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Old 11-19-2021, 10:50 PM   #1
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substrate nutrients using media bags?

YouTube is a modern marvel but some things I just have to cross-check.
So, I was watching this amazing aquascaper on his "MD fish tanks" channel where he started his substrate base layer with media bags filled with aquasoil. He then layered sand, then his asthetic rock over the sand. The logic of it makes sense, as the nutrients would be less apt to cloud the water. Although at some point down the road, those media bags would have to be recharged with new nutrients I suppose, right?

Has anyone else used this method? Are there other advantages (or disadvantages) to doing this?

I tried searching the forums but couldn't find relevant threads.

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Old 11-20-2021, 03:37 AM   #2
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Im not sure of the benefits of this. Anything that could cloud the water would just pass straight through a media bag and its capped with sand anyway. I have a base layer of aquasoil under my substrate and never had an issue with clouding. I might be missing something, but wouldnt the media bags make it difficult for plants to root into the soil?

When the soil loses its nutrients i start to use root tabs. Again, media bags would limit how far you could push these into the substrate. I cant see a circumstance where i would want to remove the aquasoil base layer short of a complete overhaul of the aquascape where i removed all the substrate and started over and i dont really see how these bags would help this process, syphoning it out would be cleaner.

Not really sure there are any benefits. Could you post a link to the video? I can take a look at it.
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Old 11-20-2021, 04:47 AM   #3
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People who use aqua soil are more likely to do complete tank resets once the desired results have been achieved for some time.

I donít know how Ďmulchyí aquasoil gets over time or how long it takes but I can only imagine the benefit is for easy of removal.
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Old 11-20-2021, 11:31 AM   #4
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Thanks for that input. What you say makes sense. Plants would have to root in the upper layers of substrate. My guess is the idea behind it is that the nutrients would slowly leach out into those upper layers where the roots are?

I will try to post to his channel to get more info, but here is the link to it:

https://youtu.be/0F-_IfV_2O8

He speaks about the process at approximately 1:40.

The guy has some mad aqua-scaping skills.
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Old 11-20-2021, 07:43 PM   #5
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Thats the same aquasoil ive used in the past and i really dont see a need for doing this. The guy says in the video its something he just started doing, so it's not common practice or he would have done it before.

A couple of possible reasons i see for doing this.

Ease of removal, but honestly i think syphoning the stuff out would be easier and cleaner. As caliban says though, these guys are probably completely redoing tanks fairly regularly so there could be something there.

The other thing i see is that in bags its easy to drop a bag of the stuff right where its needed and it stays there when its capped. Also they get a bit of grading of the substrate. Big bag at the back, smaller bag at the front.

The clincher for me why he is recommending it is..... he's getting commision on every media bag sold through the affiliate link in the video description. He even mentions the link in the video.
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Old 11-20-2021, 09:57 PM   #6
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I think he primarily does that to help build depth in an aqua scape. The substrate stays in the bags and does not spread out over time and maintains the high to low direction of the substrate. Honestly not a bad idea and would probably make it easier to remove the aqua soil in then future if you wanted to. Either way, definitely not necessary but it helps him achieve his desired substrate height.
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Old 11-21-2021, 12:24 AM   #7
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Yes, I agree it may make it easier for him to more quickly remove his substrate levels in a way that he can re-use them. He mentions in other videos how he reuses many of his supplies. The guy has dozens of displays and is always moving things around.

Thanks for the input!
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Old 11-21-2021, 07:57 PM   #8
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I've been watching a ton of his videos as well - I'm looking to somewhat mimic his african river tank, I really love the look of that one. He takes the same approach in that build with the filter media bags, so I intend to do the same as well.
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Old 11-22-2021, 02:28 PM   #9
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My stepson has been obsessing over his videos. While he was watching one of them I overheard the guy say that the roots of plants will absolutely grow into the media bags through the mesh. He went on to say that he has had to pull or cut them out when re-arranging.
I'm going to try to post a question to him regarding the benefits AND cons of using the media bags, but the theory that it makes it easier to grade the landscape to a certain level is one I agree with. A bag of substrate would be more stable to build on I would think.
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