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View Poll Results: Go ahead with changing the substrate or leave it alone till after I move?
Go ahead 2 10.00%
Wait 18 90.00%
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:29 PM   #1
Cinbos
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Would you or would you not?


Ok so heres the deal...

I am in the process of searching for homes. I am hoping in the next 2-3 months we will have a deal done and starting moving into a new house.

I am currently running a low tech setup, and plant to keep it that way, but I do plan to make some upgrades to the tank. Those upgrades would be adding peat moss and dirt and then capping it with pool filter sand. I will also prune alot of the plants because I am having issues with BBA and Blue green algae. I will also raise the lighting, because I feel the lighting has something to do with the algae outbreak.

Changing the substrate will be a process, because I will have to take everything out and the put it back in, so this has me a little hesitant to do this because I will be moving here in the very near future.

What would you all do? Wait to make the changes till after I move and get settled into the new place or go ahead with the process.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:37 PM   #2
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I would do what you can to control the algae, but hold off on the substrate until the move, because the tank will have to basically re-cycle anyway, and then again after the move, even if you're careful.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:54 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Silmarwen View Post
I would do what you can to control the algae, but hold off on the substrate until the move, because the tank will have to basically re-cycle anyway, and then again after the move, even if you're careful.
Would it still have to re-cycle if I use most of the current pool filter sand? Also, all the other pieces of decor like rocks and such will still be in the tank, or does none of this matter?
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:58 PM   #4
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I'm not the expert on cycling, but from what I understand, any major disturbance in the tank could potentially cause a cycle. By taking along your sand, filters, everything in the tank, and most of the water (if possible) and preserving it as well as you can during the move and setup, then you can minimize the stress of a cycle, but there will still be a 'settling-in' period.

As for substrate upgrades, as I understand, those are a huge undertaking, and you may as well be starting with a new tank when you do one. Personally, I would wait until the move and get it all done at once, but as I said, I'm not an expert, so wait and see what others say before you take me at my word
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"Aquariums are like science, art, and hypno-therapy, all rolled into one," I insisted.
"You're not putting a hundred gallon tank in the living room," my roommate replied.


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Old 01-24-2013, 04:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silmarwen View Post
I'm not the expert on cycling, but from what I understand, any major disturbance in the tank could potentially cause a cycle. By taking along your sand, filters, everything in the tank, and most of the water (if possible) and preserving it as well as you can during the move and setup, then you can minimize the stress of a cycle, but there will still be a 'settling-in' period.

As for substrate upgrades, as I understand, those are a huge undertaking, and you may as well be starting with a new tank when you do one. Personally, I would wait until the move and get it all done at once, but as I said, I'm not an expert, so wait and see what others say before you take me at my word
Thank you very much for your input! I really just want to take care of my plants and fish and do whats best for them. I hate seeing this algae and seeing it cover my plants. You know its funny, I never had an issue with the algae when the Anubias were in my 125 Gallon Mixed Cichlid tank. The Fish never hassled the plants and I never dosed the tank with ferts.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:07 PM   #6
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She's quite right. There will be a settling in of nitrifying bacteria.

I have changed substrate on a tank with very little disturbance in the overall cycle, but it had a lot of filter media.

All in all, do what you have time for. If you can handle the time now, then go for it. I move my tanks at least 4-5 times a year. It isn't fun, but they're nanos and I can handle it.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:07 PM   #7
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I'd wait till after you move to do anything major with the tank. For the cycling issue, I really don't think it's a big issue just don't let all the bacteria in your filter die.

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Old 01-24-2013, 04:22 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by MABJ View Post
She's quite right. There will be a settling in of nitrifying bacteria.

I have changed substrate on a tank with very little disturbance in the overall cycle, but it had a lot of filter media.

All in all, do what you have time for. If you can handle the time now, then go for it. I move my tanks at least 4-5 times a year. It isn't fun, but they're nanos and I can handle it.
Luckily its only a 55 Gallon. Thought I also have a 125 to deal with when moving comes around, but not much to that tank. I guess I will wait to change the substrate, but now I will have to focus all my time to this algae outbreak I have.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:26 PM   #9
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Search the one two punch algae treatment thread. Then focus on why the algae broke out so much! You'll figure it out.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:29 PM   #10
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Search the one two punch algae treatment thread. Then focus on why the algae broke out so much! You'll figure it out.
Ha I know exactly why, I started dosing dry ferts. KNO3 and the others on Mon, Wed and Friday, and my Trace Elements on the opposite days, and then a water change on Sundays. This has to be it, because when I hadn't stated it, there was barely any algae.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:36 PM   #11
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I'd say figure out the imbalance for now. Figuring out how to deal with and correct the algae issue could prove to be an invaluable lesson. You won't get much from ripping everything apart and starting over. You may just run into the same issue.
Why do you want to change the substrate?

If you can re-home the fish until the move and run the filter on the larger tank to maintain the bacteria, you could do a dry start on the tank. this would give you two to three months to get the plants established and give you a little bit less tank maintenance to worry about while you prepare for and complete the move.

Are you running any CO2? Excessive nutrients and no CO2 will allow algae to outcompete the plants. No CO2 requires less dosing because the plants are carbon limited and can not uptake/do not need other nutrients in large quantities.

I have dosed micro nutrients and fed a little heavy before leaving for a few day on a couple of occasions. It is usually fine, but the time my DIY CO2 stopped producing, I had a slime algae outbreak. It is anecdotal, the amounts weren't calculated out and it wasn't a controlled experiment, but lots of people have shown that a CO2 deficiency in the presence of higher nutrient levels will most likely lead to algae outbreaks. I'd say remove the more heavily affected leaves and cut back on the ferts if you are not adding CO2 (which I am assuming based off of you calling it a low tech tank)
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:49 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Beer View Post
I'd say figure out the imbalance for now. Figuring out how to deal with and correct the algae issue could prove to be an invaluable lesson. You won't get much from ripping everything apart and starting over. You may just run into the same issue.
Why do you want to change the substrate?

If you can re-home the fish until the move and run the filter on the larger tank to maintain the bacteria, you could do a dry start on the tank. this would give you two to three months to get the plants established and give you a little bit less tank maintenance to worry about while you prepare for and complete the move.

Are you running any CO2? Excessive nutrients and no CO2 will allow algae to outcompete the plants. No CO2 requires less dosing because the plants are carbon limited and can not uptake/do not need other nutrients in large quantities.

I have dosed micro nutrients and fed a little heavy before leaving for a few day on a couple of occasions. It is usually fine, but the time my DIY CO2 stopped producing, I had a slime algae outbreak. It is anecdotal, the amounts weren't calculated out and it wasn't a controlled experiment, but lots of people have shown that a CO2 deficiency in the presence of higher nutrient levels will most likely lead to algae outbreaks. I'd say remove the more heavily affected leaves and cut back on the ferts if you are not adding CO2 (which I am assuming based off of you calling it a low tech tank)
No CO2, my tank is purely low tech. I am changing the substrate for the heavier root feeders like amazon swords, chain swords, and crypts. Pool filter sand alone does not give enough nutrients for those. I do use root tabs but to no avail.
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:57 AM   #13
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Default Would you or would you not?

So what do you think?
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:22 AM   #14
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Another good reason to wait would be that when you are moving, you will have the tank level down a lot and the fish will be in a seperate place so it will be less work to change everything. In short, you would have to do the same thing twice if you do it right now.
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