So my Netlea (Similar to ADA) soil, after absorbing all kinds of things from the tank, has decided to start releasing them, so it's time to get rid of it. It's the problem with any active substrate. They have a high CEC and can store things from the water and release them when full. They can also run of whatever they use to lower the pH. Either way, they do have a lifespan, especially what we want from the soil for shrimp. I am going to reuse it for my planted tank though after a rinse, let it suck up the nutrients I dose and from root tabs.
Mine seems to be loaded with Nitrates and Phosphates. I got algae growing over sponge filters, walls, plants, sponge intakes, rocks, everything. I've taken soil out of the tank, into a container with fresh water, 20-40ppm nitrates within 24 hours. The soil's cap-put.
I don't want to go through this again, and also am looking at moving within a year and setting up a breeding rack, so time to look for other options for cheap filtration and getting the proper water without active substrate.
So I came up with a Hamburg matten filter for my filtration. The tank is a 20gal tank. I'm going to use a bit of inert gravel but leave a big portion of the tank bare bottom for easy cleanup, etc. I am going to use Ebi-ken Sosei, which is a product to lower your RO water by adding an organic dis solvable fluvic acid that can be added to your RO for water changes and will drop the pH to a acidic range without affect other param's.
Here's the sponge with a dry fit with some supports to hold the sponge in place.
Support rails painted black with Kyrlon paint and siliconed into place.
The idea behind a Hamburg Matten filter is that you put a powerhead or airdriven lift tube behind the sponge, and expelling water out of the area back into the area in front. This forces water to be pulled through the giant wall of sponge. This provides filtration, huge area for biofilm for shrimp, and very low maintenance as the sponge can go sometimes a year or two without being removed and cleaned. The bonus is shrimp love sponges for munching, so bonus for them. So people even get a bit of moss growing and creeping up the sponge to create a moss wall.
Here's a pic of how the HMF works. http://www.swisstropicals.com/Web%20...0principle.pdf
Just waiting for silicone to dry so I can flood it and seed it with some goodie from some other tanks and get it going.
So far I haven't lost any shrimp from the Nitrate/Phosphate dumping but babies sure aren't there like they should. No amount of water changes was able to get rid of it, so I'll see how this method works.
Anyone else use HMF's in there shrimp tanks?