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Aquasoil cycling and lasting ph affects

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by aman74, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. aman74

    aman74 Prolific Poster

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    I finally decided that aquasoil will be my substrate and part of that is because of the lowering of the pH.

    In my research I saw a post where Tom said that the lowering was artificial and will throw off the readings for how much Co2 ppm you have in the tank.

    I'm wondering what all that means?

    And does the pH lowering affect last? And does it affect gh/kh as well?

    Thanks!

    Anthony
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    It lowers the pH by something other than CO2.
    So tannins will do this, PO4 acids and various other weak acids.

    So when you try and figure the CO2 using the tap water's KH +pH, it'll show you have 20-30ppm of CO2 without adding any CO2 at all.
    The pH is lowered, but the CO2 is still the same as any tank without CO2 added.

    To get more CO2, you must add, well obviously..........more CO2.

    I have no idea how long the effect last as things like your water change % weekly/monthly routines vary, the hardness of the taps used, plant extraction/pruning species vary considerably.

    Months, years I'd say.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. aman74

    aman74 Prolific Poster

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    Thanks Tom,

    So, would I just get a reading for the ppm before Co2 and then add the Co2 and take another reading, but add showed up in the non Co2 reading as well?

    And I forgot to ask about cycling with aquasoil. I've seen the posts about heavy water changes at first because of the ammonia. However since the plants and bacteria eat the ammonia wouldn't it be better to just leave it be? Alot of people add ammonia for a fishless cycle anyhow. Or is it too high a level?

    I'm going to be using mulm as well and I'm wondering if I should add it with the soil and in the filter and then fill up the tank and just let it be. Or if I should just add water and do water changes for several days and then add the mulm.

    Peace,

    Anthony
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Do the water changes, amano does, I do, Oliver Knott and so do most folks in the know.

    2x a week for the first 2-6 weeks or so.
    You could use zeolite also/in place of if weekly is all you can do.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. aman74

    aman74 Prolific Poster

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    Sounds good, I didn't know if the high ammonia would adversely affect the mulm and I should wait to add it then. Just looking to minimize cycle time.

    To be clear on measuring CO2 with aquasoil. Say I am trying to add 30ppm of CO2 and my tank measures 30ppm CO2 before adding any because of the aquasoil. So when I do add it I need to add enough for it to read 60ppm?

    Thanks
     
  6. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    If you want to measure the amount of CO2 in the water buy or make a drop checker and use it with KH reference water in it instead of tank water. No other method really works reliably.
     
  7. aman74

    aman74 Prolific Poster

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    Just wanting to keep this as simple as possible. I'm just going to have DIY CO2 and I don't need exact numbers. This is why I'm wondering if with aquasoil I will have to take the reading before adding CO2 and add that to the number afterwards.
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I'd not worry about "cycle" time.
    Worry about getting high plant biomass and good growth, then the cycle will no longer matter.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  9. aman74

    aman74 Prolific Poster

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    Yeah, I'm less worried about that then I am trying to measure the CO2 with aquasoil.

    In my last post I was referring to how to determine CO2 levels when using CO2.

    Since it will give you a ppm reading before adding any additional CO2 I'm wondering if you need to add that number to the amount measured after adding the CO2.

    Thanks
     
  10. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    No you can't add or subtract ppm of CO2 as you are suggesting. ppm of CO2 is inversely proportional to 10 raised to the power of the pH being measured. So, a small difference in pH makes a big difference in measured CO2 ppm. You really do need a cheap little drop checker to find out how much CO2 is dissolved in the water. You can actually make one that works for very little money.
     
  11. aman74

    aman74 Prolific Poster

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    Thanks vaughn, good info here.

    I imagine there's alot of folks who don't know that when using aquasoil, and I'm sure other situations as well.

    Can I assume this won't be a big issue though if I just do DIY CO2 since it's pretty hard to overdose with a yeast method?
     
  12. growitnow

    growitnow Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hello,

    Just thought of something re: getting a sense of how much C02 is in new Aqua soil tank. If the tank is not set up yet, would it make sense to do the following:

    Set up filters, diffusers, & hardscape, but no substrate.
    Run filters for 24hrs to promote degassing.
    Measure pH. Add C02 *using* pH/KH table to bring C02 to about 25ppm.

    ==> this amount C02 (read bubbles per sec) would then serve as the baseline starting point in the new tank once substrate is added

    Empty tank, add Aquasoil & scape. Plant & refill.

    Add C02 appling same bubbles per sec that earlier produced 25ppm with no substrate. Even if pH/KH changes because of AS over first days/weeks, the baseline bubbles per sec that produced 25ppm CO2 could serve as reference.

    Drop checker yes, but is my logic here sound?

    Cheers,

    "growitnow"
    Bob
     
  13. growitnow

    growitnow Lifetime Charter Member
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    After now having read many of Vaughn's excellent posts on drop checkers, I believe the answer to my own question is:

    Yes, and no. 'Yes' if there are no other agents in the tap water which would affect pH or KH, which is unlikely. And 'No' if there are such agents present, though this method might provide a rough ballpark"

    So, "yes and no, but a drop checker would still be more accurate".
     
  14. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You are not going to be able to measure the CO2 via a pH/Kh relationship unless it's relative to something you do know, like a standard.
    a good pH meter is also helpful.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  15. Micardiz

    Micardiz Junior Poster

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    Cycling the Aquasoil

    Can I just soak the aqua soil in water,...you know,..saturate the substrate with water as Tom suggests in his DSM but without actually doing any planting for about 2 months to cycle the aqua soil? I am planning to start a nonco2 tank with AS but I was thinking if I do the daily water changes without co2, I would only be causing co2 fluctuations and confuse the plants.
     
  16. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi,

    I am not familiar with aqua soil or for that matter any other commercial substrate, but the stuff I use I have always found it beneficial to soak in filtered water (water I use for water change). :)

    Biollante
     
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