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[APD] RE: ADA soil

> It smelled like just plain river mud when I was helping him work with it.
I was thinking I could just go down the road here, dig up some of the New
River, bake it, and have my own Amazonia Soil.
> Ben

Probaly could do that with decent results.
Kitty litter 1/2 baked would be similar also.
I've used the soil and powersand in the late 1990's. I don't like them,
both are very light weight, the soil tuns to mush, something between a
layer of mulm and kitty litter without so much dust and milkyness.
Florabase is very similar if you want to try something like it.
I don't think you'll find much difference. You can mush either product with
your fingers..............think about that after sometime has passed.
Other clay based products that have been cooked more, Flourite, MPV will
last longer but might not be as able to hold the nutrient binding site as
well but last forever. 
A simple DIY kitty litter project might be fun to play with, rather than
spending the $ for Flora Base or ADA stuff.

What we'd like to be able to do is add specific nutrients to the substrate
base and be able to cap that with something like onyx or Flourite. 
After time has passed, all long term substrates are depleted of nutrients
and then.......................WHERE do you think the nutrients come from
to grow the plants?
The water column. 

Doesn't matter if it's a non CO2 soil tank, an ADA Amano tank, etc. 
It's either that, or you will have to reenrich the substrate or rip it all
out and start all over again after a few months or a year or so(maybe less,
depends on growth rate).
So all the methods end up eventually RELYING on the water column over time.
Folks perhaps should think these things through to the logical conclusions
and not get caught in the details but rather, view the larger picture.
There are only a few places the ferts will come from. They don't magically
appear in the tank out of thin air.  

I add very little nutrients to the substrate, traces are not used in large
enough amounts to be depleted over many many years, so their addition makes
My focus a long time ago was the water column and with good reason, I'd
done the substrate en richment methods many times. 

I'm not against substrate ferts for the macro's, I'm looking to develop and
make something better than these types of total substrates. I've talked to
a manufactuer lately as well about it. So I might have some product
available at some point in the near future and it would be specific. It
would say what is in it, how long it will last and could be used with water
column dosing as well. It would also have an applicator to add/re-enrich it
after a certain amount of time had passed. 
That way no one would need to rip their tank down.

Folks can do this now with soil, ADA stuff etc in small "ice cubes" (Water
plus the material and add to the freezer) to see if they think it really
works or not. 
It helps if you don't add things to the water column, but if you do, then
it will not. 
But a back up in case you forget is not a bad idea, and many folks are lazy
about dosing.
Some good methods can be done at low light and CO2 using this with higher
fish loads, but that is with lower light.........

Less light will throttle down the growth rate but still have nice slow
growth, that way you'll get much more milage out of any substrate based
I'll discuss a great deal (more than you'll ever want to know perhaps)
about substrates in the BarrReport.com.

Tom Barr



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