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power sand

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by hani, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. hani

    hani Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi, am going to set my tank with ADA aqua soil, does power sand have any value?what about the bacter 100?
    thank
     
  2. creighton

    creighton Guru Class Expert

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    I asked the same question to Jeff Senske @ ADG and he said this:

    "I absolutely recommend Power Sand. Aqua Soil was not designed nor intended to be used by itself. Amano had ALWAYS used Power sand-- it even came before Aqua Soil. It is an essential component of the ADA substrate system, as is Tourmaline BC. "


    So...I would say try it, but I really think its only function is to add more colonies of bacteria, but I really don't know.

    Hope that helps
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I never found any growth differences.

    That's not a test, that's just what Amano told him to say.
    Sorry, that is not really much of an answer.
    I've tested both products, use ADA AS alone and dose the water column and you are fine.

    You can look up what tourmaline is also. While it has some minerals, they are not bioavailable to the plants, it's a hokey wash of wonky schemes selling "bioelectric" charge stuff in the homeopathic market. Magnets also hold a charge as well:cool:

    Silica sand has O2 in it's formula as well, but it's no source of O2.
    Same deal here.

    ADA PS is pumice, soaked in a general fert(low NH4, high NO3), then added ground peat+Osmocoat type long term balls.

    NO3 leaches out fairly quick, I'd say inside a month or so, the nutrients are long gone. Amano used PS in the past before AS. However, he did not have nearly the same degree of growth success.

    Tanks had similar growth as folks using EI and plain sand.
    Scaping was still good though.

    If PS was so good alone, why switch to AS?
    Why not add nutrients to AS(he did BTW)?

    I think it's mostly a hold over.

    And look, anyone that hocks Penac?
    You buy into that garbage?

    Your job: prove me wrong.
    That means showing what I've said is wrong.
    Jeff has not done that.

    I like the guy a lot and help him when I can. I support him there and feel other's should too. Still, I'm not going to lie or be dishonest with myself either.

    I need more proof than a person's word.
    I need results. I get the same result w or w/o the other products.
    Hormones?
    Try a bottle 2.98$ Super Thrive or root hormone.

    Algae?
    Use Excel.

    etc..........

    You can still use all that and pay a premium price if you wish, the products do not hurt, but like heating cables, the actual reall effects are more than questionable.

    Perhaps the Billions of $ they spend on ag research and plant science has been unsurped by ADA?

    I do not think so, more like marketing..........and how they say things about what they sell.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. hani

    hani Lifetime Charter Member
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    thanks, i have one 6 Lt bag, should i use it or not? am worried about water cloudeness, will it make it worse?
    bacter 100 , is that a probiotic or mumbo jumpo?
    thanks
     
  5. creighton

    creighton Guru Class Expert

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    I think the cloudiness is due to a bacteria bloom due to the NH4 that aquasoil leaches...I think?

    So plain aquasoil works just fine without the PS ... to me its really starting to seem like the amano worshipers are just a bunch of zombies. Don't get me wrong his tanks are amazing, but it just seems like if Amano does it people don't question it. I wonder if Amano has done any experiments testing AS with PS, and additives and without them. Their must be some difference that he noticed...he's obviously not that naive...

    This is an interesting question.

    Tom did you notice a difference in anything when you use PS vs. Non PS?
     
  6. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I greatly admire Amano for all that he has done for this hobby. But, when I see products labeled with hyperbolic words - "power sand", "brighty", "phyton git", "clear dash", etc. I immediately assume a generous helping of snake oil is being peddled. This is unfair, but that is my reaction to much of the substances ADA sells.
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I never tested PS with like plain lapis lustar 2-3mm sand etc vs a control.
    Foir the control to be fair, some peat and osmocoat would need to be added.
    Which is you look back, is along the lines of what I suggested.

    If you already have the PS and bacter 100 etc, may as well, but it's not going to make a difference.

    Alternatively, you could sell it.

    Amano and other folks selling PS have a fair amount and it's a money maker and so are all the goodies. That's how you market and make $ off marketing.

    You need that worship:cool:
    That's a selling point!

    Dupla did it before ADA.......

    Nothing new and Dupla had same converts as well.
    Turned out it was mostly CO2, not heating cables that helped growth....

    I think Jeff was bit mad at the timing, because they had recently bought a lot of PS when I started saying how good PS was, only to say a bit later on after they had the order, that PS had little effect.

    I am sorry, but I'm not going lie about it either.
    I have to tell the truth otherwise I'll forget and flub the lie:)
    I'm much to feeble minded to be a good lair.
    So while often ugly, the truth(at least to me), it about all I have.
    That does not always make you friends though, but I still like Jeff very much and he deserves all the support from the hobbyists.

    I send everyone, including wholesale orders(one which was just closed 2 days ago) to Jeff.

    So I make up for it in other ways.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    I bet plain low nutrient topsoil under 2mm - 3mm gravel would work just as well if not better, and at a much lower cost.

    Bill
     
  9. creighton

    creighton Guru Class Expert

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    Some of that stuff is pretty hoaky sounding. Its kinda like he tries to hide what he's really selling/doing so people will have to buy his stuff. Even so, he has created a very simple system for people to grow plants successfully although some things may not be entirely necessary and are WAY overpriced. I would still like to set up an all ADA tank one day...maybe I'll have enough money when I win the lottery:rolleyes: .

    Have you ever noticed after his column in TFH there is a disclaimer saying:
    [Note: The hardware itemized above represents the author's specific choices; equivalent results may be obtained with other equipment and accessories-Eds.]

    I think that statement pretty much sums it up...:p
     
  10. naman

    naman Prolific Poster

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    ADA Power Sand is for keeping water circulation in substrate.
    It is very porous, and pores are open, so you have a very big volume of Water under the main substrate. The more water volume in the base – the more water exchange through substrate preventing total anaerobic conditions = rotting and recharging top layers with high CEC. Easy to guess.
    Layer of 1.5-2.5cm of lava stone is enough.

    You can do the same with heating cables, but this is not a wise way.
    It cost more, burns bacteria culture, has no porous surface for bacteria colony, and you will not have effect as in the summer (in Japan too) at 28C in a room it simply will not Turn on, so you will not have water circulation through substrate.

    In Italy Gravelite® is used instead of pumice for a decade as a bottom layer (see Aquagarden.it) with good results, but it is not as good because has enclosed pores I think, so less water surculation.

    Power Sand along can’t give good plants growth as it has very low CEC (2-3meq/100g).
    It is intended for water circulation, as base for bacteria, and as a “vessel” for organics which is the long term supply of nutrients for plant’s roots (when you have proper conditions in substrate!).

    ADA Aqua Soil used as “nutrients delivery system” to roots – it has high CEC.
    Substitue known for ~15 years – calcined clay (while not as convenient as AS).

    BTW in lakes and rivers sand has no CEC, but mulm - YES.
    In a tank mulm will quickly tern anaerobic or we have to wait for 6-12 months to build up enough mulm to feed plants, so we substitute mulm with gravel with high CEC, that’s it…


    I never tried heating cables, but I am using lava stone as a bottom layer topped with plane gravel 2-5mm size (8-12cm).
    Lava is 8-12mm grain size, EHEIM Ehfilav.
    It is the best lava you can find for this purpose.

    Mixture was lava stone + Sera granular peat + Fritted Trace Elements – FTE (the best is JBL Florapol). (no earthworm castings at that time, unfortunately)

    It works.
    I have a tank. It is 5 years old for now. It is a swamp actually (I mean it is lush, but not aquascape – for testing, keeping plants for me and for selling, frequently pulled plants => regular but small algae invasions).

    No signs of rotting. (I know what it is – 20 years ago I had cichlid tanks for 10 years)
    Echinodorus, Crinum, Crypts growth is still E x c e l l e n t.

    Syphoning gravel?
    Never siphoned it. Never.
    When I do the mess in a tank after rescaping I just making strong circulation to blow away detritus from plant’s leaves and gravel. As I have pipes installed as ADA’s water clears up within few hours.

    Plants delivering O2 with routes?
    NO – planted 25% of substrate surface only(!).

    Moreover, in the winter sometimes I have 17C in the room fro 2-3 mouths – no rotting.

    Every time I pull off huge Echinodorus or Crinum I see pristine clear lava stones.
    They are actually as tooth brushed – as clear as new.
    Last one have been pulled out of a tank 3 mouths ago.
    No rotting, healthy roots, fresh smell.

    Sera granules did not disintegrated at all. The Best!

    Add to this mixture earthworm casting + FTE.
    Top this with calcined clay, and you will have the best DIY substrate.
    Plants growth not worse than with ADA Power Sand + Aqua Soil. (proofed >10 years ago)
    We can try to add “Rock phosphate” (apatite) also.
    If tank is intended for 12-18 mouths only you can omit lava stone.

    Do not use soil, cow/bull manure etc – it will rot.
    Use earthworm castings as it is low labile organics (“almost” totally decomposed and will not rot, nor blow out with leaching nutrients in water column).

    If you have a Brain and spend more time Thinking and Reading instead of saying “they are lying and making money, they are lying and making money, they are lying and making money…” you can Re-engineer virtually any product intended for use in a planted tank.
    Most of them re-engineered decades ago and widely used.

    For now I see: as for substrate system ADA never lied to customers.
    The same is for their entire System of keeping a planted tank.
    It is not just EI/PPS-pro (whatever you call this in fact ancient method) + Aqua Soil.

    Why folks still spend $$$ on ADA's products?
    They are still the best.

    When you earn >$100 per hour you will not spend time on forums and in shops searching components for DIY.
    I am not the one, so... I re-engineering :)

    This is what folks say everywhere about ADA's products decades from now. Not me along.

    naman
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Yes, it does actually if not better based on several species of aquatic weeds.
    The top soil has higher content.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You need a source of organic matter for the low O2 levels to exist in the first place..........peat, while organic, is rather recalicant, it does not break down fast.

    It's not based on the depth(anaerobic conditions), that can be a factor, but it's much more determined by organic matter, the reduced carbon.

    Bacteria cause the low O2, they need something to munch on and remove the O2, not depth of the sediment.

    Plant roots add O2. The pores of ADA AS are quite large, about 2-3mm, plenty for circulation to occur.

    Now let's talk practical usage:
    I've never once had any anaerobic conditions in 20 + ADA aqua soil with out powersand tanks. Not once. That's better than 95% confidence interval.

    So while you can say what is stated on ADA's web site, you cannot argue with practical reality:cool:

    CEC is of little concern, it's just pumice.
    The clay in ADA aqua soil has far higher CEC than pumice.
    The entire notion of anaerobic conditions is based on the idea that plant roots do not add O2.

    Well, they do.

    So once you realize that, and the understand the relationship to OM, then all this makes a lot more sense. Most of this is common sense.

    1. You can see the pore spacing with ADA As is large.
    2. More/larger than most sand=> circulation is fine
    3. You can see the roots add O2.
    4. You can see by not using ADA PS there are no anaerobic spots.
    5. There is no difference in growth rates.
    6. It does not make a mess when you uproot and looks ugly.
    7. See CEC differences between clays and pumice.



    As I said.... as well.
    Not PS.........as you state, it's for circuklation, but circulation is the not the issue, redox values are. This means flow and OM and plants roots, not just large grains and pore space alone.

    Have you actually looked at ADA AS?
    The grain spacing is quite large.

    Lakes and rivers have a lot of clays, at least where we find high nutrients in sediments and plants. These do have high CEC. Mulm is organic matter.

    No, this is not true, I've never had this occur in any tank. I've used many sediments and be doing this for 20+ years. Not once............

    I add mulm on purpose(decades of use) and it's never turned anaerobic.
    Mulm is mostly for BACTERIA.
    Not a source of nutrients.
    If I want nutrients, I'll add nutrients.

    Which adds a lot of O2.
    More than enough. Capping the top layer of Ps with ADA AS effectively seals the layer down there. So it does not matter as much how big the powersand is.......

    All you do is use a redox probe over time with a reference Calomean probe and take the redox readings at various depths. In ADA AS, the levels, even at 25 cm depth are quite high still, 100-200mv range. That's at several locations in the region.

    Do you honestly think bacteria grow and respire fast at lower temps or faster or the same rates?

    I have and it's work well.
    But it depends on HOW much you add.
    And also how you process it before.
    Simply bake it or boil, it or allow it to sit in a shallow tray of water for 3 weeks before use.

    All these oxidize it and remove the source for the bacteria that removes the O2.

    I think your own assumptions are doing yourself in here.
    ADA very well might think they have a good reason in all honesty, and not be right.

    I've shown as have a dozens of other folks that not adding it, (out club here has some 20+ tanks, and the other club in SF has at least 20 more tanks with ADA AS alone) that anaerobic conditions do not occur over time.

    I'm a results oriented person.

    ADA is not available everywhere.
    Then you do go to alternatives.....
    Braizilians where using Earthworm compost about 6-7 years ago with sand and that worked pretty good.

    We played with it here as well.
    Soil, etc have been used for as long as aquatic plants have been kept and many use it for non CO2 aquariums without issue as well.

    I never claimed the method was mine.
    I just suggested it and gave it reasoning that applied to folk's dealing with adding nutrients.
    It is derived from PMDD. I just made a few changes, I've never claimed otherwise.

    I have suggested adding PO4 however, but even that was not my entire deal, Steve Dixon was the one who spotted it. I just never felt PO4 was an issue.
    He did and thought that it caused algae, I said it did not.
    I was right, but Steve actually figured out I was right.


    Yes.

    Well, if you do not have the resources, you make do with what you have , little choice.

    Take a good look at wetland sediments and the biogeochemical cycling.
    It'll help you to much better understand the topic.

    I've listed several links and I've written at least 6-7 Barr report newsletters in detail, describing and supporting this concept many times. I've also posted some reports I did on 5 aquatic sediments, as well as a some simple Milfoil test at the lab. It is the basic premise for much of what occurs in wetland sediments.




    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  13. creighton

    creighton Guru Class Expert

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    So......I don't need to buy the PS? :confused:
     
  14. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Yes, no need near as I can tell.
    There's no significant difference between adding it or not.

    Some ADA folks have back peddled on this issue as well. Suggesting less and less power sand.

    The exact same type of argument that exists/ed for heating heatings cable proponents exist for this product.

    At least this adds some nutrients(not that much though).

    But all the baloney about circulation is just that, baloney.

    I'll stand by it and ask for anyone to show anaerobic conditions without PS, or noticable growth rates differences. you should get a little in the first start up phase, but if you want to make a fair comparison, simply adds a little KNO3 and Osmocoat on the bottom layer.

    You will be extremely hard pressed to show any difference.
    This goes for the most sensitive species as well as the tougher plants.

    Circulation is not just about having pore size to help diffusion.

    Healthy roots are not influenced by anaerobic condionts.
    Think about it, where do plants come from? Very anaerobic conditions, some extremely so. Don't believe me? Come out to a wetland sometime. I'll show you in person.

    Claus from Tropic and I discussed heating cables and we both realized immediately with both knew the same things about cables.
    They do not matter and that no circulation is optimal.

    Trying to enhance it or make claims that it prevents anaerobic condition is just the same marketing stuff they used in the past.

    You can easily test it specifically with the ADA products, which I and others have for several years now.

    I've never found anything significant or helpful with ADA PS.
    Bully for you if you have or believe so, but you need to show it in a practical tank that it does in fact help. No one has even remotely come close to showing that.

    However, I and others have falsified such claims/reasoning no less than 20-50X.
    So does it help?

    I guess if you believe algae are limited by PO4 and aquatic plants are not.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  15. creighton

    creighton Guru Class Expert

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    Cool. That saves me some money.

    A lot of this stuff is over my head, and honestly I really don't want to learn more than I have to. I love growing plants and aquascaping, but the more complicated scientific aspects are a bit beyond what I'd like to think about when growing plants. It interesting sometimes , but I can't seem to force myself to absorb it all. I guess that's the type of logic that produces zombies :( ? But sometimes I just don't feel like I need all this information. A lot of it is just contradictory and you hear SOOOO many different things that a lot of it gets misinterpreted. I guess the main thing is to experiment for yourself and learn, at least a little, that way.
     
  16. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well, you do not need to be into science or anything to realize that a 2 part product(ADA AS + ADA PS) without one product(ADA PS) = the same results and you do it many many times, that the other part is really not a big part of the "system".

    You can see the same things with Heater cables, they claimed the circulation argument as a reason to use it. However, in cold or warm climates: nothing, no differences. We have cool winters and very hot summers. So the cables do nothing for 4 months and then run for 8 months. No differences after 10 years on 7 tanks.........

    I also used Reverse flow UG filters at various flow rates, again, no differences.
    Good sediment conditions is not just a single variable issue.

    If CEC and other similar ideas are of interest, Zeosand, which is pool filter sand made from Zeolite. Works quite well and would be even better than pumice. Adding leonardite is a decent substitute for peat. There are many substitutes but when you see no difference when you add PS,. you really have to question and strongly so, the folks that claim it does help but have not even bothered to try it alone.

    Try it and see.

    Then you'll know.

    I do not expect you to take my word for anything.
    But if you convince yourself, then it's not based on faith;)

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  17. creighton

    creighton Guru Class Expert

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    You sooooo need to write a book:D .
     
  18. naman

    naman Prolific Poster

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    Where I say pumice is giving CEC except circulation (doubtful for you)?
    Again my quote: “Power Sand along can’t give good plants growth as it has very low CEC (2-3meq/100g). ADA Aqua Soil used as “nutrients delivery system” to roots – it has high CEC.”
    Everyone knows: if you have just plane gravel, use zeolite, diatomite (calcined!) etc at the bottom, or calcined clay top layer.

    Where I said depth is the ONLY factor?
    I said 1.5-2.5cm pumice is enough for bottom layer. Pretty clear.
    I said PS is a good place to put low labile organics – earthworm castings.
    Bacteria will slowly decompose organics, remove O2, and we will have lower redox.
    Too thick layer of high labile organics (as pot soil, manure) will cause fast formation of totally anaerobic conditions = rotting.
    Not the depth itself, but how thick layer of organics is, its lability, and top layer’s grain size (2-3mm optimal).

    As for depth, we will never force organics and FTE working in substrate if top layer is 2-3mm grain size less than 5cm deep - you simply will not have low enough redox.
    Moreover, if circulation is too much you will never get low enough redox, regardless of organics and bacteria. So not only OM + bacteria determines the redox, but grain size+depth = circulation too.
    You know that I know that you know that I know this

    How is that? Once more, redox value depends on circulation too. If you have too much circulation (gravel 8-12mm, small deapth) you will never have low enough redox even with bacteria + organics. You will have too low redox if there is NO circulation due to very small grain size (1mm or less sand), or you have no live plants.
    You know that I know that you know that I know this

    Sure, all we need is optimal Redox level (not too high, not too low) to force organics and FTE to work. Not depth itself. When folks say about circulation they say it meaning delivery of O2 and redox. This delivers some O2 to keep proper redox.
    You know that, so why do you think I am not the one?

    Slowly degrading organics will be long term supply of nutrients, but only when you have proper conditions for it in a substrate.
    Why I should mention min 5cm layer of 2-5mm substrate at the top of organics or pumice mixture + organics + FTE + peat ?
    For Beauty ? :)

    It seems like I have to tell everything from A to Z on every aspect to be not treated as a kid.
    Ruther strange… It is the first time I see such behavior.
    Actually I know that tank is filled with water, not acetone or gasoline, and about redox too :)

    ….whatever

    Note: Please do not say “large” on 2-3mm gravel. Tank keepers refer to ‘large” when it is 5-8mm or even 8-12mm grain size. 2-3mm is the perfect size to have optimal redox, while you will not have it if there are less than 5cm layer + organics in sediments.

    Also 2-3mm is used (and works very well for me) to keep mulm on the surface of substrate – the most active zone for heterotrophs.
    This works great. I forget to say with 2-5mm grain size I have virtually no mulm deeper than 1.5-2cm in the gravel. Mulm at the top gradually “disappearing”… I like it very much.

    This statement can be treated as I am wrong on replacement as organics has CEC, the same as ADA. We see that clearly.
    No. Do you REALLY mean organics has no CEC? What about humus, peat, earthworm castings etc… !? Do they have no CEC? Are you sure? Do they have CEC only because have some clay particles in it? Do they not play a large role in overall CEC base in lakes/rivers and there is no sense in replacing it for more usable material as calcined clay, zeolite etc ?
    You know that I know that you know that I know

    :D I am talking on cases when folks put at the bottom of a tank 2-4cm of dried mulm as a source of nutrients for long periods, the same as 5cm and more of potting soil.
    And You know what I mean, really.

    Where I suggested that??? Strange…
    I would never advise it as a nutrient source. Lots of folks still believe it is a good source of organics, collecting it and drying. It is good as a bacteria starter only, and when used very sparingly. To be the nutrient source we need to put a lot of it = rotting. No need for testing (I know you did and it proofed anaerobic conditions will take place fast = rotting) – everyone know that.

    Where I said this!?
    Bacteria will respire much slower at lower temps. This cause lower O2 demand but this does not mean you will get better circulation because of big temp. difference…
    I am talking about “layering water” – when temperature in a room very low, substrate is too cold, water layering happens, plants growth slows down due to low temp, O2 pumping by roots too. When temperature difference is too high, this will not improve water exchange between substrate water and the rest of aquarium, cold water heavier, settles down, that’s it.
    Nothing good. The less room temp, the more aquarium substrate in danger as plants slows down growth greatly and O2 pumping, that is for sure.
    I stacked finger into substrate – it was cold as freezer… I dose less in water column at this periods. Fortunately pumice or “something” works, and nothing bad happened. This is why I said:
    “Moreover, in the winter sometimes I have 17C in the room fro 2-3 mouths – no rotting”.
    Pretty clear.

    YES, this is why I have already said pumice is a good “dilutioner” for organics – maybe ~50% by volume of a pumice is optimal. I also like very much that pumice+earthworm castings is very “loose” compared to plane gravel+organics – planty of place for roots (huge clumbs forms at the bottom of a tank).
    And it seems to make good conditions for mineralisation of organics.

    No. You didn’t get something. It never totally seals - more, less, but not totally (with min.2-3mm gravel, less than 1mm will).
    Very porous structure of a pumice means more water in sublayer. If there are more water at the bottom and difference in nutrients concentrations exists they tend to equalize.
    The more water volume – the more exchange due to temp. difference and nutrients concentrations difference with all the rest aquarium water.
    This recharges with nutrients top layer of a substrate which have high CEC, pumps some O2 for bacteria preventing too low redox (rotting). Process can be reverse, and CEC will be charged from substrate OR the opposite - from aquarium water.
    It is also convenient way to put organics at the bottom – organics spreads and settles down nicely. No “overdosing” with it.
    I think it is good to have porous 8-12mm pumice at the bottom. It is “breathing” a little.
    At the same time I would never say you “have to” put pumice, especially when you making tank for 12-18 months.
    Sure high CEC substrates work fine without pumice at the bottom too.
    And it is very hard to document more dry grams of plants weight per week with it :)

    I DO know 90% of AS users do not use PS.
    How old those tanks? Did you tested it for 5 years? Maybe you know the cases when tank 5 years old and without Aqua Soil? How about pumice without AS? Please let us know.

    I remember George Both tested heating cables and he said it is good for long life of a substrate. What’s wrong hi did in experiment if you think there are no long term effect on substrate and why do you think cables had no effect on this results? (personally I do not like idea with cables at all)

    Well… place above PS plastic grid 5mm size used in construction – I think ADA have to tell it on the package of PS. Ugly!? Make a “cutting” along the front glass and place there AS…
    Everyone knows that and you too, Amano says that, why to mention it every time? It is unfair… :p

    naman
     
  19. naman

    naman Prolific Poster

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    Continued…

    First you say NO difference… later no significant difference…
    I don’s think ADA is totally wrong, nor totally right.
    The same as you.

    Power Sand have some nutrients as a starter, and it is not chemicals only, organics too, you know that.
    Sure it is very hard to proof significant difference.

    Power Sand, the same as special light management, organics, co2 misting etc do not make big gain of plants growth per $$. I think It is those things which gives 5 or even 10 cents, 10 this, 10 cents that, 10 cents again… and we have some more stable and user friendly system.
    I do not think pumice is drastically needed, esp. for a tank intended for 12-18 months, while I get excellent results as for 5 years old tank.

    Heating cables? It’s a scrap.

    Did it years ago. Good reading (helps to grasp why there is no total anaerobic conditions when you still have alive plants, how Fe2+ and soluble iron forms etc.). And on Winogradsky column tests too, and AMF, and FTE etc :)

    BTW, you mentioned Carbon…
    We know that for good mineralisation of organics in sediments to be the long term source of nutrients for plants bacteria need lots of carbon (proper C:p ratio). I see like molasses will be ok. What do you advise except this one? How much should we add? (I still never tried it as earthworm castings + sphagnum peat works fine for me)

    Did you (or club folks) ever tried to put earthworm castings or similar under the Aqua Soil to have even more and longer nutrition from substrate?
    ADA (and folks too) says Power Sand has most of nutrients, and lots of organics (some kind of a earthworm casting, or “mulm” from rice fields or something).
    When you mention some kind of Osmocoat… well there are organics too in Power Sand, isn’t it?
    And it will last much longer than chemicals.

    And very important addition needed - how much organics is “not too much” at the bottom in your opinion to do not have rotting - 0.5cm, 2cm, 5cm layer…? I use about 3L of earthworm castings in a 90cm (~45gal) tank mixing with pumice stone 8-12mm.

    I also would ask you to test rock phosphate as long term and non water soluble(!) P source for planted aquaria. I can’t get it locally, and no hope for this. Be the first. Maybe if you will have somehow sometime you test it… Take a note.

    naman
     
  20. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Naman, have you personally actually used ADA?
    All the parts of at least ADA As and ADA PS?

    Have you used PS and have you used the full ADA system before?
    How about without ADA PS vs with?

    Concerning ADA power sand you said:
    Well, hehe, they why bother using ADA PS at all then?
    I mean, you said it yourself after all.
    That was my original premise.:cool:

    If it's so hard, then why bother?
    How can a hobbyist tell if I cannot using a lab?
    Read the folks that have used it without ADA PS.
    No one can tell the difference.

    If something works, we need results.
    No claims. Not well, it's hard to prove, not it's very subtle and can only be seen over long time frames.

    This is the same argument Dupla and heater cable proponents claimed 20 years ago. The exact same one.

    About carbon, generally about 10% or less OM is optimal for aquatic plants.
    So fairly low organics. Also, fish and plants add to this pool of Carbon, so over time, the sediment will accumulate, but plants and bacteria cycle it out in some tanks or it's low loading rates never make an issue. Some tanks have higher loading rates and mulm will build up, but simply deep vacuuming the sediment
    once every 2 years will solve that. you just vaccuum a quarter section each week and replant those areas.

    Not a bad idea in general and I've made mention of this for many years.
    Too much is bad, not enough is also bad.

    So like ferts, you need a working range of organic material
    If you deep vacuum the PS and AS, you get a hideous two color and tone mix.
    Not good.

    Barko et al, did a fair amount of research into sediments and aquatic plants(he's a nice guy too) in the 1980's on this subject. Anderson et all has done a lot in recent years. Reddy et al, is the guy when it comes to wetland sediment. He's at UF, there in Florida.

    There's not a lot of organics in PS.
    I've measured it BTW, done a full analysis. Same with ADA AS.
    Peat is cheap and easy to come by, so is Osmocoat.
    If most of the N is NO3 in power sand, it will leach rather fast.

    Several folks in the SF area tried the earth worm trend some years ago, it works well if you apply the boiling, or other forms of oxidation prior to use.
    Yes, 2-3 liters of processed EC + pumice will = something like ADA PS. I'd still add peat and some Osmocoat if you want to DIY ADA PS.

    But as you said prior, if it's very hard to prove or show a significant part, why bother?

    Anyone can see the effect with ADA aqua soil however...........I think you will find few that will say ADA AS does not have a significant effect.

    You can use Zeolite sand also, that will have some good characters for sediment.
    SMS is also popular and is fired iron rich clay. Cheap too. 15$ for 50lbs.

    Rock PO4 is at first a good idea, but then if you have reducing conditions, it starts to dissolve pretty aggressively. Adding a little will not hurt.
    I'd just use Osmocoat personally for long term slow release ferts if you believe it makes a big difference. .

    The ADA tanks I've had are 4 years old now.
    Folks often redo a tank and clean it out pretty good prior to this, but there's signs of any issues related to the sediment.

    You have said that the ability to detect a difference with ADA PS is difficult and appears not significant.

    Hobbyists cannot tell, I cannot.
    So why use it?

    Why make a big deal over something that's not a big deal?
    Why tell folks or insist folks use it?

    George Booth said the same thing about cables, they had no significant effect near as he could tell. He said he was speculating about the long term impacts of the cables. There was no control to compare to and what comparisons he did make, could be attributed to other factors.

    A simple method to test is to simply turn them on and off for a few months to let the sediment adjust in between.

    He said the same things, there was a very long term, very subtle difference.
    Now if it's a very long subtle difference, well, that's not very significant and controlling for other parameters over 1=2 years as you well know is going to be very difficult.

    CO2?
    ADA AS?
    Dosing PO4?

    These things are significant and we can see it and measure it.
    Dupla got the CO2 part, but failed in other areas. They marketed everything they could think of and told everyone that you have to buy the entire system.

    But the cable part turned out to be baloney.
    Same deal here.

    At least PS does not cost as much, and it does add a few ferts, some peat etc, but that is easily DIY and not needed. If you read back, Steve and I added a light dusting or ground peat to plain sand and mulm to start a tank off.

    Minus the pumic, this is not a lot different than ADA PC, nor is adding osmocoat.
    All things I have done over long time periods.

    Maybe ADA is just adding this to a surface (pumic) and we all know adding it does not hurt, just like adding cables does not hurt, but does it help?

    No, not significantly.
    No hobbyists has seem or shown that.
    So my question is why bother?
    Why paid 25$ for a little bag?

    Why DIY(unless you just like doing that) some sediment when you get good results, as far plant health, comparable to ADA's without ADA PS?

    I think it has far less to do with the nutrients and a lot more to do with trimming, doing things consistently, adding CO2, good light, water changes, filter cleaning etc

    Adding the nutrients is pretty easy overall.
    Humans failings, assumptions and forgetfulness are much more the problem.

    Regards,
    tom barr















    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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