ADA AS substrate replacement

cicjay

Junior Poster
Apr 3, 2008
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Hello everyone,
I've had my 125ltr tank set up for around 9 months now. It started as a very low tech planted aquarium using tetraplant complete substrate.
I feel I've come on with plant growth knowledge and aquascaping etc. But I'm not very familiar with the ADA range. I'm looking to drain my tank and keep plants, fish and water in a smaller tank for a couple of days (hopefully) next to my main tank.

I've read that Aqua soil Amazonia leeches ammonia when first used, I'm worried about this hurting my relatively algae free tank life and stopping me from filling my tank back up almost instantly.
I'm wondering if i kept the bacteria in my filter (fluval 205 external) alive in small temporary tank, will it take care of the ammonia from the ADA soil without hurting plants or fish, or will I need to cycle my tank again?:(

Thanks
 

cicjay

Junior Poster
Apr 3, 2008
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Forgot to add, this tank is now 'slightly' high tech with pressurized Co2 at 1bps, dose of Tropica plant nutrition 2ml a day (don't use TPN+ as I think I have a large enough fish load at the moment)Lighting is 2 x 20watt t8's.

Water changes, de-chlorinated tap. 20ltrs a week. should this be more?

Wondering if ADA Amazonia soil is the best choice, or would another product be better for my needs? Heard of Caribsea Eco-Complete, but this increases kH before stabilizing? I really don't want that with my tap water.
 

am1698

Lifetime Charter Member
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Oct 5, 2007
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I'm using Amazonia-II for two years, found nothing wrong with it. NH3/NH4 value is 0 ppm by using API test kit.:p

Regards,
Aaron
 

cicjay

Junior Poster
Apr 3, 2008
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1
Not even when first filled and whole kit up and running?
I'm constantly reading that it leeches ammonia. Did you use it with a mature filter straight off or did you use the Amazonia soil in a new set up and let it fishless cycle?

I would like to be able to throw in the soil, scape the tank, plant, fill and add my fish back in soon as.
Thinking the mature filter and large water changes would sort out any leeching of ammonia.

Should i use a layer of Power Sand Special?
Was thinking of just leaving a thin layer of existing substrate.

Is this all just not possible?
 

Tom Barr

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Jan 23, 2005
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Try pre soaking it it prior and be careful not to muck it up when adding to new tanks.
Much like the dry start method (DSM).

Then you have no such issues...........and the HC is fully grown in or whatever weed you chose.



Regards,
Tom Barr
 

cicjay

Junior Poster
Apr 3, 2008
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So just soak it in normal tap water? for how long before laying out in my tank?

Also, this may be a silly question but what do you mean by 'muck it up'?
As in, don't shift it around too much during planting?

Just want to be absolutely sure I know what I'm doing before I put my fish in any possible danger.
 

Tom Barr

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Jan 23, 2005
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You might just do a search for the "DSM" dry start method which will give you ideas and methods that require no work, less labor etc and resolve any NH4 leeching issues.

Tank water is better, but soaking it 3-4 weeks prior to use works well in a shallow tray.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

cicjay

Junior Poster
Apr 3, 2008
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I love the idea of the dry start method, but I want to add tank water, plants and fish in soon as possible, and not have to wait for any ammonia to go, or to leave dry and wait for a carpet to form.

Is Amazonia soil the wrong choice for this?
 

Tom Barr

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Jan 23, 2005
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No, ADA As is great.
But you are going to have to wait one way or another, you are not going to get around some patience, if you do, you will pay.

You can do lots of water changes and try it, but it'll be a lot of work, so you will pay that way.............DSM requires no work really, wait 3-4 weeks, then add the water.

Good things come to those that wait.
No algae at all.
No dosing, no water changes etc.

You can not wait and work your butt off, but this is your payment for not waiting.........

Regards,
tom Barr
 

VaughnH

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Jan 24, 2005
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That is about a 33 gallon tank, with probably less than 30 gallons of water in it. Doing 50% water changes daily for a week or so should not be a terribly burden. That would only be three 5 gallon buckets of water to carry and transfer to the tank each time. Just be sure to use a dechlorinator, such as Prime, each time, and use your fingers to judge that you are matching the tank water temperature, to avoid temperature shocks to the fish. This way you can "have your cake and eat it".
 

cicjay

Junior Poster
Apr 3, 2008
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Been thinking...

(yes it hurt):)

I think I'm going to take a step back and let patience take hold.
Just been worried about the fish (15 cardinal tetras, 10 rummynose, 8 ottos) and shrimp (10 amano) sitting in a bucket for a few weeks.

Shouldn't be a problem with the old filter and heating in the bucket.
Then I can get this dry start under way properly.

As you said Tom, good things come to those who wait.

Much appreciated.