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: Substrate by ADA

Guang Yan Wang wrote:

> ADA have substrates that suppose to create
> an ideal enviroment for the plants. It's not that
> expensive. Thus, have anyone ever used this
> kind of substrate? I have read about it. It could
> reduce the PH of the sustrate and improoev the
> enviroment for the plants' roots. It is made of
> clay and come with three types of different areas
> of the world. Does anyone have any additional info
>on this product?

The ADA substrate is 2 part:  The bottom layer is a pumice stone
mixed in with peat called "PowerSand" whose purpose is to regulate
to some extent the pH.  The top layer is a baked clay called "AquaSoil"
with neutral effect on pH. Both substrances are quite porous,  which
provide for good bacterial growth.

The pH swings in the water from the PowerSand can be quite large.
Especially during the initial stages of the tank, the pH swings can be
quite large.

One of the issues I have with any peat based product is that is  _does_
manipulate pH.  I think one of the main focal points of successful planted
tank is CO2 and one of the most important CO2 reference materials we
have is a table - available on this list - which determines CO2 levels as a
funtion of KH level and pH level.  But the charts accuracy is compromised
when the KH comes from sources other than popular bicarbonate sources
(calcium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate).

It is possible that this substrate formula is in fact superior to others but
you value the table,  you must recognize the relationship the substrate
introduces to the table.

Christopher Coleman
christopher.coleman at worldnet_att.net