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Re: [APD] Substrate Choices

Vaughn said, in part:

<<"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.<<

Tom has said that the ADA substrate is the current "best" substrate, based
on his personal observations which I respect very much, but I don't believe
that he or anybody else has conducted controlled experiments to determine
the relative benefits of the several substrates that are available.  I could
be wrong.

Flourite, laterite, leonardite, Eco-complete, Turface, and doubtless others
have had their time in the sun, as it were, before being replaced by the
next, hotter substrate.  They all will grow plants, but they all still
require dosing, just as does a tank with a plain gravel substrate.

After 6 years of posting on this topic, the only argument that I've heard in
favor of the boutique substrates is that some prefer the appearance of one
over another one.   Which is fine.

Flourite was the hot substrate for a year or so, and finally I decided to
run a controlled experiment.  I bought some, at a cost that approximated
that of a dinner for 2 in a good restaurant, but by the time I was ready to
set the up tank, Eco Complete was the "in" substrate, so I said t'hell wit'
it and put the bag of Flourite in a corner, where it will sit until a cat
claws it open.

When one is setting up an aquarium and has limited funds, I  suggest that
the substrate be at the bottom of the spending priority list.


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