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ADA soil (or similar), are my concerns valid?

Discussion in 'Sediment / Substrate' started by Nubster12, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. Nubster12

    Nubster12 New Member

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    Ok...after Christmas I'm setting up my first more serious planted tank. Plan to plant heavily and use CO2 with med/high light. I will also have a fair amount of fish in the tank. It's a 24"x18"x18" tank.

    Anyways...since ADA seems to be held in the highest regard for planted tanks...of course I'm considering it. But my concern is the substrate getting mushy and having to be replaced. Is that a legit concern? I'm not one that enjoys rescaping my tank every 6 months. So I won't have that easy access to the substrate to replace it if it going bad and I don't like the idea of ever having to replace it honestly. I know it will lose it's nutrients and I'm fine with that. I just don't want to have to deal with it turning to mud and having to clean it all out and replace.
     
  2. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    In my experience with it, it doesn't break down to mud too badly as long as you go easy with it any time you are uprooting or rearranging plants. Fish that dig can be a problem with it too, they'll keep your water muddy.
     
  3. slipfinger

    slipfinger Article Editor
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    Not sure if you think AS needs to be replaced every 6 months? Anyways, this is not the case at all. I have had the same soil in my tank for over a year and a half and its still holding together just fine.
     
  4. Nubster12

    Nubster12 New Member

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    Well...not replaced every 6 months but only lasts 6-10 months as far as being a nutrient releasing substrate. After that it's just inert...but with a high CEC, but inert just the same. And then needing replaced or more added 18-24 months later because it starts becoming mush. That's my understanding and why I ask. But for those people that like to always mess with their tank...that's what I mean by rescaping every 6 months...since they are tearing tanks down routinely it's easy for them to replace or add more fresh substrate once the old stuff starts going bad. I can't say for certain that once my tank is going I won't want to re-do it eventually...but I'm not one that does it for fun over and over and over again.
     
  5. Allwissend

    Allwissend Article Editor
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    It will turn to mush more if you squeeze it or keep it under large rocks. I have some of mine for 2 years and cannot say it turned to mush through several rescapes and a house move.

    As for the inert part, it still will be able to bind and release cations depending on conditions, so it still provides some backup.
     
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