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Worried about ADA Aquasoil - cloudy

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by growitnow, Jun 2, 2007.

  1. growitnow

    growitnow Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hello everyone:

    In planning and set up stages of 90gallon planted. A few months ago I puchased several 9L bags of ADA Aquasoil Amazonia.

    Few days ago I set up a 20gal with AS; just water and substrate w/filter running. 20gal will serve as transitional/Q-tank. 90gal is still waiting to be set up. 20gal tank was at first clear, then cloudy within 12hrs. I let tank run an additional 12hrs to give a chance to clear up. It didn't so I did 100% water change, let run for 24hrs, tank is now cloudy again. Water was very slowly installed in tank in bowl & plate so as not to disturb substrate.

    Water was clear initially - but clouded up afterward (a very light but noticeable tea color).

    For the 90gal tank I earlier purchased Flourite. I had read Tom's and others support of AS. This 90gal is my first serious planted tank and I wanted to put the cards in my favor, so I decided to bite the bullet and purchase AS. So, I now have *both* AS and Flourite sufficient to substrate the 90gal. Tom's recent post of his AS cloudy issues, in addition to the same report of others now has me a bit freaked out given the 20gal newly installed with AS is cloudy.

    Sorry to be such a blank slate but 'what should I do?'. It would be a disaster given my limited experience to later set up the 90gal with AS then have to tear the whole thing down. But perhaps my concern is too premature. I will continue to do a few more 100% water changes and will probably put carbon in the filter to see if that helps.

    I would welcome any suggestions or experience. By the way, I added Tourmaline BC to the bottom of the 20gal, but no powersand and nothing else. 20gal is still empty except for substrate and water, filter running.

    Thanks,
    growitnow
     
  2. ronj

    ronj Junior Poster

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    Congratulations on your tanks, Growitnow. I too just set up a 90 gal with AS and Powersand. This is my first Aquarium in over 25 years, so everything is all brand new; equipment, technology, etc. My LFS guy gave me 2 bags of powersand so I assumed he wanted me to put it all in. After I had an inch in the bottom of the tank, I decided to stop. I then put 3 o 4 inches of AS on top from front to back, ran the equipment for a few days to make sure everything worked OK, then planted 22 bunches of stemmed plants to begin a silent cycle. I'm not sure if I had too much powersand or not enough plants, but I evidently missed the silent cycle because my ammonia and nitrites were off the charts. Tank has been up for 3 weeks and my ammonia level was finallyat 0 this morning. Nitrites were 1.0 last week and are now at .1 I also had the cloudiness for two weeks before I saw improvement, so hang in there. I still have a slight yellow tinge, but I'm not sure if it isn't the algae on the glass causing it. I haven;t been able to use algae eaters yet because of the ammonia. I can tell you one thing; if you're looking to grow plants, this AS is unbelievable! I had cabomba 10 inches tall a week and a half ago, and it's broken the water surface already.Two week old tiger lotus that had 3 little leaves now has 8! By the way, I'm using Purigen in my Eheim 2028, and also activated carbon in a Magnum 350 until everything clears up and stabilizes. If I were in your shoes with 2 tanks, I think I would try Flourite in the 2nd tank. I understand it's easier than AS, and you would have the advantage of using 2 different substrates to compare to each other. I hear Flourite has to be rinsed really well or you can have a cloudiness problem with it also. Sorry to be so long winded- hope it helps.
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    AC and Purigen work well to clear things up.
    Why woyuld you wait to add algae eaters though?
    Add zeolite, do every other day water changes till it drops etc.

    The zeolite last about 30 days and by then, everything it cycled, you may also use mulm from a pre existing tank.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. growitnow

    growitnow Lifetime Charter Member
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    ronj, Tom:

    Thanks for the indication, 3 weeks seems a long time, but I am glad your tank is clearing. Good luck with your tank, and welcome back after a long hiatus!

    My experience with Flourite is that if it is rinsed well there will be some cloudiness initially but it pretty much clears up within 24hrs or so.

    New tanks with any bioload (fish or plants) might be expected to need a period to clear as the biofilter establishes.

    What seems unique about AS is that these pattterns have not been observed.

    There is no bioload and the water is intially clear, but later clouds, and has gotten worse not better. Today tank looks like a deep fog storrm. Yesterday added Matrix AC, today will add Purigen and zeolite. It is possible ammonia spike reported to be associated with/caused by AS adds functional bioload. If so, then addition of biospira and/or zeolite should help.

    Can any one comment on addition of plants at this stage? That is, will light penetrate well enough to promote growth, or should one wait until the water mostly clears. Right now, there's a pretty dense fog. Can barely see back of tank.

    Thanks,
    growitnow
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You have not added plants?
    There's the source of all the biofiltration right there.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. growitnow

    growitnow Lifetime Charter Member
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    Tom, thanks.

    No, had not added plants. Given first go with AS intention was to let expected cloudiness from sediment clear for a few days, then plant. I put the hold on planting in observation of dramatically more cloudy water than was anticpated.

    Today seeded new filter well with mulm from established filter and added zeolite. Discovered purigen is way too small for what I thought were my fine mesh filter bags.

    Will proceed to plant, and add source of ammonia if test indicates need, so active bacteria transfered don't starve.

    I guess part of the logic here eludes me. I would have assumed first step would be to fill tank with subtrate and make sure everything is "OK" before planting. If I can't see the bottom of the tank then why would I anticpate plants to grow as oppose to atrophy. Go figure.

    Thanks, for input. I think it was wise of me to set up the 20gal transitional tank with same substrate (AS) as planned for 90gal. I can work out the kinks on a smaller scale first.

    Cheers,
    growitnow
     
  7. ronj

    ronj Junior Poster

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    I was under the impression that adding fish to a tank with ammonia and nitrite levels was a no-no. Suggestions about this on another sight recommended to wait until toxic levels disappeared before adding algae eaters or they would surely die.
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    No, you just do 2x a week water changes, 50-60% and add soem zeolite ot the filter, it's cheap and makes super biomedia later on.
    You also add some mulm from an established tank(LFS, friend's yours etc), the adds precisely what is in an established tanks gravel/filter etc.

    No wait.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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