My plan for changing tank substrate - any good? - The Planted Tank Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-10-2019, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
FishyWishy123's Avatar
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: West Midlands, United Kingdom
Posts: 14
My plan for changing tank substrate - any good?

Hi all.

To put it bluntly, I'm fed up of gravel. It was a stupid mistake and I was a typical beginner.
My tank is well established at over 1y old with fish and shrimp, and I'm looking to change the substrate to something that will allow my plants and critters to flourish. The soil I am planning on getting is: "Fluval Stratum volcanic soil for plant or shrimp aquarium" from Amazon. This one cannot be mixed with other substrate, which suits me as I wouldn't want to (at the most I would have dividers between areas of old and new substrate). It also seems safe for shrimp, of which I have a bunch of breeding RCS.

I have drawn up a plan for the change to make it as efficient as possible, and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions or spotted anything I shouldn't be doing?
  • Need 4 buckets, one larger container/bin
  • Bucket 1 and 2 - tank water and contents
  • Bucket 3 and 4 - dechlorinated water (half full)
  • Large container - rest of tank water

  • Fill buckets 1 and 2 half full with tank water
  • Bucket 1 (add in this order): 1. Filter canister 2. Small bogwood 3. Plants 4. Fish
  • Bucket 2 (add in this order): 1. Large bogwood/moss 2. Rocks 3. Shrimp
  • Using bucket 4’s water, clean new substrate via sieve over sink, put clean substrate into bucket 3
  • Put remaining water into large container until ~1” above gravel
  • Start scooping out old gravel, sieve it into the new substrate bucket to add mulm (using water currently in there, so just sit+shake the sieve in the water)
  • Put old gravel into bucket 4 water
  • Once all gravel/mulm removed, take out remaining nasty water and discard
  • Add new substrate/mulm to tank with some water from large container
  • (maybe add plastic dividers, add old gravel to certain areas)
  • Add plants and decor
  • Slowly add water from large container, add filter, leave to settle and check parameters
  • Re-add shrimp
  • Re-add fish
  • Add whatever tank water is left from buckets
  • Bag up some of the old gravel in tights, leave in tank for 2 weeks with frequent checks and necessary water changes

FishyWishy123 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-11-2019, 12:04 AM
Wannabe Guru
Leeatl's Avatar
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Woodstock,Georgia
Posts: 1,046
I made 2 of these to change from gravel to BDBS in my 75 gal custom acrylic tank . I would just trap the gravel behind one and the end of the tank and take gravel out and replace with the BDBS , then put the other one behind the first one and remove the gravel and replace , then move the first one behind the second and repeated till done . I did about a 1/4 of it at a time so as to not disrupt things too bad .
Took about 4 days to do it , but you could do it all at once if you wanted too . Hope that makes
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	20191110_184834.jpg
Views:	14
Size:	67.4 KB
ID:	889215  

Click image for larger version

Name:	20191110_184847.jpg
Views:	14
Size:	61.3 KB
ID:	889217  

My wife says if I get one more aquarium she is going to leave me . I sure am going to miss her fried chicken .
Leeatl is offline  
post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-11-2020, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
FishyWishy123's Avatar
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: West Midlands, United Kingdom
Posts: 14
It's all worked well and the plants are loving it
I've left a chunk of old substrate in some tights in the tank, which has been in there about a month now. Would the new substrate be colonised by now, so I can remove the 'bag'? Or should I wait longer?
FishyWishy123 is offline  


Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome