Changing Substrate in an established shrimp tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-29-2010, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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Changing Substrate in an established shrimp tank

So thanks to the great Orlando from GLA, I am getting some lovely soil substrate. (Thanks so much, you are simply the best)

Now here is the issue, I already have black fluorite in my tank mixed with gravel. Now since I am changing over to the soil substrate, and there is almost no way for me to get all of my shrimp out (They hide in the darnedest spots) and I do not want to overstress my blue tigers, I figure that just vacuuming most of the black fluorite out with a gravel vaccuum and then putting the soil substrate in would be ideal. But I really have no idea. Any suggestions would be welcome.


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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-29-2010, 02:22 PM
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imo this would cause a massive cloud if not completely emptied and could endanger your shrimp even more so then the stress of moving them to a qt or nother tank. Emptying your tank also gives you a chance to "start over" which is always fun, new look, new challenges. IMO

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-29-2010, 02:28 PM
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Soil substrates also have a tendency to break down and cause ammonia spikes for a while before becoming stable
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-29-2010, 04:06 PM
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I would work really hard at removing all possible shrimp before disturbing the existing substrate.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-29-2010, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm, Orlando said I shouldn't have too much of an issue as long as I remove most of the shrimp and then re-acclimate them for an hour to the new water.

What Orlando told me to do...
I dont see a problem. One thing to keep in mind however is the soils natural way of lowering GH and pH. This will disrupt the osmotic balance in some animals at first but condition well if acclimated well.

I would take all the animals out if you can, then layer your substrate as you mentioned. Then add the water to the tank and let it run for about an hour.

Then acclimate your animals to the water that has been in the tank with the new soil over a period of time.

I have done this several times, works well


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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-29-2010, 04:48 PM
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you can lay a piece of saran wrap on top the the substrate then pour water in slowly so it doesnt cloud up.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-29-2010, 04:50 PM
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There's no way to avoid stressing your shrimp one way or another. How about a partial change, replacing quadrants or 1/8ths at a time?

I think Lauralee spoke of a technique where she pours new substrate down a vacuum tube into the places she wants it to fall.

Maybe that could work and reduce the need to re-acclimate livestock.

I've only rebuilt once. Filled a few 5G buckets with water ($3 each at Lowes), put plants in one, fish in the others and did the rebuild. Poured old water in,backfilled with new and everybody was fine. Took about 4 hours. No invertebrates though. And no significant change in water chemistry due to the substrate, so you would still have to deal with a slower acclimation than I did. Maybe one way to accomplish that is to put some substrate into a container or two prior, with something for circulation, to create your "new water", then use that water for acclimation in parallel with you're rebuild.

Rebuild isn't such a big deal when you have a filter that is still mature (don't decide to clean it the same day btw), but a significant water chemistry change and inverts makes it more challenging.

Good Luck,
AB


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-29-2010, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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AB,

Your method sounds like a good idea, I think I will do portions of substrate change at a time. That or do acclimation with "new water" in parallel, like you suggested.

Now to trap some shrimp....


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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-29-2010, 09:49 PM
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this all sounds like a good time to just start anther tank. :p

What would Honey Badger do?
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-29-2010, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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this all sounds like a good time to just start anther tank. :p
Are you trying to make me even more broke!?!


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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-30-2010, 12:26 AM
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Are you trying to make me even more broke!?!
lmao. you know 6 months to a year down the line another tank will catch your fancy anyways!

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-30-2010, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
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lmao. you know 6 months to a year down the line another tank will catch your fancy anyways!

One already has...The 65 Rimless GLA is coming out with... -_-


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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-30-2010, 03:19 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, so I have decided that I am going to cycle the soil substrate before putting it in my tank. Now here is the real question...

I do not plan to put all of the soil substrate in, just a layer on top of my flourite to give my HC something to root well in (thicker in the spots I want it to be in) but I want the substrate to have somewhat of a even look, so I will put a layer on the rest of the substrate.

How long should I cycle the new substrate for? I was just going to stick it in a bucket, put some plants I don't really care for in it, place a already cycled filter (bought a fluval u2 for my tank, and it is currently maturing in my 20 gallon with a hob filter still in place), and put an airstone in it too for oxygenation. This a good idea?


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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-02-2010, 02:23 PM
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I have AS in a 10x10 cube, some plants, no livestock. Ammonia did spike as everyone says, level has remained high for 3 weeks now.

You are probably aware, but just in case. When you mic substrates, the finer will eventually settle to the bottom and the larger to the top. If you're going to do partial, you may be best off replacing all one section at a time. I've never mixed, but this has been mentioned by many previously who have.

Good luck. Nothing like a good project. If only there was more time, space...money helps too.


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