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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm resetting my 20g long tomorrow with aquasoil and planting it with a rather large amount of HC. New filter, new everything essentially. Not cycled at all. My question is when do I need to start dosing ferts, or should I just does them from the start, or will the aqua soil pretty much provide for the HC for a while?

Tank specs:
20g long
2x24w 24" T5-HO fixture
Eheim 2215 + 200mL of Purigen, not going to use carbon pad as it absorbs ferts
Aqua Soil Amazonia NEW 9L, Power Sand Special-S 3L
Paintball CO2
Dosing regimen will be EI when the ferts arrive, but I have Seachem Flourish right now
 

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Why don't you do a dry start? That way you don't need to dose anything, and you should encounter no algae problems until you finally fill the tank with water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The HC I have is the submerged form. I don't know how it would fare going submerged, emersed and then back to submerged. Also....I'd like to get the filter for this tank cycled asap for my shrimp.
 

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If you can afford the delay, a dry start mineralizes the substrate, eliminating that problem with ADA Aquasoil. And, with a carpet of HC growing, any ammonia that the shrimp produce will be very quickly consumed by the HC, while the bacteria colony is being established. But, it does mean a month or so delay.
 

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ADA Aquasoil Amazonia leaches quite a lot of ammonia into the water for a month or so when the tank is first set up. ADA recommends doing lots of water changes during that first month or so to keep the ammonia level down. When you do a dry start it converts the ammonia to nitrates, eliminating that problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, the plants will be using the ammonia anyway if it's submersed and that ammonia will also help get my entire filter system cycled. So, either way it's going to be about a month wait....correct? Except, since these are shrimp and their bio load is so low the HC carpet would be processing all the ammonia and nitrates they're giving off, correct? Would that minuscule amount of ammonia left even be enough to start seeding my biological filter?
 

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Well, the plants will be using the ammonia anyway if it's submersed and that ammonia will also help get my entire filter system cycled. So, either way it's going to be about a month wait....correct? Except, since these are shrimp and their bio load is so low the HC carpet would be processing all the ammonia and nitrates they're giving off, correct? Would that minuscule amount of ammonia left even be enough to start seeding my biological filter?
I think the consensus from research is that plants prefer nitrogen in the form of NO3 (nitrates) and that the one sure fire way to kick off some algae growth is....ammonia (NH3). Dry start is a long wait with little fuss, maybe a bit of melting after the fill vs filling right away and doing frequent water changes for the first month to keep ammonia down. I think I have seen some really solid growth in the dry start method though but either way works with diligence. Either way it's best to wait awhile before adding livestock as the bio filter (nitrosomonas) takes some time to establish.
 
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