Join Date: May 2013
Location: Napier, New Zealand
Anything to do to slow substrate leeching?
I recently changed the substrate from inert gravel to small amount of peat,laterite, fair amount of daltons Aquatic mix (clay) and capped with a decent ammout of JBL Manado. Also had some flourite black sand but realised after adding it that the cat had been using it as a litter box while it was in ta bucket for a few days before the change. Obviously it meant cycling etc... Anyway the cycle is done and Nitrates were high. I did a massive water change which got rid of them and added one bristlenose pleco. 12 hours after the wc the nitrates were at 7ppm. 24 hours later they were at 10 ppm before the addition of fish I noticed how the NO3 went from low to 20ppm. The other thing is the cycle completed with out the use of NH3 or pioneer fish. since adding the bristlenose 3 days ago there has been no NH3 or NO2. This obviously means my substrate is leeching something. Im already trying to plant heavy root feeders like swords and crypts aswell as water sprite free floating to help with the nitrates Im also doing water changes every 2 or 3 days. Ive noticed bubbles escaping from the substrate when I plant something. The substrate is 10 cm deep at its deepest but is probably 4 or 5 cm clay. Is there something I can do to help slow down the leeching process or do i need to ride it out with regular pwc's.
Any more info needed just ask.