40G: New ADA Scape

March 17th, 2007

Preparing the roomGWAPA’s order of ADA goods came in this week, so after a long trip through traffic to pick it up, I’m finally ready to redo a few of my tanks. The first tank that I have redone is my 40G breeder tank that’s been quite the jungle of plants for more time that I care to state. This tank already had aquasoil in it, but I was never satisfied with the depth of the Amazonia I had previously added, so I’m basically just going to add another couple inches on top of the old stuff. So, like any new tank project, I move all of my buckets, hardscape materials, and tools into the room. I try to bring in more rocks than I could possibly use so that I’ll be able to choose the best rocks for the particular aquascape.

Adding PowersandAdding AquasoilSo, from here on out, I’m going to describe how to setup a basic tank using the ADA system, as I understand it. The ADA substrate system is composed of minerals, powersand, and then aquasoil. So, I scraped out the existing substrate to add more Tourmaline BC to the bottom of the tank. Only a tiny bit of this is needed. Then, I added the powersand (left), finally topping it off with aquasoil. These picture show a soupy mixture because I didn’t fully drain my tank, but this didn’t seem to be a problem. One thing to note at this point is that I reserved about 1/2 to 1 bag of Amazonia to add after I’ve established my hardscape.

So, now that the substrate is intact, it’s time for my personal favorite part of aquascaping — the hardscape. In this particular scape, I wanted to try to accomplish a sort of mound aquascape, with aquasoil in-between some of the rocks so that I can actually plant on the “mound.” The first step is to build up the mound with the rocks. Try to envision what the tank will look like with more aquasoil and plants filling in the gaps.

Setup the Hardscape

Then, after the rocks are in place, I add the remaining 1/2 bag of Amazonia on top of the rocks to soften some of the gaps in-between them. At this point, I also try to correct of the slope of the substrate to gradually ascend up the mound, and to the back of the tank.

Fill in Hardscape with more Aquasoil

Finally, fill the tank up about 1/3 way, and begin planting. It’s helpful to have a spray bottle handy, so that none of your plants dry out while you’re still busy working. When you’re done, fill up the tank with water, and hopefully you’re happy with what you’ve accomplished. In this scape, I ran out of plants that I wanted to use, so I still have a little bit of work to do, but when isn’t that the case?

Final Aquascape

4 Responses to “40G: New ADA Scape”

  1. Big pooper Says:

    You didnt waste any time! Looks good! That rock is so awesome! Post another pic when it clears up. What are you using for a foreground. Utric gamm. would look real nice over those rocks

  2. guitarfish Says:

    Thanks Pooper! I’ve got a bit of everything in the foreground. Baby tears, Utric, HC, etc. Waiting to let it grow in a bit to decide what I like best. 😉

  3. Shawn Says:

    I was thinking about starting my 75 gallon over using the ADA products but was curious how many bags of powersand and how many bags of the aquasoil you had to use in your 40 gallon. Think I just need one container of the tourmaline bc since it is just spreaded finely on the bottom but curious how much of the other I would need. Thanks in advance and nice aquariums.

  4. guitarfish Says:

    Shawn, it’s been a little while, but I believe that I used about 3 9-liter bags of Amazonia in my 40G, only about 3 liters of powersand. You definitely only need one container of tourmaline bc. I’ve been using the same container for multiple tank, and still have plenty left.

    Below is the recommended amounts of aquasoil and powersand from ADA:

    ADA Chart

    I usually add a little bit more aquasoil, just because I like deep substrates to make more of a slope.

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