Keating1's 55 Gal Tank Journal (BBA and Substrate Change) - Page 21 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #301 of 328 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 11:33 AM
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Good to see an update Ken!

With the BDBS are you planning on keeping your planting strategy the same or do you have something else in mind?

Any other changes to the tank in the past few months? Lighting, dosing?
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post #302 of 328 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
Be strong, brave, and keep some AlgaeFix on the shelf for those rough times! Ha Ha, I agree! I would do a complete change out but my concern is I'll be out for a up to two weeks in a few weeks and I'm worried if something drastic happened I wouldn't be around to take corrective action. So for now little steps at a time.

Substrate:
My experience with capped soil is the best growth & plant health.
It is not as quick to grow as an inert substrate but quality counts IMO.

Inert such as BDBS is a quicker grower but some quality is lost.
Algae can also get an upper hand if not kept in check. You've posted that with BDBS the plants have been growing much faster, so I had assumed they were growing better, but that's not the case? I've been thinking about putting a 1/4" layer of Amazonia on the bottom, just to see the results. Thoughts?

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Good to see an update Ken! Thanks G48!

With the BDBS are you planning on keeping your planting strategy the same or do you have something else in mind? Funny you asked as I've been thinking about changing out the plants and going with a red-based aquarium, with a minor about of green. This would be something different, not normally seen. It could come off as very unique and nice looking, or it could be a disaster. Who knows, but it'd be fun to see how it's turn out. But I do want to make changes, I'm starting to get bored with the same arrangement.

Any other changes to the tank in the past few months? Lighting, dosing? Other that a lack of maintenance, there hasn't been any changes. The dosing has been the same for months now. But all the plants have been sorta of ebbing and flowing, that is, some plants do really well, and some not, and two weeks later everything reverses. It's funny how that works out.
OK, i'm off to change out some substrate!
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post #303 of 328 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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OK, I replaced the substrate on the right side of the tank and performed a major trim. I removed the Eco-Complete by using a 1Ē suction hose siphoning into a 35-gallon Rubbermaid Brute garbage can. It had enough suction to pick up a lot of gravel, fast, and I mean really fast, I removed the entire right site in less than five minutes. Installing new substrate, trimming, replanting and clean up took considerably longer, 2-3 hours if you include going back every so often and picking the small pieces as they got hung up in plants and filter intakes. I cut off all the lower portions of the stem plants to remove as much of the BBA infected leaves as possible. I hope this effort puts a dent into the growth of the BDBS. Only time will tell.

Wow, the BDBS is so much easier to plant in as opposed to the Eco-Complete. Just push the plant in and it stays. The Eco-Complete was such a pain, and not knowing better, I thought all inert substrate would be the same. If I would of know this I would of changed out to BDBS quite a while ago.

The depth of the BDDS is quite a bit less the Eco-Complete. Iím hoping this will make it easier to clean and will prevent a huge buildup of detritus that occurred with the Eco-Complete.

Funny, I had more Blyxa Japonica that I thought I had, they were buried in the growth of plants. I made a little area of them as Iím on the fence regarding using any more carpeting plants. Carpeting plants are nice looking, but I find them cumbersome regarding trimming and the amount of detritus that get caught underneath.

I removed the spray bars to clean off the BBA, and the tank looked so much better without them. Iím leaving them off for now to see how the tank performs, and if thereís no difference, I probably wonít reinstall.





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post #304 of 328 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 08:40 PM
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Really neat look with the half and half, easy to see the difference. The BDBS is looking great, I have a feeling you will really enjoy it. Easy to keep clean and as you found out easy to plant.
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post #305 of 328 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 08:53 PM
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Looking good Ken I like the change to BDBS.

It makes your foreground plants pop quite a bit more.

And agreed, you will find it very easy to plant in.

Nice work and glad to see some updates.
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post #306 of 328 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 10:42 PM
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Really curious how this goes for you Ken. I am also a Eco Complete hold out. Can't get carpet plants to stay put to save my life! Will probably go the same route one of these days :-)
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post #307 of 328 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 10:49 PM
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Really curious how this goes for you Ken. I am also a Eco Complete hold out. Can't get carpet plants to stay put to save my life! Will probably go the same route one of these days :-)
Linn I think it would improve the presentation of your tank.

The black substrate helps with color separation, and I think would make things pop.

I would do it.


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post #308 of 328 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 10:53 PM
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Linn I think it would improve the presentation of your tank.

The black substrate helps with color separation, and I think would make things pop.

I would do it.
I have it in the 5g shrimp tank and I will agree - much easier to plant small rooted plants in.
My biggest concern at the moment, I guess, would be recycling the new portion of substrate. I'm sure it would not take long for what ever BB is living there to re-populate. I suspect the change would be not much different than doing a huge plant trimming?


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post #309 of 328 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 11:09 PM
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@Immortal1 what do you have for bio filtration in your filters?
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post #310 of 328 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 11:09 PM
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I have it in the 5g shrimp tank and I will agree - much easier to plant small rooted plants in.
My biggest concern at the moment, I guess, would be recycling the new portion of substrate. I'm sure it would not take long for what ever BB is living there to re-populate. I suspect the change would be not much different than doing a huge plant trimming?
Sorry for the hijack Ken!

Linn if you remember I made the change a while back. Had a very small ammonia spike that only last a few days. All in all, it was a blip and everything went fine. I would not be worried about it.


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post #311 of 328 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 11:24 PM
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Sorry for the hijack Ken!

Linn if you remember I made the change a while back. Had a very small ammonia spike that only last a few days. All in all, it was a blip and everything went fine. I would not be worried about it.
See, thats what I was wondering. On the other hand, I remember many posts stating don't gravel vac too deeply, don't gravel vac all of the substrate, don't disturb the substrate too much...
And Ken goes and dumps 50% of his in a bucket ahhhhhhhhhhhh

Sorry Ken, really trying to stay with your topic at hand - new substrate.

I do remember Gregg when your tank failed and you completely disturbed EVERYTHING in the tank - and yet all your fish were just fine later that week.
Almost starting to feel the cartilage in my arm failing from the twisting

As for the canister filter, Eheim substrat pro in the top tray with Eheim mech pro below it (filter floss between them).


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post #312 of 328 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 02:28 AM Thread Starter
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The biggest advantage with the change out is I dropped the top of the gravel by 1 to 2 inches; thatíll allow my plants to grow another week without having to trim!

Because I was raised in the UG Filter Era, I just canít fathom changing all the gravel at once. I have two Eheim filters under the cabinet, Iím guessing thatís where most of the BB are. @Discusluv has done complete changeouts, see post # 9 in this link. But for me, I feel much better doing one-half at a time.

I noticed today the fish were more active than normal, that tells me the CO2 is a little low on the flow. I cranked it up a little and will slowly raise the flow until I see it impacts the fish, and then Iíll crank it down a little so itís just below their threshold.

Interesting enough, the corys were out more today on the BDBS than previously. Most of the time their hiding, but today theyíre out and about.

Ha ha, no bucket for me Linn, I donít mess around! This is where the gravel is currently, drying out in a large kiddie pool. Cleaned it today, and hopefully in two days itíll be dry and I can package it up and no telling what Iíll do with it. That stuff was expensive, I just canít bear to throw it out right now. When I purchased it I was not familiar with TPT and I just didnít know better. Remember, when I started the aquarium, I just thought you added plants, fed the fish and sat back and enjoyed the aquarium, what more was there to do!!!



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post #313 of 328 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 02:34 AM
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Watch for the inevitable "mini- cycle." It will happen fast in an established tank as the biofiter- quickly reacts to catch back up to its prior level. Water changes on 3rd and 6th day should counteract any issues.
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60 g. low tech w/ F1 Alenquer pair /Stendker "Tefe" discus and wild Altum Angels
30 g. low tech w/ Wild Tucano tetras
30 g. low-tech African Biotope
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post #314 of 328 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 02:42 AM
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WTH all of my old substrate goes in the tractor bucket to be sprinkled on the driveway!
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Growing is not that difficult.
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post #315 of 328 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 02:49 AM Thread Starter
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Watch for the inevitable "mini- cycle." It will happen fast in an established tank as the biofiter- quickly reacts to catch back up to its prior level. Water changes on 3rd and 6th day should counteract any issues.
Thanks Amy, I knew you'd have some good input on this.

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WTH all of my old substrate goes in the tractor bucket to be sprinkled on the driveway!
Ha ha, do you need an extra 100 pounds worth? Kiddie pool not included.
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