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New Noob Question time! I have been scouring the site looking for the perfect substrate for me and my new green friends. I am hearing a large shout out for ADA here, and it sounds that it grows pretty good plants. The problem I have is that I am converting an existing tank, and my fishies do not like ammonia. Now part of my plan is to put some of my existing substrate into net bags and leave them in the tank to retain some of the bacteria. I also have I Penguin Bio Wheel that i have been running sponges and bio balls in for about three months. Lots of live bacteria, but it does not sound like it will be enough to deal with the ammonia spike that is sure to kill the fish. It seems that the next favorite around here is Eco-Complete. But I have read several stories about "Bad Batches". Plus I have a buddy that set his planted up with Eco Comp. and his PH actually jumped up. I do not know if this is common but increased PH seems counter productive for plant growing. There is a third alternative that I have not seen on here. Another guy I have talked to who has some healthy looking tanks swears by this stuff. Plus it is cheap. If some of you who know much better than I could look at this site and chime in on its usefullness that would be great. http://www.aquariumplants.com/product_p/ss.htm Thanks for any help that you can give!
Jeff
 

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I like Eco-Complete, but the inconsistencies in batches have really turned me off the product. If I were starting up a new aquarium I think I'd blend Seachem Flourite Black with Flourite Black Sand.

In regards to that linked substrate, search for 'soil master select' otherwise known as 'SMS' and you'll find all the information you need.
 

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AquaSoil is like nothing else.

You can grow plants with very much any substrate though. I would use something inert and be patient for the mulm to accumulate in it. This will take about 2 - 4 months. When the mulm is enough and stable the substrate's pH becomes low and the roots of the plants love it. AquaSoil provides that environment for the roots from Day 1.

EcoComplete buffers the pH to a value above 7. The fact that many people use it successfully shows that, once again, you can grow plants in very much any substrate.

--Nikolay
 

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Unless you get a batch that turns to mush, constantly leaching brown nastiness into the water. It's happened too often to others for me to consider using it. I do agree that many consider it to be the best.
That did happen to me with the Amazonia II. Just don't get that one. Even after all I went through with that I still think it was worth it. The only other thing I might consider trying it Mineralized topsoil. The draw back to that is that you have to top it and be careful moving stuff around. I think I like to move stuff around too much. :rolleyes:
 
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