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Non-Co2 methode. help me understain this..

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by Patrice, Aug 5, 2006.

  1. Patrice

    Patrice Guru Class Expert

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    Probably the fact english is not my language does not help me understain but I would be great if someone could explain me that part of the Non-Co2 methode.

    "As these bacteria break the carbon and waste down, they consume O2.
    This lowers the redox values in the substrate freeing up Fe2+ and other nutrients.
    Add too much organic matter and O2 and you get O2 levels that are too low and cause issues for your tank.
    "

    I dont understain why to add O2 and organic matter and you get O2 level that are to low. and about redox, that I understain, it is a good thing to have a good redox value. is that exact?

    Thx for your help.
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Non-Co2 methode. help me understain this..

    Bacteria use O2 to break down organic matter(leaves, rotting/dying plants, dirt, soil, manune,Urea/Fish waste=> NH4=> NO2=> NO3 etc).

    The more of any of these you add, the more the bacteria will remove the O2.
    They will keep doing this as long as there is ample O2.

    Once all the O2 is gone, then they start using anaerobic and fermenative pathways and many species of NO3 reducing, then Fe and Mn reducing bacteria appear and if there is a lot of waste and no O2 input, H2S and CH4 production may occur.

    In the substrate, the flow in/out is limited, much more than in the water column, as the O2 is removed by bacteria, the Redox potential is lowered, going from 500-400mv in the water column, down to about 200-300mv for most Fe and NO3 reducing bacteria, Sulfate reducers will be down around 100 to -100 mv, and -200 and lower generally are CH4 producers.

    Now in order for these higher levels of redox levels to be maintained, you need to have a steady rate of O2 supplied.

    No issue in the water column, plenty of O2 generally.

    In the substrate, the flow rate in/out is limited, so the lower redox values are produced.

    Too low is not good(H2S production, very low O2, often rotting smells and por plant growth) too little is not good either(no reduction of Fe/Mn and in some cases NO3, plus good bacteria community).

    Some folks add too much organic matter and /or do not place a large enough cap on top of a base soil layer for exmaple. Too much of the soil leaks out, drains the water column of O2, NH4 is often produced as the NH4=? NO2/NO3 producers don't have enough O2 to use since there's so much organic mattter that the bacteria go after that leaving little for the downstream decomposers of NH4 waste.

    Then you get algae.

    If you presoak the soil 2-3 weeks first in shallow tray, then organic matter has been mineralized already and you do not have such issues.

    But folks can add the right amount of soil and do fine also, it's just more folks will have better success rates since many make mistakes initially if they soak the soil first, or you may boil it 15 minutes instead(Sterilized the soil though, no bacteria are left) but it does stink up the house!

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. Patrice

    Patrice Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Non-Co2 methode. help me understain this..

    thx for the details,

    do I understain that there is a different type of bacteria to break down each N-P-k and trace?

    So you confirme me that my substrate is probably not the best. what I have is 1 inch of peat moos (not boiled but cooked for 20 min in my oven) and then 1 inch of sand and 1 inch of small gravel.
    Maybe those 2 inch over the peat moos will keep things in the substrate.

    I can see Blue algae between my front glass and the substrat. good think, it do not grow in the water column. Is this a sing that the redox in the substrat is now low?
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Non-Co2 methode. help me understain this..

    No, I think that BGA is normal along the gravel line in many tanks.

    I clean it off, slope my gravel towards the back of the tank, I do not want to see gravel from the front of my tank anyway.

    This blocks the light also.

    Some people have added tape so the BGA can not grow.

    You will also see that the side of the tank closer to a window will have more than the side away from the window and light.

    Clean the gravel a little if the substrate is older than say 6-12 month, fluff it up near the front.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. Patrice

    Patrice Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Non-Co2 methode. help me understain this..

    that is interesting. to you have picture of a set up like that. So that create like a little hill so we dont see the side of the substrat from the front glass. I like the idea. how to hold the substrate like that?
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Non-Co2 methode. help me understain this..

    Just brush it back if it flattens out over time, roots will hold things in place after awhile.

    I just slope the front edge so the gravel is at most 1/2" deep against the front.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. Patrice

    Patrice Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Non-Co2 methode. help me understain this..

    I'll have to change my way to make substrat to do this. :D I like the idea so I'll see what I can do.

    regards
     
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