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ADA Aqua Soil?


13 May 2009
Manchester, UK
Hi all,

Can any one tell me if there is a difference between the different ADA AquaSoils? I currently have Malaya, but I recently read somewhere that is has a lower nutrional content then some of the others? Would I be ok with what I have? Should I replace it with a different type, possibly Amazonia or something else (NatureSoil)?

Also if I were to buy something different would I be alright mixing the different substrates together?
If you have enough Malaya for your tank, I would stick with it. I had great success with it, dosing ADA Brighty K, Step 1 and Special Lights. The difference with Amazonia I would imagine, is that you wouldn't need as much N and P. I'd stick with what you've got.

How were you planning to dose the tank?

I'm a little alarmed that I wasn't told the differences in nutritional content... I was told that the only real difference was the colour... Which is clearly not the case...

I am currently dosing with homemade TPN, but will be shifting over to EI as I have all the dry ferts I need for that.

I'm gonna need some more substage for my up coming re-scape (Bobtastic's Iwagumi Scape) either way, would u suggest that I stick with Malaya or mix something else in with it?
Stick with Malaya on it's own, unless you want to try powersand or something. I would imagine you would have an easier time doing EI with Malaya than with Amazonia. You can be more accurate with your dosing with Malaya, as it won't be chucking out it's own nutrients at a massive rate. Personally, if I was using Amazonia with EI I would try significantly cutting my N and P dosing as Amazonia is full of nutrients, whereas I think you will be much better off with just Malaya. But that's just my working things out, I could be wrong.
Thanks Tom, someone else has suggested that I can add Power Sand too. Am I able to just mix it into the existing substrate? Or do i have to take out what I have in, pour in the PS then cover with the Malaya? I don't see it being a problem else way as I'm gonna be stripping everything down.
yes, I agree with tom, but remember not to let the ps touch the glass, you are meant to do it like an island in the middle of the tank, that way you can't see it! :D good luck!
Just to add, powersand isn't needed, it's never been proved to be anything more than pummice sand, peat and a few soluble ferts. Stuff like Penac w etc are supposedly bacteria strains but I have my doubt on their worth. Better to just add filter mulm and if you really want extra levels of nutrients tropicas undersoil substrate.

I'd say it's not worth the money, put it towards plants or fish.
Well, I have heard lot's of people who really like it? But I suppose Garuf is right, there is no proof, but I still think it does work.
It might "work" but it's simply that there's a higher nutrient level in the substrate. Tom barr proved a lot of it had no value to plants what so ever when he carried out his analysis' over at Barr report and that the science surrounding it's claims was hockum.
People who use it will like it because they'll claim they get good results, but that means nothing, I could add a ceramic gnome to my tank and claim that it's vital while getting the same good results, it's simply not something that can quantifiably be measured.
Ok then, well you make a decision based on your budget and whether you feel it will help, as garuf has said there are also many other similar product's that might be worth researching, but Malaya still does have nutrient's in it anyway so this would only be surplus! :D Also please feel free to put a ceramic gnome in your tank! :D LOL