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ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia - General Plant Substrate - 3 liter

The ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia is the best general plant substrate on the market. This opinion is based on views expressed by many professional aquascapers around the world. The ADA soils are of the highest quality and they play an important role in healthy plant growth. Aqua Soil substrate materials are rich in organic acids and nutrients, promoting the growth of aquatic plant roots. The Aqua Soil substrates do not need to be rinsed before use!

Aqua Soil - new and advanced features

  • ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia substrates will lower the pH and KH, thus creating an ideal environment for tropical fish, shrimp and aquatic plants.
  • The soil contains organic materials that are much needed to keep healthy shrimp.
  • Humic Acids found in the substrate will promote plant growth.
  • The grains of the Aqua Soils will not crumble. They will not turn into mud in your aquarium and will not cause cloudy water or water coloring.

We published a comparison of ADA Aqua Soils and explained how much soil you need in your aquarium below. You can also download the plant substrate calculator, or visit our Substrate Info page to find out why you need clay-based soil in your aquarium.

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ADA Substrate System Movie


The basis of the ADA concept is to create a nutrient-rich environment in the substrate that provides ideal conditions to nitrifying bacteria. General Plant Substrates have a huge role in providing important nutrients for plant root uptake. High pH (alkalinity) will obstruct plant nutrient uptake so Aqua Soil Amazonia is lowering the pH. The gravel-like grains will keep their shape for a long time when submerged - thus ensuring the proper water flow in the oxygen-rich substrate.


Customer Reviews (More at the bottom of this page)

ÖtcsillagosIt's a joy to work with, it does not need to be rinsed, root growth will be triggered easily. It's dark tone will beautifully accentuate plant colors. My positive experience prompts me to use ADA substrate the next time too, so it's not only going to be my joy, but the plants will be also be grateful for the proper substrate. The later is more important, cause they are also living creatures. - Remete M.

ÖtcsillagosI've tried several soils before, the Amazonia worked best until now. - Koncsik L.

Which substrate to choose?

The Aqua Soil series that is made of natural ingredients has three different products.

  • The Amazonia Soils are the darkest: they are recalling the dynamic changes of rainy and dry seasons, the lush world of South-American rainforests.
  • Malaya Soils are more yellowish and brownish - it is recommended for those who like "Natural" colors.
  • Reddish Africana Soils have harder grains, they are more easy to handle. Their nutrient contents are lower than the others so plants will grow slower in them.

Our own experience as well as international aquascaper opinions show that - by purely biological means - the ideal substrate for advanced Nature Aquarium owners is the Aqua Soil Amazonia. It will provide nutrients for our plants for the longest time. Being a nutrient-rich substrate also has a drawback: it increases algae bloom chance at the beginning of its use. Regular water changes are needed for the first couple of weeks to avoid problems. The other two substrates are more easy to use at the beginning but you will have to re-supply the depleted nutrients in the long run.

ADA Aqua Soil color comparison

How much General Plant Substrate should I buy?

It is relatively easy to calculate how much General Plant substrate will fit in your aquarium. Multiply the bottom area (width and depth - not height - centimeters) of the aquarium with the substrate height (a minimum of 4-5 centimeters), and divide it by one thousand. The result will show you how many liters of substrate you will need. Here is the formula:

  • Amount needed in liters = Width (cm) * Depth (cm) * Desired Substrate Height (cm) / 1000 (Excel calculator - download)

Example: a 60 x 35 cm base aquarium will need a minimum of 60*35*4/1000=8.4 liters of substrate, so you will buy one of the 9 liter bags.

How to start using the ADA Substrates?

  • ADA substrates do not need to be rinsed, they can be poured directly into the aquarium from their bags.
  • Stirring the substrate (during planting or arranging hardscape or other physical contact) might result in temporarily cloudy water after filling the tank. This will go away soon with proper filtration. We recommend you to make a bigger water change (change 80-90% of the water) if you experience cloudy water to avoid Ammonia spikes appearing in your tank later.
  • Try avoid the water jet to stir the substrate when you first fill up your tank. Make sure you do not have a high inflow of water - we often use air hose (4/6 mm hose) to fill up the aquarium with water - at least to the substrate level. Despite all precautions you might see slightly cloudy or brownish water after setup. Do not worry, that will clear up in a couple of days.

General Information

Aquatic plants should be always placed into 4-5 cm thick clay-based General Plant Substrates that are rich in nutrients. Do not plant into inert sand, pebbles, or other gravel. Those should only be used for decorative purposes in areas that do not contain plants. Always use a 1 cm thick Base Layer Fertilizing Substrate underneath the Aqua Soil.

There are Aqua Soil Powder substrates that have smaller grain-size. They should be applied in a 1 cm layer (not thicker) above the Aqua Soil. The result is a very tidy and clean look. These soils will help smaller carpeting plants with shorter roots - like Eleocharis acicularis - to hold better on the substrate surface. Using too much Powder will obstruct water flow in the substrate and might prevent an oxygen-rich environment there. Try not to use more than 1 centimeters of smaller grain-size substrates in your aquarium.

The Aqua Design Amano products represent the highest quality. ADA substrates play a crucial role in plant growth, they help them to get the proper nutrients through their roots.

More Information
Name ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia - General Plant Substrate - 3 liter
SKU 104-031
Manufacturer ADA
Color Black