How to rescape an established tank
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:52 AM   #1
Amandas tank
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How to rescape an established tank


I have rescaped a small 20 gallon tank before, but now I have a much larger tank with bigger fish. I am not sure how I should go about rescaping it. I need to add more substrate, and I understand that messing with substrate will kill off beneficial bacteria. So, I am thinking I need to do one side at a time a week apart. Is this right? I also will be adding driftwood and various sized rocks. And later, more plants. Will I need to wait to add the hardscape or can I do it as I work on the substrate? Can I do this safely with my fish in the tank or do they need to be removed first?
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Old 10-29-2012, 07:54 AM   #2
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I would drain everything and keep the fish in a bucket with your filter running.
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Old 10-29-2012, 07:56 AM   #3
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I would break it up into sections and do it each a few days apart. Sort of like what you suggested by doing half at a time.
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:14 AM   #4
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I would buy a whole new tank do fishless cycle and move it after youre done =]!! then you have two tanks!
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Old 10-30-2012, 01:18 AM   #5
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Thank you for your input When I upgraded to this tank from a 30 gallon, I had put the fish in buckets with airstones. Fliters and heaters didn't fit, so I was extremely stressed out! I worked as fast as I could. All the fish made it thankfully. I just had a mini-break down from stress afterward though LOL!
So, I do think if I can avoid taking all the fish out during the rescape, I would refer it. Sounds like maybe I can do this safely...

Buying a new tank Ha Ha! If only my husband liked the fish as much as I do! He is NOT happy with my tank I have now, so if I added another, I think I'd be "the fish" in the tank (jk He thinks it's all a huge waste of money. I had an opportunity to get a 180 gallon with filters, driftwood, lights and fish for only $300, but he refused to allow such a big tank in the house. I was quite dissapointed, and honestly still am

Since someone agrees with my suggested method, I will go with it. So, half the tank at a time.

Thank you!
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Old 10-30-2012, 01:30 AM   #6
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My very first BBA attack was after a rescape without doing something about the debris floating everywhere. When you take everything out, rescape, fill part way, empty to the substrate and refill very carefully there isn't much debris.

I am the world's worst fish catcher but doing a major upheaval in the tank with the fish in there isn't happening here any more.

You cannot see what you are doing either.

Look around for bins you may already have that a filter will hang on. Buy a sponge filter you can stick in the main tank a week before a rescape. Don't feed the fish the day before and the day after the job.
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:05 AM   #7
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Thank you Kathy, but I already started! I have added new substrate to half of the tank and plan on doing the other half in 3 or 4 days. The fish LOVE the new substrate as odd as that sounds! They all are hanging out on the "new" half. The other substrate is natural gravel and the new stuff is Black Echo Complete. I was planning on capping it with the natural gravel I scooped out of the tank, but everyone seems to like the "black" so much better that I think I will not cap it. I'll see what I think in the next week after the whole tank is covered in the black Echo Complete.

Thanks again!
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:12 PM   #8
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I fortunitly have a spouse who tollarates my hobbies.

Acctually I would be in the dog house if I bought her diamonds or jewelry. Much rather have a set of heads for her truck.

To bad you missed out on that tank. Post pics of your scape when your done cant wait to see it. I am in the same boat as you but I dont have any fish left to worry about moving. Just tank and plants. Going to redo my 55 for a group of discus.

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Old 10-30-2012, 08:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt_914 View Post
I fortunitly have a spouse who tollarates my hobbies.

Acctually I would be in the dog house if I bought her diamonds or jewelry. Much rather have a set of heads for her truck.

To bad you missed out on that tank. Post pics of your scape when your done cant wait to see it. I am in the same boat as you but I dont have any fish left to worry about moving. Just tank and plants. Going to redo my 55 for a group of discus.

Curt
Ha Ha! Lucky you! You don't have to waste money on diamonds My brother's lady demands them LOL! We will be moving to Florida in about 2-3 years and I will have a 72" tank! I am determined to have my own space in our new home where I can have my awesome tank, my art studio and my plush recliner...hu hu hu huuuuuu < that devil is smiling BTW.

I will continuously update the process. I have started a rescape thread to share with everyone interested. It's titled "My ever-evolving tank".
Have fun doing your rescape Are you going to dedicate a thread to your rescape? Hope so. I love following others journey's with their aquarium hobby.

Last edited by Amandas tank; 10-30-2012 at 08:06 PM.. Reason: missing info
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:31 AM   #10
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update: So far so good changing the substrate over one section at a time. Everything is going smoothly and the fish are doing just fine.
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