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'prepping' ADA aquasoil for no water changes

a1Matt

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I am contemplating getting a nutritous substrate (currently using plain gravel), and ADA Aquasoil is on my list of possibles.

As my tank is el naturel I will not do any water changes to compensate for the leeching of ammonia that will occur when the substrate is first put in.

Can I put the substrate in another container until the ammonia finishes leeching then put it in the tank?

I was thinking of using a dustbin, and carrying out something along the lines of 99% WC twice a week for 3 weeks. I will happily increase the frequency of the water changes if that helps. (Will test the dustbin water for ammonia before moving the as into the tank.)

Will this work?
Any thoughts appreciated. I am wondering if I need to do anything other than 'add water' to start the 'as leeching ammonia' process.
 

Themuleous

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I would think it would work fine, Im sure the AS wont care whether its in a tank or bin! If you have a spare filter you could run that on the bin for a few weeks, and basically simulate cycling a tank.

Having said that once the filter is cycled the NH3 levels would fall to zero but that wouldn't necessarily mean that all the NH3 had leached out of the AS, to get the AS completly free of that could take weeks?

Sam
 

ceg4048

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Matt,
If you cycle the substrate on it's own there is no need to do water changes. the ammonia gets mineralized and the bacterial colonies build in the substrate. You need 3-4 weeks to accomplish this. Make life easy and just let it sit and do the work for you. This is exactly the same thing that makes the dry start method work so well. Water changes while cycling the substrate in this manner is pointless. :wideyed:

Cheers,
 

a1Matt

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ahhh, makes sense. A bit more knowledge drops into place :) Thanks Clive.

I can add some tank\filter mulm to the bucket to kick start the process.
I can also add a filter.

Would either of those help?
 

plantbrain

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Might try a DSM for the low lech non CO2 method.

Also, you could do the normal routine for water changes, and use Excel, then once things are grown in, say 8-12 weeks etc, slowly ease off the Excel and go full no Carbon enrichment and reduce the water changes down to zero.

Those are two transitional "alternatives".
Main thing is good sediment and low light.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

a1Matt

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Dry start method does not appeal at this time as the tank is already fully planted and grown in (has been non CO2 for 4 months, was pressurised previously).

I did consider going the Excel route and then transitioning back to no Excel. Especially as I have a teeny little bit of BBA on my wood, so it would be a good opportinity to spot treat that as well.

The thing that makes me hesitate on this is that everything will probably grow larger with Excel. So it might look odd with some larger leaves from the extra carbon, then with smaller leaves afterwards. It has taken me up until just last week to get enough growth with non CO2 to trim off all my CO2 sized leaves on my swords.

All good things for me to consider, thanks for the input Tom :)
 

ceg4048

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a1Matt said:
...I can add some tank\filter mulm to the bucket to kick start the process.
I can also add a filter.

Would either of those help?
Mulm adds carbohydrates that the bacteria can feed on so that's always a goodie. I'm not really sure that adding a filter is of any use though. Remember that you don't need to fill the container with water. As in the dry start method, you only need to keep the substrate moist, not inundated with water...

Cheers,
 

a1Matt

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Thanks Clive. I feel clear on how I can proceed should I go the aquasoil presoak route now :D
 
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