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  1. #11

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    1 Not allowed!
    Excellent advice ^^^
    GiVe Me sHrEd TiLL i'M dEaD
    -Kat

  2. #12

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    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by angelcraze2 View Post
    Your tank was cycling! The ammonia released from the dirt does the job. That's why it's not advisable to add fish right away. In fact, I think Diana suggests 3-6 months? I think that's excessive, but like I've said, I've never done a full Walstad tank.
    Hmmm, I'm not too sure about that. I wasn't cycling the tank when it was doing that. It was a DSM and I was flooding and draining the tank back down to the substrate for one day each week for maybe five or six weeks. The murkiness was visibly less each time I flooded the tank. I could be wrong in my assumption, but I don't believe I was keeping water in the tank long enough to establish any sort of cycle each time I flooded. It was more of like a rinsing action. I could be wrong, though. I've had heterotrophic bacterial blooms in my original tanks when they were cycling, but this was much thicker. It was more than a haze. Couldn't see through the tank even with ridiculously powerful lights sitting 1.5" from the surface of the water. It was like this:

    post-471-0-31894900-1419691967.jpg

  3. #13

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    1 Not allowed!
    Oh that's crazy! You don't think ammonia could leach into the water? I'm sure there'd be some particles floating, but I've cycled tanks with only soil. I got murkiness for a few days until it cycled, then crystal clear? Other tanks cycled in a day or so with established media. I still don't find it safe necessarily to add fish, since things can change so quickly at first and careful attention to params and conditions is needed, but it's never caused any issues for me at all??
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  4. #14

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    1 Not allowed!
    organic soils are naturally high in nutrients. When you soak IT in water the organics start to break down and can cause an ammonia spike. From what I have read and if I have comprehended correctly. when starting a dirted tank the breaking down of the organics in the soil creates ammonia the plants start braking down the ammonia thus starting the cycle.
    Maybe Andra's tank cleared up a little bit more each time because his plants where getting bigger and where starting to keep up with the ammonia load? Just a thought.
    Last edited by Hockey nut; 11-29-2017 at 02:17 PM.
    If it's too loud you're too old
    If it's too fast then it must be thrash

  5. #15

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    Default link to a good discussion on suitable soils for walstad/dirted tank.


    1 Not allowed!
    If it's too loud you're too old
    If it's too fast then it must be thrash

  6. #16

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    2 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Hockey nut View Post
    organic soils are naturally high in nutrients. When you soak IT in water the organics start to break down and can cause an ammonia spike. From what I have read and if I have comprehended correctly. when starting a dirted tank the breaking down of the organics in the soil creates ammonia the plants start braking down the ammonia thus starting the cycle.
    Maybe Andra's tank cleared up a little bit more each time because his plants where getting bigger and where starting to keep up with the ammonia load? Just a thought.

    Plants will consume ammonium before nitrate. With a lower PH the ammonia will turn into ammonium or you could just dose with prime everyday to make sure it turns into ammonium. I don't remember Walstad saying that plants will consume ammonia.

  7. #17

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    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks for the clarification. at this point I have not read her book yet, I am planning on getting it this weekend. I am assuming I miss read something someplace else or just mixing up ammonia and ammonium.
    If it's too loud you're too old
    If it's too fast then it must be thrash

  8. #18

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    1 Not allowed!
    I was thinking about André's tank while away from this site lol. I think a cycle could start of the soil doesn't dry out. So I believe a cycle can start in a dirted tank 'dry start' as well, as long as the soil stays moist. The plants don't need to process anything for a cycle to start. Pls correct me if my thinking is off.
    GiVe Me sHrEd TiLL i'M dEaD
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  9. #19

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    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Hockey nut View Post
    From what I have read one of the draw backs of using miracle grow, is it's high organic composition, which can lead to algae blooms. Mineralizing helps speed up the organic breakdown,
    This reminds me of the importance of trying to plant so that all the dirt is used up. If there's dirt under it, plant it. I could definitely see an algae bloom if there is not enough plants to boom/bloom instead.
    GiVe Me sHrEd TiLL i'M dEaD
    -Kat

  10. #20

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    1 Not allowed!
    Glad you brought that up Kat. Since I am using botanicals I am wanting to have a leaf litter bed so I will need open space. Now I just need to some how figure out planted space to botanical/leaf little space that will work.
    If it's too loud you're too old
    If it's too fast then it must be thrash

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