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Due a re-scape: got some questions

RobS84

New Member
Joined
31 Jan 2013
Messages
13
Location
Reading, UK
It feels like I'm long overdue a major re-scape on my tank that's now around 8.5years old. With this I have a few questions that despite some searching i haven't found many conclusive opinions on.

1. Re-using ADA aquasoil?
Over the years there's been (sometimes long) periods where I've been very neglectful on ferts and maintenance, so i strongly suspect this is now close to fully depleted of nutrients. This is backed up by a recent large outbreak of Cyanobacteria I'm now getting back under control (back in the habit of large and regular water changes and EI dosing).
If re-using I think I'd probably want to wash most/all of the substrate anyway which i suspect diminishes / eliminates any benefit to tank cycling anyway. I also guess I'd want to use root tabs / osmocote to replenish the nutrients.

Thoughts on pros/cons of re-use vs. new, aside from the obvious cost implications.

2. Contamination (Cyanobacteria) due to re-use of hardscape, filter media, plants.
As mentioned above I'm getting an outbreak of BGA under control though manual removal, back to full EI dosing, light reduction and much more diligence on maintenance. I'm getting there, but conscious that the hardscape, filter media and plants etc will likely have to a small degree cyanobacteria on them no matter how well I manually remove and treat the causes. Is there any merit in ensuring nothing from the old scape ends up in the new to avoid contamination or in reality is getting algae spores & cyanobacteria in the new scape inevitable through airborne contamination / livestock introduction / any other means anyway, so it makes no difference?

3. Bogwood life expectancy?
The wood in my current hardscape is the age of the scape so 8.5 years. At some point this will obviously rot. It's not too soft yet and doesn't seem to crumble with manual cleaning. That said if the re-scape goes another 8 years, is 16 years pushing it? and hence would it be best practice to replace? (I'll be adding to it anyway as I'll probably be going reasonably heavy on hardscape this time)

4. Opinion on rocks
Would appreciate some opinions on rocks for the new hardscape, which i know is a subjective thing, but my choice of slate in my previous setup was the least favoured part of <moving to higher tech> due to lack of texture.

I've sourced some Granite / Quartzite? stones from a disused quarry. A pilot test of 48 hrs in a small volume 0ppm RO water made no impact on TDS so from a water quality point of view i think I'm fine (will check all before use). But I'd value the opinion here on general aesthetics. Pictured here I've crudely dumped 2 into the current tank (where you'll see the remaining BGA :oops:) next to the dirty slate. General thoughts & opinions?

Thanks.
21547CEC-4D00-4A5C-9A0C-DD1C8086BAB1.jpeg
 

ceg4048

Expert/Global Moderator
UKAPS Team
Joined
11 Jul 2007
Messages
9,562
Location
Chicago, USA
1. Re-using ADA aquasoil?
Hi,
It's best not to over-think sediments, which are complicated enough. Just wash your Aquasoil and carry on. Who cares if it's depleted? You'll dose EI, so what's the problem? I reuse Aquasoil all the time an I never worry about it because the price of new is ridiculous. It's a clay sediment and that's what counts the most. The only limitation is if the granules turn to mush. Then of course it has to be thrown out. If the granules still hold their form then call it good and don't look back. I never spend money on root tabs but people seem to be fascinated by them so if you want to add them or to use Osmocote then go for it. Make sure the Osmocote is laid down first and only use half a teaspoon per square foot because it's very high in ammonia.

2. Contamination (Cyanobacteria) due to re-use of hardscape, filter media, plants.
If your nitrate dosing is up to par then the BGA will recede. Clean as much as possible of course.

3. Bogwood life expectancy?
I just use wood as long as it doesn't fall apart. If it's 8 years it's 8 years. If it's more then it's more. If it's less then it's less. My wood is 20 years old. Some pieces rotted and fell off. The rest is still good. So what? This is not anything to worry about. The only reason to buy new wood at todays outrageous prices is because you don't like the wood you have.

4. Opinion on rocks
Putting the rock in RO water is not the best way of testing. When you add CO2 the water becomes acidic and if the rock is going to leech it's contents it will do so under those acidic conditions. Test the rock by putting an acid on it such as vinegar or lemon juice and see if it has an effect. If there is bubbling or other odd reactions then you know it's probably not safe.

Cheers,
 

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
13,018
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
Just wash your Aquasoil and carry on......If it's more then it's more. If it's less then it's less. My wood is 20 years old. Some pieces rotted and fell off. The rest is still good. So what? This is not anything to worry about.
Same for me.

cheers Darrel
 
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