Thursday, October 22, 2015

Inert Substrate Trail/Experiment pt.2

It's been about a month into the trail and things are moving slow. Sorry folks! Partly (or mostly) due part to my laziness and RL commitments. It's been hectic with work and trying to figure out new living conditions. The  news is I might be moving to a different house by the end of the month. The downside is of course, I am limited on time and what I can do. The upside is once the move is finalize, I will have my own space and a larger allowance of space to have tanks!

As an update to the tanks, as a few folks are curious to know, the tap water used for cycling the tank has been completely drained and replaced by RODI mineralized with the Bianco products. I was testing the water the day after the water swap and noticed that the pH was climbing back into the neutral ranges (7pH).  Having already anticipated this would happen, I ordered Sera Super Peat to counteract the problem.  The super peat should serve as a temporary buffering agent for my tank while the tank develops it's down humic and fulvic acids which will enable it to buffer the pH on it's own.

A little thing I had not anticipate (and notes for those seeking to try this) is a means to utilize the peat effectively. I found out quickly that adding the peat to the canister filter was going to be a living nightmare! The seer amount of work needed to disconnect, remove, open, add the peat, reseal, reconnect and start the filter was overwhelming, to say the least!  So, I did a little brainstorming and opted to use a HOB filter as a media carrier for the 10G tank. A nice added benefit of having a HOB housing media is now I can more easily (and regularly) swap out old Purigen for new Purigen. At my parent's home, both my JRB and JBB have HOB and that's the same thing I do there. Tanks there looks nice cleaner and nicer than the ones at my GF's house. 

After adding the Sera Super Peat, the tank's pH dropped from 7.3 down to 6.9 over a 24hr period. I predict the drop in pH will continue throughout the week.  The current plan on the agenda is to move some moss already growing on a piece of DW up to the new tank. Also adding in some Amanos to clean the tank and moss up a bit before I add the cull JRB. I'm also planning on injecting more CO2 to get as much nice growth from the moss as possible before I have to dial back when JRB are inside.

Prior to adding Sera Super Peat
24hr after adding Sera Super Peat

Overall, I really enjoy the inert substrate.  Everything about this substrate so far has been nothing but positive. I love the look and the feel of the substrate and really enjoy the fact that I can so easily clean the substrate and not have to worry about it breaking down or kicking up mud from already broken down soil.  

Until next time! Cheers!

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