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  • substrate questions

    1) Can anybody tell me where I might buy ADA Aqua Soil and/or Seachem black flourite/sand in the Los Angeles area? My local store does not have either. (I can call around tomorrow, but just in case someone can save me some work... )

    2) I am planning on starting out my foreground plants (HC, dwarf hairgrass and/or glossostigma) with the emersed method, in case that makes any difference on which substrate I use. Will either substrate work fine for this?

    3) I've seen posts on this site about an ammonia spike (from substrate?) in the initial month or so. Is this bad for plants as well as fish? Since I am starting a new tank with all new equipment, I was planning on purchasing a bottle of "bio" starter to get my bacteria growing. I was also planning on having "plants only -- no fish" for about a month or so, just to be safe.

    4) In case I have to order substrate online, I need help with quantity needed. I'm thinking about 3" of substrate in my 36x15x16 tank (480 sq. in. of tank bottom). I'm guessing that 2 of the 7Kg bags of flourite or 2 bags of the 9 liter ADA AS will be enough for this (some space will be used up with big rocks buried in the substrate). If the substrates "settle," perhaps I need more. Also, if it makes no difference, I wouldn't mind going with just 2" of substrate, since my tank is rather low in height (but I definitely will do what is better for the plants). I haven't even set up my first tank yet, and I already want a bigger one -- sheesh!

    Thank you ... again.
    Regards,
    Ted

  • #2
    1. Try Aquaforest Aquarium, they are in california, but i'm not sure if they're in LA. But you can order from them online, and their prices are just as cheap as you can find anywhere, and shipping wont be that much since you both are in CA. I was going to place my order with them, but used ADG since they are in Houston and the shipping ended up being cheaper.

    2. I think either substrate would work for the emmersed method, but aquasoil probably would work the best.

    3. Yes, aquasoil will leach ammonia for the first few weeks, but this doesn't harm the plants. It's bad for the fish, though. You can use zeolite in the filter, as well as mulm from an established tank, or an established filter. Plants will use the ammonia directly and help them grow. Also doing frequent waterchanges will necessary if you fill the tank right away. If you use the aquasoil with the emmersed method, by the time you fill the tank, the aquasoil will have cycled, the ammonia will have stopped leaching, and you will have a good bacterial colony established in the substrate, so you wont have to worry about many of the initial startup problems associated with the aquasoil. Still, waterchanges and some zeocarb in the filter would be a good idea to control the dissolved organics that might still remain.

    4. 2 - 9L bags of aquasoil will be fine for your tank. I have a 29gal tank that is 30 inches long and 12 inches wide and I bought 3 9L bags, just in case. But I only had room to barely squeeze 2 full bags in the tank and it gave me about 3-4" of coverage. 2 bags were plenty and my 3rd bag is just sitting there "as a backup". If you want hills, or some extra just in case, you could maybe order an extra 4L bag, or maybe a 4L bag of the "powder" type. I figured that as long as I was paying for shipping already, it would be good to have an extra bag, for other tanks, or to replace some in the main tank if the need arises, or for whatever. I like having the extra around, even though I might never use it. :-)

    Good luck with the new tank! Have fun!

    -Mike B-

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    • #3
      Thanks for the good info and great tip on Aquaforest: shipping for 2 bags of Aquasoil to LA is under $15! Rather reasonable IMO.
      Regards,
      Ted

      Comment


      • #4
        ADA Aquasoil question

        In looking at the ADA Amazonia II Aquasoil (at Aquaforest Aquarium), I noticed that there is also a "powder" form of this product. Surely they mean more like "sand" than powder, right? Are there any advantages/disadvantages of the powder type? I don't mind spending a little more, if there would be some benefit. In the end, I expect my substrate to be completely covered with plants, i.e. there won't be bare substrate visible, so I'll take utility over aesthetics.
        Regards,
        Ted

        Comment


        • #5
          nevermind

          Ignore my last question about the ADA AS powder type. I found an ADA site, ADGshop.com, that explained that you should only use 1/2" of the powder type over the normal type. Seems to be more of an aesthetic thing, which I do not need.
          Regards,
          Ted

          Comment


          • #6
            I do not like the power at all.

            Regards,
            Tom Barr
            www.BarrReport.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Tom, did you mean to say power or powder. Do you not like the power sand or the powder type aquasoil?

              Comment


              • #8
                Well, the typo suggest both
                and that would be accurate as well, the power sand stinks, the powder is "dust", even in a 2 gallon nano, it got moved all over anytime I did a water change etc.

                I had another tank with the normal size, it did fine.


                So I use the plain AS and nothing else from ADA for the sediment.

                regards,
                Tom barr
                www.BarrReport.com

                Comment

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