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Alternative Substrate Advice

Discussion in 'Sediment / Substrate' started by camilocastroalvarado, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. camilocastroalvarado

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    Hi, I'm planing to change my substrate to a higher CEC one. I've read that akadama has similar properties to ADA AS; but there's no conclusive information about its use in aquariums. For the same money of 1 Bag of ADA AS, I can get almost the double volume of Akadama. Taking into account that I have to transport it to my country, the difference is something that I should consider. Are there any other alternatives? Zeolite, Up Aqua Soil perhaps? Is it worth to pay extra on ADA AS?
    I appreaciate your recomendations.
    Best regards.
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    No Aka does not have similar qualities, it's much lower in nutrient content than ADA AS.

    I would say Aka is a bit more like power sand than AS.

    Up Aqua is an alternative.
     
  3. camilocastroalvarado

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    I'm sorry Tom, my mistake, I was reffering to their Cation Exchange Capabilities, are they similar? Can I compensate that lack of nutrients with Osmocote or simlars? Or should I save me headaches and invest in the Up AS or the ADA stuff. I tried to get a dealer of the Up AS, I just found GLA so I wrote to the guys and they won't be selling it anymore. About the ADA AS, I've found that ADG has the best prices and they ship it for free, any better suggestions?
    Thanks for your help.
     
  4. ZeroFish

    ZeroFish Member

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    I have heard people suggesting molar clay can achieve the same result as Akadama. Both of them are lean on nutrients, but molar clay is cheaper and can be found in cat litter. I was planning to use molar clay before, but I have heard it is too light to create slope and can be blown around, same with Akadama. I have no experience with both substrate though.
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I'd not spend much over CEC, it's not going to offer much to aquariums.

    Mineralized top soil, clay loams from creeks and fairly unpolluted deposits work well.

    Cheap too.
     
  6. camilocastroalvarado

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    Thanks ZeroFish and Tom. I tried cat litter in the past, I think that the brands avalaible in my country didn't offer that much, it was a complete mess. Tom, so should I use what I have locally if that's your advice? I can find here silica sand, hydroton, zeolite and anthracite; do you suggest any combinations, or should I use the silica sand alone with osmocote?
    Thanks for your help.
     
  7. jazzlvr123

    jazzlvr123 Guru Class Expert

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    does anyone still use those Bags of dark colored Soilmaster select? I know they aren't as good as aqua-soil but I remember those being a cheap alternative like 5 years ago. I remember running around buying 50lb of it at a time. I know there are other very gtood alternatives for sale in the fish stores these days that give aquasoil a run for its money too!
     
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