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Substrate swap to ADA

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Gerryd, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi all,

    I am thinking of swapping my black flourite for ADA amazonia..I think version I as I heard version II had some issues???

    Anyhoo, I realize that it tends to leach nh4 for quite a while when first installed..

    Can I do this and keep some of the fish in the tank? I can only squeeze so many in my 45gal while the new substrate cycles...I was thinking of doing half the tank at a time. I have a large nuclear bio canister and I can add extra sponges and things NOW..

    I would expect to do 75-90% water changes DAILY for at least 3-4 weeks after the full replacement is complete to help with nh4 and the stress to the fish....

    When I swapped to black flourite I did it in 2 stages as well, but ADA is a completely different animal....I would do the same here with say 2 weeks between swaps..extend to 3-4 weeks between?

    OR......

    Should I just bite the bullet, house ALL my fish somewhere else, and just replace the entire thing at one go? That way the fish are not affected by it. I can toss some zebra danios in there after a week or two and nh4 is reduced to help with the cycling.. If it takes 4-6 weeks it takes 4-6 weeks. I would rather not stress my fish if I can help it. I expect to have them for quite a while.

    Thought, comments, and objections are all welcome.
     
  2. detlef

    detlef Member

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    Hi Gerry,

    I once set up a 20g using new ADA Amazonia version I and introduced the fauna right away. It did not cause me problems of any sort. I suppose what made it work trouble-free was a well running canister with aged bio media hooked to the new tank plus a handful or two of old substrate placed deep down in the fresh Amazonia. I also used 40-50% of old tank water.

    I planted heavily right from the start, changed water of about 30% daily during the first week and airated the tank at night. I also added some carbon to the filter for NH4 removal.

    No fish and no shrimp losses, no trouble at all.

    If you decide to do so as well please start fertilizing the plants with PO4, traces and K+ heavily and daily a few days after set-up (besides an adequate amount of CO2 of course) as these elements will be bound quickly by Amazonia and carbon or removed from the water body through water changes.


    Best regards, Detlef
     
    #2 detlef, Apr 1, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2011
  3. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    If the filter is mature and ready, then this might work...........better to get a few trash cans and change the water once every other day for a week or two, then add fish to main tank.
    I've done it a couple of time without doing the fish removal, but..........
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    From AJ: also:

    "Aqua Journal: By the way, an external filter is considered to be the best filter for an aquatic plant layout. Why is that?

    Amano: That’s a generally accepted belief, but I am not so sure about it lately.

    Aqua Journal: Really? You aren’t sure about it?

    Amano: When the oxygen content of water is low, the microorganisms inside a closed system become quite unstable. When the CO2 level is high inside a filter, the number of microorganisms decreases. On the other hand, when the oxygen level is high, the number increases. Algae seem to come and go along with this fluctuation. I am afraid that this is a short coming of an external filter. It has an advantage of retaining CO2 in water, though.'

    If you reason through this one, if you have a good sized fish load, then a wet/dry is certainly a good idea.
    I agree with Amano here and have data to back it up for both CO2 and O2.

    Tom
     
  6. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Tom,

    The filters are in fact very mature..

    However, it is no biggie to keep the fish in a rge rubbermaid (25gals or so) container. I can put some in the 45 which I will clear of platies first :) I have a mag 350 and a fx3 on the 45 and I can use onefor the rubbermaid and those fish.

    They will be fine for a couple weeks...I will go this route, remove all the fish, and replace the substrate at one time....

    Tom,

    Would it be beneficial at all to leave say a 1/8 layer of the existing flourite as a base layer to help with the bio bed?

    Or would it simply be smothered once I lay the ADA over it?

    Thanks as always...

    Thanks
     
  7. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    detlef,

    Thanks as always for the help and sharing your experience..

    Nipat,

    Thanks for the info and link. I knew they had I and II and that's what I meant by 'versions'..It looks like the newest one in the link is a best of both worlds thing??

    Thanks!
     
  8. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    ADA prep

    Tom and all,

    Does ADA need prep or a pre-rinse? I always rinse my flourite....

    How much did you need for your 180 in # of bags???

    Thanks in advance....
     
  9. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Tom,

    I don't disagree with either of you and I know you have the data...:)

    My ONLY issue with using a wet/dry is aesthetics...

    1. I do NOT want an internal wier.

    2. I don't want an external (CPR) hanging on the tank if possible.

    How best to do this with minimal intrusion.

    Help me out in that aspect and I am happy to go wet/dry... I had that style previously...

    Thanks as always...
     
  10. detlef

    detlef Member

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    Hi all,

    as for the importance of O2 Tom stresses, yes, after close to a year of airating heavily troughout the night I've come to the conclusion that it serves for better fish health, getting rid of bio films at the surface, better gas exchange, clearer water, less mulm build-up, improved plant growth, less algae etc. etc.-----> certainly strong arguments for wet/dry canisters!

    Airating a new set-up 24/7 during the first couple days should max out the proliferation of bio organisms in filters. I strongly recommend it since plants don't produce much oxygen in the beginning and filter bacteria might suffer therefore.

    Gerry, no prep and no rinsing of Amazonia required, in fact that would be detrimental as you'd rinse off beneficial organics etc. for plant growth. Go and seed fresh Amazonia using a small sub layer of mature flourite. I'm sure this should work.

    Regards, Detlef
     
    #10 detlef, Apr 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2011
  11. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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    Hi,

    Yes, it does look like that. Amazonia II is less fertile than I but the I tends to make water yellowish in higher KH. The II has been said to be softer, easier to crumble too.

    Last batch of Amazonia II (yes version II) in Thailand created a havoc, yellowish water for months and raised pH instead of reducing it, plants not growing well too. ADA distributor in Thailand had to write an instruction on their web site for checking the soil before use: pour some of the soil into a small container filled with water, let it sit overnight and check pH. So that buyers could return bad bags and waited a few weeks for replacement bags from Japan . Used wet soil was not accepted.

    It's worth noting that all the replacement bags were Amaonia I only, no II. Buyers reported they were very good quality. Those bags might be New Amazonia in old package, who know?. The New Amazonia is said to be available here this month.
     
    #11 nipat, Apr 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2011
  12. Htomassini

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    Gerry I used as for my 210 and it does stain the water. In such a large tank. Something about it. It took me months for it to finally clear up. Come to my house in ft lauderdale so u can see the tint I'm talking about. I would only use it for a foreground ground cover. I finally now cleared up some of the ultra fine floating haziness running de powder on my mag 350 but the water is definitely stained yellow
     
  13. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    Thanks for sharing..How long has the water been yellow? Tom mentioned that he also had lingering issues where he and the clients had given up hope for clarity.....and then it cleared and has been fine since..perhaps you need more time?

    I was thinking of perhaps doing in small stages... My current scape has 2 main areas of rooted plants... The stauro on the left and the crypts in the middle running to the back right..

    I was thinking I could do one or two of these areas, give it 2-3 months and see how I like it, plant growth, etc.

    If I did a small enough area each time plus some 60% daily water changes for say 10-14 days after, I think I will be fine and the fish can remain in the tank..

    The stauro patch is on a very low substrate level so needs maybe 1-2 bags at most...I understand that each bag of ADA is almost 22 lbs vs 15 for flourite iirc...I did some research and now can't remember lol

    The crypt bed is much deeper however but still fairly shallow for a lot of it as it slopes towards the back.

    Again, I think 3-5 bags max for these areas would do it.

    It WOULD look stupid for awhile so have to think about this....:)

    Thoughts?
     
  14. fjf888

    fjf888 Guru Class Expert

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  15. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Fred,

    I am talking substrate swap and you posted plumbing pics??? I am a bit confused sorry....

    I do agree with your conclusions however :) I would have used flex pvc myself... Reefers are a good source of info esp when coming to plumbing and filtration/flow.

    Lots of experimentation on that side of the house...
     
    #15 Gerryd, Apr 3, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2011
  16. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Another issue of course is I like the look of flourite and have a big comfort level with it.

    But I have experimented with lighting, filtration, c02, dosing, fish, plants, etc.

    Substrate is something I have shied away from other than replacing the red flourite with black, and then adding more :)

    I guess it is time.....and I have seen great results and lots of reliable posts where folks are using it...

    I mean, Amano uses it, does he not?
     
  17. nazrm

    nazrm Prolific Poster

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    Following this thread closely. Planning to switch from sand to ADA, but I'm not convinced after reading (all?) threads about AS on this forum and others.
     
  18. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Gerryd-

    COngrats on your move to Aquasoil. Do it and don't look back!
    That said, there is no easy way around it in my opinion. I'm a stickler for details and doing things thoroughly and completely.

    IME (having torn down my 55L with aquasoil twice), the only way to do and be fair to the fauna is to tear the whole tank down. and hold the fauna in a holding tank.

    I've read levels of up to 8ppm of ammonia/ammonium in certain tanks (using new filters), and cycling has taken anywhere from 4-6 weeks before the water parameters are ready for fish. A majority of the ammonia reading is ammonium.

    Do not rinse the aquasoil prior to pouring it in the tank.
    Mist the aquasoil thoroughly prior to filling the tank, and make sure you use a couple garbage bags on the surface of the soil (after you've planted the tank) to keep the water flow (when filling) from kicking up the substrate. This is the main reason for clarity issues.you can use garbage bags and place a 1 gallon ziplock ontop where a majority of the water flow will hit. I also use my hand to break the impact of the water when filling for the first time.

    Fill slowly.

    Take your time.

    Amazonia 1 coarse is all I use. (although I do have a layer of powersand, which I do not recommend at all).

    I also do daily 50% water changes for the first two weeks. This helps keep the water clear. Make sure to use a 1 gallon ziplock bag on the water's surface when filling till your plants get rooted, etc.

    Aside from that, if you have any questions feel free to pm me, too.
     
  19. Htomassini

    Htomassini Guest

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    gerry, after having used the DE powder with my magnum 350 for 2 straight days (and 2 filter changes) it cleared up a lot. But I think I may have come to a solution for my yellowing, in going over the different dosing calculators, i think I may have been over dosing on the plantex- hence my extreme high levels of Fe.

    So we will see.

    By the way, could I buy from you a couple of clippings of stauro from you?
     
  20. fjf888

    fjf888 Guru Class Expert

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    I guess quoting would have helped. I went back to your thread with Tom about the wier.
     
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