Jump to content

Newbie cycling Aqua Soil Amazonia


lizam
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi!  Nice to be part of this forum.  I am starting my first shrimp only tank.  Its a small tank and I know bigger is always better but this is being done at my place of work.  

 

I have never used aqua soil before.  I set it up on Feb 3rd and used some seeded media from my betta tank, which I trust.  I read that aqua soil would spike the ammonia levels but wow! :)  They rose to way over 4.  I did water changes with RO water that I buy from a local store.  I even went in on the weekend once to do a WC.   Unfortunately when I tested  TDS on the RO I got a reading of about 25.   I live in small town British Columbia Canada and I am very limited with what I can buy here.  My tap water is like liquid rock! ;)

 

Anyway I have been practicing using Salty GH to bring the RO water to a TDS of about 120-130 when I water change. I checked the GH/KH once and it was 6/1.  My plants came in this past Friday, big water change after planting. My fingers are crossed that my mini eleocharis makes it.  I think the moss, star grass and s. repens should be okay,   :huh:   The light isn't that strong so...maybe??? Going low tech so I wanted to plant heavy.  

 

 I tested my ammonia today (monday)  got 2ppm and 0 nitrite so I left it.  Sorry after all that I will get to my questions:

 

  • I am wondering if because the the ammonia spiked so high and with some crazy ph swings,  if my seeded media got blown?  
  • Is it recommended to run the tank for at least 6-8 weeks anyway because of possible leaching from the soil?
  • Is my RO water going to be okay as long as I check each batch I get and then add Salty GH accordingly?

Any suggestions are welcome. Thank you  :) post-3497-0-06550700-1455598427_thumb.jp  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem is you are buying RO water.  You should try and find RO/DI water if you can.  If you cant fine RO/DI water then 25 tds water will do.  Since you are buying water I would just leave the aquarium to cycle on its own and do water changes every other week.  It will take a bit longer but it will save you on the water costs.  When I cycled my aquarium with aquasoil I pretty much just left it alone for 6 weeks and then did a major water change.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep you don't need precious RO or Salty Shrimp GH+ to cycle your tank, only use it when you are close to ready for your shrimp. I would wait for as long as possible, absolute minimum a month, but ideally two+before adding the inverts.  I would accelerate the cycling with something like Microbe Lift Special Blend or perhaps bacteria from another established filter. With no fish or shrimp water changes don't have to be as hectic as prescribed for ADA..

 

I like what I'm seeing and the floating plants will certainly help suck up the ammonia as its a source of nitrogen for the plants. Adding hardy fish quite soon will also help the cycling process even if they are temporary additions to the tank.  When the big red ribbon cutting day arrives for the shrimp, please do a test intro with a couple of not so special shrimp and see how they go for say two weeks.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would avoid adding fish. The soil will produce enough ammonia to cycle and it is hard on the fish. I would leave it alone for 6+ weeks to ensure the ammonia leeching is over. I don't think your media got blown, but continue to check Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate and if there's no conversion going on your bacteria may have died.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Lizam

I have found a way that works very well for me, tho I don't say this is the right way or only way

We have hard tap water, 8.5Ph 4Kh and 99TDS. This will exhaust the buffering quite quickly using aqua soil with a Kh of 4

I always cycle the soil as per ADA instructions like 50% water change for the first week, every day. 50% every second day for the second week and so on

For the water changes I then use half or/di and half tap water so this gives me 2 Kh and around 7.5Ph just to try and keep the Ph a little above 7 to speed up the cycling process.

Then it always takes 4 weeks to complete the cycle. I then drain as much water as I can, fill the tank with ro/di SS Gh + to around 4,5 Gh and 125 TDS, let it run another week and then do this again, for a second time.

After the 5 weeks I am good to go and can add the shrimps :)

I use ADA Bacter 100 and Seachem Stability as per instructions during the cycle and when ever I do water changes with mainenance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Lizam

I have found a way that works very well for me, tho I don't say this is the right way or only way

We have hard tap water, 8.5Ph 4Kh and 99TDS. This will exhaust the buffering quite quickly using aqua soil with a Kh of 4

I always cycle the soil as per ADA instructions like 50% water change for the first week, every day. 50% every second day for the second week and so on

For the water changes I then use half or/di and half tap water so this gives me 2 Kh and around 7.5Ph just to try and keep the Ph a little above 7 to speed up the cycling process.

Then it always takes 4 weeks to complete the cycle. I then drain as much water as I can, fill the tank with ro/di SS Gh + to around 4,5 Gh and 125 TDS, let it run another week and then do this again, for a second time.

After the 5 weeks I am good to go and can add the shrimps :)

I use ADA Bacter 100 and Seachem Stability as per instructions during the cycle and when ever I do water changes with mainenance.

Thanks for your help :)  Your water is pretty much as bad as mine ;) Mine is 8.2ph with a GH/KH of 13/12 .   I stuck with doing water changes with RO/DI.  It's sure nice to not have to deal with calcium deposits!  

 

 I'm at the month mark with the cycle and it looks good.  I checked ammonia and nitrite and it was zero (need to get a new nitrate because I don't trust the one I have).  But I am going to wait a couple more weeks, just to be sure.  My plants are doing quite well so I'm happy and think they helped with the cycle.   I added some pure ammonia just to check my cycle and a couple of ramshorns today. I'm going to follow your advise and do a couple big water changes over the next couple weeks while I look online for the bee shrimp I want to order :)     

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...