150g Wormcasting / ZeoSand "high tech"

JDowns

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All of the recent edits were to minimize photo size. With the continous large photos I didn't want the thread to be that annoying thread with a crap load of oversized images.
 

torpedobarb

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wow J.. that is impressive. I am getting ready to redo my tank with the colorquartz sand and mix it 2:1 with the topsoil to about 3" and then top with another 1.5" of the same colorquartz.

can you mix the topsoil with the WC?
 

JDowns

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torpedobarb;35073 said:
wow J.. that is impressive. I am getting ready to redo my tank with the colorquartz sand and mix it 2:1 with the topsoil to about 3" and then top with another 1.5" of the same colorquartz.

can you mix the topsoil with the WC?

I cannot see any reason why you could not mix the two. Both essentially achieve the same goal, and mixing IME couldn't possibly have any adverse effects.

2:1 to 3:1 the better. Uprooting doesn't cause as much of a mess. I do all my uprooting and major changes with a large water change, using the end of the hose to suck up any suspended particles floating in the general area. I also uproot slowly. Basically all the tips Tom has floated around over the years. All of these little steps really do help. Large frequent water changes at startup, large water change after any major changes, start out with lower light and good CO2 and progress lighting from there if needed. EI dosing rules out any nutrient issues, so that leaves you light, CO2, circulation/filtration from there to sort out any problems. Much easier to diagnose from three or four variables rather than that plus every single nutrient.

I really enjoy the soil so far. Very inexpensive to setup (if you don't consider DIY time).
 

Tom Barr

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The same issue applies to ADA AS, but it's pre made brand name you go for the aesthetics.

WC has been used for some time, it's the same idea as soil, they boil it typically, which is a thermal method of oxidation of the organic matter and converts the NH4 to NO3. It was a rage for about 2 years.


Adding EI/higher water column ferts extend the beneficial life of a nutrient rich sediment. I never understood why folks with nutrient rich sediment do not dose their water column as well.

We know, we don't have to speculate one bit, that the nutrients in the water column do not induce/accelerate algae, without or without nutrients in the sediment.

We know that.

So why not add them in the water column as well?
I know many old timers believed that was true, but that was over 10 years ago since that theory was shown to be false. Many cling to the old methods they used it back then etc, but never bothered to test their ideas/theories they claim to be true and then tell everyone that it is........which is dishonest really.

That incurs my full wrath.

We know from testing and examples where we falsify the water column = algae claim, that cannot be correct. So why not do both?

Common sense tells us that if we add nutrients to both locations that we have a nice method that makes dosing the water column easier and that extends the lfe of the sediment source. You do not need to be an expert to see the logic there.

DIY methods like this have been done for decades using sediments. However, back then the water column nutrients where still deemed algae inducing and evil.
Today, some make a huge fuss over dosingwater column ferts, like it's hard, difficult or something. I'm surprised they manage to feed their fish daily:rolleyes:
"So hard and all..........."

It's easy. And even there, they find they get better results when they add other things such as CO2, K+, traces etc as well. So if you dose one or more things anyway, it's not some savings or mental reminding to dose if you add KNO3 and KH2PO4 as well then, or is it?

I wish folks would think more plant and less algae, fish toxicity fear mongering, folks would get a lot further along in the hobby.

That also incurs my full wrath:p
So everyone thinks I'm a mean old man:D

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Tom Barr

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torpedobarb;35073 said:
wow J.. that is impressive. I am getting ready to redo my tank with the colorquartz sand and mix it 2:1 with the topsoil to about 3" and then top with another 1.5" of the same colorquartz.

can you mix the topsoil with the WC?

TB, if you want, and pay shipping I can send you all the delta clay loam you want.
The flat rate 12.95$ boxes hold a fair amount. Does better than ADA in terms of initial growth rates. You just do the 2:1 3:1 sand: clay soil mix.

If you dry it some, then give it a semi bake(10-15min at 200-300F), then you get something like ADA but in a brick form.

If you dry out ADA AS, it looks pretty much the same as this, a tad less OM but higher peat. You can add peat to the soils also.

Osmocoat etc.

Quite a few things.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

torpedobarb

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lol.. mean old man.. that cracks me up. I am going to start to dose some small amounts of ferts into the water column. the one thing that I didn't like doing was weekly water changes. that isn't needed as much for me now because I cut back on the # of fish I have in the tank. definitely doesn't get dirty as quickly as it did before. I am battling some algae as of now.. mainly some brown algae on leaves that wipes right off. I have about 10 ottos in this tank which is 75g. it is blocking the light and the leaves start to curl. blah blah blah.. I am rambling
 

JDowns

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torpedobarb;35080 said:
I am battling some algae as of now.. mainly some brown algae on leaves that wipes right off. I have about 10 ottos in this tank which is 75g.

I use to get this before I improved filtration/circulation. Its essentially the same slime that collects in your filter. Once I took steps to improve the filtration aspect and circulation the problem was resolved.

With no water changes and under filtration I can see this being a problem in quite a few tanks.
 

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torpedobarb;35080 said:
lol.. mean old man.. that cracks me up. I am going to start to dose some small amounts of ferts into the water column. the one thing that I didn't like doing was weekly water changes. that isn't needed as much for me now because I cut back on the # of fish I have in the tank. definitely doesn't get dirty as quickly as it did before. I am battling some algae as of now.. mainly some brown algae on leaves that wipes right off. I have about 10 ottos in this tank which is 75g. it is blocking the light and the leaves start to curl. blah blah blah.. I am rambling

Yes, you might try this to avoid more frequent, and/or larger water changes:

Less light, sediment macros, and moderately low water column ferts.
Say 1/2 or less EI rates.

This way you can error a bit more on the low side and avoid water changes, if you run low/out in the water clumn, you have a back up in the sediment.

If you typically ran low in the water column, then sediment ferts make the growth look awesome to your eyes.

Many think they must not add much to the water column, the old algae myth and less is better BS.......

Likewise, many water column zealots go the other way............they had a bad experience or two.........so they stick to what they know/worked for them. They see it as messy etc, less consitency since it's DIY mostly other than ADA AS etc.

The water change is a trade off, some folks hate it, some look at it like cleaning their house weekly. But the water change can be made to be very simple, easy and you can water your yard etc and reuse the water a number of ways. Python DIY water changers remove any issues for buckets or messy water changes, lifing or any sort, automatic water changers remove every issue, semi automatics remove most all issues as well, but place the control in the users' hands.
I have rimless tanks and do not take kindly to "a sloshin water all over the place" when I garden/clean the tank tat's 100% full:cool: That incurs my other half's 110% wrath;)

So 30% vs 50-60% makes little difference, takes about the same time frame.
Still, other folks want a more low key tank without water changes.

The key here is less light, that's where all control of management of growth rates, CO2 demand, nutrient demand takes places and starts.

If a low light, CO2 enriched tank with nutrient rich sediments and light water column dosing is too much, and you have to do more than say one good water change every 2-4 weeks, you are likely doing something wrong.

This is where test kits can help, but only............if you use them correctly and for heaven's sake, buy some decent quality stuff. Don't go cheap. I suggested this, PMDD suggested this, but few bother to test. We did water changes only when things/nutrients got away from us(outside a range).

But many folks are flaky, they stop testing.
Test do not always tell you what you need to know either.
Still, it should eb relatively easy to do WC's say 1-2x a month without much testing if you use the sediment+ WC dosing.

If that is still too much, or you flake out too much......then there's the non CO2 method or use Excel etc.

If the non CO2 method is too much effort, consider another hobby.

You'll note, the light intensity is the key factor, followed by CO2, nutrient dosing methods are simple and easy, why folks complicate dosing nutrient, accuse them of algae etc, spend gobs of time testing and measuring , micromanaging , carrying on about them is........ insanity.

Virtually all of these same folks give the light/CO2 a passing glance/acknowledgement. It's not based on common sense, and certainly not logic, let alone anything to do with Plant Science, ironically, quite the opposite.
Newbies are certainly forgiven, but there are many that should know better.

I know they are smarter than this.

Regars,
Tom Barr














Can you do this
 

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torpedobarb;35081 said:
is the Delta Clay Loam the worm castings? sorry for the ? if it is stupid :)

if it is.. sure I can do that. I appreciate the offer

No, they are very different material.

WC's can be had at most garden centers.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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JDowns;35083 said:
I use to get this before I improved filtration/circulation. Its essentially the same slime that collects in your filter. Once I took steps to improve the filtration aspect and circulation the problem was resolved.

With no water changes and under filtration I can see this being a problem in quite a few tanks.

FYI, this same issue occured with the behemoth 1600 gallon tank and ADA AS. We could not increase the filtration rate due to pump noise.

We removed the ADA AS and added EC, but it still took some time. I wanted to resolve it with more filtration, but nope. Ottos, less light, water changes.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

torpedobarb

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but using the clay loam would be in place of the wc? I am a newbie to this stuff.. I have only been the hobby now for a little over a year. I don't mind water changes.. I do them about every week and a half at about 40% when all said and done. I try to vaccum most of the crapola and stuff on the bottom.. trying to stir it up with my hand and sucking it away.

I am using a catalina 216w t5 on a 8hr photo period. I have the 6700k bulbs on for the first 2hrs alone, add the 10000k bulbs for 4hrs and then back to the 2 6700k for the last 2hrs. should I just run the noon burst for 2 hrs? should I use the 10000k bulbs for the main duration with the 6700k as the burst? I do inject co2 through a needle wheel. I have the co2 timer to start about an hr before the lights come on and go off at the same time as the lights. I have good growth.. but I do have alot of lower leaves melting. I do have good flow with 2 rena xp3's on each end.

Thanks for taking the time Tom.. and sorry to have hijacked your thread J. :)
 

JDowns

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torpedobarb;35109 said:
but using the clay loam would be in place of the wc? I am a newbie to this stuff.. I have only been the hobby now for a little over a year. I don't mind water changes.. I do them about every week and a half at about 40% when all said and done. I try to vaccum most of the crapola and stuff on the bottom.. trying to stir it up with my hand and sucking it away.

I am using a catalina 216w t5 on a 8hr photo period. I have the 6700k bulbs on for the first 2hrs alone, add the 10000k bulbs for 4hrs and then back to the 2 6700k for the last 2hrs. should I just run the noon burst for 2 hrs? should I use the 10000k bulbs for the main duration with the 6700k as the burst? I do inject co2 through a needle wheel. I have the co2 timer to start about an hr before the lights come on and go off at the same time as the lights. I have good growth.. but I do have alot of lower leaves melting. I do have good flow with 2 rena xp3's on each end.

Thanks for taking the time Tom.. and sorry to have hijacked your thread J. :)


Hijack away. The setup has been a learning experience for me, and an opportunity to pass that learning experience along. All your questions are right on the same track, and would probably be asked by others and are now being answered.

Back when I ran just an xp4 on this tank then broke it and went with the c360 with one booster pump I had alot of lower leaf drop off. Now common beleif is that it was to little light. So I listened to those eggheads and increased light. I got algae. Eventually I got the Nu-Clear's and alot more pumps and circulation/filtration improved. Now using less light then I ever have I don't have lower leaf drop off like I use to. So for me it obviously wasn't a light issue, but flow into the plant beds and good filtration.

Now I have way to much pump, which is a good thing. I also got rid of the canopy and went with a DIY suspended light system. So I'm using more bulbs for better spread but raised the light considerably, from 8" off the water surface to 16".

I'm amazed now that I think back to all my problems with every type of algae how just improving CO2 and filtration/circulation has fixed all those issues, and with that plant health improved considerably.
 

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JDowns;35110 said:
I'm amazed now that I think back to all my problems with every type of algae how just improving CO2 and filtration/circulation has fixed all those issues, and with that plant health improved considerably.

And this type of advice transcends any dosing method, any sediment etc............;)

Perhaps the dosing is not the issue for algae, limiting nutrients, hiding them in the sediment etc?

Clearly all methods supposedly "work". To what degree, how can they be improved, modified etc to meet a wide range of goal, what are the critical factors? etc............those are more important questions.

Sediment sources are really easy, and they help to prevent nutrient limitations for plants, and in the water column, whether you believe that will save you from algae or not.........is quite another matter.

This way you get more out of the light(100% vs say 70%).


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

torpedobarb

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Well I did increase the flow by a crapload. on the one xp3 I am using locline to direct it where I want and I have a flow accelerator on it.. it does boost the flow alot.. thanks alot ;)

the other one is where the co2 is being injected and I put a needle wheel to inject it to boost the flow there too. I kinda want even more flow.. but I do not like the look of a powerhead and the cleaning of the intakes.

am I running the lights correctly in the above post of mine? the light fixture is on the normal legs only about 4" off the top of the tank. I do have an open top tank as well.
 

JDowns

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torpedobarb;35115 said:
Well I did increase the flow by a crapload. on the one xp3 I am using locline to direct it where I want and I have a flow accelerator on it.. it does boost the flow alot.. thanks alot ;)

the other one is where the co2 is being injected and I put a needle wheel to inject it to boost the flow there too. I kinda want even more flow.. but I do not like the look of a powerhead and the cleaning of the intakes.

am I running the lights correctly in the above post of mine? the light fixture is on the normal legs only about 4" off the top of the tank. I do have an open top tank as well.

Lights look good to me. If you could raise it and get better spread it would be even better. This was my last upgrade. With T5's I think its important to get the lights up higher so you get better spread from lesser amount of bulbs.

IMO an xp3 on a 75g is pushing the limits for good filtration. With filtration comes turnover rate. While the penductor is nice to increase circulation in the tank without having to utilize a powerhead, you still have the same turnover rate for the canister.

I put a booster pump (Mag Drive) on the output side of my xp4. You have to be careful in doing this though. If the input on the canister becomes plugged it is easy to crack the housing due to cavitation. A way around this would be to plumb a bypass. The booster pump would increase the turnover rate inside the canister while increasing flow in the tank, best of both worlds.

Ultimately for that size tank I would recommend either another canister or a NuClear/Ocean Clear type setup. You can probably get by with religious canister cleanings and good water changes.

You can run dual Mag's in parallel or series. Either way will improve the wattage effeciency of both pumps. You could run a larger mag prior to the needle wheel with a ball valve after the nw. This will boost the flow while increasing the dwell time. You could then wye this line afterwards and have dual outputs for CO2. One on each side of the tank.

I have some parts leftover that you can play around with if you want. I have a Mag 9 and 5 (the 5 is modded though), some 1" tru wyes downsized to 3/4 threaded for hose barbs and some ball valves. I can put together a grab bag of stuff.
 

torpedobarb

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I do actually have 2 xp3's running on the tank.. one at each end.. one side has a uv sterilizer inline the other with the needle wheel.

how many gph are the 2 pumps you have leftover?
 

torpedobarb

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thanks J.. if you could put together a bag of stuff that would be great! I can mess with it to see what will work the best. I appreciate it. Thank you
 

JDowns

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torpedobarb;35125 said:
thanks J.. if you could put together a bag of stuff that would be great! I can mess with it to see what will work the best. I appreciate it. Thank you


I'll put that together tomorrow for you.