Originally Posted by farrenator
Yes, but that doesn't help the person who has 'let the tank go' and is trying to re-set it rather than tear it all down and start from scratch. But your point is well taken.
I'd be curious to know whether most of the people who did this protocol and didn't experience widespread livestock death had 'relatively' larger tanks.
It can be reset without tearing it down. Removing algae covered hardscape for cleaning, removal of plants that are too far gone, substrate vacuuming, 50% water changes 2-3 times per week for a few weeks, the addition of purigen or something similar to the filter for removal of organics, filter cleaning, good flow, oxygenation, attention to lighting levels in regards to CO2, etc. will get a tank back into shape. It just takes a bit more patience than the overnight method in this thread.
To follow up what Houseofcards was saying, good ongoing maintenance will prevent most tanks from getting too far gone in the first place.