Finkelstein- Thanks for the offer, but I do not think that i am going to be ready for a week or 2. I just sold off the rocks, and I need to drain and clean the tank. The cleaning is the worst part, the coralline on the glass is a pain.
Tank has been emptied and is now full of fresh water. I am just cleaning and trying to get rid of all the salt. I expect to start hardscaping this weekend. I drained it of saltwater today and it took me 2 hours of siphoning to get all the water out. Right now it is full of fresh water and muriatic acid to break down the corraline.
As far as cost effective substrate, nothing better than miracle gro with some nice small grade gravel. ADA Aquasoil is quite expensive, and I have doubts that its worth it. I just added some red clay and root tabs to my potting soil, and all my plants have done great.
If you're trying to keep down electric costs, gotta go with a good led fixture. Much less energy consumption. I'm switching from t5s to a Ray2 on my 20 gal, I'm curious to see the difference in my bill
20 gal dirted community, 20 long Vietnamese mudskippers, 40 gal tanganyikan cichlids, 55 gal South American cichlids
3 gal opae ula shrimp cube, 8 gal Fluval Ebi
So far I have eliminated 8 pumps from the tank, which is a good starting point. I have finished (so I think) hardscaping and filling the tank. I just used topsoil and a sand gravel mix that I found. The only issue now is that the water is red, seems to be tannins as nothing filters it out. Any one locally stock purigen? AA in Bolingbrook is out of stock.
I'd suggest a full drain & refill before going to chemical support. Had you posted you substrate plan, I would have advised rinsing the dirt prior to filling.
I would suggest that when you plant plant heavily and include copious amounts of Hornwort to act as a nutrient mop. Once you get cycled and the plants get growing you can reduce the Hornwort eventually removing it.
Last edited by DogFish; 05-12-2013 at 12:23 PM.
Hey Dogfish, I have drained and refilled three times. While the clarity gets better each time, I can only see about 6 inches into the tank. In hind sight I should have rinsed the soil, but now I have to pay the piper. Is this a tannin issue, or a nutrient issue? or both? I will look into hornwort tomorrow. My Wife keeps telling me that it looks like a martian tank, as the water is literally red. LOL.
Something doesn't sound right. After 3 flushes it should NOT be so bad. Was that just Topsoil or did it have Manure or Peat in it? Peat will tannin tint water. When I make MTS (Dirt) I start with HomeDepot Top Soil $1.37 for 40#. Each bag will have several late handfuls of Stick fragments when rinse the dirt in a bucket to flat them out. I usually get sever handfuls of rocks. In the initial rinse I get about 1" of foam as I swirl the dirt in the water with my mixing stick ( a 2x2"). All those undesirable elements are removed/poured off.
Your at a crossroads now Chemical Warfare vs. Labor Hours to pull it apart and rinse or replace the dirt.
Whatever "fresh" dirt you use you will get a radical ammonia spike. You can read about the benefits of Hornwort on my Toxic Ten Journal. That tank arguably had the most organic material in a substrate of all tanks on this forum. I give the Hornwort much of the credit along with hours of research prior to the build.