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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; --> my water is slowly turning darker and darker in both my soil tanks, but my water parameters are fine? What do you use to ...

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Guide to Setting Up a Soil Substrate Planted Aquarium- Part 2
Old 12-29-2010, 11:18 AM   #111
 
my water is slowly turning darker and darker in both my soil tanks, but my water parameters are fine? What do you use to turn your soil? Ive just dumped mts and havent poked the soil at all since day one... should i be doing that..?
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:28 AM   #112
 
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depends on how many rooted plants you have.

It is sort of tricky- All soil substrates have toxic sulfur compounds... The saving grace is a biofilm on top of the substrate that neutralises it.

Too much sulfur, it rises up, contaminating the water.
To prevent, you poke the substrate.

If you substrate is fine, poking it will release it, which can contaminate the water. It's quite a pickle.
You can smell your water... If it smells like rotten eggs, you might have a problem. If it smells clean (like a forest or like dirt.. somewhat sweet.) then you're fine.

See, tannins will also darken the water... Almost like tea or diluted coffee. That's great- it inhibits algae and is good for the fish.

If it gets to where you can't see into the tank, you might have a problem. The blackness I was describing was decidedly cloudy- not the clear-brown tea color. It was really from overfeeding... I think the ammonia spike from the food killed some of the bacteria.

My 10 gallon with the green water wasn't black until I frantically changed the water (after smelling sulfur).
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:43 AM   #113
 
i figured it was tannins from the soil. I have a region in the tank where there is 6 inches of soil, but my largest amazon sword is planted there so im hoping that it will be ok. I can see bubbles against the glass though so i dunno how turned its getting from my mts. Water smells fine, the usual fishy smell. Ammonia is at a solid .5ppm but its like that for all my tanks and my tap, never goes away for some reason. Its getting pretty dark though, should probably do a water change. i saw one of my bolivian rams flashing the other day while it was eating a algae wafer, dunno if thats a sign of something wrong but he only did that when he was eating the wafer, other times, hes normal.
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:21 PM   #114
 
I think tAnnins are a great thing.bubbles seen should be poked, so should bubble inseen,just take a long skewer and poke about every inch apart, less distance if your OCD like me.
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:24 PM   #115
 
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bubbles aren't neccesarily bad, but true, if they stay for too long, you should get rid of it.

For fun, smell the bubble when it comes up. :P
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:56 PM   #116
 
O.o i dont think im gonna go smell the bubbles... but i will go poke them now. i buried the roots of the sword really deep so i think that should keep everything, but the deepest area clear of the bad stuff. I have anubiases with crazy long roots and other smaller sword plants planted there as well. I also recently introduced water sprite to soak up any excess nutrients and my bga has retreated to oblivion now. Hopefully it will stay like this.

Thanks again for the guide redchigh, without this i would have never experimented with this setup and i really like it.
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Old 12-30-2010, 04:28 PM   #117
 
Can I has a picture please?
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Old 12-31-2010, 02:08 PM   #118
 
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I'm forbidden from posting pictures since I'm going to use 2 of mine for a contest.
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Old 12-31-2010, 03:03 PM   #119
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by redchigh View Post
I'm forbidden from posting pictures since I'm going to use 2 of mine for a contest.
Ha, I was talking to sin :)
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:49 AM   #120
 
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Well, I'm running into nutrient deficiencies. I evidently don't feed my fish enough. My cabomba dwindled down to about 4 stems, and the sword has holes in the leaves.

I guess I'll start dosing some liquid ferts for a little while.

Last edited by redchigh; 01-11-2011 at 10:52 AM..
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