• You are viewing the forum as a Guest, please login (you can use your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Microsoft account to login) or register using this link: Log in or Sign Up
  • You can now follow UKAPS on Instagram.

Lifespan of Aquatic soil.

John Lumb

New Member
Joined
26 Feb 2018
Messages
13
Location
Teddington, Middlesex
Hi everyone,

I set an Aqua Nano tank up about 1.5 - 2yrs ago and it has 2.5" of substrate soil, I do not remember the manufacturer's name, but I bought it in Maidenhead Aquatics Syon Park store (Store entrance was 50yds from my office door!) and it was a recommended brand may have been Tropica?

My question is....Can anyone tell me of its lifespan and when should it ever be replaced? The tank was not heavily planted but has had water in it and various fish for the time period shown above.

Thanks

John
 

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
11,570
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
My question is....Can anyone tell me of its lifespan and when should it ever be replaced? The tank was not heavily planted but has had water in it
Assuming the <"grains are still intact">, and it hasn't <"entirely turned to mud">, you are fine to keep on using it.

In terms of it being an active substrate, that depends <"on cation exchange">. If you have hard water, then they won't ever stay "active" for very long, because the <"protons (H+ ions) on the substrate"> will be rapidly swapped for the huge number of calcium (Ca++) ions in the tank water.

cheers Darrel
 

John Lumb

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
26 Feb 2018
Messages
13
Location
Teddington, Middlesex
Hi all,

Assuming the <"grains are still intact">, and it hasn't <"entirely turned to mud">, you are fine to keep on using it.

In terms of it being an active substrate, that depends <"on cation exchange">. If you have hard water, then they won't ever stay "active" for very long, because the <"protons (H+ ions) on the substrate"> will be rapidly swapped for the huge number of calcium (Ca++) ions in the tank water.

cheers Darrel
Thanks, Darrel

Sadly, the water where I live in South West London is Rock Hard. I was worried about how long it would stay active?
I notice that some of the middle areas have started to degrade and turn to dust the top and bottom are fine.

John
 

mort

Member
Joined
15 Nov 2015
Messages
1,467
I'm not sure whether it's contributing anything to my tank but I have a layer of tropica soil under jbl manado in my tank that's been there for 8 years now. I haven't dug it up to see what kinda shape it is in but the soil level hasn't decreased over the years but that might be because it has been replaced by detritus.

It certainly doesn't seem to have caused any problems for me and I'm not going to break the tank down to swap it out because the plants grow fine still.
 

John Lumb

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
26 Feb 2018
Messages
13
Location
Teddington, Middlesex
I'm not sure whether it's contributing anything to my tank but I have a layer of tropica soil under jbl manado in my tank that's been there for 8 years now. I haven't dug it up to see what kinda shape it is in but the soil level hasn't decreased over the years but that might be because it has been replaced by detritus.

It certainly doesn't seem to have caused any problems for me and I'm not going to break the tank down to swap it out because the plants grow fine still.
I am loathed to do so partly due to the size of the mess it would make but things still grow and it is still intact. I am a bit fed of the dust clouds as I do try and plant anything and the ensuing sandstorm that occurs and then it attaches itself to anything that has a hair on it and looks a right mess.
 

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
11,570
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
I was worried about how long it would stay active?
In terms of lowering hardness, the harder your water is the more quickly it will lose the ability to soften the water. If you want to keep it active for longer you need to use softer water (rain or RO water). Personally if I used hard water I wouldn't bother about an active substrate, I'd just choose a substrate you found aesthetically pleasing.

cheers Darrel
 

mort

Member
Joined
15 Nov 2015
Messages
1,467
I guess I'm lucky in that I haven't planted anything in that tank in about 6 years. I have trimmed plants but tend to just leave it as a survival of the fittest tank. Maybe capping the substrate with a thicker layer may help.

I live in a very hard water area as well but use mostly rainwater in this tank and have always done so. I only really used the substrate as I had it given to me, otherwise I general just use an inert substrate and heavily root tab if I'm using tap water.
 

John Lumb

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
26 Feb 2018
Messages
13
Location
Teddington, Middlesex
Hi all,

In terms of lowering hardness, the harder your water is the more quickly it will lose the ability to soften the water. If you want to keep it active for longer you need to use softer water (rain or RO water). Personally if I used hard water I wouldn't bother about an active substrate, I'd just choose a substrate you found aesthetically pleasing.

cheers Darrel
Thanks, Darrel,

Would you, therefore, go for your sand or crazy colour gravel (NOT) and dose regular liquid plant food and? CO2 canister infusion or? liquid carbon. I hear George Farmer is not a fan die to a lot of companies just using very diluted Glutaraldehyde.
 

John Lumb

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
26 Feb 2018
Messages
13
Location
Teddington, Middlesex
I suppose I am just wondering if I should actually strip the thing down and try to recreate some amazing project that I see here.....I really really want that sparkling clean water.

I would like to have some Scarlet Badis etc.
Easiest I suppose would be to top the soil with gravel and find some reliable online store to get my plants etc. Being in Tier 3 are rather like the rest of the country.
 
Top