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new into aquasoil

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by yme, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    hi all,

    I am getting finally my new tank ready to use!
    I am using ada aquasoil for the first time. I placed it on the bottom of the tank an gently filled the tank. The plan is to let the (excess) ammonia from the aquasoil leak into the water while the tank is not really up and running (no plants no lights). I decided to do this simply because I don't have the capacity to produce the amount of osmosis water needed for the reommended 80% waterchanges 3-4 times a week.
    I wondered how much ammonia ada aquasoil leaks into the watercolumn. can you get actually high readings on an ammonia test kit? Will I have to do the procedure for one month? or will 2 weeks be enough to get rid of most of the ammonia?

    Also, when I move the aquasoil by hand, the tank get's really really cloudy. will this occur every time when I move the aquasoil? Since I am planning to do a semi dutch tank (I am from holland :D ) this will involve a lot of pruning, moving plants and will for sure cause movement of the gravel. I would like to avoid a cloudy tank every time I uproot some plants. Is there anything I can do about it? can I gently lift the top layer of aquasoil to get the dust away? (and than do a couple of waterchanges). or will I just smash the aquasoil into little particles and wil I get nothing but mud?

    thanks for any help!

    yme
     
  2. Mooner

    Mooner Lifetime Charter Member
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    Is there something wrong with your tap/well water??
     
  3. SeanS

    SeanS Junior Poster

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    My experiences with AS: I had an ammonia reading of 4 ppm for a few weeks, even with large water changes and zeolite in the filter. During this time, I had no plants or fish in the tank, so I am unaware if it would have had a negative impact on anythings health. The snails did fine however:)

    I always found AS to be cloudy when disturbed. However, it always cleared within a few hours, so it was never an issue. I uprooted plants and moved things around nearly every week, and the only thing that was affected was my visibility. There was never an issue with fish health or any apparent breakdown of the AS. Note, I always did a 50% water change afterwards, and occasionally two 50% WCs back to back when I did any major rescaping.

    Overall, I like AS more than any other substrate I have tried and will use it again in the future.
     
  4. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    not wrong, but simply not ideal. KH 8 conductivity of 700. no Mg, PO4,
     
  5. SeanS

    SeanS Junior Poster

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    There is some, I can't remember if I ever had to dust it off or if the filtration took care of it. Either way, it was no big deal.
     
  6. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    hi!
    I filled the tank last weekend! put in the plants, leveled the aquasoil, placed the rhinox difussors etc.. It got really really cloudy! I did two 50% waterchanges since.

    But it is still really cloudy. I do see precipitates on the plant leaves. is this normal???
    It is alot more than I expected. If this happens every time when I uproot some plants, the aquasoil will be (not so) gently removed....

    and a little picture:

    SV102999-1.jpg

    thanks!

    yme
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Did you fill it up slowly and all the other basic stuff?

    Seems way too cloudy unless you move the plants and hardscape around a lot after it was filled.

    ADA As is not the type of sediment for that or the chronic plant relocator.

    You can add some Purigen and or micron filter the water or kjeep doing water changes, it should clear up.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    sure I did. that's dutch scaping. no way that I am not uprooting plants every week :D

    at the moment I am doing 50% waterchanges twice a week.

    a micron filter what is that? something like a diatomfilter?

    greets,

    yme
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Yes, the diatom filter is much like a fine filter.
    Micron refers to the size that the filter is rated to.

    Most pleated cartiages are 20-25 microns, that's pretty fine.
    Diatoms go down to about 1 micron.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    well, I might want to go looking for it. I have never seen it, nor do I know which firm sells micron filters. But I will find out! do you know a good brand?

    In the mean time, things are clearing up (after the last water exchange). I do see brown precipitates on the leaves, but I am trying to remvove as much as possible. Plants are growing great and are assimilating like I have never seen in my tanks. Which is I think a good think. :D
    On the other hand, I also do see green thread algae appearing on leaves and the wood. Probably due to the organics in aquasoil? I dose full EI exept that i don't dose NO3: after the last water exchange it was still above 30 mg/ (could as well be 50 mg/l). PO4 is rapidly used, I added 1 mg/l last weekend, dosed every day 0.2 mg/l and yesterday it was all gone :eek: .
    I started off with 4-5 mg/l ammonia, but it is not detectable after the last waterexchange.

    I guess everything is normal? (allthough I am a bit concerned about the algae)

    greets,

    yme
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Just make sure you do 2-3x a week 50-60% water changes for the first 1-2 months.
    You can add carbon to the filters to remove some of the yellow tint.

    Careful when you uproot plants.

    Since there's little NH4, you are over the worst of it.
    Keep up with the CO2 and dosing.

    You might add some K+ to account for no KNO3 dosing.
    Say KCL or K2SO4 or Gh booster etc.

    In general, expect to add about 50% less EI, but the same traces, maybe a bit more.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  12. hani

    hani Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi yme, am about to set my tank, but now am not sure, should i use AS or not, i already have it, but if its gone be one of those where you will have only 1 day of clear water evrey week, then the hill with it. it sound like you cant move anything after you fill the tank. i may go black fluorite way. keep us updated.
     
  13. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    hi!

    It is way to early to tell whether I like AS or not. what I can tell you is that in one week the blyxa japonica is about twice it's size. I guess it is a very good substrate in terms of plant growth.

    On the other hand, I found it quite difficult to plant the stems of the plants. a lot of them floated again after I put them in. (so you put them in again, which causes again a bit of cloudiness)

    I uprooted quite some plants today but afterwards the cloudiness was not that bad.
    I don't know how firm the AS stays if you uproot plants again and again. will it turn to mud? maybe, I don't know.


    the status of the tank:
    plant growth: very good, plants are pearling heavily
    algae growth: also very very good. green thread algae are covering old and new leaves as well as the front glass and the wood. amazing how this stuff can grow! :eek:

    PO4 is at 1 mg/l. NO3 is still too high, but after the last waterchange it was lower than after the waterchange three days ago.
    Tank is 100 gallon; I add 13 ml TMG per day as well as 13 ml flourish iron.
    CO2: 4 KH diy dop checker is lime coloured.
    NO2: is now at toxic levels (so no shrimps or sae can be added)

    I have no idea what I can do about the algae, exept water changes. Plants are healthy, do not show a sign of deficiency. maybe the organics in the water are causing the algae growth? Would be nice if someone could give an explanation why the algae are growing also on new healty leaves, glass and wood. the things are probably not leaking nutrients in the watercolumn.


    greets,

    yme
     
  14. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    as hani asked, a picture of tank, in this case my polygonum.

    SV103070.jpg

    water has definately cleared. but as I said thread algae are taking off :eek:

    Should I really keep the micro's up? can't I stop the dosing of the micro's in the startup fase and ust let the AS feed the plants? because it is clear to me that this is not working: plants are growing great, pearling like hell but so are the thread algae.

    Some advice please?

    greets,

    yme
     
  15. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    That's Spirogyra. That will be tough to get rid off, more than any other algae species, this one likes the same conditions as plants.

    You likely had it come in from a plant etc.
    Might consider Excel and water changes and a blackout.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  16. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    hi tom,

    that also means that I should stay dosing micro's etc?

    I don't think it's spirogyra. I haven't looked at using a microscope, but a did in the past and it looked like this:

    algae.jpg

    doesn't look like typical spiro to me... but also means that I indeed had it before I started the this tank.

    but I will add excel... :D (and a blackout if things don´t improve)

    greets,

    yme
     
  17. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    SV103215-1.jpg

    greets,

    yme
     
  18. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You need to trim that tank:)

    That + good conditions should keep things away.
    Not, that does not look like spirogyra to me either.
    Zygmyga perhaps.

    Make sure to get a healthy strand and look at it asap whenever you look at any species of algae.

    The cells start changing rapidly once you take them out of their environment in a matter of minutes to hours, but spirogyra will generally retain some nice spiral pairs of chloroplast for quite sometime.

    Tank looks better and certainly full of plants.

    You might try pulling the plants away from the front of the glass a little.
    This way you have a nice front edge and the foreground plants can fill out a bit and give a nicer slope front to back. You also can get better flow characteristic and keep things cleaner/looks more well kept.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  19. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    hi tom,

    I tried to google "zygmyga", but zero hits. is it a rare algae or a typo?

    anyway, I added flag fish and they are great. most of the long strands are gone.. :D
    the only thing is that I may have males only, since I don't see a spot on any dorsal fin, nor is any spot on the body very sharp edged. :mad: anyway, no aggressiveness yet. so I guess it will do for the moment.

    One problem I did have was too little NO3, despite always taking along 15 and 25 mg/l references. I used now a red sea test kit and I liked it. there is really a big difference in colour between 15 and 25.

    And yeh, that big green fluffy thing in the forground middle was my glosso to be. I guess it thought there was not enough light and went a bit higher :mad:

    Also the excel is taking care of staghorn and other bba-like algae. We wil see what happens when the NO3 is higher for a longer time.

    One thing I don't like is that there is a lot of brown precipitates on the leaves. I guess it is coming from the AS. I try to be carefull while uprooting plants, but still...
    very annoying and also probably algae inducing. I think I will cut of the stems just above the AS in order to disturb it as little as possible. But hell, plants are growing too fast! I don't see another option than just triming and trimming an trimming... (and than I want to increase my light, to keep the glosso down... pffff taking care of this tank takes a lot of time)

    greets,

    yme
     
  20. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Cerexagri-Nisso LLC: Submersed Aquatic Plant and Algae Guide: Algae: Zygnema

    You will see the 2 star shaped chloroplast inside each cell. I cannot tell from the photo. Also take a look at the ends of the filaments, they are also very telling.
    Does not look like Rhizoclonium, or Vaucheria etc.
    Hard tell without a sample.

    I'd suggest more water changes till the tank settles down some.
    Trim things back to allow light to all the spots you want, and water changes. It will get rid of a lot.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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