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Tropica Aquasoil and water change

Luigi

New Member
Joined
14 Mar 2021
Messages
4
Location
Belgium
Hi everyone,
I'm new to this forum, I've been a hobbyist for quite some time but recently I've set up my very first aquarium with full aquasoil from Tropica.
Here are some info:
Aquarium: Juwel Trigon 190
Tap water parametres: PH: 7,5 - KH: 5 - GH: 8
Aquarium parametres: PH: 6 - KH: 0 - GH: 3
The aquarium has been running for about 6 weeks now and I have a few cardinals, amano shrimps, otocinclus and some tetras, all are doing fine.

My main concern is regarding water changes. I've been following George Farmer's videos and I've noticed that he's using straight tap water de-chlorinated for his weekly 50% water changes.
I would like tu use the same principle rather than RO water and remineralising, simplicity is key.
However, isn't it bad for the animals that live in this aquarium to have weekly water parametres swings?
After conducting a water change, the water rises to PH 6,7 and in a matter of 2 days it's back down at 6.

Other thing is that I also have a CO2 kit from JBL with PH Touch Control. A nice kit that I was using without problem when I had inert gravel. KH was not down to 0 so I could set the system based on my tap KH and everything was running perfectly. At the moment the system is shut down because KH being at 0, the touch screen doesn't allow to add CO2 under KH 2.
Should I switch the solenoid valve to connect directly on electricity so I can have CO2 going in the tank before the light goes on and stops at night instead of being connected to the PH Control unit?

Thanks for your feedbacks and have a nice Sunday
Cheers,
Luigi
 

jamiepearson

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Joined
20 Feb 2021
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2
Location
Edinburgh
You need to do massive daily water changes in the first week, then probably every other day for a week, and so on. At least 80% changed. Tropica initially gives off ammonia, which is why your KH and consequently PH is depleting. The weekly 50% is only once the ammonia leeching has stopped. Although I do 80%, not 50, weekly or sooner and buffer because my tap is 0 KH
 

Luigi

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Joined
14 Mar 2021
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4
Location
Belgium
Hi Jamie!
I am well aware that in the beginning you must do heavy water changes. This was already done.

From what I know I believe Tropica does not leach amonia unlike the ADA soil which does.
My amonia and Nitrite readings are zero.
 

jamiepearson

New Member
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20 Feb 2021
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2
Location
Edinburgh
It does definitely leach, just not as much as ADA. The KH is used up when neutralising the acids caused by the beneficial bacteria that break down ammonia and nitrite. And it will become depleted, resulting in a fall in PH. Which is what you are seeing. You aren't seeing a ammonia or nitrite spike, but the bacteria will be increased / working harder to break down the additional leached, and producing more acids. Keep up with the large, more frequent WCs for a while longer, to maintain a buffer of KH, so you don't get to the KH depletion stage (and the PH fall). This means you won't get a parameter swing
 

Zeus.

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1 Oct 2016
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3,880
Location
Yorkshire,UK
The aquarium has been running for about 6 weeks now and I have a few cardinals, amano shrimps, otocinclus and some tetras, all are doing fine.

Proof in itself that the water parameters for livestock.. normally after 6 weeks the filters are fully cycled and have take care of any ammonia and nitrite and able to control any further leaching
Tap water parametres: PH: 7,5 - KH: 5 - GH: 8
Aquarium parametres: PH: 6 - KH: 0 - GH: 3
Strange.............. its almost as if the AS with its CEC properties is mopping up the kH and gH

I would toss in a good heap teaspoon of Potassium Bicarbonate after each WC which will add approx 2 kH to your tank

1615747680018.png


Injecting CO2 without any kH is hard and can be fatal to your livestock
 

Luigi

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Thread starter
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14 Mar 2021
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Belgium
Hello guys,
The filter was already cycled as it was used on another aquarium before that
I’m good at keeping fish relying a lot on WC to neutralise any parameters swings but I’m not too confident about how and why parametres can vary..
So if I understood correctly bacterias are decreasing the KH when transforming the amonia released by the soil in nitrates?
And so when the soil will have released all its amonia, KH will remain as it comes from my tap?
But it should still make my water softer and reduce KH even after the amonia spike?
 

Luigi

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Thread starter
Joined
14 Mar 2021
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Belgium
Hello,
I just called my aquascaping shop and they affirm that KH 0 is normal with Aquasoil. Aquasoil is mopping the KH ans the soil itself is used as a stabilizer for PH.
KH 0 and Aquasoil it should not be a problem for injecting CO2 as the soild is stabilizing the PH. They do advise to do the WC with RO water and adding some GH buffer

As said earlier it seems to be a hassle, George Farmer using straight tap water when changing water with aquasoil, I wanted to know how other people do their WC with AS to keep things easy and simple?
 

Alex Papp

Member
Joined
26 Mar 2018
Messages
105
Location
London
Hello,
I just called my aquascaping shop and they affirm that KH 0 is normal with Aquasoil. Aquasoil is mopping the KH ans the soil itself is used as a stabilizer for PH.
KH 0 and Aquasoil it should not be a problem for injecting CO2 as the soild is stabilizing the PH. They do advise to do the WC with RO water and adding some GH buffer

As said earlier it seems to be a hassle, George Farmer using straight tap water when changing water with aquasoil, I wanted to know how other people do their WC with AS to keep things easy and simple?
I use RO. I heat it up the day before and add Ca:Mg 3:1 in before I put it in the tank so the GH is 5.
I have almost 0 KH. That means there will be pH swings, yes, but these are not actually dangerous to livestock on their own- only KH and GH swings are bad.

You need KH for cherry shrimp and some fish like it so adding a some CO3- ions in might be a good idea depending on your needs. :)
 

Wookii

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13 Nov 2019
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Nottingham
From what I know I believe Tropica does not leach amonia unlike the ADA soil which does.
My amonia and Nitrite readings are zero.

On the contrary, Tropica Soil releases a lot of ammonia in the first week or two. Typically even a mature filter won’t have sufficient bacterial population to deal with it, which is why the large daily water changes are needed. However it sounds like you are past that point, and reading zero ammonia and nitrite is the most important thing before adding any livestock.

Aquarium soils can release a lot of organic acids which buffer the KH down, and I believe their high CEC does absorb calcium and magnesium ions from the water column as @Zeus. points out, which will reduce the GH - I tried to find a post from @dw1305 explaining it, but can’t locate it.

I wouldn’t particularly want zero KH myself, but adding a small amount of potassium carbonate will raise it a little if you wanted to. The GH needs to be around 6 to provide sufficient calcium for your amanos (and any other shrimp) to moult properly.
 

Alex Papp

Member
Joined
26 Mar 2018
Messages
105
Location
London
Hello guys,
The filter was already cycled as it was used on another aquarium before that
I’m good at keeping fish relying a lot on WC to neutralise any parameters swings but I’m not too confident about how and why parametres can vary..
So if I understood correctly bacterias are decreasing the KH when transforming the amonia released by the soil in nitrates?
And so when the soil will have released all its amonia, KH will remain as it comes from my tap?
But it should still make my water softer and reduce KH even after the amonia spike?
I don't know enough about how bacteria work to answer the first question,
but the soil has a buffering capacity, which in tap water with a high KH will quickly be depleted. So after a month or two it won't reduce KH ( wont make water softer). That would probably slowly happen after the ammonia spike.
 

Karmicnull

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6 Sep 2020
Messages
303
Location
Cambridge
My main concern is regarding water changes. I've been following George Farmer's videos and I've noticed that he's using straight tap water de-chlorinated for his weekly 50% water changes.
I would like tu use the same principle rather than RO water and remineralising, simplicity is key.
It depends on how soft your water is. Tetras in particular like soft water (<215ppm). If your tap water is hard then you are going to need at least some proportion of RO. If on the other hand your tap water is soft, you'll be fine using that. If it's super-soft you man need to remineralise some for the shrimp. The weekly drift in paramaters from WC to WC isn't enough to stress livestock. AS will stop leaching after the first couple of months. The advantage of RO is that you can be absolutely sure about what's in the water. Tap water will vary seasonally depending on where your water company is sourcing it from. That's why many people who use tap water ignore what's nominally in it and dose full EI regardless. But tap water is far less effort!
 

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