hi all of you with dirt tanks, mine has been planted for a good while now and i want to move some plants around. i am worried about the disturbed dirt fouling the water. how should i move my plants around safely?
it's dirt with river gravel cap total of about 1.5" deep.
Just move very slowly, wiggle, and move a little more. Also do sections at a time not a whole re-scape at once. I would do a section of plants to move, a waterchange, then save the next section for next weeks water change ect.
Try moving the gravel from around the base of the plant and pull the plant up slowly while wiggling slightly. If there is an extensive root system, trim the roots and leave some of it behind if it looks like you are going to make too much of a mess. You may have to trim some of the older leaves to balance the amount of foliage to the reduced root mass. if you are just separating the runners, pruning the tops shouldn't be necessary.
Once you are done, move the gravel back in place and vac the dirt that is on top. A small rigid tube with airline might work better to siphon the dirt without disturbing the gravel. Wave the tube aggressively over the gravel to stir up the loose dirt and siphon it off.
I'd shut the filter down while doing this so the dirt that does get pulled up doesn't get pushed all over the aquarium and cloud everything up. The dirt will settle faster in still water.
what has worked for me is to wiggle the plant around while pulling it up. I always get to a point where I cant pull more out with out creating a duststorm. I then go around the plant with scisors, cutting the roots well below the surface of the sand cap. The plants come out easily
I rescaped mine today made a total mess.The swords and red lotus had massive root systems.When I finished I vacuumed and refilled it has pretty much all settled down now I will have to vacuum one more time to get whats left.