Substrates? ADA?

Ellusionist

Junior Poster
Feb 15, 2015
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So I think I'm driving myself nuts over this and need opinions. Should I just go with the full ADA substrate method for Dutch planted? All the layers seems like a lot, but in the end seems worth it. ADA seems pricy but I guess you get what you pay for?


I was going to use the AquariumPlants.com Aquadert but I can find any good reviews on it.


I would like to keep some shrimp also, as long as I cycle the ADA Amazonia I should be good, right?


Also for a finished look and color (black) is black sand the best to use?


Thanks!
 

Christophe

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Oct 3, 2013
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Amazonia alone, with nothing else works great. Just 50% water changes 2-3 times a week until it's fully cycled, and you're good to go. Mine took 2 weeks, seeded with mulm from a well-established tank.
 

Ellusionist

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Feb 15, 2015
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I think that was what a lot of what people were forgetting to do with their tanks. I read some articles that shrimp were dying and when they tested the ammonia level it was at hazardous levels.


Do you know what the benefits if any are with the add layers within the ADA substrate? Any other alternatives?


ADA is safe for Shrimp once cycled, right?
 

Tom Barr

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No, just do what Christophe said, the other stuff is snake oil, marketing more stuff. Frequent water changes when you initially start the tank= good idea no matter what method or sediment you plan on using. Tweak CO2 good and then...after 1-2 months, add fish/shrimp etc. Adding shrimp to a new tank is frankly sort of dumb. I add Cherries and amano's about 2-3 weeks in along with some Bristle nose plecos. Main fish about 1-2 months in.
 

Dennis Singh

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May 5, 2013
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I'd personally like to see another alternative to the best soil (not in looks) out there. I found that I ran out of what? NH4 way too quickly....Plants grew mad for the first few months, now I'm having problem getting the balance right after depletion. I think it was all the water changes and the high co2, things were looking great, but then a constant battle of different algaes cause I can't find the right balance to my tank..
 

Ellusionist

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Feb 15, 2015
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Strungout, so you are saying you did not like ADA because you ran out of NH4 to quickly? Did you end up having to liquid supplement?
 

Dennis Singh

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Ellusionist said:
Strungout, so you are saying you did not like ADA because you ran out of NH4 to quickly? Did you end up having to liquid supplement?

I'm saying it ran out of something too quickly, I invested 4 bags (the larger ones) of soil and it seemed to degrade pretty quick. Plants were growing like mad at first, they still growing, but now I can't seem to balance the tank as well. In the beginning it was just way too easy, just water change, high co2 and everything was golden. I still think its the best soil out there. Yeah I ended up using liquid fertilizers.
 
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Ellusionist

Junior Poster
Feb 15, 2015
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Where is the best place to get ADA? Seems they have a lot of additives. If you want to cap the ADA with a color, like black, would you just use a black sand lightly layered? Might help with holding things like babies tears.


Thoughts?
 

jard

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Feb 28, 2015
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Ellusionist said:
Where is the best place to get ADA? Seems they have a lot of additives. If you want to cap the ADA with a color, like black, would you just use a black sand lightly layered? Might help with holding things like babies tears.

Thoughts?

To the best of my knowledge there are only two places to get it online, one is the ADA website and the other is aquatic-garden. Individuals seem to be pretty successful growing fine rooted plants (HC/babies tears) with just aqua soil, I would just use the sand cap if you are wanting a different color surface color than the options provided from the aqua soil.
 
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