New substrate, old tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-11-2011, 03:10 AM Thread Starter
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New substrate, old tank

I have a 56 gallon tank, my plants are growing well, very well considering I'm running 2 F17s 28" above the substrate. Anyway, My substrate consists of sand with some slate chunks at the moment, most of it is 1" deep, but where the swords are it's about 3" deep (I know they need room to root more than most plants).

Anyway, I was just given a bag of flourite. So far my best guess would be to pull the plants, add the flourite on top (mix it in where the swords go?) and then replant. Is there any better method ?

Thanks
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-11-2011, 03:34 AM
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If you want to keep the tank planted the way it is, you can add the flourite to the tank without removing any sand.
There are a couple of ways to do it, here is one way.

Get a chunk of pipe, such as 1-1/2" to 2" PVC that is longer than the depth of the water in the tank.

Rinse the flourite really well.

Put the pipe in the tank, and move as much sand as you can from a small area without disturbing the roots of the plants. The pipe will stand vertically. Bottom in the hole you just dug.

Pour in the flourite, slowly. It will not take much to fill that hole.

Then move to a new spot. Repeat: hole, pipe over hole, flourite through pipe...

The pipe is supposed to confine the cloudiness, and you can allow the pipe to sit over each hole for a minute or so to allow the cloudiness to settle.

Gradually the tank will get cloudy, though. Stop adding flourite when this happens, and give the tank a few hours or a day to clear, then keep on going. Monitor the tank for any ammonia spikes or other problems.

Doing it slowly like this is safest if there is any possibility of ammonia or other things from the new/used substrate.
__________________________________________________ __________

Here is another method:
Rinse the flourite really well.
Remove fish, drain the tank. Remove any loose sand (no plant roots). Topdress the whole tank, or add flourite wherever you want.
Put a plate over the substrate and refill slowly, allowing the water to trickle over the edges of the plate. This will minimize clouding.
Add the fish back and turn on equipment.
Monitor the tank for ammonia or other issues and be ready to do water changes as needed.
__________________________________________________ ________________

Re aquascpe is more invasive.
Remove everything, use flourite as the substrate with as little sand as you want.
Replant before refilling, then fill as suggested above, over a plate or plastic bag.

Watch out for ammonia with this method.
a) the plants got disturbed and may not be up to dealing with ammonia right away
b) the sand got removed. It had a bacteria population on it that could have dealt with ammonia.
c) the fish are stressed, and stressed fish produce a higher than average amount of ammonia.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-11-2011, 03:36 AM
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Personally, I'd just leave well enough alone.

I made the mistake of going with a deeper substrate in my 90gal for the same reason- I wanted big swords- but I'm pretty sure I developed anaerobic spots, due to a mass die-off when I pushed the tank from one room into another. Pretty sure I disturbed some hydrogen sulfide gas in the process, since my tests looked fine but no amount of water changes helped.





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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-11-2011, 03:39 AM Thread Starter
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I've been there and done that with anaerobics, I had a 5" sandbed in a reef tank, then got a fish that liked to dig

I should mention I accidentally put the flourite in a different tank (long story) so it's extremely well rinsed. I was thinking about just putting it in the shallow spots and maybe pulling out some of the sand where the swords are to give them something a bit better to grow in.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-11-2011, 03:43 AM
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Sounds like that should work.





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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-11-2011, 03:44 AM Thread Starter
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Well I hold your opinion in high regard, it was your old 90 gallon tank thread that got me thinking about planted.
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