AquaSoil Leeching

Discussion in 'Substrates' started by johnny70, 22 Jul 2008.

  1. johnny70

    johnny70 Member

    Messages:
    636
    Location:
    Bakewell, Derbsyhire
    I have a 90ltr ltr tank that I will be upgrading to a 180ltr ASAP, I have the tank(picked up today), going to do a complete overhaul, will be buying some new plants and use some I already have.

    Currenty using Tetra PlantComplete in it topped with silica sand now, AS Amazonia is only a little more expensive but, how long is it going to leech ammonia for? or will this not be an issue with mature media and overfiltering I would LIKE AS as in the two tanks that I have put small amounts I have had good results and not real ammonia spikes but this tank would need fair bit of AS topped off with sand

    this tank has to be broken down, new one in its place, water, plants etc and then finally fish, all within the day.

    So is AS going to leech or not? and should I bother?

    JOHNNY
     
  2. milla

    milla Member

    Messages:
    241
    Location:
    Leeds
    Yes, the AS will leech. But as long as you are aware of this you can deal with it.
    I was in the same position had to get fish back in tank as didn't have a holding tank. I searched the web and found some advice from Tom on the barr report which i followed and am 8 weeks in and no problems, no losses.

    The advice was.

    Add zeolite to external filters (as much as you can get in), this will help deal with the ammonia.
    Do 50% water changes every 2 days for a couple of weeks.
    Then drop to 2* 50% water changes per week for a few weeks.
    I dropped to once a week water changes after week 6.

    So far i have had no issues or major algae outbreaks.

    It sounds like a lot of effort but it is worth it in the end. :D
     
  3. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi Johnny,
    AS will always leech. That's just life in the big city. :( But so what? Do multiple water changes for the next 6 weeks or so and you'll be fine. What I don't get is why would you want to top the AS with sand? After a while the sand will simply fall through the AS won't it? The amount of leeching is not much in terms of fish toxicity but only in terms of algae.

    Cheers,
     
  4. johnny70

    johnny70 Member

    Messages:
    636
    Location:
    Bakewell, Derbsyhire
    So, am I correct in thinking that AS is only an issue for algae and not fish then? I wouldn't have the time to do 50% water changes except on my days off :oops: my first concern is the fish really as much as I don't want algae, fish health has to be my first priority and if I can't have AS because of this I'll go down the old tried and tested route :D

    Cheers,
    JOHNNY
     
  5. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,266
    Location:
    Daventry, Northants
    It does have an affect on fish as does any exposure to amonia, what Clive is saying is that it's considered minimal in comparison to the effect that it has on algae ie. algae loves amonia and will thrive on it. But if you can deal with the WCs then it would be well worth it! :D
    Like Clive said, i'd leave the sand. There is no need to "cap" AS and the sand would end up sinking and above all, look poor once it's kind of mixed together :(
     
  6. johnny70

    johnny70 Member

    Messages:
    636
    Location:
    Bakewell, Derbsyhire
    Ok, cheers for the replies, my 15 hour days kind of put me out of the running to do big water changes everyday :( so I think I'll bin the idea of AS and go for Tropica or Tetra plant stuff instead. :)

    Cheers,
    JOHNNY
     
  7. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

    Messages:
    963
    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    not to mention the fact that the sand will prevent water flowing into the AS as well, which is one of its main benefits! surely this is a bad idea?
     
  8. sanj

    sanj Member

    Messages:
    1,506
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    doesnt activated carbon adsorb ammonia?
     
  9. TDI-line

    TDI-line Member

    Messages:
    1,535
    Location:
    Yaxley, Peterborough
    Probably, but will also absorb any ferts etc.
     
  10. spaldingaquatics

    spaldingaquatics Member

    Messages:
    161
    Location:
    Spalding, S.Lincs
    That's why I stopped using it
     
  11. johnny70

    johnny70 Member

    Messages:
    636
    Location:
    Bakewell, Derbsyhire
    hey ho, I've binned the idea anyway, looks like I'm using it all wrong anyway :(

    Time for a teardown :arghh:

    JOHNNY
     
  12. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Carbon won't remove ammonia, but old carbon will get colonised by nitrifying bacteria and become biological media too. If you want to remove ammonia chemically then Purigen or Zeolite will do it.
     
  13. jay

    jay Member

    Messages:
    693
    Location:
    Harrow, Middlesex
    Will purigen or Zeolite affect the biological filtration?
    Seeing as it takes ammonia away from the bacteria?
     
  14. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    They will affect biological filtration in that both will remove ammonia that otherwise bacteria would use as food. However, with a mature filter, Purigen especially doesn't seem to have any major deleterious effects. In a mature filter the bacteria will simply suspend their activity and wait for the food source to return. I also imagine the bacteria will still get some ammonia, just not as much. In a new filter I would think they would definitely slow maturation of the filter. I've only ever used them short term and used zeolite in fry tanks where I didn't have room for a filter.

    In the situation we were discussing with AS though we have spikes of ammonia and the chemical media will help remove the excess on a short term basis and when those extreme amounts of ammonia aren't being released then the media won't be needed any more to control ammonia.
     
  15. jay

    jay Member

    Messages:
    693
    Location:
    Harrow, Middlesex
    Oh ok. Just that I'm having this exact same quandary, but I'm going through with it.
    Think I may do the 'Tom Barr Dry start' but I'm thinking I may use Purigen when I first fill the tank just in case any ammonia is still present.
     
  16. sanj

    sanj Member

    Messages:
    1,506
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    I have added fuval ammonia remover \9im pretty sure its zeolite), the filter is new seeded with bacteria, but the amount of ammonia being leached by AS i dont think it would have major negative effect on the bacteria.
     
  17. Dave Spencer

    Dave Spencer Member

    Messages:
    1,389
    Location:
    N. Wales
    I always use Zeolite on new tanks as a means of controlling ammonia levels, and hence algae. I use Purigen for crystal clear water....but I must admit that I wasn`t aware that it removed ammonia.

    Dave.
     
  18. Would the leeching ammonia be enough to cycle the tank?

    I'm setting up a planted tank; 40l Aquacube, Aquasoil and an Eden 501. If I "seed" the filter from another tank would the leeching ammonia be enough to cycle the tank? How long does the Ammonia leech for (typicallly)?

    Comments and suggestions welcome :D

    Gordon
     
  19. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    give it a month before levels drop to a decent level. It can be used to cycle the tank
     
  20. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    With some mature media and a good filter you may find the tank cycles in as little as 10 days, or even less. However try to leave the fish for as long as you can. The AS will continue to leach small amounts of ammonia for a while, but once the plants are established they will take it all up rapidly. By having no fish you can run the CO2 at much higher levels really boosting their growth and also you aren't then having the fish adding ammonia either. 4-6 weeks is a good time, IMO, to think about adding algae eating fish, shrimp and snails. I'd only add them sooner if you see any algae before that.
     

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