Complete teardown to add Amazonia Light? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-29-2020, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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I currently have black "sand" (micro gravel) in my high tech 65 gallon and have been EI dosing. I am considering adding some Amazonia Light to provide some extra nutrients to my root feeders. I'm assuming to do so, I'd have to basically tear down the tank and start fresh? I would put an inch of Amazonia on the bottom then cap with a couple inches of sand (raked front to back). I was hoping maybe I could do sections of the tank at a time, but that would get pretty messy. I'm fine with tearing down the tank if it's worth it. My main concern is stressing the fish by netting them and putting them in a temporary container, but if that's what it takes then I guess it's fine. This is my main tank and I want the plants to be as healthy and lush as possible.

In summary:

Can Amazonia Light successfully be added to a tank without a complete teardown?

Is it worth tearing down the tank/stressing the fish to add Amazonia Light?

Will I need to cut back on my EI dosing after adding Amazonia Light?

How many inches of sand should I cap the Amazonia Light with to ensure it doesn't leech too much into the water column but the roots can still reach it?

Is there a similar product that does not leech so much ammonia into the water? The fish need to go back in as soon as I'm finished. A product that I can simply mix in with my existing substrate without tearing the tank down would be ideal.

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-29-2020, 11:34 PM
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Just add some root tabs for your root feeders, better than doing a complete tear down. Just my two cents worth. Once I set up a tank and hardscape it stays unless there is an obvious problem.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-30-2020, 12:11 AM
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I rescape a couple of my tanks every few months. Redoing a hardscape is not really a big deal so long as you go into it knowing its a full day affair (for that size tank). If you are unhappy with your substrate and want to change it up I would just do it. I would net the fish, put them in tubs or buckets with filtration or airstones and then have at it. Drain the whole thing, remove everything and so on. Your fish will not love it but they will be fine.

If you don't want to do that, you can do it in stages, your new substrate will definitely leech but so long as you have good filtration this won't be an issue. Just test for ammonia and be prepared to do water changes every day for the first week, every other day for the second week, 3 times in week 3 and twice in week 4 (just like if this were a brand new tank with active substrate).


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-30-2020, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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The prospect of tearing the entire tank doesnt really bother me. I wanted to remove the vals and plant a bunch of new plants anyway. Alternatively, I could continue to use root tabs and mix in either gravel or eco complete to loosen up the substrate and keep it from going anaerobic. I have 2/3 sand to 1/3 ecocomplete in my high tech 20 and the plants roots are able to penetrate it easily, and I like the look of crumbled gravel and sand. Yes, I know the sand is prone to sinking to the bottom, but the geos should keep everything mixed up nicely.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-30-2020, 11:18 PM
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I just did a complete reset with Landen soil on my HiTech and the difference from my old Flourite has been night and day. But I'd replace the whole substrate. The growth and health of the plants has been so much better. Be prepared to adjust your CO2 due a lower Ph and your Kh will fluctuate a little. But that's okay; see the 2hr Aquarist website under the CO2 section; there's a great article about using co2 and AquaSoils together. Here's my tank just a month after the change.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-04-2020, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
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Looks great! I ordered 8 bags of the Light substrate, so I'm committed. I was thinking...since I have geos in the tank, would it be a good idea to lay down a layer of screen/mesh material on top of the Aquasoil so it doesn't get stirred up if the geos dig too deep? I would get something with a large enough grid to allow roots to pass through and at the same time keep the aquasoil from getting stirred up.

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Originally Posted by mboley View Post
I just did a complete reset with Landen soil on my HiTech and the difference from my old Flourite has been night and day. But I'd replace the whole substrate. The growth and health of the plants has been so much better. Be prepared to adjust your CO2 due a lower Ph and your Kh will fluctuate a little. But that's okay; see the 2hr Aquarist website under the CO2 section; there's a great article about using co2 and AquaSoils together. Here's my tank just a month after the change.
What stem plant is that in the rear right of that pic (the red one)?

On second thought, I suppose the mesh would prevent me from planting the plants at a proper depth, unless my sand cap was 2"+. Would it be too deep if I had 2" of aquasoil and 2" of sand on top?

I spoke with ADA and they said 4" would be too deep and suggested not capping the Amazonia light at all. They recommend doing sand in the front and Amazonia only in the back where the plants will be. I suppose that would be fine, but I think I'll mix in some gravel with the sand to loosen things up a bit so roots can penetrate it more easily. I suppose I should place some sort of barrier between the Amazonia and sand/gravel to prevent the Amazonia from spreading to the front. I wouldn't be so concerned if it weren't for the geos. They really stir things up. I may need to opt for placing some large stones jere and there and planting between so they don't dig up the planted areas.

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 06-07-2020 at 02:26 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-04-2020, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mossman77 View Post
On second thought, I suppose the mesh would prevent me from planting the plants at a proper depth, unless my sand cap was 2"+. Would it be too deep if I had 2" of aquasoil and 2" of sand on top?
I'm sorry, Im not familiar with Geos. And I dont know of any benefit of capping the soil or a screen; I would just go with soil at about 3 inches. The plant in the top right is Rotala H'ra. In my tank above I put down a a one inch layer of my old inert substrate topped with the charcoal and Bacter 100 ADA products, topped with 2-3" of Landen soil.

In my other tank I went with a base of ADA powersand topped with the products above and then 2-3" of Amazonia light.


Be sure and read that article I mentioned.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-04-2020, 10:28 PM
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If you are working the tank around the Geophagus, I'd stick with sand. If you put sand on top of ADA, it's not going to be on the top for very long, especially with fish that sift the substrate all day. I'm a fan of aqua soils and broke down a newly set up tank with flourite and switched over to soil already this year. I would not sift the ADA or even do anything much to disturb it.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-09-2020, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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Okay. I've decided to keep the Amazonia and sand (technically micro gravel) separate. I'm currently looking for some rock or petrified wood to use as a barrier, along with some pond liner or similar product I can cut into strips to place between gaps.

The company I ordered the soil from sent me the Normal type, not the Light, which I believe is not the type I want to use on a cycled tank. I plan on exchanging it for the Version 2, which is supposedly their newest product that is similar to the Amazonia II, but is unlikely to cause ammonia spikes and water turbidity. Sounds like this is the way to go for a mature tank.

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