ADA Aquasoil Continual Cloudiness

fjf888

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VaughnH;37603 said:
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!


Then the question I guess is why even bother? A layer of peat or mineralized clay under a fine gravel would last longer, and after a year sufficient mulm would build up anyway. Seems like a ton of money to spend on something with a very limited shelf life. Although seems it makes sense, if you rely on the substrate and lightly dose the water column, eventually you will deplete the substrate. Hmmm seems like someone here has been trumpeting that horn for awhile. :)

There seem to be two different types of setups. 1. Setups meant for a very short time. Great for those who have the time to tinker, or creating a short term show piece. 2. Long term setups wheremay have the time to trim and replant, but do not want to do a full scale redo of the tank every year or just have less time or desire to experiment. In my case that is laziness and a tendency to stick with what works. Aquasoil probably not best for #2.
 

VaughnH

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fjf888;37663 said:
VaughnH;37603 said:
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!


Then the question I guess is why even bother? A layer of peat or mineralized clay under a fine gravel would last longer, and after a year sufficient mulm would build up anyway. Seems like a ton of money to spend on something with a very limited shelf life. Although seems it makes sense, if you rely on the substrate and lightly dose the water column, eventually you will deplete the substrate. Hmmm seems like someone here has been trumpeting that horn for awhile. :)

There seem to be two different types of setups. 1. Setups meant for a very short time. Great for those who have the time to tinker, or creating a short term show piece. 2. Long term setups wheremay have the time to trim and replant, but do not want to do a full scale redo of the tank every year or just have less time or desire to experiment. In my case that is laziness and a tendency to stick with what works. Aquasoil probably not best for #2.

Just from an economic basis, it makes little sense to buy an expensive substrate, then plan on buying it again a year later. My budget is geared more towards substrates that I can replace when I want to, not when I feel I have to. The part that bothers me is that the justification for the cost of Aquasoil is its superior plant growing capabilities. But, if that is only for the first year or so, the advertising for it should make it clear that replacing the stuff after a year is recommended. Fortunately (I guess) my budget hasn't stretched enough for me to look seriously at Aquasoil in any case.
 

DGalt

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May 22, 2009
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So the Eheim arrived today. It's all set up and has been running for about 3 hours yet. The cloudiness I was seeing before has not returned yet, so I'm excited about that.

Next question is whether or not the white haziness / milkiness that I'm seeing is being caused by the aquasoil or if it's a bacteria bloom.

This is what the tank looks like right now (excuse the scape, a bunch of stuff got moved around and I've been too busy fixing water clarity to bother fixing anything else):

DSC_0153.jpg


If it is a bacteria bloom how long will it take to clear up?
 

fjf888

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That looks like a bacteria bloom. This typically clears up on its own. It may take a week, but it could be clear by tomorrow. You could add some extra carbon or perhaps some purigen to the filter and see if that helps.
 

DGalt

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May 22, 2009
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I'm about ready to throw in the towel on this substrate.

It seems like no matter how many times I do a water change, there is still this grayish/brownish dust that leaks out of the aquasoil that gets pushed around the tank by my filter. And I don't mean the filter is even hitting the substrate, because I have the spray bar directed so that the water hits about 3/4 of the way up the front wall on the tank. It's just the current in the tank disturbs this fine layer of dust that seems to always be on the top layer of the aquasoil.

This can't be normal. Do I just have a bad batch of this stuff? I'm still waiting to hear back from Jeff since, despite switching to a canister, the issue has resurfaced (I was optimistic for a little while but I had to do a small rescape and the cloudiness came back with a vengeance). And the filter isn't removing any of the particles (or if it is, its just stirring up more than it can remove, I don't know).

sigh.
 

Tom Barr

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There is hardly any plants in there, they act to clear the tank on their own.

No plants and adding fine clay etc, general a bad result.
You can also gently vacuum the sediment deep with a gravel vac.

I personally have never had any issues, other clients how messed with it, uprooted it, had poor filtering, did not wait for the plants to established, seem to have much more issues. Still, even with that, I never had any issues with clarity even 2-3 days afterwards.

So perhaps the batches are different here and there.
Hard to say, no one does such testing.........ADA sure does not seem to.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

DGalt

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May 22, 2009
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That's what the tank looks like after about 7-8 successive water changes. If it would stay looking like that then I'm sure it would clear up over time. But it keeps returning to this:

DSC_0194.jpg



I'm at a loss why though
 

Tom Barr

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Yep, send it back.

It should never look like that, even if you did grub around and move plants etc.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

shoggoth43

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Before giving up entirely on it, can you cap it? Pool Filter Sand is often used by a lot of the discus folks. It's, well dirt, cheap so to speak. You should be able to get 50 lbs for something like 10$ or less at Walmart or Pool Supply Shops. Just rinse it, or don't, and pour in enough to cover the existing substrate with 1/2 - 1/2". If you have cloudy water, a water change or two should suffice to clear it. I know of one person who doesn't rinse theirs and just does a water change or two to deal with it. I did the same with the new Flourite substrate I had added. It's the cheapest, least labor intensive option I can think of for you at the moment.

Once done, I'd try adding some more plants and see if that causes further clouding issues. You might find it's a little cloudy when adding a plant or two, but hopefully the cap would prevent the massive issues you're having now. More plants should also prevent the sand layer from compacting and causing other issues.

-
S
 

DGalt

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May 22, 2009
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well I don't want to give up on aquasoil completely. It's kind of obvious, though, that there is something wrong with the stuff that I have. I just don't know what ADG's policy is about returns, especially considering the shipping costs for this stuff is so freaking high
 

DGalt

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May 22, 2009
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my question is, could it be anything but a bad bag of aquasoil? I talked to Jeff Senske of ADG yesterday, and he said that this issue was rather unheard of for Amazonia I (he mentioned issues with the first batches of Amazonia II, but that was about it). He was just as dumbfounded as I am about the issue. Either way, he's sending me another bag to see if that remedies the issue.

But I want to make sure it can't be anything else. The tank is 15 gallons and the filter is an Eheim 2213. The spray bar is on the back wall, about 1.5inch under the surface of the water. The holes are slightly tilted forward, so the water coming out of the spraybar hits the front wall about 3/4 of the way up (so about 4 inches or so below the water line). Thanks to all the dust in the water I can see that there is definitely a current that hits the front wall and then makes its way down to the substrate. Is this a reasonable set up or could this be exacerbating the issue? I did another water change yesterday till the tank was completely clear, but this morning it's cloudy again (not as bad as the picture, but bad enough where I can't see the back of the tank).

I just don't want to go through the effort of replacing all the aquasoil with a new bag just to find out the issue is with something in my tank.
 

DGalt

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May 22, 2009
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I decided to move the spray bar and its definitely made a good amount of difference. Tank is much clearer, but still not perfect. Here's what it looks like:

DSC_0200-1.jpg


Still rather hazy. I was thinking of trying seachem clarity. Does anyone have any experience with this? Also, my tank is still cycling, is it going to hurt that process?
 

Tom Barr

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At this point, trying anything is going to be helpful.
I'd get the $ back and get some ADA As type 1.

You can try clarifiers etc, Alum is another.
2-3$ for 5-10lbs etc at a garden center.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

DGalt

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The thing is, this is Amazonia I. That's what so weird about this. If it were AS II then I'd be like...well it's just a bad batch, AS II seems to have a lot of those. But AS I??? Even Jeff basically said that he had no idea why this was happening.
 

Gerryd

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Hi,

I can appreciate you wanting to know for sure what the cause is, but you may not ever know......I see nothing in your thread that gives a clue, you seem to have done nothing 'wrong', and I see nothing that could cause this other than the substrate itself.

I do know that a 15 gallon is a small tank and that the way you describe the current bouncing off the wall and hitting the substrate is certainly not helping at this point. However, you need to have a decent flow/current in the tank for the plants and critters.

Could you mount the spraybar or outlet and go LENGTHWISE across the tank, instead of from front to back? The distance would be a bit greater and maybe will help a bit. Maybe you can also point it so that it hits the wood I think I see in the tank, and use that as an obstruction of sorts if you get my meaning.

If that doesn't help, I would try another batch of the I or II (your choice) and see if it occurs again.

If no issues with the next batch, chalk it up to the mysteries of the universe and move on. If it does, I would just use a mineralized soil or one of the flourites...

FYI, I use black flourite and while I know I could get 'better' growth with a nutrient rich substrate, c02 and water column dosing is giving me growth that I am very happy with.

It also does not cloud or dirty the water :D

I certainly feel for your plight and wish you the best.

Personally, I would have tossed the substrate by now and just used plain gravel or flourite. I would never have the patience to deal with the issue as long as you have :)

Good luck!
 

DGalt

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May 22, 2009
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I have moved the spraybar so its on the right wall, which has helped. hasn't completely cleared it up, but getting there (maybe, I don't know. i may just be at another plateau in terms of clarity).

my owns stubbornness is what keeps me going lol ;)
 

Tom Barr

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DGalt;38090 said:
The thing is, this is Amazonia I. That's what so weird about this. If it were AS II then I'd be like...well it's just a bad batch, AS II seems to have a lot of those. But AS I??? Even Jeff basically said that he had no idea why this was happening.

Like Jeff, I got nothing.
So send it back etc.

It should not do this unless you really muck it up, etc.
Check out the ADA set up guide, was that followed?
Plant densely etc.

after a few days, or 1-2 weeks, thing s should clear up.
If not, assume a bad batch, ADA AS1 or not.

Regards
Tom Barr
 

detlef

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Well, I've learned that if you're using AS you should never leave it bare with the filter current hitting the dust layer. Be the current strong or weak. It would always disturb the dusting enough to produce cloudiness. Do us all a favor and cover as much substrate surface as possible with plastic foil to see if that helps. You can keep the foil down using small stones or else.

Of course you could also carpet as much bare bottom as possible.

I have once used Clarity to solve the exact problem but it did not help much. If you don't keep shrimp in the tank already (they start breathing heavily after the product was introduced) you can try Clarity but instead I would cover the substrate and do a large water change.

Good luck, Detlef
 

DGalt

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May 22, 2009
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part of the problem, i think, is that i didn't plant my foreground, so a lot of aquasoil is just sitting there exposed. I have a whole bunch of dwarf sag i'm going to plant while i try to find some dwarf hairgrass (i was going to do glosso, but all of the glosso i had died waiting to get planted. i think i'd rather hairgrass anyway, just have to find some lol), so we'll see if that makes a difference.

the tank definitely isn't heavily planted, mostly just crypts and moss and anubias.
 

DGalt

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May 22, 2009
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detlef;38107 said:
Well, I've learned that if you're using AS you should never leave it bare with the filter current hitting the dust layer. Be the current strong or weak. It would always disturb the dusting enough to produce cloudiness. Do us all a favor and cover as much substrate surface as possible with plastic foil to see if that helps. You can keep the foil down using small stones or else.

Of course you could also carpet as much bare bottom as possible.

I have once used Clarity to solve the exact problem but it did not help much. If you don't keep shrimp in the tank already (they start breathing heavily after the product was introduced) you can try Clarity but instead I would cover the substrate and do a large water change.

Good luck, Detlef


plastic wrap definitely helped the issue, although its still clouding up a bit but I'm assuming that is because I can't cover every inch of the tank.

my concern is...people don't just install a full foreground. so for a portion of the time, the AS is bare in a lot of people's tanks. what do they do differently, because i've seen plenty of "growth" pictures over a period of time where the water looks clear? Is the flow from my filter (eheim 2213) too much? should I put some more holes in the spray bar to make it weaker? or is this just not typical and i need to replace it (I know I keep asking this lol, but new info may affect the answer)