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Reusing tropica soil


26 Oct 2020
Aberdeen, UK
I have a tank I tore down a few weeks ago sitting in the shed and I want to reuse the tropica soil from it to do a rescape of my currently populated Roma 90 which currently has sand substrate.

I plan on washing the soil and baking dry again before adding it but just wanted to check if my assumption that I won't have to worry about ammonia leeching from the soil once added to the tank is correct? Assume that phase is all done from the 12 months it spent in the previous tank?




17 Mar 2021
hi, most ammonia should have leached by 12 months. a quick rinse should be fine, no need for baking. just to clarify this is aquasoil right?


Fertz Calc Meister
1 Oct 2016
Aqua Soil (AS) is great due to its CEC ( Cation Exchange Capacity). The life of the AS will vary as the nutrients get used up, this can be combated/recharged by dosing ferts in abundance and the AS will mop up the unused ferts as long as its CEC properties are working.
However, depending on your water you use will also effect the life of the AS, if you have Hard/Very Hard water the excess of ions in the water will block the active sites of the AS over time as with the waters pH being higher the [H+] will be lower. The lower the pH of your water the higher the [H+] so the more likely the free H+ will 'unblock' the AS active sites ( with Ca being the most likely culprit to block the active sites here in the UK IMO).
Using RO water and remineralising it should extend the life of the AS.
This is all good news for the manufactures and sellers of AS as rescapes and new AS is often used to get the 'fast'/stunning results every time we scape.
Not so good for the environment and increase the carbon footprint of the tank also.

I do have a casual experiment going ATM where the tank has no or inert substrate which looks promising. However without AS the fert regime needs to be more spot on and so does the WCs, as AS also buffers the toxins/DOC's -(Dissolved Organic Compounds) as well as the nutrients

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