Mixing dirt with ADA? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-05-2018, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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Mixing dirt with ADA?

Hi everyone
My tank crashed today
I was able to rescue fish in time
Currently all my fish and plants sit in a bath tub while Iím contemplating setting up my tank afresh but the trouble is
I had my old tank set up with ADA Amazonia
Now the new tank that I have is bigger 23 gallon tank
And the ADA I have would not suffice
I have a good potting mixture lying around which Iíve used in a tank earlier and it works wonders for plants
My question is
Can I use a mix of the two and then cap it with a sand layer?
Would that be harmful to fish or plants? Or less beneficial to plants compared to how good it could have been alone?


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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-05-2018, 09:46 AM
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You could do this while keeping in mind just what is in potting mix that may have affect on water parameter's (ammonia/ammonium from possible organic matter or other additives).
Plain potting soil or top soil with no additives would be my choice.
Yes,I would cap the soil/ADA mix with sand or fine gravel.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=roadmaster;10841161]You could do this while keeping in mind just what is in potting mix that may have affect on water parameter's (ammonia/ammonium from possible organic matter or other additives).
Plain potting soil or top soil with no additives would be my choice.
Yes,I would cap the soil/ADA mix with sand or fine gravel.[/QU


Thanks
I set up the tank and went somewhat overboard with the capping layer . I got about 3 " sand everywhere. When i flooded the tank after planting, there was no cloudiness. The water was clear. I set up my Eheim 250 canister filter( the filter is from the old tank and i haven't cleaned it) and when i checked in the morning, the tank is crystal clear. My question is

how often do i need to do water changes in this new tank ? its been 18 hours and i havent done any WC
My lights are 2 x 10 Watt Led flood lights about 4" height from the water surface. Its a low tech tank.

plants :

I have a ton of dwarf sage,
3 stems of Cabomba,
10 stems of Bacopa caroliniana,
a small bunch of Hygrophila polysperma,
8 Vallisnaria both nana and gigantea species
10 clumps of Hairgrass
12 Water lettuce
two clumps of java moss on driftwood.

No fish in there
Some ramshorns that hitchiked from old driftwood

some advice would be much appreciated!
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 09:19 AM
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Good practice is to change 30 to 50 % of the water each week just as you would/will once fishes are placed in the tank.
Don't stress over ammonia unless test kit's reveal's level's above 2ppm.
The plant's prolly came with bacteria on them along with the bacteria from the borrowed filter from already established tank? you mentioned,,and I would not expect to see much of an ammonia spike unless you induce it.
Plant's and bacteria will both use ammonia/ammonium as fuel for growth at reasonable level's.
Thee inches of sand over the dirt will make any possible leaching of ammonia from soil during nitrification there,, very slow = good.
Would not rely too long on nutrient's from soils with moderate to large plant mass but would also,employ use of some type of fertilizer to the water maybe once a week in low tech .
The water changes mentioned,will keep system clean for both fishes and plant's.
Nutrient's are added weekly in addition to those found in the soil which may or may not be readily available until metabolized.
Just don't get carried away with light energy and the tank will mature gradually.
Hope some of this helps.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadmaster View Post
Good practice is to change 30 to 50 % of the water each week just as you would/will once fishes are placed in the tank.
Don't stress over ammonia unless test kit's reveal's level's above 2ppm.
The plant's prolly came with bacteria on them along with the bacteria from the borrowed filter from already established tank? you mentioned,,and I would not expect to see much of an ammonia spike unless you induce it.
Plant's and bacteria will both use ammonia/ammonium as fuel for growth at reasonable level's.
Thee inches of sand over the dirt will make any possible leaching of ammonia from soil during nitrification there,, very slow = good.
Would not rely too long on nutrient's from soils with moderate to large plant mass but would also,employ use of some type of fertilizer to the water maybe once a week in low tech .
The water changes mentioned,will keep system clean for both fishes and plant's.
Nutrient's are added weekly in addition to those found in the soil which may or may not be readily available until metabolized.
Just don't get carried away with light energy and the tank will mature gradually.
Hope some of this helps.


Thanks a ton! Yes that certainly did !



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