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Discussion Starter · #241 ·
How long to run this test?
That depends, and was never really decided up front. The primary intention of the test all along was to determine the actual effect of the FIRED CALCINED CLAY against Ammonia. Getting things to the Nitrate reduction part was probably not gonna happen, if the Turface just wound up eating all of the Ammonia added to the system anyway.
So, to be completely sure how that Turface reacts to the Ammonia, I plan to keep the test process going for two weeks. That should be more than long enough to see if the Turface I'm using will eliminate the Ammonia from the aquarium system, but not long enough to begin building a colony of beneficial bacteria in there.
This test was always about determining just how effective the FIRED CALCINED CLAY was (when used completely alone) in removing that Ammonia from the water.
 
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How long to run this test?
That depends, and was never really decided up front. The primary intention of the test all along was to determine the actual effect of the FIRED CALCINED CLAY against Ammonia. Getting things to the Nitrate reduction part was probably not gonna happen, if the Turface just wound up eating all of the Ammonia added to the system anyway.
So, to be completely sure how that Turface reacts to the Ammonia, I plan to keep the test process going for two weeks. That should be more than long enough to see if the Turface I'm using will eliminate the Ammonia from the aquarium system, but not long enough to begin building a colony of beneficial bacteria in there.
This test was always about determining just how effective the FIRED CALCINED CLAY was (when used completely alone) in removing that Ammonia from the water.
Then I would just proceed as you had originally planned. Just use the FIRED CALCINED CLAY and let's see what happens over 2 weeks.
 

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How long to run this test?
That depends, and was never really decided up front. The primary intention of the test all along was to determine the actual effect of the FIRED CALCINED CLAY against Ammonia. Getting things to the Nitrate reduction part was probably not gonna happen, if the Turface just wound up eating all of the Ammonia added to the system anyway.
So, to be completely sure how that Turface reacts to the Ammonia, I plan to keep the test process going for two weeks. That should be more than long enough to see if the Turface I'm using will eliminate the Ammonia from the aquarium system, but not long enough to begin building a colony of beneficial bacteria in there.
This test was always about determining just how effective the FIRED CALCINED CLAY was (when used completely alone) in removing that Ammonia from the water.
Ohk cool :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #244 ·
Sounds good!
So, the test with that Turface in those pond baskets will run out until 1 October/22. By that point, I will have purchased and (hopefully) gotten in some bags of that 'Aqualat'. And with the preps and work completed to set up this new stuff, we'll then shut down the Turface setup. That will consist of a full clean and flush of the aquarium system, of all that old water... Followed by a re-fill with a fresh supply of my dechlorinated tap water - then a 'lock & load' with more dosed Ammonia! Once the dosed Ammonia stabilizes in the aquarium system, will again place in four of those big pond baskets with the (more iron heavy) 'Aqualat', to begin TEST 2 of the Anoxic Filtration Process. :)
 

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Sounds good!
So, the test with that Turface in those pond baskets will run out until 1 October/22. By that point, I will have purchased and (hopefully) gotten in some bags of that 'Aqualat'. And with the preps and work completed to set up this new stuff, we'll then shut down the Turface setup. That will consist of a full clean and flush of the aquarium system, of all that old water... Followed by a re-fill with a fresh supply of my dechlorinated tap water - then a 'lock & load' with more dosed Ammonia! Once the dosed Ammonia stabilizes in the aquarium system, will again place in four of those big pond baskets with the (more iron heavy) 'Aqualat', to begin TEST 2 of the Anoxic Filtration Process. :)
Amazon.com: Brightwell Aquatics FlorinBase Laterite Powder - Natural Laterite Clay Substrate for Planted and Freshwater Shrimp Aquaria, : Everything Else

How about 2 of this (650 grams /4 = 162 grams) of respectable laterite in each of your baskets?

No this is cheaper :p

Amazon.com : Oliver Knott AQUALAT Power Plant Growth, 7 L, Orange : Pet Supplies

32usd for 6 kilos.
 

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Yeah, the powdered forms are cheaper. But they are also a pain in the rear end to work with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #247 ·
Five bags of Aqualat have been ordered from the Evil Empire.
And with a promised delivery date of 23 September, that leaves plenty of time to get things prepped and set up for Anoxic Filtration Test 2. :)
 

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@Auballagh are you going to test nitrites too? Just in case that kicks off and skews the results? I'm surprised to see second dip in ammonia after 2 days of stable level. It's just absorbed by kation exchange, I would expect steady lowering of pH and ammonia( all kations) to a plateau.

Just came across moler clay known also as ditomaceus earth, which is basically bentonite clay with addition of microporous silica - perfect for bacteria colony. It's sold as bonsai substrate or pink non clumping cat litter. Pink would suggest trace iron content too. But i can't find any. More detailed composition info.
 

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@Auballagh are you going to test nitrites too? Just in case that kicks off and skews the results? I'm surprised to see second dip in ammonia after 2 days of stable level. It's just absorbed by kation exchange, I would expect steady lowering of pH and ammonia( all kations) to a plateau.

Just came across moler clay known also as ditomaceus earth, which is basically bentonite clay with addition of microporous silica - perfect for bacteria colony. It's sold as bonsai substrate or pink non clumping cat litter. Pink would suggest trace iron content too. But i can't find any. More detailed composition info.
Ammonia drop was almost rapid for me. I used oil-dri no laterite/iron source. Check time stamps on photos.
 

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Sooo.
You had drop in ammonia with spike in nitrites. Then both cleared up, all in 4 days.
Did you test in non cycled tank?
Rapid ammonia drop can be attributed to kation(cation) exchange within the clay. Auballagh's test shows similar drop within 24h of putting baskets in.
But nitrite spike would suggest active biomedia somewhere? Can't see how biologicaly inert clay could convert ammonia to nitrites and then remove both. And 4 days is too short for any cycling to happen.
 

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Sooo.
You had drop in ammonia with spike in nitrites. Then both cleared up, all in 4 days.
Did you test in non cycled tank?
Rapid ammonia drop can be attributed to kation(cation) exchange within the clay. Auballagh's test shows similar drop within 24h of putting baskets in.
But nitrite spike would suggest active biomedia somewhere? Can't see how biologicaly inert clay could convert ammonia to nitrites and then remove both. And 4 days is too short for any cycling to happen.
I have no idea but this happened last year and I was also surprised. Non cycled tank. Fishless cycle and now I don't even cycle tanks. So I emailed Dr. Novak and Syd (mankyskanke) and was told this is normal with anoxic filtration system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #252 ·
After placing those pond baskets in the water, and measuring that original dip in Ammonia plus the hit to my PH, I did test for Nitrite and Nitrate. Both came up zero though, so I quit testing for the stuff. Will have to re-test again today and see what is happening with those - and will inform of any (completely unexpected) readings.
Might be that the Turface is just simply going at the Ammonia (H3N?). With no beneficial bacteria present in the test aquarium, I don't believe there should be a follow up conversion process over to NO2 or NO3 happening within the filtration system.
 
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Might be that the Turface is just simply going at the Ammonia (H3N?). With no beneficial bacteria present in the test aquarium, I don't believe there should be a follow up conversion process over to NO2 or NO3 happening within the filtration system.
Agreed, turface, bentonite, moler and similiar clays have certain capacity to absorb kations as NH4, what happens to free NH3 is another question, probably escapes to amophere.

By the end of 2 week test period you could have nitrite producing bacteria colonising outer, oxygen rich layers of the turface. I wouldn't waste a nitrite test now. Last day test of nitrates, and nitrites would make sense though. Especially with day 1 measurements to compare with.

For the sake of science it would be awesome if you could run "control group" without any media, just glass and water to make sure ammonia does not simply evaporate.
 

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I understand that this is just an "experiment". There are other variables that do come into play in an aquarium. Laterite promotes fantastic plant growth & health which also impacts nitrate levels. The calcined clay & laterite may have other impacts on gravel beds, filtration systems, etc, which occur in conjunction with all the other processes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #256 ·
Whew.... :oops:
For the sake of science it would be awesome if you could run a "control group" without any media, just glass and water to make sure ammonia does not simply evaporate.
That is indeed, a good point. And, with the test (Franken Tank?) aquarium pushing over 1000GPH in water flow, simple evaporation of that Ammonia out of the water is something I have speculated about as well.
So yes... I DO have a dry, 10 gallon tank that I set up and (seldom) use as a quarantine/treatment tank. And sure! I could definitely place that little tank back into service with just glass, dechlorinated water and plenty of Ammonia in it, at a measured 7 - 8 PPM just like the test tank (I'll leave the established sponge media for the little HOB filter out of it).
That way, if we ARE getting those descending Ammonia readings simultaneously in both tanks? We'll know then it's almost certainly NOT the Turface that is slowly eating the dosed Ammonia out of the test tank. ;)
 

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My experience fishless cycling BCBs gave basically the same results as cycling aerobic biomedia, except for slightly lower (safer) levels of ammonia and nitrite while cycling. Then after 10 weeks I'm seeing nitrate reduction.

I mix seachem flourite red with the baked clay. 3 parts clay to 1 part flourite.

Vertebrate Organism Mammal Font Publication

Plant Botany Ingredient Terrestrial plant Font
 
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