substrate life span

John Starkey

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Hi All,does anyone know what the life span of ec-complete is (roughly),also does anyone know which is the longest lasting substrate on the market,i realise it could depend on a lot of different factors but i am talking about manafcturers recommendations when the soil needs replacing. regards john.
 

George Farmer

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It's impossible to say, John.

The manufacturers cannot give accurate data either, as everyone's set up is different.

Generally I change mine every 12-18 months, or sooner, but some go on for many years.

If you are dosing the water column heavily (EI etc.) then the nutrient content is almost irrelevant.

I have read that after some time, substrates do become 'stale' with oxygen-robbing bacteria making them unsuitable for decent root growth.
 

Themuleous

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Yeh, pretty much what George said. I had EC in my old 90lt for several years and still seemed to get decent plant growth, but I was also dosing EI at the same time.

Sam
 

a1Matt

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I have had the same substrate for 20 years now and it shows no signs of degradation :eek:
Good 'ol gravel :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

YzemaN

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:wideyed: Your substrate is older than some people on this forum!
Do you celebrate birthdays and such? :lol:
 

LondonDragon

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a1Matt said:
I have had the same substrate for 20 years now and it shows no signs of degradation :eek:
Good 'ol gravel :lol: :lol: :lol:
Haha mine has been in my tank for 7 now and still algea free too ;) I am trying another scape before I decide to rip it out.
 

aaronnorth

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I have read that after some time, substrates do become 'stale' with oxygen-robbing bacteria making them unsuitable for decent root growth.

by 'oxygen robbing' i presume you mean anaerobic bacteria? If so they are actually helpful in substrates. If the bacteria in the substrate are aerobic then they can keep elements such as iron locked up in their oxide precippitates which are of little use to plants, also, anaerobic bacteria can convert nitrate into nitrogen therefore keeping nitrate levels low, and it also means that the substrate will more happily accept electrons, so therefore positive elements are attracted to the substrate and it brings K+ and Ca+ etc into the substrate.
 

John Starkey

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Hi All,thanks for the replys,you have all told me what i suspected,however ADA do recommend aqua soil malaya for use in setups that you want to grow on for longer periods,regards john
 

George Farmer

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aaronnorth said:
I have read that after some time, substrates do become 'stale' with oxygen-robbing bacteria making them unsuitable for decent root growth.

by 'oxygen robbing' i presume you mean anaerobic bacteria? If so they are actually helpful in substrates. If the bacteria in the substrate are aerobic then they can keep elements such as iron locked up in their oxide precippitates which are of little use to plants, also, anaerobic bacteria can convert nitrate into nitrogen therefore keeping nitrate levels low, and it also means that the substrate will more happily accept electrons, so therefore positive elements are attracted to the substrate and it brings K+ and Ca+ etc into the substrate.

Thanks for the chemistry lesson, Aaron!
 

Garuf

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I'm a big fan of that thread, there's nothing more satisfying than Tom Barr destroying someone, It just makes me smile.
The points Tom raises are all good and valid too, And how do you prove something that's subjective.
 

George Farmer

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Garuf said:
...there's nothing more satisfying than Tom Barr destroying someone...
Really?! I don't think Tom sees it like that. Destroying 'myths' perhaps, not 'someone'... ;)

I'm going to be trying out Powersand and all the associated stuff soon, with Aqua Soil and ADA liquid ferts. I look forward to noting any (if any) differences in plant growth etc. compared to other systems (including Aqua Soil only + EI) that I've used over the years.
 

a1Matt

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YzemaN said:
:wideyed: Your substrate is older than some people on this forum!
Do you celebrate birthdays and such? :lol:

lol. yep I was 33 last week, and had a real good celebration :D
Which reminds me! ... I got my first tank (and gravel) on my 13th birthday, so my substrate really is exactly 20years old!!

(Sorry for the OT everyone)
 

GreenNeedle

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I think Garuf is right. lol

It's great to see Tom dispatch myths and he does it well even for those of us who don't understand the science fully we can still see it.

It is even better though when someone wants to argue the point with him and Tom makes sure that he shows who is on the right course.

I also like how Tom makes clear if it is something he assumes or whether it is something he knows too. I've recently seen some great posts where Tom clearly accepts that it isn't something he has researched 'yet' ;) and gives the person suggesting the 'theory' a maybe your right kind of answer. lol

On the original substrate question I have had my Tropica in since September 2007. Been through 2 rescapes and in a couple of months I shall scoop a load of the sand off the top. Give the Tropica a good stir and the put gravel back on top of it ;)

AC
 

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