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:
Sure it is very hard to proof significant difference.
Well, hehe, they why bother using ADA PS at all then?
I mean, you said it yourself after all.
That was my original premise.
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.
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.
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.