High ammonia from Ada Aqua soil - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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High ammonia from Ada Aqua soil

So, I will be planting come next week and have one question when it comes to the ammonia spike that will happen with the new Ada Aqua soil. Will I need to double up on water changes if I am planting very very heavily? Or should it be fine to just stick to the ei ferts once a week 50% water change?


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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015, 07:25 PM
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The ammonia can burn the plants. Do enough water changes (frequency and volume) to keep the ammonia under 1 ppm. While some plants can tolerate higher levels, quite a few have problems with ammonia over 1 ppm.
This is still enough to grow the beneficial bacteria, but also watch the KH and pH. ADA substrates tend to remove the KH, allowing the pH to drop too low for the nitrifying bacteria to thrive.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015, 07:34 PM
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Water changes every other day would be good. I like to cycle the tank without plants first, especially if using a lot of soil. The ammonia does cause a lot of issues if you're not careful

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015, 07:37 PM
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Unless you are using a fully mature filter, 50% once a week will not be enough. I think you will still need to 50% every 2-3 days for a month or so. I just got done with this process. It is a lot of work, but totally worth it. Even with water changes, some plants like Blyxa will be unhappy with the high ammonium. Also had lots of diatoms and hair algae during this time - both completely disappeared after the first month.

There is one school of thought that says dose EI minus KNO3 to force plants to use up ammonia/um being released. This is what I did. Worked nicely. Would have probably worked just as well with regular EI as well.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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my filter has been cycling for roughly 3months now on a 20Gallon tank and i made it so it can take all the ammonia from 4ppm to 0 in one full day. Yea i have a ton of it in the tank right now. Here is a picture.... 60gallon tank

i would say around 4 9L bags worth. I would do the no plants with water start as you said but idk if i will be able to with the moss that is attached to the stump at this point, will i? What do you do in order to not have algae while doing this? Water change every day or so? No lighting of course right? I have like a week and a half before i have to tell the supply to ship them.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 03:12 PM
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I avoided the problem by letting tank run for three weeks, no lights, no plants then did a large water change and added plants. Really could not justify 50-60 gallons of RO water every other day to prevent plants from burning.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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I avoided the problem by letting tank run for three weeks, no lights, no plants then did a large water change and added plants. Really could not justify 50-60 gallons of RO water every other day to prevent plants from burning.
yea thats alot of ro water to waist! Would you have had to even use the ro water when first setup though with no fish or shrimp?
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 05:17 PM
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Yes, that would have been a lot of RO water to waste! However, my tap water has a KH of 29. I did not want to contaminate the tank.

Bump: However, I did get a little staghorn and brown algae doing it this way.

Bump: Plants, lights, CO2 and fertz took care of it.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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thats good to know thanks alot for the info! I plant to do this method with my 20g long tank that i plant to have only shrimp and moss. Its going to suck having to make up for all the ferts with ei method because now i have to figure out how much of each i need each day to compensate for the water changes! Ugh lol, bring out the GRAM SCALE lol.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 09:12 PM
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Dose whatever you normally would after a 50% water change. Just make sure you do even doses of macro and micro fertz. One macro, one micro, one macro, one micro, one macro, one micro, etc. after my tank was established, I dosed three macros and three micros a week, Saturday rest, no food, no fertz. Started over on Sunday.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 09:14 PM
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If it were me, i would just run the filter, no plants, and see how long it takes to mature the filter til the parameters are just right for plants, and just stick to a regular weekly water change regiment or let the plants do the work for you. Patience :-)

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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If it were me, i would just run the filter, no plants, and see how long it takes to mature the filter til the parameters are just right for plants, and just stick to a regular weekly water change regiment or let the plants do the work for you. Patience :-)
do you think the moss will be fine? If so i can start it up today if thats the case. Should i still do the every other day water changes?
The two moss are mini fissidens and mini pellia. Or do i just say plant it and do water changes every other day for a week or two with out ei dosing since it will be full of nutrients, then go back to 50% once a week with ei dosing?

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 10:37 PM
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Reading these kind of threads makes me feel lucky to have such soft tap water.


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| Eheim Prof 3, 2217, 2213 (Purigen only) + 350 Skim, Reeflex UV 800 | HC300A Chiller | 3xKessil A360WE LED + Spectral Controller | Pres. CO2 + Aqua Medic Reactor1000 | DIY Fertz + 2 x Jabeo DP-4 | CAL AQUA LABSí Black Earth & GreenBase subst. + root tabs


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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Reading these kind of threads makes me feel lucky to have such soft tap water.
Mine isnt to hard, my gh is like 7 and kh is 0-1
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 11:04 PM
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So why are you worrying?


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| Eheim Prof 3, 2217, 2213 (Purigen only) + 350 Skim, Reeflex UV 800 | HC300A Chiller | 3xKessil A360WE LED + Spectral Controller | Pres. CO2 + Aqua Medic Reactor1000 | DIY Fertz + 2 x Jabeo DP-4 | CAL AQUA LABSí Black Earth & GreenBase subst. + root tabs


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