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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just recieved my Aqausoil amazonia II soil from ADG and swaped out my fluval shrimp startum in my 20G Long last night. From what I understand aquasoil leeches ammonia for several weeks. I also understand it lowers PH to around 6.5. So my question is, because at lower PH levels it renders ammonia harmless (in theory) wouldnt it be ok to keep fish/shrimp day 2.

I mean I understand its not ideal and I dont plan on doing it. Its just some theory crafting. Also I guess I missed one cherry shrimp and some babies and they are still alive 12 hours after adding the aquasoil =\ I was going to take it out when I found it this morning but it actually molted and looked very healthy so said screw it.

When I get home tonight I plan on testing everything. I should also mention I think this is ther new new aquasoil II brand. I think its 50% mix of old and new or something. Here is what the ADG website says:

  • ADA has so far marketed AQUA SOIL AMAZONIA, and AMAZONIA II, but now it is possible to deliver AQUA SOIL AMAZONIA II with properties of AQUA SOIL AMAZONIA, by revising the selection of raw materials, and production process. We integrated AMAZONIA II with AMAZONIA, and started offering it as "NEW" AMAZONIA in a renewed packaging. "NEW" AMAZONIA is the idealistic substrate material for the Nature Aquarium, and has advantages of both AMAZONIA and AMAZONIA II.
I got this soil to replace the startum for a few reasons. One as an expirement to see if shrimp do better in aquasoil then stratum. Two because my crs were not breeding (but im fairly sure thats because I had no females).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah I just wanted to see if specifically the new aquasoil II has the same leeching problem or not. Guess I wont know until I start testing.
 

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The AS II still leeches a ton of ammonia. When setting up my new 10 gallon for my BKK, I used AS II with the specific thought of giving it multiple weeks to set up. As of 9/2, it finally stopped leeching ammonia and it was set up 7/31. That is with doing a quick start and cycle with bacterium and other things. So all together, it took 4 weeks to complete the cycle. I even have the "multi-type" one from AFA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
yeah went home for lunch and off the charts ammonia lol. So ill just let it sit empty for a few weeks and do daily or every other day 50% water changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah I also plan to buy some of that tetra safe start or whatever its called. Suppose to have real live bacteria in it. Gonna throw a big bottle of that in and see what happens.
 

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Go to the general section of these forums and see how some guy cycled his tank in 4 days with an ammonia-leeching substrate (could be the same one you're using).

I'm not going to say that you can mimic his results (4 days) because he had many things working in his favor, but it does say something about how you can cycle this much faster than 4 weeks (or more).

You could use old filter media, plants from another heavily planted tank (even trimmings), water and used substrate to cycle your 20L faster. You should also raise your tank temperature as this promotes bacteria growth. Keep up ammonia tests to see what your levels are and perform large water changes to keep the ammonia down to realistic levels.

If you have plenty of plants from an established tanked, they should do most of the work in cycling your tank.

Remember that this soil spikes ammonia and that, according those that have had it, it leeches much more ammonia than you would normally see from fish.

I would still refer you to that thread to see how you could cycle this faster. I don't see any reason to wait an entire month if you have old media, plants/substrate to help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

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Yea I wouldn't expect to go as fast. However, I think there is room for you to possibly cut short the typical 4-week cycling standard.

Adding heat, used media/plants/substrate and performing daily water changes could shorten this period by 50% imo.
 

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I wouldn't count on it.. That one guy is the only person ive found on any planted tank site since the inception of aquasoil that claimed it cycled in any less time then 2 weeks. most everyone who has ever reported on this soil has stated it leeches ammonia for atleast that long if not closer to 4-6 weeks. And that's with plants and daily waterchanges. The only way I see it happening is if you dumped a couple bottles of tetrasafestart or bacter100 in there or something.
 

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If you look at the end of his thread, there are more people that had the same results - and most of them are probably the most respected planted tank gurus on this site.

I understand when you say you wouldn't count on it...but what exactly are you counting on? All of the steps that chlorophil suggested are steps you could normally take. Its not as if by 2 weeks one will dump fish/shrimp into the tank without having measured ammonia levels. If it doesn't cycle within a couple of weeks its not as if he did anything extraordinary or out of the way using this method.

All I'm saying is follow some of the ideas mentioned - other people chimed in as well with great suggestions - and the OP could see his cycling time reduced significantly.

Much of this relies on heavy plant growth and such - I mentioned that first and foremost. Even if the substrate continues to leak, if there are enough plants in the tank and bacteria growth (again follow some of those steps) it'll effectively bring the ammonia levels down to 0. You could leave most of these plants free floating in the tank and they'll still help consume ammonia and nitrates. If the OP has no plants that he can move to the cycling tank, then the point is moot. He's gotta wait to establish the colony of bacteria which very well may take a month or more.

The soil, from my readings, doesn't constantly billow ammonia out at the same high rate. It spikes very high very quickly and then continues to leech ammonia at much reduced levels weeks after being laid down.

I think more people than you say have had success cycling with this sort of substrate in a short amount of time (1-2 weeks) - many of whom are on TPT and have said so.
 

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I don't mean to offend at all and sorry if I came off a bit harsh. Obviously the water would be tested before any fauna is put in, all I'm saying is just because you see no ammonia/nitrite that first day, doesn't mean it's cycled right then, especially if the substrate hasn't been touched since it was put in. I'd bet a dollar that first day it shows zero and you disrupt the substrate a bit you'll get a big spike. The plants won't and can't soak it all up instantly and if you're relying on the plants then your tank isn't 'cycled'. It just means you had a way to remove it other than bacteria. Cycled means theres enough bacteria to neutralize all ammonia/nitrite Rather instantly.. Not plants. The plants are actualy depriving the BB from establishing themselves as quickly as they could be without them, although it will take longer that way, it's guaranteed to be safe once it's established. Otherwise if you just stocked the tank youd get another big spike, and is that from the fish or the soil? Now you don't know. But if there was enough bacteria to get that soil down to 0 no matter what you do to the substrate, then there will be enough bacteria to handle the bioload pretty much immediately. Does that make sense?

Idk, it just makes more sense to me to know it's cycled and all my bacteria is there and working, then assume theres enough, add plants, and just hope it works out when you add fauna. I don't disagree with how he did it as they are things everyone should do, I just disagree with the statement of the soil being 'cycled' as it's not.. Not in 4 days nor in a week. Not without supplementing a ton of bacteria and an established filter/mulm ect, which I know he did. But New tank, new filter, theres no way. Expect around two weeks.
 

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I have had shrimp in new aquasoil tanks day one. This was NOT on purpose though, the shrimp hitched rides on the moss I added and I didn't notice till weeks later. I have no idea how many originally were transferred so I don't know what % survived the ordeal. I did check the moss before transferring it though so I doubt it was many. I have had CRS, Golden CRS, and Cherries get into new aquasoil tanks this way (generally only ever saw one or two though).
 

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HolyAngel, no offense was taken my friend :p Just a healthy discussion here.

I think you may be misunderstanding or I may not be clear. The plants serve two purposes:

1. They do consume a great deal of ammonia (why many consider the use of plants in a cycle-less tank set up).
2. They carry with them many of the bacteria that consumes ammnoia assuming the plants came from a healthy, established tank.

By introducing plants, you are not only relying on them to consume the ammonia, but you are also introducing bacteria that, with additional steps such as raising temperature and introducing ammonia (the substrate takes care of that in this case), you build a healthy colony of bacteria.

If your bacteria + plants can consume the amount of ammonia released by aqua soil during its initial large spike in ammonia (which is far more than what a fully stock tank would produce under nominal conditions), then your tank is indeed cycled.

There is no difference in bacteria growing in your filter vs. growing on the plants so as long as the bacteria consume the ammonia and stay in your tank. Eventually, even if you didn't introduce used media into your filter, the bacteria will grow there too of course.

If you look at the thread I linked, you'll see that Chloro was able to bring high levels of ammonia down to 0 - levels higher than he would expect to see with fish. He did conduct water changes because the ammonia levels were far too high...in which case he'd have to wait a long time to build enough bacteria to consume. Instead he performed a water change to bring ammonia levels down to what he can expect with fish and considered his tank cycled when there was enough bacteria to consume that amount of ammonia.

What you're doing with Chloro's method is not only introducing bacteria but also using the plants to kill the ammonia. This works great if the plants you're transferring to the new tank will be a permanent fixture in that tank. I would not advise someone to simply put plants in the tank and remove them once the ammonia readings show a cycled tank because the tank is cycled with the plants being in there...not necessarily without. Otherwise you may have to wait longer for the bacteria to repopulate that which was lost when the plants were removed.

Again its a very specific method of "cycling" a tank and hinges on many assumptions - such as that you'll be keeping the plants you put in the tank, that you actually have plants from a cycled tank, etc. (Actually, I think if you introduce enough plants and perhaps a small source of bacteria, it'd be enough to instantly cycle your tank - the plants of course have to remain in that tank).

So is all of this applicable to the OP? Probably not but because we don't know the specifics of his tank or situation, its worth mentioning. He/She could still use many of the methods (like raising temp, introducing a few plants rather than a whole lot) and have some success in reducing the cycling period.
 
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