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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-28-2012, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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Cleaning questions

So I followed the directions on the substrate I got in my tank and did not rinse it before adding it.. Worst mistake ever. I do gravel vacuum it, but that only does so much.

Is it possible to rinse the substrate out a bit, get it mostly clean, not all the way clean, put the tank back together, fish, shrimp, plants, and not have a complete recycle of the tank?

I've got neon tetras, sakura shrimp, amano shrimp, and a few oto cats.

Its a a little bigger than 10 gallons, but not much, the parameters are nitrate 0 nitrite 0 ammonia 0 ph roughly 7.0.

The tanks been set up for a year, I would not clean out the filter at all, even thought it needs a good cleaning.

I'd really like to get the gravel clean, its pretty icky, but if the only way to clean it is a lot of gravel vacuuming, I will have to make do.

"And 5, very important 5... Don't let me eat pears.. I HATE PEARS."
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-28-2012, 10:44 PM
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What kind of substrate? How long has it been down for? Are you getting rid of mulm or something else? Mulm is good for your tank if that's what you're doing I'd keep it.

If you're still interested in cleaning the substrate, you could put something to section off 1/4 of the substrate, pull the substrate out, wash it, put it back in the tank, leaving the plastic or w/e you use to section it off in, wait for a week or so, then find another piece of plastic or w/e and section another 1/4 off, and repeat. That shouldn't cause too big of a cycle and shouldn't be too harmful. The only reason I say leave the plastic in, is that way you know exactly where you started and stopped.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-28-2012, 10:55 PM
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You can rotate what part of the substrate you are cleaning. Lets say you set up a rotation of cleaning 25% each week for 2 months. That would get it pretty clean, but reduce the disturbance to the livestock. You would not need to remove them. There would be no problem with the nitrogen cycle. Clean the filter a day or so after.

If you wanted to clean it all at once, and more thoroughly, you could, see this post:
Switching tanks help?
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-28-2012, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Its not mulm. Its just the black crap from the original substrate. I cant remember exactly what brand it was, but its one of the ones for planted tanks, that comes packaged in water.

I've already read over that thread. But I am still uneasy about cleaning it out.

Most of my water would go into a bucket, with the plants, fish, shrimp, and the filter, the filter would remain plugged in and running while on the bucket.

The tank would be about half full of old water at this point, I would stir up the gravel, getting most of the black dust crap into the water column, then empty it out. Refill half with aged water treated with prime, add back in the plants, drift wood, then slowly add in the old water fish, and the filter.

"And 5, very important 5... Don't let me eat pears.. I HATE PEARS."
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-28-2012, 11:15 PM
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If it came packed in liquid, it's Eco-Complete.

Diana's instructions are probably your best bet.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-28-2012, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
If it came packed in liquid, it's Eco-Complete.

Diana's instructions are probably your best bet.

Yup that's it.

Never again.. I swear, when I get my hands on a new tank, I am rinsing any substrate I am putting into it.

"And 5, very important 5... Don't let me eat pears.. I HATE PEARS."
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-28-2012, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
You can rotate what part of the substrate you are cleaning. Lets say you set up a rotation of cleaning 25% each week for 2 months. That would get it pretty clean, but reduce the disturbance to the livestock. You would not need to remove them. There would be no problem with the nitrogen cycle. Clean the filter a day or so after.
I'm confused isn't that pretty much what I said?

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 12:38 AM
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Every once in a while, someone seems to have an issue with this stuff, I've purchased 80 lbs now for a few different tanks and I cannot complain about it. Except it looks bad with natural gravel.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 01:53 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steven p View Post
Every once in a while, someone seems to have an issue with this stuff, I've purchased 80 lbs now for a few different tanks and I cannot complain about it. Except it looks bad with natural gravel.

Don't get me wrong, I love the substrate, I love the look of it, the color (black). What I don't like was not listing to my gut telling me to rinse it before use.

My plants seem to love it to. Next time (hoping to get my hands on a use biocube, or a tank with a similar shape) I plan on rinsing it before hand.

Normally it wouldn't bug me to much, but with as many plants as I have, it's a bit hard to vacuum gravel all the black 'dust' like particles out of it.

"And 5, very important 5... Don't let me eat pears.. I HATE PEARS."
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 04:40 AM Thread Starter
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Its all clean.. I wish I could have taken photos of what I got out of the tank, urgg, it was like a crap ton of fine black powder from the substrate. All the plants have been trimmed and re-planted.. My poor fish and shrimp are in a bucket waiting, I am considering retying the moss again, to get it into the right shape. My Sakura shrimp have gone nuts, I pulled about 100+ babies from the tank. I tested the water about 30 min after everything was up and running, no spike yet, though I am going to wait a bit before testing again. I am ready to change the water if something spikes

"And 5, very important 5... Don't let me eat pears.. I HATE PEARS."
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-31-2012, 03:31 AM
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i didn't rinse mine either... at first i thought that gross stuff i was getting was the 'good stuff' then i had to clean it REALLY WELL after an ick outbreak (2 gallon tank so who cares on the cycle) and hm... that tank didn't get that

i used a turkey baster on my BIG 6 GALLON (yea, yea) tank and got a bunch out.. prob some of the good icky stuff too...but not near the plants and honestly as i had to replant stuff it needed to be done...
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-31-2012, 04:20 AM Thread Starter
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I am happy to report, there where no losses, the fish and shrimp look happier than before. Levels are still nearly perfect. I am hoping to pick up a 29 gallon bio cube with a stand tomorrow. I plan on using it as another shrimp tank, maybe putting in some cardinals if I can find some for cheap.

"And 5, very important 5... Don't let me eat pears.. I HATE PEARS."
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