Bubbles From Soil Substrate??

  1. sassymomma Well Known Member Member

    So I set up my sorority with organic pond soil, a few months ago and capped it with pool filter sand

    The soil ranges from.5" in the front to 3" deep the back corners, where I had planned to place a pair of huge swords and instead put rocks lol

    At the start, the back right had a stand of jungle Val's but they completely melted and died on me. Now I'm getting bubbles from the substrate- it started there, and I assumed it was the roots breaking down so I have been doing daily 10-15g water changes and stirring things up to release the air/gasses

    Ammonia runs 0-.25

    It doesn't smell, nor is it black and nasty like the time I got a pocket under my sand in the 29. It's just clear bubbles as though air were stuck in the dirt

    Is this just normal settling, and I should keep things stirred up?

    I am hoping to meet a fellow forum member soon, and get some trumpet snails-that should help, right? 1bacee1930b95a7e4f51fdc8a9b7f9f6.jpg
  2. BeanFish Well Known Member Member

    Technically it isnt normal because you are supposed to wet the soil before capping to avoid air pockets forming in the soil. If the air pockets are in the soil I dont think the snails will do much. If they are in the sand they will help. I have a 10 gal dirted tank and I never stirr anything. I never have water quality problems neither. If anything I need to dose nitrogen to plants without roots.

  3. sassymomma Well Known Member Member

    I did wet the soil and stirred it at time of adding

    I thought it must be the roots from the Val's that died, rotting and causing pockets?
  4. BeanFish Well Known Member Member

    I don't think they would have caused the air pockets but maybe.
    I would add something like water lettuce or hornwort, it should get rid of the ammonia. When the snails come they should keep the sand stirred up.

  5. sassymomma Well Known Member Member

    Water lettuce didn't like my tank setup, I'll try hornwort again

    I didn't have much luck with it in my understocked 29, but the sorority should grow it
  6. BeanFish Well Known Member Member

    Watter lettuce did not like my setup neither until I started dosing nitrogen. My rooted plants dont show nitrogen deficiencies because of the soil but when duckweed and watter lettuce wasnt growing it became obvious my water had no nitrogen.
    Ammonia is the prefered form of nitrogen for plants so the watter lettuce or hornwort should eat that up quickly.
  7. sassymomma Well Known Member Member

    That could be why then- my usual parameters are 0/0/5-15, with a ph of 7.5

    The hornwort loved my goldfish tank, which always had.25 ammonia, but they melted in other tanks where the above is normal

    The goldfish are back in the pond now and I have no hornwort left, and I sent the lettuce to the pond to recover too.

    I need to grab more filter media, so I will see if they have hornwort in store

  8. Jocelyn Adelman Fishlore VIP Member

    For the time being you can poke around (gently) in the substrate with a thin skewer, should help to release some of the trapped gasses.
    All that being said, I have one tank that will "bubble" occasionally, eco complete around three inches, well stirred... never smells, just get it while using gravel vac... not overly concerned about it, but it's also not a soil substrate capped with sand (I have trumpet snails in there too)
  9. sassymomma Well Known Member Member

    I'm poking regularly, and my plants are growing well

    I'm hoping to get snails soon-no one sells them but a fellow forum member has a lead for me
  10. Jocelyn Adelman Fishlore VIP Member

    So, I've never shipped live before (only plants) but I would be happy to ship you some assuming you cover the cost of shipping, no charge on the snails....
    Not sure if it's too hot right now????

  11. sassymomma Well Known Member Member

    I'm not sure about border control though, thy're considered pests up here lol. Otherwise, I'd jump on the offer. And mail here is horrible....Our days are 31C right now, not sure what that would translate to in a bag in a truck?

    I'm pretty sure I can get some local, it's just a matter of arranging work schedules, and so forth. My hubby is shift work, and his schedule is more of a guideline, because they often swap his shifts around to meet store demands...he's kinda the go-to guy when the store needs a reliable man :)