eclipse 6, plastic to planted
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Old 11-21-2003, 06:52 PM   #1
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I've got an eclipse system 6 that's been up and running for a while now, and I've been thinking about going from plastic to live plants. I've gotten some good ideas for low-light plants from a bunch of threads on this site. It currently houses a fancy male guppy, a pair of harlequin rasboras, 3 neon tetras, and a pair of tiny pygmy corydoras. Anyway, it's my only tank, and I'm curious about how I'd make the transition to a planted tank without taking a toll on my existing fish.

Currently the substrate is the pretty good sized epoxy coated gravel (I think this is it: ), which sounds like it's not ideal for planting. I'm willing to go to a substrate like flourite, but I need advice on how to make the switchover.

If I take the fish out and put them in a temporary container with most of the tank water, and then take out all the gravel and replace it with another substrate..will the tank settle quickly enough to replace the fish before they get in trouble in a bucket? Will I lose too much of the good bacteria (or is there enough in the filter and biowheel)? Should I mix the existing (pretty large) gravel with a substrate?

Thanks for your help!

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Old 11-21-2003, 09:17 PM   #2
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getting a 5 gallon bucket from HD would be a good place to start, you could drain the water from the tank to the bucket and keep the fish in the bucket. You could then go with a 50/50 mix of flourite and existing gravel therefore keeping a good amount of bacteria. The Biowheel will help with the transition as long as it is kept moist but not submerged during the process.
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Old 11-21-2003, 09:51 PM   #3
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If you want flourite to settle out in a short ammount of time, use a diatom filter or add a focculant
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Old 11-22-2003, 02:01 PM   #4
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It probably won't clear up real quickly, but your fish will be fine in a bucket over night. Trust me, been there, done that. Drain about half the water into the bucket, and scoop the fish in, and take out the bio wheel, and add that into the bucket as weel. Finish draining the tank, and take out your old gravel. It's a bit to large for this, and will make ur tank look smaller, and give your plants a hard time rooting. Then rinse your bag of flourite, and let it dry. (you could probably do this before you even start, to make the transistion faster and eaiser). Put the flourite into the tank, and very very carefully, add water to the tank. It woudl be best to gently scoop it up with a margarine container, into the tank,a nd gently pour it onto a plate, or a piece of plastic lying on the bottom of the tank, fill it about 2/3 with original water, and add some top off of clean water and let the filter do it's job. With any luck, it won't be a total mess, and your fish can go in, within a few hours, if not the next day.
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Old 11-23-2003, 05:10 AM   #5
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I have a 6g eclipse but have found the stock lighting to be barely enough for java fern, java moss, and Anubias Barteri var. Nana, espesially with the light's poor placement and the filter blocking a lot of light from the rear. I'm currently researching light upgrades, I have a 13w kit from AHSupply that could go in, but I might go with 18w or 27w.

If I could go back, I would have just got a 10g with an Aquaclear filter & DIY hood instead.
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