Flourite to Aquasoil swap in a stocked tank?
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:10 PM   #1
fluff34567
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Flourite to Aquasoil swap in a stocked tank?


Hi all,

Had varous conflicting answers about this do lets throw it out for more answers....

I currently have flourite as a substrate, I want to swap it over for aquasoil... the tank is stocked.

Some say no probs but ammonia will be higher.

others say it releases huge amounts and will kill all the fish.

Whats the real story?

Ill be using 4 or 5 bags in a 300litre tank

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Old 10-23-2013, 08:21 PM   #2
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Default Flourite to Aquasoil swap in a stocked tank?

Yes, aquasoil will release a lot of ammonia in it to the tank, and you need to do water change mostly everyday for a week to make it cycle again, even with a cycle filter. Then when you remove the flourite, there's a huge amount of NO3 will be released from underneath the substrate. The fish will get extremely shocked and stressed.
If you wanna swap, you should put your live stock to another tank until it's done and cycle!
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:34 PM   #3
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Ill be removing all fish and plants and doing a complete breakdown of the tank and cleaning everything out.

Ill do it in the morning and do a water change in the evening and then daily changes. Ill prob stock loads of cabomba, anacharis and wisteria along with the rest of my other plants.

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Old 10-23-2013, 08:49 PM   #4
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The real story depends on how much ammonia your current filter bacteria can process:

New filter + new AS = 4.0++ ppm of ammonia peak for 2++ weeks until cycles

Established filter + AS = 2.0++ ppm of ammonia peak for 1+ weeks until cycles

The above assumes heavy plant load of fast growers.

My best case: 5-7 days before the tank cycles and until you can safely put the fish back in. If a lot of fish goes back in, expect another ammonia spike.

A much better approach is to "cycle" AS in a separate tank / container before swapping it into the existing tank.

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Old 10-23-2013, 08:58 PM   #5
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Mmm in that case ill have to keep the fish in a rubbermaid tub... oh well

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Old 10-23-2013, 10:38 PM   #6
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there's a lot of people that provide overly complicated explanations of what aquasoil does, IMO the people that complain about aquasoil are mostly beginners who don't plant the tank heavily enough from day 1.

Just do water changes and don't let the dirt people get in your head.

it seems like sometimes people just want to show off their ability to save $2, where real aquascapers just want to show off how nice their tank is. Remeber to look at the tanks of anyone giving advice people who talk the most talk may have the ugliest tanks on the forum.

just to be clear I'm not talking about people on this thread in particular, OVT ur plants are awesome and the explanation you gave was right on

Last edited by Darkblade48; 10-24-2013 at 01:35 AM.. Reason: Please use the edit button for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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Old 10-23-2013, 11:29 PM   #7
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When I converted to AS, I did 2 things that minimized problems.

1. I took a second HOB filter from another tank and moved it to the tank being converted. That gave me double the ammonia handling capacity than what 1 filter gave me.

2. I poured the AS into a 2 liter soda bottle, filled it with tank water and then inverted it in the tank. As the AS poured out of the bottle, suction in the bottle pulled all the particulates upward into the bottle rather than being spread throughout the tank. When the bottle emptied, it was filled with brown muck which I pulled out and discarded and the tank was crystal clear.
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Old 10-23-2013, 11:46 PM   #8
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Smart trick with soda bottles, very smart. How do you get AS into a bottle without making a huge mess? This will certainly help me out. And my wife says TY.

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Old 10-24-2013, 12:18 AM   #9
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Ok my filter is for a tank 2-3 times the size so no problems there.

Ill give the as a quick pre wash before pouring it in too.

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Old 10-24-2013, 01:55 AM   #10
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I just used a funnel to pour the AS into the bottle, The mouth of a 2 liter bottle is pretty big.

As to the extra filter, you cant use the existing filter and say its 2x as big so its OK. It's the bacteria that count and the bacteria will only grow to match the food thats available to them in thetank. So to handle the surge in ammonia from the AS, you have to instantly double the amount of bacteria which means importing them from somewhere else in addition to your existing filter.

I had a minor surge in ammonia but it never got higher than the first color on the test kit and lasted only for a couple days. I used Prime to neutralize that small amount.

If you use the bottle technique, dont prewash. It becomes impossible to get into the bottle.
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Old 10-24-2013, 07:14 AM   #11
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Ah when I say pour it in I meant into the tank, not a bottle as I'll totally drain and clean the tank duringnthe change
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Old 10-25-2013, 04:06 PM   #12
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I changed everything yesterday morning, couldn't see thru from one side of the tank to the other- I skipped the prewash. In the evening it was clearish. Today is better and currently I have zero ammonia with pH at 7.
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:15 PM   #13
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I read a thread somewhere about the toxicity of ammonia when there is a low Ph. The ammonia gets converted to ammonium which is non toxic to fish. I can't remember where, but I saw it.
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Old 10-26-2013, 09:45 PM   #14
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Mmm interesting to know. I had the co2 on and even though I just have crypts and anoubias they are producing a constant stream of bubbles a few hours after the gas is on.

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Old 10-29-2013, 04:07 AM   #15
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It worked for me. I added a GBR about 2 weeks after flooding. Definately wasn't cycled but I had them ordered, so I had to put them. They are fine now.


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