Can I add eco complete to existing gravel? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 02:16 AM Thread Starter
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Can I add eco complete to existing gravel?

New to the forum. Great info here. Started my old tank back up and have gone through the cycling process. 29g with gravel. Lighting- T5HO 2x24. I just purchased Amazon Sword, Wisteria, Java Fern, and spiral Val. Obviously, if I knew what I know now I would have used Flourite or Eco complete as my substrate. As I already have a good community of fish, 7 tiger barbs, 3 Black Phantom tetra, cory, rubber lip, I really don't want to start over. Can I add eco complete to replace some of my gravel? Would this be of great benefit or should I just use root tabs and Flourish? Thanks for any help.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 03:36 AM
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Welcome to TPT!

Personally, I'd replace the gravel.

You CAN stick with the gravel as long as you supply nutrients through root tabs/ water column dosing, though.

And you need to be providing CO2 with your light level as well- you're running "high" light over this tank.





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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Lauraleellbp. Could I change to eco or flourite without re-cycling my tank? Thought eco would be best as far as less mess. No way to clean outside due to 3 ft of snow and -10 wind chill. No other tank available for temp home for fishies. Also, 48 watts for a 29g is considered high lighting? I was hoping to keep it as simple as possible, ie no CO2. Any more ideas? Thanks.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 04:27 PM
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Yes, you can. There are 2 basic ways, and I suppose endless variations.

1) Replace it all at one time. Remove fish, plants, decor and water, scoop out gravel, pour in the EC, rescape, refill, put the fish back. Some chance of a mini cycle, but the plants may make the difference, just watch the NH3/NH4 and NO2 and do water changes as needed. Fish can live in a bucket or two during this swap. Especially good if you have a small air bubbler. If the house is cool then wrap the bucket to keep it warm. The nitrifying bacteria in the filter media are fine for an hour or so with no water circulation. They need humidity and oxygen, and do not actually have to be under water.

2) Replace it in sections. This might mean removing 1/4 of the gravel, then pouring the EC into the tank through a tube (not just through the water). Then a week or two later another 1/4 of the tank. Least chance of even a minicycle. More disruption over a longer period of time, though.
Variation of 2): Pour in the EC on top of the gravel, (through a tube) in sections, and let it sift its way deeper into the gravel. Remove as much of the gravel as you want, over time. You will never get rid of it all, but that is OK.

Do not rinse EC, use it straight from the bag. I understand Flourite requires a lot of rinsing, and would not be possible in -10 conditions.

Something close to 2 wpg can be high light, especially from T-5HO bulbs. Lift the bulbs higher away from the tank. 48/29 = 1.6wpg, and from T-5HO this is high enough to require Excel if not CO2, and regular fertilizing.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-12-2010, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Diana for the good tips. Think I will go with the ecocomplete, changing out about half the gravel and mixing with eco. As for the lighting, the Current t5ho 2x24 sure makes the tank look nice, but I think I will remove the 10000k bulb (it works with 1) and just use the 65000k one to eliminate the need for CO2. Good idea? Thanks.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-13-2010, 02:56 AM
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I think it would be. Make sure the bulb is centered as much as you can over the tank, not way to the back or front.
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