substrate life span

Discussion in 'Substrates' started by john starkey, 12 Feb 2009.

  1. john starkey

    john starkey Member

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    1,593
    Location:
    worcester
    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.
     
  2. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

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    7,091
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    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.
     
  3. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

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    4,126
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    Aston, Oxfordshire
    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
     
  4. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

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    2,498
    Location:
    Bromley
    I have had the same substrate for 20 years now and it shows no signs of degradation :eek:
    Good 'ol gravel :lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  5. YzemaN

    YzemaN Member

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    183
    Location:
    Copenhagen
    :wideyed: Your substrate is older than some people on this forum!
    Do you celebrate birthdays and such? :lol:
     
  6. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    10,301
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    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.
     
  7. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

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    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.
     
  8. john starkey

    john starkey Member

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    1,593
    Location:
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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
     
  9. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

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    Thanks for the chemistry lesson, Aaron!
     
  10. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

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  11. john starkey

    john starkey Member

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    1,593
    Location:
    worcester
  12. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    There is a similar thread on barrreport where someone suggests that the ADA powerssand is great and basically has a full on argument with Tom on it. lol. You have to read it all to understand but it gets real interesting towards the end of the first page. Quite gripping. ;)

    http://www.barrreport.com/co2-aquatic-p ... =anaerobic

    AC
     
  13. Garuf

    Garuf Member

    Messages:
    4,959
    Location:
    Leeds.
    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.
     
  14. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

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    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.
     
  15. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

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    2,498
    Location:
    Bromley
    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)
     
  16. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    Very interesting, i learnt about anaerobic substrates in "ecology of the planted aquarium" (Diana Walstad - a very good book for anyone interested in science) and through some research on the net.
     
  17. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Messages:
    2,706
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    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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