Reusing Substrate??

rs18alpha

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Feb 3, 2017
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I tore down a tank about two weeks ago. I have some Fluval Stratum with a little sand and pea gravel that's been in a bucket for two weeks.
Is ok to re use this stuff?

There's a little old tank water in the bottom of the bucket. If I rinse it out really good will it be ok to use again??
I just want to re use the Stratum and the gravel.

What do you think?
 

Allwissend

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Generally okay, but it won't be like new Stratum ( pH lowering etc.). As it was kept in a bucket it is also possible that some anaerobic areas developed, likely due to organics accumulated in an old soil. I recommend that you wash the substrate really well and expose it to air a few hours. As long as it's still moist the bacteria will survive.
 

rs18alpha

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Thanks, I've already set up the new tank with ADA Colorado sand in front and Flourite Dark in the back. I'm not worried if the old substrate looses it's bacteria after I wash it. If it does than I guess I'll have a mini cycle, correct?

What I wanted to do with the old Stratum is to add it to the back right to gain some height. Is that ok?
 

Allwissend

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If the mini cycle happens depends on many other factors, better to treat it like new soil in the bacteria aspect.

I don't see why not, do the same steps as above however.
 

Louis Walker

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There are many good reasons for reusing growing media. These include saving time, money, and environmental friendliness. With good, quality coconut substrate, this is easy. Good quality coir does not degrade as quickly as some growing media such as peat. Because coconut substrate does not tend to be easily affected by the disease, this makes it an excellent medium for reuse. Potentially, the coconut substrate can be used several times before taking it to your garden, if you have one, where it will make some soil amendments.
Things to do before reusing coconut fiber:
-Check the "salinity" of the substrate.
-Before replanting in coconut substrate, first, check the salt level of your coconut. If the previous crop grown in the right conditions, the salt level should be good. Be aware that high salt levels can reduce yields
-Investigate for pests.
-It is necessary to check the coconut substrate before reapplying for various pests and old roots. If you find them, you can try to get rid of them or just use a new coconut substrate.
Reusing coconut substrate for seedlings or young cuttings is a bad idea. They are fragile by definition, therefore, it is better to use fresh coconut substrate in such a case. Reusing coconut is recommended for healthy and mature plants.
-Once the old crop ends, you will need to remove the root mass (using a knife or mini saw).
-Place a new plant and fill the gaps around it with a new coconut substrate. The final step of the previous crop may have reduced the intensity of the calcium buffer that will be replenished as your plants are fed. When emerging roots fall into the recyclable coconut portion of the container, it will all be perfect and balanced.
-Spill with calcium-rich water and a series of nutrients that are specially formulated for use in coconut substrates as well as a quality root stimulant.
-Then inspect carefully to make sure there are no air pockets (if necessary, fill them with fresh coconut)
Previously used coconut can be used to adjust the soil composition in open flower beds, gardens, or any other area where the soil is compacted. Its use will allow you to regain aeration as well as improve water retention.