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ADA Aquasoil Continual Cloudiness

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by DGalt, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. DGalt

    DGalt Prolific Poster

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    Earlier this week I changed my substrate to ADA Amazonia aquasoil. I took the utmost care when I was filling the tank originally, but that had little to no effect. I have since done what most likely amounts to a 750% - 1000% water change, but the tank continues to be unbearably cloudy (to the point where I quite literally can't see more than maybe an inch into the tank from any direction).

    What concerns me even more is that even after I do the water changes and the tank starts to clear up, when I turn the filter back on within several hours the tank is back to its original cloudiness.

    The filter is an AC 50 on a 15 gallon. The outflow is not hitting the substrate at all. I can't figure out what's going on.

    I've ordered an Eheim 2213 canister to see if that makes a difference but I'm not very optimistic at this point

    suggestions?

    thanks
     
  2. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Can you post some water parameters? Is this the Aquasoil or the Aquasoil II? I think Tom ran into this on one of his huge tanks at a client but I'd have to dig around and look.

    -
    S
     
  3. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Amazonia Aquasoil with higher pH/harder tap will fog up, and it won't go away. This is why Aquasoil II was put out.

    Sorry DGalt, looks like you've got another substrate change ahead of you. :(

    -Philosophos

    *edit* You could use RO water, that should fix your problem.
     
  4. DGalt

    DGalt Prolific Poster

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    I don't have a water hardness kit, but I'm in connecticut, which from the charts I've seen generally has soft water. Also, I haven't checked my pH in a while (not since i started with the pressurized CO2 system) but when I was testing it was always around 7.0.

    I emailed Jeff at ADG, so hopefully he'll get back to me.

    Sigh, I really hope I don't need to change the substrate. I mean, if it comes down to that then fine. But shipping costs alone for new aquasoil are going to be a killer.
     
  5. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Let us know how it goes. You may have had a spike in your tap water. Ours varies from 7.6 to 8.3 and a KH of 5-8 or something, and right now is a horrible time of year for tap.

    If it's not the water, I'm even more curious; perhaps ADA is having its first truly bad batch. It wouldn't be the first time a product like this has had issues.

    -Philosophos
     
  6. captain_bu

    captain_bu Prolific Poster

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    My tap water is 8.3 pH with a KH of 17 dKH. I have two aquasoil tanks set up using Amazonia I, neither has exhibited problems with cloudy water. From what I have read Amazonia II is much more prone to issues with cloudiness and breaking down prematurely than the original Amazonia is.

    SR
     
  7. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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  8. DGalt

    DGalt Prolific Poster

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    I'm going to try and pick up a KH kit this weekend. Then I'll test the pH and KH of my tap and see if that is the issue.

    I'm also thinking about doing a couple large water changes and then leaving the filter off for 12-24 hours to see if that is contributing to the cloudiness.
     
  9. hanno

    hanno Junior Poster

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    Hi,

    I just wonder what would be wrong with waiting a week without doing anything? - Maybe your problem just takes a little time. I don't think that your problem is related to your filter. - I never used soil from ADA but I used many other substrates, even loam from my garden, and I often experienced cloudiness for days. Sometimes it needs more time to clear. I would stop spending money and just wait and see a little without any movements or water changes.

    Kind regards,
    Hanno
     
  10. captain_bu

    captain_bu Prolific Poster

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    I read somewhere that even Jeff Senske (from ADG) had stopped recommending Amazonia II due to quality control issues with it. Searching the popular forums I found way more problems reported with Amazonia II in varying types of tap water than reported with Amazonia I. I am not the only person reporting zero issues with cloudiness from Amazonia I despite having hard tap water but that certainly does not tell the whole story and only speaks to my experience with the product. Based on what I had read on the ADA site I initially was going to get Amazonia II since I have hard water and they claim it was designed to work better with hard water. After doing a lot of research and reading so much negative feedback I am glad that I decided to pass on it in favor of the Amazonia I. That said there are some reports of cloudiness or prolonged ammonia spikes using Amazonia I too but it seems less likely that you will get a bad batch of Amazonia I than it is to get a bad batch of Amazonia II. Have also read posts from folks who have zero issues with Amazonia II, my guess is that they got a good batch. Since aquasoil is an organic product with either type YMMV way more than if it was a synthetic product. If I started a new aquasoil tank and had constant ongoing issues with severe cloudiness/water discoloration despite doing frequent massive water changes (and being extremely careful refilling the tank) I would contact whoever I bought it from in hopes of getting a replacement.
     
  11. DGalt

    DGalt Prolific Poster

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    I would agree with you except when I come across threads like this one: Why I hate Aquasoil

    Just don't want to be dealing with this same issue 3 months from now

    Edit:
    By the way, that first picture there (posted it below) is what my tank looks like in terms of the amount of cloudiness

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    If a product is judged based on the bad batches, then neither product works. It's a little hard to get a representative sampling of that sort of thing. I've had usable eco-complete while others have been getting nothing but bad batches. Recently I got a bag with small shells strewn throughout it.

    I think the real issue with all of these companies is lack of disclosure to cover their own backsides. They could be telling us what is causing these reactions, but then they'd probably be telling us some of what they use to make the product. Caribsea sure doesn't reply to my e-mail. I doubt if ADA would give anything better than a vague reply, or a canned answer.

    DGalt, just for the sake of diagnosis even, try some major changes with RO. If it's reacting to ferts alone, then I'd consider it a spoiled batch. If it clears, then you've got some where to work from. At worst, something in your tap has altered something in the soil to spoil it.

    -Philosophos
     
  13. DGalt

    DGalt Prolific Poster

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    where can I get RO water? Could I used distilled since I pretty much have unlimited access to that?
     
  14. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Distilled? Even better. Just be sure to kick up the MgSO4 and CaSO4 levels appropriately when you do this. Traces might need a bit more as well.

    -Philosophos
     
  15. DGalt

    DGalt Prolific Poster

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    I'm in the midst of email conversations with Jeff Senske. I have a feeling he may end up suggesting Amazonia II. I've sporadically come upon accounts of Amazonia II breaking down over time. Are these issues still common / were they ever or is it just one of those "I heard of a guy who had this issue" type thing.
     
  16. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Aquasoil in general will break down over time. Same goes for some other substrates. Clay doesn't last forever.

    -Philosophos
     
  17. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I received the latest copy of the AGA magazine today, with an article by Amano about re-setting up a tank. He describes a tank with a nice rock based aquascape, which has become overgrown with the carpet plants. His fix is to remove all of the plants, drain out the water, and replace all of the ADA Aquasoil substrate. All of this after only about one year. He makes it very clear that he did the substrate replacement because he felt the old substrate would not be nutrient rich enough for the new planting, of HC and hairgrass. I'm still digesting that!

    Off topic a bit - Amano also mentions that algae will be a big problem on the rocks, something I have always had with big rocks. His solution is to vigorously brush off the algae, in the tank, followed by a series of big water changes to avoid developing green water. Another thing I am trying to digest!
     
  18. DGalt

    DGalt Prolific Poster

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    Well Jeff seems to think the issue I'm having is rooted in my filtration system. I seem to doubt that, but since I already have a canister filter coming I guess I'll just wait and see what happens before I do anything else drastic.

    In the mean time I'll try to do a wc with distilled water (although getting 15 gallons of water from my lab to my apartment may prove to be an interesting endeavor :rolleyes: )
     
  19. DGalt

    DGalt Prolific Poster

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    so, barring me screwing up the GH/KH test (directions really aren't all that clear, especially since I never really saw the yellow / orange), my degree dKH is 5 and the ppm KH/GH is 89.5. That falls into the soft water range from my understanding. My pH is about 6.4.

    So i don't know. I turned off my filter and did a big enough water change so that the water is clear. I'm going to leave the filter off and see if the cloudiness comes back on its own (meaning it has nothing to do with my filtration) or if it stays away (meaning it might be a result of my filter, although I still can't think of how or why).

    we'll see what happens :rolleyes:
     
  20. DGalt

    DGalt Prolific Poster

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    Well Jeff seems to have hit the nail on the head. For whatever reason, the HOB filter seems to have been the culprit, or at least largely contributed, to the cloudy water. The tank is about as clear right now as it was last night, when I did a large water change and took off the filter (there is this white milky haze that I think is a bacterial bloom though).

    Questions is....why? What could the filter have been doing? I know it wasn't hitting the substrate. I just don't want to set up the new canister (whenever it arrives) to find that the issue comes back :confused:
     
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