Adding peat, clay, laterite..etc too much for aquasoil? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2015, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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Adding peat, clay, laterite..etc too much for aquasoil?

Does ada aquasoil already contain these? Or would adding some peat, clay...etc increase the longevity of the soil?

And would adding peat lower the ph even more?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2015, 03:28 PM
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I wouldn't add anything. It's a complete substrate. I would expect the peat to lower the pH, yes. I have driftwood in one tank and none in the other, both with Aquasoil. Guess which one has consistently slightly lower pH?

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I wouldn't add anything. It's a complete substrate. I would expect the peat to lower the pH, yes. I have driftwood in one tank and none in the other, both with Aquasoil. Guess which one has consistently slightly lower pH?
Thanks.

And just wondering, wouldn't doing weekly water changes with a ph lowering substrate such as aquasoil cause extreme swings?

My tap water is 7.8ph, kh7, gh10.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2015, 03:41 PM
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Hmm, sorry, I have not really noticed. I tend to wait at least a half day if I re-check the pH. Usually re-check the next day actually.

I expect that unless you're doing large water changes it would not be a big issue. In stocked tanks I only do 50% when there's a noticeable problem with the animals. I usually do 20-25% during weekly WC, and replace the water a bit slowly unless I'm in a hurry.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2015, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by jcmv4792 View Post
Thanks.

And just wondering, wouldn't doing weekly water changes with a ph lowering substrate such as aquasoil cause extreme swings?

My tap water is 7.8ph, kh7, gh10.
Yes your KH will swing... the substrate will reduce your KH quite a bit depending on your soil/water column ratio. After a few months the buffering capacity will be reduced, and your KH will not be changed as much

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2015, 05:35 PM
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Yes your KH will swing... the substrate will reduce your KH quite a bit depending on your soil/water column ratio. After a few months the buffering capacity will be reduced, and your KH will not be changed as much
Yup, definitely noticed this, about mid-week in my shrimp tanks I would have to add some carbonates as it gets depleted.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2015, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Yes your KH will swing... the substrate will reduce your KH quite a bit depending on your soil/water column ratio. After a few months the buffering capacity will be reduced, and your KH will not be changed as much
How do you deal with this? And is this bad/lethal for shrimps and fish?

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Yup, definitely noticed this, about mid-week in my shrimp tanks I would have to add some carbonates as it gets depleted.
Do you add carbonates after every water change?
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2015, 09:32 PM
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These are shrimp tanks, and I use Salty Shrimp mineral GH/KH+ in the change water (20-25% WC weekly). Before I put the shrimp in, I did a 90-ish% WC with the remineralized water. Our city water is very soft, pH is about 6-6.5 with TDS 20-25 and GH/KH one drop each!

I remineralize to TDS 140-150ish, which turns the pH 7ish, GH 60-80ppm and KH 20-30ppm. By mid-week I'm finding the pH has dropped to 6.4 to 6.8, GH could be 40ppm (less than 3 degrees) and KH 10-20ppm (about 1 degree). So I usually end up adding a bit more of my stock solution of the Salty Shrimp remineralizer. I do it slowly, just enough to bump up the TDS a bit, maybe 10ppm. It's not perfect, but the shrimp are doing fine.

I have cuttlebone pieces in the tanks, for CaCO3, but I think my pieces are so small it's not doing anything. Crushed coral should do the same thing.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2015, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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These are shrimp tanks, and I use Salty Shrimp mineral GH/KH+ in the change water (20-25% WC weekly). Before I put the shrimp in, I did a 90-ish% WC with the remineralized water. Our city water is very soft, pH is about 6-6.5 with TDS 20-25 and GH/KH one drop each!

I remineralize to TDS 140-150ish, which turns the pH 7ish, GH 60-80ppm and KH 20-30ppm. By mid-week I'm finding the pH has dropped to 6.4 to 6.8, GH could be 40ppm (less than 3 degrees) and KH 10-20ppm (about 1 degree). So I usually end up adding a bit more of my stock solution of the Salty Shrimp remineralizer. I do it slowly, just enough to bump up the TDS a bit, maybe 10ppm. It's not perfect, but the shrimp are doing fine.

I have cuttlebone pieces in the tanks, for CaCO3, but I think my pieces are so small it's not doing anything. Crushed coral should do the same thing.
This is becoming a bit more complicated than I expected. So with my water parameters(mentioned above) would adding the bicarbonates even be necessary?

I wonder if putting seiryu stones would help keep the parameters stable... i also have ohko stone but I've read that it is inert...looks very nice though.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2015, 10:10 PM
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I doubt you need to do anything in particular given your water params. What are you planning for this tank anyway?

I see you mentioned shrimp/fish.
Probably ok to just set it up, plant it, use water as is, start your fish-less cycle and adjust as necessary. You may find that with this substrate (or similarly Fluval stratum) your water will test more favorably towards shrimp keeping due to the buffering. Then you won't need RO water plus remineralizer.

Sometimes us hobbyists can end up over-thinking something, I know I've done it. Then the set-up just manages to go along fine anyway.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 06:57 AM Thread Starter
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I doubt you need to do anything in particular given your water params. What are you planning for this tank anyway?

I see you mentioned shrimp/fish.
Probably ok to just set it up, plant it, use water as is, start your fish-less cycle and adjust as necessary. You may find that with this substrate (or similarly Fluval stratum) your water will test more favorably towards shrimp keeping due to the buffering. Then you won't need RO water plus remineralizer.

Sometimes us hobbyists can end up over-thinking something, I know I've done it. Then the set-up just manages to go along fine anyway.
It's a 20 gallon high, and I plan to stock it moderately with neocaridina and amano shrimp, and a school of small fish(maybe some danios?).

By buffering capacity, do you mean when I do a water change, the new water will begin to match the tank water immediately, or does that take a few days?

Yeah, I guess the only way to tell is it to try. Maybe I should just run this as a plant only tank for a while. Would you say plants are just as sensitive to swings?
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 01:12 PM
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Plants are not very sensitive to swings in the water parameters. Most aquarium plants can handle a wide range of conditions, and it does not matter how fast those conditions change.

Fish do not like changes in mineral levels. I think you will have a problem if your tank water is very soft from substrate removing the minerals, then you do a large water change with harder water.

Here is what I would do:
Figure out what is the optimum GH, KH, pH, TDS for your livestock.
Prep the new water to these parameters.
Do whatever water change you need to do.
Through the week monitor the tank and add whatever GH or KH products you need to keep it stable.

While you are doing the fishless cycle the bacteria thrive best with more minerals. They use the carbon from carbonates. The soil removes these from the water. When you first set up the tank the soil will be producing a lot of ammonia.
Do enough water changes to keep the ammonia under 5 ppm (preferred range for the bacteria) and just use tap water so you will be adding the minerals back to the tank each time. This will probably be daily, through the first week. As the ammonia production from the soil slows down you might not need to do so many water changes, so monitor the GH and KH to make sure they do not bottom out. That would slow the growth of the nitrifying bacteria.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 01:23 PM
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To counter large swings in situations where there is a buffering element in the tank; do frequent but smaller water changes instead... i.e. 20% 3 times a week rather than 50% weekly. Your shrimps will probably be the most sensitive thing in your tank... I suggest not adding them in till many weeks later, after the cycling is done and plants are growing in, and the buffering cycle is tempered.

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Appreciate the input!

Xiaozhuang, when you say "buffering cycle is tempered", does this mean that after cycling, the soil should not soften the water as much?
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 06:51 PM
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Appreciate the input!

Xiaozhuang, when you say "buffering cycle is tempered", does this mean that after cycling, the soil should not soften the water as much?
The impact is larger for the first few weeks. There after it buffers but not as much

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