Organic Miracle Grow Substrate Questions - Haze - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-14-2012, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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Organic Miracle Grow Substrate Questions - Haze

I just planted a 30L with MGO. Hardly any of the soil floated up, the bubbles are just about done but there's a haze to the tank even 3 days later. Is this normal? This is my first soil tank.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-14-2012, 12:02 PM
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Have you capped the miracle grow with sand or fine gravel?
If not,,then tank will remain cloudy for some time.
If the soil is capped ,then several small to middlin water changes over a week, along with cleaning filter materia can help.
Haze is associated with organic's in soil breaking down ,and or bacteria bloom IMHO.
Would also start with lighting period of eight hours as opposed to longer, so that releasing organic's don't encourage algae bloom such as sometimes happen's while plant's are fewer in number's ,and before they settle and begin using the organic's in earnest.

Too much light,and available organics if not readily used by large plant mass,can often trigger algae.
Best to work the lighting period up gradually in my opinion.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-14-2012, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Capped with gravel. I will try water changes and reduced light. I also had added live bacteria so that I could add fish sooner but read somewhere that organic breakdown was bad for the fish especially when using non-mineralized soil. What do you think?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-14-2012, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by TakeTheCann0lis View Post
Capped with gravel. I will try water changes and reduced light. I also had added live bacteria so that I could add fish sooner but read somewhere that organic breakdown was bad for the fish especially when using non-mineralized soil. What do you think?
Organic breakdown can release ammonia for a couple weeks.
While lot's of plant's will readily take up ammonia,,I would hold off placing fish in the tank unless very few, and small.
If tank is heavily planted,,then a few small fish, and water changes, could let you add a few fish slowly, over a few week's.IMHO
Can alway's monitor the ammonia daily and perform water changes but depending on how much ammonia is present,and pH (ammonia more toxic at higher pH) then I would wait a week or two before introducing fishes.
Opinion's vary.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-14-2012, 07:18 PM
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How thick is the gravel layer and how big is the gravel? When I filled my tank, no soil floated up so I don't think it should be normal.

I believe organic breakdown normally should continue for 6 to 12 months. The problems are getting over the initial spike of ammonia and then having enough bacteria and plants to handle the normal rate. My fish were in the tank within 6 hours of adding soil. However I had an established canister filter and a good volume of plants. A large volume of plants should also reduce algae. You should monitor the ammonia and nitrite levels to determine when you can add fish. Just research the fishless cycle for more info.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 03:17 AM Thread Starter
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My tank is shaping up nicely. The water is slightly tea stained but is clearing up day by day.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 07:58 AM
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"Organic breakdown" is just another way of saying ammonia. That is what the soil releases. As the tank cycles, it goes away, unless it continues to leech ammonia faster than the bacteria can colonize to convert it. Tea color is from tannin, which is non toxic and does not affect algae.

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Can alway's monitor the ammonia daily and perform water changes but depending on how much ammonia is present,and pH (ammonia more toxic at higher pH) then I would wait a week or two before introducing fishes.
Opinion's vary.
A normal nitrogen cycle takes 60 to 90 days. That's basic aquarium care.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Does the addition of bottled live bacteria speed the cycle up? I've been monitoring my PH, Amonia, and nitrate levels.

I had a Pleco that I put in a few days back jump to his death over night. I've never had that happen before. Coincidence?

What about bubbles? Do I need a bubble stone in a planted tank?

I've also noticed that I've got a few snails that carried over from some driftwood that had been in another tank (I had it in the sun for a week drying!!). Right now I have only a few plants in the tank. Should I put some copper sulfate in the tank now while I have a mostly empty ecosystem?
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 06:59 PM
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What have you been getting for ammonia and nitrates? I don't like airstones personally but others use them. I rely on water surface movement from my canister filter's spray bar and plants to provide oxygen.

Are you ever planning on having inverts of any kind in your tank? You may want to look on the invert forum to see if copper sulfate has a lasting effect on tanks.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 07:08 PM
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Part of the draw of using soil is it speeds up the cycle since dirt is full of beneficial bacteria.
Adding bottled BB shouldnt be necessary. Has the ammonia been decreasing over the last few days? Any Nitrite?
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert H View Post
"Organic breakdown" is just another way of saying ammonia. That is what the soil releases. As the tank cycles, it goes away, unless it continues to leech ammonia faster than the bacteria can colonize to convert it. Tea color is from tannin, which is non toxic and does not affect algae.



A normal nitrogen cycle takes 60 to 90 days. That's basic aquarium care.
With enough plant's that readily take up ammonia, and not too many fishes,,one could possibly never see ammonia level's rise and no harm to fishes .
Plenty of folks manage to stock a few fish in brand new, moderately planted, to heavily planted tank's successfully, and without harming fish/invert's.
Normal nitrogen cycle sans(without) plant's,,takes six to eight weeks rather than two or three month's.(For most folks)
Add some borrowed filter material from disease free existing tank (cycled) and this will reduce the time even further for bacterial colony to develop in proportions that would allow normal,sensible,stocking.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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Part of the draw of using soil is it speeds up the cycle since dirt is full of beneficial bacteria.
Adding bottled BB shouldnt be necessary. Has the ammonia been decreasing over the last few days? Any Nitrite?
Amonia and Nitrates are low. I've been doing 6 gal water changes 2x a week. Why did my Pleco commit suicide?
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 10:36 AM
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Amonia and Nitrates are low. I've been doing 6 gal water changes 2x a week. Why did my Pleco commit suicide?
You say you only have a few plant's,I would add more so that they can use up any ammonia released by the soil.
More plant's = less ammonia from organic's in the soil which could have affected the pleco .
Pleco's also appreciate oxygen rich ,cool water (not much warmer than 78 degrees F) with few exception's.
In warmer temps there is less dissolved oxygen so this is something to consider.
You would really be helping yourself out by adding more plant's for they are better at biological filtration than most filter's.(also helps to ward off algae)
Don't get in a hurry to stock the tank,resist the urge to clean filter's or replace media,don't move plant's about once set, (can move them later when they get some growth).
Patience
Add more plant's before considering fishes/inverts.IMHO
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 05:29 PM
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Probably not a coincidence. :-( Plecos will literally jump out to go in search of better digs if they don't approve of water parameters, etc. Might want to hold off on putting more fish in until you have a more established tank.

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I had a Pleco that I put in a few days back jump to his death over night. I've never had that happen before. Coincidence?
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 06:23 PM
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Just my $0.02. Personally, I feel one of the great benefits of using soil is that you can stock a tank within a matter of days. However, that also means fully stocking on plants. I fully plant my tank, let it run for 2 days and then add fish in groups every few days. Has worked great for me so far
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