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Substrata , Is it worth paying for ?

davidcmadrid

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21 Jun 2009
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115
ceg4048 said:
I guess it's also not clear why the short term KH transient is such an issue?

Cheers,

Because of the associated PH drop that is quite sharp ( i deduce especially if injecting co2 ) given James had to do daily water changes. Im not sure how low the PH can go as a result but perhaps plants wont like the very low PH. Besides i have filters cycling at the moment getting ready so i would also pop in some fish too.

At the moment i can conclude in respect to the original question that there is no major benefit to purchasing the guru branded substrata and that Sand will suffice but James does have some evidence ( crypts i think ) that Akadama can give better results and will produce clearer water as an added bonus. This is in line with the Barr report. Any concerns that one might have towards root uptake may be addressed by Osmocote and a little peat under the akadama. Its been a useful thought process to me to understand that in not paying for the guru substrata im not actually limiting the systems performance in any way. The local shop has a lot of different bonzai stuff , I am going to try and get my hands on samples of other stuff the bonzai people use to see if i can also address the asthethic issue some of it had a very " mixed " colour look ,, like different colour pebbles etc . I will post my findings , maybe i will try a nano tank with something else also :D
 

JamesC

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3 Jul 2007
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Bexley, Kent
davidcmadrid said:
Because of the associated PH drop that is quite sharp ( i deduce especially if injecting co2 ) given James had to do daily water changes. Im not sure how low the PH can go as a result but perhaps plants wont like the very low PH.
When I setup my tank with Akadama it wasn't the pH that concerned me but the changes in KH. I find that fish don't seem quite so bothered when the KH drops but with a sudden rise when doing the water change I was concerned it might stress the fish. Better to do lots of small water changes rather than one big one.

If you are concerned about this then dissolve some calcium sulphate in water to make a soltion of about 40 dGH and soak the Akadama in it for a few days. If you have some iron sulphate you could always add this as well as it may give the substrate an iron boost. Remember adding chelated traces probably won't do much as the metal ions are in an organic complex.

James
 

Nelson

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17 Nov 2008
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Norfolk
hi,
sorry to hijack david.
Akadama and other fired clay substrates have a high CEC so they are just waiting for some cations to come floating by. These cations are replaced with H+ ions which is the reason for the KH drop. Akadama actually soaks up loads of stuff including phosphate. It's used in some places as a water purifier. Some pond keepers have also used it in large filters. One thing that most people notice with Akadama is the clarity of the water.
so you can put akadama in your filter to lower KH then :?:
 

JamesC

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3 Jul 2007
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1,276
Location
Bexley, Kent
nelson said:
so you can put akadama in your filter to lower KH them :?:
Yes you can, but you will need a fair amount of it and it will need constantly replacing. All the Akadama does is release H+ in exchange for cations. Another way of adding H+ ions is by adding a strong acid like hydrocholoric acid. Some have done this and got in all sorts of problems. Best to just leave alone, or if you really want to lower KH then use RO water.

James
 
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