Substrate--need simple answer

slb

Junior Poster
Sep 2, 2010
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I'm sure the answer is somewhere in the forum, but I can't seem to find it. I'm hoping someone point me to it.

I'm new to the forum. I'm wanting to set up a tank with low light, no CO2, no real soil, with occasional dosing as Tom's suggests in his 3/28/2005 post regarding his basic method, but I'm still a little confused

1) Tom mentions onyx sand, leonardite, and peat. How thick of layer do I need of each and in what order? And, can I put my decorative gravel on top or will that disrupt the system? I realize there are many combinations that have worked for people, but being new I don't not how to judge among them. Is the a generic formula that's good to start with for a first tank?

2) Also, Tom mentions that one problem with soil is that is contains NH4, but wouldn't peat have the same issues with NH4 as soil?

:confused:
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Biollante

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I Will Try

Hi,

I was hoping a bona fide; honest to goodness Guru would answer this one. :eek:

You ask for a simple answer then ask a multiple questions, none of which has simple answers, let alone “a” simple answer.

Tom (I am assuming Barr) has made over 10,000 posts, it is hard for me to search by date, since I am not a Guru and not allowed access to the full archive, a little game “they” like to play.

I think I know what you are talking about and if you are still around, I am willing to help. :)

If you can post the link so I can see what you are referencing it would help.

Biollante
 

dutchy

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I retrieved the article for you guys :)

http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/433-Non-CO2-methods

The method below is a water column alternative to the sediment method and is pretty easy.
I suggest onyx sand as it added Ca, Mg, and Fe, and I add mulm/detritus freshly from another established tank to add bacteria and cycle the tank immediately. I also add a form of organic material other than soil. The bacteria that break the waste down need a source of carbon as an electron donor besides the elements in the waste. Like us, they need their carbs as well. 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. Soil also has NH4, this we know to cause algae in higher amounts and it does not take much! Ways around this: don;t use soil, it's messy and has NH4/urea. Boiling the soil for a few minutes will oxidize the NH4 to NO3. Allowing damp soil to be spread thinly outside for few weeks(3) will allow the NH4 to be converted into NO3 by bacteria. Peat moss, ground peat, works well also. The other options are add lots of mulm instead and leonardite. Leonardite is great, it last a very long time, adds a slow release form of carbon, matches the gravel's color, sinks easily poses no issues if you disturb and uproot plants. You should always add fresh mulm to any new tank. Add some form of carbon as well, pre soaked/boiled soil, pre soaked peat, leonardite.

Hope this helps.

regards,
dutchy
 
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Gerryd

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Sep 23, 2007
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Hi Bio,

it is hard for me to search by date, since I am not a Guru and not allowed access to the full archive, a little game “they” like to play.

Please note that this article exists as a 'sticky' in the articles forum.

If a thread is NOT stickied, a simple request to the mods should get it done in the appropriate forum. Makes it easier to find :)
 
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Biollante

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The Search Thing Bugs Me, A Lot

Hi Dutchy, Gerry,

Thanks guys.

I thought it might have been a sticky, was not sure which one though, I guessed wrong.:eek:

I do find the lack of search functionality rather troublesome. For a little while, I had access to the archive, with that access knowing a name and even an approximate date or subject relatively easy. I find it hard to understand why an “Advanced Search” would not allow me to find of all things a sticky. Why shouldn’t a search of someone’s name and a date return the posts by that person for that date?

Once someone figured that out I had access to the archive, it was apparently decided I (or perhaps all members) are not trustworthy enough to be allowed to search even within our own posts.:(

Biollante
 

dutchy

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I never had any trouble finding things....but if it's like that, PM Greg, maybe he can do something about it.

Regards,
dutchy
 

nipat

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May 23, 2009
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Hi Bio,

I find the search functions of this site is not as good as it was before the change.
So I've been resorting to Google. In its search box, enter the code "site:barrreport.com"
then put a space and keywords. For example, this thread can be found by OP's name and date:
site:barrreport.com slb 09-03-2010.

But there is something strange about this thread.
If you use the date 09-03-2010, this thread won't be listed (at least
when I'd just tried). So I searched by slb name alone and found it.
Guess what? In Google, it is dated 09-02-2010.
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&biw=1009&bih=636&q=site:barrreport.com+slb&btnG=Search

Actually it used to be 09-02-2010, see the web cache:
http://webcache.googleusercontent.c...p=54829+site:barrreport.com+slb&cd=4&hl=en&ct

But Google generally works, give it a try. :)

PS: slb, sorry I can't contribute to your questions.
 
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Biollante

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Sorry slb We Were Not Good Hosts

Hi,

I suspect slb thought us rude for not answering in a timely manner and left. :eek:

Thank you Nipat, I will use your method, I have found that I have more success Googling to find things on this site. I really do not understand denying access to the archive, or why searching your own posts should be limited to the last couple of months…oh well.

Dutchy I appreciate your efforts and it goes without saying you are smarter than I ever hope to be. That said I still do not know why someone should have to be smart or rely on a good memory to find things.

As to my PMing anyone in authority here, it has not been an effective method of communication, no doubt due in large part to my intellectual limitations and struggles with the nuances of English.:(

Biollante