switching substrate on existing tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-06-2010, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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switching substrate on existing tank

Hi all, I'm planning to switch from sand to eco-complete. I have a few questions:

1. Does eco-complete have to be cycled if I'm adding it to an existing tank?
2. Will eco-complete affect the water chemistry? Like ammonia and ph stuff?
3. Can I put my fishes back right away after the changes?
4. Will 3" depth be too much for a planted tank?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-06-2010, 12:44 PM
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as far as i m aware

1. no, as long as the tank itself is already cycled in.
2. dont think so, i think its ph neutral
3. yes, but i'd wait for any cloudyness to settle first.
4. no that wil be fine, to give a bit of illusion of depth to the tank, make the substrate higher at the back of the tank, sloping down to the front
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-06-2010, 01:25 PM
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Be careful, b/c it's pretty common for changing out substrates to trigger a mini-cycle in a tank. Shouldn't last too long and as long as you keep an eye on the parameters and do a few water changes when needed, that should keep things OK for the fish, however. (And I agree, put them back in the tank immediately, and make sure your filter isn't turned off for too long. If you can keep it running on the container where you're holding the fish, that would be ideal.)

It can help if you reseve some mulm (the brown gunk that accumulates in the substrate) and put it down under the new substrate. This is full of N-bacteria and can help speed up the time it takes to get the new substrate established.

I wouldn't clean your filter for 2 weeks before or after the substrate swap, as you'll be relying on the N-bacteria in there to make up for all the ones you pulled out with the old substrate.





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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-06-2010, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. I cannot keep the filter on as it will be too strong for the holding container. What's the maximum time I can keep the filter off w/o killing the bacteria?

And I suppose Flourite sand is the same thing as eco-complete except for the rinsing part right?

I also have another q's. I have a shrimp tank w/ florabase and I am about to switch to ADA. The problem is, I heard that ADA has to be cycled for a month or 2? (please correct me if I'm wrong) But I don't have a place to put the shrimps while the substrate is being cycled. Is it possible to speed up the cycle process?
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-06-2010, 08:35 PM
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cycle the ada in a seperate container for a couple months with any sort of circulation device (powerhead, etc) and change out the water several times. keep testing until you get 0 ammonia/nitrites. You should be good to add it afterwards.


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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jargonchipmunk View Post
cycle the ada in a seperate container for a couple months with any sort of circulation device (powerhead, etc) and change out the water several times. keep testing until you get 0 ammonia/nitrites. You should be good to add it afterwards.
Thanks I'll give that a try.

So how long can I keep the filter off w/o killing the bacteria?
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