05-17-2015, 08:20 PM
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Nottingham UK
| | Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot
Originally Posted by mik778866
Hi. Informative thread. One aspect that has not been adequately covered is water changes on initial set up. I would assume that because the soil is already mineralised, there is no need for lots of water changes in the first month as one would do in a walstad/dirted tank? If this is completely incorrect, please provide a guideline to follow. Thanks
I doubt there is any kind of definitive guideline to follow.. water changes should be guided by water test results and perhaps by eye. by how the plants are growing. Im no expert but it seems to me the primary reason for mineralising the soil is to 'remove' or convert the less decayed organic matter from the soil which in turn lowers the risk of ammonia spikes in the early days as well as excess nutrients flooding the water column leading to algae blooms.
In my own tank I mineralised the soil quite thoroughly and tested the water daily for the first 18 days.. I saw no reason due to the results I was seeing to perform a water change - the plants after a week of doing nothing much exploded into life.. the fish, some of which were added on day 2 did fine. I had a filter in place and because of this on day 18 I saw a positive result for Nitrite - It wasnt huge, only 3ppm - but I did a water change then just to be on the safe side.. after that I continued to test the water and saw no reason to do a water change.
My routine now is to do a small water change every month, not because its 'essential' but because lowering the water level makes cleaning up easier - also I lose some water when I disconnect the external filter, empty it and give the pads a clean... I use water from the tank to do this. So, my water changes are around 10/15% once a month. and everything is ticking along nicely.