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Old 02-04-2013, 08:43 PM   #11 
ao
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Edit:oh wait...
rereads...

All purpose plant food?!?!

scrap the original post lol! pull the plants before they die!

Original post:
Wait! don't tear it down yet! get some black sand from petco or something and fill in the floramax. the flora max is likely not a good gap and allowing the ammonia to seep through.

to add the sand, first drain the tank completely

rinse sand well in a bucket, then take the sand and do a layer over the floramax. work your way around the plants. (assuming you have black? if not use whatever color sand your floramax is...)

cover everything with saran wrap, then fill. the saran wrap will prevent loose particles and dust from flying everywhere.

Allow the tank to run without livestock for a week or two. it WILL establish itself....do 50% water changes atleast once a week for the first few weeks...

Last edited by ao; 02-04-2013 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:48 PM   #12 
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out of curiosity, why wont someone want soil from the river?
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:57 PM   #13 
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not everyone has a river ;) plus it smells :P
but realistically it's top grade substrate... providing the river is clean and unpolluted
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:06 PM   #14 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aokashi View Post
Wait! don't tear it down yet! get some black sand from petco or something and fill in the floramax. the flora max is likely not a good gap and allowing the ammonia to seep through.

to add the sand, first drain the tank completely

rinse sand well in a bucket, then take the sand and do a layer over the floramax. work your way around the plants. (assuming you have black? if not use whatever color sand your floramax is...)

cover everything with saran wrap, then fill. the saran wrap will prevent loose particles and dust from flying everywhere.

Allow the tank to run without livestock for a week or two. it WILL establish itself....do 50% water changes atleast once a week for the first few weeks...
Oh hi! (:

From what I gathered from my research before hand, a lot of people have had success using floramax as a cap which is why I went on ahead and bought it. I'm pretty convinced that the ammonia spike is from my soil, and I'm scared that even if it does stabilize, that it'll suddenly spike back up as the soil ages & releases more of whatever "nutrients" it has to offer. At this point, I'm just a lot more comfortable going with what I *know* will work. Plus, my tank smells absolutely horrid so I'm not at all opposed to starting over, haha. Thanks for the info though! If I weren't so impatient, I would definitely try your method. It would save me gas money for sure.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:04 PM   #15 
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Oh whoops, I didn't see that you'd edited your post! I'll pull the plants out right now & see about getting the *correct* substrate tomorrow after classes.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:17 PM   #16 
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Be sure to sift the soil as well. You will pull out a pound or 2 of large wood bits and other debris that will break down and cause potential hazards to your tank
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:30 PM   #17 
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Will do, thanks!
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:26 AM   #18 
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I' looking forward to your updates! Floramax is a pretty good substrate by it self :)
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:00 PM   #19 
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So, I changed the substrate to Miracle Gro Organic Potting Mix and got the tank set up again. It's been running for a little under a week now...and I still have ammonia readings? Granted, this time it's somewhere between .25 and .5ppm, but that's not "safe" enough for me to allow my fish to swim freely in (which is why he's in his cup, as is my mystery snail (not in the same cup, mind you!)). Considering how heavily planted my tank is, it should read zero, right? Does anyone have any ideas about what's going on?

Oh, I should tell you that my tap water has .25ppm ammonia in it, and if it matters, Prime is my dechlorinator.

(also, sorry for the quality of the picture; i took it with my phone)

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Old 02-12-2013, 10:57 PM   #20 
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I have a NPT too and it still has a little ammonia. It's going to leach a little but once your cycle kicks in (it has probably already started) you'll never notice. Your snail and betta will create a smaller load than the plants and good bacteria can eat you'll be fine.

Looking at your tank, I need more plants in mine. It doesn't help that I have a huge piece of wood in mine though LOL. Your plants should start exploding next week or the week after. You should see growth but then it'll go POOF and you'll need to do a trim. That's a very good sign.

Here's the thread to mine if you're interested.
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=127007
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