15 Gallon High Aquasoil II Experimental Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-16-2008, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
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Post 15 Gallon High Aquasoil II Experimental Tank

I thought that this would be the best place to post this, but if not, mods feel free to move.

After lurking in several planted tank forums, I noticed that there was a bunch of hype about ADA Aquasoil. Everyone from plant gurus, experienced members, and even noobs were singing its praises. As a tester, this peaked my curiosity so I decided to take Aquasoil II for a test drive. The fact that I had a 10 gallon tank with a out of snail problem and never ending agae issues(despite all my attempts to defeat the problem) meant that I could tear that tank down and set up the 15 gallon high Aquasoil Experimental Tank. The plants from the torn down tank were soaked for 3 days in a solution of two tablespoons alum and 1 gallon water to kill snail and snail eggs. Unfortunately the snails survived the soak and the plants that I had to start with took a real battering because of the soak. The specs of the tank are:

Filter: Aquaclear 150 HOB filter with polyfibre, bag of Seachem Purigan, and bag of Seachem Matrix stones.

Lighting: 2 20 watt coralife colarmax compact fluorescent in a canopy sloppily padded with Mylar sheeting to increase reflection of useable light.

Plants: I had to work with what I had(basically cr*p), which included, Hygrophilia Polysperma, Cardamine Lyrata for floating plant, ambuilia, pygme anubias, anubias nana, java ferns, Crytocorne bronze and red and Ludwiga which I recently added. For those wondering, the narrow leaf chain sword in the rockwool was just recently purchased. I decided to fully leave it in the tank wiht the rock wool for a couple of weeks to allow it more time to acclimitize to the water before removing it from the rockwool and planting it into the substrate. I also have some Riccia fluitans floating and I plant to use it to fill the empty spaces in the substrate once I have enough. By the way the Riccia and Cardamine are pearling like crazy. And talk about a cardamine explosion. I statrted with a few cuttings of cardamine and find myself trimming the cardamine almost every two days. This stuff is just as bad as duckweed.

Fetilization: Tom Barr's Estimative Index full throttle.

C02 Injection: Using Hagen yeast sytem with diffusion going into the fiter intake and two additional 2 litre DIY yeast bottles. C02 diffusion is from one 2 litre is going into a Hagen ladder and the c02 diffusion from the other 2 litre is going into a Rhinox 2000 ceramic diffuser. The brew in each bottle is alternatively changed weekly. Drop checker is contant P*ss color showing 40+ c02. Why so much c02? Two reasons. (1) there are no fish in there and I wanted to provide additional C02 to jump start the weakened plants, and (2) the snails I tried to eradicate resurfaced despite 3 day alum and water soak. The plan was now to poison them with additional c02. So far it does not appear to be working, they seem to be enjoying the extra c02.



Lol, anyone have a loach or dwarf puffer that they can loan me for a while??

If I get time over the next little while, I plan to create a web page to track long term growth in this experimental tank and provide monthy updates.

Below are pictures of the tank as it appeared on Dec 26 2007 at start up.







Below are pictures of the tank as it appears as of Jan 16 2008





Based on the short term results vs Seachem Fluorite and Schultz Aquatic soil, I would say that ADA Aquasoil Soil seems to show better plant growth. The only thing that may skew this comparison is the difference in the level of c02 being pumped into the tank. I have never pumped this much c02 tank in any tank that I have set up, so that could well be the difference maker. Unfortunately as I will eventually populate the tank with fish, it is unlikely that I will be able to maintain this level of c02 over the long term. and will likely have to "gradually" taper back the c02 and even remove a couple of the c02 bottles. That is when things should get interesting.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2008, 05:23 AM
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interesting theme you got going there. Looks like one of those long lost sunken cities type of thing
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2008, 05:40 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by druxboyz View Post
interesting theme you got going there. Looks like one of those long lost sunken cities type of thing
Thanks(I think)
Lol, I really love the Amano Aquascapes but just don't want to have the same type of Aquascape that a dozen other people have, so I opted for something different. Ruin type(Aztec Pyramid, Lost City Of Atlantis, Buddha) have always appealed to me. Also I am not as concerned about the Aquascape as I mainly set this tank up to test Aquasoil II to see how it would perform over the short and long term.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-17-2008, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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**Update.** FWIW, this is what the tank looks like as of Feb 17 2008.







As far as any critiques as to the limited type of plants used in the tank(hygrophilia polysperma, anubias nana, java fern, cardamine lyrata, riccia fuitans, and ambulia). Sorry folks, I had to use what was available and what I had access to.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-07-2008, 05:02 AM
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Algae on buddha's leg???

lol is that algae? on his right leg
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-17-2009, 02:25 AM Thread Starter
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So here we are, a little over a year. And so people may be wondering(or not) about whatever happened to this tank. Well for starters, the snail problem continued but luckily they did no major damage to the plants. As for algae, Buddha's left lap seems to have developed some green spot algae stains. The funny thing is that only Buddha's lap suffered. There is no green spot algae anywhere else on the glass. This is where it is also seen when it forms. There was some green dust that began to form a few months ago but it disappeared on its own. I have no idea what brought it on and what caused it to disappear. Perhaps the increased heavy growth of plants that further filtered the light may have had something to do with it, but I cannot say for sure. Other than that, no blue green algae, no black beard algae, no thread algae, no clado, no staghorn, no fuzz. The sole Siamese Algae Eater and Kuhli Loach(lol, I think it is still alive but it is hard to tell) appeared to thrive. I dosed Estimative Index at 1/2 the dose and also dosed calcium sulphate and magnesium given that my tap water has submarginal levels of calcium and did 50% weekly water changes. As far as plants some did better than others. Sunset Hygro, just did not do well in this tank. It melted on two different occasions. Riccia and hygrophilia difformis did well. Anubias did really well and the one that did the best of all was the java fern. I know that java fern is not a demanding plan to begin with, but I have never seen java fern in any tank that I have set up devlop such lush green coloration and sprout plantlets, left, right and centre. Also, interesing to note, the water remained crystal clear and the substrate has not dintegrated or self destructed even with the Kuhi Loach really stirring things up. This tank has impressed me the most as far as plant growth. In fact so much so, that I use it to start cuttings. That is why it looks like a jungle. Excuse the cr*ppy picture, but I don't have the best camera.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Well, there won't be any further progress on this tank. Stupid tank sprung a leak. The biggest lesson learned: ADA Aquasoil grows plants well with at least DIY C02 and good lighting and is worth the money. Used tanks are never the savings cause you just never know, lol. Luckily the leak happened when I was home and was able to spot it before too much damage was done.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 03:07 PM
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Sucks to hear, but another good write-up. That last picture was very impressive!


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by eyebeatbadgers View Post
Sucks to hear, but another good write-up. That last picture was very impressive!
Thanks for the kind words. I wasn't sure if the kuhli loach and Siamese Algae eater were still alive as I hardly ever saw them. Well, they were; lol, what a PITA trying to net them. Nothing like trying to net fish when you have a tank leaking on you and you are trying to do damage control. They are in my 40 gallon, but don't know how they will fare as the Kribensis are pretty darn territorial and aggressive in that tank.

Oh well, in some ways I am glad, now I can go on to my experimental mineralized soil setup without worrying about where I am going to find the space, not to mention electrical outlets to set it up. This tank is going to be very different and unlike anything anyone has done. Stay tuned for the "peoples' tank" coming soon to a forum near you.
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