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Thread: Reusing substrate

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted BradA's Avatar
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    Reusing substrate

    OK since I'm jumping back into this I'm going to be rescaping some tanks and was wondering if I want to build up my substrate, can I use my depleted ADA as a base layer to get some extra base height then cover with new substrate? Or should I use an inert base layer like gravel to add the height I'm trying to achieve? Thank for any help I can get to try and revive my tanks. One tank at a time.

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    Moderator 2000 posts, Star SCAPEr Nick Shades's Avatar
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    I would personally do it the other way around, and put your inert ADA over top. Mostly because it will provide a buffer against losing mineralization while performing water changes, etc.

    I would also cap it, regardless.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr ahboram's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Shades View Post
    I would personally do it the other way around, and put your inert ADA over top. Mostly because it will provide a buffer against losing mineralization while performing water changes, etc.

    I would also cap it, regardless.
    so new ada soil, old ada soil, then sand cap?

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    Moderator 2000 posts, Star SCAPEr Nick Shades's Avatar
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    I think that is a wise idea.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr jayo's Avatar
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    If you want the look of a sand cap, go for it. But you don't have to cap ADA soil (or most aquarium substrates) if you like the look. Anything that floats (potting soil) needs a cap, anything that really stirs up into the water (backyard dirt, clay, etc) needs a cap. Otherwise, it is not necessary.

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted ced281's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradA View Post
    OK since I'm jumping back into this I'm going to be rescaping some tanks and was wondering if I want to build up my substrate, can I use my depleted ADA as a base layer to get some extra base height then cover with new substrate? Or should I use an inert base layer like gravel to add the height I'm trying to achieve? Thank for any help I can get to try and revive my tanks. One tank at a time.
    Be careful about reusing old ADA soil because the color might have changed compared to the new soil you get. I'm not sure what soil you are using but I'll assume Amazonia. Old, used, then dried Amazonia will have a lighter hue than fresh Amazonia. ADA also has two types of Amazonia now (Amazonia vs. Amazonia Light) which are different colors.

    If the height is for purely aesthetic reasons, you can just stuff the old soil in nude pantyhose and stack it in the bottom. Or you can fill up panyhose with ADA powersand and use that. If you need the height for root depth, then that's a different story. Roots will go through the pantyhose and then it'll become a pain in the ass when you try to remove the plants because they can rip open the bags

    Also, if you use water column ferts, you can add a couple plant spikes or osmocote into the old soil to give it little bit of a nutrient boost.

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