Using Stainless Mesh between substrates

Discussion in 'Substrates' started by Stu Worrall, 11 Aug 2009.

  1. Stu Worrall

    Stu Worrall Forum Moderator Staff Member

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    Ive seen the use of a stainless steel mesh between powersand and amazonia aquasoil over on aquascaping world. Im just wondering has anyone here done this with their tanks here? After speaking with the chap whose tank it is they use it to help with re-scaping so it doesnt mix plus if you decide to pull out any plants with roots.

    Just wondering about any pitfalls or other benefits as I was thinking of using tropica aquacare with amazonia on top in my next scape and this would be handy to stop any mixing

     
  2. JamesC

    JamesC Member

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    The question that springs to mind is how are the plant's roots supposed to utilise the nutrients in the lower substrate if the mesh is in place? Personally I'd never ever use a substrate divider. Why not just use the Aqua Soil by itself?

    James
     
  3. Stu Worrall

    Stu Worrall Forum Moderator Staff Member

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    I did think of that but id read that the bigger particles promote better circulation so wasnt sure if this would mean the nutrients would be absordbed by the AS. I was using the aquacare as I had some left that I bought when I started back in the hobby. I currently have my Rio 125 planted up with AS only so I may well do that again.

    Dont get me wrong, im no expert on this so am not suggesting the mesh is a good thing, i was just after some for/against advice as Id not seen it used before.
     
  4. Dave Spencer

    Dave Spencer Member

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    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.
     
  5. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm with Dave and James on this one. A completely pointless exercise. Powersand is also pointless as well since it's exhausted after a month or so, and blocking roots from accessing the sediment is never a good idea. If you're dosing the water column this is even more pointless. Just use the Aquasoil and make life easier.

    Cheers,
     
  6. Stu Worrall

    Stu Worrall Forum Moderator Staff Member

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    thanks all, ive been compeltely won over and given it up for a bad idea :lol:

    I suppose tropica aquacare would be in that same league of exhausted after a month then too?
     
  7. plantbrain

    plantbrain Expert

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    I did think of that but id read that the bigger particles promote better circulation so wasnt sure if this would mean the nutrients would be absordbed by the AS. I was using the aquacare as I had some left that I bought when I started back in the hobby. I currently have my Rio 125 planted up with AS only so I may well do that again.

    Dont get me wrong, im no expert on this so am not suggesting the mesh is a good thing, i was just after some for/against advice as Id not seen it used before.[/quote]

    That's the same claim made about heating cables :crazy:
    Improves circulation.

    What do roots do?
    They add O2 and pipe circulation into the sediments.
    This(power sand) does not help AS absorb roots.

    We have had this debate for sometime in the USA.
    And within our local club.

    To date, not one person anywhere for that matter, has shown the circulation issue has any merit, this also applies to 25-30 years worth of heating cable debates. Many try without cables and without the powersand and have the same results time and time again. No one reports that they have better growth.

    Some claim they "believe" they have slightly better "this or that"...(nothing anyone else can apparantly see)
    I think they are just trying to justify that they spent $ on something that's worthless and bought marketing baloney, just do not want to admit it and let it go. The proponents of Powersand also curiously have never tried using ADA Aqua soil alone to compare the ADA AS+PS to ADA AS. I do not claim that ADA As is not a good product, I think it is and that, not PS is what is helping plant growth, folks have used it and seen the differences, comparing ADA AS+PS to plain sand does not tell you what of the 2 parts is helping. Only by trying each of the products by themselves or in conjunction can you see.

    Some do not want to look at the other side of the coin.
    I have, and I tested it. Also tested what is in ADA AS and PS for soils testing.
    They also have never bothered to test what specifically is in powersand.
    Many have long criticized EI dosing for not testing, suggesting "testing and learning" then this same crowd gives a Free pass to ADA, not testing what is in ANY of their products , accepting it on faith alone.

    Light and CO2 are more important than nutrients, there's plenty in ADA AS already, plants establish and grow fast.
    Often times, too fast. If you want faster growth, add more CO2 and light, not big ugly pumic.

    BTW, PS adds mostly peat and NO3.
    Not much else.
    KNO3 and peat moss pumic, all very cheap..........PS? Nope.

    A Jar test can show you this rather quickly for NH4/NO3/PO4 using hobbyist test kits and 200mls of water + 5 grams of PS and wait 24-48 hours and test the water. This is the other thing lacking with the folks that claim this baloney, they virtually never offer a way to answer the question or a method. They tend to stick to the belief system and marketing in the company's sales brochures. Gets old and it's the same stuff that Dupla and their supporters did 20 years before.

    Stainless steel mesh was added because many uprooted the PS and it looks ugly, that they could not argue about or debate, so they quickly started doing the SS mesh rather than listen or test.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. plantbrain

    plantbrain Expert

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    Not that ceg4048 does not agree already here:)

    I think using a macro rich sediment is a wise idea.
    ADA aqua soil is loaded and has the lion's share.

    Adding water column fertilizers helps to reduce transport cost by the plant, sediment the tips of the leaves, since there's no real transpiration like in terrestrial land plants and emergent aquatics. So the plants can maintain a faster growth rate this way, since nutrients are available everywhere on the plant is growing.

    It also reduces the draw on the sediments, so you get longer extended life out of the ADA AS sediment.
    This also adds a backup for water column as well, so you can leaner in you chose in the water column(either out of fear/myth it is better, or out of curiosity, you still need to account for the SUM Total nutrient availability before making a conclusion, the ADA AS sediment is loaded with nutrients initially, it is very non limiting in other words....)

    So part of what ADA did is good, but some of it is really just marketing based on fears and ignorance of the aquarists(I'm not sure if ADA knows one way or the other, nor even cares there........). Penac and some of the other items really appear to be whatever was trendy at the time, homeopathic type stuff.

    So it's best to test each item, some products are good and I would suggest them, I do not accept everything that's sold however. It has to be shown that it offers some significant benefit for aquarist. Many products simply do not, they do not harm things either...but that does not imply they help.

    If I ran a company and wanted to make $, I'd do the same thing.
    Sell the basic stuff that helps, and then also sell lots of other items that aquarist really do not "Need" to go along with it, and say it's all part of "a complete system".

    Dupla said this exact same thing, you had to have all of the their products and use only their products to have the success levels. Curiously, folks did very well without their CO2 gas systems(local off brands), no heat cables, etc.

    Adding CO2 was really what they brought into the market that had a good new effect for planted aquarists.
    ADA brought aesthetics, scaping, Excellent photography ...but also macro rich commercial sediments.
    These advances where used to market everything else.

    Dennerle does a similar thing, they market a cure all for everything just about.
    They survived and went cheaper and more products, Dupla went under. This is also due to the people leading the companies as well, but also the business model itself. I do not expect ADA will be going anywhere too soon either.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  9. Voo

    Voo Member

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    I've used substrate dividers before. The roots do grow through, but can be harder to pull out plants once they've grown through. Then there's also a problem of the divider working its way to the top - eventually it does come through.

    You can get some greenhouse shading at garden centres, it's the same as the substrate dividers but a lot cheaper. They sell it on the huge rolls, with bubblewrap etc, where you cut the length that you want.
     

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