Amazonia Light cycling/ferts help - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
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Amazonia Light cycling/ferts help

For my first time using Aquasoil, I decided to go with Amazonia Light. Not sure if I should just follow the regular Amazonia start up procedure or if, since it has less nutrients, I should do something else?

Also, I'm not sure what kind of fert regiment I should do. I know some people don't dose for the first few months (or more?) with Amazonia but with Light I don't know.

The tank will have medium-high light with CO2, medium-planted with fast and slow growers. Any advice would be much appreciated.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by sevendust111 View Post
For my first time using Aquasoil, I decided to go with Amazonia Light. Not sure if I should just follow the regular Amazonia start up procedure or if, since it has less nutrients, I should do something else?

Also, I'm not sure what kind of fert regiment I should do. I know some people don't dose for the first few months (or more?) with Amazonia but with Light I don't know.

The tank will have medium-high light with CO2, medium-planted with fast and slow growers. Any advice would be much appreciated.
First I should ask: Is there a particular reason you are using aquasoil? it will lower the ph of your water to beneath 7 and make it soft. If you are doing high light with CO2 either the EI or PPS pro method will work fine. I like EI, but you will probably dose less than what they suggest if your tank is not heavily planted. I think people are mostly weary of the ammonia leeching associated with aqua soil at first. this will elevate your nitrate levels which if you have a test kit you can simply monitor. If your nitrates are at or above 25ppm I wouldn't dose nitrates.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 10:24 AM
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Amazonia Light doesn't contain nearly as much ammonia and you'll probably have to dose to get your cycle going properly, at least from what I know. I haven't used it myself.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 11:17 AM
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Here's a link with comparison between AS and Light.

Good read and answers a few of your questions.

Regarding dosing, you should not have to dose anything for the first month or so. As the article mentions, the whole point of light is to reduce the initial surge of nutrient. ADA Light will still provide enough nutrients but reduces the 'surge', making it easier to manage tank parameters in the early stages.


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-12-2017, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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Amazonia Light doesn't contain nearly as much ammonia and you'll probably have to dose to get your cycle going properly, at least from what I know. I haven't used it myself.
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Originally Posted by slipfinger View Post
Here's a link with comparison between AS and Light.

Good read and answers a few of your questions.

Regarding dosing, you should not have to dose anything for the first month or so. As the article mentions, the whole point of light is to reduce the initial surge of nutrient. ADA Light will still provide enough nutrients but reduces the 'surge', making it easier to manage tank parameters in the early stages.
That article was the reason I got Light. Decent growth, less hassle. But I can't find any literature on exactly what to do with Light. Ada has a step by step process for regular Amazonia. In the article, they seem to infer that no special water change schedule was performed but I find that hard to believe. Any idea on a specific water change schedule?

Also after one month, what fert dosage would you recommend? I have Nilocg's EI DIY package which is essentially premixed macros and micros.

@houseofcards I know you have a great deal of experience with Aquasoil, any idea on what I should do?
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-14-2017, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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No one? I am flooding the tank in three days!
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-14-2017, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by sevendust111 View Post
No one? I am flooding the tank in three days!
There will still be plenty of nutrients even with the Light stuff. Do the water changes, short light cycle (4-5 hrs), use carbon, seed the filter (if possible) don't disturb the substrate. The water should stay clear. If it gets cloudy it means you disturbed it. All these things will give you the best chance of success without algae issues at startup. Wait a month to put fish in. Get the plants looking good first.

As far as ferts, its true you probably won't need much, for the first few months, but I would dose K and micros form the getgo after that regular EI Type dosing and 50% WC weekly.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-15-2017, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sevendust111 View Post
No one? I am flooding the tank in three days!
There will still be plenty of nutrients even with the Light stuff. Do the water changes, short light cycle (4-5 hrs), use carbon, seed the filter (if possible) don't disturb the substrate. The water should stay clear. If it gets cloudy it means you disturbed it. All these things will give you the best chance of success without algae issues at startup. Wait a month to put fish in. Get the plants looking good first.

As far as ferts, its true you probably won't need much, for the first few months, but I would dose K and micros form the getgo after that regular EI Type dosing and 50% WC weekly.
Thank you! So I guess it's the same start up as regular Amazonia after all. A few short questions if you don't mind. You don't have to give me a measurement, a % of EI per day would be fine (ex. 25% of EI for the first three months)

1.My macros are premixed. Can I just use gh booster for the K? If so How much?

1. How much micros should I use from the get go?

Thanks!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-15-2017, 05:24 AM
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Hi mate.

Sorry I haven't posted earlier, but I only just picked up on this thread now. Did you happen to answer HighSeq's question at the start of the thread ? I dont seem to be able to find the response - he made some excellent points.

I've done several "regular" Aquasoil tanks now and have the following advice....

1, ADA don't distinguish between their soils (except that the PowerSand - which is clearly a base substrate). Its the same process. Did you happen to use any of ADA's biological boosters (Bacter100 etc??). This will start the cycling process. If you didn't, don't worry about it. You aren't going to have any fish in there anyway from what I can tell.
2, In response to your question about .... "My macros are premixed. Can I just use gh booster for the K? If so How much?" GH booster doesn't provide Pottassium typically. You will need a specific KaSO3 supplement - though most blended liquid supplements are ok to get you started.
3, Don't worry about kH for the first 2-3 months. It doesn't matter with Aquasoil how much you try to boost the kH, it will still decline to virtually nothing in a few days. about 6 weeks to exhaust this behaviour if you actively add some form of Alkaline buffer. If you leave it, then it could take 4-6 months. Aquasoil (regardless of type) is all about plants and that means slightly acid, soft water. There is no point in fighting it.
4, If you are using medium-high lighting and CO2 then you will have to dose. Aquasoil has some nutrient in the substrate, but if you don't dose I can almost guarantee that you will have a blue-green algae outbreak. Also make sure you stack the tank full of plants (fast growers are the priority - you should hold off on the slow growers until the tank settles, otherwise they will be smothered). Just about every (professional) video you watch using Aquasoil ends up with quite a densely packed tank.
5, Do a 50% water change at day 3 and then 50% each week for the next month. If you get a BGA outbreak, turn off the lights and cover up the tank for a week. This will kill it off - your plants should be largely fine (crypts will melt - they always melt ....sigh). After month 2 you can bring it down to 25% each week (or 50% every two weeks).
6, I don't EI dose when setting up a new tank. I cheat and use the Seachem pre-mixed stuff (Excel Flourish, micros etc). After the tank has settled and everything is behaving itself (about month 4), then I do EI - primarily because it is way too expensive to keep using the pre-mixed stuff in the long term. I use this EI dosing calculator to start with and then adjust as I watch the plants behaviour - https://www.thenutrientcompany.com/a...ei_calculator/
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-15-2017, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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Hi mate.

Sorry I haven't posted earlier, but I only just picked up on this thread now. Did you happen to answer HighSeq's question at the start of the thread ? I dont seem to be able to find the response - he made some excellent points.

I've done several "regular" Aquasoil tanks now and have the following advice....

1, ADA don't distinguish between their soils (except that the PowerSand - which is clearly a base substrate). Its the same process. Did you happen to use any of ADA's biological boosters (Bacter100 etc??). This will start the cycling process. If you didn't, don't worry about it. You aren't going to have any fish in there anyway from what I can tell.
2, In response to your question about .... "My macros are premixed. Can I just use gh booster for the K? If so How much?" GH booster doesn't provide Pottassium typically. You will need a specific KaSO3 supplement - though most blended liquid supplements are ok to get you started.
3, Don't worry about kH for the first 2-3 months. It doesn't matter with Aquasoil how much you try to boost the kH, it will still decline to virtually nothing in a few days. about 6 weeks to exhaust this behaviour if you actively add some form of Alkaline buffer. If you leave it, then it could take 4-6 months. Aquasoil (regardless of type) is all about plants and that means slightly acid, soft water. There is no point in fighting it.
4, If you are using medium-high lighting and CO2 then you will have to dose. Aquasoil has some nutrient in the substrate, but if you don't dose I can almost guarantee that you will have a blue-green algae outbreak. Also make sure you stack the tank full of plants (fast growers are the priority - you should hold off on the slow growers until the tank settles, otherwise they will be smothered). Just about every (professional) video you watch using Aquasoil ends up with quite a densely packed tank.
5, Do a 50% water change at day 3 and then 50% each week for the next month. If you get a BGA outbreak, turn off the lights and cover up the tank for a week. This will kill it off - your plants should be largely fine (crypts will melt - they always melt ....sigh). After month 2 you can bring it down to 25% each week (or 50% every two weeks).
6, I don't EI dose when setting up a new tank. I cheat and use the Seachem pre-mixed stuff (Excel Flourish, micros etc). After the tank has settled and everything is behaving itself (about month 4), then I do EI - primarily because it is way too expensive to keep using the pre-mixed stuff in the long term. I use this EI dosing calculator to start with and then adjust as I watch the plants behaviour - https://www.thenutrientcompany.com/a...ei_calculator/
Thank you for your detailed reply. Regarding HighSeq's question, I have a few highish tech setups under my belt and have used pfs, Flourite, and Floramax in the past. I wanted a true Ada inspired naturescape and felt my aquascaping skills and level of knowledge was ready to give it a go. I like the look of Light and I wanted the benefits Amazonia provides. Plus the hardscape is complete so its kinda too late to go back on it I didn't buy any other Ada products but I do have media to seed my new canister.

I thought the typical water change schedule for Amazonia went like this:

Week1: 50% everyday
Week 2: 50% every other day
Week 3: 50% twice that week
Week 4: One 50% change

Am I wrong?

Also, I really need a specific plan of attack regarding ferts. I am willing to admit ferts and water chemistry in general are my weakest points regarding knowledge. I have used Seachem's full line and Nilocg's DIY EI package (his premixed stuff is pretty cheap btw) which I have adjusted based my my needs and left my knowledge at that.

So what exactly should I dose for the first 3-4 months and in what proportions?
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 12:19 PM
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More WC the better. I would follow at least the ADA guidelines u mentioned.

Go full EI for K and micros from the getgo. I don't think you'll need to dose N&P for a few months
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 01:14 PM
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I don't want to highjack the thread, but I am also about to set up my first tank using Ada, except I'm using Ada Africana. I will be keeping crystal red shrimp in the tank so the buffering capacity of the substrate is what I am after. So my question is, should I use ro water for the first month, or can I use dechlorinated tap water and switch to remineralized ro when I add the shrimp.
With that many water changes I would be using a lot of water, if I used ro, my ro system produces 4g of waste per 1g of clean. So on my 40g tank if I did a 50% wc every day for the 1st week that would be 600g of water used. Water where I live isn't cheap unfortunately, well, water is but sewage isn't and it's calculated off of water usage.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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More WC the better. I would follow at least the ADA guidelines u mentioned.

Go full EI for K and micros from the getgo. I don't think you'll need to dose N&P for a few months
Thanks!
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-22-2017, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by sevendust111 View Post
Thank you for your detailed reply. Regarding HighSeq's question, I have a few highish tech setups under my belt and have used pfs, Flourite, and Floramax in the past. I wanted a true Ada inspired naturescape and felt my aquascaping skills and level of knowledge was ready to give it a go. I like the look of Light and I wanted the benefits Amazonia provides. Plus the hardscape is complete so its kinda too late to go back on it I didn't buy any other Ada products but I do have media to seed my new canister.

I thought the typical water change schedule for Amazonia went like this:

Week1: 50% everyday
Week 2: 50% every other day
Week 3: 50% twice that week
Week 4: One 50% change

Am I wrong?

Also, I really need a specific plan of attack regarding ferts. I am willing to admit ferts and water chemistry in general are my weakest points regarding knowledge. I have used Seachem's full line and Nilocg's DIY EI package (his premixed stuff is pretty cheap btw) which I have adjusted based my my needs and left my knowledge at that.

So what exactly should I dose for the first 3-4 months and in what proportions?


I don't think your water changes need to be anything as aggressive as you have proposed. It won't hurt - but I think it is unnecessary - and my tanks are 150 and 200 Gals so doing water changes at the rates you propose would likely kill me...lol.

With respect to dosing, I just use Seachem's products for the first few months according to the instructions. The only trick I have found is to add Seachems Nitrogen to compensate for the fact that there is no bioload generating nitrates for the plants and BGA can sometimes get a hold in the first couple of weeks in these sorts of situations where the tanks is still stabilising. The thing to be aware of here is that BGA can produce its own Nitrogen and then take up the other nutrients in the water and wreak havoc. Massive water changes won't help here.

Another point is to watch your lighting - making sure that you are not providing 100% full light for eight hours a day, but rather gradually phasing in the light in the morning and slowly declining in the afternoon such that max light is about 2-3 hours simulating noon.

So - my views are:

1. There are no wrong water change approaches. I think that you are working harder than you need - but it won't hurt - apart from wasting all those ferts (You are going to doing a lot of "initial" doses of Flourish at 50% changes per day. But it's really up to you and whatever gives you piece of mind.
2. Don't forget about Nitrogen and light in the early days.
3. It seems that compared to you, I'm a very lazy hobbyist.


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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-22-2017, 01:16 PM
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I don't think your water changes need to be anything as aggressive as you have proposed. It won't hurt - but I think it is unnecessary - and my tanks are 150 and 200 Gals so doing water changes at the rates you propose would likely kill me...lol.
I'm assuming you are using ADA AS. With that said doing those water changes that ADA recommends is a greater insurance that it will cover a wide of parameters. Just because one setup can get away with fewer water changes doesn't mean the next one will. There's everything from light differences, to upkeep, to moving things around, etc, etc.

Way better to be preventive than reactive after you've already have algae or other issues.
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