Guide to Setting Up a Soil Substrate Planted Aquarium- Part 2 - Page 11
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Guide to Setting Up a Soil Substrate Planted Aquarium- Part 2

This is a discussion on Guide to Setting Up a Soil Substrate Planted Aquarium- Part 2 within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> yeah! same thing with 3 littl tiny cabomba stems...

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Guide to Setting Up a Soil Substrate Planted Aquarium- Part 2
Old 12-17-2010, 12:08 PM   #101
 
yeah! same thing with 3 littl tiny cabomba stems
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Old 12-20-2010, 10:50 PM   #102
 
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Sorry if this was already covered but is it possible to do this to an existing tank?
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Old 12-20-2010, 10:58 PM   #103
 
its a lot harder to do but i think u can do it by freezing balls of soil and shoving it under your substrate... probably makes a huge mess though...
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Old 12-20-2010, 11:37 PM   #104
 
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What about taking out everything, laying out the soil, then putting everything back?
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Old 12-21-2010, 01:05 AM   #105
 
that would work,you would have a huge ass ammonia spike.
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Old 12-21-2010, 08:09 AM   #106
 
why would there be an ammonia spike? if your just sticking frozen soil under the gravel the exisitng bacteria culture would still be there...

IF you remove everything and replace it, you will have a small cycle but if you just keep your filter media and float it in the new setup, it would help introduce the old bacteria and with your plants, it should negate any "ammonia spike." Soil will build up with a lot of bacteria both anaerobic and aerobic to help keep nitrites and ammonia down.
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Old 12-21-2010, 11:29 AM   #107
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SinCrisis View Post
why would there be an ammonia spike? if your just sticking frozen soil under the gravel the exisitng bacteria culture would still be there...

IF you remove everything and replace it, you will have a small cycle but if you just keep your filter media and float it in the new setup, it would help introduce the old bacteria and with your plants, it should negate any "ammonia spike." Soil will build up with a lot of bacteria both anaerobic and aerobic to help keep nitrites and ammonia down.
Aerobic bacteria are the 'filter' bacteria. They convert ammonia to nitrite, to nitrate.

Soil has some anaerobic bacteria- it converts nitrate to nitrite, and then to nitrogen gas. (One of the reasons that Soil tanks require less w/cs.... Nitrate doesn't build up.)

One of the issues with adding soil is that soil floats. One method that Diana walstad put in her book, is get some soil, fold wax paper around it, and slide it under the gravel. Once in place, you can puncture the paper with a knife. The paper will eventually decompose. Never tried it though.

I wouldn't try the freezing... The cold water may kill your fish.

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Originally Posted by Kazzy View Post
What about taking out everything, laying out the soil, then putting everything back?
You mean completely empty the tank of water, fish, and gravel, and then do it? That's essentially 'breaking it down'. but it is the easiest way. If you do it fast enough, your bacteria won't die off.

Last edited by redchigh; 12-21-2010 at 11:34 AM..
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Old 12-21-2010, 12:25 PM   #108
 
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Here's what I was talking about in detail:
  1. Remove decor
  2. Siphon water into a bucket
  3. Place fish into bucket
  4. Remove gravel into separate tank
  5. Place water, fish, and decor (plus filter, heater, etc.) into separate tank with the gravel
  6. Add soil to main tank
  7. Add gravel into main tank
  8. Add water, filter, heater, etc. into main tank
  9. Add plants, fish, decor to main tank

Of course, I'd have already mineralized the soil. This would take place after the steps to prepare the soil to be in tank. Would this work?
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:45 AM   #109
 
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Sure, you could do that. In common aquarium lingo, thats 'breaking it down'.


I had two of my soil tanks crash over the weekend... One was from overfeeding, and one was from not enough rooted plants/improper sand.

My little tank is full of snails (on purpose! :P) and I was baiting them to sell to a buddy of mine. I added a little plastic thingy, and placed a handful of shrimp pellets in it.
The plan was to remove it in a couple hours.

I forgot ALL about it for about 2 days. Next thing I know, the water is black. I did 90% water change and gravel vac, refilled, and did it again. I still smell sulfur. I added a filter as well.

My 10 gallon had a bad case of "green water" algae for quite a long time. I figured it was harmless to the fish, and I'd fix it when I had time. Should have stopped to realise that algae outbreaks mean something is unbalanced... Turns out the substrate had gone mostly anaerobic too. I used play sand and didn't use enough rooted plants... 2 crypt wendtii in a 10 gallon is apparently not enough. Should have known... I mentioned that you need lots of rooted plants, and I didn't follow it.

Do as I say, not as I do.

I did massive w/cs on it as well, and I lost a female endler... Noticed about 15 fry though. yay!
Added a filter with pantyhose over the intake. Yes, I gravel vac'd the soil. The soil was waterlogged, and I wouldn't let the soil actually get sucked up.... I'd pinch the hose before the soil got out of the chamber and into the real hose. Lots of bubbles... There was enough gas to actually break the flow of the siphon a few times. Whew, stinky. My crypt wendtiis shed most of their leaves... Maybe they'll grow back.

Got it worked out, ordering some more crypts and echinodorus blehiri compacta, everythings getting back on track.
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:59 AM   #110
 
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Thanks! Sorry to hear about your tanks. I'm sure youll get it fixed in no time
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