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What too add to an Old Substrate ?

Discussion in 'Sediment / Substrate' started by steve001, May 25, 2011.

  1. steve001

    steve001 Junior Poster

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    That's the question.
    This tank of mine was started back in 86. Back then the only book I had for information was the Dupla book and the only substrate additive was Laterite. Now with renewed interest and new substrate products on the market I'd like to know what can be added to this substrate to improve it's nutrient levels for the long term.

    As a side note what role would mulm has that has become mixed into the substrate have in this case ? Thanks
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Likely a lot of muck is in there after 20+ years.
    You could Deep vacuum say 1/4 of the tank at a time, then replant, wait a week, then do another 1/4 etc.......
    and so on........

    This should help.

    It'll give you a chance to clean and rescape as needed as well.
    Do not try and do this all at one time, divide it into several stages.

    You can go 100% water column dosing, many do.........and do not have rich sediments.
    Others use something like ADA AS, or soil/mud,worm casting etc.

    If you are not willing to redo the sediment, then mud + freezer and ice cube tray = mud cubes.
    These can be added into the sediment if you are quick. Add maybe 20% of the surface area at one time, wait a week etc till the next addition.

    For something like ADA AS, I'd put the fish in a barrel/trash can till you can break the tank down and clean it good, then add the ADA AS, plant, doa DSM or fill and plant.....then after about 3-4 weeks, add the fish back.

    I have not heard the "D" word in a decade perhaps now:)
    Dupla got the CO2 part correct. The flow and the filtration, The sediment, not much at all.
     
  3. steve001

    steve001 Junior Poster

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    Thanks Tom. Some more facts. Water hardness ranges 3-4 DH. I do a small water change daily. This tank has pressurized co2. There's not a lot of muck as I've vacuum the gravel over the years.

    It seems the best option might be mud cubes, but adding ADA AS sounds like another good option it's not practical to house the fish in another tank. Why would that be necessary ? How about ADA AS ice cubes ?
    I know what ADA stands for, not the AS though. On some investigation does the AS stand for Aqua Soil ? If it does which one do you have in mind
    What does doa DSM mean ?

    The "D" word :) From what I remember Dupla stopped or was forced to stop exportation to the US way back in the early 90's.

    P.S. From an ADA distributor site: Most desirable pH level for most aquatic plants(ph 5.5 - 6.5) to develop their root systems. I know the PH as set by co2 injection should be slightly acidic. Is there any data to back this up this lower ph level ?
     
    #3 steve001, May 26, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 26, 2011
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    ADA As leaches a significant amount(Lethal) of NH4 the first 2-4 weeks, fine after that.


    Aqua soil = AS
    Do not fall for any baloney about pH.
    Aquatic plant roots and sediments are almost universally without fail, found in neutral pH soils. Aquatic sediments all tend to neutral.
    I can assure you I have measured the sediments in more samples and locations than anyone at ADA. Redox/pH/O2 are all related, but redox is the parameter best looked at for plants. Plants also change the pH and the redox/O2 as they grow.

    pH and CO2 enrichment are not the same things, one example would have a higher KH hardness............the other with CO2 enrichment would have the same KH hardness, but a much lower pH(about 1 full unit lower). CO2 gas is not a salt, sodium bicarbonate etc is....they have very different effects on fish and plants.

    One can change rapidly without any issues(CO2), whereas KH rapid changes of a full unit will not be good.
     
  5. KnH

    KnH Junior Poster

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    Tom
    Well I guess I should have read more,:eek:
    I have a bunch of the ADA new Amazonia soil
    Starting off with the ADA soil, what can I do to not nuke my plants just starting out

    I was planning on using your semi dry method to get the plants rooted for a couple of weeks before filling the tank up with water

    Starougyne for foreground, wood for hardscape and some swords for background plants

    Thanks
    Ken
     
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