03-10-2013, 03:08 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Gainesville, FL
Things have not gone so well. Yesterday I came home to see a large “bump” in the substrate. It was raised about 3/4” and 6” across. Since it was next to the end of the driftwood I assumed it had moved. When I attempted to reposition the wood an explosion, for lack of a better word, occurred. A huge gas bubble under the substrate rose to the surface with enough force to splash water and soil on the wall! The odor was horrific! It literally smelled like raw sewage.
After the phosphate levels being off the charts, the Rhizoclonium algae and wacky water quality I completely tore it down. The tank was covered in soil. The filter completely clogged. I now have no faith in using Miracle grow organic mix out of the bag. I am convinced any soil or organic mix should be mineralized first. There are microbes that are not accustom to aquatic life. They produce hydrogen sulfide gas as a result of anaerobic metabolism. The nutrients in the mix were far too high, proven by phosphate testing of the mix. Proper mineralizing takes care of both problems.
I did not use mineralized substrate. I simply used the flouromax I had left over. I removed everything and cleaned thoroughly. I replanted essentially the same plants with a few exceptions below. I decided to try a bacteria culture starter. I have never believed in any of them but have read good things about Tetra's Safe Start so decided to try it. With that and filter material from my established tank we will see. No charts yet, only one set of tests done.
PH 6.5 (due to CO2)
These were 24 hours after setting the tank up. I added enough KN03 to bring the nitrates up to 15ppm. I will be adding plantex GSM +B and iron chelate tomorrow. I did not use R/O water, instead I used straight tap water, treated of course. This is the reason my GH/KH are so high. I will begin using R/O again after the tank has cycled.
My journal on this tank starts here.