ADA Power Sand
Effective Use of Power Sand
In Nature Aquarium, Power Sand is added under the Aqua Soil layer. This Power Sand has certain roles besides providing nutrients to the plants in the aquarium. Aquatic plants grow on the substrate composed of Amazonia only; however, the use of Power Sand helps make substrate more suitable for long-term maintenance of aquarium. Maximize the effects of Power Sand by ensuring proper application method.
Roles of Power Sand for Substrate
Power Sand contains both slow-release organic nutrients which are decomposed by bacteria into a form absorbable by aquatic plants and fast-release inorganic nutrients that are directly absorbed by aquatic plants to provide nutrients to aquatic plants effectively. Fast-release inorganic nutrients deliver their effects immediately after the setup of an aquarium while slow-release organic nutrients begin producing effects only after bacteria have sufficiently colonized in the substrate and it takes some time. By having these two different types of nutrients, Power Sand effectively add nutrients to aquarium over a long period of time. Power Sand uses porous volcanic stones having an uneven surface as its base material for a reason. Organic nutrients go into the depressions on these volcanic stones and bacteria feed on the nutrients. This helps bacteria to thrive on the stones, which leads to smooth supply of nutrients to plant roots and contributes to healthy growth of aquatic plants. Organic nutrients contained in Power Sand are nutrients for plants and at the same time, they are also food for bacteria. When bacteria thrive inside the substrate layer, fish droppings and uneaten food are decomposed by these bacteria and the substrate is maintained in a good condition for a long period of time. This is the same function as that of decomposers in natural ecosystem. Power Sand is essential in recreating a natural ecosystem in aquarium.
Selection of Size - Power Sand S, M or L
Power Sand comes in three granule sizes; S, M and L. This relate to another role of Power Sand – preventing hardening of substrate. Substrate is always subjected to downward hydraulic pressure. As the aquascape is maintained for a long time, the granules of substrate materials are squashed and the gap between the granules becomes very small. This impact is especially significant in the bottom side of substrate layer and hardening occurs gradually. Hardened substrate leads to the problems such as unhealthy growth of aquatic plant roots and poor substrate environment caused by deteriorated water permeability. Porous volcanic stones, the base material of Power Sand, have uneven and irregular surface and therefore the gaps between the granules are secured, allowing aquatic plant roots run and grow into them. This shape helps maintain good water permeability and keep the substrate in a good condition. The use of Power Sand is helpful in creating a substrate suitable for long-term maintenance of planted aquarium. Actual hydraulic pressure applied on the substrate varies depending on the depth of aquarium. This is why Power Sand has three size variations of S (for tanks up to 40cm in depth), M (for tanks 40-60cm in depth) and L (for tanks more than 60cm in depth).
Effective Application of Power Sand
Aquatic plants can grow in a short time span just by using Aqua Soil-Amazonia for Nature Aquarium substrate, because Amazonia contains rich nitrogen which is taken in by aquatic plants as nutrient. However, the use of both Power Sand and Amazonia is better in the longer term and it is beneficial for better substrate condition and healthier growth of aquatic plants. During the setting of substrate, spread Power Sand first and then add Amazonia on top of it. If substrate additives are added at this stage, better effects of Power Sand can be expected. Bacter 100 containing rich beneficial substrate bacteria in a dormant state promotes the growth of bacteria inside the substrate. Clear Super is an active carbon powder mixed with organic acids that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria.. Tourmaline BC is tourmaline (mineral) powder mixed with bamboo charcoal powder. It provides minerals to the substrate and makes beneficial substrate bacteria more active. These additives should be sprinkled on the bottom of aquarium tank so that they come into contact with Power Sand.
Sprinkle various substrate additives evenly on the bottom of aquarium tank.
Then, add Power Sand on top of them.
Q1 For what aquatic plants Power Sand should be used?
A Power Sand is suitable for aquatic plants that grow their roots deep in the substrate or are to be maintained for a long time. Specifically, it is recommended to use Power Sand for growing Cryptocoryne or Echinodorus. In particular, Cryptocoryne need to spread its roots in bacterial-rich substrate to display its original leaf color and shape. Besides these plants, foreground plants that actively absorb nutrients from their roots, such as Lilaeopsis, Glossostigma elatinoides and Eleochalis acicularis, can grow faster and have better leaf color and size with the use of Power Sand. In view of this, Nature Aquarium uses Power Sand or Power Sand Special for the substrate except the case where the substrate is mainly composed of cosmetic sand or a small-sized tank is used.
Cryptocoryne, in particular, is compatible with Power Sand.
Q2 How should I choose Power Sand or Power Sand Special?
A Power Sand Special has more nutrients than Power Sand and also contains Bacter 100 and Clear Super. An increased amount of nutrients effectively promotes the growth of aquatic plants and the nutrients are released for a longer time. On the other hand, the maintenance of aquarium may become harder due to more nutrients leached out into the water. Power Sand Special can be used when a filter having fully-functioning biological filtration is available for a new layout. If the filter has new filter media with insufficient biological filtration, Power Sand should be used instead of Power Sand Special.
Power Sand M, Power Sand Special M, Power Sand Special contains richer nutrients.
Q3 What should I do if Power Sand is no longer effective?
Out of the nutrients contained in Power Sand, organic nutrients last relatively longer because it takes time for bacteria to decompose it. In addition, organic nutrients are replenished by the organic compounds from the fish and shrimp droppings that have gone into the substrate. For these reasons, there is not much to worry about organic nutrients. On the other hand, Power Sand loses its effects derived from inorganic nutrients in a few months up to six months after they are absorbed by aquatic plants. For healthy growth of aquatic plants, regular supply of inorganic nutrients is recommended. To add inorganic nutrients to the substrate, Multi Bottom and Iron Bottom is used. Multi Bottom is suitable for all types of aquatic plants while Iron Bottom is ideal for the aquatic plants that need more iron such as Cryptocoryne or Echinodorus.
Multi Bottom is inserted deep into the substrate with Bottom Release.