Low Tech "Upgrade" - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-05-2006, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 6
Low Tech "Upgrade"

My girlfriend and I currently have a 20gallon tank with a couple of upside down catfish in it. We had corries but lost them in a our last move. I was thinking of "upgrading" it to a low tech planted. Could I just pour something like eco-complere over the current substrate which is large river pebbles (2-3 inches diameter), Retro lights into it and plant away? I won't be able to completely break it down due to its current location. Thanks. Any recommendations of a DIY lighting solution?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-05-2006, 01:06 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Illinois
Posts: 1,681
If the upsidedown cats are the only fish you have in there and it's only a 20 gallon, you can do everything in one shot, in less than an hour. Just put the cats in a fish bag with allot of tank water, then put the fish in a dark, so they can feel comfortable. Then save about 1/2 the water from the tank and keep the filter media in that same water. Then empty out the water and remove/replace the subtrate. Add the rest of the water, keeping the temp to about the same as the tank. When your done arranging everything, acclimate the fish to the water by floating the bag in the tank for awhile, adding some water form the tank into the bag every few minutes.

125 gal (473 liter): Low Tech (1.5wpg PC for 10 hours, no CO2/ferts, gravel substrate), Equipment (72" Coralife PC, Eheim Pro II 2128 w/built in heater, FilStar XP3 w/Hydor ETH201 inline heater), Fish (6*Discus, 2*Angel, 5*Clown loaches, 4*L-018 Gold Nugget pleco, 1*L-260 Queen Arabesque pleco, 7*Cories, Farlowella cat)
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-05-2006, 02:24 PM
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Location: Hawthorne, NJ
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a couple things to add:
1) don't feed the catfish for a day or 2 befopre the move (less waste in the bag)
and instead of the bag, you can put them in a big-ish rubbermaid container.

2) don't mix the substrates, over time the smaller particles will end up on the bottom. with 2-3", it may just pour into the nooks, and crannies.

Also, Don't forget to unplug your heater so it doesn't run dry and crack.

Good luck

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--May the floor under your tank always be dry, and your glass clear!!!
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-05-2006, 08:31 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Prior Lake, MN (Twin Cities)
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You will end up with the larger peices of gravel on top.

A great way to get out all that old substraite is to use a shop vac, Works for the last of the water as well!
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