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Thread: Utrics stink!

  1. #1
    swords's Avatar
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    I have identified the smell in my room and it's the Utric pots, I have been watering them through the pots but they still stink! I'm curious what this is and how do I make them not stink? If I have to repot I'm wondering if I could use coco peat instead of regular peat-perhaps it would not degrade and stink as quickly (or at all)?
    These utrics have all been potted in their same mixes for 6-12 months most are in pure coarse sphagnum peat, some with sand but I don't much care for that blend seems heavy and not as free draining as pure peat.

    Thanks for any thoughts, I've gotta go light another inscence stick...!

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    noah's Avatar
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    Hi swords,

    Most likely, the stink is produced by anarobic bacteria which thrive in perpetually boggy conditions. Occasionally allowing a container to drain or using a more airy mix, such as one rich in perlite, may help to aleviate the problem. Alternatively, you could allow the soil substrate to dry out a little between waterings. The important thing is to allow oxygen to permeate the soil substrate every once in a while.

    Good luck!

    -noah

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    If noah is right, a halfway method is to flush the pot with fresh water--preferably rainwater or water that has been aerated.

    Steve
    I'd rather have a butterwort in front of me than a...wait, ummm...I'll come up with something...

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    Try adding some activated carbon to your trays.
    Id imagine this would aid in absorbing some of those nastys before they reach your nose.

    [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]
    Peace

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    kayaker78's Avatar
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    Be careful with the activated carbon!!!! Most activated carbon is treated with phosphate to make it more absorbant. When the carbon is used the phosphate can be realeased from the carbon into the water and encourage algae.

    Generally the more expensive brands of carbon are better in this reguard.

    I will try to track down more info in this if anyone is interested, the best source for this info would be publications or web sites devoted to keeping salt water invertibrates.

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    I think your confusing activated carbon with horticultural charcol. I have never heard of activated carbon being treated with "phosphate". In what form is it applied? I have not once encountered and an algae problem associated with the use of activated carbon in my 8 years in the freshwater, planted aquaria, and reef industry.
    Activated carbon is made by burning a fuel at a high temperature and then starving it of oxygen this creats many small variably sized pores through out the carbon, actually the process is a bit more complicated and im sure if your interested you can find the details online somwhere.
    Anything from hardwood to coconut husk is used to make activated carbon. Carbon from hardwood is generally of higher quality while carbon produced from Coco husk is generally not acceptable for use with aquaria.
    FWIW
    [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]
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    I have heard many growers state that activated charcoal for CP is not a good idea. The rational is the charcoal draws metallic salts, phosphates and binds them. This process works fine up to a point since it removes the ions from the medium, then the charcoals begins to degrade, and the accumulated salts are released back into the medium.

    I strongly suspect this is what happened with my substrate terrarium, which was stable for over a decade. Then all of a sudden, things went bad. The spagnum died, a sure sign that there was something desperately wrong. The PH was all wrong, way too high, and it happened very quickly. This led to a rapid fungus fire that reduced all the plant matter to mush in a couple of days (I still get upset when I remember it).

    So, take this for what it is worth. (shrugs) I cannot imagine what else could have been responsible for the decline in the terrarium, but I would advise caution with the use of this material as a substrate additive. If you do use it, try to arrange it so that you can remove and replace it, like changing an aquarium filter.
    "Grow More, Share More"

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    swords's Avatar
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    Interesting debate (horticultural VS activated carbon)! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

    I don't use any chemical filtration in my planted aquariums (only poly-fill polyester floss from wal mart's craft section and sponges in a Fluval 304 canister) so I only have the horticultural carbon onhand for use in my Nep mixes. I never would have thought there was anything different between the two, just different names for different applications.

    Tamlin mentioned terrariums. This smell from the Utrics is the same smell my substrate terrariums make within a few months if they don't have a drainable/false bottom made of lighting grid & PVC. But since Utrics want to be submerged good drainage isnt possible. I think when I restart the cultures I'll add the charcoal and see if that helps.

    thanks!

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