What does it smell like?
No matter whatever I do (mineralizing, poking substrate, water movement, etc.,), my substrate turns anaerobic and fluffy. My water is very hard. Is that something causing the H2S toxicity? If so, using R.O water can solve the problem?Oxygen is the key to keep it from smelling. This can come from plant photosynthesis, water movement, poking substrate, etc. Your choice...
Thanks for your reply! I set up the jar just for experiment purpose, so I tear down after few weeks (Sorry! Forgot to take a picture of it).I looked back at photos of your jars. Looked wonderful. Huge plant biomass. Clear water. What has changed?
If the plants are doing well, I would not worry about substrate bubbling. The goal is to have good plant growth not to have a sleepy substrate.
Do you have animals in the jar?
Maybe a new photo to compare plant biomass with previous photo? Has growth been good enough that you have been pruning plants since last photo?
I would wait on changing anything. In general, hardwater is good.
I am excited to give you all an update on my NPTs with different water source!I would try diluting your tapwater 1:1 with RO water.
Thanks for your inputs, Diana!Lovely! Aside from the pleasure of witnessing a hard-won success, the results are very interesting.
R.O. water has no nutrients, so the soil and fishfood alone is releasing enough into the water for your plants. A freshly submerged soil will release plentiful Ca and Mg (my book, p. 131, Fig VIII-6).
It is possible that your tapwater contains high levels of sulfates. The sulfates would percolate into the soil where bacteria would convert them to toxic H2S. (Hard waters from a coastal city with a seawater input would be expected to contain high sulfates.)
In any case, your results are wonderful and worth celebrating. Thanks for posting!
In my couple of previous experiment setups, I did have the Wood Charcoal, plants were not doing well, but when I tear down the small setup there was no smell from the substrate as it did all the times. Then I realized that substrate was not responsible for H2S toxicity, it could be something else, the water. In the past, I have seen one of the Youtuber was using Charcoal in the substrate, he was yelling about the use of Wood Charcoal (not activated carbon or anything):Thanks for your persistence and informative posts! 1,000 ppm TDS is really high.
"In the nano tank, I mixed crushed wood charcoal to the compost, and dusted on the bottom glass, not much very little (~5%) to avoid any contamination. "
This caught my attention because I have been studying the use of biochar (charcoal) as an amendment in terrestrial soils. Biochar is a huge subject of research now as a way of carbon sequestration. It has many properties that sound useful in aquarium substrate. It is very stable, with a life span measured in centuries. It is extremely porous providing habitat for microorganisms. It has high CEC, so it can hold nutrients. And in terrestrial soils it is a long term source of carbon.
Just how all this would work in aquarium substrate is still a question, but your use of charcoal is encouraging. Might be time for some experimental bowls.
This caught my eye as well. As @dwalstad said, the RO water won't have any Ca/Mg in it. You may need to supplement down the line if growth starts stalling. Just something to keep in mind. Great to hear about your progress though!my R.O water has enough nutrients
I also add Seachem iron to my tank a couple times a week to keep up the floater growth. If I stop they almost immediately start growing stunted and yellow. One of these days I'd like to find a way to add a more permanent source of iron to the water column, but as of yet this is the best I can do.Is adding trace element acceptable when seeing deficiencies in plants or I should waited for another week or so? Anything else to do to increase iron for water column plants.