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Re: [APD] My goldfish are dying

When you go to higher light intensity, and are trying to grow plants as 
well as keep goldfish happy and healthy, your methods of doing both 
will probably change.  Tom Barr is recommendig ADA aquasoil very highly 
lately.  His experiments have shown that plants do grow better in ADA 
than in other aquarium substrates, and the ADA stuff is softer, so it 
doesn't scratch the glass when you are cleaning the tank.  It is cheap 
compared to most aquarium substrates, and is light, so the volume you 
get in a bag is greater, reducing the cost even more.  I don't use it 
because I have my tank set up with Soilmaster Select Pro Charcoal.

The only disadvantage I know of for laterite is that it has to be used 
in a layered substrate, which is a PITA, plus, if you pull up a plant 
the roots tend to drag the laterite into the water, where it can cloud 
it up and leave a layer of laterite dust all over everything.  I have 
done a layered substrate, but not with laterite, and I did get those 
effects.  But, the primary reason not to use laterite is that it isn't 
necessary.  Adding any unnecessary thing to the tank just complicates 
things and adds more unforeseen problems.  And, that leads to 
undergravel heaters.  No one I have heard about has said they got 
improved plant growth with those heaters.  As far as I know they do no 
harm, but they are another unnecessary piece of equipment in the tank.  
You can adequately heat the aquarium water using regular heaters.

The reason for the pH meter is that once you go to higher light 
intensity you are almost forced to use CO2 to avoid algae issues.  
Adding CO2 reduces the pH of the water, so monitoring pH becomes a more 
important issue, and hobby pH test kits really aren't very easy to use 
at all.  You can save some headaches if you take your undergravel 
heater money and buy a ph meter instead.

Vaughn H.

On Friday, June 2, 2006, at 08:36 AM, Jamie Bright wrote:

> What is the advantage of ADA aquasoil?  Where can I get it?
> Disadvantages of laterite?  Seems to be the most common recommendation 
> I have come across, until your posts today. 

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