Substrate care

ccLansman

Guru Class Expert
Jan 22, 2008
375
0
16
Vista, Ca
Is there anyone here who can point me in the right direction. What sorts of warning signs should we be looking for in the substate that the substate is harboring detrimental bacteria growth. I believe they are making ammonia..??. Could this lead to poor plant growth due to roots not being able to dig down into this stuff. Should i be vaccuming deep down into the substrate or mixing it up?

Thanks!
 

Tom Barr

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 23, 2005
18,696
747
113
Smell, Schtank, Stunk.

If you get nasty gas smell, H2S, rotten egg and a lot of it, then yes.
I think a little is fine, just not too much mulm accumulated in sediments.

I clean it out every so often, months or yearly etc.

Deep vacuum etc. Sometimes not. If I add more CO2, light nutrients etc, do water changes, add carbon, clean filters etc and plants will not grow well in some spots, but not others, I look at CO2.

Once you have ruled out everything else, then you can go after sediment. The only things that causes this are too much organic matter or fresh soil that's not been oxidized yet, Aponogeton bulbs that are rotting and non viable to begin with etc.

That's about it.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

shane

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Nov 29, 2006
269
1
16
On that note, how long does substrate last? How often does it need to be changed out? In my particular case, I use ADA Amazonia. How long does ADA substrate last?
 

VaughnH

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jan 24, 2005
3,011
94
48
85
Sacramento, CA
I have never "worn out" a substrate. I always get restless and want to try something else, which leads me to using a different substrate and dumping the old one out. Eventually the nutrients locked into ADA aquasoil have to run out, but I can't recall reading about anyone who has been sure that happened. Much more common is for some substrates to get mushy, become mud, and be replaced for that reason, but I think that was only with one particular brand of substrate - not ADA.
 

shane

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Nov 29, 2006
269
1
16
If you use ADA aquasoil, how long have you had it in your tank for? I have had the same ADA Amazonia for 2 years.