What happens when your substrate runs out of juice or you want to rescape?
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:45 PM   #1
etgregoire
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What happens when your substrate runs out of juice or you want to rescape?


So I only have gravel substrate right now, which I supplement with root tabs and EI dosing. I would like to some day move into something better like MTS or stuff like Eco-Complete. But what I'm wondering is what happens when the substrate runs out of all the good nutrients for plants?

Especially if you do a dirt tank, with any sort of a cap. I like the idea of the dirt with a cap, but if you ever moved plants or the soil nutrients run out you have to start the tank over, right? How long do these type of substrate techniques last?

I know that gravel isn't ideal, and I wish that I had done something else if I knew more about all of this when I started. But I guess it does have the advantage of allowing me to move plants around when they fill out differently than I imagined and I can continually just fertilize without knowing that the soil will just run out of gas at some point.

Any thoughts?
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:13 PM   #2
DogFish
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There are forum members with healthy tanks using MTS/Sand Caps that are several years old. I think most people will get bored with their tank long before the MTS is depleted.

Fish & Invert poop will settle through the Sand Cap and in a small way boost the MTS.

Nothing we do in our tanks is will last "Happily Ever After". Substrate is a component like, light tubes, filter media, heaters, at some point all get replaced due to wear or age.

I think an important point the better you build your
MTS the longer it will last i.e.. 2 cycles are good 4 is better.
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:40 PM   #3
Tom Barr
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you are more than likely looking at 6-10 years of life for the sediments.
they run out of N relatively fast, maybe 6-12 months, maybe 18 months in some cases, but for the rest og the nutrients, many years.............

And if you dose EI.............this will not matter since there's ample N in the water column.

My 180 Gal tank has 8 years old ADA AS.

Grows most anything great.
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:41 PM   #4
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Setting up a highly fertile substrate does not mean you never add fertilizers to the tank.

Handle it just like you are doing for your gravel substrate. By supplementing the fertilizers before they reach zero the substrates with good cationic exchange capacity will pick up these ferts and keep them in reserve. There is a greater buffer of fertilizers in a good substrate, a good reserve so such tanks can go without fertilizer for a while, but eventually they will run out.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:24 PM   #5
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eco complete is ment to absorb nutrients from water column so it should last a long time,
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Barr View Post
you are more than likely looking at 6-10 years of life for the sediments.
they run out of N relatively fast, maybe 6-12 months, maybe 18 months in some cases, but for the rest og the nutrients, many years.............

And if you dose EI.............this will not matter since there's ample N in the water column.

My 180 Gal tank has 8 years old ADA AS.

Grows most anything great.
Tom, let's face it, your ADA AS in the 180 is just 5 years old.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...1&postcount=14

And you clearly had said that several times like this:
http://www.aquariofilia.net/forum/in...7&#entry909005
("this is 3 years old now"—and that was in 2010)

I had looked at your suggestions for years and followed them.
Now I'm more careful. Your concept has been consistent.
But your data has been not.
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Old 11-23-2012, 03:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KH2PO4 View Post
Tom, let's face it, your ADA AS in the 180 is just 5 years old.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...1&postcount=14

And you clearly had said that several times like this:
http://www.aquariofilia.net/forum/in...7&#entry909005
("this is 3 years old now"—and that was in 2010)

I had looked at your suggestions for years and followed them.
Now I'm more careful. Your concept has been consistent.
But your data has been not.
Okay it's just 5 years old. Happy?
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Tom Barr
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Old 11-23-2012, 03:05 PM   #8
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You'll be likely to start over, as suggested above, well before you have to replace your substrate.

And as Tom has illustrated (who cares if it's five years or eight? that's a LONG time), fancier substrates like Aquasoil can last a long time.
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