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Finley2

UP Aqua Shrimp Sand - fake product??! Downgraded formula?

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Finley2

I have been using UP Aqua Shrimp Sand 1mm size for years with great success. Perfect product for me. However...

I recently bought some from Tech Den (Australia). It was a larger size, about 2-3mm, and looked a little different.  It came in a vacuum-packed bag, instead of loose in a regular bag.  I figured it's just the larger size that I have heard about, but that it would be basically the same.  Not!  Within 90 days most of it has disintegrated to dust.  Stirring up the substrate produces dense, heavy clouds of 'smoke' - the disintegrated material. It's a disaster.

Also the water chemistry is not quite the same. OK, but not perfect like before.

Has anyone else experienced a change in this product, or know whether there is a fake version around?  

Do any Australians here know where to buy the good 1mm UP Aqua Shrimp Sand, in the ordinary (non-vacuum) bag?

Thanks.

Edited by Finley2

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jayc

Our sponsor Tech Den has Up Aqua. 

However, my experience with up aqua substrates has never been good.

It never gets recommended.

Spend slightly more and get ADA Amazonia, Cal Labs Black Earth or Benibachi black soil.

These 3 get recommended for good reason. I use all 3 in various tanks and they have performed very well.

I have a tank with ADA amazonia that's going on 6 years now. It's buffering is  not very good now, but that tank is only required to maintain a  neutral pH.

I have another tank that has benibachi that is now 3 years old.

And my remaining 3 tanks are all Cal Labs BEP. That has been my go to substrate for a while now as it performs the best. 

 

Alternatively there is a new substrate by Oliver Knott called Aqua Earth that looks ok, but I have not tried it yet. However it looks like it could be worth a try at the price. $39.95 for 7L is cheaper per kg than Up aqua. And Tech Den offers SKFA members a 10% discount. However, as I said, it's not been tested yet. So if you don't want to take a risk, stick with the above 3.

 

Any of these will be better than Up Aqua's substrate. There are 3 options but some of these might be dependant on stock at the place of purchase. 

Good luck with your next purchase, you can't go wrong with any of these mentioned for shrimp.

The clean up is going to be a pain with the up aqua mud. 

Edited by jayc

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Finley2

Yikes, my bad!  It was not from Guppy's - that was a previous order of the good quality product.  The problem product this time came from Tech Den.  I have edited accordingly, and will call them...

I will also research Cal Labs, as I don't know that one.  The others I researched before settling on UP Aqua.  It was great - very stable and good breeding results - until this last disastrous batch.

Edited by Finley2

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fishmosy

I also use ADA. Have used benibachi and Up Aqua in the past, would recommend ADA over beni. Never really liked up aqua for shrimp. It seems ok for plants. 

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Finley2

Thanks.  Adding ADA to an established shrimp tank would be hard.  Interestingly, the good version of UP Aqua I found to be great for shrimp (perfect water parameters) but poor for plants.

Super annoying is that moments after researching Cal Labs BEP and deciding I want it, I discover it's been discontinued.

What's left for patching up the dustball that is my substrate currently?

Oy vey.

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jayc
7 hours ago, Finley2 said:

 Cal Labs BEP and deciding I want it, I discover it's been discontinued.

It's discontinued?!!

 

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Finley2

That's what Aquaristic say.  Probably better to ask Cal Labs themselves, as they still show it on their web site.

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