Eco Complete Vs Aqua Soil?

Crazymidwesterner

Guru Class Expert
Feb 3, 2007
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Getting some new substrate in a couple weeks to replace my red soilmaster. Soilmaster was fine but not very pleasant to look at.

Cost is not a factor. For growth what is best Eco Complete or some dark aqua soil. I have a 75 Gallon tank that is pretty heavily planted.

Will I have to completely re-cycle with either of these?

Thank you in advance for the input.
 

captain_bu

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Nov 7, 2007
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If cost is not a factor Aqua Soil is considered the best nutrient rich substrate. One downside to Aqua Soil though is the amount of ammonia that it leaches when new. Be prepared for a lot of water changes for the first month or so. If you start up the tank with an established filter it will shorten the cycling time but you would need to wait until the ammonia spikes are gone to put your fish back in the tank. I have never read any complaints about the quality of growth people get with Aqua Soil but it may not be a good choice for you if you tend to constantly uproot and move plants.
 

Crazymidwesterner

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Feb 3, 2007
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I am not the best at leaving my plants alone. I would say I uproot at least once every six months. I enjoy tear down and setup a little too much and don't want to get more tanks. Will the different sustrates be better or worse for that? I know you need to do WC after any major uprooting with any susbstrate but will one cause more issues then the other?
 

captain_bu

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Rescaping at 6 month intervals does not qualify as constantly uprooting and moving, you should be fine. As you point out it is important to do a large water change after rescaping with any substrate. I used three and a half nine liter bags in a 48" x 12.5" 50 gallon tank and have a nicely sloped deep bed to work with. I suggest you get four 9 liter bags for your 75. That should cover you for any depth and contour that you decide on.
 

eyebeatbadgers

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Aug 28, 2007
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Crazymidwesterner;29727 said:
also if I went with aquasoil how many 9 liter bags do you think I would need for 48x18 75 Gallon tank?

Since Aquasoil is measured in volume (liters), all you have to do is find the volume of tank area that you want to be substrate, easiest to do in cubic inches, and convert to liters (cubic millimeters).

48" x 18" x 3" = 2592 in.^3 ~~ 42.5 Liters (using an online converter is easiest)

42.5 Liters / 9 liters per bag = 4.7 bags

You can change this calculation based on soil depth.
 

Tom Barr

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Jan 23, 2005
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BTW, you can deep vacuum ADA AS easily, throttle the hose so to not pull up the sediment, but the dust/mulm.

Just like hard grain sediments.

It's folks that mash the sediment, compact and shred it up that causes issues.
Also, it creates a lot of dust/mulm, so do a large water change after redoing to tank and uprooting, or learn to top more and do less uprooting/reduced uprooting.

That and the occasional deep vacuum when you uproot a % of the gravel bed. Say 20-30% each week. Do that once every 3-6 months, and you will be fine.

It's not that much different than say EC/flourite to me.
But grows plants better.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Panda

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Jun 14, 2008
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eyebeatbadgers;29732 said:
Since Aquasoil is measured in volume (liters), all you have to do is find the volume of tank area that you want to be substrate, easiest to do in cubic inches, and convert to liters (cubic millimeters).

48" x 18" x 3" = 2592 in.^3 ~~ 42.5 Liters (using an online converter is easiest)

42.5 Liters / 9 liters per bag = 4.7 bags

You can change this calculation based on soil depth.


sorry I didn't get the math !!

I'm looking at an ADA tank (60P) that measures 24x12x14 inches. How many bags should I buy ?. BTW Which one do you suggest :
Aqua Soil- Amazonia (9 liters)- Normal Type or
Aqua Soil- Amazonia II (9 liters)- Normal Type

Thanks

is it 1.57 bags...2 bags ?? which one is best for CO2, high light, HC, shrimp etc ?
 

VaughnH

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Jan 24, 2005
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I checked your math - it looks good to me. So, 2 bags should be enough for a 3" thick substrate. CO2 is good for virtually any aquarium with plants in it. Substrate doesn't affect CO2's value. "High" light tends to somewhat be in the eye of the beholder. In my opinion, based on my experience and comments by Tom and others, if you use T5 lights, with individual reflectors for the bulbs, even 1.5 watts per gallon is high light, and if you use AH Supply light kits, 2 watts per gallon is high light (my experience). Those numbers are based on the light fixture sitting on top of the tank. If it is suspended above the tank the intensity depends on how high above the substrate you suspend it. That is true no matter what substrate you use.