Aquasoil, Will I get an Amonia Spike with Lots of Bio - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 05:48 AM Thread Starter
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Aquasoil, Will I get an Amonia Spike with Lots of Bio

I have three 9 liter bags of Aquasoil New Amazonia coming to put in a plexi 36X18X20, which holds a bit over 40 gallons. Right now I have the tank fully cycled bare bottom with Fluval hang on back C3, a large sponge filter and Lees box filter in there, along with 18 dime to nickle size angels I'm growing out. About three weeks ago I put in a Fluval 405 with mostly new media and left everything else in because I wanted to get the canister seeded well before pulling everything else out and switching to high light planted.

I'm pretty excited but wondering if I will get an ammonia spike if I leave at least the hang on back and 405 on there for a few weeks. Those together are rated up to 150 gallons so my hope is there wouldn't be any wait. I should mention I wouldn't leave all the angel fry in there but thought I would risk a few since my house is pretty full of the little guys anyway. Any thoughts?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 05:52 AM
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Don't do it. It WILL spike. Ammonia conversion is not instantaneous. You can try curing your soil in some warm, well aerated water and it will only take a few weeks.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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That's what I was counting on actually, the ammonia being generated slow enough by the substrate to be fought off by a large amount of beneficial bacteria. Most of the posts on cycling that I have seen say they get a nitrate reading in little over a week adding small amounts of beneficial bacteria. That's actually a very quick cycling period so I'm wondering if it would happen even quicker with a full load of good stuff. Do you really think Aquasoil generates that much ammonia at the outset?
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 02:53 PM
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It can generate enough to the point that even the API ammonia kit can't read it. And it happens over a few days only.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, gonna play it safe then and wait it out. Thanks for the advice!
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-13-2012, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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Just an update if your interested, still getting .50 ppm on an API amonia test kit after a week. The other interesting thing is it has really dropped my PH. I went with 50/50 RO/tap mix because this gives me a bout a 7.0-7.2. I'm getting a 6.4-6.6 even in the morning before the C02 comes on. My KH test kit seems to be old and dead because usually I have about a 3 with this blend and it is not detecting anything. I'll probably get a new kit today because I want to make sure KH is ok but I don't think the soil would effect that much.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-13-2012, 04:15 PM
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Most of the soils like that leech ammonia because it's stored in the substrate. No matter how cycled a filter is, it's not going to make the soil leech it faster than it's designed to. The cycled filter means it will convert the ammonia but will not stop the leeching process. If you have a leaking faucet, and put a cup or a 55gal drum under it, it's doesn't negate the fact the faucet is still leaking. Some people have reported it's taken up to 2 months sometimes for the leeching to finally stop. I used Netlea soil, which does the same thing and took me 2 months to go from 4ppm down to 0ppm finally. What some people do is put the soil in a bucket with water and a sponge filter until they get a 0ppm ammonia reading.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-14-2012, 04:10 AM Thread Starter
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I had no idea it would lower the PH and KH and GH this much. My water out of the tap is about 6 KH and 9 GH and my PH is 7.8, so I mixed RO water to get it lower, thinking my plants would be happier with the softer water. The New Amazonia did such a good job lowering the numbers further, it probably stalled the cycling process a bit. Got a new test kit today but it was still one drop on both tests and instant change, really didn't even see a change. So I'm adding some tap trying to get something reasonable now, live and learn.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 02:49 AM
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As noted above, this substrate will keep on adding ammonia to your water for at least a month. Do not put fish (especially growing fry) in there until the bacteria population has grown to the point that both ammonia and nitrite test 0 ppm. The soil may still be producing ammonia, but then there are enough bacteria to keep it under control.

Yes, this substrate will remove KH, down to 0. This allows the pH to drop to the low 6s.
The bacteria that you want to grow do not grow well under these conditions. They need the minerals that this substrate is removing from the water. Add baking soda or other source of carbonates to keep the bacteria growing. Once the bacteria are well grown, and the plants are well established, then it is OK to allow the pH to drop. The bacteria may not grow and reproduce so fast, but they won't totally die out. The plants are part of the bio-filter, too, and they keep on removing nitrogen in all the common forms.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 04:41 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I've been adding a bit of Kent PH Stable for a few days and did a 40% water change with tap water today which brought it up to 3 KH or 50 ppm. My fish are waiting patiently in their respective tanks and I'll probably bring some rummynose in for quarantine on Friday while I wait it out.
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