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  1. Dave Spencer

    How long do you keep usng your ADA Aquasoil...

    I have had the same Amazonia on the go for over two years. An adequately dosed water column should increase the longevity of it. Dave.
  2. Dave Spencer

    veiws on Akadama and how YOU use it ? !

    Have a read of the thread Clive linked you to. :thumbup: Dave.
  3. Dave Spencer

    Nutrient Rich Substrate that sand can go on top off

    Mine was a slightly loaded question, expecting the answer you gave. A nutrient rich substrate is not a necessity. Whilst nutrients via the substrate and water column is the most desirable situation, a planted tank with an inert substrate, but adequately nutrient rich water column will still...
  4. Dave Spencer

    Nutrient Rich Substrate that sand can go on top off

    Why not just go for a 100% sand substrate?
  5. Dave Spencer

    What is the best substrate when on a budget?

    Feel free to find a cheaper one. :wink: Why do you not think it is suitable? Dave.
  6. Dave Spencer

    What is the best substrate when on a budget?

    Play sand from Argos, Tesco etc. dave.
  7. Dave Spencer

    Using Stainless Mesh between substrates

    It strikes me as being an unnecessary complication, Stu. Plus, should any finer roots get through the mesh and the plants get pulled out during a rescape...... :thumbdown: Dave.
  8. Dave Spencer

    Substrata , Is it worth paying for ?

    I have used amazonia and inert sand with good results in both cases. The Amazonia allows me to forget dosing the water column, but after a few tanks using this, and the associted expense I shall be going back over to fine gravel. You are right, though. With adequate water column fertilisation...
  9. Dave Spencer

    Under-sand Aqua Soil Substrate Advice pls!

    Unfortunately Bob, you may have been wasting your time with the whole fishless cycle thing. With a healthy plant mass and Amazonia in from the beginning you would have had a tank that cycled on its own without adding any ammonia, no testing etc. What you have done is build up a filter colony...
  10. Dave Spencer

    Under-sand Aqua Soil Substrate Advice pls!

    Try looking up TGM, one of our sponsors, for Aqua Soil. This substrate is designed to be used on its own, so I would try something like Tropica if you want sand on top. I`m not entirely show how these two will settle out, though. Just for the record, you could go with a 100% sand substrate if...
  11. Dave Spencer

    Tropica Substrate

    Re: Bargain Tropica I have never used a substrarte that needed capping, but if I did I would make sure that only the top layer was visible from the front and sides, to keep things looking tidy. When you lay the Tropica down, keep it four or five inches away from the sides. Dave. EDIT: What...
  12. Dave Spencer

    Using Carbon Below an Inert Substrate?

    Cheers guys, I may as well give it a go, seeing as I have so much laying around from various filters I have bought. I am a big Zeolite fan, and usually start a new tank with some in the filter. Using Zeolite in the substrate may be something I will try in the future. Thanks again chaps. Dave.
  13. Dave Spencer

    Using Carbon Below an Inert Substrate?

    Has anybody used carbon below an inert substrate? I am thinking of giving it a go in my next 120cm rescape to keep the cost down. Dave.
  14. Dave Spencer

    Eco complete and B&Q topsoil/mud from my garden.

    Very true, but that is why Clive has high lighted that you dose the water column sufficiently. EC does have a CEC that means that some nutrients will be held in the substrate, but just make sure the water column is loaded with nutrients, as per EI dosing and you should be OK. Many successful...
  15. Dave Spencer

    Shall i spend the £10 extra and get oli knott "fine" substra

    I tend to buy the ADA powder Amazonia rather than the regular because I find it so easy to plant in, plus I prefer the look. It is a lot of extra money, but worth it IMO. Dave.
  16. Dave Spencer

    heating cable???

    You could always give it a go, and then after a few months switch it off. That way, you can actually say you have compared the results and, like me, strut around on your high horse the next time a cable discussion comes up, because you have the empirical data. :D Heater cables are a waste of...
  17. Dave Spencer

    Use of Tropica Capsules

    I haven`t yet found any so called "heavy root feeders" that can`t thrive in inert substrate with a well fertilised water column. This a bit of a myth carried over from TFF, methinks.
  18. Dave Spencer

    ADA soils

    Whilst it is not something I would try personally, I think it has been done before (Ed Seeley?). Hammer the water changes for a while would be my advice, and make sure your plants are at maximum turbo growth. Try adding some Zeolite to the filter, too. Dave.
  19. Dave Spencer


    I never put anything under or over it, and I don`t think we are supposed to. Not to say that it can`t, or hasn`t been done. My 120cm and up and coming 60cm both have Amazonia powder where the plants are, and sand or gravel where they ain`t, for effect. It is a nice enough looking substrate in...
  20. Dave Spencer


    Sorry for the late internet is only available to me at work at the mo. I use it in all my tanks, basically. It is just so easy to plant in, not that normal sized Amazonia isn`t. I will see what Oliver Knott comes up with, but I don`t feel any need to use anything other than...
  21. Dave Spencer


    I use Amazonia powder. It is great for planting in, especially for the likes of HC and HM. Dave.
  22. Dave Spencer

    Old substrate & Filter mulm under New EcoComplete?

    Using mulm this way should get you off to a good start. Regular, big water changes are a good thing, too. You should be off to a flyer with this tank. Clive, do you have any references to substrate bacteria colonies and their population numbers? I so often read on other forums that this...
  23. Dave Spencer

    storing reasy used AQUA SOIL

    Mine took an eternity to dry out. I just kept turning it over as the top layer dried. There wasn`t any festering, just that nice, earthy smell Amazonia gives. Dave.
  24. Dave Spencer

    Poll - Root Feeders

    I often read the term "heavy root feeder" (I`ve even used it myself before I had kept Crypts), wondering what people meant when I watch my Crypts and Pogostemon helferi growing nicely in Argos play sand. My best results are with Aqua Soil and EI dosing, but nice plants can still be grown in...
  25. Dave Spencer

    Sand as a substrate

    I have been skeptical of the whole "heavy root feeding" line myself, Clive. I am growing Pogostemon helferi and Cryptocoryne parva in inert sand no problems. The water column is EI dosed. Dave.
  26. Dave Spencer

    AquaSoil Leeching

    I always use Zeolite on new tanks as a means of controlling ammonia levels, and hence algae. I use Purigen for crystal clear water....but I must admit that I wasn`t aware that it removed ammonia. Dave.
  27. Dave Spencer

    AS Powder...

    I use the powder exclusively, and absolutely love it. It makes planting an absolute doddle. I much prefer it to Eco Complete. Dave.
  28. Dave Spencer

    What substrate do you reccomend?

    ADA AS. Superb for aquascaping with, and great for planting in. I have Eco Complete in my 120l, but I don`t like the way I can hear it scratching against the glass when I move it around. Dave.
  29. Dave Spencer

    Tetraplant Complete

    If you have a nitrate test kit that contains two reagent bottles, I believe the second bottle is Nitric acid. Dave.
  30. Dave Spencer

    need advice on substrate for new tank

    Juwel have just started to fit T5s to their tanks, so your timing could be spot on. The Rio 400 has 2 x 54W, so make sure you get a more recent tank. P.S. That Tom Barr report is very useful, with more to come. Dave.
  31. Dave Spencer

    need advice on substrate for new tank

    My Aqua Soil Amazonia is a dark browny grey type of colour, but it does have a dark feel to it, if you know what I mean. I use the powder variety and find it excellent for scaping with, in terms of using steepish slopes that are stable. Dave EDIT: Just to agree with Zig about the bow front...