What is the lifespan of AKADAMA?
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:41 PM   #1
hedge_fund
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What is the lifespan of AKADAMA?


Hello.

I've have my AKADAMA set up for about a year now and am starting to think that it needs to be changed out. My water gets buffered to 6.5 PH but I would like it a little bit lower (this is with BW HUMIC as well). I use RO water so I thought it would have lasted a bit longer.

Now my dilemma:
I would like to use AquaSoil but I have tons of babies in this tank between all the grains of akadama. I literally have babies about 1.5 inches under the gravel right next to the glass...not sure how they get there but they manage to find a way through the labyrinth. How do you guys change out the the substrate? It seems like a gigantic pain in the ass, especially since the cycle will get thrown off. Is it better to just cap it and have about 4 inches of substrate (akadama + aquasoil)? Even capping it would probably require multiple seedings.

Thanks.
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:48 PM   #2
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Get another tank and start cycling it with Amazonia, keep both going until you can fish out all the little ones. That is what I do. I am about to pull my 2 month old akadama because I want to use Amazonia and Africana for my tanks now. My akadama buffers good but I want it in the 5.5 range and only africana will really give me that
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:07 PM   #3
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I've read people on here using Akadama 18 months or more and still getting the same buffering as they did day one. In my tank, with RO water with pH 7 Akadama would buffer down to around pH 6.2 I think. It was good for the 6 months I had it.
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:36 PM   #4
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I think that frequent water changes with higher ph water shorten it's lifespan
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
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I think that frequent water changes with higher ph water shorten it's lifespan
This!
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:43 PM   #6
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I have done weekly water changes for a year with RO. I honestly never missed a single week and even had friends do it when I was on multiple vacations. So yeah, my akadama is probably worn out.

This whole substrate change is a huge PITA.
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hedge_fund View Post
I have done weekly water changes for a year with RO. I honestly never missed a single week and even had friends do it when I was on multiple vacations. So yeah, my akadama is probably worn out.

This whole substrate change is a huge PITA.
starve the shrimp for 5 days, lower photoperiod also. Then drop a food and catch the babies!
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
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This whole substrate change is a huge PITA.
Not really man, I switched substrates once and took me about 1 1/2 hrs. Akadama doesn't leach anything, perhaps the opposite.

I can tell you how I did it if you want to.

Although I did loose some shrimplets
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Not really man, I switched substrates once and took me about 1 1/2 hrs. Akadama doesn't leach anything, perhaps the opposite.

I can tell you how I did it if you want to.

Although I did loose some shrimplets
Sure, I'd like to hear your process. I do have some Ebiten PRLs juveniles so losing shrimp really isn't an option. I might only do half of the tank at a time and see how that goes. Or just set up a new tank and then throw this one out. Still trying to source all my options.
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:32 PM   #10
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Best thing to do if your soil is needing replacement would be to set up a brand new tank, new soil, cycled, and ready to go for the shrimp to swap right over. That would be the best method for the least collateral damage.
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:34 PM   #11
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I agree, setup a new one and make sure it is good!
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:46 PM   #12
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Last time I did it with netlea soil, I put the soil in panty hoses, let it leech ammonia for its 2 months with a few cycled sponge filters and grow some nice biofilm in the soil, then netted the shrimp, took out the old soil, cut open the panty hose and dumped in the new soil, done in a few hours.
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Old 10-20-2012, 12:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedie408 View Post
Best thing to do if your soil is needing replacement would be to set up a brand new tank, new soil, cycled, and ready to go for the shrimp to swap right over. That would be the best method for the least collateral damage.
Yeah, if you can do that will be the best!


(I've been thinking to get another nano tank to start a new scape this way. Then shut down the existing one and repeat the process when I want to)

The way I did it was really really simple BUT THEY WERE NEOS.

Measured the existing parameters.

I took a 3 gal plastic container and transfer the HOB, some moss and plants and filled up with tank water.
I net out all the shrimp into this container.

Then uprooted all the plants, put them in another plastic bowl and catch the last shrimplets.

Took all the fluval soil out, clean the tank and place my new DIY UGF in there, using a big strainer I rinsed the akadama under the tap before placing it in there.

Filled up the 1/2 tank with DI water and 1/2 of what was in the container with the bugs. Started the eheim 2213 w/UGF to clear it up.

Plant it up and place the rocks and all of that.

Compared the parameters, matched GH and temp. TDS and ph were off.

Transfer the Hob to the tank and "drip" (rather quick, more like "stream") acclimate the shrimp in the container.

Put the shrimp back in.

Then, weeks after, I got rid of the neos and got CRS. I monitored the water the whole time. The tank didn't "recycle".



I'm not saying that you should do this with your PRL tho. But it would work with inert substrate and neos FO SHO
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Old 10-20-2012, 01:22 AM   #14
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I have my Akadama for 6-7 months with biweekly RO water changes. Its start with buffering to PH 5.5 3 months lather PH6.2 and now PH6.8. 3 days ago I added Malaysian wood and PH went to 5.1.looks like Akadama donít have any buffering capacity any more.
In tanks with 14 months old Africana , Malaya and Amazonia wood didn't change pH at all.
To lower you PH you can use fist size Eheim peat moss $9 per box .It can hold 0.6-1.0 point less PH in 20 gal long for 40-50 days/ in to the filter/
When i have to replace substrate I'm waiting till Feb when shrimps are not breeding much. Young shrimplets are big enough to be pulled out. I'm moving shrimps from all tanks in one tank and I'm replacing substrate. In April Iím selecting best shrimps and separating them in already cycled tanks.
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Old 10-20-2012, 02:12 PM   #15
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Thanks all for your comments. I really wish I have started with aquasoil right from the beginning. Luckily there is a store near that carries Amazonia II so I'm off to spend some money. I really wish there was an easier way to do this instead of setting up a second tank. Any girl I bring to my apt already thinks I am a freak for having a tank in my livingroom and bedroom....now I'll have a random tank sitting next to my TV cycling. haha
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