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Has anyone just soaked Aquasoil in a bucket and changed the water in it for a while before adding it to the tank?
Yes, I did that. I didn't have ammonia problems but the Aquasoil broke down. It was the Amazonia II and was a bad batch. When I talked to ADG they said the soak and w/c didn't make it break down. It did stabilize the ammonia.
 

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Do note that too much water change can be bad. This is particularly true with new setup using Amazonia. Amazonia will make the pH very low. I would normally get 6 or below, sometime even close to 5. Most everyone change water using neutral (pH = 7) water. This causes sudden fluctuation in pH level in the tank, damaging the micro bacterias. This will prolong the bacteria colony from growing, consequently prolonging the cloudy water. This is why it is recommended to use activated carbon or zeolite.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Well, everyone, I listened to your advice and added 15 extra plants to my tank. After that I did a 30% water change, added a simple CO2 system (By Hagen), trimmed the dead leaves and added Excel to the tank. As an advice from a local petshop, I also added Tetra Safe Start to lower ammonia and speed up the cycle. Last, but not least I took out the log with algae and dosed it with Hydrogen peroxide ad then boiled it, cooled it and added back to the tank. Hopefully this will fix the issues I've been having.

In regards to the light, I checked and it's a 96W 12000K lighting system. There is also a second light (white and blue), also at 96W. Can you advise as to how much light I need? (38gal 20" high tank) How long should it be on for?
 

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Do note that too much water change can be bad. This is particularly true with new setup using Amazonia. Amazonia will make the pH very low. I would normally get 6 or below, sometime even close to 5. Most everyone change water using neutral (pH = 7) water. This causes sudden fluctuation in pH level in the tank, damaging the micro bacterias. This will prolong the bacteria colony from growing, consequently prolonging the cloudy water. This is why it is recommended to use activated carbon or zeolite.
The zeolite is a good idea for the ammonium. Carbon to help remove dissolved organics. However,
I never heard that such pH swings could be bad for the bacteria. The only concern i might have is if the tap water were pH >> 7 and then that shifts some of the more harmless NH4+ (ammonium) to NH3 (Ammonia).
Quetzalcoatl, can you provide more details or point us to the source of that statement.

You know, the frequent water changes have other benefits.
Thanks, Neil
 

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In regards to the light, I checked and it's a 96W 12000K lighting system. There is also a second light (white and blue), also at 96W. Can you advise as to how much light I need? (38gal 20" high tank) How long should it be on for?
If you have 2 bulbs burning at the same time, that is a lot of light.. more than i would use. That drives the plants to grow faster and can make it more difficult to keep some nutrients from running out.... thereby making it more favorable for algae. First, 96w total would be much better. Secondly, replace the blue bulbs with "white" light (6500-1000K). .... like a mid-day light closer to 6000. High kelvin rating by itself , however, doesnt actually say that the bulb is too blue or bad. I recall that my old 40" Triton bulbs were rated over 10000K.

When you get the tank algae free and you know you are suppling sufficient nutrients including carbon, then you can up the light. I know some people love to bath there plants in light and are successful at it. A bright tank does look nice. Regarding duration, keep it at 8-10 hours. (I personally have trouble doing that because i like to see my tanks in the morning and the evening :)) When you do add the 2nd 96w, start it at a few hours during the middle of the cycle.
--Neil
 
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