won't be in there until your plants get established anyway. By then your plants and your nutrifying bacteria will be established by then as well. No problems. This will also give your plants a nice boost!

#4 catfish - I have all of those you mentions except for the raphaels. It's all fine. They love it. It's not hard on them in any way.

Good luck with your tank. I for one recommend Aqua Soil highly! :D
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Thanks for your reply ^

What if I put all my aquasoil in another tank and cycled it there, and then put it in my 100gal when the ammonia had gone? Would that work?

That's a really good point about selling the plants, and I think I will buy the aquasoil. After all, it's an investment that's only going to happen once. Not like an ongoing expense.

My only worry now is that we'll have another tank set up for many weeks and my husband won't like it cluttering up the place! I guess he'll just have to deal with it.... :p
goodluck with the aquasoil. I just started a 10 gallon with some aqua soil about a month and a half ago. I was showing high levels of amonia for a while, I had to wait over 3 weeks for the water to clear up. The tank was cloudy for weeks. Eventually it calmed down and now the water is crystal clear. Same here I recommend this stuff over any other substrate any day. I have my 10 gallon right next to a 12 gallon nano cube with eco complete and my 10 gallon is kicking its ass. That BS about how the soil pH drops such that plants can easily absorb nutrients is totally true. The difference between the tanks is unparalleled. I guess it could have a little something to do witht he lighting, I have 96 watts over 10 and 48 over 12. I Can't wait to use aquasoil in a huge tank, by next month ill have a 55 up with aquasoil. It is worth the extra few bucks you will spend to upgrade from flourite or ecocomplete.
one thing to keep in mind if you are are person that is always rescaping your tank you might want to rethink the aquasoil. When I tear into the eco complete tank after like an hour everything will settle and water is left clear. When I dig around in the aquasoil the water is left cloudy... maybe for days who knows. So keep that in mind.
I've dug around in my aquasoil recently and it cleared within hours.

When I first set up my AS in my 75 gal, I put down a layer of mulm, then the AS. Also kept my filter "dirty" until the ammonia went away. I think it took 18 days for everything to settle, I waited another week just to be sure before I added fish. Make sure you acclimate the fish before putting them in, AS dropped my pH almost a full point.

One thing I noticed about bottom feeders, they kick up the soil a lot. I had several loaches and the tank remained "dusty" until I removed them. The tank was crytsal clear before adding them.
I have "aged" my soil in bins before and then added it to the tank. It does work. But I'm not sure the mess is any different. I had bins sitting around for weeks.

The second time I changed over to A.S. I just put all my fish in a 33g. rubbermaid bin. I hung an HOB on the side and put an airstone in there. I also put all my low light plants, anubias, java ferns, etc. and caves in there with them so they would have some hiding places. I lost 4 fish - 2 ottos and 2 khulis (they commited suicide). I had a ton of fish in that bin for weeks. I changed water in there about every other day.

My A.S. does not take days to calm down after a rescape. It does take a couple of hours if I'm really aggressive. Even when I set it up it was clear by morning. I think there may be a variance in the batches of A.S. - either that or people that have problems for days don't have the same amount of filtration. I have read, in a few thread lately that some have cloudy issues for days. I only had that with Amazonia II. It's a bad product - turned to MUD!
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That's a very good point ^

Well, my lights and CO2 have arrived, I've decided what plants to have, BUT the house move has all gone wrong. We're now not moving for 6 months, possibly a year.

My question is: should I order the AS now, strip down my big tank and set it all up now (putting fish in the 180litre upstairs while ammonia goes down). Or, should I set up everything except the substrate, changing the substrate to AS when I move? I currently have sand, not power sand, just regular, innert, rubbish plant growing sand.

How easy is Aqua soil to move?

My husband is being surprisingly nice about the fish tank change... he's letting me spend £200 on plants! and he's fine with the AS too! hurrah! Plus I've already spent loads on lights and CO2... he's the best!
OK.... hubby is on board! That's the biggest job! Buy the A.S. now even if you don't put it in yet. I know you'll have to move it, but it's pricey and you might not feel you need it as much after you get hit with all the moving expenses. Hedge your bets now. :D

If it's gonna be a year I would change now. Why wait a year?! If it's only 6 months I'd have to think about it. (I'd probably go ahead and do it anyway as I wouldn't be able to wait :rolleyes:) If you change now you only have to cart the A.S. over and throw out your sand.) A.S. is no harder to move than any other dirt. Stick it in 5g buckets and your off.
have you ever moved it? Because I've been reading up on the subject and people are saying it turns to mud unless you stick it outside in the sun and dry it out? I really want to do it now... I mean, plants will grow better in it. I'm spending lots of money on plants and I don't want them all dying because I'm growing them in sand. But I also don't want to spend hundreds of pounds on aquasoil, for it all to turn to mud in a year when I move.

I've finalised my list of plants, here it is:

Hemianthus micranthemeides
Hemianthus callitrichoides (cuba)
Eleocharis parvula (hairgrass)
vallis (I already have this, it's one of the big varieties)
Nesaera Crassicaulis
Hygophila corymbosa (red)
Crinium calamistratum
hygrophila difformis
Aponegeton Madagascarieisis (lace plant) --------------------- will this be too difficult?
Anubias (not sure what variety it is, I already have it, and it's quite big)
xmas moss
cryptocoryne wendtii (red)
cryptocoryne wendtii (green)
Microsorum pteropus 'Windelov' (I already have this)
Nymphea Maculata
java fern (I already have it)

what do you think?
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The only A.S. I moved was Amazonia II. It was a defective product so that wasn't a real test. I have read that Jeff Senske (part owner of ADG) has moved it from tank to tank before and his tanks are gorgeous. I can't logically understand why moving it would make it turn to mud. I'm moving mine around all the time when I move plants around in my tank and I don't have issues.

I also don't have any idea what the life of A.S. is. I have read that there is a life. I guess I'll find out.

The Apon Madagascar lace is a beautiful plant. It flourishes in A.S. I just gave away one that had 2 ft leaves! I have a smaller one that must have 15 or more leaves on it. I love that plant. It will do great in A.S.
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